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Rogerl

Buying an Older Low Milage Hexhead

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Rogerl

I look thru Craig's list and often see2007, 2008, and 2009 R1200R's that have 6,000 miles or less on them for rather good prices. What are the pit falls of buying an old bike that has been sitting for a while? I know of the throttle body cam cracking problem that the HexHead has but are there other problems that can be lurking if a bike has been sitting and not ridden for a while? I hear the comments that seals can dry out and then start leaking. Does that happen or is it just one of those old wives tales. Any information would be great.

 

Thanks

Roger L

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Ponch

I would change out every fluid, the plugs, the tires and probably the fan belt too. Rubber ages. Maybe the gas too. 

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dirtrider
On ‎8‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 12:28 PM, Rogerl said:

I look thru Craig's list and often see2007, 2008, and 2009 R1200R's that have 6,000 miles or less on them for rather good prices. What are the pit falls of buying an old bike that has been sitting for a while? I know of the throttle body cam cracking problem that the HexHead has but are there other problems that can be lurking if a bike has been sitting and not ridden for a while? I hear the comments that seals can dry out and then start leaking. Does that happen or is it just one of those old wives tales. Any information would be great.

 

Thanks

Roger L

 

Morning Roger L

 

By far the biggest issue with a motorcycle that has not been ridden in a long time (just sitting)  is spoiled gasoline. Modern gasoline containing alcohol degrades quickly (can start degrading as early as 3 months of sitting). In the early stages it  isn't serious but as it sits longer & longer the gasoline turns into a varnish like substance &  that  can cause expensive-to-repair damage, or cause, serious,  difficult to repair fuel system issues , (a real mess). The hexhead 1200RT is even worse as those don't use replaceable fuel filters.

 

Never buy a motorcycle that has been sitting a long time  without opening the fuel cap & sniffing the fuel supply (if it smells sour, smells acidic, smells like old varnish, or smells different than new gasoline  then use extreme caution in making an offer on that motorcycle without researching what would be needed to clean or replace fuel SYSTEM components (can get REAL expensive on a modern fuel injected motorcycle).

 

Obviously the battery would will probably be severely degraded or even non functional (at least assume so).

 

On the BMW hexhead 1200 series bikes you might run into brake issue after sitting un-ridden for a long time (different problems on the 05/06 vs the 07/09 bikes but all  can be very expensive. This is something to keep in mind as a brake controller issue could take a lower priced used BMW  into an expensive project very quickly. (this is sometimes difficult to detect but expensive to repair)

 

As far a seals go, those are now made from modern materials so don't really dry-out like older cork or felt seals did in the very distant past but they can still leak. In most cases just moving/riding the bike will re-lubricate the seals & all is good. The thing to look out for here is a bike that was stored in a damp environment, or stored just after washing, as that can rust/corrode the surfaces that the seals seal-to then bike movement can permanently damage the seal sealing lips.

 

Buying a long term stored vehicle is kind of a crap shoot as there a lot of variables that come into play, as a damp/wet storage area REALLY puts up a red flag to me.

 

A motorcycle that was ridden in a salty area/salty roads  before storage also  puts up a big red flag. (might not be a deal breaker but sure puts a big CAUTION on making any offers).

 

How/where  the bike was stored is usually the biggest concern.  Obviously a damp storage area opens a lot of possible storage related problems. A motorcycle stored near chemicals (like swimming pools chemicals) can also be an issue. A motorcycle that was started every couple  of weeks  but never ridden is another BIG red flag (they never get hot enough running in place to  burn the moisture out of the engine internals & internal fluids).

 

You can get a good deal on a PROPERLY prepped & properly stored motorcycle but just as easily get a real MONEY PIT buying an improperly stored motorcycle (especially the modern electronic marvel motorcycles).

 

About the only real help that I can offer is to go into buying an older low mileage motorcycle with EYES WIDE OPEN, don't assume anything based on the low mileage showing, base your buying on LOOKING at, SNIFFING, or INSPECTING  everything.

 

If you suspect something isn't right then don't make an offer until you do some research on what you suspect isn't right.

 

Don't EVER  let buying/owning a newer motorcycle overshadow your caution & instincts.  

 

 

 

  

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Rogerl

Dirt Rider:

Thank you for the very through response. I see bikes on Craigslist often that have low mileage and think that they would be a good deal. The biggest thing is to find out how long it was stored and where it was stored. The bike needs to be running and able to take it for a ride to make sure that everything works as it should. I was thinking that the dry seals problem was a thing of the past. As long as there is no oil currently leaking it should not start leaking in the near future when the bike is being used. The seals by the clutch would be the ones that I would be concerned with.  

How would you know if the current owner put a bunch of new gas on top of very old gas in the tank? If the bike is running and running good is there a problem? One of the reasons I am asking this is I currently have a 2013 R1200R. I really like the bike. I have a Parabellum fairing on it and it does EXACTLY what I want. In 2015 BMW changed to the wet head engine and took away the Telelever suspension for the R1200R. My GS911 works with the camhead and hexhead engines as well. When It comes time to replace the 2013 I would like to find a lower mileage 2014 to replace it with. 

 

Thanks Again

Roger L

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