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Engine life


sdkid

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I am thinking of joining the BMW ranks and I'm curious. I have no idea about longevity expectations when looking at used bikes. There continue to be 1150-RT and RTP's listed here and there, but some have what feels like a LOT of miles.

 

So... What is the average life expectancy of that boxer engine and transmission?

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Engines seem to last forever.

As for the other drive components... You roll the dice and take your chances.

 

These bikes are great at what they do. Read everything on this board and you will be well armed with information to purchase the right bike.

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I am thinking of joining the BMW ranks and I'm curious. I have no idea about longevity expectations when looking at used bikes. There continue to be 1150-RT and RTP's listed here and there, but some have what feels like a LOT of miles.

 

So... What is the average life expectancy of that boxer engine and transmission?

 

Welcome to the board skid.

My advice is buy as low a mileage bike as you can possibly afford.

Go to a dealer and take one for a real long test ride to see if it the type of bike for you.

The bike you think you want to buy, examine its service history and see if anything strange crops up.

 

Later twin sparks are likely to have smoother power delivey at steady throttle (no surging).

 

Later twin sparks will have a better rear to front brake balance.

 

All bikes can suffer from dreaded gearbox to engine alignment (it would seem)!

I love mine.

 

Andy

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"All bikes can suffer from dreaded gearbox to engine alignment (it would seem)!"

 

Much more frequent on 2002 models than 2003 and 2004 bikes.

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100,000 miles. Incredible. Thanks for the feedback guys.

 

I have started reading through all the threads--- lots of information here to sort through! I am a member on a board dedicated to my current bike, and I understand how important it is to have access to the wealth of information you guys collectively have acquired. Keep it up, and two wheels down. You'll likely see more from me when I have a question of two that I can't find the answer to...

 

 

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Funny, that reminds me of a recent conversation.

 

While talking to an Asian bike guy I mentioned I bought a BMW R1100RT with 40+k. He seemed to think that a bike with that many miles was used up and needed an enigne rebuild. I explained that the engine was least likely to need repair should go 100k. It's the tranny, diff and suspension I expect to have to replace.

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All my BMW's have done over 100,000 and been as strong when I sold them (engine wise) as the day they came from the factory (as measured by the seat of my pants).

 

I'd expect well over 150,000 before the heads needed looking at and I have no idea how long the bottom end would last. Two head restorations?

 

My '85 K100RT still had factory hone marks on the barrels after 120,000

 

Methinks these engines are designed to last.

 

Linz :)

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I talked to a CHP officer who had 99,000 mi on his '04 RT-P. The bike looked beat but it sounded and ran fine. He said he would feel sorry for who ever bought his bike.

 

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One thing to point out is the parts and service cost. I was quoted about $960 in NYC for every 24K mile service which is a big service. If you are not handy, you will become handy! Besides that the bike seems solid and a blast. Finally, the sticky thread on the top of this forum is pure gold and the knowledge and assistance from this forum is unmatched.

 

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...Finally, the sticky thread on the top of this forum is pure gold and the knowledge and assistance from this forum is unmatched.

You are right about that thread. Too bad the sticky info isn't incorporated into the FAQ in an organized fashion.

 

It would be cool if the site admins could use something like wiki software here for an FAQ section. Empower several of the more knowledgeable members with editing privileges and let them create pages for every major issue / repair / part / upgrade / maint. technique for these bikes. Real-World fixes and info from Real-world riders in an easy-to-search format. Just imagine how many fewer noobs would ask dumb questions!! :dopeslap:

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I am thinking of joining the BMW ranks and I'm curious. I have no idea about longevity expectations when looking at used bikes. There continue to be 1150-RT and RTP's listed here and there, but some have what feels like a LOT of miles.

 

So... What is the average life expectancy of that boxer engine and transmission?

All I can say is that if I would have known my bike would have lasted this long (135k and still going), I would have taken better care of it. Oh, and mine is a 2002 model, the year who most say is the most problematic.

 

Original valves (although compression is down), original rings, original clutch, original transmission, changed the final drive crown bearing at 108k when excessive play was discovered during a typical Level 2 service.

 

Although I'm not a mechanic nor even mechanically inclined, the last regular service the dealer performed was the 600 mile service. The beauty of the Boxer is that it is relatively simple to tune.

 

But, I drink the Kool-Aid, so you should do your own research.

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I have a buddy who has 143K on his '94 RS. He's riding it in the IBR next year. He DID have gearbox issues early on, but had the three recalls completed for that particular model, and hasn't had any issues with it since. No engine work. Ever.

 

Should have 160K on it when we leave Sp'Burg next August.

 

 

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Wow guys-- those are some impressive numbers. I feel better about looking at bikes with 40K ~ 60K on them.

 

'04 RT 81K, new stick coils at 75K ($140.00)- replaced pivot bearings at 78K (a couple of hours work with 120.00 in parts)

 

Runs great!

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My '99 R1100RT, sold in 2005 with over 170K miles, still running good with the current owner. Had the problems people write about. Hall sensor at 80K, clutch spline at 100K, rear drive at 150K. Engine never had the heads off, no problems with electronics or fuel injection, original throttle bodies, gearbox got new bearings when it got a new input shaft because of the splines. When I sold it I would have taken it cross-country without hesitation.

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