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christianf

2004 1150RT versus 2005 bmw R1200 RT

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christianf

Hello everyone, newbie on this site, glad to be here.

I am seriously considering getting back riding after 20+ yrs raising kids.

I am narrowing my search to RT1150 and found one for $4500 with 21,000 miles(tried one last weekend 2002 with 31,000 miles for $3,100 and I liked both the look and the engine which kept going at 1000RPM like a tractor) not sure yet what the riding appropriate RPM is and was in 6Th gear when by the seller I was supposed to be in 4th where I tried the bike. Overall liked it a lot, position was a little cramped but the seat was at the lowest position (i'm 6' tall).

I also found a dealership 2005 1200 RT with  41,000 miles for 3,800 miles

I like the look of the 1150 better but I am not sure whether to decide for the look or the price and I am not sure how to compare specs. Like I said I am getting back on the road and I am not looking for too much power.

 

Any suggestion on how to choose or negotiate on the 2004?

Thanks in advance and safe riding

CF

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dirtrider
25 minutes ago, christianf said:

Hello everyone, newbie on this site, glad to be here.

I am seriously considering getting back riding after 20+ yrs raising kids.

I am narrowing my search to RT1150 and found one for $4500 with 21,000 miles(tried one last weekend 2002 with 31,000 miles for $3,100 and I liked both the look and the engine which kept going at 1000RPM like a tractor) not sure yet what the riding appropriate RPM is and was in 6Th gear when by the seller I was supposed to be in 4th where I tried the bike. Overall liked it a lot, position was a little cramped but the seat was at the lowest position (i'm 6' tall).

I also found a dealership 2005 1200 RT with  41,000 miles for 3,800 miles

I like the look of the 1150 better but I am not sure whether to decide for the look or the price and I am not sure how to compare specs. Like I said I am getting back on the road and I am not looking for too much power.

 

Any suggestion on how to choose or negotiate on the 2004?

Thanks in advance and safe riding

CF

 

 

Afternoon  christianf   

 

I agree, the 1150RT is a better looking bike (but you can't see it while riding it so that makes little difference).

 

The 1200RT is a better riding bike, has better transmission ratios & a smoother engine.

 

The price on that 2004 1150RT seems high but that depends on condition, area of the country, what comes with the bike, other considerations.

 

Apples to apples the 1200RT is a better bike but to me the 2005 1200RT is not a big gain as the 2005 was a first year bike (never buy a first year BMW if possible). The 2005 1200RT has the I-ABS (wizzy) brakes, first iteration drive shaft, small pinion bearing, first year front engine cover that was prone to corrosion & oil leaks.

 

My recommendation, if looking for a 1200RT, (& you can afford the later bike) is to look at the 2008-2009 1200RT's as  those had most of the later updates, better brakes, less leak prone engine.

 

Buying a used BMW motorcycle is a real crap shoot (especially if the looker is not up to date on what to look for on the used BMW).

 

Go back through the older threads on this site to read about what problems 1150 & 1200 riders are dealing with as well as things that you might want to look at or have verified before buying blind.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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christianf

I understand that the 2005 is a first year bike and I would not want to spend much more that $4,000 for a used bike to get started again so I don't think that I will look further into the 1200. I believe the weight difference is negligible so that won't come into play.

I agree that the 1150 is a bit high priced but it looks pristine and I will go and check it out. The OBO suggests there is some negotiation possible. What would you suggest is a reasonable range to start the discussion without insulting the seller?

Thank you for your share.

Best

CF

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Rinkydink

Blue book on ‘04 1150 is $4250 in my area. My 04 was a great great bike. Check for verifiable service records. Good luck. Welcome back to motorcycles. 

 

With all all due respect a motorcycle safety course might be a good thing. Ride safe and look out for blue haired women in big cars. 😳

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AndyS

Well my two penneth (for what it's worth). I prefer the 2004 1150 over a 1200 2005 every time.

That whole thing about walking away from a bike and looking back to enjoy the view is worth it for the negligable gain the 2005 gives.

However, if you were looking at a late 2007 onward then the picture changes, because the late Hexhead and the Cam head 1200's were much better bikes.

Bear in mind both bikes have their foibles. The 2005 still has iABS issues (like the 1150). It also has ongoing fuel strip issues and occasionally switchgear issues.

 

Honestly, this really needs to be a heart over head issue for the 2 model years you have selected. The 2004 1150RT was the best of the 1150's too.

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Paul De

Welcome back Christianf to motorcycles and joining us here to discuss this choice.

 

Others can speak to any particular mechanical pro/cons of the 04 VS 05 RT, but I agree with AndyS, the bodacious curves on the 1100/1150 RT are the best looking RTs IMO VS later versions.  I own '99 R1100RT and a '15 R1200RT and by a noticeable margin I get more nice bike comments on the '99. 

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MariettaMark

I ride a 2004 1150RT and it’s a good bike. I think it’s arguably one of the better looking models BMW made and it’s a good road bike. That being said, I did make some mods to the bike to make it a little better for me. (I’m 6’ also) I ride with the seat in the highest position or else I get cramps in my upper thigh and hips. In terms of money mods, I added handlebar risers that move the upper body position up and back slightly. I changed out the stock windscreen for an Aeroflow and had the seat rebuilt and covered by Kontour. The previous owner upgraded the suspension to Olins.

 

Not saying you have to do any of this but a lot of those mods are quite common for owners of this bike.

 

Never been on a 1200 so no comment there.

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Skywagon

Christian...I had one of the last 1150RT's ever made.  It was actually modeled a 2005.  I rode it to roughly 45,000 nearly trouble free miles.  A couple of tips I suspect you already know. The three things that could be expensive issues are the driveshaft, the final drive, and ABS brake system.  I never had an issue with any of them.  Did I get lucky or did preventative maintenance help?  Dunno…..

 

I changed the oil and all fluids (except brake) every 4-5000 miles.  Clean trans, clean engine, clean final drive fluids are important to me and have served me well in all my combustion toys.  I didn't know about the quirky ABS system for a while, so it was nearly 3 years before I learned here that fluid should be changed.  I learned how to do it and changed it every year from that point on.  If it doesn't have metal quick change fuel connectors, get them.  The plastic ones will break...it's just a matter of time.  It was the only time the bike left me stranded.

 

The whizzy brakes were a love hate.....I loved that they were really easy to use and had tremendous stopping power with 1 finger.  I hated how sensitive they were when walking the bike into tight places with the forks turned full.  It' really easy to dump the bike at low speed IMHO as the bike is top heavy.

 

That said....I loved my 1150 from new until the time I sold it in Feb 2014 for my now wethead.

 

Good luck with the new ride, stay safe, and enjoy.

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kruuuzn
21 hours ago, Skywagon said:

It's really easy to dump the bike at low speed IMHO as the bike is top heavy.

 

+1.

 

You need to be extra careful with takeoffs and landings but once rolling it's a dream machine.

 

I've had my '04 since new and I still get complements on it. People are shocked when I tell them it's 15 years old.

I have no plans of upgrading to a newer model. I still love my bike.

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christianf

Thank you all for all your precious feedback on these bikes. I think I will stick with the 2004 RT above. Best to all

 

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Paul De
On 8/19/2019 at 3:50 PM, christianf said:

 ...and I liked both the look and the engine which kept going at 1000RPM like a tractor) not sure yet what the riding appropriate RPM is and was in 6Th gear when by the seller I was supposed to be in 4th where I tried the bike...

 

Seems there is a question here left unaddressed.  While BMW has added more low RPM grunt for each new iteration from the oilhead forward what you will find is that these flat twin engines run best in the mid to upper mid of its RPM range.  I try to keep my '99 1100 spinning at 3K or above and not lug it and I think the 1150 is the same in that regard.  Solo on flat ground I might tool around at 2500 RPM, but that is the lower limit for me. The boxer motor isn't really meant to be run like an under square V-Twin by short shifting and lugging it around.

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RogerC60
45 minutes ago, Paul De said:

 

I try to keep my '99 1100 spinning at 3K or above and not lug it and I think the 1150 is the same in that regard.

 

My '03 1150RT definitely likes to be at 3500 or above. 4-5K is a very happy place :-)

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John Bentall

So the 1150 engine was based on the 1100 which was introduced as the R1100RS in 1993. BMW would have started designing the engine in the late 1980's - so it a 30 year-old design now. 

 

Andy's comments about looking over your shoulder at the parked bike is very beautiful and sentimental and artistic ................ . The average owner of a Honda CB929RR Fireblade would probably throw up if he saw a 1150RT. 

 

As the previous owner of a 2005 R1200RT, I can tell you that  it is a night-and-day better riding machine than the R1150RT. I would have been very, very disappointed if it was not.  I looked after the bike well and had no problems with the brakes. I did have problems with the final drive but it after it was rebuilt properly it gave no further trouble. I will admit that the electronic suspension adjustment can be troublesome as well - I wonder whether the amount of damp affects it. A dealer re-calibration certainly helped my ESA to perform more reliably.

 

The decision is down to the OP. A wife (late-model 1150RT) or a mistress (early 1200RT).

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AndyS
On 8/25/2019 at 10:43 PM, John Bentall said:

 

 

As the previous owner of a 2005 R1200RT, I can tell you that  it is a night-and-day better riding machine than the R1150RT.

 

Well John, we will have to disagree on this. I NEVER found the 1200 to be night and day better than the 1150. Sure it is an improvement in some limited areas, but it wasn't until the Camheads that a significant difference showed up. 

 

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percy1010

Yes U all 4 to 5 K---is were the bike likes to ---and yes LEAN --they are power commander-then --dyno--were lean set in ritch ---then comes alive ---wild -oil head --many back tires ---LOL

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Lowndes

Christianf,

 

As for "negotiating" ideas on the '04, you might inspect the tires and shocks.  If the shocks are OEM units they will be nearing the end of their best days (~30-40K).  Also, the tires are very important - if they are inferior brands or models (i.e. bought cheap to sell it), OR if they are over say 5 years old, you should seriously consider good, new tires immediately for safety's sake.  20K in 15 years means this bike has done a lot of sitting, but has had at least one set of tires, probably two.  Ask the owner if he has the records on the current tires.  

 

Honesty and sincerity are always the best policy.  Keep in mind that we get attached to these machines.  You might start by saying that you've looked a several other bikes but like his the best, looks, condition, quality, but that 1) you'll (possibly) need to replace the tires and/or shocks soon,  2) It's above the price you had in-mind or budgeted, and mention the "OBO", then ask "what would be the best number (he) would consider to get his bike into a "good home" right away, or today??"  Selling stuff is time consuming and he might be ready to deal, depending on how long its been listed.  He may have a deadline (moving).  He is probably very aware too, that the "riding season" will be winding down in most areas shortly.  Also,  the better you know someone the more likely you are to give them a good deal, so ask questions, ask for advice, listen actively.  

 

GOOD LUCK and let us know how its going!!

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christianf

Thank you I agree sincerity and honesty are fertile ground for win-win negotiation

have a great Labor Day weekend

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