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Thread: Clutch Adjustment

  1. #1
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    Clutch Adjustment

    I have a 98 RTP. Last year I had to have the clutch replaced (40+K miles). Work was performed by my local dealer.

    I recently noticed a little slippage. I also had very little freeplay in the clutch lever. I adjusted the cable at the lever and the slippage went away. (Yeah!) I have no further adjustment up top and still have almost no freeplay.

    I assume (hope!) there is still plenty of clutch left. I'm hoping that the lower cable connection was done without adequate freeplay. So, how accessible is this lower adjustment point and any advice or tricks that would allow me to tackle this.

    My wife has consented to me traveling to the MotoGP at Indy in August so I'm wanting to make sure everything is good to go.

    Mark

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rundel View Post
    I have a 98 RTP. Last year I had to have the clutch replaced (40+K miles). Work was performed by my local dealer.

    I recently noticed a little slippage. I also had very little freeplay in the clutch lever. I adjusted the cable at the lever and the slippage went away. (Yeah!) I have no further adjustment up top and still have almost no freeplay.

    I assume (hope!) there is still plenty of clutch left. I'm hoping that the lower cable connection was done without adequate freeplay. So, how accessible is this lower adjustment point and any advice or tricks that would allow me to tackle this.

    My wife has consented to me traveling to the MotoGP at Indy in August so I'm wanting to make sure everything is good to go.

    Mark
    OK - so go back and do the complete adjustment.

    1. Adjust the knurled knob at the top so that there are 12mm of thread showing between the adjuster knob and the locknut knob with the locknut screwed against the lever housing. (Yes - this will "pull" the clutch a little.

    2. Loosen the locknut (13mm) on the adjuster bolt (10mm) at the back of the transmission. Adjust the adjuster bolt out so that you measure 7mm of free play between the lever housing and the forward edge of the lever.

    3. Pull the clutch lever to keep the adjuster bolt from turning and tighten the locknut at the back of the transmission.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I was hoping the "master" was on board and would respond.

    Mark

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rundel View Post
    Thanks, I was hoping the "master" was on board and would respond.

    Mark
    You are welcome. Glad to help.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  5. #5
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    That exact adjustment is more critical than most people think it is, and it is worth doing it right. The clutch on my 94 R1100RS works great and has great feel.

    40k is really low mileage for a clutch replacement, unless the rear main seal had failed and oiled the friction disc, as mine did. I replaced all the parts myself.

    Also, hopefully the dealer replaced the entire assembly with the BMW clutch repair kit. If the dealer did, like I did initially, just replace the friction disc and not replace the (what I thought were good parts) two pressure plates, you WILL get significantly shorter service life out of that replacement friction disc and clutch.

    I first replaced my clutch at about 80k miles, by just replacing the firction disc and reusing the original pressure plates. Then, less than 25,000 miles later I had to redo the clutch again when it began to slip under load. That time I replaced the entire clutch assembly with the $356 kit from BMW. The RIGHT way to do it.

    Its said the cheapest part on any BMW is the owner. I proved it that time.

  6. #6
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    Remember this is a RTP, a retired CHIPs bike. So its use could have been hard. Most likely though, the original clutch failed because the pressure plate was not true and the engagement was on the edges only. I got to see the old parts. My dealer, Bentonville BMW has a great reputation and is known to be trustworthy. They replaced the entire clutch assemby with the heavy duty RTP package.

    The response to my inquiry indicates the need to set the amount of free play. How much has been discussed, but how to best access the tranny and clutch activation arm would still be appreciated.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rundel View Post
    Remember this is a RTP, a retired CHIPs bike. So its use could have been hard. Most likely though, the original clutch failed because the pressure plate was not true and the engagement was on the edges only. I got to see the old parts. My dealer, Bentonville BMW has a great reputation and is known to be trustworthy. They replaced the entire clutch assemby with the heavy duty RTP package.

    The response to my inquiry indicates the need to set the amount of free play. How much has been discussed, but how to best access the tranny and clutch activation arm would still be appreciated.

    Mark
    I just reach in ahead of the rear shock. I use a short handled ratchet with a 13mm deep socket to loosen the locknut - usually just my fingers on the 10mm adjuster bolt.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  8. #8
    Unregistered user norton's Avatar
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    If you remove the left side footrest support plate, the access to the transmission clutch adjustment becomes very easy. As Paul says you can reach up there and adjust the the arm, and after you've done it, it's the way to go, but the first time that you do it is less frustrating taking the plate off. This will give you the opportunity to clean and lubricate the shift linkage.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Paul and Norton, that's the type of hands on info I am needing.

    Mark

  10. #10
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    One more tip, mentioned in my first post. After you get the thread length set up top, and the lever freeplay set adjusting the adjuster bolt at the transmission - pull and hold the clutch lever. Then tighten the locknut. Doing this puts pressure on the bolt and keeps it from turning when you tighten the nut.

    I do it by myself - but reaching in with a deep socket for the locknut is a bit futzy, so having somebody else pull and hold the clutch lever makes it easier to poke around with the socket at the back of the transmission.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  11. #11
    Registered User upright's Avatar
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    I just wanted to comment on this valuable thread and bring it back to the surface. It helped me get my clutch adjusted in no time. Thanks!

  12. #12
    Registered User Olsensan's Avatar
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    Instead of having someone else pulling in the clutch handle, would it be easier to tie wrap it in the pulled position? Also, does this procedure also apply to the 02 1150RT?

  13. #13
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLSENSAN View Post
    Instead of having someone else pulling in the clutch handle, would it be easier to tie wrap it in the pulled position? Also, does this procedure also apply to the 02 1150RT?
    A cable tie can't hand you your favourite beverage back once you get back up from down there.

    The 1150 has a hydraulic clutch and the 1100 just uses a cable. So the procedure would be different I assume.

    Someone with 1150 clutch experience should chime in shortly.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  14. #14
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Linkage

    Another advantage of removing the foot peg panel is that you can closely examine the gear linkage and degrease the rear of the engine.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  15. #15
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    on the hydraulic clutch equipped bikes, there is no adjustment (at least, not that i've yet found). you just need to bleed/change the clutch fluid every 2 years or so.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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