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Thread: 1996 R1100RT Shift Lever Bushing Replacement

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    Aug 2017
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    1996 R1100RT Shift Lever Bushing Replacement

    Replacing the shift lever bushing may help reduce sloppy, clunky shifting. On my R1100RT, if you grab the shift lever with your hand you can wiggle it quite a bit, indicating that the plastic bushing is worn. From my reading on this and other forums this will make your shifting a little more difficult and clunky. Since it is now beginning of winter here in Minnesota I decided to put a new bushing in the shift lever. As with every project I recommend you take lots of digital pics so the reassembly goes easy. First remove the left foot peg plate. Remove the 3 screws attaching the plate to the bottom of the side cover. Then remove the remaining 5 screws holding the plate to the frame. One of the five screws is at the very rear of the plate, but on the inside. Also, on the inside of the plate, the ancillary power plug is connected into a bracket that is attached to the back side of the plate. Either disconnect the connector or unscrew the two screws holding the bracket to the inside of the plate. Next remove the one screw holding the shift lever to the plate. You do not need to remove the entire side cover. Now you can lift off the foot peg plate. The shift lever is still connected to the transmission with a double ended helm joint. To disconnect the helm joint, there is a little spring clip that you need to pop loose with a screw drive, rotate and pull the clip out of the hole in the helm joint. There is a clip at each end of the helm joint. Now you can use a screw drive to pop the helm joint off. Clean the crud out of the helm joint and grease. The shift lever can now be taken to the bench so the bushing can be removed. There is a pin that goes through the shift lever that is held in by a circlip. Remove the circlip. The bushing is a two sided plastic part, that is lightly pressed in the shift arm. Use a heat gun to expand the aluminum, then you can use a screw driver to push the bushing halves out. There may be two felt washers on each end of the helm joint, protecting the grime from getting in the joint. BMW replaced these with oil impregnated rubber washers. I also replaced these. Again, reheat the shift arm then press in the bushing halves. Use a good silicone grease on the pin then reinsert in the arm and install the circlip. Reassemble in reverse order. One assembled my shift arm was much firmer, no slop in the bushing. My expectation is it will be a firmer shift with less clunk, but I won't know until spring.
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