Mechanical failure part 4

The death knell……………….

Gone are the good old days; if you suspect your slave is not working, beat them senseless and if that does not work, feed them up and sell for a small profit. Unfortunately this does work with BMW slave cylinders. These are unique creatures designed by some Nazi in an underground bunker and destined to indiscriminately drive anyone bonkers;
They are talked of in few forums,
they are never replaced at a 10 000km service,
they are never available as a spare part,
they look innocuous to the novice,
cost a bloody fortune,
If unattended cause civil strive by seizing up the gearbox!

Please see the infamous slave cylinder

The slave cylinder

It’s part of the clutch – the bit that does the real dirty work physically disengaging the clutch plates. It’s well hidden deep in the bike but surprisingly easy to extract. There is no way of telling when it’s about to die untill the last minute when your clutch actually vreks! The worst is you can look for ‘leakage’ around the seal and be falsely assured if there is no leak – yee be fooled, it can leak INTO the engine which you can’t see in which case you are proverbially f***ed!

Thanks to the HUBB and Chris and Chloe’s recent good fortune meeting Reuben, a kind-of BMW guy in Santiago, we have been able to order another one into Chile (arrives in 2 weeks). This fellow is a BMW owner and bike mechanic. He is not too familiar with the BMW clutch almost having poured brake fluid into the main reservoir ( this is the 8th deadly sin by the way ) but incredibly helpful. We drove around Santiago on his 1200 for 3 hours sorting out clutch and tyre issues! He even fed me twice! I have a new respect for my dear wife as a pillion rider!
Reuben will hang onto the bike untill our part arrives……..

There are a few people to thank again.

Firstly, AndyW from who sent me a picture of the offending part and warned me about not using brake fluid,

Andrew King from who has answered weird hour emergency calls and diagnosed all the issues!

By no means last, Ray Muller from, for his spot-on advice.

The Amazon trip awaits, let’s hope our part clears customs by the time we are back!

Categories: Bike stuff, Diary | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Mechanical failure part 4

  1. jakub

    Definitely a bicycle next time, plenty of warning there before slave cylinder (quadriceps ) packs up !

  2. nvanesch

    Maybe next time.. Take a toyota? or a bicycle?

    Love Michael, Claudia and Nick

  3. Kevin Kevany

    What a bugger of a thing. Not a good advert for BM quality/assembly. Seems you have a legion of Andys and Andrews on your team… you ought to be good. Enjoy the Amazon. Don’t dangle you toes over the side of the raft!!!!

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