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Old 07-14-2014, 07:30 AM   #1
pinnedup OP
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On the road: Clutch slipping?

All,
I am on the road, currently in Sandpoint ID. I am riding a 2002 R1150GS.
While moving at about 60 mph, 3000 rpm in 6th, I went to pass a vehicle gave it some throttle. The bike accellerated but then the rpms raced up, I backed off of the throttle and everything was fine. I tried accelerating hard again, same thing, bike accelerated some but the rpms raced up.
The bike has been running great. No issues taking off from stops, clutch seemed to work fine.
When I stopped for the evening, I noticed a black oily film weeping from the casing union below were the access plug for the flywheel timing mark. Sorry no photos.

No BMW shops in the area.

Is the clutch slipping? Is it starting to fail? Any thoughts on its remaining life? What can I do to minimize clutch wear and get back to NM?

Thanks for your advice
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:36 AM   #2
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Sounds like either the crank or gearbox input seal has failed and covered your clutch in oil. A high gear low RPM puts the biggest strain in the clutch which is why it is slipping in 6th.
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Old 07-14-2014, 07:47 AM   #3
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Yes, sounds like slippage. I would drop down to 5th and stay out of the throttle as much as possible until you get her home.

Also, check your insurance, may have roadside assist attached. You may need it.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:09 AM   #4
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Oil or wear?

You don't say how many miles on your GS. If it is oil, a good chance you can nurse it home by keeping your RPMs up in a lower gear. If wear, due to high mileage for example, poor chance of making it home. Dealers in area, Spokane and Mac's Cycles in Clarkston, Wa, just across the River from Lewiston, Idaho. Have heard good reviews about Mac's. No info about the dealer in Spokane.

Clutch is a major repair requiring the bike to be "split". I've done that repair myself. Expensive at the dealer due to labor costs. I think it is at least 8 hrs. So if you have an oiled clutch and can make it home to do the repair, you will be better off money wise.

Other inmates may know of indy shops in the area capable of doing the repair.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:46 AM   #5
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Check the transmission oil level carefully to determine the source of the oil.
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:50 AM   #6
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Or smell it.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:15 AM   #7
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Buy a can of brake cleaner, pull off your starter, tape your clutch lever to the bars to create a little space between clutch plates and pressure plates. then hose it out with a can or two of brake cleaner trying to get as much spray as possible actually on and between the friction surfaces while trying to avoid directly spraying either shaft seal. . probably better off if you perform this operation out of sight, and not on concrete. It will make a mess. but it will gain you back a fair amount of grip on your clutch, for a while. ride like others have said and this should get you home to where you can do the proper repair in the comfort of your own place.
best of luck to you

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Old 07-14-2014, 09:29 AM   #8
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I had the exact same thing start to happen on my 12rt, it would happen intermittently but at least a couple times every ride. I also could slightly smell clutch burning. After doing some google searches, I tried the easiest thing first and thankfully that was it. Apparently as the clutch wears fluid rises in the master cylinder. If it gets too full the pressure can actually engage the clutch just enough to cause slippage, as if you are applying the clutch slightly. I took the cap off and sure enough it was overfilled. I brought the level down to about 2/3s and the clutch hasn't slipped since.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KShow View Post
Buy a can of brake cleaner, pull off your starter, tape your clutch lever to the bars to create a little space between clutch plates and pressure plates. then hose it out with a can or two of brake cleaner trying to get as much spray as possible actually on and between the friction surfaces while trying to avoid directly spraying either shaft seal. . probably better off if you perform this operation out of sight, and not on concrete. It will make a mess. but it will gain you back a fair amount of grip on your clutch, for a while. ride like others have said and this should get you home to where you can do the proper repair in the comfort of your own place.
best of luck to you
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice.
My GS has 37000 miles, I thought it was a little early to be losing a clutch.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:01 PM   #11
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Wait....

Check your hand guard hasn't moved and is catching on your clutch lever... It can rotate just enough to catch your lever just enough to make it start sipping under load. Been there, and I hope the fix is this simple
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:47 PM   #12
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On the road: Clutch slipping?

A

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Old 07-14-2014, 09:51 PM   #13
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Just replaced the clutch in my 04 1150gs at 40k. Same symptoms. Turned out to be the trans input shaft seal at the back of the trans. In front of the slave cylinder. Oil (or DOT4 if the slave fails) travels through the hollow input shaft (in which the clutch push rod resides) and fouls the clutch. I managed over 1000 miles on it after I first noticed itby not pushing it in 5th or 6th. It never did get worse. When I pulled the clutch disk the oil was almost waxy on the disk. I'm glad I changed the disk, but I've wondered if it might have "burned off" on it's own after I fixed the seal (which was accessible without removing the trans). Note, my bike had had a slight aroma of gear lube for the last year, but no visible leaks - I'm sure this was the source of the aroma.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:34 PM   #14
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Had the same issue on my 02 Adv about a year ago, clutch slipping under accel in high gear and black goo from engine to trans mating surface, turned out to be a leaking clutch slave cylinder. I replaced with a new one from Beemer boneyard and also replaced trans seal just in front of the slave cyl (they don't like dot 4) since I was there. Cleaned the disc just as KShow has suggested above and still going 15K later. Not the easiest part to get to, but it is possible while on the road, and easier than replacing the disc, which will be needed if it continues to get soaked with oil or brake fluid. I've since read that some guys cut a small opening in the bottom of the slave cyl gasket to allow the fluid to drain out instead of down the shaft when there is a leak, I will probably do this if the slave fails again.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:10 AM   #15
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A little hole at the bottom could prevent oil accumulation in the clutch case and bathing the disk.
Just an idea.
Also happened to me, in a K12 RS, that the oil din't come from the crank seal. After 3 disks, we accidentaly found it teared from the engine case due to a break in case sealing glue.
That's when I heard the hole trick from a dealer who made them in prevention.
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