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Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 2
Another R1100s Clutch Failure


A few years back, after highway riding for a few hours I would loose hydraulic pressure on the clutch. No leaks. After getting cold, pressure would come back. At the timeI didn’t had the time to look into it, so the BMW dealership dealt with it. 3,000€ and a new clutch and it was fixed.
Fast forward to today, and the problem came back.

Exactly the same symptoms. After riding for a while at the highway, clucth would go. After cooling it would come back. On my last ride, to make things worst, the master ctlinder started leaking fluid as well.

Altough 5 years have passed since the original issue, I probably rode 2000km in the meantime. Altough I love the bike, I usually ride no more than 3 or 4 times a year.
This time I decided to fix it myself.

I’ve ordered both a master cylinder rebuild kit and the slave cylinder to replace both. Delivery should happen in a couple of days.
I started working on the bike and was puzzled by the look of the hydraulic fluid inside the master cylinder container. Completely black.

Remove the slave cylinder. And it was in a bad shape. Filled with this black paste, which smelled strange. Probably transmission fluid, right?

I plan on removing the starter engine tomorrow to check if there is any trace of oil in the clutch.

A few questions to anyone reading:
- can I remove the input shaft through the slave housing? I want to check if it’s the version with the felt.
- I definitely should change the input shaft rear seal, right?
- is it possible the change this seal with the gearbox in place? Or do I have to disassemble the rear of the bike and remove gearbox?

Many thanks,
Josť Caeiro
Old 08-29-2018, 10:52 AM
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Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,039
The black stinky clutch fluid is pretty standard with a slave cylinder failure. It doesn't necessarily mean you have a bad seal at the back of the input shaft. I think it comes from the system sucking the grease from the slave cylinder bearing into the fluid.

You can remove the clutch pushrod from the back. (I think that's what you were asking.) It may be a little stuck so you might have to grab it with a pair of pliers.

I don't know about the seal. On a five-speed you have to remove the transmission and take it apart.
Jim Moore
Jax, FL
'01 R1100S
'07 CBR600RR
Old 08-29-2018, 12:17 PM
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flatbutt's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: NW NJ
Posts: 13,564
Consider boring a small weep hole into the slave cylinder housing.
'99R1100SA DDP of course
'12 M1100 mostro rosso

Old bikers don't get old by accident
equito ergo sum
Old 08-30-2018, 06:35 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Point Richmond
Posts: 54
How often have you been flushing the clutch fluid in that 5 year period?

I bought my bike with 7,000 miles on it. After 8 months and 3500 miles the clutch was not working, but no leaks...
so I flushed it, and it was perfect again....for about 2 years and 18,000 miles.
By then it was a bit I flushed it, and it was perfect again.
Now I am just continuing to flush it annually. It's very easy to do, and keeps the fluid clean.

I'm not sure what I'd do if the clutch actually went out or the splines stripped...might just have to find an HP-2 or something drastic like that. A 3,000 euro repair would be a harsh toke.
Everybody loves big twins.
Old 08-30-2018, 10:01 AM
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