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Maximum mileage expected out of Duel spark power train?


cpayne

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I'm specifically interested in the durability of the 1150RT power train as that is what I have. But I would assume it applies to all oil head models using the same power train.

I ask this question as I have gotten this comment from riders of other non BMW bikes. " Those bikes will run forever." What is forever?

This is my first bike in 20 or so years and my first BMW. When I was younger I payed no attention to such statistics.

 

What are the limits if known of this power train assuming oil changes an maintenance is performed?

 

 

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What do you mean by durability?

You can make just about anything last forever if it is not used.

These bikes of course do have issues, but like all things where spare parts are available - they can be made to run again.

My R1150RT has been no where near as reliable as my Honda NTV650, but for what it gives me for long distance comfort, it is worth it.

So, what issues? You talk of the power train, but surely we should talk of any form of reliability that can leave you stranded?

 

Anyway.

The final drive can let go. Some folk have had them fail at as well below 50000miles. Others seem to go on forever.

Gearboxes. Some have input shaft failure (mainly single spark year 2002 models, but non the less, failures have been seen here).

Engines. Generally reliable, but have been known to die instantly due to failure of the HES unit. Easily fixed, but still a roadside issue which can leave you stranded (normally associated with wet weather).

Starter motors can leave you in a little bit of a predicament. These can have magnet failures which will prevent you from starting the engine. You could 'bump' start the bike, but it is VERY VERY difficult. You need to be travelling quite fast to get the engine to crank.

 

I'm sure others will chime in with more issues or even in defence of their rides. But this is a 'warts and all' look at the Oilhead Beast. But as you can see these bikes do have faults, but like your own kids....don't ya just love them!

 

Andy

 

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Afternoon cpayne

 

Your question is almost impossible to answer without defining at what point you will junk it or repair it.

 

If things are repaired as they break or wear out (or just before they break or wear out) then the 1150 power train will run for just about ever.

 

On the other hand if you consider useful life until the first thing in the drive train that wear out to the point not allowing safe operation then it would have to be 6,000-15,000 miles when the tires wear out.

 

I would guess that based on people that I know that are still riding the older 1150RT's that 120,000 miles would be a good benchmark to shoot for. I know of some that needed major work well before that mileage so the rider sold/traded the bike then moved on to a newer model. As far as I know the new owner (be it dealer or private owner) made the expensive repairs & the bike is still in service (just a guess though). A few I heard of were parted out as the cost to repair was way above vehicle worth.

 

I do know of a rider with an 03 1150RT that has well over 200,000 miles but about the only thing still original is the engine & frame & wheels. It is on it's 3rd trans (2 major repairs & one low mileage used one). 2nd clutch, 4 final dives (or major repairs), 2nd drive shaft, can't say how many brake sets & rotors, ABS went south & was removed somewhere below 100,000 miles, I believe 3rd set of throttle cables, total TB rebuilds just over 100,000 miles, probably more things I don't remember or am not aware of.

 

There seems to come a time in every BMW riders ownership where the cost to repair & the reliability curve gets to the point that a new ride is more cost effective or adds enough reliability that it's time to move on.

 

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I guess I should clarify. What is considered high mileage on these bikes. What is the highest mileage ever recorded for this drive train?

I was intrigued by a local dealers website in which 100K awards were given to the riders by the dealer. Some riders had 300K one older gentleman had 1 million. I can figure the 1 million award was on multiple bikes. I'm not so sure about the 100K - 300K riders. There was no information on how many bikes they rode to get to that mileage.

 

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Paul Mihalka

My BMW bikes in mileage order: '86 K75C 200K. '99 R1100RT 175K. Current '05 R1200GS 160K. '01 K75RT totaled into a dear 135K. Others had less. None of these had any motor overhaul, none ever had a cylinder head off. All my R1xxx bikes had a clutch spline failure - that pisses me off. Rest some things going bad and getting repaired. Still they are the bikes that do best what I want from a bike.

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My BMW bikes in mileage order: '86 K75C 200K. '99 R1100RT 175K. Current '05 R1200GS 160K. '01 K75RT totaled into a dear 135K. Others had less. None of these had any motor overhaul, none ever had a cylinder head off. All my R1xxx bikes had a clutch spline failure - that pisses me off. Rest some things going bad and getting repaired. Still they are the bikes that do best what I want from a bike.

 

That's impressive except for the spline failure.

Were they sold (except for the totaled one), and still running or parted?

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Paul Mihalka

Sold for real money in very good running order. Still have the '05 R1200GS and don't plan to sell it unless I want another bike.

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Until it detonates.

 

Over the years BMW's have had very high mileage examples.

600,000 on an airhead

I've seen R1100's w/over 350,000 miles (and maintained scrupulously)

200,000 on R1200's

etc

No "correct" answer as any model can have outliers.

You can rebuild the 1150 as needed and expect many, many, years

of service.

How many miles per year?

If 10,000 then I'd figure 15-20 years with some rebuilding and then keep riding.

 

Paul above has over 1,300,000 miles on BMW's.

He knows bikes.

Good role model, IMO.

 

Worry less, ride more.

If it breaks, fix it and keep on riding.

 

For me it isn't the individual aspects (like how many miles to expect) but rather the total package of suspension, brakes, options, ride, etc that allow me to feel comfortable, relatively safe (it is a mc), the power (I'm on a K but rode boxers for decades) and the real world features that have saved my bacon more than once.

 

BMW's aren't for everyone.

If you are meant to ride one, you'll know, and everything else will

fall into place.

 

Best wishes.

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I think I understand what you're asking. I'd say at least 150 to 200k before it becomes a "classic" and requires repair or rebuilding often enough to no longer be a desireable daily rider.

 

My '04 is near 100k with just a couple of hiccups along the way, but I realize that I'm now on borrowed time waiting for a final drive and some other major hiccups. Still it's at the point where I get on it whenever I want and go whereever I want.

 

It differs from my old Triumph Spitfire which averaged one repair for every two tankfuls of gas. BMWs don't ever seem to require repairs so they can just break again.

 

Oh, and YMMV.

 

-----

 

 

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ElevenFifty

04 RT - 124,000+ - self maintained

 

Great compression. No sign of any metal flakes in final drive or trans. Clutch is good. Splines LOOK fine. ABS is performing as designed (will do ABSectomy if it ever fails).

 

All drive train is original equipment. Will 2-up a 7000 mile west coast trip in July. I am constantly checking ads looking for the perfect 2004RT with low miles as a replacement bike.

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roger 04 rt
04 RT - 124,000+ - self maintained

 

Great compression. No sign of any metal flakes in final drive or trans. Clutch is good. Splines LOOK fine. ABS is performing as designed (will do ABSectomy if it ever fails).

 

All drive train is original equipment. Will 2-up a 7000 mile west coast trip in July. I am constantly checking ads looking for the perfect 2004RT with low miles as a replacement bike.

 

With 25K miles on the odometer it will take me 8 years or more to get to 125K. Guess I need to ride more. ;)

 

If one is looking for an 1150 RT, doesn't it make sense to wait and find a 2004, with the twin-spark and better clutch spline history?

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Hi 1150,

You might want to replace your driveshaft. When they go they sometimes destroy the swingarm. I replaced mine at 120K and it was notchy at both ends. The bike is a little smoother since the replacement.

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  • 3 weeks later...

There is one on cycle trader in Washington State with only 11,000 miles on it. Titan Grey. No I am not the owner. Just found it the other day. 2004 1150 RT. Looks sweet.

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'96 R1100RT with 120k miles (essentially same drivetrain as the 1150), still running great, near zero leakdown. Have done some maintenance over the years (just the usual things for this model bike) but still solid and I'd ride it cross-country tomorrow. I don't put as many miles on it as I used to because I don't commute anymore and have some more bikes in the stable but I can't bear to sell it, no bike has ever or probably will ever fit me as well. At this rate and with occasional maintenance (which I can now do in my sleep) it will probably outlast me. With similar care your 1150 can probably outlast you.

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Reading my comment above I should probably add (in line with DR's earlier comments) that there is always a crossover point where repairs (if performed at list price) can exceed the residual value of the vehicle, so that point ends up being the end of service life for many owners. OTOH if you have the desire and ability to do repairs yourself the cost of maintenance can be such that the vehicle can be run almost indefinitely, so the life of a vehicle often has as much to do with the owner as the vehicle itself. The BMW R-bikes provide a good platform for an unusually extended life in that they are generally well-built to begin with, are relatively easy to work on, and most importantly the sheer number of units produced ensures a supply of inexpensive replacement parts. If you can utilize all that then these bikes can meet the 'forever' standard you often hear mentioned, even if few owners actually persue that goal. So the actual life can be anywhere from about 100,000 miles (where a well-maintained bike might be expected to need some service that would make repairs questionably cost-effective at full price) to, well... forever if you can do the work yourself. Either accidentally or on-purpose BMW has provided the raw material, the rest is up to the owner.

 

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Seth, Yes, you are right.

But, there still is the issue of replacement cost for some to consider.

If $3k gets you back on a frkled bike you love, even if bike is only worth $3k, for some it might make sense to do that.

That contrasted w/$xxxxx for a new bike.

Of course a preowned bike with some cost offset for the old one is often best route.

Each case has its own merits and weakness.

I'll cross that bridge one day and I'm not really sure which way I'll turn.

Best wishes.

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Each case has its own merits and weakness.

Indeed, no two cases are the same. The decision as much in the eye of the beholder as anything else which is why it's difficult to answer the OP's question directly. That bad bearing in the transmission can cost a couple thousand dollars to repair or about $50 and a weekend's worth of labor, depending. Which of the two would probably make the difference between a used-up bike or one with many years still in it, so... what is the life of the bike? And of course sometimes an owner may just want something new. The real answer to 'how long will a BMW last?' is 'how long do you want it to?' :grin:

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