Product Review – Oberon Clutch Slave Cylinder

In Reviews by Abhi6 Comments

As I explained in my review of the BoosterPlug, one of my complaints with the BMW K1200R is with the clutch feel. Even with the OEM adjustable levers, I felt that the engagement point was too far out, and the travel in the friction zone was rather abrupt. Here’s my attempt to resolve that.

I already had the bike apart for a major service…
Oberon Clutch Slave Installation

…so my mechanic suggested I take a look at Oberon Performance, a British firm that makes (among other things for other bikes) a clutch slave cylinder for the BMW K1200/K1300 bikes. He had a couple of other clients with similar complaints about the clutch on a K1200S, and Oberon had apparently satisfied them.

There aren’t a large amount of companies making aftermarket parts for the K12R, so I did some research and took the plunge. For someone in a similar situation, here are some of my thoughts, hopefully some of which will help you in your buying decision.

It’s very rare when I don’t go used for an aftermarket part, but it makes sense to go new for a part like this. My favorite source for new K1200R parts is Pirates’ Lair. Turns out it’s the only place that actually carries the Oberon cylinder in the US, as they went to Oberon specifically requesting this product after the only US manufacturer stopped making it.


Oberon Clutch Slave Installation

Making sure we have what we needed to make the installation work.

Installation is very easy, and the few photos I include in this basically walk you through the three steps. Disconnect the stock cylinder, pop the new one in, and bleed the clutch system. The hardest part of the whole thing is really just the tediousness of the last step. Total time to install was less than 20 minutes.

Oberon Clutch Slave Installation

Pop the stock one off.

You can tell there’s a difference as soon as you’ve finished bleeding the clutch, which is encouraging. It absolutely fixed my gripe about the engagement point.

Regarding travel, while it did improve the situation, I was hoping for a little bit more. Oberon claims that the 36mm vs 32 mm piston reduces ‘heaviness of original clutch, gives smoother clutch action, and eliminates dreaded clutch judder’. I’d say it takes care of the first two but does not fully eliminate the clutch judder, which I find very annoying.

Front of the slave cylinder:
Oberon Clutch Slave Installation

The seals are made out of Viton rubber and the unit is CNC-machined out of t^ billet alloy.

Rear of the slave cylinder:
Oberon Clutch Slave Installation

Put the new on one, do a little bleeding:
Oberon Clutch Slave Installation

And, voila:
Oberon Clutch Slave Installation

BMW presumably agreed that there was a problem – for the K1300 generation, they upgraded to 34mm pistons. The Oberon solution isn’t perfect, but it removed the grand majority of an annoying characteristic of my bike – and that’s always a good thing. For $180, I’m happy enough.