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"K13GT" Technical Q&A K1300GT- Technical Questions/Answers

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  #1  
Old 03-17-2018, 06:42 PM
Grommeck Grommeck is offline
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Bike will not stop...

Hi Guys,
12 months ago my 2010 K1300GT (44,000 miles) did not come to a full stop when I pulled the clutch in. It continued to roll at a very low speed. After the whole clutch assembly (lever and reservoir) was replaced to the tune of $500 for the part only, the symptoms are back. This time the shop told me that I need a new clutch. The mechanic came to this diagnosis by riding the bike around. That is strange since the bike runs so smooth and no problems shifting gears at all . Anyway the cost is: $2,550 parts, $ 175 labor.
My thought is to continue riding until something more serious happens. Again the shop told me that the clutch will start slipping eventually, at which point Iím stuck probably 200 miles from home. I will not put that kind of money into a 8 year old bike, and since there is no market for a broken 1300, I will probably have to sell it for parts (worst case scenario).
Please let me know what you think, any tips & pointers are greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Grommeck
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2018, 07:32 PM
Honolulu Honolulu is offline
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Hmmm since you didn't mention any mechanical ability, you get the long answer.

PROBLEM: clutch does not entirely release. First the easy stuff.

I assume the clutch hydraulic system is filledfilled with the correct mineral fluid, not DOT 3 or 4 glycol.

Next make sure the clutch hydraulic system is bled of any air. Pull the clutch lever to the handlebar and tie it there with the bars at full lock right, bike on centerstand. Tap on the clutch line with a screwdriver or similar - the inside diameter is small and an air bubbble (if there is any) may have trouble rising to the reservoir.

Also bleed the clutch slave cylinder using the port at 12 o'clock. It may/not have a bleeder screw; if not the get one, I suspect almost anything that screws on will do the job.

Ascertain that the clutch slave cylinder is working correctly. Just four bolts hold it on, you can remove it and work the lever while watching. Those are one-time-only aluminum bolts but they can be replaced with stainless if your are careful with the quite weak tightening torque used there, which number I don't have handy. There is a possibility that the pin or whatchmacallit that the clutch piston pushes, has become shortened through wear, I dunno much about that.

After that, I believe your difficulties are in the clutch pack (others may offer different suggestions). BMW sells the whole pack as one unit for big bucks as you have been quoted but there are aftermarket clutch packs (steels and friction plates), Barnett comes to mind, I think there are others.

There is a long thread at http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=51004 where member fourhundred4 a.k.a. John Sykes in the U.K. has discussed his apparently quite capable re-engineering of the BMW clutch in K1200 and some K1300 models. His feelings are that the clutch as designed suffers from inadequate oil delivery, and he institutes a couple remedies to the basket, etc., some of which appear in later BMW series production. He also provides aftermarket clutch plates and steels. Interestingly, his steels have numerous "dimples" on them which serve to stress relieve the steel but more importantly they retain a little oil even when clamped together. John may not lately be frequently heard from, I hope he notices this post and chimes in. In comparison to my meager knowledge, he is the Clutch God. Don't know if he sells kits or individual parts; shipping from USA is about $70 one way.

A special tool or three required for clutch work... if you're lucky another member has them for loan or sell. O wait, your mechanic should have them.

Balancing the clutch has also been discussed as a solution for "growling" in neutral, as well as replacing a low quality needle bearing in the clutch with another having more rollers in it. Some use of the Search function will turn up quite a bit of discussion.
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  #3  
Old 03-18-2018, 12:31 PM
Grommeck Grommeck is offline
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Honolulu,
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation.
I'm not sure I could tackle the job by myself, but I could have it done and see if it makes a difference. I have the correct oil in there.

I will post the end result here in a while.

Grommeck.
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  #4  
Old 03-18-2018, 03:03 PM
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Why not try this, the Barnett pack is only 130$, labor as you say about 200$.
https://www.partsgiant.com/p325166-b...D_BwE&f=119132
Last year you could get the OEM basket and plate pack for 1800 now it is 2500$. A little out of hand when the bike is only worth 3500$
I'm at that stage with my K13S. It is not worth much money no matter how much I spend on it. It is now living on memories of great rides and many miles. If it blows up, that is the end. It has a registered organ donor card at this point.
As you say please keep us posted on this thread as to your findings. Helps all decide what to do.
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Old 03-18-2018, 04:00 PM
BAK04GT BAK04GT is offline
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Couple questions:
How long or how many miles after the first attempt to fix it when you claimed it started acting up again?

Why was it determined or suspected it was the res. and lever?

Did you explain to the mechanic that after you changed the lever and res it worked fine?

What was his answer or explanation for that and why clutching went back to normal if the clutch itself is bad?

It sounds like nothing more than air entering the system over time which can happen either through a bad or loose fitting, bad hose or possible air entering the slave cylinder. Air entering doesn't always mean an obvious leak will show up.
If the change of the lever and res. directly fixed the issue for a while it would not be the clutch itself.
Sometimes a defect in the hose or loose fitting can act as a check valve allowing air in but not allowing fluid out, it can happen.
"Ballooning" of the hose would have caused no change in operation, so we can rule that out.
When you changed the lever and res and the system was "bled" it went back to normal as you stated.
You could have of course just had bad luck and got defective parts, doubtful but possible. Or wrong fluid causing seal / o ring failure over time , but you are sure you used the correct fluid.
I would check your lines, fittings and slave and make sure all are tight and lines have no obvious cracks , nicks, or anything that looks suspicious.
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Old 03-18-2018, 06:57 PM
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Watch this video:

https://youtu.be/csa4FVyvWD8
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  #7  
Old 03-19-2018, 11:41 AM
Grommeck Grommeck is offline
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Thanks you for responding.
I did roughly 6000miles when I noticed the symptoms again.
There was a little leak at the lever/reservoir and according to the shop no rebuild kit is available, so I had to buy the whole assembly.
Yes, I did explain that to the mechanic.
I was told that the clutch lever is a hydraulic system, while the actual clutch (basket & rings) are a mechanical system. Furthermore, I was told that most 1300GT’s are experience clutch failure at around 40K -45K.
While the top clutch assembly was changed, the system was also bled. It is now hard to say which task fixed the problem.
I was told to use mineral oil only for the clutch. I carry a small bottle of BMW Blue V10 Hydraulic Clutch Fluid with me, but there was no need to top it off for me. I assume the shop used the correct fluid when they installed the new assembly.
I will go ahead and check the clutch line & connections before have the system bleed again.
Thanks a bunch,
Grommeck
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  #8  
Old 03-19-2018, 11:53 AM
Grommeck Grommeck is offline
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Hi Beech,
Thanks for getting back to me.
I will certainly go with something after market if it turns out to be a bad clutch. You can't beat $130 bucks. If it blows up it blows up, but I will try to bleed the system first and see if that helps. For some reason I don't trust the shop totally with their verdict of a bad clutch without digging into the problem a bit deeper than just riding it.
I will keep you posted of how it turns out. Planning of riding 400 miles one way next weekend, so I will see....

Thanks,
Grommeck
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  #9  
Old 03-19-2018, 12:08 PM
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Possible air in system. You mentioned possible leak, no leak even tiny, is permitted.
An easy think you can do right now. Loosen the clutch reservoir cap and leave it on the reservoir. Turn the handle bars to the right so the reservoir is up. Tie the lever back to the grip. Leave the bike over night. Now remove the cover and and untie the lever, observe the surface of the liquid while lightly tapping the side of the reservoir with the handle of a screwdriver. Do this tapping while working the lever back to the grip. You may (should if there is an air problem) see tiny bubbles rise to the surface. Keep at it for a few minutes until bubbles stop. Sometimes you have to do this a second time over two days. Air is harder to get out of the mineral oil than the brakes and brake fluid. The shop won't do this because it requires time.
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:01 AM
Honolulu Honolulu is offline
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Refilling the clutch hydraulic system - alternative ways

One other thing came to mind while reading the above. You can refill the clutch hydraulic system from the bottom up, rather than the usual "fill from the top and hope for the best".

Two ways to do it. One: use a large syringe and a short piece of aquarium tubing to connect to the opened slave cylinder bleed port. Squeeze the syringe to inject the fluid. If you don't have a big enough syringe to fill the system in one pass, just close the bleeder while you refill your syringe, reconnect, open bleeder, squeeze some more in. Needless to say you don't want bubbles in the connecting hose at any point.

Two: same principal but without the syringe. In this case you'll need a length of tubing long enough to raise the source bottle of fluid above the reservoir on the bars. Connection is the same, to the opened slave cylinder bleeder port. Due to fluid viscosity and since you aren't pushing it in using pressure (as with the syringe) it may take a while to fill up to the reservoir. However this goes in your favor as the rising level of fluid in the hydraulic system on the bike is likely to allow any air in the system to rise with the level of fluid. Possibly the filling using this method could be helped along by reducing the fluid viscosity, such as by heating it gently, or holding the source reservoir higher. Holding the source bottle above /below the level of the reservoir will allow the fluid to "surge" back and forth in the system.
It's a simple hydrostatics operation, but whatever you call it, may the force be with you.

It occurs to me at this point that the normally vacuum-based coolant refill might be done this way (#2) as well. Hmmm. the devil makes work for idle hands, but it's late and I'm gonna snooze now. LMK how it turns out.
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Old 03-25-2018, 01:36 PM
Grommeck Grommeck is offline
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Re: Bike will not stop...

I rode 780 miles over this weekend and no problem with the clutch at all. Shifting was smooth (except for 1st gear) as it has always been.

Beech, I will try your fix first (it's easy), then I will move on and see if I can get thru Honolulu's instructions. It much more involved, and I'm not sure I can do it. Worst case scenario is having the shop do and see if the symptoms disappear. If they do, it would be quite embarrassing for the shop

Thanks a bunch guys for all your help.

Grommeck
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:31 PM
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Arno. Although I agree with Beech that it's hard to think of spending $2500+ on a bike that may only be worth $3500, the alternative is to spend a lot more on a new or newer bike. And if you really like your bike it may be worth fixing and keeping it. Food for thought.
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Old 05-28-2018, 07:22 PM
Grommeck Grommeck is offline
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Hi Guys,

So I decided to bite the bullet and get a new clutch to the tune of about $2,500. Still cheaper than a new (used) bike as some of you pointed out. After I got a second opinion and was told that I could ruin the transmission (1st gear) if I continue to drive as is.
Just one last question; should I try to save some money and go after market parts (if available) or just go with OEM parts?

Thanks,
Grommeck

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Old 05-29-2018, 12:05 AM
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Grom, the parts are the cheap part in the long run. Go OEM they fit and will be fine. BUT. send me your address and I will send you the proper VITON 19x4mm oring that bmw does not use. They continue to offer a Buna-N oring that is the cause of much grief. Free of course. PM me and it will be on its way pronto. All other parts from OEM are good.

Anyone else needs one do the same. My contribution to riding.
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:16 AM
BAK04GT BAK04GT is offline
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Re: Bike will not stop...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech
Grom, the parts are the cheap part in the long run. Go OEM they fit and will be fine. BUT. send me your address and I will send you the proper VITON 19x4mm oring that bmw does not use. They continue to offer a Buna-N oring that is the cause of much grief. Free of course. PM me and it will be on its way pronto. All other parts from OEM are good.

Anyone else needs one do the same. My contribution to riding.
Isn't the bike in question a 2010?
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