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Thread: Proper Clutch Lever Adjustment

  1. #1
    Registered User breyfogle's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Lomita (aka L.A.), SoCal

    Proper Clutch Lever Adjustment

    Currently over on the R11xxRS bulletin board there is a thread about recomended clutch lever adjustment on cable actuated
    clutches. While there seems to be a lot of opinions and anecdotal evidence, there does not seem to be a lot of real
    knowledge. Clutch free play is something I have been curious about since I first bought my RS and began reading all the
    opinions about "proper" clutch level free play. BMW originally spec'ed 2 mm for '94 RS's, same a K bikes of the time.
    The BMW recommended gap seems to have grown over time from 2 mm to 4mm, 5mm and even 7mm (1/4 inch!!), supposedly
    in order to prevent premature clutch disk failure.

    Disk clutches are relatively simple devices and I thought I more or less understood them so it makes
    no sense to me how increasing the free play tp more than "just enough" can make any difference what so ever. If
    the free play is set to XXX mm in the garage and that gap never completely closes up during high RPM, or high temperature,
    or during full lock turns in a parking lot etc, the clutch disk is always fully engaged and there can not be any load
    on the throwout bearing. The clutch disk can not be more than fully engaged.
    Any additional free play at the lever is just slop at the lever. At some point, excessive free play should
    actually prevent complete disengagement which would also be bad !

    I currently have my '94 RS set to 3-4mm. Because of other people's concerns about this issue, I do check the free play
    while riding under varying conditions by just feeling the clutch level from time to time. The gap does tend to
    close up a bit at high RPM but so far there has always been at least some free play. Seems good enough.

    Can anyone provide some additional (knowledgabe) insight on this ?
    '89 K75S Original Owner
    '94 (Beta) R11RS, ( RIP 12-5-2010 courtesy of blind left turning cage driver ) ....

  2. #2
    Where is the clutch release lever the manual talks about, to adjust the freeplay in the clutch. You loosen the locking nut, and adjust the bolt until 7mm of play is acheived. Do you have to take the bike apart to reach this part??

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