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klennop's Avatar
 
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Question Clutch, Funny Smell, and Weird Lever Feel??????

I have a 04 R1100S with just under 12K on it. I was planning on setting up the 12K service next week but I ran into an odd issue the other night.

After about a hour semi-spirited ride I came around a corner on my way home and I could smell something odd, not like oil or fuel. Then I noticed the feel in my clutch lever felt different than usual, almost like it didn't spring all the way back and was possibly still holding the clutch in a bit? So I was only a block from my house so I pulled off to the side just to take a quick look. Then when I accelerated off the smell was really strong. When I got home I looked over the bike and didn't see any leaks but I couldn't tell where the smell was coming from. The clutch reservoir was just below the half way mark, so I guess that is a little low.

Could this just be because of the low fluid, old fluid, or ??? I didn't ride it since this happened but I will tomorrow. I guess I am just wondering what some of you guys think, and to possibly get a heads up on the cost of fixing it.

Thanks everyone!!
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Old 09-07-2008, 05:33 PM
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sounds like a clutch slave cylinder seal bit the dust.
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1969 BSA StarFire
Old 09-07-2008, 06:14 PM
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That was one of the things I found when I did some searching on here before I posted. Nobody had the exact same symptoms as I did so I thought I would post to see if anyone had any other ideas.

Now should the bike act the same way immediately, come and go, or just after a longer ride? Is it ok to ride the bike to see if it comes back and then about 10-15 miles to the shop or should I not be riding it at all?

Thanks
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Old 09-08-2008, 04:48 AM
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Soaking the clutch in brake fluid (thats what you are smelling burning off the clutch probably) is not good... Get it fixed
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1969 BSA StarFire
Old 09-08-2008, 05:07 AM
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Thanks Bill!
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:53 AM
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Ok another question.

So if my issue is the slave cylinder then would I need to replace the clutch?

This hasn't been happening for a long time, and it didn't seem like my clutch was slipping when I got on the gas at all while going down the road.

I called the dealership to get the 12K service set up. I mentioned that I may possibly have a bad clutch slave cylinder and the symptoms above. He had told me I would need a new clutch also if it was leaking at all, hence why I am asking here to get another opinion. So it would be like $300 for the 12K and then another $800 for a cluch!

I do understand it may vary once you open things up but to me it sounded like if it was leaking at all then I would also need a new clutch.

Also is this that common to happen at or around 12K?

Thanks Again for any advise, etc.
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Last edited by klennop; 09-08-2008 at 11:31 AM..
Old 09-08-2008, 11:13 AM
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If the clutch is soaked in fluid it will never be the same... It should be replaced. I suppose you could just have the slave cylinder installed... and try it first.
If the clutch holds fine... if not get it replaced. It is a gamble... and there may be labor that could have been used toward the clutch replacement to begin with.
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Last edited by wswartzwel; 09-08-2008 at 11:37 AM..
Old 09-08-2008, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klennop View Post
Also is this that common to happen at or around 12K?
Not really, but it is 'somewhat' common on a 4 year old bike.

FYI, I saw a 2000 R1100S at Irv Seaver with less than 2000 miles on it. In the 6+ years the bike has been siting, it had a slew of things go wrong with it... and I"m sure the owner is going to have a few seals to replace (maybe even a clutch slave cylinder seal).
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:36 AM
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Ah for the good ole days when i sprayed down a slipping dry clutch with carbontetrachloride.
Old 09-08-2008, 11:38 AM
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Well I am the 3rd owner of this bike but I have also put 3 times the amount of miles on this bike compared to what I got it with in about a year. So maybe that came into play. I also have a very small leak coming out from the rubber boot in front of the final drive but the mechanic said it isn't a big deal and he would replace that seal when I bring it in for my 12K

I am debating if I should try to replace the slave cylinder myself to see if that fixes it instead of doing the clutch also since I may have caught it so soon. It looks like the part is about $150, are there any special tools I need or any advice on how to change it on my own. I am not sure if this would be over my head, I am mostly a "bolt on" type of guy and have just normal hand tools. I am not sure how much this would save me?


Bill you should think about taking a ride out to WI to give me a hand.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:45 PM
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You might be in for a surprise when you take it in. My clutch parts cost over $550 but that was for everything, no labor. However with your low miles maybe only the friction disc will need to be replaced. Also when the front seal on my final drive failed it cost $300 and that was with me handing them the FD off the bike. Good luck.

RB
Old 09-08-2008, 01:32 PM
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All this is making me think it's time to go back to the airheads.
Old 09-08-2008, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klennop View Post


Bill you should think about taking a ride out to WI to give me a hand.

What part of Wisconsin are you in??? How long does the riding season last...
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:41 PM
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Bill I am just South of the Packers, and as for the riding season it is all year round for those GS guys!

I think I am going to just take it in and have someone who really knows what they are doing work on it. Especially if I plan on going to the MOA rally next year. I don't need my inexperience getting me stranded on the way there.

Thanks Guys!
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:27 PM
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GOOD CHOICE!

Your bike has a lot of fun miles and memories waiting for you in the future... Think of it as an investment... that is much cheaper than buying a new one.
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:44 PM
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Klennop, happened to me at about 9K miles on my 2004. Slave cylinder failed, leaked fluid down onto the clutch, and bammo... buy buy clutch. I was told that the fiction plate would be shot, and after researching, replacing the clutch required a lot more garage than I have. So I paid just under $1K for a new clutch, and a new slave cylinder.

The independent who did it, said he'd seen a lot of slave cylinders go, and the $hit part is, they leak on the clutch and a $120 part costs you your clutch. Told me he had a guy come back after about 300 miles with "another" failed cylinder and another bad clutch.

He said he put a weep hole in the new casing that, should the cylinder fail again, it would stop the fluid from dropping into the clutch, thus (hopefully) only being a $120 part replacement.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:01 PM
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You know I understand that ***** happens but at the same time I feel that this is a major design flaw which doesn't seem uncommon at all.

It is one thing to have to replace a $120-$150 part every couple of years but it is another when that part pretty much automatically add's another $1000 to your bill because it craps out your clutch. So then if this happens again BAM another clutch must be replaced.

Maintenance items are one thing but design flaws are another!

Yes I am going to say it. Really if this happens every couple of years you are better off buying a jap bike and putting a couple of grand in your pocket. Don't get me wrong, I haven't had any other major issues but at the same time I only put 8K miles on this bike which has a total of 12K. By all means these aren't extremely hard miles either. I take care of this bike better than any other thing I have owned.

I thought that you are paying for quality and reliability not status when you buy a BMW but maybe I am not thinking correctly. I love the bike and I have said over and over that I would have a hard time ever selling this bike but then again only time will tell.

Is this a problem that all the oilheads have or just the 1100S?

Sorry for being "one of those guys" that complains and whines about BMW bikes but I felt that I had to get it off my chest.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:29 PM
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If it was a design flaw they would all do it.


But what you are experiencing is a manufacturing problem (defect)... Either machining tolerances are off on some parts... or the quality of the materials is not up to spec on some. Thats why manufacturers have warranties.
For the unlucky people that get the bad pieces it sucks. Especially if you are way out of warranty. I hear you about getting it off your chest... Your anger is perfectly normal!

This is not just a BMW thing.... when I was a service manager at a multi line dealership I saw nasty failures all the time... John Deere... Kawasaki, Yamaha, Kubota, Mercury and Mariner, Marine engines... Manufacturers try to avoid these things but it is a reality of life.

Go to any auto or motorcyle forum and you will see rants about defects it is not just BMW's... I think the KLR guys have a major complaint about the doohickey that keeps the balancer chain tight... finally one of the guys designed an improved part..
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Last edited by wswartzwel; 09-08-2008 at 06:53 PM..
Old 09-08-2008, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klennop View Post

Is this a problem that all the oilheads have or just the 1100S?

Sorry for being "one of those guys" that complains and whines about BMW bikes but I felt that I had to get it off my chest.
From what I know, it is any BMW with the hydraulic clutch...

any I feel your pain, I've been in the exact situation, and the only positive is, I still love my bike, nearly a year later.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:56 PM
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My bad, from the reading I have done on here it seemed like everyone was having the same issue. Then I stand corrected that BMW either choose defective parts or choose a defective company to make the part!

I do also understand that all companies have issues like this however you would think when you spend the extra ching that most of these things would be worked out especially since this motor isn't anything new to BMW.

I guess all I can do is fix it and hope it doesn't happen again in 300 or 12K miles.
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:52 AM
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