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Thread: 2016 RT Throttle Response / Clutch Issue?

  1. #1
    Registered User zenwhipper's Avatar
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    Question 2016 RT Throttle Response / Clutch Issue?

    Out on a 6 day trip through OR and WA last week. Riding along on HWY 97 went to pass a car. Was doing 65 MPH in 5th gear. I downshifted, applied throttle and went to pass. I was in forth gear when I started to pass. When I hit the throttle, the bike RPM dramatically increased, say 1K and the bike speed did not increase, it just sat there. After a second or two, the bike picks up speed and it sounds like the clutch started to finally engage and the RPM came down, the bike accelerated and I was able to pass. I'm like WTF.

    My first thought was the clutch was slipping. Tried again, throttle, engine revs come way up, bike lags, finally bike gets going, RPMs come down and things equilibrate. It was the same in 3rd, 4th, and 5th. Don't recall testing 6th.

    Interestingly, I was riding in DYNA mode at the time. I thought I'd switch to ROAD and test. Same issue.

    I really thought I had a clutch slipping issue. But at 26,000 miles on the bike - does not make sense.

    I ride about 100 miles, worried of the issue and getting home.

    I stop for gas and head out. Issue is gone. I road another 150 miles over varied roads and never had the issue again.

    I just had the bike in for its ~24K service. I had road 1200 miles on my trip with no issues until the last day.

    I don't think its the clutch. May be ride by wire throttle issue? Or something to do with the integrated electronics for throttle, traction control, clutch blah blah blah?

    I appreciate any thoughts you may have.

    Thanks
    Scott
    I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.- Mark Twain
    Past bikes: 2001 Kawa ZR750S, 2002 VFR, 2006 V-Strom, 2008 FJR

  2. #2
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    I think it is a clutch issue. Here is why. The engine RPM increased but the driveline RPM didn't. The connection between the two is the clutch. If it was a fly-by-wire issue the engine RPM might not go up. But it did.

    The fact that it happened, and later failed to happen suggests to me that there was a contaminating lubricant on the clutch rather than a worn thin clutch. And it suggests that once the slipping action "burned" or scuffed off the lubricant then things became normal, at least for a while. I am suspicious of an oil leak contaminating the clutch.
    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
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  3. #3
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    I am suspicious of an oil leak contaminating the clutch.
    I see your reasoning but don't the water cooled bikes have wet clutches?

  4. #4
    Registered User alegerlotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    ... I am suspicious of an oil leak contaminating the clutch.
    I do agree with you that it sounds like a clutch issue overall, but its a 2016 so it has a wet clutch that is bathed in the engine oil anyway.
    Current: 2021 R NineT, 2016 R1200RT
    Past: 2005 R1200RT (2/2015 - 12/2016), 1987 K100RS (12/2015 - 12/2016), 2007 KTM 450 XC-W (10/17 - 5/18), 1985 Yamaha XJ 700 Maxim (7/1989 - 9/1991)

  5. #5
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alegerlotz View Post
    I do agree with you that it sounds like a clutch issue overall, but its a 2016 so it has a wet clutch that is bathed in the engine oil anyway.
    Ok! My error on the wet clutch issue. I still think it is a clutch slipping issue. That is the only thing I can think of that would cause the engine RPM to increase while the driveline RPM failed to do so too. I don't know enough about the wet clutch arrangement to hypothesize how it could bind and limit engagement but it sounds like it did. I assume it has a hydraulic slave cylinder and if it bound up, or failed to bleed back to the master cylinder, that could cause the slipping problem.

    The only other thing I know of that could cause these slipping symptoms is a lack of adhesion with the rubber damper in the driveshaft. But I don't understand how this failure could cure itself later. Once broken loose I would think it would stay broken loose.
    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://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    Are the Wetheads more picky about WHAT oil they use and HOW MUCH is in there?
    And how much adjustability is available for the clutch lever and/or throwout?

  7. #7
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Here's a link to an Amsoil article on wet clutch lubrication: https://blog.amsoil.com/how-to-prote...-how-it-works/

    Here's a little more information without the sales piece: https://www.crodaenergytechnologies....il-ingredients
    Last edited by ExGMan; 09-22-2022 at 10:24 PM.
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison 2018-Present
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  8. #8
    Registered User zenwhipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    Are the Wetheads more picky about WHAT oil they use and HOW MUCH is in there?
    And how much adjustability is available for the clutch lever and/or throwout?
    My bike clutch disengages really quickly with just a short lever pull (~1/2"). Not sure if this is odd or an issue.
    I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.- Mark Twain
    Past bikes: 2001 Kawa ZR750S, 2002 VFR, 2006 V-Strom, 2008 FJR

  9. #9
    Left Coast Rider
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    Not knowing how you ride your bike, I'd venture a guess that your clutch plates are worn out. A lot easier to check than the older hex/oilheads but still messy. Although...these bikes are equipped with a slipper clutch. Could it be that in that "system", somehow full clutch spring pressure wasn't being applied to the plates hence the slippage?

    Now, if you say the bike is now behaving itself I'd tend to leave well-enough alone.

  10. #10
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    Used to see this issue with the 2004-2009 Honda ST1300s. Riding as a police bike, we went through clutches more often than most riders, but I had a few instances where I experienced exactly what you felt at speed, then after stopping for a bit, issue went away....for a little while. Always ended up being a bad clutch and the break just allowed it to cool or whatever to allow "normal" operation for a bit. Haven't yet had this happen with my 2017 RTP. When the clutch goes...it goes and stays gone.
    Paid to ride a 2017 R1200RT
    Ride a 2022 R1250RT in my personal time.

  11. #11
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    Clutch slipping?

    Might want to make sure the clutch fluid reservoir is not overfilled - had some 'odd' clutch issues on my '18RT and when I took a bit of the excess fluid out of the reservoir, things went back to normal - about 15K on the bike at that time.

  12. #12
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaileybutt View Post
    Might want to make sure the clutch fluid reservoir is not overfilled - had some 'odd' clutch issues on my '18RT and when I took a bit of the excess fluid out of the reservoir, things went back to normal - about 15K on the bike at that time.
    Good advice. Never forget the simple stuff.

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