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'07 BMW G650 XCountry

Repair: Replace '07 clutch side cover with improved '09 design:


Note: This talks about the '07 BMW XCountry which of course is the same motor as the XChallenge (which was only made in '07).
Rev. 8/26/2014 snooker

Some background info:

Initially a post on the BMW G650X Issue Log on AdvRider talked about a PUMA Measure US-22898888-02 that BMW issued on the 2007 Rotax made engine. The problem was that the clutch would not fully disengage and in fact in some cases teeth were destroyed on the rack (throwout rod) or pinion (operating shaft). The parts replaced by the PUMA measure included many related items, even clutch disks.
Later, another post about this PUMA also talked about a new design clutch housing (clutch side cover).

In my case I was repairing a failure of my Rekluse clutch internals (possibly caused by a worn clutch housing cover) and decided to go ahead and replace the clutch housing cover at the same time. I did not have any need to replace the clutch plates or other parts in the PUMA, I was only interested in the new clutch cover, so the rest of this will only describe the clutch housing cover itself.

The design of the clutch engage/disengagement is in effect a rack and pinion system with teeth that engage, where the "rack" is the throwout rod coming out horizontally from the clutch, and the "pinion" is the vertical operating shaft held by 2 needle bearings in the clutch housing cover. When the clutch cable is pulled and rotates the operating shaft, its pinion gear teeth engage and pull the throwout rod outwards into a recessed hole in the clutch cover. It is this hole that is the issue.

The Problem:

The earlier Rotax engines (F650GS) reportedly have a clutch cover with a steel bushing inside this hole. However the 2007/08 G650X Rotax cover does not have a steel bushing so the soft magnesium alloy HOLE becomes worn and can bind and foul the throwout rod so the clutch does not disengage or becomes sticky or even stuck. In 2009 the Chinese built G650X Rotax engines for the XCountry have added a steel bushing again. This is the desired cover and its BMW Part Number is:
More on this later.

Another thread on this topic is the G650 Clutch thread.
Others have even repaired the original 07 cover by pressing in a steel sleeve, read this post and expand as there are more around it that are useful. And tbarstow machined a sleeve and pressed it in, complete with pictures.

How to identify a worn cover:

I personally found it unreliable to measure the hole accurately with digital calipers to determine if it is worn or not. But hey I'm not a machinist or a metallurgist, just a weekend warrior. Others have reported problems with their clutch and have measured wear as little as 0.004"/0.1 mm that a new clutch cover fixed.
However in my case you can clearly see in this picture a shiny wear spot deep into the hole on the left side. If you think about the action of the pinion it pushes the rack to the side at an angle so it would wear deep in the hole and not near the surface:

I'm not sure the hole on mine is necessarily worn side to side to make it an out of round hole, but it certainly is no longer a tight hole. The best way I found to demonstrate whether the hole is worn or not is to take the throwout rod itself and insert it into the hole and wiggle it. This video demonstrates clearly that my old '07 cover with 22,000 miles on it, has a LOT of wear, compared to a brand new '09 cover:

Is this scientific or measurable? No, not by me. But from all the online descriptions at Adv, I'm glad I replaced it now. If anybody wants to do this experiment with a NEW '07 cover I'd be glad to update the results here (for all I know the '07 cover is loose from day 1, I have no idea!).

Replacement Parts:

The new improved clutch housing cover is for the 2009 XCountry, shown in this '09 XCountry fiche from Max BMW:

I tried the minimum approach, and at a minimum you will need items 3, 4, 9 and 10 as described next:
Items 3 and 4:
11147700331 Clutch housing cover for '09 XCountry
11147700194 Gasket for cover (you might be able to pull the old one out of your old cover if desperate)
These may be difficult to find but I was able to find both of them at US dealers.

Items 9 and 10 are called "needle sleeve" but basically are commonly found metric needle bearings. I was not able to source any of these from BMW anywhere in the U.S. and luckily tbarstow pointed out to me that these are common metric sizes and are able to be sourced anywhere.
If you look closely at the descriptions they show their metric sizes, and in fact I looked on my old cover and they were made by INA and have these common part numbers and dimensions:
HK0808 -- size: 8x12x8mm (I found same INA brand at
HK1210 -- size: 12x16x10mm (I found same INA brand at

You probably also want a new shaft seal above the needle bearing, which is item 5 in the '09 XCountry clutch control fiche below. I just reused my old one for now.

Note that the aforementioned PUMA has you replacing a LOT of parts, but that is because a lot of them could be improperly stressed or damaged. But if you are replacing only the side cover, what parts do you really need? That is a tough question. Ok sure we know the new side cover is different and it has a new part number. However if you were to look at the same items for the '07 XCountry, the fiche shows completely different part numbers for most of these parts, but I'm doubtful if many of these other parts are actually different. Take the 2 needle bearings for example, they show the same dimensions.

The 2 that deserve consideration are item 1, Operating Shaft, and possibly item 7, Clutch Release Fork Lever. The Operating Shaft says "11" in the description and in the '07 fiche it says "11Z" and I could see how it could be different. In fact you will see below I had some trouble during installation with re-using my old one. However, I was not able to source any of these from BMW anywhere in the U.S. so I decided not to wait for one from Germany.

Install the new clutch cover:

Here is a comparison of the 2007 cover on the left and the 2009 on the right. The '07 shows Rotax stamped inside the cover and the 09 does not. The 2nd photo is a closeup of the numbers written inside the cover (but I don't know what they mean):

I drained the oil as it needed changing AND I wanted to stand the bike up vertically for part of my testing. However you can easily get by with laying the bike on its right side when you take off the clutch side cover.

Remove and Disassemble old cover:

To assemble the new cover, the tricky part is installing the 2 new needle bearings, but thanks again to metallurgist tbarstow who gave me a big tip:
Freeze the 2 new needle bearings for a few hours(?) in your freezer. Then take the cover and run hot tap water over it on the OUTSIDE of the cover in the areas the bearings will go into, for several minutes. This will make them insert more easily.

Assemble new cover:

Finally, of course if you drained the oil, then change the filter and fill with new oil. Never put all the oil in before you start the engine briefly, as the oil tank cannot hold even 2 qts. I usually put in about 1.5 qts but just watch the level, run it about 10 seconds then put in the rest (I do 2.25 qts or so total, of the very commonly found Shell Rotella T "Triple Protection" 15w40, with JASO MA compliance for wet motorcycle clutch).

If this helped you - let me know!
PM snooker on ADV

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