F800GS Clutch Failure....

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by The Griz, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. TR5ESU

    TR5ESU Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
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    324
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    Surrey, UK
    Unless you are using TKC80 tyres! Also lots of fun when cornering, you only need to move your weight forward a little bit, slightly lean the bike to the left or right and give it full power!
  2. Mista Toad

    Mista Toad Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
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    19
    Location:
    Seattle
    Stunter.

    No, seriously, that's good to know. I just got a pair, but 4000 miles from home on a fully loaded bike isn't where I want to cut loose (literally). You don't know the limits of you or your equipment until you exceed them.

    Sounds fun though...
  3. Weasel

    Weasel n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1
    I had the same problem with the clutch slipping. Usually when exelerating from a high gear. It starts off just a little so you are not sure if you are imagining it or not.
    This started at around 6000 km. I took it into BMW they said that they know about it but does not know what causes it. Thhey took it appart and put it together and it was fine.

    Bike has just been for 10 000 km service and the slipping is starting again :cry
    also feels like you loose power. Taking it in tomorrow to see what they say
  4. Mista Toad

    Mista Toad Adventurer

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    Seattle
    Weasel:

    What'd they say when you brought it in again?
  5. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Mar 24, 2004
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    10,801
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    Andover, N.J.
    Can you hear the engine rev up when it happens ?
  6. distributist

    distributist Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Just adding my experience:

    When a thread on a early clutch failure first appeared on the F800 forum (http://f800riders.org/forum/showthread.php?t=29824), I remember going out and double-checking the clutch cable, and all seemed well (09 F650GS - manufactured 01/09 by the way).

    But the weekend before last, I went on a group ride with our dealership, and thought the bike seemed to be lacking a bit of pickup, esp. in 1st. Being a rather spirited ride with some fast sport bikes, and a new rider, I ascribed it to either "getting used to the bike" or wanting to keep up with faster machines.

    But a few days later I took the bike to run some errands. I puttered along the driveway, turned out, gave it some gas and got lots of noise but little acceleration. I was running late so at my first stop I took a look and determined the clutch cable was tight. As soon as I got home (only went about 6km in all), I looked up the above thread and loosened the cable. The adjuster didn't travel far, and even all the way out, the cable was still tight. A quick test run showed it was better, but I called the dealership, made an appointment, and left it alone until taking it in today.

    As soon as the service manager saw it, he said there was probably clutch damage, and I would need a new clutch. He says they've seen a few like this:
    • The clutch has little room for adjustment right from the factory;
    • They are trying to catch them at the 1000km service, but don't always;
    • The clutch cable seems to need adjustment at about 4-5K, then it settles in and is fine;
    • The front plates will generally look not too bad, but the back set of plates are what seems to really wear (after opening the bike up he described it as "unusual" wear).

    The service manager really seemed to think it was an assembly issue, possibly to do with the size of the shims, but definitely inconsistent from bike to bike. He has seen it on both F650 and F800 models.

    They opened it up and confirmed the situation. He spoke to BMWNA and they are replacing the clutch under goodwill, as the clutch is only guaranteed for the first 7500km (when I left for the ride, the odometer would have been about 7800km). When I dropped it off, he didn't think getting them to cover it would be a problem, and it wasn't (he did say that when he spoke to the BMW rep, the guy first said "Well, we don't replace it if it's worn" and he replied "Of course it's worn, he brought it in because it was slipping").

    Clutches however, are back-ordered, so it will be 8-10 days.

    What really gets me is how quickly the situation changed. I know what sort of acceleration I could get off the mark in first, and what I noticed on the Saturday ride was a slight decrease in acceleration, but nothing that made me think of a problem with anything but the rider. But just 4 days later, sitting in the garage, the cable was so tight the difference was dramatic and obvious. And I know it wasn't like that when I came in at the end of the ride.

    So check those clutch cables, and check them often. I know I will. I really need to get better at the whole regular checklist thing.

    Hugh


  7. M N B

    M N B would rather be riding

    Joined:
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    San Jose, CA
    My 800 has been fine since they replaced the clutch. However, when I brought it in for the 6k service, the mechanic said the clutch cable was too tight and adjusted it rather loose.

    It was nearly as tight as when I first got the bike and had remained that way since the clutch was replaced.

    It took over 20 wrench turns (each about 1/3 revolution) to back out the adjuster screw all the way when the clutch stranded me back in March or April, so there's plenty of room for adjustment - assuming the insides allow for it.

    I've put about 2500 miles on the bike since the 6k service and the clutch has shown no signs of giving out. But I had very little warning the first time.

    Fortunately, the clutch is easy to access from the side of the engine (I think) and a replacement shouldn't be nearly as expensive (should I need it again) as the cracking of the case required on my K1100. But then it's clutch is rock solid (and dry - not a good idea really for an off road bike).

    I continue to keep a close eye on how the clutch feels and probably will for the rest of the life of the bike. Getting stranded 120 miles from home was not something I wish to repeat.
  8. dukedar

    dukedar 60 easy payments!

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
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    340
    Location:
    Montreal, Qc
    Funny, my bike was in for another issue, and they did the same thing to me! They adjusted it a little looser! :eek1 This was at about 6,000 kms.
  9. M N B

    M N B would rather be riding

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    Sounds like the tight factory spec may be what's causing clutch failures and adjusting it loose is the solution, but that's just speculation on my part.
  10. distributist

    distributist Adventurer

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    Mar 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Update: Just got the bike back yesterday. The service manager told me they have another one in for the same thing (650 or 800, I don't know), waiting for parts.

    He had originally mentioned something about a shim plate, but yesterday said that applied to the 800S, not the GS. Another dealer he was talking to about the problem speculated that when the metal clutch plates heat up, they warp slightly, taking up excess slack. He suggested checking the clutch cable after 1000km (the heck with that; I'm checking it every ride), and that it was best to check and adjust it when it was hot.

    One of his techs had asked him why BMW didn't put an adjuster on the lever, as on dirt bikes, as you are often heating up the clutch when riding offroad (as an anecdote, he told me that apparently Velntino Rossi adjusts his brake lever about 3 times per lap to keep it just where he wants it).

    He said that BMW did a "PUMA" (this is also on the invoice: "as per PUMA") but forgot what that stood for. He said there should be 5mm of slack when you pull the clutch cable away from the lever with moderate force. Apparently the bracket the clutch adjuster went through used to be threaded, but now isn't. So instead of threading the adjuster through the bracket, you loosen lock nuts and simply slide it to get the desired slack.

    One thing I've noticed is that I hit neutral a few times when going for 2nd. That never used to happen. In fact, I found it very hard to find neutral on the original clutch; it took just the lightest tap to get it into neutral; any more and it went to 2nd.
  11. OARPM

    OARPM n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4
    Reading this thread makes me wonder about a noise I had on a f650 GS. After a 200 mile ride, when leaving from a stoplight heard some noticeable clanking noises and felt the vibrations on the pegs. It continued to make the noise for the next day as well.

    Checked the usual culprits but everything was neat.

    Spoke to the dealer, told me to check the oil...

    So I proceeded to call Motorrad Roadside Assistance. They really couldn't solve my problem by delivering the bike over 200 miles away from home. So I decided to ride it out, a little scared. And made it with no problems.


    Bottom line is, the noise stopped. No sign of it for over a week now.

    These are the symptoms:
    -Only occurred in 1st gear
    -Only when bike has been in operation for extended period of time (4-5 hours)
    -Takes place between 2500-3800 RPM
    -No unusual acceleration
    -No unusual clutch feel or operation
    -No warning lights

    If anybody knows anything, or has heard anything related it'd be nice to know.

    Cheers.

    Everyday's good for riding.