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1100RT vs 1200RT maintenance


tomc

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I currently ride an 1100RT, and it's been an excellent motorcycle. I do all of my own routine mainenance. Now I am considering buying a 1200RT (although I am also considering an FJR1300). My question is: For the home mechanic with average skills, are routine maintenance procedures significantly more difficult on the 1200 as compared to the 1100? Are any expensive special tools required?

 

Thanks in advance for any information you might provide.

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Routine maintenance tasks are very similar on the hexheads. Some cannot be done exactly as specified by BMW without the diagnostic box but acceptable workarounds have been developed.

 

The problem is in the area on non-routine maintenance, such as canbus issues, illumination of the MIL lamp, etc. An owner is kind of limited to only very basic checks in these areas and beyond that will probably require BMW diagnostic equipment. A limited-capability third-party diagnostic box has recently come on the market so purchase of that will allow you to at least read trouble codes, so it's a start. Of course with the 1100 all it takes to read trouble codes is a 59-cent LED. wink.gif

 

Like you, I am also sensitive to the self-service issue but at this point it wouldn't be a deal-killer for me with respect to the hexheads (now that an aftermarket diagnostic box is available), but it is a valid area of concern, and from what I have read apparently even more so with the new K1200 and F800 bikes.

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Thanks for the feedback. I live about 100 miles from the nearest dealer, so it's for both financial and convenience reasons that I like to do my own service. As you say, the BMW trend seems to be toward increasing dependence on dealers for bike service. That might be more palatable if at least the service interval was longer. For example, the FJR valve adjustment interval is 26K miles. Even Ducati has increased the interval from 6 to 12K.

 

Thanks again.

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Hi Tom. I've had my '05 RT now for just over two years and with the exception of a rear drive seal replaced under warranty I have done all the work on my RT.

Even Ducati has increased the interval from 6 to 12K.
Based on my experience maintaining my own bike I now do the routine maintenance every 12k rather than 6k. The valves require almost no adjustment after 12k, the throttle bodies stay in sync, the bike does not use oil and it stays pretty clean. The transmission oil is done every 24 as are the plugs... BMW says to check the plugs every 6k but I've stopped doing that. If the bike is running perfectly the plugs are fine as they have been. I have also done the rear drive oil change and I changed the brake fluid after the first year. Rear drive oil looked good (done at 34k) and the brake fluid was like brand new after 13k and one year in the bike. The next brake fluid change is not due until next year and it will be a while until I do the rear drive again. Unlike your R1100 the new bikes have hydraulic clutch and the fluid is lifetime now. I've owned three oilhead RSs and despite the extra body work, my R1200RT is hands down a much easier bike to maintain. I mostly ride it which means tires get changed far more often than the bike gets worked on.
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Thanks, Scott. This is helpful info. Regarding brake fluid, is the the fluid change/bleeding procedure different from that of the 1100? Brake maintenance is one area that I've been led to believe is much more difficult with the hexhead than the oilhead.

 

Many thanks.

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