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Old 8 Aug 2007
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Clutch on 1998 R1100RT

Please help! A failed clutch stopped my tour of Europe.

It's a 1998 R1100RT and I am the third owner.
Purchased bike at 40,000 miles in USA and shipped to Europe.
Bike just turned 60,000 miles.

The bike has a high 1st gear and when riding 2-up with all camping gear I had to "ride the clutch" on every start to prevent stall.

In Eastern Europe the clutch started slipping under heavy acceleration when passing trucks and I had to adjust clutch cable; leaving only about 1/2 the adjustment remaining.

Then 5000 miles later the clutch need 5 adjustment in one day and I barely made it back to home base in Germany.

I'll tell you that was a long ride of 300 miles without a clutch. Thank goodness for the autobahn...

Can anyone tell me what happened so suddenly to the clutch as to wipe it out in one day?

Can anyone estimate what might be the cost to repair in Germany and someone who could do the job?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 9 Aug 2007
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If your clutch are slipping and it helps to adjust the cable then the cable was not correct adjusted when you started. Maybe the routing is messed up?

When the clutch starts to slip (normally under acceleration in high gears as you describe) you can usually carry on for thousands of km if you avoid the situations where the clutch slips (no hard acceleration and so on). If it slips all the time it will be toast pretty fast.

So if it slips on a trip:
Check cable adjustment, and if it continues to slip get some Coca Cola and wet the clutch with it (panic solution).
If it’s not possible to get a new friction plate where you are then it might be possible for a clutch/brake workshop to make new linings on the one you have.

If you drive to long it’s possible that pressure plates are toast. It also might be smart to change the diaphragm spring.

The reason for your problem might be that your gearbox input splines are dirty or you have a broken output seal in the engine or input seal in the gearbox. But you probably have to change a few clutch parts anyway.

The price for the friction disk should be around 70 Euro and if you are lucky that’s all you need. It takes a few hours so if you can do it by yourself you will save a lot!
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