Clutch Noise at idle on R80G/S?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by myblubeemer, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. myblubeemer

    myblubeemer MOA, IBA

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    565
    Location:
    Irving, Texas
    I am new to the world of Airheads having recently purchased a '81 and '86 R80G/S. On the '86 (which recently had a rebuilt trans and spline lube) there's a disconcerting noise from the clutch at idle. Pull the clutch lever in and the noise goes away. It also seems to go away with higher revs. I have heard that a lot of airheads do this but my '81 sure doesn't.

    Any idea on what causes this? Is it doing harm?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts on the subject.

    jwat
    #1
  2. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,070
    Location:
    Richmond, Va
    What kind of noise is it?

    My R90/6 will sometimes make a knock sound at idle with the clutch out. Just a touch of pressure on the lever will make it go away. I'm pretty sure it's the push rod moving inside the input shaft.
    #2
  3. myblubeemer

    myblubeemer MOA, IBA

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    565
    Location:
    Irving, Texas
    Sound like the same noise....knocking sound that goes away with pressure....Any idea how to prevent it?
    #3
  4. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,070
    Location:
    Richmond, Va

    You can adjust it out a bit by removing some of the clutch cable slack. Just don't over do it, you still need some slack in the cable, but not an excessive amount. If you take out too much/all the slack, the clutch will likely start to slip, and you will wear out the throw out bearing quickly.

    Mine still does it on occasion, but not at every stop like it used to
    #4
  5. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Oddometer:
    8,310
    Location:
    Jackson's Bottom Oregon
    Sounds like something wrong with the throw out bearing. A bunch of slack in the cable shouldn't cause noises.
    #5
  6. TEXASYETI

    TEXASYETI Call me "thread killer!"

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,945
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Joel,

    All of my airheads - R100's to this point - made a noise tha seems similar to what you are discussing. I was told it was the throw out bearing and that it is normal. Now your noise could obviously be something different but it sounds right.

    Mine sounds like a tractor.

    Oh, I know I talked about coming over to check out your bikes this week but had forgotten that I am going to San Fran tomorrow. PAcking and other crap is going to push it to next week.

    One day though...
    #6
  7. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,484
    Location:
    Madison WI
    #7
  8. myblubeemer

    myblubeemer MOA, IBA

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    565
    Location:
    Irving, Texas
    #8
  9. when the road bends

    when the road bends hello

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    464
    Location:
    Seattle
    My 88GSPD makes the same rattle/slight knock noise. Always has for the last 6k miles anyway.

    I was told by a fellow BMW guy that this is because its a dry clutch and its normal.

    My mechanic n'er mentioned it so I deem it as normal.

    Any screeching scraping noises should be checked out sooner [past bike experience].
    #9
  10. hogmolly

    hogmolly Dude

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,144
    Location:
    McKinney, TX and San Jose, CA
    Felt could be worn out?
    #10
  11. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,070
    Location:
    Richmond, Va

    if the felt was worn out, it'd be leaking tranny oil into the clutch..
    #11
  12. hogmolly

    hogmolly Dude

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,144
    Location:
    McKinney, TX and San Jose, CA
    There is a seperate seal for that.
    #12
  13. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,163
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Congrats on the new bikes. I agree with the guys who say throw out bearing. Don't know beans about your new rides, but I'm guessing they didn't see much use for a while before you bought them. They're old! Personally, I wouldn't ride them without pulling apart and lubing or replacing every bearing and many seals, short of the crank. If they've sat for a long while or been negected, you are nearly certain to have one issue after another unless you bite it big, which is in the long run much easier and cheaper than dealing with all the little crap as it comes up. Bonus....you'll learn a lot, and it's not hard.
    #13
  14. 280racer

    280racer AKA: WrongTiredGuy

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    203
    Location:
    Nashua, New Hampshire
    Its impossible to gauge the noise in a text message but my '84 has made noise at idle with the clutch lever out for 23 years now and I feel I can say with absolute certainty that there is nothing wrong with it. Is it a big noise? Maybe, who can tell? Is my big noise the same as yours? who knows. All I can say is that every air head I have ever heard made some amount of clutch noise sitting with the lever out which goes away when you pull the lever in. YMMV.

    Oh, BTW, my '84 runs better now than ever, it just seems to get better every year.
    #14
  15. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,070
    Location:
    Richmond, Va

    Is that something on the newer bikes? I know my R90 doesn't have it, but things must change in 33 years..
    #15
  16. hogmolly

    hogmolly Dude

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,144
    Location:
    McKinney, TX and San Jose, CA
    My 93 and 95 both have it. Wow, I didn't know the older bikes were different.
    #16
  17. Country Doc

    Country Doc Wanderer

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,757
    Location:
    somwhere north of Kingston, Ontario

    The post-81 clutch assemblies make way more "neutral rattle" than the earlier versions.

    My /6 was almost silent, as is almost every other /6 and /5 I've ridden, my R100GS and my buddies R100RT sound like a washing machine full of bolts at idle with the clutch out.

    For me, this noise on the R100 never went away, no matter what state of rebuild the clutch and transmission was in, and no matter how well the carbs were synced.

    dc
    #17
  18. hogmolly

    hogmolly Dude

    Joined:
    May 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,144
    Location:
    McKinney, TX and San Jose, CA
    Maybe the pushrod for the clutch changed? I'm going to pull the rod out of my 95 (tranny is laying on the bench) and check the felt condition. I can't find the felt on the parts fiche so maybe it's gone.
    #18
  19. myblubeemer

    myblubeemer MOA, IBA

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Oddometer:
    565
    Location:
    Irving, Texas
    Well....guess I will check the throw out bearing per the instructions in the thread and see if it makes a difference.....
    #19
  20. Suppermotodd

    Suppermotodd Tag Thief

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,023
    Location:
    Snobnal Mountain, TN
    No felt on the late model gearbox.
    #20