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Thread: What an RT mechanic said

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    What an RT mechanic said

    I was getting a tire changed at the dealer recently and began questioning the mechanic about the most common problems he sees on the r1150rt. His shop has the CHP contract, so he services literally hundreds of the bikes each year. Bottom line, he said, is change the fluids, especially the brake fluid, and they'll run forever. He said concern about clutch spline lubrication is unfounded. In the hundreds of bikes he's worked on he never once performed the service. Failure, he said, is rare.
    I asked him why people on BMWMOA talk so much about it and he said it's pure parnoia. Don't believe what you read on the Internet, he said.
    He didn't strike me as a company apologist. So what's up with the divergent opinion?

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    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    My mechanic has pretty much said the same thing about oilheads.

    Remember, people on the internet rarely post in technical sections about how NOTHING'S wrong. There was a requirement for regular spline lubrication on airheads.
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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sportrider View Post
    His shop has the CHP contract, so he services literally hundreds of the bikes each year. Bottom line, he said, is change the fluids, especially the brake fluid, and they'll run forever. He said concern about clutch spline lubrication is unfounded. In the hundreds of bikes he's worked on he never once performed the service. Failure, he said, is rare.
    All the CHP BMW's are run thru one shop?
    Ask him how many miles does CHP keep one in the fleet? Curious as those who have had failiures will say not rare to them. Some are not total failures and often just poor shifting behavior. I bet under 50K they are being replaced if the same formula the city I worked for is used. A combo of years/miles. The 1150's are disappearing from the local fleets...Hondas back in the mix with 12RT's here.

    The shops with police 1150RT's around here were replacing clutches often until the fellas figured out they were not wet clutches or Harleys.
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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    I know that the RTP bikes in Overland Park, Kansas get a new clutch every 30K to 40K or so. Clutch wear is a hazard of cop bike use. With a new clutch comes a new clutch hub of course, and new lube when they put it in. Now I wonder why cop bikes don't need periodic spline lube. Geee, I wonder ....
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    Well, I suppose they mean CHP district. Not the whole state. And it wouldn't be hundreds of them, but many of them more than once.
    I didn't think the CHP had any 1150s left. I thought it was only 1200s now. But what do I know.
    And I suppose clutches won't go out much in the first 50k miles. But if you are near 100k, can't you expect a clutch to be about done?
    dc

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    Having worked 30 years in police fleet service , repair....I largely agree.

    Occasionally a particular motorcycle might be problem laden....but most of them are subject to the officer that rides them and his 'habits'.
    I had some guys that their motors seldom needed anything more than fluids, tires,,the usual....other guys could ruin an anvil with a rubber mallet.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    Having worked 30 years in police fleet service , repair....I largely agree.

    Occasionally a particular motorcycle might be problem laden....but most of them are subject to the officer that rides them and his 'habits'.
    I had some guys that their motors seldom needed anything more than fluids, tires,,the usual....other guys could ruin an anvil with a rubber mallet.....
    I think this is accurate. Back in my previous life I was a Service Manager for a British Leyland auto dealer. Certain customers could be relied upon to have problems; others, hardly anything. I believe much of it was poor habits.
    '03 R1150R, '03 F650GS, '97DR200SE,'78 Honda CT-90, '77Honda CT-90

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    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    This would be a more informed discussion with the numbers.

    How many Oilheads in service?

    How many miles per year?

    What is the wear rate by model and year?

    How many catastrophic failures per year?

    Etc. ...

    With all we know, it seems that periodic wear inspection is warranted.

    On a different note, it seems to me that 100% of in tank hoses are going to fail. There's nothing unusual about my 8 year old 27,000 mile bike. The in-tank hoses were shot.

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    the Wizard of Oz 26667's Avatar
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    Question Q if you can pls

    is clutch wear more related to the number of uses/shifts or to the manner in which you shift?

    i.e. smoothly, quickly, preloading the shifter, or "dragging" it and othefr variations on bad gear changes.
    We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
    used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?

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    I think the (maybe obvious) thing to remember is to be completely off the throttle when you pull that clutch lever.

  11. #11
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 26667 View Post
    is clutch wear more related to the number of uses/shifts or to the manner in which you shift?

    i.e. smoothly, quickly, preloading the shifter, or "dragging" it and othefr variations on bad gear changes.
    Both. As it relates to police bikes, training teaches the officers to use slight throttle and to modulate slow speed maneuvers by slipping the clutch. It is a very useful skill doing U turns on narrow streets, etc. but it takes its toll on clutches.

    Old fashioned rally field events can do the same thing. Slow races and other such events are hard on clutches. I used to need to replace the clutch in Voni's R80/7 every fall following a season of maybe a dozen rallies with field events because it wouldn't last another year.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Bluenoser
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acejones View Post
    I think this is accurate. Back in my previous life I was a Service Manager for a British Leyland auto dealer. Certain customers could be relied upon to have problems; others, hardly anything. I believe much of it was poor habits.
    I couldn't agree more with this post and the one that it quoted. Having come from the police universe some are much harder on bikes/vehicles than others.

    If you want to bag the unit, its only going to take so much and then it will cost you.
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    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sportrider View Post
    I was getting a tire changed at the dealer recently and began questioning the mechanic about the most common problems he sees on the r1150rt. His shop has the CHP contract, so he services literally hundreds of the bikes each year. Bottom line, he said, is change the fluids, especially the brake fluid, and they'll run forever. He said concern about clutch spline lubrication is unfounded. In the hundreds of bikes he's worked on he never once performed the service. Failure, he said, is rare.
    I asked him why people on BMWMOA talk so much about it and he said it's pure parnoia. Don't believe what you read on the Internet, he said.
    He didn't strike me as a company apologist. So what's up with the divergent opinion?
    My never-in-police-service 2002 RTP has eaten two clutch input shafts - the first at 33,000 miles and the second at 72,000 miles.

    Tell your guy who says it never happens to please get in touch with me. I'll show him two enormous invoices to prove it does.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

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    Quote Originally Posted by OfficerImpersonator View Post
    My never-in-police-service 2002 RTP has eaten two clutch input shafts - the first at 33,000 miles and the second at 72,000 miles.

    Tell your guy who says it never happens to please get in touch with me. I'll show him two enormous invoices to prove it does.
    with that rate of shaft failure (33K for first one and 41K for 2nd) i would be highly suspicious of a misalignment between engine and trans housing.
    ever have that looked at?
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  15. #15
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    with that rate of shaft failure (33K for first one and 41K for 2nd) i would be highly suspicious of a misalignment between engine and trans housing.
    ever have that looked at?
    I'm convinced that's what's wrong with my bike, and that's why there are so many anecdotal reports of clutch input shafts failing. It's quite obvious that a certain % of Oilheads has a misalingment between the engine casing and the transmission housing, but BMW refuses to acknowledge this issue, and of course refuses to remedy the problem.

    If I had an extra $10,000 laying around, I'd hire an engineer and a machine shop to get the misalignment quantified and fixed - but since I don't have those resources, I'll just put in a new clutch input shaft every 30-40k miles and let BMW keep telling me my bike doesn't have a defect that originated in Berlin.
    Seattle, WA
    2012 R1200GSA
    2002 R1150RT-P
    1992 K75S sold

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