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r1100rt, r1150rt, r1200rt buying advice

Rich Richmond

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Rich Richmond

I have been looking for an oilhead to purchase in the next 1-3 months where. I have found a couple at dealerships but the closest one my expectations is ~500 miles away. I have an 2007 Xmoto purchased in 11/08 I would prefer to trade to reduce my # of bikes and initial cost.


I want a a bike with Cruise, ABS, Heated grips, seat, and stereo. Prefer topcase and a tall windshield due to height. I am looking for better wind protection and more touring ability than my Buell Uly offers.


1998 r1100rt 170 miles away 53K miles some paperwork. scuffs on bags, fr fender and rt mirror. 2 attachment holes in fairing roughly at knee and mid lower leg??? Have no idea what went there. Heated grips and ABS. Supposedly everything works. Radio has been removed, all other wiring is present. The rear lt black cover before the bags is loose. NON- BMW DealerPrice $3750.


Didn't talk trade due to price. I can purchase this outright without a fight or losing a bike from stable until the right buyer comes along.


I am drawn to the r1100rt due to cost but am afraid of the latent cost of plastic repairs and hidden issues. Maybe some or none.

Anything I should look for...ideas on repair costs? Issues?



2004 r1150rt 95 miles away 64K miles. All paperwork, near perfect condition, multiple seats and wondshields, htd grips, ABS, No radio or wiring due to year, thrttlemeister, topcase. A bunch of farkles which I am still learning about. Just serviced BMW Dealer $8500


Won't take trade.


Drawn to this bike due to p[roximity. This is my closest dealer and I have found them to be EXCELLANT. I am concerned over the price and lack of radio or htd seats.


2002 r1150rt 58K miles 490 miles away Heated grips, seat, throttlemeister, ABS, aftermarket seat, some other farkles, radio with tape, very good condition with topcase. Just serviced BMW Dealer $7400.


Will take trade at almost fair price.


The price for an 1150rt, trade and all the farkles and needs are met with this bike. Hate the distance.


2005 r1200rt 60K miles 150 miles away. Loaded ESA, cruise, htd grips, seat, aftermarket windshield, in near perfect condition serviced. BMW Dealer $12000


Lowballed trade at ~1/2 purchase price. I bought the Xmoto from them. ~$3K


Motohio in Columbus Oh sold me my Xmoto in Nov. I spent a month trying to get it in for a battery replacement and finally towed it to Holt BMW in Athens Oh. Holt took care of me in 2 hrs and were the best "dealership" people I have met in a long time. I then approached Motohio for a trade for an 1150 or 1200rt. I am shocked at the trade value they offered me. I expected more out of the dealership which I was bringing a 2nd round of business.


What should I worry about on the 3 RTs? My closest dealer is 95 miles which makes me wary of purchasing another BMW. How do I check the final drive, driveshaft or anything else major with this mileage? Anything else?


The 1100s I only worry about age and previous owner abuse.


The 1150 power brakes make me nervous since 1 dealer told me a 500 fluid change service is not unusual due to the time of cycling and bleeding the ABS System.


The 1200s I am concerned about price, neglect and the high amount of electronics.


I would very much appreciate your input.


Thanks All,



a possible RT owner some day.


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Wow, a lot of issues here and I'm sure you'll see many of them discussed. The 1100 could be a great deal or a disaster depending on its mechanical condition. If you go that way do a good inspection, but could be a steal at that price if all is in order. I personally wouldn't go with the 1150, wouldn't want the servo brakes and the price differential (at least in the examples above) is too much over the 1100 for what you get. The 1200 is a different deal altogether, a generation ahead of the 1100/1150 but of course the price is much higher. Is it worth 3x the price of the 1100? Many would say yes (I wouldn't), but you need to ride them both and see what you think. (Note that the 1200 has the servo brakes as well, until the 2007 model when BMW finally dropped them.) The 1200 is the only bike with cruise control and that is a very nice feature, but I wouldn't bemoan the lack of a stereo on any of the bikes... many of us have found that these just don't work very well at speed and simply use an MP3 player and earphones instead.


In all cases you will probably need to be at least a little handy with a wrench if you don't have a local dealer, and/or want service costs to be affordable.



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R1100RT sounds like it has been down and replaced with RT-P tupperware. Has he got maintenance log/receipts???


R1150RT 2002...I have one, love it (whizzy brakes and all). Do all my own maintenance (including iABS).


R1200RT...don't like 'em. You might.... :grin:


One BIG caveat here is if you are handy with a wrench. If you aren't well, YMMV!!


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How interested are you in doing your own maintenance? Although I have two dealers within 45 miles, I choose to do my own maintenance--just as many BMW owners do. One reason I bought a 03 RT last year is that the maintenance is near identical to the R1200c that I already had. I like to keep things simple. If your not into maintenance, consider a brand with closer dealer support (ST1100 or 1300 or a Connie).

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IMHO the stereo is really worthless in the RT. Can't use it above 40mph, and poor sound below that. .mp3/ iPod and earbuds like etymotics are the way to go.


Only one option (unless you fab up your own) for cruise on the R11xx series, and it's expensive >$500 IIRC, and not very commonly installed. Most use a throttlemeister or similar throttle lock.


Learn to work on your own bike. Plenty of free help available, techdays for hands on instruction, etc. The R11xx bikes are the easiest to work on I've every owned, including the whizzy ABS brakes.

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the '04 or the 1200.

Forget the others for a variety of reasons.

You'll be happier in the long run.

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There are several '04 1150RTP's at the dealer in Raleigh with approx 40k miles. With the RTP you get a back case instead of rear seat, bigger alternater, oil cooler fan and all sorts of extra wiring. They've been well maintained and cleaned up nicely. Might be what you're looking for.



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Rich Richmond

I can do most if not all my own maintenance. I maintain all my other vehicles.


I am not keen on doing repairs involving significant disassembly of the internal engine or trans. I've had several bad experiences in breaking small bolts.


I have contacted most if not all the bikes for sale on the Central East Coast. I would like to stay as close as possible to 25705. I would prefer to trade in my Xmoto for a 1150 or 1200 due to the price differential. On the 1100s they are typically priced where I can swing them without a trade.


I appreciate all the insight. I had no idea the radio was useless above 40mph. I presumed it would work fine up to 70+mph.



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I had no idea the radio was useless above 40mph. I presumed it would work fine up to 70+mph.




Opinions vary. Be aware that foam (or similar) earplugs make the radio sound a lot better. With earplugs and a 3/4 helmet, I find the radio on my '02 RT to be quite adequate up into the 70 mph range. For higher speeds and/or better sound, you can also rig a connection for earbud speakers.



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I will second that, no earplugs the radio on my 12rt goes south at around 50 but with plugs it is audible to around 80 or so of course this is also dependant on windscreen position. YMMV

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A heated seat can be added most any time. A bit expensive, but many end up replacing the stock seat anyway. Don't let the seat be a factor.

Radio? Good advice above.

Heated grips? Can be added later.

ABS? Can't add if not there. All ABS is expensive to service. Just bleeding the lines is time consuming and must be done according to book.


Windscreen - Top Case. Easy to add on later.


To me its the basic bike that should be the determining factor. Maintenance records, no visible warts that should have been taken care of, no dammage to cycl heads, alignment of front and back wheels, Dealer inspection if possible. Test ride!


Sit on the bike, max out the front brake and bush on the bike to see if there is any play in the steering head, make sure you feel good resistance (damping) in the forks when you load them. Check the preload setting on the bike and make sure that you will still have adjustment for adding a 2nd person or loading up the luggage.


I personally think maintenance is more important than miles. That said, I like to get a bike with no more than about 6-8 k miles a year. I also worry about a bike that doesn't have at least 2500 miles per year.


Good luck buddy. An RT is a special bike! ride safe.

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A heated seat can be added most any time. A bit expensive, but many end up replacing the stock seat anyway. Don't let the seat be a factor.


I never could see a need for a heated seat. My butt is hot in the seat all the time !!! ;)

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The r1200rt is a bit pricy, but it is the best all-around bike I've ever ridden. I don't have the radio(I use an iPod) but I have everything else, heated seats, cruise, huge top case, all good stuff. The brakes are awesome. Engine, fairing, suspension(ESA), are all excellent. It is comfortable, solo or 2 up, handles great, plenty fast. Defininately worth the extra $$$.

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