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99' RT. What do you think?


ninermatt

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I have an opportunity to acquire a 1999 R1100RT with 80k on the clock It has been well maintained and is a strong runner. What kind of life expectancy can I anticipate from a machine of this mileage, what can I expect to break, would you stay away?

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Paul Mihalka

I sold my '99 R1100RT year and a half ago with over 170K miles. It is a every day rider with the new owner. Incapacitating defects were a Hall sensor at 80K miles, clutch splines at 100K miles and rear drive at 150K miles. It can be a good buy if the price is right.

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I own a '96 RT with about 80k on it. The only work it has ever required was a transmission repair (due to a known issue with the earlier-model transmissions -- would not be a factor for a 1999 model) and replacement of the HES wiring harness (another known weak point, but a cheap and easy repair.) Also maybe a few replacement bearings for the front wheel, swingarm, etc. over the years and other consumables, and that's about it (well, OK, I did replace the shocks.) I keep looking religiously for signs of any other common issues (such as with the final drive) but so far no problems. Overall I have put less than $1k into the bike in 10 years and 80k miles (plus another $1k for a shock upgrade, but I figured most any bike would need that) so I consider maintenace costs of this bike to have been very low. I recently did a leakdown test and the results were essentially perfect. I don't see why I wouldn't be able to ride this bike another 100k miles if I so choose.

 

A big key to maintenance costs with these bikes is the ability to do the maintenance work yourself though. The above costs (and any future work, and let's face it... you're likely to need some) would have been many times higher if done by a dealer.

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I'm capable of doing pretty much all my own maintenance on the bike so thats not really a concerned. Its more of a fear of being "nickle-and-dimed" to death or a catastrophic failure of a major driveline component

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The engine (and most of the bike actually) has proven pretty much bulletproof over the years, the only two significant weaknesses that seem to occur occasionally are early failures of the transmission input shaft splines and the final drive crown bearing. There's really no way to predict the liklihood either of these but the final drive isn't all that expensive to repair if you just check it from time to time and catch it before a total failure occurs. A spline failure is bad news but most evidence points to this being caused by poor alignment of the transmission/engine interface at the time of manufacture and if a bike has gone 80k miles without a problem then it is rather unlikely that it is affected. I wouldn't let either of these potential problems scare me as they show up on a relatively small number of bikes, but I'll mention them since you'll read about them anyway.

 

You might be looking at a new clutch in the next 20k-40k miles or so (depending on the previous owner's clutch technique) but that job will only require a few hundred dollars worth of parts if/when the time comes, if you do the work yourself. Not a particularly difficult job for an experienced home mechanic, although a bit of a PITA.

 

The bike is very self-maintenace friendly so while you undoubtedly will have a thing or two show up on an 80k bike they shouldn't be all that expensive to fix. Also the 1100 bikes were produced for five years with practically no significant changes so used parts are plentiful and if something expensive does rear its head good used parts are very readily available.

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Obviously price and overall condition is a factor (i.e. I wouldn't pay $7K for it grin.gif) but my '99 was running better at 57k miles than when it had 27K. No mechanical issues - just normal maintenance. I'd agree with most of the other posters...its a good bike and if its made it this far, chances are it'll have a lot more fun miles left!

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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs
Does it still have OEM shocks? That's a $1200.oo expense if you need replacements
Only if you go with Ohlins. My 99 RT went like hell for 60K miles. Then I bought a used set of OEM shocks that had 30K miles on them and have 65K on those. Occasionally I open up the rear shock reservoir and pour in some more hydraulic oil. So far my shock replacement tally is at ~$140. I beat the heck out of my RT and it does fine. Yes, some aftermarket shocks would be a neat thing, but my enjoyment has not dimished at all because of the stockers. I commute, do an occasional track day and regularly ride in the dirt with the stock shocks and have not often wanted more.

 

You might check the thickness of the rotors, depending on the mileage. Replacement isn't difficult, but they are a little spendy. $300 each from BMW, half that from Speigler, less than that if (like me) you get lucky and find a used set on line. Good luck! smile.gif

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Occasionally I open up the rear shock reservoir and pour in some more hydraulic oil. So far my shock replacement tally is at ~$140. I beat the heck out of my RT and it does fine. Yes, some aftermarket shocks would be a neat thing, but my enjoyment has not dimished at all because of the stockers. I commute, do an occasional track day and regularly ride in the dirt with the stock shocks and have not often wanted more.

 

How has the front held up after 90k? good thought on the brake rotors
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Occasionally I open up the rear shock reservoir and pour in some more hydraulic oil.
That only affects the preload adjuster and has no effct at all on shock damping.
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Dances_With_Wiener_Dogs
How has the front held up after 90k? good thought on the brake rotors

Sorry, to clarify, both shocks were replaced at the same time.

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