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"K12S/KR" Technical Q&A K1200S/R Technical Questions/Answers

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  #1  
Old 03-02-2019, 08:45 AM
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K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

Disclosures > I have no incentive - financial or otherwise - to recommend the product referenced in this post. I am not a mechanic or engineer so I explain my understanding of various issues to best of my amateur ability. Feel free to add any necessary corrections.

The clutch started slipping in my 2006 K1200S with about 42K miles. Once warmed up it would shudder and fail to engage smoothly. In doing research on the forums I came across this excellent thread > http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=51004

fourhundred4 explains that problems are caused by the clutch plates not getting fully cleaned by the oil bath. Worn material builds up and impedes the unit from acting properly. So I started to think - is there a way to help the plates stay cleaner without any mechanical work?

Let me digress from a moment so you understand how I chose my course of action. I have owned a couple of cars with direct fuel injection. This means that fuel is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber for more complete burning = greater efficiency and lower emissions. However, problems may arise from buildup forming on the valves. Crankcase venting is routed to the intake stream to combust unburned fuel (to reduce emission levels) and this contains oil vapor. When it hits the hot intake valve it bakes on, causing buildup and restricting the area which normally exists to flow the fuel/air mixture. In a port fuel-injected engine this does not occur because fuel is sprayed onto the intake valve, keeping it clean. The reduced intake area can cause a rough idle, stumbles upon acceleration and reduced fuel economy.

I had a rough idle in one of my cars with direct injection so researched various online forums for the issue. Fuel additives will not address the problems as they are introduced into the combustion chamber, past the intake valves. One post recommended the use of Marvel Mystery Oil, which is both a lubricant and a solvent. The solvent property helps to reduce the buildup on the intake valves because the MMO is contained in the oil vapor vented to the intake stream. So I substituted one quart of MMO for regular motor oil at my next change and the results were significant. The rough idle disappeared and fuel economy is excellent.

This is why to address my slipping clutch I decided to swap one quart of engine oil for a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil. My hope was that its solvent property would help to reduce buildup on the plates and improve action. From the first ride after doing so the clutch has not slipped once in several outings. This was after slipping every time I rode previously. If you are not familiar with MMO you should find it with the oil and gas additives at your local AutoZone or Advance. It comes in red bottles and is about $6 a quart.

I hope this post helps those suffering from clutch issues. For $6 and a few minutes of your time it is worth a try.
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Old 03-02-2019, 11:58 AM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

When I took a k13S clutch apart a few months ago, there was significant build up of sludge between the friction pads on a couple of plates and some on the rest. It was not slipping but this is a cause of slipping and you guys know the rest of the story about oil flow and these clutches. This is an interesting approach and seems successful. Much like SeaFoam for fuel related problems (injection problems).
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Old 03-02-2019, 03:46 PM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

Interesting...

What else sold my the major oil companies like Castrol is similar to this?
It could also help my Audi A8 D4 with direct fuel injection.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:07 PM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

The MSDS says MMO is 70-80% naptha, 20-30% stoddard solvent, 0-1% dichlorobenzene.

Since one of the reasons for oil changes is because of the danger of gasoline contamination leaked past piston rings, doesn't seem sensible to deliberately put in the crankcase a quart of something that's 3/4 gas.

Might make sense as a flush shortly before an oil change. Or something to winterize with. Doesn't seem safe to drive on in a high RPM engine. But I'm no chemist or mechanic.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:10 PM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

This discussion suddenly made this question pop into my head: should the clutch lever be pulled in when the bike is stored, so that solvents and detergents in the oil get a chance to attack the sludge stuck to the clutch plates?
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Old 03-03-2019, 04:28 PM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

Pulling the clutch for storage would introduce another potential problem, that being the constant high pressure on the clutch slave seals. I can just see the clutch fluid on the garage floor as I uncover to go out for the first ride of the season. I can definitely see Beech's solution especially since it's a relatively inexpensive one at that. I might ride the bike a couple hundred miles then do an oil change again to get the MMO.



Jim
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Old 03-03-2019, 06:26 PM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

The Marvel Mystery Oil is the OP's idea and a reasonable one in my thinking. The next is to open it as I did and a good cleaning of all the friction plates. But if you see the aluminum hub has its pressure face dug into by the friction plates all bets are off. You can tolerate a few thousands, but I would turn it smooth in a lathe. The friction material even on new plates is thin. You need all you can get. The total wear on my plates against new ones was .008" per plate so you see we are not talking much. Getting that gunk out of there from between the friction pads is the solution for many I think.
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:04 PM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

Beech,
I totally agree, as I have posted before, I wander if it would make sense as a periodic maintenance regime to pull clutch out and give the plates a good cleaning? Donít know if its cost effective or not after buying new bolts and gasket. I would think it would be. I may consider doing this in the future, not worried about it at the moment with 14,000 miles and still under warranty. May consider doing it after this season for Iím sure Iíll be over 20,000 and will have to check the valve clearances. I think Iíll ask my dealer just how often do they have clutch failures on these. Scott was only trying to make a suggestion as possibley a last ditch effort, if your clutch was slipping at that point I think its a great idea, like he said, at that point what do you have to lose.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:12 PM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

Why not use ATF or Kerosene. Would they damage the discs or help clean them.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:06 AM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

I had over 100,000 miles when I took my clutch apart. I don't think it is a maintenance item. At some points when your feeling trouble then attack. My old dealer master shop tech was surprised I made it past 35,000 miles. I'm a long distance rider in the past. So not much city driving. The bike is not intended for that anyway.
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I need a Honda sport or better yet a Monkey
I change your tires, you buy them on the web, I do the work $40, trying to keep riders on the road.
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:01 AM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

Beech,
I agree 100% there’s no reason the clutch should not last that long! Just ask any Japanese bike owner, they would laugh at the thought of replacing the clutch at 35,000 miles.
Im just trying to think of ways to be pro active. Especially When there’s a common known issue that there seems to be not enough oil to properly wash the disks plates clean and too pull the clutch and physically wash them periodically didn’t seem to me that crazy since that job really is not that hard! Just dont tell that to a jap bike owner
Me personally don’t anticipate any problems with mine, because like you dont really do much city driving.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:43 PM
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Re: K1200S slipping clutch SOLVED - quick and cheap

Perhaps the clutch was not designed for constant actuation?
So city riding is very damaging to it. I mean, any clutch would wear prematurely in city riding.

My K12R suffered from most of its life being in the city, and me not knowing how to respect it. So it went out at 31K miles. Replaced it, and now I'm at 60k miles and no problem.


The K12S also suffered from a rider what was constantly revving it and slipping the clutch.
The clutch went out at 10k miles.
Just replaced it and we will see...


The K12LT's clutch does not like the city.
The GS and R12R don't care as much.
These dry clutches will kinda give you a warning and just overheat and slip.
The wet clutches just disintegrate ...
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BMW K1200LT 2006
BMW K1200R: "Drophammer" 2006
BMW R1200GS 2008
BMW K1200S 2007
Suzuki DR-Z400E 2000 (SOLD - rebought), Honda CB550Four 1978 (SOLD)
BMW R1200R 2009 (in my stable, thinking about it...)
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