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98 1100 RT-P out the door!


foundationapps

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foundationapps

Last and final straw on this over rated POS. WHEN running, the bike is great,... sorry, I digress. Go out to the garage this a.m., start bike to warm up. Walk to the dumpster to toss a bag of trash, the bike stops. I creep back around the corner to see what foul gremlin has violated the airspace...

 

Dead, turns over, acts like fuel starvation. NO warning indicators of any kind.

 

Verdict and Judgement: First and last BMW is out the frigging door. Not to move to a newer RT like the plan was, but this machine has established a heavy distrust for BMW motorcycles. I have neither the will nor desire to tinker, buy, replace, recheck, tweak, torque, empty, fill, empty / refill, charge and recharge, drain gas again to pull tank, check this, check that, pray, shake the bones, have a backup truck load of parts and tools (5 pound tool rule) and an emergency roll of cash in the glove box. I've had it with that thing.

 

Did find a nice 1948 Panhead that by all witness accounts has never failed once since 1948 as the owner is the original buyer and can't sit on it anymore. New horizons approach. :)

 

Take care all, keep on wrenchin...

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szurszewski

Sorry for your frustration - 20 year old vehicles can do that to us sometimes. I've enjoyed reading your posts the last couple of months and I hope that Panhead treats you better.

josh

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foundationapps

Thank you sir, of course there is the possibility that once this surge of madness fades off, I still go get a newer RT. It's always a possibility, but the Pan is still in the game. Take care.

 

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Funny...after years and years of owning numerous Harley's I made the same claim before "going to the dark side"....

 

Last and final straw on this over rated POS. WHEN running, the bike is great,... sorry, I digress. Go out to the garage this a.m., start bike to warm up. Walk to the dumpster to toss a bag of trash, the bike stops. I creep back around the corner to see what foul gremlin has violated the airspace...

 

Dead, turns over, acts like fuel starvation. NO warning indicators of any kind.

 

Verdict and Judgement: First and last BMW Harley is out the frigging door. Not to move to a newer RT Harley like the plan was, but this machine has established a heavy distrust for BMW HD motorcycles. I have neither the will nor desire to tinker, buy, replace, recheck, tweak, torque, empty, fill, empty / refill, charge and recharge, drain gas again to pull tank, check this, check that, pray, shake the bones, have a backup truck load of parts and tools (5 pound tool rule) and an emergency roll of cash in the glove box. I've had it with that thing.

 

Did find a nice 1948 Panhead that by all witness accounts has never failed once since 1948 as the owner is the original buyer and can't sit on it anymore. New horizons approach. :)

 

Take care all, keep on wrenchin...

 

Good luck with the Pan. Remember though, the chances of kick starting a motorcycle are indirectly proportional to the number of people watching. The more people watching you kick, the less the change of it starting.

 

Indy

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foundationapps

Fury subsiding...

 

Started the bike this a.m. Ran fine for 2 minutes, then died. Mysterious oil puddle (large) on floor, no immediate source identified, but it could be a large oil can under a stack of tires that leaked and the oil decided to puddle under the bike.

 

No spark, plugs are dry. Did a quick search but my eyes glazed over, and gotta see patients. \

 

Any fast and furious ideas? Sorry for not doing my due diligence as I know the answers are in the archives somewhere. Help very much appreciated.

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foundationapps

That explanation of the kick start factor is amazingly accurate. My old 350 Sprint had that same insight. High school parties, never would start unless I pushed it away from the camp fire,,, at least 1/2 mile.

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foundationapps

I don't think it's the original. Had it out 3 months ago, wiring was sound and insulation in place. Blew out the sensors with some electrical cleaner. Would that interfere with the fuel injection? If not, wouldn't I have wet plugs? Appreciate the thought.

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Had it out 3 months ago, wiring was sound and insulation in place. Blew out the sensors with some electrical cleaner.

 

Now that's funny. And the little hidden wires inside the black sheath that are next to the HES plate by the sensor. Those are all good?

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You really have to slit the black sheath and inspect the wires. When you see the wires you will blink your eyes at the carnage of the little wire's insulation. You cannot test it without taking it apart, and once you're there you will need to rewire it with the right stuff.

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Mysterious oil puddle (large) on floor, no immediate source identified

Check your crankcase site glass. They've been known to pop out.

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I'm not ready to say it is the HES, but consider the pictures in the link. The cable/wires were attached to an HES that ran without problem until it got a good cleaning after returning from a trip in Mexico. The outer sheath look fine, but what was lurking beneath was something else.

 

The pics are high resolution. Click on them for a real close up.

 

link 1

 

link 2

 

link 3

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Hope you sort it out.

 

That said, RT-P's in general don't represent BMW RT's of that era.

Many are fine.

Some are outstanding.

Some, have had so many twerks that they are difficult to own.

Many folks get them and love tham.

We sold a bunch, new, then resale used.

Last batch of 9 bikes, 8 turned out to be great, w/various levels of use and mileage.

I saved the lowest mileage, cleanest for a friend, first BMW for him.

Tried to look out for him ( like all customers but he was a first time beemer buyer so pick of the litter).

He had a bunch of problems w/it.

Go figure.

 

Again, hope it sorts out, sounds like maybe that internal wiring may be the gremlin.'Best wishes.

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foundationapps

Point well taken eddd... tracing out the HES wiring today, if no visible evidence i'll blow out the sensors and put it back together. Check the fuel return also, I put the filter outside the tank behind the right cylinder.

 

Would HES failure also contribute to no fuel flow? I saw a patient yesterday that told me had a tractor that sensed a low battery voltage and shut everything down. Took him a year to find that out. Is that a possibility? Volts are 12.6 right now.

 

Rebuilding the master cylinder and putting on a set of stainless steel direct front brake lines today also.

 

Much appreciate the effort on those photos. That's revealing.

 

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foundationapps
Hope you sort it out.

 

That said, RT-P's in general don't represent BMW RT's of that era.

Many are fine.

Some are outstanding.

Some, have had so many twerks that they are difficult to own.

Many folks get them and love tham.

We sold a bunch, new, then resale used.

Last batch of 9 bikes, 8 turned out to be great, w/various levels of use and mileage.

I saved the lowest mileage, cleanest for a friend, first BMW for him.

Tried to look out for him ( like all customers but he was a first time beemer buyer so pick of the litter).

He had a bunch of problems w/it.

Go figure.

 

Again, hope it sorts out, sounds like maybe that internal wiring may be the gremlin.'Best wishes.

 

Roger that tallman, ever heard the story of the bell that someone else puts on your bike? The long time HD riders know this one. The bell's tinkle attracts the killer gremlins that attach to your bike and do unseen damage. As they collect in the bell, you shed them off when you bit bumps and such. Gremlin falls off, that's how potholes are made, that's the legend anyways. A friend has to buy the bell and put it on the bike, you can't get your own bell.

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ever heard the story of the bell that someone else puts on your bike? The long time HD riders know this one. The bell's tinkle attracts the killer gremlins that attach to your bike and do unseen damage. As they collect in the bell, you shed them off when you bit bumps and such. Gremlin falls off, that's how potholes are made, that's the legend anyways. A friend has to buy the bell and put it on the bike, you can't get your own bell.

 

Too funny. The Airhead I recently acquired from a fellow member has a little bell tied to the center stand cross beam by a leather lanyard. While giving the bike a once-over I discovered it. I thought "Well, that has to come off" and as soon as I touched it I thought "Uh, no pal, that has to stay" - so I could not bring myself to remove it.

 

Until now, I had no idea why it is there, and now I do.

 

 

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szurszewski
ever heard the story of the bell that someone else puts on your bike? The long time HD riders know this one. The bell's tinkle attracts the killer gremlins that attach to your bike and do unseen damage. As they collect in the bell, you shed them off when you bit bumps and such. Gremlin falls off, that's how potholes are made, that's the legend anyways. A friend has to buy the bell and put it on the bike, you can't get your own bell.

 

Too funny. The Airhead I recently acquired from a fellow member has a little bell tied to the center stand cross beam by a leather lanyard. While giving the bike a once-over I discovered it. I thought "Well, that has to come off" and as soon as I touched it I thought "Uh, no pal, that has to stay" - so I could not bring myself to remove it.

 

Until now, I had no idea why it is there, and now I do.

 

 

 

My mom has snuck one onto each of our bikes (mine and my wife's) over the years - she used to sneak them into our cars too, but apparently she doesn't love us anymore - or has lost faith - as the last few cars [as far as I can tell, anyway!] have not received bells.

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foundationapps

Research continues. Pulled the tank off again. Removed HES, (didn't have another one to put on, so I thought i'd clean this one up, worked 1 before).

 

Reassembled without belt. Fuel pressures up, gas in return line. NO spark both jugs.

 

IF, the HES is truly bad, would the coil be inhibited from firing spark to the plugs?

 

or

 

Could it be the coil?

 

Is there an electrical test I can do with a voltmeter? I know I've read about this before, but can't find it. Even when I get rid of this thing, I want it running right for the next rider.

 

Thanks for putting up with repeat questions that have had to been covered over and over.

 

Apps

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If you place the timing marks on the flywheel at tdc and rotate the HES plate with the key on do you hear the fuel pump cycle?

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Can you slice open the sheath to inspect the wires without damaging them?

 

Edit to add: If the EHS fails you usually se the rpm needle bouncing around right before it quits. Did you happen to see that?

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foundationapps

I'm going to do that this evening as well. When I had the HES out last year, I removed the sheath and wiring was sound. Looks like the ISP put in a pretty new HES before they released the bike.

 

I didn't get to see if the needle was bouncing on the RPM. I was walking away from the garage when it happened. That's when I snuck up on the door at ankle level with a room clearing mirror to see if any of the gremlins were still spooking around in there. Had a small pellet pistol ready for them, nothing but dust settling....

 

Thanks for the insights guys.

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Research continues. Pulled the tank off again. Removed HES, (didn't have another one to put on, so I thought i'd clean this one up, worked 1 before).

 

Reassembled without belt. Fuel pressures up, gas in return line. NO spark both jugs.

 

IF, the HES is truly bad, would the coil be inhibited from firing spark to the plugs?

 

or

 

Could it be the coil?

Is there an electrical test I can do with a voltmeter? I know I've read about this before, but can't find it. Even when I get rid of this thing, I want it running right for the next rider.

 

Thanks for putting up with repeat questions that have had to been covered over and over.

 

 

Morning foundationapps

 

Absolutely could be (AT) the coil on the RT-P -- in fact the RT-P coil-to-plug-wire interface area is noted for arcing internally due to the shielded wires.

 

No good way to test this with a meter as they only arc under spark load & you really can't see in there to verify no arcing.

 

IF it turns out to be a coil-to-spark plug-wire issue then you might consider replacing the coil & plug wires with those from a civilian model (much/much cheaper). OR if you feel like a little cutting remove the metal cover from your RT-P coil & use civilian plug wires with the coil inside.

 

DO YOU HAVE 12v at the ign coil green wire with key-on???? Start with this as it eliminates a lot of areas.

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Would HES failure also contribute to no fuel flow? I saw a patient yesterday that told me had a tractor that sensed a low battery voltage and shut everything down. Took him a year to find that out. Is that a possibility? Volts are 12.6 right now.

 

 

HES also sends injector pulse signal, so yeah, no HES, no fuel. My understanding is that low voltage WILL cause this symptom, but it has to drop below 10.9 Volts to do so.

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foundationapps
Research continues. Pulled the tank off again. Removed HES, (didn't have another one to put on, so I thought i'd clean this one up, worked 1 before).

 

Reassembled without belt. Fuel pressures up, gas in return line. NO spark both jugs.

 

IF, the HES is truly bad, would the coil be inhibited from firing spark to the plugs?

 

or

 

Could it be the coil?

Is there an electrical test I can do with a voltmeter? I know I've read about this before, but can't find it. Even when I get rid of this thing, I want it running right for the next rider.

 

Thanks for putting up with repeat questions that have had to been covered over and over.

 

 

Morning foundationapps

 

Absolutely could be (AT) the coil on the RT-P -- in fact the RT-P coil-to-plug-wire interface area is noted for acing internally due to the shielded wires.

 

No good way to test this with a meter as they only arc under spark load & you really can't see in there to verify no arcing.

 

IF it turns out to be a coil-to-spark plug-wire issue then you might consider replacing the coil & plug wires with those from a civilian model (much/much cheaper). OR if you feel like a little cutting remove the metal cover from your RT-P coil & use civilian plug wires with the coil inside.

 

DO YOU HAVE 12v at the ign coil green wire with key-on???? Start with this as it eliminates a lot of areas.

 

Will check these items at the end of the day. Can't ride anyway, we're currently in biblical Noah times. Raining like a cow P....g on a flat rock outside.

 

Thank you all again!!

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If you are to insepect the HES wires properly take a small 'iris" scissors and split the wire sheath carfully unit until you can eyeball the wires from the HES units up to the rest of the harness. Even if it turns out this isn't part of the problem you'll be suprised at the condition of the(original) wires. The maestro says check the green wire-so start there.

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foundationapps

HES check. I removed the HES from its mount. Left all wiring intact.

 

Fuel pump pressures up. All lights work.

 

Coil?

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foundationapps

Storm here, coil in the morning, and the wiring checks at the coil and everywhere else I can find. Much appreciate all lending their wisdom and experiences on this cat.

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foundationapps

UPDATE: Yesterday when I removed the HES from it's mount, but left it plugged in, the fuel pump pressurized per the test suggested. BUT, I forgot to put the crank at TDC.

 

Today, I put the crank at TDC, HES plugged in and off it's mount around the crank, key on... FUEL PUMP STILL PRESSURIZED.

 

Any ideas?

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foundationapps
UPDATE: Yesterday when I removed the HES from it's mount, but left it plugged in, the fuel pump pressurized per the test suggested. BUT, I forgot to put the crank at TDC.

 

Today, I put the crank at TDC, HES plugged in and off it's mount around the crank, key on... FUEL PUMP STILL PRESSURIZED.

 

Any ideas?

 

Also, all lights came on. No indicators of any issues. Is this POS RT wired odd?

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Also, all lights came on. No indicators of any issues. Is this POS RT wired odd?

 

Short answer: probably, but dirtrider can clarify that. Did you check the coil green wire like he suggested?

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foundationapps

Clarification:

 

HES installed in working position.

 

Green wire chedk at the coil is 10.5 volts.

 

Fuze #5 is good. Continuity check.

 

Power is 12.5 volts at fuze #5

 

I was reading your guidance to TimberGuy on his troubles::

 

"Does headlight come on at key on then go off during engine cranking?

YES AND YES.

 

Do you have (key-on) 12v power to the green wires at the fuel injectors?

YES, BOTH.

 

On my bike, I have headlights on, power to coil at the green wire, but a 0.0 reading on the green wires at the injectors.

 

To get 12... volts at the injectors, does the engine have to be cranking?

 

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foundationapps
Clarification:

 

HES installed in working position.

 

Green wire chedk at the coil is 10.5 volts.

 

Fuze #5 is good. Continuity check.

 

Power is 12.5 volts at fuze #5

 

I was reading your guidance to TimberGuy on his troubles::

 

"Does headlight come on at key on then go off during engine cranking?

YES AND YES.

 

Do you have (key-on) 12v power to the green wires at the fuel injectors?

YES, BOTH.

 

On my bike, I have headlights on, power to coil at the green wire, but a 0.0 reading on the green wires at the injectors.

 

To get 12... volts at the injectors, does the engine have to be cranking?

 

Add on information. Pulled the plugs after attempting to start, no fuel on the plugs and the piston tops appear to be dry. With the 0.0 volt on the green wires at the injectors. Does that mean there is no fuel getting to the engine?

 

Appreciate you folks patience on this.

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foundationapps

Update, awaiting coil (civvy version) and HES arriving today.

 

Will the screw on police type plug wires work on the civvy coil? I noticed the possible incompatability AFTER I ordered the coil or course. I'm a little slow sometimes. :)

 

 

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Update, awaiting coil (civvy version) and HES arriving today.

 

Will the screw on police type plug wires work on the civvy coil? I noticed the possible incompatability AFTER I ordered the coil or course. I'm a little slow sometimes. :)

 

 

Afternoon foundationapps

 

Not without a lot of modification. You don't want to use the RT-P wires anyway as those are usually the problem not the coil.

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foundationapps

I could write pages about the lessons learned and the path taken that has found a simple solution to a problem that happens on every one of these POS 1100 RTs of the 98 time frame (more or less a couple of years).

 

Oh yeah, the bike is running, perfectly.

 

HINT: When in any doubt, pitch the HES and put a NEW one on the bike. Just write the check and put a new one on. My old one checked out in every field test I could perform. Changed it anyway... waiting on the following parts for the heck of it. Coil, plug wires, new plugs, new filters of every type, 6 rolls of electrical tape checking every wire I could expose.

 

Value in the above lesson, nothing. At first hiccup, I should have pitched the HES and put a new one on as fast as I could get it.

 

Emotional response to the entire situation? Absolutely, part of stress management is reduction of the identifiable stressors around you. The R1100RT is one of those things. Hats off to the purists who find joy in a strange combination of neurosurgery, internal medicine, holistic medicine (very weak in the field of motorcycle repair), testing, parts changing, speculating, more guessing (piles of tools and tape in my case). Your persistence is to be commended.

 

I find something to be mechanically as unsound as these things are cannot and will not be trusted to my life on the back roads of the coming US of A. If you're thinking "tin foil hat",,, respectfully, stuff it, you're likely not paying attention to the reality of the upcoming disaster.

 

4 legs and horse hoofs rule over all forms of mechanical driven anything. They're not for everyone, but I would say that someone that can put up with the finicky 1100 probably would be a great horseman (horsewoman, whatever).

 

IF, I were in a position to consider another one of these things, I wouldn't pay over 1000.00 for anything that's not a 1200. Too unpredictable.

 

My .02 cents.

 

By the way, the procedure that is here for field mounting the HES is perfect.

 

http://advwisdom.hogranch.com/Wisdom/Oilhead%20Timing%20The%20Easy%20Way.html​

 

http://advwisdom.hogranch.com/Wisdom/Oilhead%20Timing%20The%20Easy%20Way.html​

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IF, I were in a position to consider another one of these things, I wouldn't pay over 1000.00 for anything that's not a 1200. Too unpredictable.

 

 

So you'd have a 1200? Interesting.

There are as many - more - things to go wrong with a 1200. You fixed the 1100 yourself. If it were a 1200, you may not find it so easy. Just follow the Wethead forum and see how many folk are having to 'pop' into their dealer to have them hook up the BMW diagnostic doohickey to set or reset some very basic issues! (ps, I love the new Wetheads, but am just mentioning this so as to point out that the grass is never really greener on the other side!).

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foundationapps

Andy, that's a fair question. Here are some of my logic points.

 

RE the 1200. It hasn't been around long enough to have dry rotting components based on poor engineering choices for certain aspects (HES is a classic example). Not sure, but I'm told that standardization of some of the various allen screws, etc is better than the dang 1100. The amount of different tools I need to get to something is staggering. On my 1979 GS1000, the 7 tools that actually came in the bag, did everything that I could do to the bike. I now need 7 pounds of tools to work on this thing. That's without getting inside the engine.

 

1. Though the 1100 has left me high and dry on the road, it's likely to based on this bikes history and some of the other events I've read about on this and other sites.

 

2. Wet weather performance is marginal due to a lack or "wet armor" for wiring and connections.

 

3. The infuriating design of the front cover for the alt belt, HES, etc. is poorly thought out that virtually every time I do the front cover, I come up with a different way to do it. Really, pulling headers off the engine to pull a plastic cover away, THEN manipulate while not cracking it, AND the probability of doing that in foul weather conditions.... well, like Chris Harris says, maybe if BMW stopped rolling around in their bed counting their money, some sensible designs might occur.

 

4. The ABS sucks, the ABS sucks, the ABS sucks. Surgical debridement of everything and doing a manual setup is sounder, more reliable, and in the real big picture, better for the rider than ABS that is NOT reliable.

 

But, to recap, my statement about a 1200 vs an 1100 is due to the age of the 1100's "stuff". Dry rotting related failures, hacks, chops, nonsensical over and over testing are NOT a good basis for a long range motorcycle that might transport a rider into vast wilderness deserts. That being said, the 1200 may have issues, but it's not the kind of issues that end up pulling hair.

 

As a function (reliable/unreliable) bike, the BMWs have a lot to be argued about and desired. This 1100 is my one and only venture into the BMW world. For a GS type bike, i'll do the rock solid V-Strom or Yamaha's Super Teniere. They might not have the features of a BMW, but they absolutely do not quit.

 

Grass being greener on the other side... I agree in general. But I'm comparing BMWs designs and execution of those designs vs solid competitors like the V-Strom, Super Teniere, (Ducati somewhat).

 

With that said, I'm selling a 1998 BMW R1100RT-P. 50,000 miles. ABS stripped, stainless steel conventional front and rear lines, New tires, new coil, new plug wires, new oil, air and fuel filters in place. $1500.00, not delivered.

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foundationapps
Andy, that's a fair question. Here are some of my logic points... CORRECTION!!

 

1. Though the 1100 has (should read: HAS NOT) left me high and dry...

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Congratulations on getting the bike running! Don't pitch the HES, as the original sensors are hard to come by. Rebuild it with the appropriate wire, and you'll have a reliable spare for you or someone else.

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1. Though the 1100 has not left me high and dry on the road, it's likely to based on this bikes history and some of the other events I've read about on this and other sites.

Erm, not sure I agree with that. Just look at the thousands of miles thousands of riders do. You don't see a big pile of 1100RT stacked along the side of the road.

 

2. Wet weather performance is marginal due to a lack or "wet armor" for wiring and connections.

Again, We ride these things day in, day out. The wet has never stopped this bike.

 

3. The infuriating design of the front cover for the alt belt,

The VERY easy fix that many have done is to neatly cut the front cover in half. Do a search on this forum and you will find I have posted a picture on how and where to cut. It fixes your problem.

Unfortunately you also made a rod for your own back by selecting the Police version of the bike, which has more difficult access, a whole load of redundant wiring and thingies and a dubious service history.

 

 

 

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I don't buy the whole "dubious service history" tale on RT-P's. I've been around police vehicles my whole life. Police depts have someone whose job it is to make sure that vehicles get serviced on time. Don't take your patrol car in for an oil change? Your gas card stops working.

Police depts drive BMW's because BMW wants them to drive BMW's. In a lot of cases like my CHP bike, BMW contracts to do the service, and has an option to buy the bike back.

 

People are motorcycle cops because they want to be MOTORCYCLE cops. Otherwise they'd sit in a cage with an a/c and lots of cupholders.

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Drakas,

Varies(d) by location.

Some departments would service some things and wire some things.

RT-P's are notorious for some of them being Frankenwired.

Some, not all.

All in all the 1100 R bike is a fabulous machine that can last a long time, they have legions of riders who still travel great distances in all weather conditions.

Don't know if that is true of many other marques (a basically 18-22 year old bike being a common sight).

YMMV

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foundationapps

Revisit the RT1100. After my childish temper tantrum on my RTP, I feel the need to say the following:

 

1. I was full of s*&^t.

 

2. New HES, coil and plugs set me back only 300.00. The best 300.00 spent on a bike for me.

 

3. 2 days of post repair hardcore testing and riding by necessity. New HES got the bike running. New coil and plugs / wires, got it running perfectly.

 

Had to do a 300 mile run yesterday, leaving here yesterday at noon. Reached destination by 4:15 and was only slowed by 2 lines of crash gawkers from a minivan that flipped a few times and ended up shattered in a ravine between the interstate roads.

 

Temp was 95+, idling and 1st gear crawl for 20 miles. Fan kicked in twice, never overheated. Did my business then turned around for the 300 mile burn home. Arrived at 1100 that night. Average speed was well over 80 nearly the entire time. 62 MPG and not a single misfire.

 

Back in love. Still go the 48 Panhead. :)

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