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1100RT or 1150RT


Grayrider

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Hello all. I'm new to the forum and have asked a few questions so far. I need some help making a decision. I currently own a 97' Trophy 1200. i love the bike but am wanting to change over to a RT. Money is an issue, I don't want to spend 19 grand on a new 2006 1200RT. I'd Like to get a used 1100 or 1150. What are the differences between the 1100 and 1150 besides the obvious. I'm not sure if I should save some money and get an 1100 or go for the 1150. Thanks.

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1150 has the 6-speed tranny and dual-spark. Also may have the EVO brakes. Based on my (limited) experience I wouldn't want the 5-speed or single spark. Many believe that the '04 R1150's are the culmination of a decade of incremental developments and improvements and represent the state-of-the-art oilhead.

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If money was NOT an issue, and I had to choose between an 1100 or 1150, I would definitely choose an 1100. Much better bike, in my opinion, on the things that matter to me.

 

The things that are better on the 1150: slightly better handling; more common rear tire size; better forward lighting; smooth tranny; slightly better mileage (that's about all the dual-spark helps with). I'd never buy one of these.

 

The things that are better on an 1100: looks; brakes; gear ratios. I'd definitely buy one of these.

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russell_bynum

I agree with David. (although I didn't think the 1150 transmission was any smoother).

 

The deal-breaker for me is the linked power-assisted brakes. I hate them and think that the marketing person who forced them onto the RT should have to spend all eternity in hell riding an R1150RT though decreasing-radius corners and doing low-speed manuvering. (Note: Other folks like them, YMMV.)

 

The 6-speed transmission is a pain. 6th is WAY too tall and the gap between 5th and 6th is huge.

 

If I were looking for an 1100/1150 RT, I'd find a 2000-2001 R1100RT.

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Clive Liddell

"If money was NOT an issue, and I had to choose between an 1100 or 1150, I would definitely choose an 1100. Much better bike, in my opinion, on the things that matter to me."

 

I second what Rider says. In addition I like the way the hot air off the oil cooler is ducted away from the rider on the 1100 and that 5th gear is "working" gear very usable from 100km/h(60mph)upwards. "Answers" to questions nobody asked like hydraulic clutch activation and whizzy brakes are the things that turn me off with their added complexity.

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That's the exactly the stuff that I'm looking for! Keep them coming!

 

6th gear is too tall. How is that. Is 6th gear a true overdrive? Does it improve MPG that much more over the 5th gear on the 1100?

 

1150 has the linked breaks and the 1100 does not?

 

Thanks guys.

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russell_bynum

6th gear is too tall. How is that. Is 6th gear a true overdrive? Does it improve MPG that much more over the 5th gear on the 1100?

 

6th is basically only good for highway cruising above about 70mph. It doesn't give you enough power to do anything, and the motor lugs below 70mph.

 

1150 has the linked breaks and the 1100 does not?

 

Yes, but there's more than that...

 

The 1100 has traditional hydraulic brakes, with ABS. The controls operate normally, in that the lever on the bars controls the front brakes, and the pedal controls the rear.

 

The 1150 has power-assisted (aka "servo") brakes. This basically an electric pump that pressurizes the system. When you apply the brakes via one of the controls, the computer takes your input and figures out how much pressure to apply to the brakes. The marketing buzz is that this lets the brakes come up to full pressure faster than traditional hydraulic brakes. I'm not convinced, but...whatever.

 

The servo brakes do require less effort at the lever to apply max braking force. This takes some getting used to because it's pretty sensitive. Some folks really struggle with making the adjustment, but I didn't really have an issue with that.

 

The 1150's servo brakes require a bleed/flush procedure that's not rocket science, but it's a good bit more complex and involved than what you have to do to bleed/flush the brakes on an 1100 (or any other vehicle with normal hydraulic brakes).

 

Now...the "Linked" part. As I mentioned, the 1100 is a traditional setup...the lever actuates the front brakes, and the pedal accuates the rear.

 

With the 1150RT, the controls are linked. The lever actuates front and rear brakes, and the pedal actuates front and rear brakes.

 

The real drawback of this is that you don't always want the front brake applied. For example, when you're making a tight U-turn at parking-lot speeds, it can be helpful to drag the rear brake a bit to stabilize the bike. You can't really do that with the fully-linked brakes on the 1150.

 

The other place they cause problems, is when you're cornering and something happens that causes you to need to apply the brakes while leaned over (corner tightens, you see debris in the corner, etc). In that situation, the careful application of the rear brake will slow the bike without upsetting the chassis/suspension. (actually, some racers drag the rear brake in corners because it stabilizes the bike). With the fully-linked 1150RT brakes, when you try to apply the rear brake in a corner, the computer applies both brakes. When the front brake is applied, the bike tries to fold up around the steering head, which causes the bike to want to stand up and run wide.

 

This generally isn't THAT big of a deal, but it does force you to make additional steering inputs to keep the bike on the line you selected. So...you're upsetting the chassis/suspension and making extra steering inputs at a time when you're already in a situation where you're asking more from the bike than you had planned.

 

Note: Not all of the servo-assisted BMW's were/are afflicted with the fully linked brakes. Some have unlinked brakes, and some have partial linking where the lever controls both brakes, but the pedal only controls the rear. Unfortunately, the 1150RT is not one of those bikes (unless you get a police bike...the police refused to take the R1150RT-P until BMW gave them partially-linked brakes rather than fully-linked.

 

As I said in my previous post...some people (like me) are really bothered by the fully-linked brakes, but some don't have a problem with them. Just take the time to understand what the system does and what the implications of that are, and make your own decision.

 

Other stuff: The 1150 has a hydraulic clutch that seems to be more failure-prone than the mechanical clutch on the 1100. And when it does fail, it leaves you standed. When an 1100's clutch cable breaks, you can still ride the bike. You can shift clutchless and nurse the bike home. When the hydraulic bits in the 1150 clutch fail, they typically douse the clutch in fluid...rendering it useless and leaving you stranded. I don't really understand the logic of this move. I like the feel of my bikes with a mechanical clutch better than the bikes with hydraulic clutches, there's less maintenance with the mechanical clutches, and since they are simpler, they seem to be less failure-prone.

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This site may offer some help.

 

http://bmwmotorcycle.home.att.net/1150.htm

 

It lists some of the differences between the two bikes. Just scroll down a bit. I have an 1150 and like it very much (I actual like the brakes...alot). I have ridden a friends 1100 and like his bike too. I prefer my 6th gear on the highway. His 5 speeds are more useful around town. I think the 1150 has a big gap between 5th and 6th, but that is just my feeling about it. You may find it is fine.

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Just to balance the thread a little bit wink.gif

some people (like me) are really bothered by the fully-linked brakes, but some don't have a problem with them.
I'm definitely in the latter camp. While I don't think the linked brakes were BMWs greatest idea ever, especially on a sport sport/touring bike, I don't think they condemn the bike either. We did 36K, a lot of it 2-up sportier riding on our R1150RT, and we seemed to get it to go through the twisties just fine. And in a panic situation the linking might be a butt saver.

 

The R1150RT definitely handles better than the R1100RT too. When I get on a R1100RT now it feels like a sled it's so sluggish.

 

6th gear is a true overdrive, best for highway cruising only, but the reduced vibration, noise and better mileage makes it worthwhile when you need it. The '04 twin-spark solved virtually all running issues with the earlier R1150RTs (although many didn't have any.)

 

Finally, I think the R1150RT looks better. grin.gif

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John in VA

I chose an 1100RT for the non-integrated/non-powered brakes and the 5-speed transmission. All other differences are cosmetic or nonessential, including dual-spark.

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SAAB93driver

The 1150RT/RS gear ratio issue can be somewhat solved with a 3.0 ratio final drive from an R1100R ABS. I made the switch on my single spark R1150RS (which uses same tranny as 1150RT) and 6th and 1st are where they should be. It doesn't fix the large gap of 5-6 obviously but makes for a better ride on 65 mph US roads and the impact on mpg and vibration was minimal to me. There is also a non OD transmission available from BMW but it is expensive. This would be the real fix if you came across one of these.

 

That said, I owned an R1100RS and now the R1150RS. I think the 1150's were a step forward in some ways (switch gear, handling, motronic) but also a backward step (servo brakes, hydraulic clutch, gear ratios) - it's really a wash, but on a day-to-day basis I think the 1100 package is easier to live with out of the box.

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hcmiller92

I think - no matter the topic, disease or motorcycles - the online forums are haunted by naysayers and doom and gloom, many times leading the questioner to unfortunate conclusions and judgements. The folks on this list have lots of tremendous experience and wrenching wisdom and I appreciate that. I also - rightly or wrongly - appreciate the German engineering logic. These folks didn't just fall off the last boat.

 

A week ago I traded in my much-loved (and trouble-free) R1100RT and picked up a brand-new 2006 R1150GSA. I've ridden the new bike for 7 days and put 700 miles on it so far. While I realize that a GSA is not an RT, there certainly are more than a few similarities and conclusions to be drawn.

 

The 1150 is more than an incremental improvement, it offers a major engineering refinement over the 1100. The engine is stronger and the power band is different/better in the midrange. The brakes are superb and the 6-speed is wonderful. In the RT line, you also need to consider the substantially improved lighting. While there may be an occasional failure with the hydraulic clutch line, I'm sure that is more the rare exception than the rule.

 

You can worry yourself to pieces and second-guess the engineers at BMW all you want. In the end, you will make your own choice but don't forget that the folks at BMW aren't totally stupid even though many non-professional pundits will argue to the contrary.

 

Curt

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SAAB93driver

The power band of the R/GS engine and the RS/RT have always been different from each other in both 1100 and 1150 forms. It's not an apples to apples comparison.

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I think - no matter the topic, disease or motorcycles - the online forums are haunted by naysayers and doom and gloom, many times leading the questioner to unfortunate conclusions and judgements. The folks on this list have lots of tremendous experience and wrenching wisdom and I appreciate that. I also - rightly or wrongly - appreciate the German engineering logic. These folks didn't just fall off the last boat.

 

...

 

You can worry yourself to pieces and second-guess the engineers at BMW all you want. In the end, you will make your own choice but don't forget that the folks at BMW aren't totally stupid even though many non-professional pundits will argue to the contrary.

 

Are these the same engineers who:

 

1) Later closed up the gear ratios.

 

2) Unlinked the brakes.

 

3) Issued a technical service bulletin on replacing the servo pump if the customer complained enough.

 

4) Issued a system-wide urging for all customers to have their brakes checked.

 

5) Decided to dump the current servo supplier.

 

Your opinion is welcome and valid, but throwing yourself at the altar of German engineering--especially when they've essentially agreed with what much of us have said--is worshipping the wrong gods, man. tongue.gif

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Well, since I have an RT-P, my final gearing is a little different from the civilian bikes (rear-drive gear ratio of 31:11 vs civilian RT which has a 32:11 ratio) as such, my 1100 has a little bit better acceleration, and a little less top end speed. However I have yet to come up against the "reduced" top end speed!

 

I have only ridden 2 other 1150RT's and 2 other 1100RT's besides my own bike. And, though perhaps it all revolves around what you are used to, I have never liked the 1150's as much. Maybe I rode some bad examples? Dunno, but my 1100 works just fine for me.

 

I have used the servo brakes on 3 different BMWs: My '03 K1200GT (now sold), my '02 K1200LT, and on the 1150RT's which I have test ridden. Once again, I don't know whether it was due to the specific bikes I have ridden, but I like the servo brakes on the K bikes, but did not like them on the RT. They just didn't seem to me to be integrated into the overall bike as well. What the heck does that mean? I don't know whether I can put it into words. On the K bikes, they worked well, and almost seemed to fit better as "necessary" to haul all of that power or weight down to a stop. On the RT they just seemed over the top, unnecessary, superfluous, and kind of finicky. Personal preference ultimately.

 

Oh, and single plug/surging? Yup, I had a little surging on my 1100. That is until I pulled the CCP. Surging gone, quicker acceleration, overall smoother running. This was the cheap (free) solution, but an even better one is installing a Techlusion.

 

Gotta love those 1100's for their simplicity, capability and reliability. They just seem to get the job done.

 

Good luck,

Tom

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hcmiller92
Your opinion is welcome and valid, but throwing yourself at the altar of German engineering--especially when they've essentially agreed with what much of us have said--is worshipping the wrong gods, man. tongue.gif

 

Well, I gotta tell ya, in the 50 years I've been buying high-end Japanese and German products (cameras and cars), the failures and engineering issues have been more than double with the Japanese. I can't tell you how much trouble I've had with my Japanese bikes compared with the BMWs. Your comments speak as much to marketing as to engineering. Germans don't know how to sell anything...and most of them know it.

 

Again, i think the forums bring out more naysayers than happy campers and this response speaks well to the comment.

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Widely available, published reports on both cars and motorcycles completely abolish your perceptions of German quality vs. Japanese quality. Except for Porsche, according to the stats released last week.

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I would imagine that each bike has its deficiencies that the respective owner adapts to, to the point of probably saying to themselves that it's no big deal. The brake sensativity of the 1150 isn't a deal breaker in deciding which bike to get. I like the idea both front and rear operate off one control. It probably creates even front and rear pad wear. the overdrive gear ratio wouldn't prevent me from recommending the bike to someone else nor the extra step or six needing to bleed the brakes. I like the quiet motor/driveshaft operation at highway speeds. I haven't ridden the 1100, however, if the ride of my bike is any indicator, the ride of the 1100 is probably impressive too. I can only speak of the 1150 and I would whole heartedly recommend it. I like the brakes, the overdrive, and the sound of the servo because the bike is well made and I have adapted to the way the bike performs and I love every bit of it. I can only imagine the 1100 in a great bike too.

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Widely available, published reports on both cars and motorcycles completely abolish your perceptions of German quality vs. Japanese quality. Except for Porsche, according to the stats released last week.

 

This is nothing new. As far as owner complaints, German cars have been way down the list for years. That's partly because Americans don't understand engineering - they know what they like and what they don't like and they like Japanese. Were they to attempt to keep a product more than a few years, the long-term investment quality difference would clearly show off. As a photography enthusiast of many years, I own lots of cameras, including a Nikon F3 and Nikon F5. Most Americans think they're the nuts. They don't compare - quality, durability and longevity-wise to my Leicas. No contest. The acid test is always going to be long-term durability. Aside from a few high mileage GoldWings, most of the high mile bikes I ever hear about are BMWs.

 

Oh, and I had a discussion with a friend (a mechanical engineer who happens to do all his own wrenching on his bikes and his Audis) who owns an '04 1150 RT for which he traded an 1100RT. In every way, he finds the 1150 superior...an apples to apples comparison.

 

Oh, and I own two Japanese bikes and my BMW...no comparison, quality-wise, between the two. None.

 

Curt

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I'm sure you are right, Curt. This has been a very meaningful discussion, and I shall cherish it forever. smirk.gif

 

Even your most recent example of camera equipment resonates with me, which is why you see so many pros using Leicas. grin.gif

 

Nevertheless, I'm sure you're right. And this is a great example of why I cherish the internet so.

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russell_bynum

Oh, and I own two Japanese bikes and my BMW...no comparison, quality-wise, between the two. None.

 

From your signature: '03 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic

 

No offense, but the Vulcan isn't exactly the pinnacle of Japanese engineering.

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As for me give me an 1100 or give me nothing. Sorry for the dramitics, but I have ridden the 1150 and when compared to the 1100 I see no significant difference in braking and handling. I ride to work everyday I can, freeway and stop and go. The 1100 does just fine. Additionally I vacation in Durango Co. every year. The ride from Houston is boring and long. I have every confidence in the 1100 and get 43MPG at around 80 mph for the trip. My personal opinion is that the RT line is getting to bulky and expensive. My 99 1100rt cost 8K used. for some people getting the newest bike out there is a must. I will gladly buy a used RT and let someone else foot the bill for a new one! As for me I will gladly keep my 1100 until it becomes an antique or until it requires some repair that is overwelming to the checkbook. Which ever bike you choose I am confident you will be quite happy with the decision. Give it some thought and dont let all the latest bells and whistles cause you to spend more than you have to. Remember that riding is a chance to be at one with the elements. Making you own way down the road. Dont let the bike become a car and take you out of the equation. Riding connects you with your self unlike any car can.

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If money is an issue, I would say find the best deal on the bike that is in the best condition. I don't think you can go very wrong either way. I've got an 1150 and love it. It only has one spark plug which means I spend half for spark plugs when I replace them. No surging if I take my time and tune it right. The brakes are a little touchy and it took some time getting used to but it forced me to stop using the rear brake pedal. What's amazing about them are two things. First, I hardly use any brake pads. My first set lasted 45k miles. I'm on my second set which have nearly 30k miles and I have plenty of meat left. I've never gotten that kind of mileage on brake pads in my life. The second thing is that I think the integrated brakes have given me more confidence than I've ever had before. After I purchased my bike, I took an ERC course in order to go through it on a bike that felt different than my previous bike (K11LT). When we were going through the brake lockup session (where the BMWs got a taste of the ABS chatter), I got used to the sensation of the braking moving from the rear to the front. After I got used to it, I was stopping much quicker than anyone else. It was definitely a "jaw dropper" for the instructor.

 

6th gear is an overdrive. It's too tall by about 500 RPM. I disagree with Russell Bynum on a couple of points, even though he's much smarter in all these areas. The first one is 6th is useless until 80 MPH, not 70. At 80, it's running at 4k RPM. At 70, it's only at 3k RPM where there's no power at all. For both the 1100 and the 1150, the "sweet spot" is between 4,500 and 5,500. In 6th gear, you are doing a buck at 5k RPM and it's running real sweet between 90 and 110. Lots of fun, big time. The other thing where I disagree is the ability to trail brake in corners. I think this is a really bad practice for us street guys. Pros on a track can do different things, but we should learn swerving to avoid minor road hazards and ultimately have the confidence to straighten it up and apply full braking force in a serious emergency. The bike (either the 1100 or 1150) is so flickable, brakes are virtually unnecessary except at traffic control devices. I say this and I know I'm not THAT good of a rider.

 

My advice is to spend your time weeding out the bad ones from the good ones and make the best possible selection based on condition and problems of that particular machine.

 

Good luck,

 

Bill Allen

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Bill Allen wrote:

 

"My advice is to spend your time weeding out the bad ones from the good ones and make the best possible selection based on condition and problems of that particular machine."

 

This is probably the best single line in the whole thread. We all know they're both great bikes.

 

Curt

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russell_bynum

This is probably the best single line in the whole thread. We all know they're both great bikes.

 

Yes....ALL of us feel just like you do.

 

Shesh.

 

eek.gif

 

 

For me, there are some things about the 1150 that are definite deal-breakers, and I wouldn't own one regardless of how good a deal I found. (Note to 1150 owners who are now getting offended: that doesn't mean it is a bad bike...just that it's a bad fit for ME.)

 

Other folks feel the same about the 1100 and feel that the 1150 is a vastly superior machine.

 

We all have different reasons for coming to our conclusions...and those conclusions are right...for each of us individually.

 

Once the OP has decided if he wants an 1150, or an 1100 (or if he thinks they're about even and could take either one if the right deal came along), then he can start weeding out the bad ones from the good ones.

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Whichever one you decide to get, THAT will be the best one! The one you'll defend till death (or your internet connection goes down) and cherish forever!

 

Seriously, ride both and see which you like best. If you feel they are too close to call, find the best deal.

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I can appreciate that the 2004 1150RT had the twin-spark ignition and that it is debatable if it did anything more than allow BMW to meet emission standards.

 

But was the gearing and/or servo brakes changed at all during the 2002 to 2004 production run? (I seem to recall a change to the servo brakes mentioned.)

 

I guess what I'm getting at is....did the 1150RT improve (significantly or not) over the course of it's production run?

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The brakes got less harsh from '02 to '04. In my not at all humble opinion grin.gif, the twin spark improved driveabilty all round and gave me a 5% reduction in fuel burn - at UK prices of $6-$7 per US gallon that was worth going from an '02 to '04 (UK market year designations are different to US - our '02 may be a US '03).

 

In fact I bought my '04 as a direct result of the fuel QD recall of a couple of years back. The job was scheduled to take about an hour, so I decided to take advantage of my dealers test-ride facilities. As it happened the only demo bikes available at the right time were a F650 ar the twin-spark RT. I opted to test the RT, and on my return to the dealer traded my silver '02 for a blue '04, then went home and got permission of my wife tongue.gif that is how much better the newer bike seemed to me.

 

Andy thumbsup.gif

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Lineareagle

Gee after reading all the 1100 accolades I wish I hadn't bought my '04 1150RT. NOT.

I will admit the brakes are a bitch at low speed, tight maneuvering. But you soon learn to not get into tight turns slow maneuvering.

As far as the 6th gear I find it just purrs at 70 mph, 3,500 rpm. Its not going to crank up a steep hill but thats why you can shift it.

The other area that it is just horrible on is loose gravel. Now I used to compete in trials so I should be able to handle a little gravel. Man this thing can really bring out the sweat on a long run of loose gravel. Never have I felt as out of control. I am not sure an 1100 would be any better, GSA anyone?

BUT, get onto the Lolo pass, Chief Joseph or some other twisties and look out this machine is sooo sweet.

Result.

You learn to ride the bike where you are comfortable and having fun, for me the 1150 is comfortable and fun where I want it to be.

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I just want 'em both. I got a used R1100RT-P for about half the price of a civilian model (plus about 50K miles), and I'm looking for a 2004 RT-P down the road here (particularly since I want the unlinked brakes, gear diff., and other RT-P mods).

 

But Marty's almost talked me into pursuing a GS first. In fact, Marty's convinced me that I MUST HAVE a GS. It'll probably be an R1100GS as well.

 

So, after I have the R1100RT-P and GS side by side, I'm getting that 2004 R1150RT-P, and will probably repaint and convert it. When I get bored with all of them, or my wife threatens to toss me out of the house, then I'll take a look at consolidating one or more to a R1200??.

 

I can afford all these toys as long as they're used. Otherwise, it'll cost me way too much in new china, silver, crystal, wall paper, furniture, etc.. grin.gif

 

But hey, a guy's got to have a plan! thumbsup.gif

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Scott,

 

If you do a GS, make it a 12. Way better. I've owned 11's 1150's and 12's. The 11 owners are deluding themselves if they think the bike is as or almost as good as either the 1150's or new 12's. On the other hand, if their happy all is well with the world.

 

As far as the '04 1150 RT-P, I think I know where you could fine one. grin.gif

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As far as the '04 1150 RT-P, I think I know where you could fine one. grin.gif

 

Well, have fun over there, but hurry back! thumbsup.gif

 

Hmmm ... come to think of it, I know a guy who's gonna have a used up, beat up, hardly new at all R1200GS rusting unused over in Europe soon. Maybe it'll come available. (Or, I guess you could park it over there for all the bmwst folks heading over; you could probably pay for it 3x over renting it out .. lol).

</end off topic>

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