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1150RT purchase advise please


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I know, I know, another "Am I making the correct decision thread". Having said that:


I am looking at a 2004 1150rt, 55,000 miles for $8000 (ish). It is at a dealer and I will be trading in a 2005 Dakar.


The RT has Ohlins shocks but not much else for 3rd party stuff.


The dealer has shown me the inspection report and the few things that were found have been fixed before they put it on the floor. Nothing was major.


Is there anything that I should ask for to complete the sale?

Any items I should have them inspect that may have been missed?

Any maintenance/parts replacement I should have them perform before I drive away?



I can purchase an extended warranty for $830 (ish) for two years and was thinking that might wise.


Thanks, I dislike these sort of posts, but I do appreciate any advice.


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Hello! QUestions- what region is the bike in- ie are you inland, or by the sea etc, etc (it helps knowing what climate the bikes been ridden in)?

At 55,000 miles, anything that can theoretically go wrong should have gone wrong by now and been sorted.

Things you may want them to check-

Final drive oil leak (just peel the big rubber cover on the final drive housing back to see if the pinion seal is ok).

Starter motor- can clog up with crud and spent friction material from the clutch plate. If the bike starts a bit grumpilly on the motor, it may need a stripa and clean.

Major service- oil and filter, air filter, fuel filter. clutch fluid and control and wheel circuit brake fluid change if it hasnt been done recently to the service schedule.

Tyres- much wear left? Many people like the Michelin Pilot Road 2. Dont do Bridgestone BT021! Theyre crap!

Ohlins shocks are good. You may want to read up on how to set them up for your weight and riding style. A lot of people fit simpler and re-buildable Hagons. The standard OE shocks were most likely shot at 55,000 miles.

Unless you are very nervous or technically illiterate (ie cant handle a wrench safely) its not worth the extended warranty on this bike at this mileage- as I said, most problems will probably have ocurred and been fixed by now.

Fuel pump- if noisy on startup, can be near end of life (mine went on 35,000 miles). Could be worth checking. BM part expensive.

Quick-release connectors on the fuel=lines. The original parts were all plastic. Theres now a modified part in metal for the male part of the connector. The plastic ones can get brittle and break... Worth getting swapped.


A lot of riders leave the 1150RT standard. All-in-all, its pretty damn good at what it does and doesnt need much in the way of aftermarket goodies. You may want to consider Philips Extreme Power bulbs for the headlamps, or a HID conversion kit, but as the speed limit is so low in the US, its probably not going to kill you on standard bulbs!


I love my RT. If yours has no corrosion problems on its mileage, it will be a great buy!

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Bob, sorry but personally I won’t buy a used motorcycle from a dealer.. Their main interest is in selling you that motorcycle to make a profit.. Are there some good dealers that will tell you the ENTIRE TRUTH? Probably,, but in my opinion most won’t..


In any case see if you can get them to give you the name & phone number of the previous owner (if they won’t then that would be the first red flag).. If they do then call that person up (or better yet do a face to face with them).. In a lot of cases you can get a better feel for the deal if you can size up the previous owner.. If you can visit them look around at their other vehicles.. If their house & other vehicles are trashed looking would you expect them to take any better care of their motorcycle?


If the bike was serviced at that dealer have them pull & show you the service & repair records.. (if they won’t another red flag goes up)..


Having the selling dealer do a pre-buy inspection for you is like putting a fox inside the chicken coop to count the chickens..


I guess if the selling dealer is telling you the truth about the bike’s condition then have them put that in writing with a 90 day guarantee on free parts & labor on anything that breaks in the first 90 days.. If they won’t then another red flag..


Remember the 1150 series BMW could (not does but could) have some very costly issues like input shaft splines,, or final drive,, & those can be easily overlooked at sales time..





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Before purchasing extended warranty... find out exactly what it covers... many don't cover the final drive or the stuff that would probably go wrong on the 1150 should you have problems...


Of course, I went against what Twisty advised and bought from a dealer, but I had already been around, gotten to know the CUSTOMERS of the dealership, then got to know the sales people... one I would do nothing with, another was ok and the guy I bought the bike from genuinely tries hard to please...


But... that said... also get to know the techs in back... and see what THEY think about the bike...


Even with all that said, some things can be missed... for instance... when I did my first T-CLOCKS check of the bike, I noticed that all the fluid levels were at the MINIMUM required levels...


I am also having trouble with the visibility of the tail light when riding down the road... ie... it isn't bright enough for anyone following me to be able to tell that it is on...


I was told up front that there were some after market items on the bike that had been removed and others that flat out didn't work... and with that, they knocked off $1k from the price on the spot... which brought it down below the book value by about $250... so I suspect they still made $1k off the bike as it had been used as a trade-in on a newer bike...


and yes... they did offer to look up the previous owner for me... but I declined...


While trouble-shooting my rear lighting issues, I somehow activated the power to the radio in the glove box... kept hearing a hissing noise, then a click... turned out to be the tape player... I located the power switch and turned it off... I am not ready to tackle that beast yet... or even sure that I want to...


The PIAA lights on the front don't work... but I expect that to be 2 issues... switch and bulb... ie... there IS no switch...


but... things like that are stuff you need to be aware of on ANY used bike that you purchase, be it from the dealer or otherwise...


My ignorance about the bike could have gotten me taken very easily... so I am extremely fortunate that the bike is in great running shape... and the color of the fluids looks like they changed them all out during the maintenance inspection of the bike before they brought it out front to sell it... and the tires still have a lot of life left on them...


so... all in all, I was lucky... but am learning so that in the future I can make an informed decision on future purchases...


Based upon my experience... I would advise learning as much as you can and checking the bike out thoroughly... perform a T-CLOCKS in front of the salesman... it is only a small cursory inspection, but it is enough that you will know whether the bike is ready for a test ride... and may give the salesman food for thought if he is thinking about pulling a fast one... though many try to sell decent products so that you will recommend them to your friends...


If buying from an individual and he claims that he did his own maintenance on the bike... ask him to include the manual as part of the price of the bike... after all, he is selling the bike and wont need the manual any more... unless he has another bike covered by the manual as well...


Regards -


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The PIAA lights on the front don't work... but I expect that to be 2 issues... switch and bulb... ie... there IS no switch..


Not to hijack, but you may have an autoswitch that actuates the piaas.


hold the signal cancel button down for 3 seconds and see if the lights come on. if not, try the highbeam 'flash' button.

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NADA is about $7,635 for average retail... noting most of NADA ave. retails seem a bit low for older BMWs vs. what they are going for on the various lists, Ebay, Craigslist, etc.


That said, I paid $8k for an '04 with 12k miles about a month ago from a private owner that came with 50% tire left remaining on the Z6's and '04 vintage Autocom Pro-7, Passport SR1 and a 3-year old Garmin Street Pilot with MP3 / Bluetooth, Signalminder, Big Mak tank bag (meh...) and some other farkles. The bike was very clean and had the side and top case. It was due for the $12k ($400), but that's about all it needed. It was a two-owner bike and the maint. log had all of the stamps and documented service notes.


The Ohlins would be nice, but are they due for a rebuild (~$300)? How'z the rest of the maintenance, tires, etc...?


IMHO, there are a lot of really nice '04 RTs out there in the 8K range with a lot less miles so if you're patient you could probably do better.

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Not to hijack, but you may have an autoswitch that actuates the piaas.


hold the signal cancel button down for 3 seconds and see if the lights come on. if not, try the highbeam 'flash' button.


That was my first thought... and a few friends tried the various buttons after I did... so I suspect a wire is loose somewhere in the fairing... but not really worried at this time... )))


Regards -


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IMHO, there are a lot of really nice '04 RTs out there in the 8K range with a lot less miles so if you're patient you could probably do better.


I had another thought on this as well...


If you are worried about coming up with the full 8k for the bike, you can work with your bank and get a loan through them rather than have to get a loan through the dealer for the bike...


I know I would hate to drop 8k just like that... heck... I didn't want to drop the $4,500 for my bike... just want to point out that there are other options than the dealership providing the loan money for the bike... although they tend to be easier to get money from because they want to sell the bike...


Just remember not to get fixated on one single option and miss another that might be as good if not better...


Regards -


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I'd buy the extended warranty for the peace of mind. That would cover the really ugly things that can go wrong like final drive, clutch splines, driveshaft, or fuel pump. That's a great bike. I have 100K on mine.

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