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Old 07-14-2011, 10:46 AM   #1
mentalfloss OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Outside Lawrence Kansas
Oddometer: 302
98 R1100GS clutch???

I have a 1998 R1100GS with 26,000 miles and My clutch seems to be at issue.
When riding along at 3000rpm and give it the gas it revs easily but hesitates and fades into the higher speed.
Not a fuel issue.
The bike was laid down when new (less than 100 miles) and the previous owner only put 5,000 miles on it till last july when I bought it and have put another 20,000 miles on it in just under a year.

The bmw dealer in KC (Engle) said it would cost at least $1500.00 to replace the clutch. They have not looked at it, they told me over the phone.

A couple of questions....
Does that sound high?
WHat kind of clutch should I get? Is touratech ceramic worth the high price?
What else besides the rear seal should be replaced while in for the clutch?

Thanks in advance.... How often should the clutch be replaced under normal riding?
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:00 AM   #2
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Greece
Oddometer: 95
I changed clutch after 35-40K km...
I think that 1500$ are pretty much, i think 800-1000 its ok!
Why you want to go in a BMW dealer(doesnt worth)??
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:14 PM   #3
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
Oddometer: 438
Clutch slip should be most noticeable in 5th gear under hard acceleration.. If youre having hesitation on all gears it is possible you are having engine issues. Air filter and fuel filter will cause the bike to run funky at higher rpms if they are clogged, and would be more noticeable in all gears. If youre sure its the clutch that is acting up, Check the clutch cable for proper adjustment, make sure you have some freeplay in the lever. Next thing I would do would be pull the starter and have a look at the clutch and see if you have oil on it. It is not uncommon for either the rear main seal of the engine or the transmission input seal to leak and contaminate the clutch, making it slip.

As far as the price, I feel the dealer is high. But I do all my own wrenching (im cheap like that) If the clutch is slipping due to oil, new clutch disc, rear main seal, input seal, bolts, Moly 60, would run you aobut $250 from BMW and it would take about a day or so to replace it yourself. There are some excellent writeups with pictures describing the whole process on the forum. Also I think there is an inmate making clutch discs for the GS (hasenwork??) much cheaper and better than BMW stock.

Good luck with your issue, keep us posted on the results
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KShow screwed with this post 07-14-2011 at 12:20 PM
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:30 PM   #4
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Wrong side of the tracks
Oddometer: 11,810
Is there any freeplay in the lever? The lever should have about 1/2 inch before the cable becomes tight. 26,000 miles is not enough to need a clutch unless it has been contaminated with oil from a bad rear main seal or abused.

You might also take off the starter and look at the disk thickness and look for oil residue in the housing.

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Old 07-16-2011, 10:34 PM   #5
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Texas Hill Country, Zip Code EIEIO
Oddometer: 1,217

As said previously, it may just need proper adjustment. My 98 did the same recently. 56K miles on it and on a short 2 hr ride it suddenly began slipping when I accelerated in 3rd, 4th or 5th. I got to a spot and let it cool down then loosened the cable adjuster at the clutch lever - which had no slack in it - and took it easy going home.

Next day I cleaned the mechanism on the rear of the trans as well as loosening the cable adjusters and undoing the cable to clean, grease and insect the ends which were fine. Adjusted the proper slack per BMW specs and it's been fine since. As the clutch wears in the slack tightens over time.

IIRC the slack measured between lever and mount face was 7mm and the knurled adjuster on the lever mount needed 12mm of thread showing between lock nut and knurled area. Adjustments are made at the back of the tranny to get the 7mm slack at the lever. Search here for "clutch adjustment" or similar for a guide.

Hopefully that's all it is...

Other than adjustment, a BMW mechanic friend said at 56K the clutch shouldn't be worn out and the other option would be leaking seal - if it was, would be $1200 ish to replace clutch and seal.
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