BMW R1200RT Transmission Problems (Troubleshooting the Issues!)

BMW R1200RT owners have reported clunky gearshifts, sticky gearshifts, and noises from the transmission.

Every rider should be aware that, like any machine, the BMW R1200RT can encounter transmission problems.

Clunky Gears: A Quirk in Some 2014 Models

If you own a 2014 BMW R1200RT, you might have noticed clunky gears, especially in 1st and 2nd.

BMW R1200RT riders have reported experiencing occasional clunky or notchy gearshifts, especially when shifting into first gear from neutral. Clunky gears are most noticeable when the bike is cold.

R1200RT owners say clunkiness is a transmission problem that’s inherent to the wet multi-plate clutch design. As the bike warms up, many notice the gear changes becoming smoother.

Various mechanical factors can contribute to clunky shifts, like incorrect oil levels or viscosity issues.

Riders sensitive to subtle noises may perceive the transmission’s mechanical operation as clunky.

BMW R1200RT Clunky Shifting Issues: Fixes

Use techniques like clutch preloading, maintaining ideal oil specifications, and BMW’s Shift Assist Pro to shift gears smoothly.

Some attribute the clunky shifts as a characteristic of their boxer twin.

However, other riders find the behavior concerning enough that they consider aftermarket components or upgrades to address the transmission problems on their aging mounts.

Overall, the prevailing wisdom is that modest clunking falls within the norm for these machines.

  • Check Transmission Fluid Levels: Ensure that your transmission fluid levels are within the recommended range. Low fluid levels can contribute to gear clunkiness.
  • If the issue persists, seek the expertise of a certified BMW technician. They can perform a thorough inspection to identify any underlying transmission problems and recommend appropriate solutions.

Sticky Shifting: Worn Out Transmission Input Shaft Splines

Sticky shifting is a common symptom of worn-out transmission input shaft splines, particularly in aging motorcycles.

BMW R1200RT riders have experienced occasional sticky or notchy gearshifts after extended riding sessions, especially when shifting down into lower gears from higher RPMs.

Our experienced riders have noticed that symptoms like clunky upshifts and noisy downshifts could indicate potential transmission issues.

Riding style and oil viscosity impact smooth shifting.

BMW R1200RT Sticky Shifting: Fixes

Maintaining revs above 4,000 RPM helps avoid low RPM clunkiness these motors are prone to.

While not always feasible, starting with cooler oil and avoiding aggressive downshifting enhances the experience.

Keep the transmission oil fresh, use synthetic lubricants, and adopt a sensitive riding style.

Inspect transmission components while performing the regular maintenance routine.

If your BMW R1200RT is experiencing sticky shifting, consider replacing the worn-out transmission input shaft splines.

Consult with a qualified mechanic to ensure proper diagnosis and resolution.

Transmission Noise

Some riders have reported unusual transmission noises, which may fade away after pulling in the clutch and allowing the bike to warm up.

BMW R1200RT riders occasionally report hearing rattling, clattering, or whirring sounds seemingly originating from the transmission, especially when idling or accelerating in lower gears.

Mild mechanical noises often stem from standard gear lash between the transmission components.

The noises tend to amplify with higher mileage as internal clearances increase from wear.

According to experienced R1200RT riders, the pronounced whirrs during clutch disengagement are due to worn input shaft bearings.

BMW R1200RT Transmission Noise: Fixes

Get the oil inspected for metal flakes and check if the bearings need to be replaced.

In some cases, rattling sounds are because of the aftermarket clutch plates used by previous owners. Reinstalling OEM clutch components restores quiet operation in such cases.

Ensure that your clutch is properly adjusted. Sometimes, a slight adjustment can mitigate transmission noise issues.

While inconvenient, some gear noise falls within acceptable parameters for these hardworking touring mounts designed for longevity over-refinement.

Identify noise triggers, monitor changes over time, and have BMW technicians verify root causes to prevent the issues from escalating.

BMW R1200RT Transmission Problems

Intermittent Rough Shifting

Intermittent rough shifting, especially when transitioning from 2nd to 3rd gear, has been reported by some BMW R1200RT riders.

Consider the following steps to address this challenge:

  • Ensure that the transmission fluid is of the recommended quality. Old or contaminated fluid can contribute to rough shifting.
  • Have your clutch inspected for any signs of wear or damage. A worn-out clutch can lead to irregular shifting patterns.

Transmission Popping Out of Gear

Popping out of gear is one of the common transmission problems in the BMW R1200RT.

There have been reports suggesting that BMW may replace the gearbox in such instances.

If you encounter this issue, reach out to your local BMW service center for a gearbox replacement.

Driveline Slop

Driveline slop refers to the unwanted play or movement in the drivetrain.

While not exclusive to the BMW R1200RT, it’s crucial to manage this issue:

  • Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect your bike for any signs of driveline slop. This can include checking the chain tension and ensuring all components are properly tightened.
  • Professional Evaluation: If you notice excessive driveline slop, consult a BMW mechanic for a detailed evaluation. They can identify the root cause and recommend appropriate adjustments or replacements.

BMW R1200RT Transmission Preventive Maintenance

Follow the maintenance tips below to prevent R1200RT transmission problems.

Transmission Fluid Levels

Monitor the transmission fluid levels consistently and adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations for replacement intervals.

Fresh and adequate transmission fluid is crucial for smooth gear transitions and prevents transmission problems.

Professional Inspections

Schedule periodic inspections with a certified BMW technician.

They can conduct thorough assessments of your motorcycle’s transmission components, identifying any signs of wear or issues before they escalate.

Clutch Adjustment

Keep an eye on the clutch performance and promptly address any irregularities.

Periodic adjustments can prevent premature wear and alleviate transmission noise issues.

Drivetrain Lubrication

Ensure proper lubrication of the drivetrain components, including the transmission input shaft splines.

Well-lubricated parts contribute to smoother shifting and reduce the risk of sticky or clunky gears.

Timely Component Replacements

Stay proactive in replacing worn-out parts, especially if you notice symptoms like sticky shifting or rough transitions.

Addressing transmission issues promptly can prevent further damage and enhance the overall reliability of your BMW R1200RT.

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