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Good Morning Everybody,

I am new to the group here, as I just purchased a BMW earlier in the year. It is a 1997 BMW R1100RT. It has been a really great bike, thus far, however, the clutch seems to be slipping. I noticed it starting about a week ago. When I apply full throttle, the RPM's will increase, but I won't get much acceleration from the bike. I am not a mechanic, but I enjoy working on the bike and doing what I can. The bike has about 78,000 miles on it, and the old records show that the clutch splines were lubricated at 42,000 miles.

I am on a budget, and I know the bike is only worth a few grand. I am hoping that my problems can be fixed without scrapping the bike. I do have a friend that will help me work on this bike, and he is a very reliable mechanic/engineer that works at Harley Davidson in Milwaukee.

I am just looking for some feedback from the members here, in hopes that I can understand a little more of what might need to be done. What kind of repairs/replacements am I to expect from such an endeavor.

Thank you so much for any replies.


10,556 Posts
Welcome Jeff to the forum and it's a great one:smile_big:

First of all, make sure you have 'Free play' in the clutch cable and then adjust the clutch engagement arm to assure that there is 'play' and you can move the arm a little before the cable stops the movement.

When you ride the bike after these adjustments, be ready when you pull the clutch in and put it in gear, that it may jump forward a bit or grind a bit. If it does, take some free play out of the clutch cable and try again.:wink2:

Many clutches slip because of no free play, not allowing the plates or single plate in your case, to FULLY make contact as it's like a rider is slipping the clutch by holding the lever in and purposely allowing it to slip:smile_big:

My Triumph Rocket 3 Roadster did this right from the factory and I found no play whatsoever in the clutch lever and even when backed off, the clutch control arm at the engine, had no free play either. I adjusted the free play at the engine first and set the proper play, about 1/4 inch in the clutch lever and all was well:grin:

If you do have to put a new Clutch in your RT, it's really not a difficult job to put a wonderful bike back in shape:wink2:

I've had 5 BMW's, 4 'R' series and one 'K' series and love them, especially my 1999 R1100GS, which is identical to your RT without all of the 'Tupperware.":smile:

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