MY Wasted Ceramic Clutch... I'm So Piss with Touratech right Now

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Ricardo Kuhn, Mar 10, 2006.

  1. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    is not even Funny....

    so to make the story short, I blow up the stock clutch on my Golem bike after about 60,000 Milles of use, since i was riding the bike really hard and need the most reliable machine possible I did my reseach and end up gettting one of the "Famous & INdestructible" TOuratech ceramic clutches that is warranty for the life of the bike..

    so I install the thing with all brand new parts like they tell you to do and to the best of my avilities (I install about 15 of the stock ones before this) but if was some funky trick i never got to know since the instructions were in German, even if the parts was sold By Ride West in Seattle washigton in the United states of America, i don't think is my fault.

    anyway I pay a lot of money for this things, about Five times the amount the stock clutch will cost me, but since all the literature and advertising at the time focus in how strong and long lasting this thing will be,, I just say Fuck-it i just buy it ones as oppose to keep changing clutches every 50,000/60,000 milles like will be with the stock clutch...

    so I get the Clutch Install, and is a total nightmare, the engament is super narrow, you can not even keep the bike in gear when idle because it will dye, then you release it the whole bike will jump,, in short i hate the way the Bike is performing, but i keep thinking,, Okay is going to settle in and get better with time and that it did, but not really at least ever to the easiest to work than the stock one, anyway I rode the Living hell out of the Bike, I race it at elsinore, rode it on a bunch of dirt bike rides, but not for more than 20,000 milles since months later i overheat the engine and golem dye.

    so for the last chapter, Poor little Golem is being park at R-dubb's garage for the last two years, with out even moving, last week end i took the bike apart trying to find the parts that will go into my next project, in fact the most important part is this Clutch made out of "Un-uptanium" judging by how much the charge for it...

    so to R-dubb surprise and mine, we take the tranny out and the clutch is worn out to the Riviets,, a.k.a. totally useless...

    so I wait a few days so my viseral latin blood is not voiling and i regain my phone line that was down and i call my friend Tom the owner and president of the Touratech US distributor...

    well today I took with him for about 1/2 hour, at the begining he was like...

    "Well we never see this happend before" and I keep telling him that Touratech adverizement about this thing was base on how bulletproff the ceramic material was and that you can take it to africa or around the world for that matter with complete trust because it will never fail and that they will warrantied for ever and ever..

    then he is Like..."Oh now that I think about it.. we did hear about another one that fail but the guy tow another motorcycle with the GS and that is why it fail",,, Okay i can understand that, even to me that is miss-use but i never did any of that, i was for sure right into the parameters of the spected use of it and for sure far less damaging that a paris dakar racer kind of scenario...

    anyway I keep asking so thomas what do i do with this thing...?

    do i send it to you...?

    do i send it to south africa (were they are made),,, what...?

    after about 20 minutes he tell me..."okay send it to me so i can send it down under for the company to examine it, but i have no idea how long this is going to take and then I don't even know if the are going to replace it for you..."

    Funny since Touratech modo was at the time I got it,,,
    " Life time warranty no question ask" now TOm starts to tell me how they don't say that,, but they say "Is spect it to last"

    okay by now I'm getting a little mad, so he start with the ..
    "were did you buy it, when did you buy it" kind of questions...
    and since I tell him already that I got it from another person (brand new in the box, but not purchase from a store directlly ) he trows me the Old,,,

    "Well we Only warranty parts for ONE Year and Only from the original person that purchase the item at the store" since I install the clutch almost 3 years ago and i did not buy it directlly from the store he conside the case seal and solve...

    but NO, they proclaim they will warranty the Clutch (I'm not taking about any other touratech item butthe Ceramic clutch) to last for ever...

    what makes me really mad is that i'm friend with TOm that we spend a few days togheter riding in europe, what he knows that people respect my opinion and that even if i tell him I will make this Posting and make other aware of the questionable quality of the super expensive Gismo he just keep repeating this "well is Older that one year old" and I keep thinking,,, how i'm soppose to know if a Clutch is Indestructible if I have less than one years to destroy it,, hell even the stock GS clutch last me far more than one year doing the exact same type of rides that i did with the Ceramic clutch


    so what do you guys think...!?!?

    what do i do...??

    I'm so piss and mad at this moment that I waste $400 dollar of my money and 16 months of riding with a crappy clutch response (just because i need to put up with it since is going to last forever)

    actually If anybody know were to find the old literature (3/4 years ago) that talk about the special warranty codiccion for the Clutch will be great, I for sure don't have any of the paper work since my house is far to small to keep paers like that so I can send the clutch to Herbert (Owner of touratech that i also know in person) in germany and get this issue solve ones and for all..


    Ricky:puke2
    #1
  2. Devil Dog

    Devil Dog Q-Tip With Ears

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    That sucks.
    Good luck.
    #2
  3. Steptoe

    Steptoe steptoe

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    Did you fit both sets of spacers that come with the ceramic clutch ?? - You remove one set when you've covered around 15-20K miles, the second set 60K plus miles

    Judging by your comments on the lack of play when trying to engage gear, it doesn't sound like you did .
    #3
  4. OUtback UFO

    OUtback UFO GLOW IN DARK SPACEINVADER

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    if it gets worse talk to a lawyer if you want to go after them for false claims of product.


    Hope they do the right thing and just give you a new one...
    #4
  5. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    Yeap i use the two set of "Washers" they provide but i never even have the time to take on set out since I did not get that many milles out it
    I ask here and on the GS list and people keep telling that it was normal to drag a lot on the first few hundred milles so i never pay much attencion since i conside it normal,, also remenber the instructions were in German not in English even if the parts was sold on a USA store, so if is not for the Internet data base i will not have any pertinent information and for sure not thanks to Touratech instructions
    #5
  6. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    Just imagine what will happend if i was "NObody" and I did not have a outlet to expose this sharade..

    don't take me wrong I love those guys at the Seatlle shop they are wonderful people, but this is Business nothing more, nothing less and I'm for sure felling like i'm getting the short end of the stick at this very moment..
    #6
  7. OUtback UFO

    OUtback UFO GLOW IN DARK SPACEINVADER

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    i personally have had nothing but problems ordering from them or getting any real info on items... was going to put in a Ceramic Clutch from them when my input shaft sheared itself at 50K... for the price they tell me on the phone and to the dealer that was doing the repairs also that it comes with the full clutch assembly kit... get the clutch in and only a clay disc... bloody hell, i could have made it in my ceramic studio... so we call and it takes a week to get a response to me or the dealer... and they tell me that is way it is ... i told them to take the Cer-clutch back and I put in a stock BMW... if i have to deal with Touratech again it will be in Euro and have in-laws ship the stuff over to me...



    are they even giving a short stick?
    #7
  8. Jim Bud

    Jim Bud Long timer

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    You have already found out that your US Tourtech friend will not help you..

    I would mail it to Germany....and forget about it...

    If you get a new one back, then you are lucky....

    Sounds like bullshit to me....now you know...

    And thankfully, now we all know too.....

    Thanks for the update....:clap
    #8
  9. SQD8R

    SQD8R Eat squids and be merry

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    Nothing lasts forever, especially a clutch, so the issue is more what warranty, if any are you entitled to? Do you still have the warranty information? The website doesn't say much except "Under normal usage it can last the "LIFE OF A MOTORBIKE", much longer than the BMW clutch." Fair enough it hasn't lasted as long as the factory ones did for you so I'd suggest you see if you could get some compensation in that regard but then you run into other problems.

    There's the question of proper installation, quality of the product when you purchased it which cannot be verified by TT since it wasn't directly from TT, and the question of whether you followed the 3,000 mile break in procedure. Playing devil's advocate installation and break-in can be dismissed but I wouldn't expect a company to honor a warranty on something that wasn't bought directly from them or a recognized supplier. Also most warranty's aren't transferable, particularly clutches, so you may be SOL.
    #9
  10. R-dubb

    R-dubb Dubbious Adventurer

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    Are the spacers calibrated washers that are placed on all six clutch bolts to keep the plates apart a little bit? I assume that would cause the clutch engagement to be more gradual. Then when it wears a little and begins to slip, you put in the thinner washers. Happens again you take them out to get the last 20-30k stage of wear.
    #10
  11. Jeffy

    Jeffy Hmm...

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    Sounds sound like there isn't much recourse unless your friend can pull some strings. Here's what their website says;

    They have some lofty expectations with their product. They covered their butts with while still touting their product though.

    "Under normal usage it can last the "LIFE OF A MOTORBIKE", much longer than the BMW clutch"​

    #11
  12. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    you see this is why i need the old files since the wording was diferent and was more of a challenge,, something like ..

    "We Dare you to kill this thing and if you do we replace it no question ask" again this was the flavor of the adds, not the legal lettering that you can see only when you get the product and that is if you can understand german..

    I'm not a certified mecanic but as i mension above I replace many GS clutches already with out ever a problem, Sashapave's r11GS was the last one and so far i think the bike rode for at least 40,000/50.000 miiles after the work we did..

    but your points are totally sound and for sure by the law,, law that they never mension when they are trying to sell you this magic thing is not soopose to ever fall apart,, actually mine did not fall apart, it look perfect exept for the fact the rivets that hold the whole thing are starting to touch the metal plates, is no warpage, discoloration, nothing expept for the execive and inexplicable wear... I guess about 3MM of material is long gone

    also remenber this thing got worn out in less than 20,000milles when even the stock clutch is soopose to last about 60,000milles if you ride it hard and much more if you are gentle to them, I never say I was gentle or that I only rode the bike on sunday to go to Starbucks, in fact that is the reason why I go it, because I plan not to be gentle with it....

    about the 3,000 milles adjustment, how can I know about it the instruction are in a language i can not understand .... come on take two hours and translate the freaking instruction before you sell the product or at least place a red sticker on top of the clutch so before you install you need to read it (Like a diclaimer on any bicycle or motorcycle) that informs you that is very important to follow certain proceduce or to even find somebody to translate the instructions before you install the clutch since is very tricky to do it right.

    also to clarified the question from
    StepToe I did install the Two SETs of washer (two per bolt) that came on the box with the clutch and the german instructions, but I will not call them "Precision spacer" or even "spacer" for that matter since they were garden variaty stamped washers ..

    also when I have it with me (is at R-dubb's house at the moment) i will take some pictures, so you can see how the Four ceramic pods are cut square (Not radially round as the stock part) and they don't really follow the radial pattern of the rest of the plate, forcefully wearing out the edges of the ceramic plates in a un-even fashion,, (when you see the fotos it will make perfect sense) basically is some ceramic material sticking at the inner side of the clutch plates ..

    anyway I thank you for your Realistic aproach mister SQD8R since it gives perspective in how companies cover their Asses all the time.
    #12
  13. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    Herbert is not exactlly my dear friend but he is the OWNer Of the Touratech Company in germany.

    I just don't see why you need to pull strings when is soposse to be a "cut and dry" case
    the older version of the same adds were diferent, maybe the clutchs are failing from time to time and now they preffer to be safer.. (since the mayority of the bikes are riden by posser than never ever really push them to their limits) the failures are not exactlly spread out since being just 20%better than bmw will give you far more life than most people put on their bike, so they basically never get to know how worn out the parts really are,, just a thoery.

    think about it....
    what will be the argument of buying a $620 clutch plate if you can get the O.E.M. BMW part for $85 specially if you need to be equally careful with the two of them plus to complete the ceramic counterpart make the bike ride like crap, at least for the first few thousend milles.
    #13
  14. Renazco

    Renazco Formerly AKA Boejangles

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    Midas mufflers has a lifetime guarantee on the brakes/muffler of your car for as long as you own it.

    How do they do it? Super metalic brake pads that will cause the rotors to warp, wear or disolve,,,, their return customers will more than likely pay for new rotors and labor$$$ Gotcha!! :deal

    That ceramic clutch idea always had me wondering about other things going wrong, hmmm,,, now your bike is retired.

    I would say that since you didn't buy directly from them, the warranty would only apply to the original purchaser. Sad to hear that your friend at TT isn't going up to bat for you. The suggsetion above to send it back to Germany has better odds of satisfying the situation..
    #14
  15. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    Well we all know Midas is Shit, when touratech is soppose to be The ShiT
    Oh Yes I remember how we use to talk about the execive vibration and the shatter produce by the ceramic clutch and how worry i was the seal ad shaft will not be able to take it...

    oh Yes is that bad, specially on the first few hundred milles is really really scary
    call me a dreamer but for my handlebars I will warranty the mounts for the Life of the bike, however owns it since it make no diference in the preformance of the machine pieces, oviuslly I can not warranty a perfect fit if the bike gets sold to somebody else (even if i did a few favors like that) or even when the first onwer got into a accident and after the opertaion he end up with diferent criterias making him somehow a new client, i still try to help them out, hell i send a few "Courtesy" barend pieces over the years for free even if they are made as a "FUse" and soppose to bend and deform after a Impact..

    but then again I'm Broke when Touratech keeps becoming more of a empire every minute, maybe a thing like the clutch is part of the reason why they do it..

    Again I love and i have a lot of respect for the people that work there, but I also spect to be treaded with fairness and so far I still think i'm entittle to a new part
    #15
  16. Jeffy

    Jeffy Hmm...

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    Well, I looked back to Touratech's website from March 2002. Looks like it's the same description as Feb 2004 for the clutch.

    They have you under more then one stipulation so I doubt they will be accomidating unless someone higher up gives the go ahead. If they're going by the book then it is cut and dry. It's not warrantied. I feel for ya though. (trying to help you out.) :beer

    Back in March 2002, their Warranty was less wordy and more open.

    Here's what March of 2005 looked like (basically what it looks like today.);

    #16
  17. johnjen

    johnjen Now, even more NOW!…

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    Say Ricky, Long time since I've seen you post here...

    Sorry to hear about your clutch, I suppose if anyone can pry another one from Touratech's clutches (pun intended) you'd be the one... It will take some doing but I suspect you will prevail...

    Good luck JJ
    #17
  18. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    Thanks I least I know what kind of clutches i'm going to be running for now on after this absolute fiasco:puke2
    #18
  19. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

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    Hi Mister John little...

    I'm also glad to see you around too, i miss you always insidefull and fair points of view..

    for sure i view issues like this in far deeper way than just a legal level, actually i think i got lucky this time since I was on a garage and the bike did not need to go anywere, but just imagine if i was in the middle of the gobi desert and suddentlly that "indestrutible" part that you give all your trust falls apart like a cheap ass watch...

    in short what is the whole point of this false or at least blown out of proportion hype and adverticement, since is just as bad as the stock part (if not wrost) but cost 5/6 as much money and also performs like crap, yes maybe my case was a exception more than the rule but this parts was regarded (at least in my book) as the most reliable and require piece of equipment that you need to have on your bike if you are going to travel long and far..

    no Wonder jimmy lewis used to Laugh about it every time i mension it and he used to tell me the BMW HPN race bikes used the same compound as the stock clutch but just a little thicker.

    well more than one lesson is being learn today and somehow i'm happy it happend to me when the bike was park than to somebody else in the middle of a trip, so just be aware about how this big conglomerates hide under the letter of the law as oppose to spend time on reseach and get the parts right in the first place so no litigation is require since the product works as advertice or at least how is "make beleive" that will work....
    #19
  20. markgsnw

    markgsnw WTF?

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    I pulled down my 2001/2002 Touratech catalog (why throw anything away?) and loooked up the ceramic clutch:


    "until now, not a single clutch has broken down!"


    "It normally does not break during the "LIFE OF A MOTORBIKE"" (their capitalization).


    From the back page: "Warranty: For all OEM products sold by us the manufacturer guarantee applies. Our own products are guaranteed against faulty manufacture for a period of 12 months."



    Kind of a contradiction there...there are implying that the clutch lasts the life of a motorbike (whatever that means) but the stated warranty is 12 months.


    Ricky, it sounds like you have very high expectations for this product and for TT but in reality they only offer a 12 month warranty on their products. Given that you're not even the original purchaser and the product is three plus years old, seems like you're entirely at the mercy of the goodwill of TT in Germany (and "goodwill" and "Germany" just don't go together that well).


    Personally, I've not read one good thing about the ceramic clutch, it sounds more like a torture device than a proper piece of gear. I'm sorry you spent the money on something that turned out to be crap. I hope TT Germany steps up to salvage the reputation of this item, but frankly it doesn't have much of a reputation to salvage.
    #20