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Help with inspecting used R1100RT

Goat Roper

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First post, so thank you in advance for the help.


Looking at purchasing a 2000 R1100RT, have always loved these bikes. Miles is WAY the heck up there, so I need to know what to look for during a test drive and visible inspection. I keep reading about FD and harness failures, but is there really anyway to tell that without tearing the bike down?


Also, price, I have no idea about price.


Here is the bike; http://www.roadtrackandtrail.com/new_vehicle_detail.asp?sid=0611767X9K22K2010J8I57I26JAMQ2767R0&veh=925&pov=1839420


Any and all feedback is appreciated, thank you.

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W/out seeing it, and knowing the maint. history, it is in that rang where BMW's settles based on model.

Those bikes in a retail sale range from $2500 to $5000.

If it is current on servie (no big one looming), tires are good (measure tread depth, DOT manufacture date, don't just rely on appearance), HES perhaps replaced, shocks w/less than X miles, all systems function normally, bodywork is intact and shows only normal wear and tear, no loose/misssing, saddles are intact and come off and on easily, key(s) and locks work, bags function, no leaks/weeps etc, check rear wheel for freeplay, then I's say as much as $3500.

We sold an older RT w/comparable mileage 2 years ago for $4500, but that was 2 years ago.

If you are located near the bike and have checked it out, follow your heart (and wallet :grin: )

If this is a 9 out of 10 bike in appearance/maint history etc, it is worth what you are willing to pay.

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Two fairly expensive items on the bike that may have already been done, or will most likely go, are the HES and the starter. You are looking at around $450 in parts here. If they have not been replaced, I would factor that into your negotiations :thumbsup:

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Just in my reading am I guessing right when I say that the HES and the main wiring harness are the same thing? What does HES stand for? Oddly enough I haven't found what that acronym means.

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HES is the Hall Effect Sensor ... mounts on the front of the motor under the cover for the alternator belt. It's the timing mechanism that controls firing of the plugs. Not hard to replace.

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Tim pretty well covered the things to look for. I can tell you this about mine: Final drive had to be replaced at around 64,000 miles, Transmission had to be overhauled at 98,000 miles. Other than that those were the only major items, but every bike is different and also according to how it was maintained and cared for. If the shocks are original, they too will need to be replaced.


Where are you located and where is the bike? You would certainly want to eyeball it.

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What Tallman said, but I wouldn't touch a bike with that much mileage unless it had a complete, documented service record. I can't believe that this bike is on its original shocks, but that is definitely something to ask about. I would also not consider this particular bike without a first-hand inspection.


In 2008 I bought a 99 RT with 65,000 miles on it (and was warned by several people, including 2 BMW owners, not to touch it). However, it had complete service records (including replacement of HES and throttle cables), and has not had any problems as of 81,000 miles. Since then, other than routine maintenance, I have replaced the oil level window, FD pivot bushings, the left side cam chain tensioner, and the starter (which probably would have been OK with a thorough cleaning). Add these to the items you ask about, or look for in service records.


Good luck in your hunt.


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While it is up on the center stand, don't forget to do the 6/12 and 9/3 o'clock check for play on the rear wheel.

Pull the trans and FD filler plugs and take a look at the color of the oil.

Engine oil color is visible in the window.

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I am guessing that as far as checking the FD that the only inspection you can do, short of tearing it apart, is to check the oil color as you stated, correct?

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Dark oil in either the trans or FD is bad. Either ignored service intervals or heat from a bad bearing cooked the oil. Sometime the oil turns milky too.

Bring you own ratchet with both 6mm and 8mm allen, 3/8" sockets. Unscrew the filler plugs and dip a clean Q-Tip into the holes to have a look/smell of the oil.

Don't forget to look at the brake fluid. Should be clear and golden color..kinda like the color of pee I guess.

Dark fluid means service was ignored.

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A dealer probably would not give more than $1K for it and sell it for $2-3k.

Without those good service records it's a pig in a poke.

Noisy trans, brake rotors worn and worn bushings and all the other things these guys mentioned.


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I have no idea if there is a BMW dealer close to Big Bend but if so have them go over the bike. I've had this done for bikes (and cars) that I have bought sight unseen and it gives probably the best indication of condition. They've charged me 1 hour of labor and I get a 50 - 60 point evaluation (can't remember exact number but they check the things that make a difference.)



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