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Looking at a Used 2004 R1150RT SE...

Mike M

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Longtime BMW owner, however never had an RT but always liked the 1150RT and especially the twin spark version. I found one I like with very low miles (under 15000) and have a few questions for the experts...


1. Any general issues I should be concerned with? Doesn't seem to be any play in the rear wheel or final drive.


2. With this low of mileage, I'm thinking the suspension/ shocks should be fine and not tired.


3. System cases and OEM top case in pretty good shape. Some boot scuffs but the right side case is chewed up a little on the base opening (not the lid). I may just have the lids prepped and painted to match. However, all 3 cases have the 3M reflective tape on them and it's discolored. Can the film be removed using heat without much trouble?


4. Any leaks I should look for or other feedback would be appreciated!


Thanks, Mike

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ABS light flashes on once started...goes off once you ride away as it should.


Servo's whiz as you apply the brake lever.


Both those appear fine.

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I had an 04 RT. It was a great bike. I sold it with around 20,000 miles on it so I never got into the higher mileage where I've heard of some folks having issues. I'd gladly buy another.

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I bought my '04RT new in '04 and it never really ran as good as I would have liked from almost day one. The motor always had a slight tendency to surge and didn't seem to have enough power to really spend any time in 6th gear unless it could run at speeds greater than 80 mph. Thanks to this forum I spent about $150 on a wideband O2 sensor with LC-1 controller and all running problems have totally gone away. Other issue I had was with the servo assisted and linked ABS brakes which was easily solved by simply removing the ABS system. Some folks like the ABS brakes on this model but not me, kind of a personal decision thing.


I own 3 BMW motorcycles and was thinking about thinning the heard by selling the 1150RT but after solving the lean running issue with installation of an LC-1 have decided she's a keeper. Oh, can't part with the other two, no way! A like new '94 R1100RSL with 2800 original miles and a '81R100RT also like new with less than 9K miles. Life's rough. :D

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I have a 04 RT that I bought with 16,000 miles on it. It now has 50,000 miles. Great bike and mine runs great. Unfortunately it left me stranded a couple of months ago due to one of the fuel pump hoses inside the fuel tank bursting. All fixed now with new hoses that will never burst again. The first time you change out the fuel filter I would replace all the hoses in the tank. Because if one of the high pressure lines burst, the bike is not going anywhere until it's picked up by a tow truck or trailer.


Below is what I used to fix it, but I used the original style hose clamps.



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Yup, those in tank "U" hoses are infamous and degrade with time, not related to mileage. Just did the set in the SOs 04 R1100S as a first change PM and they looked a bit ratty, though not yet split in any place. Glad I replaced them- didn't look like they'd go much longer. FWIW, the fuel filter change interval per factory is about 24K IIRC- how long do you want to wait?

I did the AF-XiED from Beemer Boneyard in place of the LC-1, less work. It works great and is transformative for those Motronics R motors..

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What a great bike. I have an R1150GS, R1150RT and a new liquid cooled R1200GS. As much as I love the new GS, I don't think that I can beat the RT for two-up touring comfort. Mine is a keeper.

Don't let anyone put fear into you over the whizzy brakes. They are as reliable as can be as long as you get them serviced at the required intervals.

Let's assume you're buying the bike. Make sure you get an upgrade on the quick-disconnects for the fuel lines. The original plastic connections are appallingly weak and snap easily. Replace them with metal ones easily obtained from a number of sites.

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Don't want to start a thread about whizzy brakes but you should program yourself to be careful when making slow tight turns in parking lots especially with a passenger on board as the linked brake system on the '04 will result in application of the front brake when you only apply rear braking and if you aren't careful you will find out how much the rear view mirrors cost. This linked brake system was my main issue and I wish I would have been fully aware of this little, in my view, problem or concern. Oh, and no doubt your friendly BMW dealer also likes the '04 ABS system as it is for sure a money, for them, maker when it comes to service charges. Not hard to learn how to do this service yourself, however. And another good thing is that if you decide, as I did, that it just isn't worth it you can always sell the ABS modulator for pretty good bucks. So, the '04 ABS is not a deal breaker issue but just something to be aware of and decide for yourself if you like the system or not.

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