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Thread: R1150RT transmission/clutch failure

  1. #1
    LESLIR
    Guest

    Question R1150RT transmission/clutch failure

    My 2004 R1150RT (31,000 miles) has had no problems until it abruptly lost its clutch or gears this past week. No advance indication. Loud whining noise and loss of any ability to engage the engine. Anyone else have a similar experience?

  2. #2
    USERNAME
    Guest
    moved over here to give it an audience with the oilhead folks.

  3. #3
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wisconsinte lost in Eugene OR
    Posts
    120
    How did it happen, what where you doing when it happened, what is it doing now, will it go in gear but nothing engages? Hard to say till I know more but possible to be clutch splines or U-joint or could be something totally different. Give us a bit more on whats up with it.

  4. #4
    LESLIR
    Guest
    It happened in heavy rain, riding two up on twisty roads mainly in 2nd and 3rd gear. The engine kept on running, but the noise happens when the clutch is engaged. Engaging the clutch gives no drive power. Same problem no matter what gear is selected.

    It is now awaiting dealer service time with a guess of clutch spline or gearbox damage, maybe more. Just wondering if this is a chronic RT problem and if after it is fixed, it is not likely to reoccur. Hoping for a quick fix, since a week-long road trip is planned for next week.

  5. #5
    bmwmick
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by LESLIR
    My 2004 R1150RT (31,000 miles) has had no problems until it abruptly lost its clutch or gears this past week. No advance indication. Loud whining noise and loss of any ability to engage the engine. Anyone else have a similar experience?
    Run over to the bmwsporttouring.com forum and do some searching. It is not an uncommon failure.
    http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthread...rue#Post651635
    Some bikes with a misalignment problem eat clutch hubs and transmission input shafts every 29-30K like clockwork. Others go for a hundred thousand miles without a problem. Just depends on how well aligned the input shaft is to the center of the cranksaft.
    Some folks have had the entire repair paid for my BMW, others had to pay the Full amount themselves. Good luck! With your mileage, it should be covered fully under warranty.
    Last edited by bmwmick; 06-25-2006 at 12:43 AM.

  6. #6
    What Mick said.

    Almost certainly the splines on the transmission input shaft and clutch hub have worn and stripped. The repair involves replacing the clutch disk and the transmission input shaft. Such a disconnect could be a broken driveshaft but they usually involve large amounts of banging and clanking at the back of the bike.

    31,000 miles is pretty low for a clutch hub failure. BMW doesn't schedule this maintenance and I've typically been comfortable with about a 40,000 miles cleaning and regreasing interval. I would suspect either very poor initial lubrication, too much time parked in salt air, or something misaligned. Misalignment was a problem on some 2 valve K bikes - mostly K75s. It would be a big problem on an RxxRT because the misalignment would have to be either in the engine cases themselves or in the transmission case. Hope that is not the case.

    Paul Glaves
    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/

  7. #7
    LESLIR
    Guest
    Thanks Paul and Mick,

    Should hear today what the dealer finds.

  8. #8
    Blocking the slow lane
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Edwardsville, IL
    Posts
    1,852
    I'm on another list where a guy with the SAME BIKE at the SAME MILEAGE had the same failure. What is going on with the 2004 bikes?
    Jon Diaz
    BMW K75/K12GT
    BMWMOA Ambassador

  9. #9
    bmwmick
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by jdiaz
    I'm on another list where a guy with the SAME BIKE at the SAME MILEAGE had the same failure. What is going on with the 2004 bikes?
    A guy here in Tucson just had BMW buy him a new Transmission, New Clutch and pressure plates for his 2001. He had a failure at 25K miles and BMW picked up that repair. 10K miles later at 35K, same exact failure, clutch hub eaten away and the transmission input shaft had the characteristic 'barrel-shaped' wear pattern. This is NOT a lubrication issue!

  10. #10
    LESLIR
    Guest
    The dealer opened up the gear box. Paul and Mick nailed it. It was the clutch spline and the input spline to the transmission. Long repair prognosis, so I traded it in on a new '06 RT. They gave me full value. Hope the new one is immune. Off to Tennessee from Vermont. Thanks for the help, all.

  11. #11
    LESLIR
    Guest
    The mechanic thought it was likely an improperly lubed part when assembled. The gear spline was stripped. Not sure why it happened so abruptly. But new '06 I picked up last week is shifting smoothly. 3K on it already and a smile on my face.

  12. #12
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    Posts
    2,179
    It ain't lube. There is an excellent thread on BMWST describing one guy's efforts to find the cause of the stripped splines. He had significant misalignment in the machining of the transmission or engine.

    http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthread...fpart/all/vc/1
    Anton Largiader 72724
    Tech articles - YouTube
    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  13. #13
    myxxbyxx
    Guest
    My 02 RT (31,000 Miles) has never had a clutch spline lube service yet, but I'm thinking about it...

    Thank goodness I have my 05 FJR as a backup

  14. #14

    Question

    Late seventies airheads had a corrosion problem with the input splines. The cure was lubrication. They did not fail without warning. Hard sticky shifts, and bad clutch engagement preceded a "failure". The oilheads with failing input splines have no symptoms, just a sudden failure?
    robert

  15. #15
    fracture
    Guest
    I agree with the assessment that this is not a lubrication issue. Must be alignment or metallurgy.

    This is the kind of news that has me re-considering getting an oilhead, or any other "modern" BMW. Of course, we only hear bad news, but nevertheless, on a bike this expensive, we should not be hearing about major component failures with relatively few miles of use.

    I wonder what kind of troubles other makes are having. I have not researched any other makes to any extent because there are not very many bikes out there that I want.

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