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Re: Oil leak

 > 1. The service guys say this is a serious repair that will require some 10 
 > hours of work and, if the clutch needs to be replaced, the whole package will 
 > be around $1200. Does this strike you as reasonable?

They have to remove the rear sub frame, effectively splitting the bike
into two parts.  The 10 hours sounds right.  I don't know what a clutch
package costs.

 > 2. Given the relatively low mileage, should I be raising hell with BMW and ask 
 > them to chip-in on this? Of course, years-wise, the bike is long out of 
 > warranty. But I certainly think that rear seals should be good for more than
 > 36k.

In my limited experience I've not been able to figure out how long a
seal is supposed to last.   I got 24K on my R12GS (transmission seals),
48K on a K11LT (rear main), 90K without engine or transmission seal
problems when I sold my R80, but I went through a LOT of fork seals.
Shortest life was was under 2K on an R60.  I suspect that one was
nicked when it was installed.

 > 3. As noted, I've experienced no clutch slipage to date, and want to continue 
 > to ride the bike putting off the repair for now. Is it safe to do this? I 
 > assume oil leaks of this type worsen over time. Does anyone know how much,
 > how fast, etc.?

I don't think that can be answered.  I've heard of seal leaks that get
worse, going from minor drips to catastrophic failure in short periods
of time.  I've seen seals get better... a minor leak on the rear main
of my R69S after restoration that stopped after about 2K.   On my R12GS
they suspected a leak at my 24K service and added some die to the
transmission oil.   3K miles later when I was having a tire replaced
I remembered I was supposed to have them check for die.  They did,
finding die where none should have been indicating a transmission input
seal leak.   The bike was split it two and both input and output
transmission seals replaced this Tuesday.   No problem with the

That's just one data point.   I don't think you can depend upon no
clutch problems and that the longer you wait the more likely you
are to contaminate the clutch.

// marc