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The famous Barn Find trick


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Hi all. As you can tell I am a newbe here. This is a tale of how I became a BMW owner. A year ago I picked up a nice used 83 gs750ed Suzuki with only 10k miles on the clock, to get some of my riding skills back after being off a bike for about 10-12 yrs. I'ved had Nortons, Suzuki's, Honda's, Yamaha's & even a couple of Harley's. Dirt bikes & road bikes. I looked at Beemers, but they were always just out of my price range.


My wife & I just sold our house, only on the market for 1 week, & the deal I made with her was that I was getting a "new" bike out of the proceeds. She said that would be fine if she was able to get a new Apple lap top. Great deal right thumbsup.gif? Well I thought I had my "new" bike narrowed down to the new Suzuki Bandit 1250ABS or the V-Strom 1000. Both have their good points & bad points, chain drive, just ok wind/weather protection, no luggage, no heated grips, low amp alternator's.Both are just over 8k before taxes, luggage, heated grips etc. So by the time everything was added up, I was pushing 11-12 grand with tax, license, luggage etc. Pretty heavy for the budget. So I figured why not look for a used bike that has everthing on it already. See, I live in what some people call the great north wet. The Seattle area of Washington state. I wanted something that I could ride all year, stay relativly warm & dry for my commute to work everyday, and have water proof storage.


One night I was perusing the on line Cycle Trader & found an ad for a 2002 1150rt. The picture showed the bike on a dealers showroom floor. I called hoping I could swing some sort of deal with the dealer, new top box, next service, or something along those lines. To my surprise a private party owned the bike. He said it only had 10 miles on it. I asked a lot of questions, maybe it was wrecked & rebuilt? He said no. So I made an appointment to go see it the next day. This guy lives a strong two hours away. I told him that If I drove there I was going to own the bike if it was in the condition he said it was. When I get to his place, we talk a bit. He tells me he bought the bike new from a Portland dealer & had it delivered by flatbed to his house. He rides it up & down his driveway a couple of times & then parks it in his heated garage. He said it was to heavy, bulky & big for him to feel comfortable on. He was not going to ride it at all if he did not feel safe. To his credit he had been riding several different models of the newer Honda scooters, which he still has. He then takes me to one of his garages (this one is heated) (here comes the Barn Find). Hidden beneath several sleeping bags is a "Brand New" Silver 2002 1150rt. No scratches, no dents, no miles (8 actually) & lots of cob webs....... clap.gifclap.gif


I look everything thing over with a fine tooth comb. The tires still have their nubs on them, no cracks, no dry rot, no wear on the pegs, levers, grips, etc. A new bike. Wow. I went down with the battery out of the Suzuki, some tools, extra gas, camera (battery was dead when I got there so no pictures yet). I had the owner get the materials he was given with the bike. I had never worked on a BMW before. He only had the service booklet, no owners manual or any other materials. It took a while to figure out how the seat came off dopeslap.gif. To my disgust, the battery was not where most other mfg's put their batteries, under the seat. So after what seems like 13 million screws the lh side panel is almost off. It is hung up under the mirror. So I take off the windshield thinking maybe that would get me to the screws holding it. That didn't work. Neither did the screws for the dash panel dopeslap.gif. So I take off the rh side. Same problem, stuck behind the mirror. Self I says, this has to be simple confused.gif. So thinking the mirrors might be the break-a-way type, I hit one & off it comes. Lo & behold the final screw. I do have the safety straps to go back on when I pick up the bike next Saturday. smile.gif


After checking the air cleaner for any mice, and with access to the battery now, I hook up my Suzuki battery. Unfortunetly it is too fat to fit into the existing slot. So I set it on a log & hook up the cables. No test ride today. I turn the switch & all of the lights come on. A good sign. I hit the starter button, it cranks over easily but no fire. I turn on the choke (pull the lever?) crank a couple more times & it fires right up. Not bad for 4 year old gas without stablizer. It runs fine, it should, being brand new, right? Wow again. He was asking $8500. I offered $7900 & I buy the battery. We settled on $8000. The famous Barn Find trick!!!!! clap.gifclap.gifclap.gif



When I pick up the bike, I will be changing the oil & filter,(special tool) empting the gas tank, re-filling with new, putting on the mirror safety cables & installing a new Odessy battery. Once on the road I will be stopping at the nearest gas station (10 or 15 miles away) for more fuel & to check the tires. 36 psi front 38 rear, about right? I have been told to get the brakes bled before 1000 miles. Maybe at the same time the 600 mile service is done. Anybody out there willing to lend a hand/help/guide in the process. I prefer to do all of my own wrenching. Beer/pizza included. Is there anything else I should check or be aware of before I hit the road towards home?


Many happy trails to come........



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Wow! That sounds like a nice find! Just a couple of things I thought of. You don't necessarily need to bleed the brakes unless you're having brake problems, but you do need to change/flush the brake and clutch fluid as soon as practical because the fluid has probly picked up some moisture after sitting around for 4 years.


The other thing, since it's not broken in, you want to keep 'er under 4k during the first 600 miles. You might want to have a dealer do the 600 mile service since it's fairly intensive, but you can probly do it if you have the tools (except for the ABS and ECU diagnostics).


There's plenty of info you can look for in previous threads here.


Send pictures soon!



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Wow! What an incredible find! It might still be worth having a reputable dealer do the 600 mile check up to make sure all systems are go and in spec! It will take a lot of miles to break in the engine but will be sweet fun doing it. Don't baby or lug the engine after 600 miles varied speed under 4000 rpm breakin. They love to run from 3500 to red line and will ping and knock in higher gears if you lug them too hard (under 4000). Amazing that you figured out all the screws that hold on the body work without a manual or Haynes. Took me half a day the first time. You'll love working on these bikes and they just get smoother and faster as the tens of thousand of miles rack up! Congrats and WELCOME to the Board!

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Wow what a find! I just bought a super clean '04 R1150RT with 3800 miles. Thought I had gotten a great deal until I read your story. I spent about 6 weeks looking for my bike and I was surprised at how many sport touring bikes I found with low miles (many were R1150T's). I'm amazed that people, for instance your seller, buy these great bikes & don't ride them. How can you not love the way an RT rides and not want to make some long runs? It's a shame to let them sit in storage.


Congratulations on your find. Whould like to here how it performs after you've ridden it for a while.

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