Because the R-bikes use a dry clutch it is unique compared to other bikes/brands with hydraulic operated clutches. A bike with a wet clutch, like 90% or more of the bikes on the market, is unaffected if the slave cylinder leaks oil. Won't harm the clutch but eventually the clutch won't work when there is no fluid in the system.
BMW, Ducati, Moto-Guzzi are the only common cycle brands to use a dry clutch. The BMW is also unique because the clutch is inline to the driveline, not 90 degrees to the driveline like a Ducati. Moto-Guzzi, I think, only uses a cable operated clutch. So BMW is unique to use a dry clutch along with a hydraulic operated clutch.
If other bike makers used dry clutch hydraulic systems its pretty likely they'd use non-brake fluid in the clutch system too.
Woodenshoe to Cheesehead
BE KIND TO HUMANS... THEY BITE
All in all I consider it a big plus over the brake fluid.
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
Neal - '09 R1200GS / '81 R65
Be the person that your dog thinks you are.
Mineral Oil (hydrualic) to operate the Hydraulic operated Clutch is fine with me.
The benefit is its self adjusting and smoother.
2012 R1200R 24,000 MIles
2011 Versys 14,000 Miles
2000 R1100RT 140,000 miles
1976 R75/6 Odometer broken for over 10 years.
+1 for what Paul said
While I've got a bit of sympathy for someone who has made the mistake of using the wrong fluid just how much more do you think the manufacturer should do- the reservoir cap is clearly written with what is supposed to go in it!!! Maybe contrasting colors and flashing lights?
READ THE LABEL - pretty simple...
There might be some people who just don't know there is a difference between hydraulic fluid and DOT4 brake fluid. In such cases one has to wonder whether they are really competent to be messing with a $20K piece of machinery and ought to just take the thing to a competent mechanic- the good ones are always worth way more than you pay them. Even though I'm able to do my own work, I sometimes pay one of my competent friends in the business to do it- keeps my contact lines open, saves a little time, always gives me the chance to learn a few tricks from the good guys who turn wrenches every day - hey, I'm only a part timer at it and like anything else in life, there is always someone who knows something I don't.
I totally agree with you. I don't mind changing oil and simple tasks but these things are not like old airheads. I was at the National in MO last summer on my 2010 RT and a guy walked past me and pointed at my clutch reservoir with a disgusted look on his face and told me I needed to change the fluid before I ruined something. The bike only had about 5k miles on it at the time. When I got home and took it in to have the 6k service done I mentioned it to the expert mechanic who educated me.
BMW MOA, BMW MOAL, AMA, CMA
Does anyone else want to rub salt in my wounds? I know it was my fault. After doing it I did see the warning on cap saying to use mineral oil. I had only owned one bike before with a hydraulic clutch and it used brake fluid. In hind sight it would have been cheaper to have a dealer do it. My only experience with the BMW dealer was after buying the bike a few months ago. It had been 1400 miles and 2 years since it's 6K service and service light was on. I paid $375 to change fluids and turn light off. that didn't include brake flush which they wanted another $110 for. I would gladly pay $80/hr for actual time spent working on bike but that's not how it works. I will continue to do routine maitenance but will be more careful in future. Even with a couple of mistakes, I still think I'll be ahead moneywise and learn a little in the process.
Hey, it happens. I decided to start cycling out the power steering fluid in my Mazda. So sucked out about an ounce and poured in an ounce of PS fluid, with plans to do this 32 times. After I did this twice, I discovered it uses ATF not PS fluid. Who would have thought!
Luckily, I only put in two ounces, and I continued my process with a quart of ATF. No problems with the car and only my own pride was damaged.
1988 K75 Low Seat
2009 R1200R Roadster
I fix most anything myself. I'm WAY ahead on the money, and there's knowledge, independence, and satisfaction that goes with it. If I beat myself up over a little mistake once in a while I'd be quite unhappy. Write it off, move on, and be happy with the money you save in the longer term.
Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
'05 R12RT, R90/6
2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
Suzuki DR 350