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What year R1100RT to buy?


cavu

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I have decided to buy an R1100RT. It seems like the perfect bike for me. I have owned many sport bikes over the years but I am ready to do some longer distances in comfort and still be able to enjoy the twisties.

 

I took a test ride on an R1100RT and loved it. My budget is around $6,000. What do you recommend? What are the differences from 96 to 01? Are there any year models to avoid?

 

Thanks for your help.

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As with almost any bike or vehicle the ones closest to the end of the production line have the bugs worked out. Although finding a low mile anything is always worth looking at!

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Hello there,

 

I just aquired a 98 R1100RT. Has 50K on it and runs strong. I did a lot of looking and I am pleased with this one. For your budget (mine was same with 6K being top end) you should find something along the same lines. I'll PM you a possible in Tifton. Good Luck!

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You should be able to score a good, clean mid-miles 1100RT in your price range. Check out this and this thread.

 

There are many other past threads on this topic... (I think it might just beat out 'What Oil Should I use?') Serioulsy, do a search and you will get more info than you can stand.

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Thanks for the quick response guys.

 

Smiller, I found your posts in the first link you gave me to be particularly helpful. It seems, from what you said, that a 96 model may have some advantages. Considering they are less likely to have final drive failures, I may focus my search on a low mileage 96. My understanding is that a final drive failure is very expensive.

 

Is the transmission in the late 97 model better? Less clunky?

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Considering they are less likely to have final drive failures, I may focus my search on a low mileage 96. My understanding is that a final drive failure is very expensive.
Please note that I didn't mean to make any kind of definitive statement that the earlier 1100's are less likely to see a final drive (or any other kind of) failure because I can't say that with certainty... just that the earlier bikes do seem to be less represented in the final drive/spline failure arena, for whatever reason. It could be simply that they have enough miles on them to be past the low-mile danger zone.

 

Unfortunately, just about any drivetrain failure will be pretty expensive to remedy if done by a dealer. As I mentioned, these bikes have shown very good overall reliability over the years (especially considering the typical amount of miles they are ridden to) but do check out the drivetrain carefully on any used oilhead (look for any play or roughness in the final drive, check for potential transmission problems, etc.).

 

Is the transmission in the late 97 model better? Less clunky?
Not really, the differences are mostly internal... and not really very important at that. Just check an early transmisison over carefully and if it seems to operate properly then it probably is. There does seem to be some variation in 'clunkiness' in oilhead (and even hexhead) transmissions but this is more likely due to simple production tolerance variations than anything else.
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What is the "low mile danger zone". Does that just mean that once the bike is over so many miles these failures are not likely to occur?

 

How do I check the transmission and final drive. I am coming from a bike that shifts like butter, and have 1 hours experience on the RT. Can you describe how to check for these things. Thanks for your help!

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What is the "low mile danger zone". Does that just mean that once the bike is over so many miles these failures are not likely to occur?
There seems to be an upside-down bell curve with respect to these failures in that they seem to occur either at relatively low miles (due to a manufacturing or assembly defect) or at rather high miles (due to normal wear and tear). A mid-mileage bike has made it past the first (and most significant) hurdle successfully.

 

How do I check the transmission and final drive. I am coming from a bike that shifts like butter, and have 1 hours experience on the RT. Can you describe how to check for these things. Thanks for your help!
Check the final drive by slowly rotating the rear wheel with the bike in neutral and on the centerstand and checking for any obvious roughness in rotation. Also grab the wheel at its circumference and test for any play in the final drive output bearing. Note that it is common to detect some play in the swingarm (vs. the final drive itself) but play in the swingarm bearings is not serious and can usually be adjusted out pretty easily.

 

To check the transmission just go up and down through the gears, accelerating to a high rpm each time and be sure that the transmission stays in gear (and of course check for any obvious noises or problems.) If you are coming off of a 'butter smooth' Japanese transmission you can expect the BMW gearbox to feel pretty clunky by comparison.

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I'm watching a 97 on ebay with 16K, and talking to an individual who has a 96 with 34k. What is mid mileage, 30k to 50k? I want to make sure the bike has passed this hurdle.

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What is mid mileage, 30k to 50k?
Thereabouts. There are no hard and fast rules here, just slight (and of debatable significance) statistical variations.
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Well, fwiw my 1997 R11RT has 126,000 miles on it and is still running great. (*knocks on wood*) I guess that means I've passed the lower end of the bell-curve for final drive failures. I'll let you know when I get to the other end. grin.gif

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Well, the search is over. I bought a 97 R1100RTL from a dealer yesterday. The bike is Glacier Green, 48K, Progresssive suspention front and rear, Corbin seat w/ back rest, Aeroflow shield, PIAA lights(not working though), Top Box, Tank bag, fairly new tires, radio controls on the bar, and Intercom.

 

I paid more than I wanted to but the bike was exactly what I was looking for. I guess the suspention alone is worth $1000 or more and there is nothing else I want to put on it, so I guess I did OK.

 

I rode it home from the dealer Louisville to Atlanta. Fantastic!

 

I do have one concern though. When you lean into a curve you can hear a little bit of a whine. Please tell me this is normal.

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I do have one concern though. When you lean into a curve you can hear a little bit of a whine. Please tell me this is normal.

 

Could just be the tires, since some tread patterns are louder than others. What brand are they?

 

Congrats on the buy.

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Avon Azaro's. I hope that's all it is.

 

It is the tyres. When I had Azaros on my R1150RT the dealer ended up stripping the tranny under warranty in a failed attempt to cure the whine. New tyres worked blush.gif

 

I would reccoment Continental Road Attacks for grip/feel/lack of noise. Metler Z6's are popular round here, or for mileage, ME880s.

 

BTW, Welcome to the board and enjoy your new ride. Where are the photos? grin.gif

 

Andy

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It is the tyres. When I had Azaros on my R1150RT the dealer ended up stripping the tranny under warranty in a failed attempt to cure the whine. New tyres worked blush.gif

 

Thanks Andy. I'm verry glad to hear that. I am enjoying the ride very much. I'll see if I can figure out how to post some pics.

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Re the tires: interestingly, my RT ('01) recently got a set of Avon Azaros, and what I thought (correctly) was a tire whine coming from somwhat worn Bridgestones went away. I find the Azaros to be very quiet, including while cornering hard. YMMV

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Re the tires: interestingly, my RT ('01) recently got a set of Avon Azaros, and what I thought (correctly) was a tire whine coming from somwhat worn Bridgestones went away. I find the Azaros to be very quiet, including while cornering hard. YMMV

 

when new, yes - but when worn and starting to cup....... thumbsup.gif

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Put 40lbs of air in those tires and see if the whine reduces.

 

That made a big difference with my pilot roads.

 

I'll try that and see if it goes away. It would be nice to know for sure that it is the tires.

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