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Help - Just Purchased an '04 1150RT


MarcF

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Folks,

 

I purchased an '04 1150RT last week with 20k miles. The bike seems to be in really good condition.

 

So, I take it to my local BMW dealer for a set of tires and they tell me all this stuff that's going to go wrong with the bike... Servo assisted ABS brakes will cost me over $4k when it goes (and supposedly they all go sooner rather than later), transmission and rear drive seals will all be dried up and leak, and on and on and. Now I've got all this anxiety about having possibly made a big mistake buying the bike!

 

I love the way it rides and handles and would like to keep her for at least a few years. Have I made a mistake? Will this end up costing me more than buying a new RT? I prefer the look and feel of the 1150 over the 1200.

 

What should I be on the lookout for in terms of mechanical issues? Any advice? What's likely to leave me stranded?

 

Thanks for the help, and it was actually the service guys who brought all this up, not the sales guys.

 

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roger 04 rt
Folks,

 

I purchased an '04 1150RT last week with 20k miles. The bike seems to be in really good condition.

 

So, I take it to my local BMW dealer for a set of tires and they tell me all this stuff that's going to go wrong with the bike... Servo assisted ABS brakes will cost me over $4k when it goes (and supposedly they all go sooner rather than later), transmission and rear drive seals will all be dried up and leak, and on and on and. Now I've got all this anxiety about having possibly made a big mistake buying the bike!

 

I love the way it rides and handles and would like to keep her for at least a few years. Have I made a mistake? Will this end up costing me more than buying a new RT? I prefer the look and feel of the 1150 over the 1200.

 

What should I be on the lookout for in terms of mechanical issues? Any advice? What's likely to leave me stranded?

 

Thanks for the help, and it was actually the service guys who brought all this up, not the sales guys.

 

I bought a bike of the same vintage last August. 2004 R1150RT, 27,000 miles.mit has been a true pleasure--to ride and to work on.

 

If you follow this forum closely, you will learn about the types of things that happen and how to deal with them on your model. Many riders in this forum seem to be riding older bikes than ours to over 100K miles. Some of the things the dealer mentioned to you could go wrong but the odds are against.

 

Read the forums, treat your bike well according to the BMW service schedule and my bet is you will ride many pleasurable miles. If something goes wrong there are lots of knowledgeable people here to help.

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My 2004 RT now has 95,496 miles on the odometer. The FD is original and showing no signs of problems. The ABS works just fine. The engine uses almost no oil.

The only issues I have had have been

1. Headlight ground (fixed under warranty back in 2004)

2. Stick coils failed after 50,000 miles

3. O2 sensor failed at about 80,000 miles

4. Wears out tyres every 7000 miles

5. Wears out brake pads every 20,000 miles

6. Wore out the brake disks after 60,000 miles.

 

Pay close attention to fluid changes - no need to shorten the interval from the 6000/12000 regime.

Change brake fluid annually.

Cut the first cable tie below the ignition switch and fit a loose one in its place.

 

Ride, enjoy, stop worrying

 

Andy

 

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Your dealer is an a$$.

Two possibilities come straight away to mind.

 

1) He is trying to sell you another bike and then sell your old one at maximum profit.

2) He is preparing you for all the things he is going to tell you have gone wrong on your bike, every time you take it in for a service or small issue...to maximize his profit.

 

 

Enjoy your bike and find a more trustworthy dealer, who doesn't put sh!t on your bike.

 

I normally keep my language civilized, but dealers like that make me see red.

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Just curious, did you show up walk in and they approached you with doom and gloom?

 

Or, did you inquire about potential problems with the bike and they providied a laundry list?

 

Enjoy the ride.

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Sounds to me like the dealer is trying to scare you into taking one of his newer models off his floor. This makes me question his ethics to the point where I may use him for parts, but I would either do my own work, or find another shop for service.

 

The others have posted excellent advice, especially with regard to changing the fluids and flushing the brake system. I have the same bike as you do, only a lot more miles. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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"Your dealer is an a$$"

+1

 

+2

 

Ride it, and learn to work on it. It will most likely be one of the best bikes you ever own

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i truly despise these type of threads. not due to the op per se, but the anxiety some folks have on any model bmw. whether provoked or not. a little pre purchase homework helps.

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Morning MarcF

 

Sounds like you chose the right bike but the wrong dealer.

 

Sure the 1150RT can have problems but so can any used bike. Even new bikes can have issues.

 

If it's any consolation to you the 04 RT is probably the least likely of the 1150RT series to have issues. In fact I have personally seen more 1200RT's strand riders than the 1150's ever did.

 

Don't let some "dooms day dealer" take away your enjoyment of your new bike. Just ride it & have fun with it. If something breaks either fix it or remove it then go on having fun.

 

You might write a letter to BMW North America telling them you just bought a nice used 2004 BMW & your dealer is telling you of all these potential problems that your new to you BMW HAS! Be sure to mention the dealer's business name as well as the persons name at the dealer. See what their response is.

 

Not much on that bike will leave you stranded (IF) you keep up with maintenance & address anything that feels different as you ride it.

 

Things like leaking seals, (if) that ever happens, you will see the seepage well before that leaves you stranded. The ABS system won't leave you stranded, just more difficult to use.

 

Probably your biggest worry about being stranded will be a final drive "crown bearing" failure. If you get in the habit of changing your final drive gear oil at every engine oil change then inspecting the magnetic drain plug for sharp particles you can usually forecast any final drive issues well before they happen. If done during the engine oil change it adds no real time to the service. I'm not saying that it will happen just that it can but so can it happen the 1200 hexheads & 1200 camheads as well on the K bikes.

 

When reading about BMW 1150 issues on the Internet look at the model year. By 2004 most of the 1150RT issues were gone.

 

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First of all look for another dealer. Any BMW dealer that tells you of impending doom is not an asset to our sport, IMHO.

 

I just turned 51k on my '04 RT and amazingly, it still runs pretty much like new. Got to ride it to Grand Rapids for work last week, and left Friday afternoon for a ride to my cottage in southern MI. In the pouring rain, I was still reminding myself that this is the best bike I've ever owned.

 

Problems I've had:

 

Ignition switch hot wire opened up last summer. Due to the great folks/tips on this forum, I knew immediately what it was and it was repaired in short order

 

Due to my own incompetence, I finished a tranny spline lube and re-routed the oxygen sensor cable in line with the lower right high tension spark plug lead. I then spent the next year trying to figure out a persistent stalling issue. With much assistance from Dirt Rider, and my local BMW dealer (yeah there are dealers out there that want to keep your bike running well) I learned of my mistake.

 

Other questions and concerns have arisen but nothing that required the bike to sit or left me stranded. I did notice during my ride in the rain on Friday that the oil temp wouldn't rise about three bars..........

 

Other than that its been a trouble free bike. Do the brake fluid flush every 2 years as recommended as well as the other services and there's no reason your bike won't give you exceptional service like so many others on this board.

 

Again, ditch the dealer first of all. Maybe learn to do your own maintenance. The plastic is intimidating until the first time you remove it. After that, the bike is almost as simple as an old Airhead.

 

RG

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Just curious, did you show up walk in and they approached you with doom and gloom?

 

Or, did you inquire about potential problems with the bike and they providied a laundry list?

 

Enjoy the ride.

 

I'm with Tim on this. I think more details are warranted about the context of the conversation before we have an internet hanging of the dealer. The OP stated he was having a discussion with the service techs, which doesn't generally happen at a dealership for a routine visit.

 

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To me, it just sounds like the service tech was having a bad day. Remember that his perspective is warped because every bike he sees is broken--or else he wouldn't be seeing them. My '04 has 100k on it with replacing the clutch being the only major repair. All the things mentioned are possibilities in the future, but by the time they happen, you'll have enough time and enough mileage on the bike to just consider them as a few additional payments to keep enjoying the ride.

 

This is a little like going to a resturant and having the waiter tell you about choking hazards, growth harmones, and heart attacks when you order a steak. Odds are real good yoiu'll just have a nice meal.

 

 

-----

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"Your dealer is an a$$"

+1

 

+2

 

 

+3

 

It ain't broke until it's broke. ride it and have fun. Personally I go to an independent mechanic for stuff I don't do myself.

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"Your dealer is an a$$"

+1

 

+2

 

 

+3

 

It ain't broke until it's broke. ride it and have fun. Personally I go to an independent mechanic for stuff I don't do myself.

 

+4. I have ridden an '02 since new (Very similar to yours, except you have twin spark), it has had a couple of issues, most during the warranty period, but it has been nothing but a pleasure to own. Most of the issues the clown at the dealer worried you about can be forstalled by riding the bike........A lot!

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Believe what everyone here has said. Print out a maintenance schedule form/checklist and follow that for fluid changes, etc, and you should be fine.

 

I'd agree the service guy was a jerk, unless you asked "What are some things that I need to look out for, what can potentially go wrong?" If that's what brought on his response, then he's just being truthful with regard to what repair issues he's seen coming thru the door.

 

It's a mchine with moving parts that wear, and seals that can dry out. Just do the preventive maintenance and ride it and don't worry. You'll be fine I'm sure.

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"Your dealer is an a$$"

+1

 

+2

 

 

+3

 

It ain't broke until it's broke. ride it and have fun. Personally I go to an independent mechanic for stuff I don't do myself.

 

+4. I have ridden an '02 since new (Very similar to yours, except you have twin spark), it has had a couple of issues, most during the warranty period, but it has been nothing but a pleasure to own. Most of the issues the clown at the dealer worried you about can be forstalled by riding the bike........A lot!

 

 

+5

 

My '96 RT is old enough now that I'm sure all the "bugs" have been worked out. I will gladly trade you my '96 for that "soon to fail" '04 straight up. :grin:

 

Just ride the darn thing...and find a good independent mechanic or work on it yourself. Forget that dealer.

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Bill_Walker

Ignoring the dealer issue for the moment, let's consider the fact that you just bought a bike that has averaged 2500 miles per year over 8 years, and you may not know how long it's been since any miles were put on it.

 

I think it would be advisable, given that, to change out all the fluids, unless you know they were done just before your purchase: engine oil, transmission lube, final drive lube, brake fluid (control and wheel circuits), clutch fluid. I'd throw in new spark plugs because they're cheap and easy. I might even think about new brake pads, though I'm not sure I could explain a reason for that feeling. You've already taken the step of putting on new tires. You might want to synch the throttle bodies if you think there's too much vibration or rough running.

 

With those steps, you've bought a bike that should give you many, many miles of pleasure. And you bought the best year, of course!

 

I've got about 50K miles on mine. The stick coils needed replacement around 45,000, the stock shocks are only good for around 30,000, and I had the wire leading to the headlight fail, can't recall mileage. That's it.

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Great replies! I appreciate all the input.

 

To clarify the conversation I had with the service guy (a couple of the posters inquired about this) - I was in the back checking out the bike when he had the wheels off to change the tires (I'm anal and wanted to get a good look with the wheels off), at which point he mentioned that if I had any mechanical concerns about the bike then I should sell it now and buy a new one under warranty because it was likely that all the following is going to go wrong...." He was a real nice guy and he's been there for a long time. I really think he was just trying to share what he's seen coming through their shop.

 

The conversation did put a damper on my day as I left the dealer worried that I'd made a bad decision. It's an awesome bike, comfortable to ride and full of character so I'm going to stick with it come what may.

 

I trully appreciate all the input and will be on the forum regularly. I'm not too mechanically inclined but will put forth my best effort to do some of the maintenance work myself.

 

For the rest of today, my most important task is deciding whether I need a medium or large Alaska Leather sheepskin buttpad for the seat...

 

I'm in Alpharetta, GA in case anyone nearby feels like riding!

 

Thanks,

Marc

 

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take Bill's advice above and make sure the fluids are changed etc. very easy to do and a great way to get over any trepidation regarding doing some of your own maint....

 

...and have fun. many 2004 RT owners here. it's the last of the good looking RT's ;)

 

 

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Bill - thanks for the info. According to previous owner, she's good on all fluids, etc up until the 24k service which is 4k miles away. I checked and all look clean and full. The oil I will replace every 3k miles regardless. Brake pads are nearly new.

 

Hoping to get a few more thousand miles out of the shocks. Prvious owner weighed 190 pounds and I'm 160 soaking wet. Both ride solo 90% of the time. So hoping to aproach 40k+ on the original shocks.

 

Thanks,

Marc

 

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Changing the oil at 3K intervals is just a waste of money and oil. The specified 6K intervals are conservative judging by the results of oil analysis carried out by several members.

 

Andy

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Andy, I've struggled with this on just about all bikes I've owned. I actually go back and forth on the subject. When I've run synthetic oil, I've stuck to the 6k intervals. Whe running the regular stuff I've stuck with 3k changes. It's anal but gives me a little peace of mind.

 

If I hear from enough guys on the site telling me I'm nuts for changing the oil too frequently, I can be swayed to get on a 6k mile schedule... I'd rather be riding than wrenching.

 

Thanks,

Marc

 

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Stan Walker

Here's two for you.

 

Synth at 6K intervals on my R1150RT, 114K miles with no engine problems. Averaged 47 mpg on Torrey trip (6 days, 1800 miles). Engine runs almost as well as when new.

 

Synth at 6K inervals on my R1100RT, 88K miles with no engine problems. Mostly used around my home area, don't have any idea what mileage it gets these days.

 

Stan

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Hey Stan - your avatar is a Honda Passport scooter just like the one on my avatar!

 

The 6k dark side is looking pretty good about now...

 

Marc

 

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Stan Walker

But.... I don't actually own one..... :)

 

To be fair, I am planning to at least "look" at the BMW scooters when they are available...... I had a 175cc JAWA scooter as a teenager, rode it everywhere, even in the dirt.

 

Stan

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Paul Mihalka
Andy, I've struggled with this on just about all bikes I've owned. I actually go back and forth on the subject. When I've run synthetic oil, I've stuck to the 6k intervals. Whe running the regular stuff I've stuck with 3k changes. It's anal but gives me a little peace of mind.

 

If I hear from enough guys on the site telling me I'm nuts for changing the oil too frequently, I can be swayed to get on a 6k mile schedule... I'd rather be riding than wrenching.

 

Thanks,

Marc

Want some reports? :) '86 K75 200K, '99 R1100RT 175K, '91 K75RT 130K, current R1200GS 166K. Regular oil Castrol GTX, some times Walmart Supertech. Changes 5 to 6K, some times 6K+. On a 10K East-West-East vacation it gets synthetic but no oil change. All these bikes sold in good running condition, none had ever a cylinder head taken off.

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combatmmuter

and check out the fuel line quick detach, my plastic one just parted at 56k miles- a potentially hazardous situation, gas dribbling onto the exhaust system....

04 RT. 6k service intervals, had a brake servo problem when still new, warranty fix, no problems since. well, just the connector, and a few light bulbs. odyssey battery recommended.

add gas, change oil, freshen up the tires every 10k or so and you've got a terrific machine that does just about anything you'll ask from it.

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I bought 1 owner 02 1150 4 mos ago. now has 170k+, PO replaced FD/Trans & and the normal stuff that wears out on all of em.

Trans was swapped at 80K the orig clutch (i have all old parts) is still good, splines on orig trans are great input & output.

SO far ive rebuilt the TBs, installed rear brakes, brake & ABS & clutch fluid, valve adj & sync with homemade manometer.

Went on a smokey mtn trip last month, rode like a bat out of hades and "pushed-out" a-half pint of oil engine braking in the turns (no smoke). Id say its great at 170K miles.

3 weeks to go for my first clutch spline project. Not worried at all. Ride it like you stole it!

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Hi Marc,

I purchased an 04 RT with 17,000 miles on it two and a half years ago for $7,000.00 best mc buy I ever made and after riding Harleys for fourty years the best bike I've ever owned.

One thing comes to mind with your mechanic : you didn't buy the bike from the dealership he works for so maybe he is trying to put doubt in your mind about your bike I'm sure if you had bought it from his dealer he'd have nothing but good to say about it.

I now have 56,000 on my 04 RT and the only major problem was the fuel pump went at round 50,000 miles and a secondary coil died on me other than that it's has been smooth sailing and a love affair with my 04. Ride and enjoy, things do break and wear out on a BMW just like any other bike just not as often.

Keep it rubber side down

Bob

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Hi Marc,

I purchased an 04 RT with 17,000 miles on it two and a half years ago for $7,000.00 best mc buy I ever made and after riding Harleys for fourty years the best bike I've ever owned. Bob

 

I'm sorry, I can't resist... Forty years? What took you so long?

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Geesh, you guys are getting a lot of mileage out the RTs and other BMWs. Glad to hear it. It would take me a lifetime at my average 10k to 12k miles per year to get there.

 

Took the RT out for a short ride this morning and man, that bike rides and feels just perfect. I'm really glad I bought it.

 

Marc

 

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I'll play. 97 RT, 99K miles, oil changes every 6k-ish, going strong when I sold it. 02 GS, 129K miles, half a dozen track days, daily excursions to the rev limiter, oil changes every 6-8K, still going strong when I sold it.

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Jim,

 

IMO, every boxer rider should be able to tell you the specific mph where their bike hits rev limiter in various gears.

:thumbsup:

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Back when I bought my first Harley ( I was 21 years old at the time ) we were into building "choppers" trick paint jobs and trick motors.You could actually work on your own bike, build your motor the way you wanted it( strokers,big cans,gearing, etc. ) every bike had it's own personality just like the person who built it, if you didn't live and ride in this time period you wouldn't understand.I have always liked BMW's and if Harleys didn't exist I would have bought one sooner.I still have a stock 1960 FLH with 124,000 miles on it which I ride on occasion ,she's semi-retired like me . I'm to the point where I'm tired of wrenching and just want to ride thus the Beemer.

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Gotcha Bob. I am old enough to remember those days. And I do recall riding my Hondas thinking the BMWs were quirky, style-less, but very reliable rides that were out of my price range. I did buy a Harley Dyna police bike new, but it was so top heavy feeling at low speeds that I sold it and bought a BMW. This was 12 years ago and have had several BMWs since then.

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Ok, I'll bite. 6k miles in between oil changes going forward. Unless of course its raining out and I don't feel like riding :)

 

Marc

 

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