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Just bought a 2004 R-1150RT - Have I made a mistake?


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Hello everyone. I'm new at this board and I jst signed up hoping to get the answer that makes me feel better about my new purchase.


Few days ago I purchased a 2004 R-1150RT from a friend of mine. Since the time he purchased the bike last August I fell in love with its look. It is a beautiful Silver Gray with only 1,450 miles on it. By the way this friend of mine buys and sell bikes not necessarily to ride them but just as a hobby. He currently has 11 bikes and he needed more room for others in his garage, so he decided to sell it to me.


Anyway, coming to the point, I'm now afraid I made a mistake.

When I first test rode the bike for about 20 miles back in October, it sounded and felt great. When I rode it for 60 miles to my house last week I thought I made a huge mistake.


I have never ridden a twin cylinder before. I currently also have a six cylinder Valkyrie Interstate, a 03 KRS and a K-100LT. They are all very smooth engines. My idea was to replace the 00 Valkyrie with the RT because I do like long distance touring and I ride solo most of the time, so I didn't think I needed a huge bike like the Valkyrie.


Well, now I'm puzzled and I don't know what to do. The RT is not as smooth and comfortable as I thought it would be after only a 60 miles ride. I have a Low Sargent seat installed which I aslo think it to be too low since I'm 5' 10" tall.


My assessment of the bike after a 60 miles ride is the following:


The bike seems to wibrate in all gears except perhaps on six gear; My knees were starting to feel very uncomfortable, mainly because I think the pegs are too high, my rear end was getting in pain when I arrived home, and finally, I wasn't to impressed about the power of the RT eother, but I think I could live with the latest since I have KRS for if I ever need a thrilling moment.


Well, I'm not certainly coming to this board with the intention of insulting the RT, but I'm just hoping to get some suggestion on what to do, from people who have been riding R bikes for long time. At the momnet I have put on hold my sale of the Valkyrie until I'm very sure the RT is the bike for me.


Do anyone have any suggestion to make my new ride more comfortable? I would like to start with replacing the Sargent seat with a taller one and perhaps lowe the pegs, but I thought to ask for suggestion before I spend more money on a bike which I may never get used to it.


Another concern I also have is the possible over heating of the oil cooled engine in a possble ride accross Arizona in the Summer time.


I would appreciate any comments and suggestion that can help me decide what to do with this bike.


Thank very much.





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Is the bike still under warranty? If so then take it in for a check-up. As far as the seat goes, there are many opinions, but I'm very happy with my Russell day-long seat.


How good a friend is he? Did you get such a great deal on it that it makes you suspicious? It is normal to have to get used to a new bike, they make sounds you aren't used to and don't behave like your other bikes.


Good luck, and happy riding.

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First of all..Keep the Valkrie..I had an 03 RT that I had the same complaints about and spent about a kazillion dollars trying to fix. It didn't fix em..I sold the 03 RT and went back to my Harley which I find much more comfortable..I now have an 05 RT that I dearly love..Less vibration, less weight, cruise control, and things I don't even recognize..No doubt about it this is one wonderful bike that is fun and much more comfortable and powerful than my 03..I hope to keep this bike a very long time and that would be very unusual if that happens. That said, I am picking up my Harley ABS Police Electra Glide next week that may very well be the bike I take for long trips..My knees are old and the Sierra hi way pegs are great but they are not floorboards. The barbacks will help but they are not touring handlebars. My neck and shoulders still ache after a while on the RT..The RT seat is ok but it's not the large touring seat I've become accustomed to. This RT will do things the Harley can't even dream of but for all day, day after day travel I'm not sure it's the one..You can always sell the Valkrie but don't do it before you are sure thumbsup.gif

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Don't worry. You bought a wonderful bike...


First, it's possible that the bike needs a tune-up. If it is "out of synch" it can exacerbate the normal BMW boxer vibration. That's worth a check.


Next, BMW boxers are not smooth like Japanese bikes. They're "thumpy" - but it's a wonderful, character-filled, easy-going, thumpy that makes the miles go by easily. The transmoission "clunks" like a 1940s tank, but you'll get used to that too. I know it sounds like an excuse, but these things give the bike "character". If you give the bike a little time, you'll probably grow to love it, but if you don't, there will always be a market for that model - so be patient.


You need to have a seat that fits your butt, and it needs to be properly adjusted for your height. It would be great if you could borrow a stock seat to experiment with, as nothing should become uncomfortable in only 60 miles. I bought a Rick Mayer seat and loved it; my buddy bought a Russell day-long saddle and loves it.


It will work out. :thumbs-up: ...But if it doesn't, please PM me and tell me what you want for your bike grin.gif

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My Silver 2004 1150RT vibrates too.... it is the first bike I own, but not the first one I've ridden :-)


It takes getting used to... When I want to cruise (which I usually do) I just shift up to 6th. I runs nicely in 6th gear at any speed of 90 km/hr and up till 160.


I have done 11.000 km's now, in 18 months or so... standard saddle, no problems but for a stiff butt sometimes if I forget to take a rest once in a while.


The RT is generally considered as an excellent fast tour bike here in Europe. But I know circumstances in the US are different..... perhaps it is more nagging on very long straight and slow rooutes ?? confused.gifsmile.gif


I have not regretted the purchase for one minute over those past 11 K km's blush.gif


Kind regards,


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I've owned a K100RS and the K12RS as well as my R11RT.


To be honest theres nothing I've ridden thats as super smooth as a K12RS, maybe my old FJ12s came close but my new K12S certainly isn't. The boxer motor does shake around a fair bit - but I always preferred it to the vibes from the K100RS at speed.


I'd get it checked by the dealer, mentioning your concerns, and maybe even ask if you could borrow a demonstrator/ used bike for a quick comparison (I reckon my dealer would accomodate such a request if I were that worried).


What I'd also recommend is that you just put some more miles on it - its a completely different motor to your K12 and maybe you just need a few more miles on your belt to get used to the feel and decide whether youre comfortable with it or not. I reckon it's difficult to be certain until you've done at least 500 miles or so.

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Wow, the other guys type faster than I do grin.gif


I agree...don't sell the Honda. That's a wonderful bike.


I also found my RT a bit on the sluggish side...but I got almost used to that too. I don't "need" more power, but I did miss the feeling of hard acceleration once in a while. The new 12RT is considerably better. It's still not a hot-rod, or even "fast", but I think it's plenty for me. (I'm getting old too... grin.gif

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Hard to say. I felt the same way about the K12RS when I first got it. My knees hurt, my *ss hurt, my .... hurt. Three years later, I love the bike and none of those things happen. Over Thanksgiving, I went from San Diego to Las Vegas back to San Diego, and turned around a few day later and went to Tombstone AZ and back. No problems. I know many others that put far more miles on their RTs. I imagine now if i got another bike, I would end up with the ...this hurts...that hurts... The dealer told me to have a little patience as it takes a while for the bike to break in your body.

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It took me a while to get used to and appreciate my '04 RT, too. The engine sounds odd, etc. Now I've come to appreciate the incredibly wide range of riding styles of which it is capable. Once you're used to its balance, you can putt around on it at very low speeds. You can swallow up miles of interstate in large chunks, at any speed you prefer (though the bike seems to really like 80 or so), and you can ride it in surprisingly sporting fashion in the twisties. It's just an immensely capable and satisfying bike. I rode an R1200RT, and thought it was great, but not so great as to be worth trading in my 1150. That being said, it's still not a bike that inspires great passion in me.


As you mentioned, getting the correct seat is important. My bike (bought slightly more used than yours, with about 4000 miles) came with a Bill Mayer Saddles seat, which is also what I have on my V-Strom. Expensive, but worth it. My bike also came with Elf Pegs (highway pegs), which are great for occasionally giving your knees a break. I've been surprised by how seldom I use them, though.


Did your bike get its 600-mile service? A lot of vibration can be quelled by adjusting the valves (search here for "Anton Method") and synchronizing the throttle bodies, and dealers generally don't have time to do these items with great precision, it seems.


At 1450 miles, your bike is a long, long way from being broken in. It's commonly reported here that R-bikes take about 20,000 miles to break in fully, at which point they run smoother, get better fuel mileage, and use less oil (if any).


I'd give it a few weeks of riding before you decide you don't like it.

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Pier -


Thanks for sharing your impressions on the 04 RT with us. First of all, the 02-04 RT's are, In my opinion, the best looking RT's of all time - much, much better looking than the 05's.


Flat boxer twins vibrate. The RT is my second BMW Boxer - this is part of the character of the engine. But I must say, compared to most H-D's I pull up next to at traffic lights, my RT runs smooth as silk! I get a little vibration in my handlebars but I look at those Harleys and see the entire frame vibrating.


One of the biggest contributors to vibration on the RT is throttle body synch. If you think you are getting excessive vibration, the first and easiest thing to do is re-synch the throttle bodies. You can invest in a synch device like a "Twinmax", you can field-improvise your own device, or you can take it to your BMW dealer and have them do the synch. My dealer gives me a nice computer readout showing the synchronization of the throttle bodies.


With regard to ergonomics and comfort, I am 5-10 with a 31 inch inseam. I have the stock seat in the low position with an Alaska Leather sheepskin. The seats on our bikes are pitched forward a bit and one tends to slide towards the tank. I paid 20 bucks for a set of "seat jacks" from Cycle Gadgets which prop up the front end of the seat a bit, but you can do the same thing with nylon spacers or bushings from your local hardware store.


The worst feature of the stock RT is the stock windshield - just about useless for weather protection. I replaced mine immediately with a Cee Bailey which was taller and with the electric adjustment I can place in in the proper position to keep all the wind off of me.


In terms of power, the bike has plenty of power to go the speed limit, to go two up and loaded through the high passes of Colorado, and to pass trucks on the Interstate. It does not have as much power as your K-bike, or as my Yamaha R1. Of course, I ride the R1 on the race track where there is no speed limit.


My RT has been through the most extreme Summer heat in traffic here in the Phoenix area. No problem at all with heat, except that the weather protection behind the fairing is so good that even in my mesh gear I stay pretty warm because there is so little airflow hitting me. It is worth it, as the wether protection helps me enjoy year-round riding.


I have been very, very happy with the 04RT in 15000 miles of riding in the past year. It is not a sport bike but it is a sporty sport-tourer and I have had a lot of fun with it on twisty roads.


It's a great bike - give it a chance - PM me if you would like additional tips or advice. Ride safe!

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I currently also have a six cylinder Valkyrie Interstate, a 03 KRS and a K-100LT. They are all very smooth engines...The bike seems to wibrate in all gears except perhaps on six gear.
There may be some improvement available by ensuring an exact state of tune and the knowledge that things do get better with more miles, but the RT will never feel as smooth as those. If 6th is OK, your probably not ever going to use the engine to its potential since its not a low rpm machine - it works best above 4K. So if vibration is your primary issue, get out now eek.gif


I have a Low Sargent seat installed
I'm the same size / same seat. Try moving it into the middle position. Also, the foam is usually more firm than the factory seat which is probably different than all your other bikes. Its also not shaped like cruiser seats. The stock seat might be better for you even though its a rather flat design and you might consider seat jacks which move the nose of the seat up.


There are many who swear by the aftermarket seats that are available which are generally more contoured....just takes more money wink.gif For your style of riding and expectations for touring, a seat change and bar backs might just make the difference.


possible over heating of the oil cooled engine in a possble ride accross Arizona in the Summer time
Not an issue... grin.gif
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My knees were starting to feel very uncomfortable, mainly because I think the pegs are too high...


If you keep the bike, and setting the seat up a notch doesn't help, Suburban Machinery makes a nice peg lowering kit. It worked for me (hip pain on long rides).


For my style of riding (and possibly yours) I changed out the seat (Rick Mayer) and windshield (Aeroflow), and added the lowered pegs and barbacks. Good for 700-mile days now, two up, and more comfortable than the cruiser I used to have, particularly in those nether regions. grin.gif

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Echoing what the others have said, with 1450 miles on the bike, and 60 on you on it, neither are anywhere close to being broken in. Put 10K miles on it and you will have a different opinion.


Seriously, you need to ride it. A lot.

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I went through the same thing last spring when I got my 04RT(SE). I came from a Nomad which has got to be the most comfortable cruiser out there in my opinion(the Valkerie should be very similar). It took me a couple of months to get used to the RT, my first BMW/boxer(the engine, the riding position, the gear feel, etc, etc...) But now after 8500 miles I couldn't be happier. I have 14,000 miles total on the bike and it is getting smoother by the miles. And to my understanding it takes 25k at least to really break in the ol' boxer. I went through the seat thing as well. Stock didn't do it. Comfort seat did"t do it, Rick Mayer didn't do it. The Sargent regular did the trick for me. It just puts me in a position I like(suppose to be a lot better than the low seat). For long trips I have the Alaska sheepskin.(best 50 bucks I spent on the bike). You'll find a lot of Rt riders hear swear by the Russel(just wasn't for me). I am 5 10 as well and I like the seat in the second position cause of the peg placement. I could see my knees getting tired with the low seat. I am really glad I stuck it out and kept the RT cause I absolutely love her now! Wouldn't go back. The more time with her the more you'll fall in love. My dad has an LT (K bike)very smooth and I love it as well but the vibes from that boxer are IMO are truly exhilerating! Good luck and hopefully you'll enjoy many miles on her!

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1. Make sure that the bike has had the 600 mile service and is in a proper state of tune.

2. You can adjust the seat up/down, to compensate for leg length. (The adjuster is under the seat)

3. You need to ride it for a couple of thousand miles to really decide if you like/don't like it.

4. Ride it, ride it and then ride it some more. The boxer twin is addictive to most people. You can always sell it later it you decide that it's not for you.

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My 04 RT seemed to run a lot smoother after my after my 6 k tune-up. Its now overdue for the 12 k. I need some tires too I'll probably go with the azarios this time. I hope to get a russell daylong and some ohlins some day. I'm 5-10, put the seat on the highest position, maybe even lower the pegs, I think you can get a kit for that.


That will make it a much nicer for rides over 500 miles a day, say taco runs for lunch grin.gif

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My knees were starting to feel very uncomfortable, mainly because I think the pegs are too high...


If you keep the bike, and setting the seat up a notch doesn't help, Suburban Machinery makes a nice peg lowering kit. It worked for me (hip pain on long rides).


I'll second Ken on this one. I had the same feeling in the knees on my LT and installed the peg lowering kit. It made a big difference. I'm looking for the same thing for my RT now.

As others have said, the twin cylinder motor is going to vibrate in a way your not used to from a multicylinder motor. It's just something you get used to. Or not. Gotta ride it for awhile to be sure.

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Sounds like it needs the throttle bodies sync'd. I hear people complaining about vibs that won't go away on these bikes (and they'll never be as smooth as a 4 cylinder) but I'd say your vibration is one of two things: The throttle bodies need synchronized or your front wheel is bent/unbalanced.


The bike is an exceptional bike. Don't be distraught by the bad news on this board. Very few people (I won't say none this time) post positive news. Generally only problems get posted here and there are thousands of members.




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If your bike is an 04, you have the comfort seat.It comes standard. The nose of the seat seems to be tilted forward which makes you slide to the tank. At least this is true on my 04. Very uncomfortable as you say within 60 miles. I also have the low seat, which I believe was standard on the older bikes. Both are equally uncomfortable. I have raised the front of my front seat mount, which may help but is winter here now. Have not had a longer ride since early Nov.

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I can't stress this enough- LOSE THAT SEAT!!!! had the same thing on mt 04 and it sounds like the same problem i found. i was lucky enough to find a stock seat and all you described went away-it's to low and has the padding of a brick

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I had a 2002 1150RT before getting my 05 RT. I like the looks of the 02 better, but the cruise and lighter weight on the 05 was the only thing that made me trade up. With the low miles you have, it is very possible that the throttle boddies need a good sync at idle and with the throttle cracked open a little. A good TB sync will go a long way to smoothing the boxer engine out. You will always have some degree of twin cylinder rumble, but I have found it to be easier to coexist with that than the 4 cylinder buzz from most japaneese machinery. As far as the seat goes, I was pleased with the comfort seat in the middle position with some 1/4" spacers under the front mount of the seat. I am 6' with a 32" inseam and that seat combo worked better for me than anything I can do witht the stock seat on the 05. The seat to peg distance also has a lot to do with the comfort of your knees. If I was going to do some spirited riding in some twisties, I would put the seat in the low position to get lower and closer to the bars, but knee comfort was an issue after an extended time. For general touring and commuting, the middle seat height was the way to go.


Just don't be too quick to judge the bike. It may just take a couple of simple adjustments to bring things around for you and the bike.

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I just did a 9,000 mi. bike/camping adventure on my RT. I'm also 5'10" and I ride with the Mayer seat adjusted to the highest position. The factory peg locations are fine for me.


This RT is not a Valkyrie. The seat, the engine, the foot pegs are all different and you have complained about every one of them. My suggestion is to sell the RT. If you don't like it after 60 miles you will hate it after 6,000.


Neil Jones

Dayton, OH

'04 RT "Carpe Viam"

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In the end the decision is yours, I usually believe in first impressions. If it doesn't feel good, part with it.


I came off of a Honda VFR and really wanted a Valkyrie. But I took one out for a test ride, and whoa, what a beast! It was great on the open road, but once tooling around town, forget it, way to clumsy (me?) and heavy. Tried the R1150RT, much easier to handle around town and still eats the miles on the open road. In the end, decided to keep the VFR for the fun of it (local trips) and the RT for the open road riding.


Yes the boxer sounds like a John Deere, vibes a bit, eats oil; so what, I wear ear plugs, vibes keep me awake and the oil use ensures a clean engine! thumbsup.gif

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You didn't make a mistake. You just need to: 1)have it tuned, 2)put some miles on it & 3)get a seat that suits you. I sold my '98 Valkyrie when I bought my RT. Still miss that motor sometimes, there's nothing else like it. The RT is a better bike for all day riding though, not to mention the handling. My RT smoothed out considerably as miles added up, mostly after 6000 miles. I've scrapped the stock seat and bought the regular Sargent. It works well for me (5'11 & 180lbs). Also, an Aeroflow windshield improved highway comfort. Stick with it and you'll like it.

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purchased an '04 in 9/04, new. was aware of the new 2005 model. currently have approx 17,000 miles. no vibrations in any gear. maybe a buzz when rpms at the high end of the tach relative to gear, but smooth and getting smoother. came with a comfort seat...switched to a sargeant and recently added a dead sheep to sit on www.alaskaleather.com. i love this moto and enjoy more each time i ride it. as everyone has suggested let a shop look at it and you'll probably ride home with a big sh*&*^%eatin grin on your face.

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The bike seems to wibrate in all gears except perhaps on six gear;


1500 miles? That's fresh off the boat. Give it at least 10k miles to break in and smooth out before making a decision based on vibration. If you can, try out a well-tuned 15k mile used RT and feel how much smoother your '04 will likely be after some miles on it -- although it will always buzz some because it's a twin. If you can't wait for your 04 to smooth out, there are lots of late model RTs out there that have already been broken in and are waiting for new owners.


On the other hand, riding position/comfort is a different issue that miles won't help.

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Pier, I think RTs suck, especially 04s, and you obviously got a lemon. They all vibrate terribly and are quite gutless. The 04s are the most gutless. I think it's the dual spark thing. Your RT allready has almost 1500 miles on it and will only get more gutless as time passes. Therefore, since your bike is such a piece of crap, I will reluctantly take it off your hands for say, $4000.00. You would be rid of the RT, and I could probably find a place for it in my shop, reluctantly that is!! <<<<Softtail>>>> dopeslap.gifdopeslap.gif

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Pier, I think RTs suck, especially 04s, and you obviously got a lemon. They all vibrate terribly and are quite gutless. The 04s are the most gutless. I think it's the dual spark thing. Your RT allready has almost 1500 miles on it and will only get more gutless as time passes. Therefore, since your bike is such a piece of crap, I will reluctantly take it off your hands for say, $4000.00. You would be rid of the RT, and I could probably find a place for it in my shop, reluctantly that is!! <<<<Softtail>>>> dopeslap.gifdopeslap.gif



grin.gif Yer kill'in me. Long live sarcasm!!

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I have a Valkyrie and an 02RT, not to mention a couple of others.


There are a couple of obvious differences that keep them all in my garage. It is all about what you want the bike to do for you.


The Valk is tremendously smooth(you won't be putting any pennies on their edge on a boxer and starting, reving, shutting down with it still on edge), it has awsome power(burn outs with the twist of your wrist)and you can sit on it all day. It is not easily thrown into twisties, revs too high after 70mph, drags pegs and exhaust with moderate lean and takes a while to get stopped. If you like 70mph open road cruising or like showing your stuff once in a while it is an awesome ride.


The RT likes 100mph better then 75mph, you can ride it all day when it is set up for you, it can be tossed around in the corners, you can touch the ground with your knee before things start dragging, has exquisite braking and superior creature comforts. It is not a hard accelerator, vibrates some all day long and requires a lot of maintenance compared to the Valk. If you want a bike that will thrill you in the twisties, do everything most riders are capable of doing and more, can cruise all day at ease at 100mph, can out brake most anything except a race bike but will vibrate the entire time then it is a great bike.


If you do not decide to keep both then spend a little time on the beemer, decide what kind of riding turns your crank and have fun. You have a couple a great long haul bikes. clap.gif

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I changed from a K1100LT to an R1150RT though unlike yours mine is the single spark. I too found the vibration of the boxer engine very different, not so much annoying as just different. I also found that unlike my K the R is a bit more fussy as to what gear to use at what speed, that too contributed to the vibration.


I've had my bike for a must be a couple of months now and really enjoy riding it. Ok, mine is an 01 (USA 02) and yours is an 04 both a great bikes as far as I'm concerned.

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I moved from a 1100rt to a k1200rs and I would be hard pressed to go back. The kbike is very smooth. If you are use to the power of a modern crusier then you may have a time getting use to the rbike. You are use to low rpms, rbikes do best at high rpms.


Good luck with your decision



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Probably not..I felt the same way after spending my first two hours on the RT. The Eddie Arcaro seating position, the lower back pain, the pathetic exhaust and inadequate windshield. Wasn't all that excited about the oil site window and the drill associated with accurately checking the oil. Bought a Sargent seat and fixed the lower back pain problem, upgraded the windshield and put 6000 miles on the clock. Like others have suggested you have to spend time on the bike to get comfortable with it. All I can say is my Road King has been collecting dust and might soon be replaced by a KRS. Although it's a stretch..BMW motorcycles seem analgous to owning a British sports car in the 60's. They could be a royal pain in the butt but provided an experience/fun factor you couldn't find in domestic alternatives.

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no vibrations in any gear.


That's improssible but just shows that vibration is in the senses of the beholder. One man's unacceptable vibration is another man's perfection. I understand what you mean--you're very happy with the low level of vibrations. Like I posted before, handlebar vibration on mine is a good indication of the need to balance the throttle bodies (or a bent front wheel). I'm sometimes very happy and sometimes disappointed and think I should look at K-bikes.



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you're not being fair to the bike IMHO. With only 1400 miles, the bike is not even close to being broken in. Follow the recommended break-in procedure (on this list, do a search for it). Basically, the bike is ridden hard (to a point) approaching 10k miles.


My '04 now has 11k and it is infinitely smoother (especially above 5500 rpm) than it was at 2k. Basically, you want to rev the motor, get it up near red line, let the rings cut into the bores a little.


Trust me, they get smoother. It will never be like a K bike or Honda, but then that's not what Boxer's are about anyway. Rather, they emit a subtle tone of pulses, letting you know there's an actual motor between your legs. It's called character and at 100mph, it can be listened to all day long.


Rick G.

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I went to look at your pictures, nice bikes, but the seat is in the bottom position. Take it off and raise it to the top. I am 6' and rode from Millwaukee starting in the lowest position. I had to raise it after 20 miles, then again in another 20. You will be much more comfortable.

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i just bought an 04 with 400 miles on it. and thought the same thing. but i made some adjustments on the seat. ( see tweaking around here somewhere) moved the handlebars back,

rode it more. and fell in love. cool.gif


it is what it is. it is not a hotrod, nor is it smooth as a k...but it looks great and suits my 6'4" frame just right.


ride it more. it'll grow on you. it's current "faults" will soon become virtues.


did i mention how good it looks? i never see anyone jones'n after a harley like they do mine while i am waiting for the light to change. smile.gif


and as the others say. get it tuned. and/or learn to tune it yourself.


the only thing missing is the 05 cruise control. oh well.


ntl, like all things, the boxer may not be for you. but give it a chance, it has a lot of strong attributes. go out and throw it around a little.



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Blue Beemer Dude
My assessment of the bike after a 60 miles ride is the following:


The bike seems to wibrate in all gears except perhaps on six gear;


My knees were starting to feel very uncomfortable, mainly because I think the pegs are too high, my rear end was getting in pain when I arrived home, and finally, I wasn't to impressed about the power of the RT



Hi Pier,


OK, I had similiar problems with my knees, and this was simply solved by raising the seat. The seat is adjustable, in three positions (check your owner's manual if you don't know how to adjust it) and it may just be too low for you. If that doesn't work, try a different seat. If you want to ride down to Raleigh NC, you are welcome to try my OE seat on your bike.


Roughness: Even if the 600 mile service was done, not all techs are going to do a bang-up perfect job on the valve adjustment and throttle body synch. I too was not happy with my bike until I did it myself, and the difference was amazing. If you cannot wrench on the bike yourself, find a BMW enthusiast to do it for you (or a good shop). There are several good shops in VA, I just don't know where in the state you live.


Power: yes, if you're used to big 4 cylinder sport bikes and cruisers, the power can be disappointing. But hopefully you'll learn to love the bike and can overlook that shortcoming.


If all else fails, you can always sell it in the Spring. If your buddy gave you a good deal, you shouldn't lose any money.





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I have a 2004 RT as well, 40,000miles and counting. This is my 53rd bike, but it still took a while to get used to, about 3,000miles/ 10 days.

As regards comfort, the stock low seat is crap anyway, 130 miles needed to stop. I bought a RIck Mayer seat. I don't think that BMW should be allowed to sell a bike with a seat like that. It is not fit for the purpose for which it was bought.


Have you tried adjusting the HEIGHT of the seat you have? Remove the rear seat. remove the front seat and move the mounting bar up and back. That may be all YOU need. I unfortunately always need seats in the lowest possible position.

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I am planning to buy a 2004 R1150RT to replace my 1st bike, a Kawasaki Ninja 500, on which I have put about 1400 miles. The Ninja 500 vibrates a bit too, but it is a different vibration from the RT's. The Ninja 500 seems to have a lower amplitude vibration, but at a higher frequency. I hope that I won't find the vibration of the RT annoying; the Ninja vibration doesn't bother me.


Someone mentioned that the RT burns oil; my Ninja 500 doesn't seem to use any oil. How much oil burning is normal for the RT? Will I have to carry oil on long trips?


The RT is significantly heavier than my Ninja 500. Can anyone who has ridden both compare the handling of them? The Ninja handles like a feather; controling it is effortless. However, the wind is very annoying at high speeds and carrying enough luggage for long trips would be a problem. I'd expect the RT to out-perform the Ninja 500, but probably by less than many would suppose.

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..for you useful comments and suggestion. I'm convinced now that I should give the bike try before jumping to conclusions and making any rush decision. One think I know for sure is that the bike is a real beauty and that's already a big plus. I have already lifted the seat to the mid position but I still didn't get a chance to ride; it is still rather cold in the Washington DC area. I'll kep the RT and the Valkyrie for a while until I know for sure which is the one I want to keep.


Thanks again to everyone.



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Some of this may in my opinion be perception. Coming from a softail solid mounted engine Harley, Bonbon feels smooth as glass. For the first year, I didn't really like the seating, but now with a Sargent low, it's ok, and maybe with something else it will be perfect. I put lowered floorboards on and I like them because with my arthritic hips, they allow me to move my feet around. I too originally thought I might have made a mistake, but now with the changes I've made, plus just getting used to her ways, I am in seventh heaven!

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Someone mentioned that the RT burns oil; my Ninja 500 doesn't seem to use any oil. How much oil burning is normal for the RT? Will I have to carry oil on long trips?

It really varies and you will get 1000 different answers. My RT barely burned oil. I changed the oil every 3k and did not top off inbetween changes. It just depends on the individual bike.


The RT actually handles well at low speeds. I had both an RT and a Ducati SS and the RT was much easier at low speed. You cannot fairly compare the two bikes though.

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hi fre

As you ride the rt and rack up the miles the oil useage will stop,

performance wise if you rip the rt you will be pleasantly surprised at the performance , handling is superb because it has a relatively short wheel base for a large bike ,this alone will make it more stable through bends and curves at low speed , at higher speeds it sticks like s--t to a blanket because they have a low c.o.g i have always said that the rt has got to be one of the easiest touring machines to handle and manouvre it is so forgiving for a large bike you will be able to do things with it that most people would not believe, the vibes are just part of the bikes character. Yes sir i am firm believer that you only make a mistake if you dont ride a beemer.

I hope you enjoy your purchase please post your opinion once you have become used to your machine.


derek thumbsup.gifthumbsup.gifthumbsup.gif

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Ref being concerned whether your R1150RT can handle the Arizona heat.


I own a 2004 R1150RT which I've ridden at 80+ mph on numerous Arizona 105+ degree days with no problems. The closest I came to a problem was being stalled in 5mph stop & go traffic on a record 112 degree day for about 20 minutes . Although my temp gauge nevered entered the "red" zone, it did get awful close. I was watching it closely and was ready to pullover and let it cool down if I needed to.

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NO! You did just fine.

I bought a new/leftover 2004 1150RT in March last year. It's my 3rd oilhead RT since 1996 and it's the best of the lot. clap.gif Just pile on the miles and you will definitely like the bike.

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