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Best buy for the best price?


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Well being winter in the great north, time to start thinking about spring and what I'll be riding. I have a 1996 R1100rt, I bought it last year for 4k, runs great but does need some pretty extensive work done - brakes, tranny, etc. I also have a 04 Yamaha VStar 1100 that I don't want but here it sits, long story, moving on. So I plan to take them both to a local shop and trade them in for a newer BMW. I should get around $8500-9000 for both. With that in mind, what do you think is good choice for a used BMW? Should I stick with like a 99 R1100, or get a 02-03 R1150 or spend some extra and get a 05-08 R1200? Where will I get the best bang for the buck? I know some years have issues and some don't but not sure on the details. Any advice on what I should look for would be great. Thanks.

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They are all good, but IMHO if you can afford a bit more go for the R1200. I've owned a 98 R11RT, an 02 R1150RT, and other BMW bikes which were all excellent.


In fact, my R1150RT was incredible! That being said, my R12RT is superior in nearly every facet. Ride the O2 and then an 05-that'll help you make your choices...



Steve in So Cal

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Don't know where you are at, cause ya didn't fill in yer profile completely, but there's an ad in the classifieds right now for a 2003 RT 9k miles for $8000.


Seems like a good thing to me... :wave:



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Get a GS and leave the pavement behind... I'd go for the 1200 but if I found a nice 1100 or 1150 for a smoking deal I'd get it and use the leftovers for a cool old r80/90 or better yet a sweet old r100rt

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i would tend to want to avoid the 'abs modulator' years as they existed from 2000-2006 i believe (i think the 2005 and 2006 R1200's have them) as they are great brakes but big bucks to fix them (don't ask me how i know). But then you're talking 2007 and 2008 model years so you'll have to spend more to get these obviously.

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It is not even a contest IMHO. If you can afford the R1200 it is better in everyway. As Steve suggested just go test ride one and be ready to pull out your checkbook. It happened to me and I have not regretted it for one minute after 3 yrs. and 29K miles later. Good luck with your search. :wave:

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Yep, I love my 1200RT. its the best bike I owned to date. I have had 2 R1100RT's, an 1150GS and now a 1200RT. The 1200 is so much better than the other oilheads I have had. But, there right, dont test ride a 1200 unless you are prepared to buy one.

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Thanks for the info. I found a really nice 08 R12 for 16k w/ 20k miles on but the thing has every feature available for it so it may be an option. 04/05 R1150's I see are around the 8-9k range, depending on condition. Luckly I can't test ride ether of them at the moment, I live in MN and there is tons of snow on the ground. Choices, Choices....

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Your budget is right where I was when I purchased my R1200RT for $8K last October. Mine had a bit higher mileage and was below market, so you might have to move up to about $10K to get your 2005 or 2006. I really wanted a 2004 R1150RT and will miss the 2001 R1100RT. However the technology improvement and future resale value issues convinced me that the "value" decision was with the R1200RT. My experience on the bike has validated that decision.


It's winter, and bikes just don't move until about March or April (many more bikes than buyers until more buyers have weather that they can ride in). You should be able to get a very fair deal if you are patient and determined. I found mine on Craig's List (just did a "Google" search for "Craigslist" and "R1200RT, and started checking every add that popped up from all over the USA), because I thought the bikes I saw in cycletrader, ebay, and the BMW sites were priced over market considering the time of year and resession. (I have my own 2001 R1100RT-P on the market, but don't expect to move it until April or later, for the same reason).


If you decide not to buy the hex head, go for a 2004 R1150RT - it's the best of the oilheads from a technical perspective. Prices are down on those bikes precisely because the market for the hex heads has strengthened. Just because many have warmed to the R1200RT after four years doesn't mean you shouldn't grab a 2004 at depressed market prices. But I sure wouldn't pay $8500 for a 2004 R1150RT if you can find a R1200Rt at $9500 or lower. Both are great bikes but I think you'll suffer disproportionately in a few years on the resale market.


One more argument in favor of the oil heads (R1100 or R1150) is farkles. You can buy almost any additional piece of equipment at 50 cents on the dollar or less, because of again, the movement to the R1200RT. I was able to find a NEW Cee Bailey's windshield for my R1100RT direct from the factory for $55 two years ago. I haven't seen a used Cee Bailey's for a R1200RT yet, and expect to play full retail for mine. Same with a rear top case, and others.


So overall, you'll save real $$$ by staying with the twin-spark 2004, and I believe of all the oil heads, that model is most likely to hold it's value and be considered a classic. It'll probably be your lowest TCO (total cost of ownership) as well.


Good luck,



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