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Kilohertz

Buying my first BMW...an R1150RT...sitting for 3 years need some guidance please

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Kilohertz

Hello all,

 

My friend has been trying to get me to buy a BMW bike for a few years, and I have decided that the RxxxxRT is the bike for me. I have looked at a few but this one was brought to my attention as it needs some work and I am very mechanically inclined and like working on projects and it will be at a reduced price. I have worked on lots of carb'd bikes but this will be my first foray into FI (on bikes).

 

So the bike is a '03 R1150RT with a 140,000KM, one owner, was maintained at BMW dealer for the first 13 years of it's life, after that, local small town shop. . It has been sitting for 3 years without any attention. It currently turns over but won't start, I'm sure the fuel is foul and will need to be drained and such, but I am wondering about other things to watch out for on this vintage bike. I have read a fair bit about these and have a basic understanding of them. I had a quick look at it today, cosmetically could be better, mirrors are both in need of new mounts, needs new battery, tires, (new ones come with it)  the paint is chipped all over..I can see the beauty under the surface crud and I am a painter so a refinish won't be a problem.

 

I guess I just need some guidance on what to ask/watch out for on these, and how hard is it to clean out the fuel system and injectors.

 

Appreciate any guidance.


Cheers

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dirtrider
6 hours ago, Kilohertz said:

Hello all,

 

My friend has been trying to get me to buy a BMW bike for a few years, and I have decided that the RxxxxRT is the bike for me. I have looked at a few but this one was brought to my attention as it needs some work and I am very mechanically inclined and like working on projects and it will be at a reduced price. I have worked on lots of carb'd bikes but this will be my first foray into FI (on bikes).

 

So the bike is a '03 R1150RT with a 140,000KM, one owner, was maintained at BMW dealer for the first 13 years of it's life, after that, local small town shop. . It has been sitting for 3 years without any attention. It currently turns over but won't start, I'm sure the fuel is foul and will need to be drained and such, but I am wondering about other things to watch out for on this vintage bike. I have read a fair bit about these and have a basic understanding of them. I had a quick look at it today, cosmetically could be better, mirrors are both in need of new mounts, needs new battery, tires, (new ones come with it)  the paint is chipped all over..I can see the beauty under the surface crud and I am a painter so a refinish won't be a problem.

 

I guess I just need some guidance on what to ask/watch out for on these, and how hard is it to clean out the fuel system and injectors.

 

Appreciate any guidance.


Cheers

Morning  Kilohertz

 

At that mileage & that condition that motorcycle better be REAL CHEAP. 

 

With a BMW boxer motorcycle that has that many miles & has been sitting that long look for everything, look for mouse damage on the wiring, look for transmission input shaft spline damage (difficult to tell this without starter removal), look for the final drive crown bearing being loose (grab rear wheel & try to rock it), look for shocks seeping oil, look for rotted out muffler insides, look for corrosion damage, look for sticking brakes (will probably need new brake hoses anyhow),   look for front & rear master cylinders seeping after using brakes a  few times, _____front to rear top to bottom look at EVERYTHING

 

You didn't say what country that you are in but if E-10 gasoline was prevalent in your area then your fuel system (inside the fuel tank) will probably be a real mess. A quick sniff of the insides of the fuel tank will probably tell you if you have rotten fuel in it. 

 

The fuel tank is plastic so that will probably OK but the internal hoses (those are not cheap as they are special) might all need replacing.   The fuel pump & the pump pass-through assembly might be a corroded mess & need to be replaced. (you won't know any of this until you take it apart).

 

Not much  else to tell you as you really don't know what was wrong with that motorcycle before it was stored  so there might be something wrong from before the storage. You won't know how much fuel system damage until you get into that (BMW fuel system parts are not cheap).

 

Again we don't know what country you are in so don't know the availability of BMW boxer bikes in your area but finding a running motorcycle that you can test ride is probably the best  advise unless BMW boxer bikes are just not available in your country.  

 

     

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Kilohertz

Thanks for the reply...I found the service manual and am starting to read up on how the bike works.

 

I'm in BC, Canada. It was running/driving just fine when it was parked, so hopefully just needs thorough going thru and clean up, all fluids, brake lines etc. 

 

I have looked at a few that were in much better condition and running well, but were much more $$, over double.

 

Thanks again.

 

cheers

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Balibeemer

Get hold of a GS 911!

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Kilohertz
18 hours ago, dirtrider said:

Morning  Kilohertz

 

At that mileage & that condition that motorcycle better be REAL CHEAP. 

 

 

 

So I'm not sure where you are either, but what would be REAL CHEAP for this bike, in whatever currency you know?

 

thanks

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dirtrider
6 hours ago, Kilohertz said:

 

So I'm not sure where you are either, but what would be REAL CHEAP for this bike, in whatever currency you know?

 

thanks

Morning  Kilohertz

 

In my area of the U.S. older BMW 1150RT's are not difficult to find, many with much lower mileage & in better condition. 

 

With that being said (personally) I probably wouldn't buy an 1150RT with 87,000 miles, obvious paint damage (shows last few owners lack of care) , possible expensive fueling problems, plus possible other unknown problems that I couldn't tell as the bike won't start, run, or ride-out.

 

But if for some reason I would try to buy a similar motorcycle in my area I wouldn't offer more than $1000.00 US dollars & even that would take some soul searching to make that high of an offer due to knowing the possible pitfalls  in getting it running & fully operational again. 

 

Even then I probably wouldn't even make an offer until I verified possible transmission input shaft spline wear  as that would turn it into a MUCH larger money pit involving WAY more work than I would want to put into a motorcycle in that condition. 

 

Now in an area where older BMW 1150's are difficult to come by then that might make a difference on offer price. 

 

Just don't let the "I want a BMW motorcycle"  cloud your common sense on this deal. Figure out how many things COULD be wrong, what the repair parts would cost, what you will end up with, & the hours of labor involved, (then triple your labor time estimate) as that will probably be closer to what you will have in it labor wise.     

 

  

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Kilohertz

Dirtrider,

 

Thank you for the detailed description of the situation, much appreciated. I am not in a hurry, I have 2 Viragos already to ride, I might just hold off and find a better example. I have looked at a few, R1100RT 80,000km much better condition, sold for $2900, another 1100RT 67,000km I looked at, $3500, guy changed his mind about selling it while I was there :4607:  The one R1150RT I currently am looking at I offered $1500, waiting for a reply now.  Comes with new tires and battery. There are  a few out there with low kms and in great condition but are $4K-$6K and a days drive away, and beyond my budget.  This one I thought I may be able to get into cheaper and get going and experience the BMW for a while...could always sell it and get a nicer one if I decide it's the model bike for me.

 

Again, appreciate your input. I am now studying the service manual to see how this bike works.

 

cheers!

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Miguel!

Its just my sense from reading this forum for a couple years but it seems like most people on the forum recommend getting the bikes toward the end of the model life rather than the earlier models because most of the bugs and engineering kinks have been worked out by BMW over the life cycle of the bike. Neither the previous owner nor I have had any major problems with my well-maintained 2001 R1100RT, which was the last year for the R1100RT, with a bit over 111,000 miles on it. Just my observations.

 

Cheers. Miguel

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Warren Dean
3 hours ago, Miguel! said:

Its just my sense from reading this forum for a couple years but it seems like most people on the forum recommend getting the bikes toward the end of the model life rather than the earlier models because most of the bugs and engineering kinks have been worked out by BMW over the life cycle of the bike. Neither the previous owner nor I have had any major problems with my well-maintained 2001 R1100RT, which was the last year for the R1100RT, with a bit over 111,000 miles on it. Just my observations.

 

Cheers. Miguel

 

The R1100RT was the last of the BMWs, in my opinion, that are easily worked on and maintained by the owner. After that it seems that the complexity ramped up. As much as I love BMW motorcycles, I do not care to own anything later than the 1100RT. I can can do all my own maintenance and repairs on it because it is a simple design and bulletproof. 

 

And it's the best looking BMW in decades.  :)

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dirtrider
6 hours ago, Kilohertz said:

  This one I thought I may be able to get into cheaper and get going and experience the BMW for a while...could always sell it and get a nicer one if I decide it's the model bike for me.

 

Again, appreciate your input. I am now studying the service manual to see how this bike works.

 

 

Afternoon  Kilohertz

 

Just try to pick the correct BMW so you don't experience the money pit side of owning a BMW motorcycle. 

 

Also keep in mind the BMW service manual is meant for a quick reference for technicians that have a very good base understanding of the BMW motorcycle. They do a poor job of explaining the basics on how things works as they weren't designed with that aspect in mind.  

 

 

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chrisolson
4 hours ago, Miguel! said:

Its just my sense from reading this forum for a couple years but it seems like most people on the forum recommend getting the bikes toward the end of the model life rather than the earlier models because most of the bugs and engineering kinks have been worked out by BMW over the life cycle of the bike. Neither the previous owner nor I have had any major problems with my well-maintained 2001 R1100RT, which was the last year for the R1100RT, with a bit over 111,000 miles on it. Just my observations.

 

Cheers. Miguel

 

1 hour ago, Warren Dean said:

 

The R1100RT was the last of the BMWs, in my opinion, that are easily worked on and maintained by the owner. After that it seems that the complexity ramped up. As much as I love BMW motorcycles, I do not care to own anything later than the 1100RT. I can can do all my own maintenance and repairs on it because it is a simple design and bulletproof. 

 

And it's the best looking BMW in decades.  :)

 

An enthusiastic :5188:

 

I would still like to have my '99 back as I think it was the best all around bike I've owned (and yeah I like the older look also )

 

If I was in the market I'd definitely look for a 2000 or 2001 R1100RT ,  but they seem to be rare on the market ...  maybe because those who own them know what they've got :cool:

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Kilohertz

Wow lots of activity today while I was at work.

 

I received a phone call from the owner with a reply to my offer...and he said he's not selling it now.  :4607:  Because it's the only bike he has which his wife likes riding on...so I was saved by the owner...

 

I can now pursue the R1100RT...I too agree it's a nice looking bike. I missed a '96 here a few weeks ago for $2900, really nice shape...based on the discussion here today, I think I will focus on the '99-2001, see what I can find.

 

Yes, the factory SM is nothing like a Clymers or Haynes...I had to hunt thru it twice to find anything about the FI system and then it ws only about 2 pages of info.

 

Thanks guys for all the help...I'll start a new thread when I find my bike...in the meantime, I still have my Viragos.

 

Cheers

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CMikeWil
17 hours ago, Warren Dean said:

 

The R1100RT was the last of the BMWs, in my opinion, that are easily worked on and maintained by the owner. After that it seems that the complexity ramped up. As much as I love BMW motorcycles, I do not care to own anything later than the 1100RT. I can can do all my own maintenance and repairs on it because it is a simple design and bulletproof. 

 

And it's the best looking BMW in decades.  :)

Iyyyyaaaaa…okay, you might have a point!  I’ll allow that my 04 is messier to work on/maintain.

 

Boy, those were really good looking bikes(both the 1100 & 1150 series).  Would I take a current/previous generation RT if pressed? Yes, of course; by all accounts they are purported to be terrific bikes.  But, BMW sure had something right with this series.

 

I know we’ll never see it again, but wouldn’t you love spec out an 1100 or 1150 series bike with just a few of the current day essentials?  I’d certainly take cruise(and by necessity, the ride-by-wire technology it requires) and maybe some iteration of a TFT display, but oh how I could do without some of the other electronics.  I could also do without PAYING for those items and potentially the dealer repair someday down the road.

 

For the record…the ABS on my bike & future generations absolutely DO make me a safer rider and I have no quibbles with that.  Granted, if my ABS unit should go out in spite of my annual ritual of maintenance, the repair costs will likely exceed the value of my bike.  

 

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9Mary7

In your price range.... 1999-2001 R1100RT. :classic_love:

 

 

If I could find one I've have it just 'cause..........

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dirtrider
1 hour ago, CMikeWil said:

 

I know we’ll never see it again, but wouldn’t you love spec out an 1100 or 1150 series bike with just a few of the current day essentials?  I’d certainly take cruise(and by necessity, the ride-by-wire technology it requires) and maybe some iteration of a TFT display, but oh how I could do without some of the other electronics.  I could also do without PAYING for those items and potentially the dealer repair someday down the road.

 

Afternoon  CMikeWil

 

I have heard those same words over & over again since the 1150 went away. Even said them myself before I owned later model BMW boxer bikes. 

 

But those words don't seem to be repeated  once a BMW rider starts riding the later model BMW boxer bike. 

 

The newer BMW boxer bikes run so much better, stop so much better, have cruise control available, have better thought out & usable transmission gear ratios, ride smoother, & definitely a better feeling motorcycle at over 100 mph.

 

I still ride my older 1100/1150 motorcycles for short rides & some daily duty but if I going somewhere (especially if I plan on riding the freeway then it is hands down the later boxer bikes). 

 

 

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CMikeWil
3 hours ago, dirtrider said:

Afternoon  CMikeWil

 

I have heard those same words over & over again since the 1150 went away. Even said them myself before I owned later model BMW boxer bikes. 

 

But those words don't seem to be repeated  once a BMW rider starts riding the later model BMW boxer bike. 

 

The newer BMW boxer bikes run so much better, stop so much better, have cruise control available, have better thought out & usable transmission gear ratios, ride smoother, & definitely a better feeling motorcycle at over 100 mph.

 

I still ride my older 1100/1150 motorcycles for short rides & some daily duty but if I going somewhere (especially if I plan on riding the freeway then it is hands down the later boxer bikes). 

 

 

Dirtrider,

 

:-)

 

I cannot tell a lie!  My late model R1200GS sitting in the garage has been rock solid dependable so far and will run rings around my 04 RT.

 

Like you, I do find that I’m riding the newer bike far more frequently that my older RT. I’m just being obstinate because, well…because!

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Tom in Vernon BC

Hey, Kc., 

 

Where in Beastly Cee are you? 

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Kilohertz

I'm in Vernon as well. You have a bike to sell? :18:

 

cheers

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Tom in Vernon BC

Hoho!  Small world.

 

No, my RTP isn't for sale... unless I'm offered a stupidly ridiculous price!  What I usually tell people is that... we hates it 'til we rides it.

 

You've probably seen the white pig around town.

 

From your handle, I suspect we might share a similar interest.  I'll shoot you a PM.

 

Tom 7DQ

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