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Thread: 2008 R1200RT Clutch Not Engaging Properly

  1. #1

    2008 R1200RT Clutch Not Engaging Properly

    My 2008 R1200RT seems to be having a problem with the clutch. Just started the bike for a short ride here in Richmond VA. Bike starts and runs fine, but when engaging the clutch and putting it in gear, the clutch does not return to its normal position and the bike does not engage the gear until a few seconds have passed. If I push the clutch handle out with the back of my fingers, it engages. It also feels a little spongy.

    I did take it for a short ride and got it into gears, up to 5th. But again when I release the clutch each time after a gear change, it takes a few seconds to engage the next gear I just shifted into.

    Ideas? Is it a problem to drive it to the shop? Or might I damage something??

  2. #2
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    Is the reservoir full? It should be ~10mm down from the top. It's contra-intuitive but a full reservoir can cause a hydraulic lock and cause all kinds of clutch issues.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by pappy35 View Post
    Is the reservoir full? It should be ~10mm down from the top. It's contra-intuitive but a full reservoir can cause a hydraulic lock and cause all kinds of clutch issues.
    Up to my eyeballs with work issues so just coming back around to this. That was the first thing I tried to do, but could not figure out how. I swear I am not a knucklehead (most of the time anyway), but I don't see any way of doing so, unless I unscrew the cover on the reservoir. There is nothing in the owners manual about how to check it and even though my Haynes manual says there is a sightglass, I swear there is NOT one on that reservoir.

    But interestingly enough when I started the bike the next day to check it again, it wasn't doing it. So, got my duds on and went for a 40 min ride out in the country. So, I am good for now. Will try again this weekend and see if the problem reappears. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Registered User pappy35's Avatar
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    There isn't a site glass? I have a Camhead which has a different reservoir setup but the issue (possible hydraulic lock) still applies.
    '13 R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pappy35 View Post
    There isn't a site glass? I have a Camhead which has a different reservoir setup but the issue (possible hydraulic lock) still applies.
    And this can, at the margins, vary with both ambient temperature and bike operating temperature. The important thing to note is that as brake pads wear the fluid level goes down, BUT as a clutch wears the fluid level goes UP.

    If that were my bike I would cover bike parts with a rag to avoid making a mess and carefully remove the top of the clutch system reservoir. If the reservoir is full to, or near the top I would use a syringe to lower the fluid level.
    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

    Hose

    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    And this can, at the margins, vary with both ambient temperature and bike operating temperature. The important thing to note is that as brake pads wear the fluid level goes down, BUT as a clutch wears the fluid level goes UP.

    If that were my bike I would cover bike parts with a rag to avoid making a mess and carefully remove the top of the clutch system reservoir. If the reservoir is full to, or near the top I would use a syringe to lower the fluid level.
    Sounds like the hose is going bad.

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