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What to do if I'm keeping it?


JaySc

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So I've been considering selling the RT, but financially I just don't think it makes sense. I guess I'm writing this to just lay out where I'm at and hope to get some feedback. If you don't have time to ponder on life and motorcycles with me, no offense taken. The summer has prompted this since I have the time and weather to work on the bike, and it would also be the time to sell.

 

The bike is a '96 that I picked up about a year ago for cheap, but it's certainly not perfect. 130k miles, down once at slow speed but cracked the tupperware and resulted in aftermarket mirrors being put on (both, so that they match, but are not paint matched) and a slightly wonky dash...

 

However, despite the lack of records (owner was a knowledgable but backwoods type fellow) it shifts like new, has no play or leak in the final drive (spline lube has been done), and runs like a top. I put a new battery in and flushed the brake lines (which are fairly new) when I got it, and am getting ready to change all of the fluids. Everything works, it has a hardwired tender, 12v, Hyperlites, a nice shield, etc. Even has an 1150 rear wheel, so as to take advantage of the increased tire selection and stiffness. Seems like it was loved, but it definitely doesn't look like a new machine.

 

All of this to ask "what should I do?" I need a bike for my daily commute, so I've considered selling it during "the season" so as to get a decent price and move up to an 1150. We don't have much expendable income, but I figure it may be worth it to move up to a newer bike, lower miles, twin spark, more reliable tranny, etc. For what I paid, though, and the mechanical condition the bike is in, it seems as though I should probably hang on to it and run it into the ground (or sell it at some point down the road).

 

If I'm keeping it, what else should I be doing? I'm doing some cosmetic work right now, bed liner on side panels, bags, and dash, swapping all the body screws to non-rusted stainless, seat recover, maybe even a wrap. Spark plugs will be changed this week or next, maybe steel brake lines would be nice (but again, the lines are fairly new).

 

Anything I'm missing here? I don't want to put so much money into the bike that it would fund the price difference to move up, but would like to know if you guys think there's anything rather pertinent. Or if maybe even I ought to make the move.

 

Thanks all! Looking forward to a good chat.

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RocketJohn

If the lines are new, don't change them. Sounds like a perfect commuter bike. Keep it maintained and pile on the miles.

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Sounds like a perfect commuter bike. Keep it maintained and pile on the miles.

+1

About the same milage as my 00, which I've never thought about selling,yet.

Have you ridden a 1150? Not for me--- the g-box felt like it was made by a middle school shop class.

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there is nothing, not one thing, more reliable on the 1150. In fact there is more than one potential problem on the 1150 that will easily run you thousands of dollars. If cost is your main consideration I'd definitely stick with the 1100.

 

That being said, it can be a little unnerving using a 130,000 mile bike as your only ride to work. You might want to consider buying a $1500 spare bike. Ride it once a week to keep the battery up. that way you have a way to work should you have a problem with the beemer.

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Right now you don't have a problem.

You have a paid for commuter.

Use it.

If/when you have a problem address it then.

That could be in a month or three years...

 

work with an elderly man who has 498,000 on his old truck and drives it every day.

 

Ride it and enjoy.

Start putting away a little bit to fix things later or to put towards a newer ride.

Best wishes.

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szurszewski
Right now you don't have a problem.

You have a paid for commuter.

Use it.

If/when you have a problem address it then.

That could be in a month or three years...

 

work with an elderly man who has 498,000 on his old truck and drives it every day.

 

Ride it and enjoy.

Start putting away a little bit to fix things later or to put towards a newer ride.

Best wishes.

 

+1

If your bike is well maintained, and you know the bike, and you don't have problems now, why would you think a newer (but still FAR from new) 1150 would be any less likely to break down on you? If you really want an 1150, or some other bike, I'd probably do kind of what Mr. Moore suggested - except, I'd keep the 1100 as the spare. How much could you reaslitically sell it for? I'd wait until I had that much more money saved, add it to whatever extra money you were going to use to buy an 1150, and then buy something - especially if you could swing it off season and save a few hundred that way.

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Even has an 1150 rear wheel,

 

HUH?!? Wat? Does that rear tire have 4 lugs or 5? 4 is an 1100, 5 is an 1150.

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Thanks for the input all! You've reaffirmed my "run it into the ground" approach, and I'm looking forward to many more miles on this guy! The maintenance fund for all of our vehicles is a shared one, so it's not as though I can ear mark that money to start saving for a new bike anyway.

 

Many good points on the 1150. I guess it would be quite naive to assume that a new (to me) bike would be problem free. Seems I shouldn't mess with a good thing! I've thought about something like an FJR for Japanese reliability, but I just can't bring myself to buy a disposable Asian bike.

 

Even has an 1150 rear wheel,

 

HUH?!? Wat? Does that rear tire have 4 lugs or 5? 4 is an 1100, 5 is an 1150.

 

I'm not super familiar with the 1150, but I don't recall them being 5 lug. RealOEM also lists the part as four lug.

 

Source here.

 

Thanks again for all of the input everyone! Glad to have a place to contemplate all of this with like-minded folks!

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Even has an 1150 rear wheel,

 

HUH?!? Wat? Does that rear tire have 4 lugs or 5? 4 is an 1100, 5 is an 1150.

 

Uhhhh, I think you been smokin' something there CoolTouch as in my 1150 has 4 lug bolts as does my 1100. Of course maybe there is a difference in the CA version. :rofl:

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RocketJohn

It probably has the k1200RS/LT rear wheel that looks like the 1150 wheel but has a brake system like the 1100RT allowing for fitment. Four of the five holes would be used.

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Even has an 1150 rear wheel,

 

HUH?!? Wat? Does that rear tire have 4 lugs or 5? 4 is an 1100, 5 is an 1150.

 

What's the big deal--- so someone redrilled. :rofl:

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Many good points on the 1150. I guess it would be quite naive to assume that a new (to me) bike would be problem free. Seems I shouldn't mess with a good thing! I've thought about something like an FJR for Japanese reliability, but I just can't bring myself to buy a disposable Asian bike.

 

I wouldn't consider a Japanese bike like the FJR (or the Concours for that matter) to be a disposable bike. Quite the contrary. I would expect the Asian bikes to last every bit as long -- maybe longer -- than my '96 R1100RT. The BMW is a nicer bike, but if low maintenance and overall cost of ownership were you're only considerations, the BMW would not come out on top.

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+1 to all the comments saying keep it. I have a '96RT with 150k on it and she has been a good ride. I have spent some on repairs but nothing major. Gearbox shifts well with a small problem in second and the fuel economy is good. This is my main commuter and I ride 140 miles one way. Keeper!

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I wouldn't consider a Japanese bike like the FJR (or the Concours for that matter) to be a disposable bike. Quite the contrary. I would expect the Asian bikes to last every bit as long -- maybe longer -- than my '96 R1100RT. The BMW is a nicer bike, but if low maintenance and overall cost of ownership were you're only considerations, the BMW would not come out on top.

 

I wouldn't say an FJR or similar Japanese bike to be disposable either. On the other hand I doubt that, on average, they rack up the stellar mileages that oilheads can and do and still have some residual value. IMHO any bike that shares its engine oil with the clutch and/or gearbox is unlikely to last as long as a bike with the layout of the BMW oilheads et al (and Moto-Guzzis). It'll be interesting to see how well the W/C Beemers fare in 10 years time....

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I wouldn't say an FJR or similar Japanese bike to be disposable either. On the other hand I doubt that, on average, they rack up the stellar mileages that oilheads can and do and still have some residual value. IMHO any bike that shares its engine oil with the clutch and/or gearbox is unlikely to last as long as a bike with the layout of the BMW oilheads et al (and Moto-Guzzis). It'll be interesting to see how well the W/C Beemers fare in 10 years time....

 

This is my feeling as well. I certainly wouldn't have purchased an older high mileage BM if cost were the only factor, but I'm not at a place where it isn't a factor at all. While I most likely won't ride motorcycles throughout my entire life, I really appreciate the engineering and longevity of design in the boxer, and see this as a great opportunity to get my hands dirty and learn more about them.

 

Just put the 3923 plugs in and it's running a little smoother. Still has a bit of that surge around 30 MPH with the throttle cracked, but it's better. The plug tool in the kit was the wrong size, so that was frustrating, but it's done. Also got the turn signal lenses swapped for smoked, and the freshly sanded, bedlinered side covers are back on. Not a bad day!

 

Next up: fluids, MC rebuild, and replacing body screws.

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roger 04 rt

The one thing I would strongly advise is that you measure the return flow of fuel going from the fuel distributor back into the tank. It should be about two liters per minute at idle.

 

Because the pump has 3X the capacity required for full throttle operation the hoses leak a long time and the fail suddenly. If it were mine and the intank hoses were more than 8 years old I'd schedule replacement.

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Many good points on the 1150. I guess it would be quite naive to assume that a new (to me) bike would be problem free. Seems I shouldn't mess with a good thing! I've thought about something like an FJR for Japanese reliability, but I just can't bring myself to buy a disposable Asian bike.

 

I wouldn't consider a Japanese bike like the FJR (or the Concours for that matter) to be a disposable bike. Quite the contrary. I would expect the Asian bikes to last every bit as long -- maybe longer -- than my '96 R1100RT. The BMW is a nicer bike, but if low maintenance and overall cost of ownership were you're only considerations, the BMW would not come out on top.

 

Old data, but...

the only reliable comparison I've read (from c. 2005-6 and I no longer subscribe) was in MCN.

LT vs Goldwing vs HD (Ultra I think)

5 years

75,000 miles

all schedued maintenance

purchase price and resale price

all above factored in

Best value was BMW in real dollars

Second the Gold Wing

distant third the HD

like I said, from 10 years ago, but

even back then people thought the beemer would be the most costly

somtetimes dat and facts can be helpful.

 

If current subscriber has a more recent article, feel free to post.

 

But this was real world 75,000 miler.

Best wishes.

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The one thing I would strongly advise is that you measure the return flow of fuel going from the fuel distributor back into the tank. It should be about two liters per minute at idle.

 

Because the pump has 3X the capacity required for full throttle operation the hoses leak a long time and the fail suddenly. If it were mine and the intank hoses were more than 8 years old I'd schedule replacement.

 

I'll definitely take a look! Thanks for the heads up! Should I try to measure the return flow, or just go on and replace the hoses?

 

Old data, but...

 

But this was real world 75,000 miler.

Best wishes.

 

Very interesting, and only a tiny bit surprising! I too would love to see newer data.

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dirtdreamer50

I ride an 04 1150RT, and an 08 Concours 14. Both are nice rides, and both require lots of plastic removed to maintain. I switch off which I ride, depending on how I feel that day. Nothing on the C14 concerns me, but servo failure on the RT is always in the back of my mind, as it is a multi $K repair. Since you don't have servo Brakes, and you said spline lube, etc have been done, if it was mine, I would keep it and ride it...

Lots of airheads out there still going strong, and they need more TLC than yours. FWIW any year C14 would make a great commuter. I get mid to upper 40's MPG on mine, and the ECO mode on 2010+, gets you even better mileage.

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If not done so already, definitely replace all FI system hoses in and out of the tank. Lots of information on the board about doing this...... :thumbsup:

 

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Torontonian

I run the R1100 RT to 42000 kms, Just stranded me with intermittent death on highway only to start up fine again to die a few kms. down the road. Replaced Hall vane to no avail. Bus home.

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