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Old May 27th 2012, 05:03 AM   #1
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I Ride: 2012 1199S, 2008 Speed Triple
Unhappy Clutch Failure

1,700 miles on the clock and my clutch failed yesterday.

I have been noticing the colure going off of my fluid in the clutch and the rear brake reservoir of late, and I suppose yesterday was the day the clutch gave up the ghost. I think if I replace the fluids, it should work again and so that is what I will do.

The real question is, why are the fluids being contaminated so quickly?

Funny (not really), this is the same problem my friends have been having with their 916 and 1198.

I won't get around to doing the fluids until next weekend; but I'll keep you posted to let you know if it works and for how long.

I'd like to know if anyone else has had this issue. If so, let us know.
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Old May 27th 2012, 05:36 AM   #2
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I'm guessing the heat is degrading the clutch fluid, but 1700 miles is kinda crazy. But the clutch should still work even if the clutch fluid is dark
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Old May 27th 2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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I Ride: GSX-R750R LTD, 888, 916, 999R, 1199S Tri, RC51, RS250, Z1000SX, ZX7R M2, ZX7RR N1, WR426F
My 916 has always fouled its clutch fluid rapidly. It has been hypothesized that it has to do with the seal materials, but I'm doubtful. While it has fouled it rapidly it has never caused a problem. OTOH, the slave cylinder and seal has always been a weak point in the 916 clutch system and is commonly replaced. I did this years ago, and it still fouls the clutch fluid rapidly.

I've also noticed the fouling of the rear brake fluid on the 1199 and experienced a less than smooth clutch actuation on occasion. I have no proof, but I get the sense that both are due to the amount of heat which gets thrown off by the engine and exhaust. I'm at 1600 mi., but have seen very little high heat or stop and go riding.
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Old May 27th 2012, 10:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ray916MN View Post
I'm at 1600 mi., but have seen very little high heat or stop and go riding.
Thanks; you are probably right about the heat. I have almost no stop and go traffic; however, when passing through a small town I do and the weather since I've had the bike has been in the high 80s and the bike regularly is around 200 F.
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Old May 27th 2012, 12:22 PM   #5
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I Ride: Ducati Panigale 1199 S...
I just did my 600 mile service and noticed a very weird clutch engagement/popping feel in the lever. Adjusted everything and now notice a pull when starting the bike when its totally cooled off even if the lever is fully closed...

Any thoughts before I take it in for service? Did NOT do this prior to servicing bike :S
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 04:25 PM   #6
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I Ride: 2012 1199S, 2008 Speed Triple
2,600 miles and my clutch went AGAIN; that's 900 miles since the last failure.

Changing the fluid fixed it last time; however, something has got to be wrong other than just frying the fluid. This time, I had the high-temp Motul 660 fluid in as an extra precaution. Nothing.
I'll change it one more time and see if I can make it work until I can get to the dealer.
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 04:40 PM   #7
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When you say your clutch failed, did it fail to engage/drive or disengage/release or the lever became difficult to manipulate. I have seen some posts regarding the piston on the master needing to be removed and essentially polished. I guess I can expect this failure too as my clutch fluids are substantially different than the brake. I will proactively change it tomorrow after I acquire the correct fluid. God will this crap ever stop with this bike!!

Last edited by mavic; Jul 2nd 2012 at 04:44 PM.
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 04:42 PM   #8
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Is the actual clutch pack failing?? There was a post earlier regarding the slave cylinder piston sticking. The fix was to gently hone the piston while some suggested an aftermarket solution. Sorry to hear about the trouble.
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 04:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Styler View Post
1,700 miles on the clock and my clutch failed yesterday.

I have been noticing the colure going off of my fluid in the clutch and the rear brake reservoir of late, and I suppose yesterday was the day the clutch gave up the ghost. I think if I replace the fluids, it should work again and so that is what I will do.

The real question is, why are the fluids being contaminated so quickly?

Funny (not really), this is the same problem my friends have been having with their 916 and 1198.

I won't get around to doing the fluids until next weekend; but I'll keep you posted to let you know if it works and for how long.

I'd like to know if anyone else has had this issue. If so, let us know.
Did you have your dealer drain the fluid and bleed the system? I noticed mine was being a pain in the ass. It seemed like I couldnt roll off the clutch smoothly, the shifter was getting tough to shift, etc. You might just have air in the line, or you might be burning a lot of oil like I did. I burned about 1 whole quart of oil. Not trying to insult your intelligence if I am pointing out the obvious. I just had them bleed the line and I topped up the oil and everything worked perfectly.
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Old Jul 2nd 2012, 04:54 PM   #10
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I Ride: 2012 1199S, 2008 Speed Triple
It begins by becoming very difficult to change from first or second into neutral and gets progressively worse until the point that even if the clutch is engaged and the bike is in first gear, you feel some pull through the transmission.

I'll send my mechanic an email at the Dealer; he noted that if it kept happening they might try to replace the master cylinder under warranty. I'll post what ever advice they give me.

One thing is for sure, it will be weeks before I can get to the dealer and so I will likely just keep replacing the fluid when this happens until I can get around to getting the bike up to St.Louis.

I'll likely replace all of rear brake fluid at the same time since the rear reservoir is also full of black fluid now. I'm glad I bought that vacuum pump.
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