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Topic: BMW Clutch Cost and life span  (Read 3471 times)

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jaxxsun
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« on: April 29, 2012, 04:28:51 PM »

I am doing the usual indepth and over the top, research for my next Bike.  I am coming off a Goldwing.

I greatest concern is maintenance and cost.  I can do most things on my own.  As long as I do not effect the warranty.

I ride around, 15,000 miles a year.  Rain or shine.  I am leaning toward a 1200RT possibly a GS??
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2012, 06:04:08 PM »

Welcome jaxxsun! I've got 20k on my GS, and the clutch is till holding in there.  Lol Doing  a clutch on a boxer isn't like the japanese in-line 4's. Parts are pricey, and it is a big job to do compartively. You basically split the bike in half. Not all that hard, just involved. There is some work being done to convert a VW clutch disc to the boxer, as the are very similar, and about 100X less expensive. Check ADVRider for the info there. A lot of the life of the clutch depends on how much off-road you do.
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RBEmerson
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2012, 08:41:36 PM »

Truth is, BMW really stands for Bring More Wampum.  Cost of ownership, compared to "Japanschrott" (hint: a German less than kind term for "rice burners" - Schrott = trash), is higher.  OTOH, BMW's with 150K or more on them are not uncommon and 200K+ isn't out of the question.  You get what you pay for.  

DIY clutch replacement isn't like opening a side cover and replacing the clutch pack in a Japanese bike.  As Max Wedge said, the bike is literally split in the middle to get to the clutch.  The process isn't simple and it does involve pilot tools, etc.  In short, unless you're either a mechanic of some serious skill and/or know "guys who know guys" with said skill (hint: join BMWMOA and look up said "guys who..."), plan on letting a dealer do the job.  However, the clutch should last a lot longer than you think (or fear).  Again, it depends on how you handle the bike.  Neither wind it up and drop the hammer or feather, feather, feather are recommended strategies.   Smile

BTW, RT and GS are two different animals, albeit both with boxer motors.  IMHO, if most of your riding is on pavement, pass on the GS.  Yes, people do lots of touring with GS', although (again IMHO) it smacks of using a big SUV to do country roads.  It can be done, of course, but why do it?  

Since you're coming from a Goldwing, think seriously about a K1300GT or even the K1200GT (the MK I to the K1300GT's MK II and the K1600GT/GTL's MK III).  K's are turbine smooth compared the boxer - even a friend who owns an R1200RT but has ridden my K1200RS (RS = rennsport or a little more crotch rockety than the GT albeit with the same basic motor) concedes that point.  
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2012, 01:59:35 PM »


I am doing the usual indepth and over the top, research for my next Bike.  I am coming off a Goldwing.


What Wing are you coming off?

I had an 1800, and when I test rode an R1200RT I was a bit non-plussed.
As you know, the handling on the 1800 is really good for what it is, and while the R12 felt lighter, the fairing mass and width in front of you exaggerated its size.

The R12 did/does have much better suspension though, while the Wing had more and a much smoother motor and transmission package.

Test ride and see...
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2012, 08:38:29 PM »


The clutch I put in the R1200 GS was ~$200 and at ~40,000 miles it had plenty of meat left on it. The only reason I changed it was because the clutch was soaked with lube thanks to a leaking seal at the back of the gearbox.


Yeah... I'm not sure if that was re-assuring or not.
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 01:55:37 AM »

I'm 18,000 miles into my RT experience.  I've heard of problems with clutch and final drive but have not experienced either so far.  The only serious problem was a wonky computer that was replaced under warranty but took two months and two dealerships to diagnose.  Do some research before considering a K1300GT.  There are reasons why the model was discontinued after two years.  If you're riding 2-up much, check with your passenger about the GS.  If you were doing a lot of long-distance, 2-up riding on the Wing and plan to continue with that, you might want to at least think about a Harley bagger.  I bought a Road Glide Ultra recently.  After a long day in the saddle without a complaint from knees or wife, I thought: "now I get it!"
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 10:21:25 AM »


[...]Do some research before considering a K1300GT.  There are reasons why the model was discontinued after two years.  [...]


And those reasons are...?  
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 01:28:15 PM »




And those reasons are...?  


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eH6F8bVi7g
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RBEmerson
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 01:54:51 PM »

  Oh, well, yeah.  That explains why BMW no longer makes the K1300 and had to go to the K1600.  Right now my BMW X-3 is getting a new a/c compressor after the original ate some bearings.  Guess they'll cancel the X-3, too.   Rolleyes
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 01:59:35 PM »

Don't worry about the clutch. It won't need changing but a good time is after the rear end goes out. Then after the transmission dies. Then after the splines are repaired. The clutch will last much longer than either of those but while your in you may as well put a new one in.  Lol
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 09:28:02 PM »


Truth is, BMW really stands for Bring More Wampum.  Cost of ownership, compared to "Japanschrott" (hint: a German less than kind term for "rice burners" - Schrott = trash), is higher.  OTOH, BMW's with 150K or more on them are not uncommon and 200K+ isn't out of the question.  You get what you pay for.  




Right , high mileage Japanese bikes are totally uncommon  Rolleyes . http://www.sport-touring.net/forums/index.php/topic,71408.60.html

Are you sure you have not overdosed Kool Aid ?  Bigsmile

 

 
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 09:37:23 PM »

I'll plead guilty to excess snarkiness but that's it.  Drank the Kool Aid?  Nah.  

Yes, there are 'Wings that have a bazillion miles on them, too.  In fact, there's an older one that I see around here regularly.  And I assume the same is true of ST's - that some have real miles on them.  I can think of some of the bigger Kawasaki tourers that have been around for quite a while, too.  NTL, when it comes to which bikes are most likely to show up with tons of miles on them, chances are there's a blue and white quartered circle on them somewhere.  So it goes.  
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jaxxsun
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 10:27:00 PM »

I really appreciate all your input.  I will take a closer look at the K bikes.
 
My reasons for wanting to replace the Wing are.

The ride is boring, the engine has no character.

The roads is PA are twisty and hilly.  

And when I need parts, it takes time to get them from the West coast.
      ( the bike was in the shop for 4 weeks for repairs/parts )

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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 10:49:47 PM »

 The less you use the clutch the longer it will last i.e. learn how to shift, and it won't be an issue on any bike you own.
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« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2012, 09:15:11 AM »


I really appreciate all your input.  I will take a closer look at the K bikes.
 
My reasons for wanting to replace the Wing are.

The ride is boring, the engine has no character.

The roads is PA are twisty and hilly.  

And when I need parts, it takes time to get them from the West coast.
      ( the bike was in the shop for 4 weeks for repairs/parts )

Working through your points and taking points one and two together, either the R or K bikes will give you a good brisk ride.  It'd help to know roughly where in PA you are, just have a sense of where you're most likely to be riding.  If you know the area between Allentown and Harrisburg, along I-78, for example, running north through the Blue Ridge area, that's hilly and twisty.  I've ridden both extensively with both types.  My personal preference is more towards the K's, of course, but the R's will do the job, too.  The dealer in this area, Hermy's in Port Clinton (about 5 miles north, on PA 61, of I-78) will be happy to send you out on a demo.  From there you can sample a wide variety of roads (bring a map!!!) from very twisty and hilly (ask how to get to Hawk Mountain Road) to easy sweepers (PA 145) to, of course, slabbing it on I-78 or cruising US 222.

Parts... by and large, most dealers are well stocked with stuff.  But if worse comes to worse, parts are going have to come from Germany.  The good news is a) parts are flown in (not cheap) and b) dealers do loaners (schedule in advance).  Frankly, BMW maintenance isn't cheap.  Parts aren't cheap.  BMW has some designs that are, IMHO, over-complicated or just plain weird and that can keep the costs up, too.  But I do believe you get what you pay for.  

- - -

Reiterating, the (talking model prefixes) R bikes use the "boxer" motor (flat opposed twin) and the K bikes use a four cylinder motor (flat with the crank running front to back in earlier versions, inclined with transverse crank in later versions).  The K bikes are inherently smoother but more complex than the R's.  (Talking about model suffixes) GT's, in general, are more upright bikes, R's and RS' are sportier.  I did a short 140 mile day Sunday on my K1200RS and felt just fine.  My longest day to date is 300+ miles, and that was fine, too.  YMMV  Smile

- - -

Catastrophic failures... Yep, BMW has 'em.  They've had issues with rear drives and when they go, it can be exciting.  I've seen broken swing arms and I assume you saw the holed block in the YouTube video (oil all over the drive and "let's fire it up"  Rolleyes ).  Some days stuff happens.  I moved from a Concours (C-10) to the KRS because the Concours had a catastrophic failure: hydrolock from gas leaking into a cylinder - good bye, C-10 motor.  Some days stuff happens.  
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« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2012, 12:58:25 PM »


My reasons for wanting to replace the Wing are.

The ride is boring, the engine has no character.



What Wing do you have?
It makes a difference...
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2012, 02:09:44 PM »

I ride a 2007 wing. Rarely two up. I have knocked out a few 500/600 mile rides.   I commute daily. And pack a lot of work gear.  I even entertained the thought of a Victory Cross road tour
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2012, 02:56:06 PM »


I ride a 2007 wing. Rarely two up. I have knocked out a few 500/600 mile rides.   I commute daily. And pack a lot of work gear.  I even entertained the thought of a Victory Cross road tour


Your Wing is a much sportier ride than the Victory.
I've owned one, ridden the other...

Now I know where you're coming from, as I was in the same boat myself!  I had a Wing 1800 but rode it mostly solo.  It really seemed wasted to be used w/o a passenger.  And in a way dull..
My solution was to trade it in for a Ducati St4s and I have not looked back yet!
If i were you I would look at one of BMWs four or 6 cylinder bikes if you are going to do this.  I didn't feel that the twins (R1200) were more exciting from a thrust pov than  my Wing 1800.  But my Duc certainly is.

Get a K16...
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