I've had my trans out a couple times in the last 6 months.
A good manual is a big help - I found a pretty complete oem type service manual on CD on eBay pretty reasonable.
Another source of info my first time around was the online parts fiche
at A&S cycles, or MAX BMW, sometimes couldn't identify what the
manual was talking about, or find it.
If you'd like, send me your email and I can copy some info for you about this.
For some additional details: (mine is a roadster R1150R but should be very similar)
I didn't have to unhook any wiring other than the neutral indicator
light sender at the bottom rear of the trans. I ended up cutting mine
and putting a male/female connector in it outside of the trans.
Otherwise you have to unplug the sender wire way under the tank and it's
a PITA to thread back thru all the stuff to get it back in and hooked
up. The sender is permanent to the wire, and the sender won't quite fit
thru the hole in the trans housing at the left bottom rear.
I didn't have to unhook any lights at all.
I didn't have to break into any brake lines - did undo the loops that
hold the brake line and ABS sensor wire onto the swingarm. Tied the
rear caliper up to the rear frame loosely and was careful when I raised
the rear frame up.
You MUST have a heat gun and an IR thermometer to loosen the red loctite
on the swingarm pivots, otherwise you'll screw up those very fine
threads in the aluminum. 200 deg F does it nicely. And you need to
KNOW what temp you're at. Heat a large area as the alum is not very
ductile and will crack if you just heat a small area. That's if you DO
disconnect the swingarm from the rear of the trans. Actually easier not
to even though harder to manhandle the trans with all that still hooked
On the pivots, IF you do that way, clean those threads with a very sharp
small awl - all the old loctite should come out of the threads or
you'll end up with a false torque reading when reassembling.
The "book" says to use red loctite to reassemble. Many folks use blue
loctite and match mark the lock nuts and check them for movement on
occasion. I've never read of them moving if they're properly torqued.
Mine haven't. The blue loctite is MUCH easier to break loose the next
time. Don't need the heat.
Use Honda Moly 60 on your trans input splines, your new clutch disc hub,
and on the wear points on your clutch assembly. $10 for a small tube
at a Honda bike dealer. Much higher in moly than "moly grease".
You don't need to separate the swingarm from the final drive.
The airbox is a bitch to get out. The book says to remove the fuel
distribution lines first. Dont' have to do that. Pop the fuel lines
upwards out of the slots at the top front of the airbox as you're
starting to wiggle the airbox around to get it out. Reverse to
reinstall. That's with the frame way up. There are 2 bolts at the
front of the frame ea side.
Remove the bottom ones, only loosen the top ones, and pivot the rear frame on those.
You also don't need to disconnect throttle cables or fuel lines to
injectors. Just be careful when raising the rear frame and be sure
nothing pulls too tight. My throttle cables pulled up at the very
highest point of the frame raising and the outer sheath pulled up enuf
to expose the inside cable a little, but when reassembling it pops right
back into place. Just make sure the sheaths fit back down into the
cable adjuster on both sides.
You do have to remove both footpeg brackets, disconnect the rear master
brake cyl from the right footpeg bracket but leave the brake lines
intact. The brake mstr cyl pushrod will just fall out of the mstr cyl.
You have to remove the rear brake light switch from inside the brake pedal assembly.
Disconnect the hoses on the right side of the bike just behind the
battery, I leave the connectors in the front hose on one and the back
hose on the other so I know how they go back together.
Remove the fuel tank, unplug the electrical plug under the right rear of
the tank, uncouple the fuel quick disconnects. They're flimsy plastic
and will likely crumble. Get the brass QD's from beemer boneyard. Do
the same thing there - install them in reverse from one another so they
only go together the same way.
Put rags under the QD's to soak up the gas that will spill out. You do
NOT want that on your engine - permanent yellow stains that cannot be
The shift linkage disconnects at the pivots - there is a tiny wire clip
that goes thru a tiny hole in the ball socket. Pull that out, then the
socket comes apart. Put some moly lube in it before you reconnect it.
You can get by without undoing the swingarm from the trans, it's just
more difficult and awkward to handle. If you can rig a way to support
the trans from underneath (remove your exhaust), then you can manage by
just pulling the trans back maybe 8" or so without undoing anything on
the rear swingarm or driveshafts. Take your wheel off, remove your
rear caliper and the brake line & sensor wire supports from the
swingarm, and slide the whole mess back far enuf to get at the clutch.
Not easy, but easier than getting the swingarm pivots apart and back
together and the darn driveshaft snapped back onto the output shaft on
the rear of the trans.
Get a piece of light rope and tie your rear frame up to the handlebars
after you get it raised. You really got to push up hard on it to get it
high enuf. Secure the front wheel down so the bike doesn't tip
backward after you remove the rear wheel. On the roadster, we tie the H
pipe in the exhaust to the front wheel.
Take your battery out and remove the 2 little nuts under the battery.
They're the top part of the studs in the rubber cushions on the top
front of the trans. They'll be tough to get out of the battery box
holes when you pull the trans back, and tough to get back in when
reassembling. Just be patient. Having someone lift just a bit more on
frame while doing that helps.
Don't disconnect any of the clutch lines to the slave cyl at the rear
top of the trans. Just remove the 3 bolts holding the slave onto the
trans and pull it away from the trans. That way you don't have to bleed
the clutch, which can be a royal PITA. Check your slave cyl - the
front end - for any sign of leakage. If it's wet, replace the slave.
You might see some gooey red stuff - that's brake fluid that's leaked
out of the slave and gotten hot. Replace the slave. New oem brand
slave's cheaper at beemer boneyard, I think about $100. If you've got a
fair amount of miles, easier to replace that slave now than later.
Pull the clutch pushrod out of the trans before you remove the trans so
you don't bend it. Take note of the little fiber wiper in the groove on
You'll need some guidebolts so you can move the trans straight back and
back onto the rear of the engine so you don't bend the input shaft, etc.
they're 8mm x 1.25mm thread by at least 115 mm long. Get bolts and cut
the heads off. Hard to find, Lowes etc doesn't have them. Fastenal
does. McMaster Carr online does, anyone can order from them if you
can't find them locally.
After you get the trans pulled back from the engine, clean off the
clutch BEFORE you disassemble it and look for 3 colored marks on the 3
major clutch components & flywheel. they should be roughly 120
degrees apart. If you can't find them, use a paint stick and match mark
the cover, pressure plate, and flywheel so they go back togehter
exactly the same way. Otherwise you'll likely be out of balance.
Also BEFORE you disassemble the clutch, scribe a sharp line around the
clutch disc, or use a dab of spray paint, or whatever way to mark the
EXACT location of the disc. You can't hardly get clutch alignment
tools. When you reassemble, finger tighten the clutch cover over the new
disc aligning the disc to the marks as close as possible. Tighten just
enuf to hold the disc from slipping down. Lube the disc hub and trans
input splines, then carefully push the trans forward so the input shaft
enters the clutch disc. Leave the trans in gear and have someone rock
the rear hub (leave a couple wheel bolts in it and use a bar or big
screwdriver) to rotate the trans input a little to help it find it's way
into the clutch disc splines. After you get it to go in, very
carefully remove the trans again STRAIGHT BACK without wiggling it
up/down or sideways and then tighten the bolts while it's aligned. You
MUST use new clutch cover bolts, they're non-reusable torque-to-yield,
not expensive from BMW (really!!).
Really helps to have some help to manhandle & maneuver the trans
back and forth if you leave the swingarm/rear hub/driveshaft all hooked
up, which is easier in the long run. Just rig up some support under the
trans and rear hub so it stays roughly at height.
If you do disconnect the swingarm & driveshaft from the rear of the
trans, it's a PITA to get the driveshaft front yoke to snap back over
the snapring on the trans output shaft, but you gotta do it. Also kind
of tough to get the rubber boot back in place. I used a really big
screwdriver thru the U joint yoke to pry it back into place.
If you want the info on that email me email@example.com
It's not as bad as it sounds, just a lot of unfamiliar stuff the first
time thru. The 2nd time I had the trans out, working unhurriedly, took
me less than 2 hours. About the same to put back.
Good luck! You CAN do this!