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Thread: clutch spline lube 2005 R1200RT

  1. #1
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    clutch spline lube 2005 R1200RT

    On a 2005 1200rt,why does the clutch splines have to be lubed,when our trucks have the same type clutch and never needs to be lubed. Thanks Gary

  2. #2
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryGatlin View Post
    On a 2005 1200rt,why does the clutch splines have to be lubed,when our trucks have the same type clutch and never needs to be lubed. Thanks Gary
    Because without periodic cleaning and lubrication the splines wear.

    Now as to why do the splines wear, that is a better question. Metalurgy maybe. Shorter smaller diameter splines maybe. Shape of the splines - less square cut, maybe.
    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
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    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    How many hexheads have had spline wear issues? I know of one bike that needed a new input shaft... the cause was thought to be a broken transmission mounting tab which put extra load on the transmission input shaft such that it wore at an angle.



    Beyond that I don't have any facts, just a general feeling that clutch/transmission input spline wear on hexheads is not the issue it was on earlier bikes.

  4. #4
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    What is the recommended service interval?
    Kevin Huddy
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  5. #5
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Here we go again.

    BMW does not specify a required service interval for clutch spline lubes. They didn't on R1100s. Didn't on R1150s. Didn't on R1200s. They also didn't on the rear driveshaft splines on monolever classic K bikes, and those will disappear in 20K miles if not lubricated.

    Some spline wear can be traced to misalignment. That is usually easy to spot due to the short period to failure and the wear pattern. Shame on BMW. But I have also taken apart several bikes where the wear was straight along the splines and just wear.

    We were told by internet experts that the 1100s didn't need it. Balderdash.
    We were told by internet experts that the 1150s didn't need it. Worse balderdash because the spline is shorter and only partially engages.

    We are told that the 1200s don't need it. Time will tell for sure but if I had a 1200 I personally wouldn't believe it till I had taken a few apart and found unworn splines with grease still in place and no fretting corrosion.

    The last time somebody halfway convinced me I was wrong about a 40K mile interval I let a bike go 60K and it cost me almost $2,000 in parts and transmission work after I removed (and later reinstalled) the transmission and clutch. And that was on a bike that had absolutely no alignment problem whatsoever.

    As an aside, maybe, have you ever read Motorcyclist, or MCN or another publication when they do a comparison of scheduled service costs over 100,000 miles between different makes and models. It gives me a good guess why BMW might somehow fail to mention $4,000 or $5,000 worth of spline lube service when they do required maintenance schedules. Nah, that couldn't happen.
    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://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Talking

    Thank you.

    So Paul, what are you doing about 15,000 miles on my R1200R from now?
    Kevin Huddy
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  7. #7
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Not to contradict Paul - but for some additional info.

    I'm fairly plugged into R1200 forums. There is one specific for the R1200R, and there is one that centers on the R1200RT, but has all the different R1200XX hexhead bikes represented. And I'm usually here since I'm a moderator for this forum. I pretty much scan these forums daily, and am somewhat active in a number of them.

    I have heard of one clutch spline failure on the hexhead bikes that I can remember. While one might think that's because they are low mileage - the bikes have been available for almost 10 years now, and there are ones running around with well over 100k miles on them, with no failures I can remember reported on the forums I frequent. I have heard from people who had the clutch apart for other reasons (failed seals oiling the clutch, or a failed slave cylinder) that they haven't seen significant wear on the splines, even on ones that appear somewhat rusty. It could be they aren't really seeing wear that is there, or it could be there is no significant wear.

    Most of the spline failures I was familiar (from forum reports) with on the R11 series bikes appeared to be due to an offset between the transmission input shaft and the clutch center. The cause of this appeared to the posters in the forums to be due to a machining error on the part of BMW. The clutch spline failures certain klassic-K bikes are prone to are almost certainly due to a misalignment problem, and the root cause of it may finally be understood (thanks to a K bike owner/machinist who found a really interesting machining flaw.)

    Could I have missed some hexhead/camhead spline failures? Sure is possible. I'm not everywhere (despite what it sometimes looks like), and I don't remember everything (SWMBO claims that's "anything..") But so far I'm not concerned about doing a spline lube on my R1200R. The clutch/shift action remains as smooth as it was when I bought it, and it's now closing in on 62,000 miles.

    YMMV, and certainly Paul's cautionary route is probably the wise route to take if you have any concern about the splines. I may well go for a ride this afternoon (getting near 60F!) and have the splines go kablooey on me, but I'm not too worried about it.

    Will splines last forever? Probably not, and regular lubrication may make them last longer. Metal to metal contacts - especially sliding/rotating contacts - wears - all you can hope to do is slow down the rate of wear with lubrication, you won't eliminate it.

    BTW - Gary, please read: http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=46055 - I'm adding that info to the thread title.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

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