2009 R1200GS ADV clutch failure

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Q80GS, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Q80GS

    Q80GS n00b

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    I have a 2009 R1200Gs Adventure and two weeks ago i got to ride on the bike for the first long trip from Kuwait To Jordan Covering 1400+km.
    but on the last leg of my trip and after covering 650km I had a clutch failure.
    when i use the Clutch after more the 50km there is no Pressure so you have hold and release the lever for five times or more to get some Pressure. guys there is no oil leakage from the outside.
    the bike is in Amman Jordan now and has Total of 5000km on it.
    any one had the same problem or now how to solve it as there is no BMW workshop in Jordan and now I am back in KUwait thinking of going with a truck and pick up my bike.
    #1
  2. ilmostro

    ilmostro Under Da Sea

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    It has air in it and needs to be bled.

    Make sure you use the correct fluid.
    #2
  3. GS-A-Day

    GS-A-Day Adventurer

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    I had the same problem. They replaced the slave cylinder. Of course, they say this never happens, but there are a few reports on ukgser.com of this problem as well. We should keep and eye on it and see if it happens to others as well.

    By the way, they way to test it is to zip-tie your clutch lever to the handle bar and let it sit over night. In my case, they could see a small leak at the slave cylinder, after also applying some heat with a hair dryer.

    #3
  4. CarSalesman

    CarSalesman Been here awhile

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    If no external leak, I'd guess a clutch master cylinder. Not a difficult repair.
    #4
  5. Twisted Trader

    Twisted Trader Adventurer

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    I had a similar problem on a 2004 R1100S. There was metallic-graphite looking stuff in the hydraulic fluid. Turns out that the long clutch shaft that engages the clutch to the slave cylinder was made out of some kind of cheap pot metal rather than stainless steel, and the shaft had a mushroomed end and was worn significantly. Of course this happened just after the 3 yr 30k warranty was up. Of course the dealer said that this never happened. Cost $2,000. Was a definately a faulty part. There was never any leaking fluid, that was noticible.
    #5
  6. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

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    I know the 09’s have different hand guards then the earlier models but is it possible your hand guard has been touching the clutch lever? That can really mess up your clutch in a relatively short period of time
    #6
  7. zitro79

    zitro79 BMW bitch

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    I am currently having the same problem with my bike. It started after 11,000km. I went to the dealer and they told me they have never heard of the problem (same as with GS-A-DAY). I booked an appointment and they are going to have a look at the slave cylinder. Luckily I am still under warranty! :D
    #7
  8. caggs

    caggs Adventurer

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    Just got back from 6000km in a week on my new 09 GSA and the same thing happened for the last part of the trip. I put the bike in and they replaced the Slave Cylinder (under warranty). My service centre in Melbourne (and the one I stopped at in Albury who bled the clutch (which temporarily fixed the problem)) also mentioned that they havent heard of this happening. Not happy Jan....
    #8
  9. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    This is a known problem. I had my clutch go away (4600 miles on the odometer) in southern NM and managed to get the bike to El Paso. BMW had put the wrong mineral oil in the clutch hydraulic system. Also, there is a factory bulletin that repositions the clutch line near the left footpeg. I had my slave cylinder replaced and the shop had to bleed the system several times to get all the air out. I just got back from a ride, NC to CO, doing about 4000 miles and the clutch was fine. I think the problem has been solved.

    I've asked several dealers about the problem. Some say, "Yes, we've seen several cases," while others act as if they've never heard about it. I dunno.

    Mike
    #9
  10. SteelRain

    SteelRain Beer Cooled

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    ON the way back from a 3100 mile offroad ride, I had about 90 miles of road riding to get home. I droned along in 6th bored out of my mind I was going to stop by local BMW shop and share my ride...
    when I went to take the exit I had the same issue. I cruised the last mile in 6th and coasted in.

    The service guys were perplexed or appeared so. After a few minutes I just pumped the clutch about 40 times and got pressue back. They rebled several times and I have not had any issues since.

    Some KTMs have this issue also.
    #10
  11. proxyissues

    proxyissues Been here awhile

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    '09 GS adv with just under 19K km on it and have not experienced this. Just got back from a weekend trip out of province and no such symptoms.

    Possibly you haven't dropped it enough to knock out the air bubbles from the clutch? :)
    #11
  12. Unleaded

    Unleaded Unit Train

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    Yep. Just got back this afternoon from a 4000 mile tour. I left with 800 miles on the bike, clutch started going away at 2500 miles. I bled it every time I stopped until I got to Big Sky BMW at Missoula. They said it was a common problem, and that the cylinder needed replacement. They didn't have one in stock, so they flushed the system and I left. The flush bought me about a day and a half, and then it was back to bleeding a couple of times a day.

    By the time I got home, it was virtually unusable.....
    #12
  13. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    Virtually the same mileage when the same problem happend to my bike.

    Mike
    #13
  14. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

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    ...worryin' me...I imagine things sometimes, but recently my '05 seems to have less pressure at the lever, the lever pulls alot farther than it feels like it should to disengage. I bled the line and replaced with mineral oil, doesn't seem much better though...:shog
    #14
  15. slcycler

    slcycler n00b

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    My '09 Adventure is in the shop right now with exactly the same problem (5500 miles). Clutch started giving me problems on trip from Austin, Texas to New Mexico and the bike had about 3000 miles on it when I left Austin. Was able to get back home by pumping the clutch to get rid of air bubbles, but problem got much worse this past weekend with clutch engaging and killing the engine at stoplights when I had the clutch lever pull. Limped into Lonestar BMW yesterday and they are putting a new clutch master slave cylinder on it and they say that will solve the problem. Looks like this is a common problem with the new Adventures.
    #15
  16. lhendrik

    lhendrik Truffle Rustler

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    09 GSA, I'm on a 6000 mile trip from east coast US to west and back and I have this same clutch problem as described here, very little pressure at the lever, goes away if I use the clutch a lot, fades out again on long runs. I am now in Bozeman, Montana and worried about finishing my trip. Any thoughts as to where I could go to have an emergency repair done, nearest useful BMW dealer to Bozeman, Montana ( I am headed West right now). Any help appreciated. I guess I should get some mineral oil fluid in case I need to bleed to make it home.
    #16
  17. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    I feel your pain, brother, as I had the same problem in a remote part of New Mexico. The closest dealer to you is approximately 200 mile west in Missoula: Big Sky BMW-Kawasaki, 2315 South Ave West, Missoula, MT, (406) 728-5341.

    When I had this problem, the pressure would generally return somewhat overnight as the air in the line rose. After a 100 miles, though, I had no pressure at all. I finally made it to El Paso where I called it quits. I had to refuel one time with absolutely no leaver pressure. I coasted to the pump, shut her down and refueled. To leave, I placed the bike on the center stand, hopped on, fired it up, dropped 'er into 1st and rocked her off the stand . . . . gone!

    Good luck and keep us posted. By the way, if you're Garmin equipped, I can e-mail the dealer's location and you can drop it right in your unit.

    Mike
    #17
  18. lhendrik

    lhendrik Truffle Rustler

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    Thanks for the fast response and info. With internet at my motel I was able to go online and find Big Sky BMW and sent them an email last night, and will call this morning as soon as they open. I hope I don't need your gas pump technique, but it's good to know there is a way. Of course putting the pig up on the center stand fully loaded with all the gear will be exercise! At this point (6:30 am local time, and I'm hungry and cranky, I am undecided on whether to go the 200 miles West, or turn around and head back towards home in the East (Nearest BMW dealer East is in Sturgis, where I can buy a HD :) I'll post again when I have an update.


    #18
  19. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    As a former H-D rider, I chuckled at the Sturgis remark! Bozeman ain't a bad place and I'm betting you can make it to Big Sky. If you've got no leaking, they'll probably just bleed the system. Mine took seven different attempts to get the air out. I've had no problems since then. Good luck!!

    Mike
    #19
  20. lhendrik

    lhendrik Truffle Rustler

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    Update: God bless Big Sky BMW/Kawasaki: I arrived there at 11:30am from Bozeman after tearing along I-90 for 3 hours. I had sent an email late last night but was riding all morning. Of course today the clutch pressure was fine as it was cold out.

    As soon as I walked in and said "low clutch lever pressure" the service manager asked, 2009 GSA?, yep, I said, and he said, probably clutch slave. They mentioned that my bike already had the clutch line reroute service applied which was news to me.

    Took a walk for lunch and in an hour they called and said clutch slave it was, they will have parts tomorrow (Saturday) and will install in less than an hour. BTW: they will be replacing clutch slave AND master, as contamination is possible when the slave goes, per them. They will be replacing with the new part number (upgraded slave) and they knew about this before I could pipe in with my AdvRider based knowledge:D

    I have to say big applause for this dealer service department....very professional and they are definitely on top of this issue...no fumbling around here.

    I'll post a final report tomorrow or after a few days of riding, but it looks like the folks at Big Sky saved my 6000 mile 2x cross USA trip.

    Thanks to all here that replied with info and support and to those who posted earlier issues so I could research WTF this was while sweating it out in my motel last night.

    Glad this happened where it did, and not in BFE-Alaska/Mongolia/Africa.
    #20