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Thread: 03 R1150RT Clack-Clank in the Clutch in Houston

  1. #1
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    03 R1150RT Clack-Clank in the Clutch in Houston

    I know it is hard to diagnosis things from a message but lets try.

    03 R1150RT 67.5K. I've owned it less than 500m. Went for a 120m loop Sunday and about half way thru I pulled off to take a break.

    At a full stop, in neutral with clutch disengaged sounded like something in the clutch was rattling. Sound reminded me an old Ducati 900SS I once had with a vented dry clutch.. clack clack. Pull the clutch lever just a little and clack clack goes away. Seems to be driving Ok and pulling well. Home after it cooled down, clacking is gone. Is the pressure plate rattling when hot? Doom impending or normal.

    I re-watched the 2+ hour transmission replacement video where Harris did a swap on an R1150 and that level of wrenching is pretty far beyond my abilities. Not because I can't turn a wrench but 1. no space to do it, 2. no time to do it, and 3. I'd forget from day one to day two where all the wires/cables/hoses/lines are routed.

    Anyone in the Houston area you would let disassemble your bike (if ultimately that is where I'm headed).

    Clack-Clink-Vroom
    JW
    03 R1150RT
    16 F700GS

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    When the lever is released - meaning the clutch IS now engaged - some rattling is typical.
    When the lever is pulled in - meaning the clutch is now Disengaged - tension is being held on the innards, and the slack is taken up.

    Try to find a similar-mileage and/or year of bike and compare noises... It shouldn't sound like a Ducati or a panhead.

    How much rattling depends on wear of the individual parts, including the sliding engagement teeth at the center of the clutch and the front end of the transmission's input shaft. This point requires the occasional spline lube job, tedious and expensive if you don't do it yourself. Some bikes did not get sufficient grease at the factory assembly.

  3. #3

    Clutch Noise

    If you pull the starter, you can get a pretty good look at the clutch and even the splines.

  4. #4
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    You have only had the bike for 500 miles. Have you done a throttle body sync?

    Boxer motor is like two motors connected to the same shaft. If they aren’t pulling evenly they will start to rattle everything that’s attached.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

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    Things that are good to know.

    Paul - you are correct. The sound is when the lever is released and clutch engaged but in neutral. When lever is pulled in, just a little, to disengage the clutch, sound stops.

    Rballou - great suggestion, I might not be the guy to pull the transmission but I bet I could pull the starter and run my flex camera inside for a peek. That is a weekend project I can manage.

    Michael - good point but the throttles were synced when I first got the bike. I had a local shop change all the fluids, install new SS brake lines and bleed the brakes and clutch, check the valves and sync the TBs.


    Thanks

  6. #6
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    In neutral is when you'll hear it, not when it's actually in gear and rolling along.

    BTW, if it shifts sloppy (sloppily?) and you are already knowledgeable that these bikes require a "deliberate" shift (usually), that may an an indication of worn clutch/shaft splines.

    To expand a bit on what Mike said: It is absolutely vital to get the valves adjusted perfectly first - with the engine dead cold - and then do the throttle body sync, hot, at idle And at about 2500 rpm. A tiny bit of mis-adjustment can make a big difference. If that local shop is a BMW dealership, they are required to set the valves to the factory spec... which isn't necessarily "wrong", but I've found many bikes (including my own and others I've serviced) run appreciably better with the valves set a teeny bit on the "loose" side of spec.

  7. #7
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    My R1100RT has been making that noise for about the last 40K miles.

    Clutch released, no noise. Clutch engaged and neutral, sounds like I might grenade the tranny.

    I'm almost 100% certain it's the the tranny input shaft bearing or the main shaft pocket bearing.

    I don't spend any real time sitting at idle in neutral.

    I should be in the ready position, clutch released, in first gear, left foot down, right foot on the brake and throttle ready to giv'er.

    No worries for me.
    1997 R1100RT, 1981 KZ 440 LTD, R80RT, R90/6 sidecar, K1100RS,1983 K100RS (Cafe now)

    “The major civilizing force in the world is not religion, it is sex.”

  8. #8
    Left Coast Rider
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    Above is all good advice. The "rattling" you hear is caused by the clearance/play between the clutch spines and the spines on the shaft driving it. When you remove your starter you'll be able to reach in and wiggle (technical term) the clutch plate radially when the clutch lever is pulled in/clutch disengaged. There is a tolerance beyond which bad sh*t happens which then necessitates a tranny pull with attendant rarely-used curse words.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    My R1100RT has been making that noise for about the last 40K miles.
    Well... all I need is another 40K miles out of it... so I'm golden!

    JW

  10. #10
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    Research "gear rattle" and see if it applies to what you are hearing. The power pulses from a twin are pronounced. Every boxer I have owned and do own exhibit gear rattle, especially once the gear oil warms up.
    Last edited by GIARCG; 12-01-2022 at 08:22 AM.

  11. #11
    Registered User 41107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gn4hir View Post
    Well... all I need is another 40K miles out of it... so I'm golden!

    JW
    You need a spline lube on the trans input shaft unless it was done at about 40k.I had same rattling going on at 41k.When you pull the starter you can see the splines and I bet they are dry.All my noises went away after the spline lube.
    Karlheinz
    1998 r1100 rt/p
    1985 k 100 rs
    2001 k 1200 rs
    99 740 il

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    What is that gonna cost??

    I don't know if the splines were ever lubed on this bike. If I have the transmission pulled for inspection and lube, I might as well replace the clutch pack. The big cost I assume is going to be labor as I don't have a garage / lift where I can do the work. Anyone want to share what they paid for this kind of service? Suggestions for work around Houston?

  13. #13
    Registered User 41107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gn4hir View Post
    I don't know if the splines were ever lubed on this bike. If I have the transmission pulled for inspection and lube, I might as well replace the clutch pack. The big cost I assume is going to be labor as I don't have a garage / lift where I can do the work. Anyone want to share what they paid for this kind of service? Suggestions for work around Houston?
    Well around here at the dealers (Chicagoland) they will charge about $2600-2800 making it cost prohibitive on an old bike like that if they are even willing to work on it.It is labor for the most part.I just did mine and it took 6 hours by pulling the whole backend trans and drive all together.
    Karlheinz
    1998 r1100 rt/p
    1985 k 100 rs
    2001 k 1200 rs
    99 740 il

  14. #14
    Left Coast Rider
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    There are other equally effective ways of lubing the splines without dismantling the motorcycle.

  15. #15
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Contrary to other opinions I don't think the noise is from the input shaft splines. Noises of this type have been around a long time.

    Consider this quotation:

    "The noise is the result of an unloaded transmission and the backlash in the mating parts clattering slightly due to variances in engine speeds when at idle. The engine, though we think of it as running at a constant speed, varies in a miniscule amount when it is unloaded and at low speeds near idle. This happens between the power pulsations from the pistons. The flywheel helps to prevent the uneveness but does not cure the problem entirely for it would take a much larger and heavier flywheel than necessary to make the machine run properly and would detract from acceleration performance. As a result, the engine pulsates and the transmission attempts to run at a constant speed. Between pulsations the backlash in the transmission causes the components to clank lightly and cause noise.

    The noise can become more noticeable if ...unbalanced left to right. This causes engine pulsations to become more uneven and, hence, there is more noise in the transmission in neutral, clutch engaged."


    This was written by Oak Okleshen in 1976 describing the /6 five speed transmissions. The noise was exceptionally obnoxious with the early Oilhead transmissions so BMW used O rings as silencers/dampers but after a few thousand miles the O rings hardened and the noise again became obvious.

    A very careful synchronizing of the throttle bodies will minimize the noise.
    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/

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