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Clutch - When to replace?


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I have a R1100RT with 62k on it, i have put about 10k on it myself. How do you know when it is time to replace the clutch with out taking the whole bike apart to look at it?

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I have a R1100RT with 62k on it, i have put about 10k on it myself. How do you know when it is time to replace the clutch with out taking the whole bike apart to look at it?


Afternoon McDuugle


Pretty well 3 common ways to handle it--


Remove the starter then try to measure & get a rough idea of clutch disk thickness.


Or just ride it until you get clutch slippage then address it.


Or do a preemptive strike & just replace the clutch now when you get some time.


BMW boxer clutches can last a long time IF they are not abused, but can wear out quickly if slipped & abused.

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I replaced my clutch in my R1150RT at about 150k. I wasn't having trouble with slippage but since I was doing a spline lube and replacing a leaking slave cylinder I decided to replace the clutch. I only replaced the friction disk. The bike now has 181k with no problems.

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My R1100RT had 175,000 on the stock clutch and it was still well within spec.


Keep in mind how the bike has been ridden...mostly urban commuting miles

or mostly touring miles?

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I waited until mine started slipping. Seemed like an ok tactic. Just be sure to address it very soon after that.


someone will prolly tell me I'm wrong, but I think i got mine to slip best out on the freeway in 4th or 5th gear. Downshift and goose the throttle like you're passing someone. you'll get engine revs, but not speed to match.

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Nearing 100k on my '04RT and the oem clutch performs like new.


I would wait until you start having issues, which could be a long time with your current mileage.

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Awesome happy to hear all this! Was not ready to go in on it and also having to fork out for a new clutch pack. Was just getting paranoid because I felt that my clutch was engaging a little far out on the lever release. Pretty close to the end. Is that normal?



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Not sure, but you prolly have a cable to the clutch. Cables will stretch over time. You can take up the slack, just screw out the adjusting nut there at the lever, where the cable goes in.


I think my cable gave up the ghost (the end snapped off) at around 70k miles. It's real easy to swap that out. It's something that can be done on the side of the road, without tools.... And they're not so expensive that it's unreasonable to have one on the shelf, or in the saddle bag.


It might be advisable to carry a spare if your current cable is stretched out. I'd inspect it at both ends for fraying, as that would also explain any recent stretching.


Sometimes, with a frayed cable, you'll also get a little binding of the cable in the housing. Your lever should feel smooth throughout its operation.



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Just for reference- my 1999 1100 Rt who I sold to a friend 6 years ago now has 310,00 km ( 200,000 miles) on it with the original clutch in it.


No slippage and still original clutch. The clutch has always been adjusted correctly, having the correct clutch lever space/distance at the handlebar (very critical to clutch life).


The dry 1100rt clutches can go the distance.


I hope the camhead ones can do the same

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Just to add one more story to the mix…

My 1970 R60/5 went 200,000 miles on the original clutch. My son and I replaced it on general principles when we tore the engine down for rings and valves.

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