Jump to content

Question regarding 24,000 mile service


Recommended Posts

Hello Everyone,


I have a 2003 1150RT that I purchased used last year. The bike is in excellent condition and the previous owner took it to the dealer for all it's maintenace needs.

The bike is currently overdue for it's 24,000 mile service and I'm currently over 25,000 miles on the bike. I was going to take it to the dealership to have the service done since I've never worked on a BMW before nor a bike with this much plastic on it so I'm a bit intimidated by it and would rather have a dealer do the first service so I can get the feel of an actual properly tuned bike before I ever attempt to do the work myself. Unfortunately we have ran into a minor setback. My wife was laid off a couple of months ago and so our funds have drastically been reduced and we are trying to get by on one salary.


So after that long introduction here is my question. How long can I keep going on the bike without it going in for service. The bike is definitely running a bit rough and you can feel that roughness through the grips and the footpegs. Also the valves are ticking pretty loudly spccialy when the bike is warmed up or if Im running through a lot of curved roads. (funny how it's not as loud if I'm just riding on the freeway). Also what further damage would I be doing to the bike if I continue to run it without getting it serviced. The loud ticking of the valves tells me that the valves are loose or I guess a better desctiption would be that their gaps are much larger than the factory specs. My understanding has always been that it's better to have a loose valve than a tight one because the tight valves can destoy the engine. It's also my understanding that loose valves are not as good either because the enlarged space can cause the valves to hit harder together causing pits in the valves but this happens gradually through time. At least this is what I've learned from others in the past and I believe that I may have read it somewhere as well. if I'm wrong on my understanding of valve adjustments please let me know, since I would not want to continue following the wrong information.


With the current prices of gas here in CA I would like to start commuting with the RT (80 miles round trip) but would not do so if I would be causing damage to the bike. Thank you to all in advance for your help.

Link to comment

Hello David,


Sorry to hear about your wife's job; there's a lot of that going around.


Don't be intimidated by the Tupperware. Set a Saturday aside and go at it methodically, it isn't that difficult.


There's bound to be a TechDaze near you soon enough.


Read up on previous posts about adjusting the valves, etc. You can do it!


Link to comment

I just did my first valve adjustment and can say it was easy and I did not have to remove the tupperware. I just bought the feeler gage set from Beemer Boneyard, needed a couple of metric allen wrenches and a wood dowel so I knew where TDC was. I did buy replacement gaskets but ended up not needing them as the old ones were fine. Takes less than an hour

Link to comment

"...There are many folk here that can help you if you have any questions..."

Come on, Californistan riders - give the brother a hand.

The tupperware is easy to remove for most people, but it takes nerve to whack the mirrors hard enough to get them off (at least the first time).

You only have to remove the tupperware if you are syncing the throttle bodies, or if you have valve protection devices installed (as far as I can tell - and I've tried, believe me - you can't get all three mounting bolts off with the plastic on).

WRT the loud valves - either they are out of spec, or the 'end float' is at the large end of the spec.

Also, if the bike is buzzing too much you will need to build or borrow a manometer to sync the throttle bodies. Not difficult by any means, but the tupperware does have to come off since you can't get to the adjusters otherwise.

Link to comment

I'm here to offer a bit of encouragement. The Tupperware used to scare me too. But then my battery went bad, and I wanted to add a custom wiring harness to the new battery (for a small 12v inflator). I did not want to deal with the dealer for this special request, so I decided to tackle the job myself.


All I can say is removing the Tupperware was not nearly as bad as I thought. Putting it back on took a bit of patience, but by going slow and being aware of the pitfalls (tank-side bolts) it was no trouble at all. I made a few other observations, and you can read about them in this thread: http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=687082#Post687082


PS. I still don't know where the guide can be found, but it sits as a PDF on my computer.

Link to comment

If David can wait a few weeks, I'll give him some help as I live pretty close to him and I have a large garage well eqipped. I just have to get through a boat show first then I'm good on weekends

Link to comment

I'm tied up with a work project until May 1st. If you haven't received help by then, I'd be glad to run through the procedures with you.....just like BeniciaRT_GT did for me when I was a total NOOB. I just did my 42K service......nothing to it.

Link to comment

Thank you to everyone who responded to my post. My apologies for not getting back sooner, been really busy at work and we lost power at our house yesterday evening. (funny how all of a sudden you can't do anything without electricity) :o)


You've all given me the courage to brave this through and try to do some of the work myself, such as the valve adjustments. I own other bikes as well and have worked on them myself but they're all cruisers. This is my first sport touring bike & BMW. I've never had to work with so much plastic covering on any of my bikes before. Also this is my first German made bike (I own mostly Japan made bikes & 1 Italian scooter) so both factors were a bit intimidating and had me doubting my skills.


Thank you to those that provided links as well, it will definitely come in handy. I'd also like to take RT Russ, and NellCW up on their offers to show me how to properly work on the bike. I'll do all the work if either one of you can provide the guidance. I'm not very good at following the shop manuals but I seem to learn faster if someone is next to me showing me what to do. I can send you both my email address and whenever you guys have the time I can come by for a lesson. I've certainly waited this long I can certainly wait a few more weeks. Plus it will be great to meet some local BMW riders, this is my first RT and I've always loved this bikes and finally got one for myself. Now all I need to do is go out and meet other like riders as well as learn how to work on the bike myself. In the meantime I can pick up all the parts I need for the service and get some feeler gauges as well and try to tackle the valve job first.


Thanks again to each and everyone for all your help.

Link to comment



If you would like an experienced hand to help you with your first valve adjust and TB sync, send me a PM or an e-mail. I can come show you how it's done. It is not much more complicated than changing the oil. I can also go over the other standard and extended 24K maintenance items with you so you can decide what to attack next.


Link to comment



Your concern is a replica of my first year with my bike twelve years ago. In the long run, it will be much, much, much better if you service the bike yourself. I remember begging for a service appointment from a dealership and then discovering that they never even took off the plastics, but charged me for the service anyway. You see, I had planted my secret mark just to double check that actual work was performed.


The new bike is intimidating to work on at first, but you will soon get used to servicing it, and will enjoy it profoundly. The bike is built to be serviced, and you will find as much pleasure in keeping it mechanically perfect as in riding it.


I don't believe that the situation of taking the bike to its 24K appointment is urgent, and you will have time to learn. It is good to be cautious when tearing apart the bike, you should be, but many have done it, and never looked back. I have been able to do most of my jobs with the Haynes manual and the excellent advice from this website.



Link to comment


Thank you very much for the offer. I'll PM you my contact information so we can setup a date and time that's convenient. I still have to purchase all the parts so no rush. Thank you once again for the offer.


Link to comment

It's been awhile since I have wrenched on a BMW but I'm sure I can help.


Jonathan started me out when I NEEDED TO LEARN so I'm willing to help. I still have all the tools.


When your ready I would love to get together with you and Jonathan. It's been awhile.



Link to comment
You only have to remove the tupperware if you are syncing the throttle bodies, or if you have valve protection devices installed (as far as I can tell - and I've tried, believe me - you can't get all three mounting bolts off with the plastic on).

It's possible to remove the protectors without pulling the bodywork -- but not with the OEM fasteners. I replaced the rear allen head screws with stainless steel hex-head cap screws. A gear head wrench (10mm, if I remember correctly) allows me to remove the rear screws without much drama, and without pulling the side panels. TBS, on the other hand, really is next to impossible without pulling at least the right side panel.

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

So, David and I have run through most of the services that should be done at 24K and are ready to put the tank back on, but we need some help with an item that I have avoided learning about, the EVO power brake system multi-circuit flush dance. This has always seemed complicated enough that I have avoided learning how to perform this job, mostly by never buying a BMW built in the current millenium.


Can someone with experience doing this job come help us out for an hour or two or twelve or whatever it takes to flush BMW power brakes? I suppose it would be nice if you also happen to have a mini-chingadera-stan or whatever the funnel thingie is called.


We'd like to put the tank back on again someday soon so we can change motor and gear oils and balance TBs. Then he can put this nice looking RT back on the road.



Link to comment

If you were closer. On the otherhand if you want to ride out here I can show you how. It's not different from the 2005 R1200RT as I recall. I'm busy May 13th/14/15th,/16th/17th. I have the mini-chingadera-stan. I know you don't want to put the tupperware on and then off and on again but I can help you. There is a link somewhere by Jamie that explains the procedure. Beemerboneyard has the mini-chingadera-stan.

Link to comment

Send me your email address and I will send the documentation, the parts list, and video's. After studying those things I did it b myself with no issues.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...