I was hanging out near the shop at California
BMW-Triumph and the owner, Kari
Prager, came over and checked the freeplay on my clutch.
It met his approval, and later he included a warning in the
Autumn newsletter to all of Cal BMW's customers:
is extremely important with all motorcycles using single-plate
dry clutches (all BMWs except F 650) to keep plenty of free
play adjustment at the clutch lever, and to slip the clutch
as briefly as possible when shifting or taking off. This is
contrary to the advice offered by many of the MSF schools,
which encourage low speed modulation by slipping the clutch.
Such a technique does little harm to a multi-plate wet clutch,
but is not advisable for BMWs. Further, if the BMW is ridden
without free-play, rapid and terminal clutch wear will occur.
[Your BMW dealer] will be happy to instruct you in the correct
feel for proper adjustment, and demonstrate proper clutch
technique if you have any uncertainty about this."
also reminded us of shifting techniques on BMWs: "Many
riders find improved shifting feel if the shift lever is lightly
preloaded before pulling in the clutch, and pressure is kept
on the lever until the clutch is released; the shift will
be more positive and there will be less likelihood of jumping
out of gear under hard acceleration. If it is difficult to
engage first gear, release pressure on the shifter, release
the clutch and give a little throttle to spin the gears, then
immediately pull in the clutch and depress the shifter. If
the gear still will not engage, keep light pressure on the
shifter while gently releasing the clutch until the gear is
BMW Triumph - reprinted with permission