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Purchase advice - first BMW


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Hi friends,


I'm looking to trek cross country to visit family this summer. I've got my heart pretty settled on an R1150RT for the journey.


In looking around, I've found a pretty good deal on a 2002 w/ 47k miles on it for a fair price.

It's clearly been meticulously cared for, but I'm hesitant at the nearly 50k mileage.


Should I be concerned about final drive failure, spline issues, etc... that I keep hearing about?





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test ride, rear wheel wiggle test, ask for service documents, and then drive home if satisfied. 50K isn't even broken in yet. Ride on.

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A Mate of mine here in Australia has just bought a R1150RT with 56000km, buggered if I care what that is in miles,and he is as happy as a pig in shit with his. I was planning to get an 1150 when the good wife told me o buy a new 1200RT. I had to oblige, naturally.

If the thing is straight, buy it!

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It's clearly been meticulously cared for, but I'm hesitant at the nearly 50k mileage.

Some mileage is actually good. It's past all the "infant mortality" problems. Ask if he's had any transmission, final drive, or input shaft problems. If he says "yes," run like the wind away from it. If he says "no," buy it.

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"pretty good deal"?

Some '02's have touchy brakes.

There are a lot of used RT's out there.

If I were looking for an 1150 I'd look at an '04 first.

.02 and worth twice that at least.

Best wishes.

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Hi - didn't want to start a new thread cuz this is all in the same vein. Not familiar with BMW except for the excellent reputation.


read all the posts above, any concerns regarding a 2001 R1150RT with 90k km (56k m)? At first glance it appears clean and well taken care of, what specifics should I look for when I go back for a test ride?


Appreciate any advice.

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hi Mark... welcome on board.


Read the thread above... Mileage is usually not an issue. Good maintenance record is a plus. Evidence of being well taken care of a plus.


Some Early 1150's may have a surge. Later years, with dual spark plugs generally solved the surge issue.


R1200RT's are lighter, more power, more torque, more money.


Happy shopping.

Please fill out your profile so we know where you are.




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You can find 1200RT's with 30K on the clock for $10-$12K depending on the year (probably 05-07).


The '02 1150RT had issues with the linked brakes being too sensitive in tight turning situations. That and some had a pronounced surge when the throttle was held steady in 3rd or 4th gear (mostly) at around 3700rpm (+ -). Ride it before you buy it and not just around the block. Get a good 20 miles (or more) on it in all conditions, but mostly around town. Prices and conditions vary, but what you describe, cosmetically fine except for the usual wear and tear, would range between $5500 and $7500, based on the majority of what we see go through our Classified section.


Also, where is the bike located and where were the services done? If you tell the members here, they can give you their opinion or experience about that dealer's reputation for quality work, or shoddy work.


Farkles. If you're going to go across/around the U.S., you're going to want an aftermarket seat and windshield. If it has them, what brand? Russell Day-Long Saddles and either Bill Mayer or Rocky Mayer are generally considered excellent, but if your physical size/dimensions are dramatically different from the previous owner, then all bets are off as these seats pretty much are made to fit the owner. Sargent makes one-size-fits-all seats. Corbins are a love-it/hate-it seat.


Suspension. An 02 has worn shocks, or shocks that are close to giving up. Does it have new shocks or aftermarket shocks? If aftermarket, are they sprung for a rider your weight? Figure about $250 if they're not sprung correctly. Figure $1200 for new Ohlins, Wiburs, or Works Performance shocks.


Do both heated grips work? If not, $200 a side to replace. Does it come with the BMW trunk? $500 new, $350 used.


As for your final-drive/spline concerns, ideally the splines should have been lubed at 40,000 miles. Figure $400-$600 to have this done. Also, the brake system should have been flushed sometime during the past two years. If not, $300, or you can learn to do it yourself. Plenty of info on that online at various BMW sites.


These are things to consider.


Best of luck.

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skinny_tom (aka boney)

The touchy linked brakes issue is solved by replacing the rear master cylinder with the "updated" o4 version.


The dreaded "surge" is mostly a fact of life with these bikes. Mine surges in first and second at low power conditions and below 3500 rpm. I just don't ride there and never have to worry about it. (typical solution)


If you're riding across the country and only plan on cruising instead of hitting every twisty road on the way, you can get away with waiting for the new suspension parts. (assuming it has original parts to begin with.) The new stuff will make a huge difference, but for rolling around on Interstates and large highways, not so immediately necessary.



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One thing I love about these bikes is how easy they are to maintain. I got to a point where my bike never saw a shop except for work that I wasn't equipped to do myself, such as tire changes and to repair my input shaft when it went. Other than that, I do all the work myself from adjusting the valves to synching the throttle bodies to replacing the filters (the fuel filter is a PITA, but certainly doable). Cleaning it couldn't be any easier as well as I would just stop at a car wash and hose her down. Done, and looks as good as new. What a beautiful bike these R1100/1150's are :thumbsup:


BTW: now that I have had to replace my input shaft, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a bike that has had this work done, providing it was done at a reputable shop. Once done, this becomes a non-issue unless it resurfaces again some years down the road. Even still, it's really no big deal at all.

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Depending on location, '05 for less than that.

Retail under $9k in the NADA before the April edition. (best of reckaleckshun)

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Dennis Andress

An extended warranty is mighty nice to have. More so when buying used. That excludes an R1150. The same goes for shocks, Ohlins are the hand of dog on the back wheel. It sure is a lot easier to smile about them when they are already on the bike you are buying.




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Ive put 55k on my 1998 R1100RT, very few problems, I do the maintenance myself mostly, and Ive not upgraded to an 1150 or 1200 because they are SO similar, and mine runs so well it makes no sense to upgrade.


Ive ridden the 1150, 1150 Twin Spark, 1200, and 1200 Hex head.. The differences are negligible (unless you just laid out 20k and need to feel like your money was well spent, then.. the differences are night and day)


Id buy a good used 1100 / 1150 and ride the wheels off it. You can get 1100's for less than 5k right now with low miles and all the farkle...



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This has been a remarkably useful and helpful thread so far.


I'm scouring Craigslist as we speak, trying to find that perfect combination.


Keep the feedback coming!

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This has been a remarkably useful and helpful thread so far.


I'm scouring Craigslist as we speak, trying to find that perfect combination.


Keep the feedback coming!


If you haven't tried searchtempest yet, you might want to. It searches craigslist for you within user defined mileage of your location. That's how I found my current R1100RT. I figured out how far I wanted to drive to pick one up and let it go. Once I had results and sifted through for ones that really fit what I was looking for, I could make contact just as you would otherwise.


Good hunting, and let us know what you eventually buy!

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