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2004 BMW R-engine longevity


schafn

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I am looking to buy a 2004 R1150GSA. I have one in my sights that has 34,000 miles on it. The BMW shop says the current (and only) owner is religious about maintenance. The warranty is already expired. What kind of lifespan do these motors have, and what limits that lifespan? In other words, what is the weakest link?

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The oilheads have their weaknesses but basic engine longevity is not one of them. I don't know if I've ever heard of one wearing out and there are several running fine at the multi hundred-thousand mile mark. Most significant drivetrain issues have to do with either the transmission input splines and/or the final drive. Do a search here and you will find an almost unbelievable library of information on the subject (but don't let it scare you... by its nature the commentary makes the problems seem more common then they actually are.)

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I just talked to a guy today riding a GS (at the Harley shop if you can believe that?) with over 50K on it. His last, and airhead, had over 100K on it. My 02 RT is now at 46K and getting ready to take a 6K trip this next weekend. I wouldn't fear putting money into a BMW. The GS is the best selling model over the world. As was mentioned in the previous post, there are some issues that pop up such as the clutch splines and some final drive failures, but those are the exceptions rather than the norm. One also has to ask just how those bikes were ridden/maintained. Before I'm flamed here, I'm accusing all failures on neglect and poor maintenance, but I think some of that does abound.

 

Ride the bike, and if it feels good to you and you like it, buy it and don't look back.

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My '03 RT has 52,000 miles on it and it's running better than ever. These engines are meant to go well over 100K and, like fine wine, the older they get, the smoother they get.

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My 1998 R1100RT suffered an engine failure at 130000km that was uneconomical to repair. But I believe this is an exception so it didn't stop me buying a R1200RT.

My old 1992 R100RT has covered 225000km when I sold it and it was still going strong.

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