Originally Posted by QCDStick
He mentioned before I took off that it uses a bit of oil, and to check it before setting out. Well, I can tell you a good portion of it ended up on top of my boots. How he had not noticed this, I don't know. Maybe it just came up this year? In any case, seems to be coming from the head gasket, on the front side of the engine, right near the exhaust header. Same place on both sides, so I'm assuming this is a common thing? He has the owners manual, and a service manual so we looked it up. It does mention torquing these bolts every 5k miles as part of servicing, I think to 25-28 ft/lbs (although the wording in the service manual is seriously weird on this... I think it says "25 + 2.8"?) He had done this maybe once in the 16 years he's had the bike so I'm guessing they just worked loose on both sides. The question is, will tightening them up fix the issue? Or will the head gasket need replacing at this point, or worse... has something warped due to them being loose?
It could be the valve cover gaskets. My R100 did that on the left side. I could never get it to stop, until I doubled up on the gaskets. If it's in a spot outboard of the exhaust pipe, that's it.
Originally Posted by QCDStick
Clutch / Transmission:
- To say that it doesn't engage smoothly is an understatement. It's pretty much on or off. Makes low speed maneuvering difficult since you can't keep the revs up because when it grabs you shoot ahead 7'. Keeping the revs way down (just a tinge off idle) works much smoother, but I very very nearly stalled it more than once doing that. I was a lot better at it by the end of the ride so I could learn it, but it just didn't feel right to me. Is this normal?
- Also, even when I was sure I had the clutch pulled in as far as it would go, I would occasionally get gear chatter when changing gears. Had to be sure to really be deliberate with my punch of the lever with the clutch lever touching the bars, especially going 2-3 and 3-2 or it would grind the gears. Thinking back, I was not really attempting to rev-match though, perhaps I can't get away with as much on these bikes as what I'm used to with the really light quick revving motors and newer transmission designs. Seems some adjustment could be in order here or is that just how they are?
- An additional concern, once the bike was warm engaging the clutch on shifts was accompanied by a "shiiink" noise, possibly metallic in sound. Seemed to get worse as the ride went on, and was not present at all to begin with. Pretty sure this is also not normal, it was pretty prevalent at times. Also a faint rattle in neutral when warm, which I believe is perfectly normal.
I'll second the suggestion that the clutch may be "sticky" and to lube the splines. Also, you would be amazed at what a difference fresh gear oil in a transmission can do. That being said, the Getrag transmissions are known as "crash boxes" for a reason. Much like shifting an old tractor. All part of the charm old son.
I'll also add that you should expect more oil seeps from any aged gasket. I'm replacing as needed every gasket and rubber bit on my R100RT. On the bright side, as I like to tell me "must-be-cleaned-and-waxed-never-ride-when-it-might-rain-American-Iron" riding co-workers, rainstorms also double as bike washes, and the oil leaks mean I don't need to worry about the bike rusting!
Enjoy the old BMW. They are the consummate gentlemen of the motorcycling world.