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New to Me '04 1150RT... High Mileage Question


C4pt4inMatt

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C4pt4inMatt

After much searching I finally found an '04 1150RT in my price range and in excellent condition. The bike has been meticulously maintained, log book showing all maintenance intervals hit and fluids changed ore often than actually required. Cosmetically the bike is in excellent shape showing little to no wear. In all honesty one would think this thing barely saw the road. The kicker is that it has over 115K miles on it. The engine runs great and all systems work as they should.

 

The seller did disclose that the rear brake disc is just below spec for thickness and needs replacing. Also the bike has the original clutch. 95% of the miles were highway with a single rider and not too loaded down. The bike has traveled all across the country and Canada with little to no issues throughout its life. I understand the risks of buying a bike with such high mileage and this is my first BMW however the price was more than right and will allow for some repairs that might crop up. I am very good with a wrench and with the proper manuals/guidance feel I can accomplish most of the repair work.

 

My question is what things should I check before clocking some major miles on it? Of concern to me is the clutch and the shocks. The clutch still allows for smooth shifts however sometimes it is hard to drop it down into first from neutral when stopped. Is this just an adjustment issue or an indication of wear? I plan on replacing the clutch eventually just wondering if I have more or less time before I tear it apart. Also the previous owner never had an issue nor serviced the driveshaft splines. He did send out the final drive oil at every change for analysis with no indication of elevated aluminum so final drive should be ok I would think. I haven't ridden it a ton but in the little bit I did I didn't notice any major indicators of the shocks being spent. I know the lifespan is much lower than these have on them but again trying to prioritize my list. Lastly the abs system was recently flushed and bled.

 

With all that in mind, can you guys recommend the areas or items I should focus on to ensure this bike will provide me with many more miles of great riding? I've been scouring this site and the other various BMW forums learning as much as possible but I am still a newbie and appreciate any and all advice. If you recommend replacement of parts, please include the brand I should seek out whether it be OEM or aftermarket. I'm not a big dealership fan not to mention my closest one is 2 hours away so as mentioned I will be doing the work but confident in my abilities. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and I look forward to many more conversations on here.

 

Matt

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I have the same bike at about the same mileage. Here is what I replaced: Fuses a lot mostly windshield fuse, tires many many, windshields 2 or 3?, driveshaft, brake pads front and rear, clutch, fluids gallons, seat many modifications, mirror, odd fasteners, light bulbs all, HES one, Plastic repairs, weld bigger foot on kickstand. Of these the clutch and driveshaft were the most $ followed by the HES. By the way, my brake disks are undersize by about 20,000 miles and work just fine but that is next on the list. I have little issue with hopping on the bike and doing 2,000 miles and plan to do just that soon. Tip, low beam HID lights and fix seat if needed. I did it all except the clutch my self and that cost me $1500? BMW people are often anal and it shows in their bikes. My father was anal to the max and twice his trade in cars sold before he got finished buying the new one. I bought his 65 VW at 79,000 miles and it still smelled new. never did figure that out??? Crimenently he lined his ash tray so the coins would not scratch it or make noise and turned the pedal rubber upside down to minimize wear????

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Stan Walker

The clutch still allows for smooth shifts however sometimes it is hard to drop it down into first from neutral when stopped.

 

This is normal. With the clutch pulled in the transmission totally comes to a stop and won't shift into first unless the shift dogs just happen to stop in the right location. The solution is to apply a light downward pressure to the gear shift lever and gently slip the clutch a little bit, the bike will then drop into first easily.

 

I plan on replacing the clutch eventually just wondering if I have more or less time before I tear it apart.

 

I inspected my original clutch at 70,000 miles and concluded that it was about 1/3 worn. I'm now at 112,000 miles on my '02 RT and expect the clutch to last at least until 200,000. Of course your mileage my vary depending on how the original owner treated the clutch.

 

nor serviced the driveshaft splines

 

Drive shaft splines are not usually a problem on this model. U joints occasionally fail, transmission input splines are a known problem area, final drives fail if not set up correctly, and whizzy brakes drive some folks to drink.

 

It sounds to me as if you have a probable winner. Enjoy it. With a little TLC these bikes can last almost forever.

 

Stan

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My '04 RT with 108k 2-up highway miles is on the original clutch. By the last measurement, it has at least another 40-50k left. It's on it's second F/D and original driveshaft. OEM shocks are usually toast after 20-30k. Aftermarket shocks need rebuilding in a similar timeframe. Only non-scheduled repairs were the F/D @ 50k and the fuel pump @ 80k.. Never touched the splines.

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I'll chime in on the clutch and spline lube. I'm at 170,000 on my original clutch and have never lubed the splines. It sounds like the type of riding this bike has on it are similar to mine...lots of highway miles. Even when I was commuting to work I only had half a dozen stop and starts in the 20 miles. That type of riding obviously results in long clutch and spline life. I have no intention of breaking the bike in two until there is some indication that it is needed.

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C4pt4inMatt

Thanks for the input, keep it coming. It sounds like when I replace the fuel filter (PO said it could use one and also I guess the fuel gauge fluctuates erratically which he said this should fix), I should go ahead and pull the starter to at least check out the clutch? What exactly would I be looking for, measurement/thickness of clutch pads? What would be a indication that it is ready to replace? I am not too familiar with motorcycle dry clutches but have worked on automotive dry clutches, not sure if they're the same setup.

 

I am pretty sure the PO was very good with a clutch in general. He also has a late 90's Toyota pickup with over 200K on the original clutch as well. With what was said above and the little background I have, hopefully I will get another 40K+ out of it before I will have to break into the bike.

 

Stan, thanks for the getting into first tip. As mentioned this is my first dry clutch bike so still learning the proper methods to keep the clutch wear to a minimum.

 

Critical, I have been thinking about the HID upgrade on the low beam (H4 right?). I was checking out the 1Off kit but was concerned about the "break off the bulb cover" part of it. Does the '04 have the more advanced CANBUS system that will trigger a warning light if I get a kit that doesn't communicate with it? What kits are recommended? Also, the bike already has a Sargent Seat so I'm good there.

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I bought a KIT from IQ lights and installed it in place of the low beam (H7 I think). It was a little tough to get to but doable. No problems with it at all, it has lasted longer than the stock bulbs already. bulb fit right in place of low beam bulb, wear rubber gloves. Do not get one that is blue or violet. This color masks mule deer standing by road. 5000 degrees Kelvin or under for the bulb if possible is more like sunlight. The ballast will fit under the dash but be sure to triple secure it. I ended up with a band clamp, cable ties, and gorilla tape attached to fork. I also have two halogens out to the sides, four total. These are pointed to the sides of the road. These used to have blue tinted bulbs in them and led to a lot of deer encounters because I could not see them with blue light --- no more. These were wired direct to battery with an accessory switch on dash. Problem? if a little kid is playing with your bike and turns on the switch your battery will discharge. I once watched as a mom let her kid kick the paint work and play on my bike as I was eating lunch? Morons are everywhere. I wonder if my bike had fallen over on the kid if I would have been sued? I often am asked to lead the way at night either because they like my lights or are annoyed by them if I am behind???

 

I would not worry about the clutch it seems to fail slowly so you have time to get somewhere. If you are decent with tools do it yourself or $1500 at dealer.

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1150 do NOT have Canbus.

Looking at the clutch through the starter is pretty much a waste of time, since you can't measure it. m/c dry clutch is the same as a car dry clutch, only harder to get at...

 

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1150 do NOT have Canbus.

Looking at the clutch through the starter is pretty much a waste of time, since you can't measure it. m/c dry clutch is the same as a car dry clutch, only harder to get at...

 

You can measure it, quite easily with a calipers, when the starter is removed.

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