This design results in particular in benefits with respect to weight balance but also with torsion characteristics. As well as the compact, lightweight construction, the additional gearbox oil that was previously necessary for lubrication with the gearbox is no longer necessary. As before, high-strength helical cut splines are used on the gearwheels for gentle intermeshing, quiet running and better smoothness. And also as before, the gearbox shafts have anti-friction bearings on the new drive whereas the gear wheels (free gearwheels) run on needle bearings for low friction. The gearwheels and hence the gears are shifted via a selector drum made of steel mounted on ball bearings, three carburized switching forks with hard chrome-plated ends and sliding sleeves for a friction-locked connection of the gear wheel pairs.
The drive, which is used in the R 1200 GS for the first time and is the first series opposed-twin engine by BMW Motorrad, has a multi-disc oil bath clutch with eight friction discs in place of the previous single-disc dry coupling. The benefits of this solution are both less inertia torque due to the significantly lower exterior diameter of 147 millimetres (R 1200 GS previously: 180 mm) and a more compact design overall. For the first time on an opposed twin-engine, the clutch system is equipped with an anti-hopping mechanism. With this less engine braking torque is relayed to the rear wheel in overrun so that the motorcycle remains even more stable and safer-to-handle during braking.
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