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Thread: Clutch Fluid Change 2009 RT1200

  1. #1

    Clutch Fluid Change 2009 RT1200

    Looks like most people have there brake fluid changed but not there clutch fluid.
    if i am wrong when should it be changed and can i do it myself
    thanks Bruce

  2. #2
    i should be out riding! wyman.winn's Avatar
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    easy peasy...just like bleeding the brakes EXCEPT for using mineral oil instead of brake fluid...i do it every two years when i do the brakes, prolly overkill though...

    instructions attached...

    2009 clutch bleed.pdf

    wyman
    ~wyman~


    2013 BMW R1200RT - Sassy - Fluid Grey Metallic

  3. #3
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    Bruce - BMW doesn't call it out as a regular service item but yes, you should do it. I did mine for the first time earlier this year and it was really dark and cruddy, most likely from degradation of the rubber hose. It's not difficult at all. I'll start doing it on the two-year cycle when I do the brakes.

    Important thing is to realize that it takes different fluid than your brakes. Use special "mineral" oil clutch fluid. Pretty inexpensive stuff.

    Wyman's instructions will get you going.

    Good luck.

    JayJay
    ******
    '09 R1200 RT, '73 R75/5 Toaster (under rehabilitation)
    Lots of rice burners in the past ...

  4. #4
    Jayjay... what bike?

    After 8 years with my '05 the clutch mineral oil (not brake fluid as came in the earlier bikes) looked new. If it didn't look new I'd suspect slave cylinder issues. The only thing I did during the 8 years I owned the bike was remove fluid as the clutch wore to keep the level below the MAX mark. AFAIK the current owner (a friend) is still running the same clutch fluid.

  5. #5
    In my experience the discoloration of the fluid - whether DOT4 or mineral oil - comes from deterioration in the slave cylinder. It is often caused by the beginning failure of the throwout bearing allowing the piston to spin and wear the seals in the slave cylinder assembly. If I had discoloration of the fluid I would remove and inspect the slave cylinder. Any sign of gritchiness in the built-in throwout bearing would cause me to replace the slave cylinder.
    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
    Registered User Hodadd's Avatar
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    So which mineral oil is favored?

    (I know, I know, BMW only,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,)
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Juvenal
    (Who watches the watchers)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Hodadd View Post
    So which mineral oil is favored?

    (I know, I know, BMW only,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,)
    To function, hydraulic jack oil would work. BUT - what I don't know is what lubrication abilities has been formulated into the BMW specified oil. I raise this point beacuse there is some tendency/ability for the slave piston to spin in the bore. This wears seals. This is not present in jacks, and most equipment mounted hydraulic cylinders. BMW MIGHT have an additive to improve lubricity. I don't know, but for the difference in cost I would be inclined to use the BMW stuff.
    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/

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    In my experience the discoloration of the fluid - whether DOT4 or mineral oil - comes from deterioration in the slave cylinder. It is often caused by the beginning failure of the throwout bearing allowing the piston to spin and wear the seals in the slave cylinder assembly. If I had discoloration of the fluid I would remove and inspect the slave cylinder. Any sign of gritchiness in the built-in throwout bearing would cause me to replace the slave cylinder.
    Thanks for this feedback, Paul. I hadn't thought of it that way.

    The fluid was dark, almost as if it had been cooked. And when I pulled the old fluid from the master cylinder there was quite a bit of black crud solid precipitate on the walls of the reservoir. I wiped the underside of the rubber bladder that goes under the cap but didn't get any transfer, so my conclusion was that the crud was coming from deterioration within the hose. When I flushed the system it took a bit to get all the dark fluid out, but eventually I did. It didn't even occur to me that this amount of solid material could propagate all the way back up the hose from the slave.

    This might be a good weekend to pull the slave cylinder, inspect the seal and see if there's any sign of roughness. No signs of any fluid on the ground, so at least even if it is degrading the seal is intact. For now ...

    JayJay

    PS - Marchy, this is on my 2009 RT.
    ******
    '09 R1200 RT, '73 R75/5 Toaster (under rehabilitation)
    Lots of rice burners in the past ...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
    No signs of any fluid on the ground, so at least even if it is degrading the seal is intact. For now ...

    JayJay
    This is a good place to point out than unless a "drain" hole or groove has been added as a modification, any leak of the slave cylinder won't exit to the ground until and unless the cavity has filled up, the fluid has flowed along the clutch rod fouling the clutch, and then the fluid can exit at the bellhousing drain hold.

    This leak is accompanied by the fluid level going down. Clutch wear causes the fluid level to go up, so if it ever goes down there is a leak.
    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/

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Hodadd View Post
    So which mineral oil is favored?

    (I know, I know, BMW only,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,)
    It has been reported that BMW uses Magura Blood hydraulic fluid. I don't know how accurate those report are. Also, it depends upon the bike. Beemerboneyard says in their description for the Magura product "Not for use on the K1200/1300 bikes (2005 and later) or the K1600 bikes.".

    The book for my bike says to use "Vitamol V10" which is a Castrol product.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
    Thanks for this feedback, Paul. I hadn't thought of it that way.

    The fluid was dark, almost as if it had been cooked. And when I pulled the old fluid from the master cylinder there was quite a bit of black crud solid precipitate on the walls of the reservoir. I wiped the underside of the rubber bladder that goes under the cap but didn't get any transfer, so my conclusion was that the crud was coming from deterioration within the hose. When I flushed the system it took a bit to get all the dark fluid out, but eventually I did. It didn't even occur to me that this amount of solid material could propagate all the way back up the hose from the slave.

    This might be a good weekend to pull the slave cylinder, inspect the seal and see if there's any sign of roughness. No signs of any fluid on the ground, so at least even if it is degrading the seal is intact. For now ...

    JayJay

    PS - Marchy, this is on my 2009 RT.
    So, good news. I pulled the slave cylinder (boy, is that inner bolt a PITA to get to) and there's no evidence of fluid leakage. There's a thin coating of heavy grease on the actuator shaft, but other than that, everything is clean and dry.

    And at about $150 for the part, I'm not up for prophylactic replacement.

    But Paul, thanks for the heads up.

    JayJay
    ******
    '09 R1200 RT, '73 R75/5 Toaster (under rehabilitation)
    Lots of rice burners in the past ...

  12. #12

    Reason For Clutch Fluid Change

    Quote Originally Posted by jayjay View Post
    Bruce - BMW doesn't call it out as a regular service item but yes, you should do it. I did mine for the first time earlier this year and it was really dark and cruddy, most likely from degradation of the rubber hose. It's not difficult at all. I'll start doing it on the two-year cycle when I do the brakes.

    Important thing is to realize that it takes different fluid than your brakes. Use special "mineral" oil clutch fluid. Pretty inexpensive stuff.

    Wyman's instructions will get you going.

    Good luck.

    JayJay
    Thank you for the feedback but, I'm trying to address the bike racing to about 6000+- when depressing the clutch lever to release the cruise control and the engine races, clutch starts to burn (smoke once, and smell twice) so, it was suggested I change the fluid and if still problem replace the clutch switch to try and solve the problem. Bike is 2012 R1200RT with 19K on it. I had a dealership in Fl. do oil change and the bike was in tough shape when I picked it up and oil leaking around the cylinder head. I want to do the work myself when possible and my main goal was to see/watch a video on changing it & the switch, if possible. Sorry for my long answer but, it's the first time I've used this forum and only looking for a video (Y-Tube) or some type of step by step instructions to facilitate getting the two steps completed. Thanks again, B

  13. #13
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
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    If your engine is racing you need to deal with the switch. You should have the dual contact switch; one contact should click just after you begin to squeeze the lever and the other clicks when the lever is fully in. Could be an adjustment issue, could be that you have replaced the lever with one that doesn't operate the switch properly (I've seen that), could be a bad switch.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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  14. #14

    2012 BMWR1200RT Clutch Fluid & Switch

    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    If your engine is racing you need to deal with the switch. You should have the dual contact switch; one contact should click just after you begin to squeeze the lever and the other clicks when the lever is fully in. Could be an adjustment issue, could be that you have replaced the lever with one that doesn't operate the switch properly (I've seen that), could be a bad switch.
    Thank you for confirming my decision to replace the switch & fluid as a precaution. B

  15. #15
    Old and Tired Gillie Dog's Avatar
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    My 2010 RT did same thing, just the engine speed bump part though and not that high, but I also did not like having the clutch engage way out from the handle bar. So I adjusted the plunger out a bit to get actuation where I like it, with better control, and of course the additional benefit is the switch activates a tiny bit before the clutch allowing dropping cruise without clutch dis-engagement. Just FYI.

    GD
    Last edited by Gillie Dog; 09-17-2018 at 07:08 PM. Reason: Spelling
    (New to me) 2010 R1200RT after HD Electra Glides for 35 years

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