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Thread: 2011 R1200 GS - Clutch spline lubrication - Toronto Motorcycle Show

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  1. #1

    2011 R1200 GS - Clutch spline lubrication - Toronto Motorcycle Show

    Yesterday, at the Toronto Motorcycle show, I asked a representative from BMW Motorrad whether my bike required clutch spline lubrication. He told me that it does not. He appeared to be aware of this issue\topic when I brought it up.

    I think he might have indicated that earlier models (1100s???) did??? I am not sure.

    But in any event, he said that mine did not.

    So either:

    • he is correct about my bike, or
    • he doesn't really know, and he simply told me what he thought I wanted to hear about my bike, or
    • he was deliberately misleading me about my bike.


    At 46,000 km, I haven't noticed any problems yet. Unless I do, I can't see myself spending thousands to take the bike apart to lube the splines, since there is no mention of it, that I can find, in the BMW Repair CD 6th edition, nor in my owner's manual.

    Down the road, if it should come to light that BMW was covering up a major $$$ maintenance issue that they knew about and that they should have disclosed to me when I was deciding whether or not to buy the bike, that is the type of thing that I would be livid about.

    Dave McDougall
    2100 R1200GS

  2. #2
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    The JVB video demonstrates lubing the spline shaft. Simple process, especially when servicing final drive. Think it's cheap insurance for a very costly problem

  3. #3
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t6pilot View Post
    The JVB video demonstrates lubing the spline shaft. Simple process, especially when servicing final drive. Think it's cheap insurance for a very costly problem
    Dave is talking about clutch splines, t6pilot is talking about drive shaft splines. I know you need to lube the drive shaft splines, not so sure about clutch splines. My '05 1200GS went 100K+ without clutch spline lube and it didn't appear to be any worse for the wear when the cltch was replaced.

    Of course Dave is riding a year 2100 1200GS so maybe they don't even have clutches or splines
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    The biggest mistake people make... is thinking they have time.

  4. #4
    BMW didn't specify clutch clutch spline lube on the classic K (K75, K100, K1100) bikes. Grind/screetch. Oops. $2,000

    BMW didn't specify clutch spline lube on the R1100 and R1150 bikes. Grind/screetch. Oops. $3,000 minimum.

    Now BMW doesn't specify clutch spline lube on the R1200 bikes. Whoopee! I am eternally grateful and overjoyed.
    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/

  5. #5
    One other thing I forgot to mention. In Canada, BMW sells their bikes with 3 year unlimited mileage warranty (probably because they figure our riding season is so short they are not assuming that much risk). My bike is under warranty until July 2014 and I expect to have at least 100,000 km on it by then. If it fails during that period, I expect that it would be repaired under warranty.

  6. #6
    The Bloviator DocZ's Avatar
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    As usual, Glaves is right

    You have had your bike HOW LONG and not lubed splines?

    I had a Honda ST1100 for about 10 years - overlapped with an R100RT I also had for about 10 years. Yes, even with the major home appliance grade reliability (and absolute lack of "BMW'isque" drama), ALL the splines had to be lubed. Even as early as 97-98 saw LOTS of comments from ST11 owners warning of such. And the Honda remedy for worn splines hurt in the wallet too. Bad. Real bad. Copper Clapper Caper bad.

    Due to some health issues, my 07R12RT has only 8K miles now. Am already thinking about going ahead with lubing splines soon. JVB is about to get an order.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DocZ View Post
    You have had your bike HOW LONG and not lubed splines?
    7 1/2 years (75,000 miles).

    Quote Originally Posted by DocZ View Post
    Due to some health issues, my 07R12RT has only 8K miles now. Am already thinking about going ahead with lubing splines soon. JVB is about to get an order.
    Does Jim's current DVD include splitting the bike in two to get to the clutch splines? I know his first version didn't. The splines covered in his first version were one of the three sets of splines in the drive line (where the drive shaft meets the final drive). Drive shaft to transmission output and clutch to transmission input were not covered.

    I will lube my clutch to transmission input splines if/when I have an issue assuming I still own the bike. To date there have been minimal reports of clutch spline issues on the R1200 hexhead bikes. That may well change as the bikes get older.

  8. #8
    BMW is Boxer-Boxer is BMW GregoryT's Avatar
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    Clutch splines.

    As of now the basic design of any Boxer BMW clutch is extremely similiar to a typical car type - seperate engine, dry clutch, and then transmission.
    In this layout there is NO REASON for lubing clutch splines, some auto manufactures use stainless steel clutch disc hubs - that is it, it's less for a life of the clutch or engine.
    I don't know about you, but I never heard of recommendation (as a preventive maintenance) lubing clutch splines by any car manufacture.
    Last edited by GregoryT; 12-12-2012 at 01:43 AM.
    G.T.
    BMW MOA # 71371
    Everett, WA

    2013 R1200RT

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by GregoryT View Post
    As of now the basic design of any Boxer BMW clutch is extremely similiar to a typical car type - seperate engine, dry clutch, and then transmission.
    In this layout there is NO REASON for lubing clutch splines.
    Except for the inconvenient fact that on BMW motorcycles they wear if they aren't periodically cleaned and lubricated. But other than that little problem, I suppose they are just like cars.

    Oh, and as for that "basic layout" back in the Airhead days BMW did say lube them once every year, even though car guys weren't saying that.
    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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