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Old 01-01-2012, 06:49 PM   #1
roadtrip22 OP
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Question clutch rattle noise. not sure if its normal????

The other day i took the my 2006 r1200gs up the street and back. Bike did just fine. I have 14000 miles on it. i didn't wear a helmet just for going to the end of the block and back. but i noticed a little rattling sound when i was turning around. With the helmet on i don't hear anything. With the clutch out and in neutral it makes rattling sound but when i pull the lever in the noise goes away and sounds fine. I don't notice any issues out riding or shifting. But I'd rather deal with this while I'm in the garage than out somewhere hrs away from home or any dealer. Bike just had its 6000 mile service by the dealer and 12000 mile service is due at 18K.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:38 PM   #2
Long Gone
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"They all do that."

I had the same noise in my '05 GS. The dealer told me it's the push rods that activate the clutch. They run through the shaft from the slave cylinder and shorten up during use which allows for movement which makes the rattling noise. It sounds terrible but supposedly it's not a problem.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:42 PM   #3
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Clutch Rattle! 2008 GS12. 42,000 miles.

A lot of GSs do it. Mine is really bad and has gotten worse. So much so that I am trying to eliminate it by installing a new clutch and preasure plate. If it doesn't improve after I get it all back together, its going for sale and possibly a new big adventure to take its place, probably not another GS. A guy shouldn't have to put up with that BS on a $20,000. motorcycle.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:44 PM   #4
roadtrip22 OP
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that sounds like good news. is there anything that can be done like maybe thicker gear oil or just one of those things "it is what it is"?
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtrip22 View Post
that sounds like good news. is there anything that can be done like maybe thicker gear oil or just one of those things "it is what it is"?
It's an "automotive style" dry clutch, and the rattle is nothing compared to Ducati!
There's nothing wrong with it.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RED CAT View Post
A lot of GSs do it. Mine is really bad and has gotten worse. So much so that I am trying to eliminate it by installing a new clutch and preasure plate. If it doesn't improve after I get it all back together, its going for sale and possibly a new big adventure to take its place, probably not another GS. A guy shouldn't have to put up with that BS on a $20,000. motorcycle.


yea you would think if your going to spend a lot of money on a bike they would have a solution and fixes for all these little things. I guess that's BMW's way of making sure their dealers and parts stay in demand.
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by roadtrip22 View Post
yea you would think if your going to spend a lot of money on a bike they would have a solution and fixes for all these little things. I guess that's BMW's way of making sure their dealers and parts stay in demand.
The rattle may be excacibated by the felt seal in the tunnel thro the tranny input shaft being worn.(this is not as bad as it sounds, it is a cheap wrap around piece of fuzzy felt!) This seal is primarily to prevent clutch fluid leaking thro the input shaft if your seals on the slave cylinder go but has a secondary damping ability because it wraps around the pushrod and sqaushes against the input shaft inner dia wall.
If you can change gear ok, I would just live with it.

I have just replaced a full clutch assy and slave cylinder and pushrod on a 2002 R1150r. 24,000 miles!
It is a lot of work to do pulling of the tranny assy.
Check forums because it may be possible to remove the slave cylinder then withdraw the pushrod from the rear of the input shaft with long nosed pliers fit a new pushrod and felt sel thro' the shaft fome then refit slave cylinder and jobs done! if I had not had to replace the clutch plates I could have done this on mine not sure about your model!

One thing I would say with all oilheads/hexheads is that you must flush the clutch fluid every year it is a small volume and works hard! so goes black and deteriates very quickly and can affect the seals which is why I had to replace mine, I also did the whole clutch because some fluid had run thro and onto the plates.
Once the slave cylinder seals go you have no gear changing ability whatsoever and you will be stranded!!
a new slave cylinder is about £75 UK prices from Sherlocks.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:24 PM   #8
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Mickey Chicken!

Are you saying to replace the clutch rod too or just the felt pad on the rod. Not sure how this rod effects the rattle. Sounds too easy.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:08 PM   #9
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This noise is normal and is usually not the clutch but the transmission gears rattling when in neutral and the bike is idling. When is the last time you set the valves and did a throttle sync? A rough idle will make the sound even worse. I have seen this on countless bikes with various mileage ranging from brand new to 80K. Try this: get going to 10 miles an hour and then put it in neutral, let the clutch out and coast. You will not hear the rattle as the trans is spinning and the gears do not rattle. As soon as you stop moving listen again and you will hear the rattle. Or put your bike on the center stand and when in netrual with the clutch out spin the rear wheel (obviously be VERY careful!) and the rattle will go away when the rear wheel is moving.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JohnTz View Post
This noise is normal and is usually not the clutch but the transmission gears rattling when in neutral and the bike is idling. When is the last time you set the valves and did a throttle sync? A rough idle will make the sound even worse. I have seen this on countless bikes with various mileage ranging from brand new to 80K. Try this: get going to 10 miles an hour and then put it in neutral, let the clutch out and coast. You will not hear the rattle as the trans is spinning and the gears do not rattle. As soon as you stop moving listen again and you will hear the rattle. Or put your bike on the center stand and when in netrual with the clutch out spin the rear wheel (obviously be VERY careful!) and the rattle will go away when the rear wheel is moving.
+1 John..not the clutch, for sure the transmission, they all do it and the tiniest hitch in the idle will make it worse.

Exact thing happens with boat reverse gears. A small miss in the engine idle and it sounds like you are losing a gearbox or a clutch plate. I've seen guys pull down a perfectly good gear box because of a rocky idle.

Like John says..load the drivetrain and the noise will go away.

Mike
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:42 AM   #11
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Are you saying to replace the clutch rod too or just the felt pad on the rod. Not sure how this rod effects the rattle. Sounds too easy.
Yes, mainly because in pulling it out it damages the end wher the pliers have gripped. Also the pushrods wear a little on the tapered section that pushes on the diapraghm spring when you pull in the clutch. The felt seal can have an effect on the rattle because it grips round a recessed section on the pushrod and it is fatter than the pushrod which makes it a tight fit thro the centre of your gearbox input shaft, hence it can help prevent the rod rattling around. The rod is an inexpensive item £28.00 UK and the seal is a couple of pounds UK. also when you replace the pushrod put a 'little' Moly grease on both ends this will ease contact with slave and the diapraghm spring.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:52 AM   #12
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Just to set the record straight the GS models before the 1200gs use brake fluid in the clutch hydraulics so they require yearly flushing. After '05 they use hydraulic oil that is not hyrdoscopic so they do not need routine service. I think some 04-05 1150s may have hyrdaulic fluid too.

The clutch rattle is normal, but if its rattling a lot after its warm then you could have worn input shaft splines. I did a lot of wheelies and power shifts that helped cause my splines to strip at 52k miles. When they get really worn you'll feel vibration when you pull the clutch in as the plate wobbles on the shaft, it will also rattle while coasting with the clutch disenagaged for the same reason. Now at 110k miles and no rattles once warm.

I've heard of dealers charging an hour to inspect the splines using a boroscope through the starter mounting hole but dunno if that works.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:14 AM   #13
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Wow!

All great info. Thanks. I am only comparing my 08 GS12(42,000mi) to all my buddies who have higher milage and much less noise. I know 6 people with GSs all quieter than mine. I use a TwinMax for the syncro and valves are perfect as is the end play. Clutch rod comes out very easily, no pliers required. Brought the whole tranny and clutch to a certified BMW Tech and he looked at splines and fiddled with it and didn't think there was anything wrong with it. Didn't take the tranny apart though. Said to get better ear plugs. I have ordered a ceramic clutch and preasure plates as he said there were signs of overheating but not bad. Probably at Yellowstone Park last year. Never again. Funny when the bike is cold I don't hear the rattle only when hot. I put it on the centerstand and run it in 1st gear the noise seems to go away. Haven't tried shifting to neutral and coasting. Another buddy has an 08 GS12 which is 2 serial numbers from mine, in other words 2 bikes from mine on the assembley line and his is almost as noisey as mine. I have had another GS owner take mine for a spin 2 weeks ago and he said it was very noticable, so its not just me.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTz View Post
This noise is normal and is usually not the clutch but the transmission gears rattling when in neutral and the bike is idling. When is the last time you set the valves and did a throttle sync? A rough idle will make the sound even worse. I have seen this on countless bikes with various mileage ranging from brand new to 80K. Try this: get going to 10 miles an hour and then put it in neutral, let the clutch out and coast. You will not hear the rattle as the trans is spinning and the gears do not rattle. As soon as you stop moving listen again and you will hear the rattle. Or put your bike on the center stand and when in netrual with the clutch out spin the rear wheel (obviously be VERY careful!) and the rattle will go away when the rear wheel is moving.
John, this brings up a related question, which you may have answered. My clutch rattles at stops when in neutral with the clutch out. My 1100 did this and I know they all do that. However, a friend recently rode my 1200 GSA and he commented "sounds like a bunch of marbles rattling around in your tranny when I coast with the clutch in". I listened and he was right, but I believe that sound has been there since I bought the bike (with 12k miles, now at 28k). When I rode his 2005 1200 GS it did not make these sounds and his clutch didn't rattle. Mine doesn't make the noise when coasting in neutral. I haven't been too worried as I change the tranny fluid frequently and don't notice any discoloration or flakes, but it has got me wondering. So you are saying that the noise I am hearing is just the gears rattling?Thanks for any thoughts.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Larry Krupa View Post
John, this brings up a related question, which you may have answered. My clutch rattles at stops when in neutral with the clutch out. My 1100 did this and I know they all do that. However, a friend recently rode my 1200 GSA and he commented "sounds like a bunch of marbles rattling around in your tranny when I coast with the clutch in". I listened and he was right, but I believe that sound has been there since I bought the bike (with 12k miles, now at 28k). When I rode his 2005 1200 GS it did not make these sounds and his clutch didn't rattle. Mine doesn't make the noise when coasting in neutral. I haven't been too worried as I change the tranny fluid frequently and don't notice any discoloration or flakes, but it has got me wondering. So you are saying that the noise I am hearing is just the gears rattling?Thanks for any thoughts.
If you hear noise with the clutch in (disengaged) then it is something else. Whe the clutch is out (engaged) it spins the trans input shaft and the idle pulses rattle the stationary gears since the bike is not moving at a stop and the gears are not moving as well. When the clutch is pulled in (disengaged) then the clutch seperates from the trans and the strans is stationary and no noise should be heard rolling or stopped.
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