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What is that tapping in neutral with clutch engaged?


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I have a 1996 R1100RT with 70K+ miles.


When engine running, bike stopped and in neutral:

If I have the clutch pulled in, the engine sounds "normal."

If I release clutch, sometimes I hear a loud tapping or clunking. I can pull the clutch in, and release it again, and sometimes the noise will go away.


Other than the tapping sound, is this one more thing to worry about?

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My 96 does the same thing, 60K. When something finally goes wrong I'll fix it then, until then I just ride it!

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My 96 does something similar at 60k miles. I am thinking its a throw-out bearing.


My experience has been that the throw out bearing is noisy when the clutch is disengaged because that's when the bearing is under a load. With the clutch lever out and the clutch engaged, the throw out bearing is not being used.


Sounds like it could possibly be a pressure plate problem, but I'm sure Ed or Ken will be along shortly, and I'd put full faith in their diagnosis.

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It's perfectly normal. All of them do it while idling as you described. The noise is coming from the gears in the transmission knocking together as the engine idle speed lopes slightly.


ShovelStrokeEd has a really good description of it.

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RightSpin is correct. Its completely normal for a 1996 tranny to "rattle" in neutral with the clutch lever out. The clutch is engaged and the tranny input shaft is rotating and the gears are rattling on their shafts. Pull in the clutch level, the clutch disengages and the input shaft stops. The gears stop rotating and the gears stop rattling.

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Believe Rightspin and Breyfogle. I agonised over this problem with my first RT and the more I listened the more I was convinced that it was gear lash in the transmission. Some have cured the sound by changing the gear oil to a different grade but this is not necessary.

The only thing you need to change is your tolerance of the sound. grin.gif

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Jerry Johnston

Good answer from Steve (Rightspin) there was an article back in 97 about this and the problems BMW was having trying to shim (to keep the noise away) and still not have it grind gears when shifting.

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