Worn out clutch-26,000 miles

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by TastyPants, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. TastyPants

    TastyPants Harasshole

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    241
    Location:
    San Francisco
    It's at the dealer now. Got a month left on the original warranty...anyone think it might be covered? If not what kind of monetary damage am I looking at?

    Back story:
    Took the bike and had my 24,000 mile service done about 1,000 miles ago. At that time they adjusted the clutch. They say you should get a new clutch cable soon as there is no more free play.

    OK, it has been riding fine and still plenty of adjustment left at the lever, so I take it on a ride last weekend to scrub in some new tires. During the ride the clutch starts slipping. I pull over and I am able to eek a bit more free play out of the bolts and get it good enough to get me home.

    I take the bike in and have them put a new cable on at a trusted shop around the corner from my house.

    New cable still no free play. Something is going on inside.

    I take it to the dealer. They popped it open this morning and said yep it looks worn out. Waiting to hear back now from the big cheeses on whether it will be covered.

    Thoughts? Seems early for it to go...
    #1
  2. replicant

    replicant consummate n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    98
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Mine had the same symptoms and had to be replaced at 15.5k miles, which was probably at least partly my fault for leaving too little freeplay when I adjusted the clutch myself. Damage was about $300 parts + $300 labor. I'm at about 35k miles now, so 20k on the second clutch, and no problems so far. I don't ride off-road much, though.

    Oh and clutches are wear items that aren't covered under the warranty, so you can try but don't expect them to pick up the tab.
    #2
  3. Gr82briding

    Gr82briding Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    National Park, New Zealand
    I own a 2009 F650GS and the clutch was replaced at 19,000kms under warranty with no questions asked (once they found the problem). It took the guys at the dealership quite some time to find that one of the pressure plates was fractionally (less than 1mm!) out of true and was engaging under hard acceleration. I have a good relationship with the workshop staff and they showed me the BMW website for dealers only where they log these sorts of issues so that dealers around the world can see if the problem has occured elsewhere and at the time I had the issue sorted there was at least 20 other 650/800GS worldwide that had had the same clutch problem. Not enough for a recall. Get your dealer to check this out. If they are as good as my dealer here in New Zealand you should be able to get it sorted at no cost to you.

    Good luck!

    It's Gr82brinding!
    #3
  4. JRWooden

    JRWooden never attribute to malice...

    Joined:
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    6,973
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    North Carolina
    Warped plates could cause the issue .... plates could also warp (I beleive) as result of overheating so might depend on your relationship with the dealer.

    :huh I don't understand the comment about needing a new clutch cable ... I've never seen one wear such that it gets SHORTER.... The typical scenario (at least in my experience) is that as the clutch plates wear, the "stack height" of the clutch pack (friction plates + metal plates) gets shorter thus the position of the lever coming out of the engine housing moves so as to NEED more free cable length in order to maintain the required freeplay. Having little if any room left for adjustment in my book means that the clutch will soon be history as a significant portion of the clutch linings are worn away....
    #4
  5. Lokey

    Lokey redneck

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    252
    Location:
    Susanville, CA
    I sometimes wonder how clutches can go bad so quick. Years ago when I rode ancient Harleys with foot clutches, I got into the habit of always stopping with the bike in neutral. The reason was that you had to have your left foot available to support the bike while your right foot was holding the brake. Fast forward to today and I still find myself shifting into neutral before I stop. I have replaced very few clutch cables over the years and seldom have had to adjust/replace my clutch.

    My R1100GS with 70K miles still has the original clutch and cable, although I am gong to split it next month for a spline lube and may replace the clutch at that time since I have it apart.

    I am a recent (three months) owner of a F800GS and in addition to the other known issues is there some kind of inherent clutch issue I should be aware of? I have always thought that sitting at a stop light with the bike in gear and the clutch lever pulled in was bad for both the clutch and the cable. Is it a function of being stuck in traffic and overheating the clutch with the constant releasing and disengaging?

    Not being critical of others riding styles, just wondering if is a cause/effect relationship to early clutch failure.

    Edited to add: Well, how about that, my 200th post.
    #5
  6. JRWooden

    JRWooden never attribute to malice...

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,973
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Lokey:

    Just my opinion ... but yeah riding habits could play a roll in this ....
    Additionally some folks have never been told just how important it is to insure you always have "SOME" freeplay in the cable.

    There are two things I know of that we could point a finger towards BMW about:

    1) initially BMW had specified the clutch cable freeplay to be 1mm, they later revised it upward to 3mm,
    a far better value IMHO

    2) There have been several "design enhancements" to the clutch assby - stiffer springs and/or longer bushings (to apply more spring preload), and some other parts as well ... a different thrust bearing & spacer and maybe some other stuff.

    It's far to say that BMW saw fit to make some "design enhancements" :lol3 to the clutch assby. since the first production models.
    #6
  7. TastyPants

    TastyPants Harasshole

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    241
    Location:
    San Francisco
    So they will not cover it. Also it is going to take a week to 2 weeks to get the parts from Germany...:cry
    #7
  8. BMW_BIKER_KEITH

    BMW_BIKER_KEITH Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    395
    Location:
    St Louis Missouri - USA !
    2 weeks for parts is not acceptable in my book. That's using a rickshaw. I had parts shipped via FedEx and get them within 3 days. (ie: Adventurespec)

    One would think BMW would have better customer support than that. Or, have "wear items" like clutches in stock in the countries they sell into.
    #8
  9. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    I had to replace mine last summer. I had to wait a week for the kit to arrive.
    Mine only really needed the inner most friction disc but since I had the whole kit, I replaced it all myself.
    It's a very easy job to do with no special tools needed except for a torque wrench and bottle opener.
    Here is the how too that I used, http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14072564#post14072564
    #9
  10. Gr82briding

    Gr82briding Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    National Park, New Zealand
    That sucks mate! The dealer here in NZ pulled the entire clutch out of a brand new showroom bike and replaced it on the spot at no cost! I guess I shouldn't take that sort of service for granted then ah?!
    #10