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2015 RT; Tips for Buying Used?


HiSport

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New forum member here. Selling my '14 Concours14. Looking for a used R1200RT wethead. 

- I've located a couple of 2015 RT's. Any issues to be aware of? (I will make sure all recalls were performed + maintenance records available)

- (I have shied away from 2014 RT's due to early model issues. Are 2015's much better?)

 

I'm in the NC Blue Ridge, and any RT will require travel. So, your help with my upfront homework much appreciated. 

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I own a 2015 RT loaded with all options including NAV. I dumped the NAV 5 and went to the NAV 6 and couldnt be happier.( I did have the NAV 6 Replaced under warranty by Garmin, it's a common problem) I've have not had one problem with the bike except the low beam light at about 12K mi and it was kinda of a pain to change but made it thru without to much trouble. One of the best bikes I have ever owned, it can eat tires up pretty fast depending on how you ride. Good luck, it's a great bike! 

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The word is the ‘17’s had a transmission improvement over earlier models. I think that is it model update wise. Some folks have had camshaft wear issues. There is an ongoing seeping Hayes caliper problem but that’s ’19s and later. My research on this and other forums didn’t uncover much else. Take the plunge, they are nice bikes.

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Any real changes came on 17 and later for transmissions. 

 

I can tell you the 15 RT I had was clunky but I could get smooth shifts but it took concentration.  I bought a 17.5 GS and the transmission is just pure heaven.  Now plenty of people run 15's and say they shift fine and I am sure that is true.  Just not on my 15RT.

 

Again the transmission upgrade is worth every penny to moving to a 17 model year or better. 

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Boxer transmission have always been clunky up until 2017.  It's just part of the brand.  It's never bothered me.  The clunk/grind is usually from 1-2 and 2-1.  Again it just is part of boxer legacy.  I've been riding them so long I can shift 90% of the time without the clunk.  I wouldn't let the clunk steer me away from a 15 or 16.

 

A couple of minor things you might want to check... Seems like the TPMS stems in the tire from 15 on are having a shorter life than pre 15.  That's an opinion not a fact, but the opinion comes from postings I've seen here.  If the battery is dead in them to replace with genuine BMW parts is pretty expensive.  I think they cost about $120 each and of course you would have to remove the tires to do so.  Some folks have managed to replace the batteries but it is a surgical job and doesn't always work.  My 2014 are still working great.

 

Check recalls if any.  BMW Safety Recalls: Check Vehicle Recalls by VIN - BMW USA  

Check maintenance records in the manual. What is required is in the owners manual.  The owner should have it stamped in the book or if they did it themselves should have records.

 

Check mileage on tires.  Plan on a tire change between 7 and 12k 

 

After market seat is a plus as BMW seat is awful.  

 

If possible post here where you are going to look at a bike and you might find an experienced BMW owner here who would assist you with the pre-buy look.

 

The BMW R1200RT's from 2014 and newer are called wet heads as they are also water cooled.  They are awesome bikes.  I have ridden a concours a couple of times.  I think you will find the RT's to feel like a much more nimble bike especially in curves.  

 

Good luck.

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22 hours ago, HiSport said:

New forum member here. Selling my '14 Concours14. Looking for a used R1200RT wethead. 

- I've located a couple of 2015 RT's. Any issues to be aware of? (I will make sure all recalls were performed + maintenance records available)

- (I have shied away from 2014 RT's due to early model issues. Are 2015's much better?)

 

I'm in the NC Blue Ridge, and any RT will require travel. So, your help with my upfront homework much appreciated. 

 

 

I bought a 14RT in Nov. 2014 ( traded in my 04RT with 107K miles ) I put 108K+ on it and the only problem I had was a drive shaft failure at 73K miles ( front universal bearing failure). My current ride is an 18RT with 90K miles on it , no problems as of yet. I'm 10K from 300K on Beemers (RTs) and couldn't be happier with my choice ( I rode and owned Harleys for 40 years before switching to the RTs. in 2012. ) If you like to ride the RTs are an excellent choice.

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Many, MANY thanks! (This is a really wonderful forum)

The advice and tips are just what I was looking for.

(I have searched forum threads on the things mentioned here; eg, cam wear issues, transmission shifting). Will also use the VIN tool to precheck candidate bikes. I'll also check with the local dealer here (Greensboro BMW; about 40 miles away) to see what the used wethead cam wear policy is. (The two 2015's I'm looking at are both pretty low miles; 8K and 11K)

 

Bob - Compliments to you. You have really put some miles on these bikes! (I've also been riding for many years, though my only sport touring bikes have both been Concours. 3 cross country trips; couple of Nova Scotia runs).

Latest BMW was a 650 XC; had a couple of airheads eons ago. Recently swapped bikes with a riding buddy and really liked his 2011? RT. My C14 is a rocket, but I don't particularly like the handling. Its also v top heavy, and the suspension is a bit crude. The RT I rode felt far more natural to me; intuitive handling; great suspension (ESA? I didn't adjust anything). 

 

Currently, I also have a Ducati Multistrada (aircooled), and an old Moto Guzzi ('70 Ambassador). Funny that the BMW R1200 wethead has (as I understand) gone to (mainstream) cassette trans and wet clutch, yet is still able (on some or most 2015's?) to maintain clunky shifting.  Thanks for tip about TPMS batteries also.

 

Look forward to getting into the wethead/RT world. Appreciate your the gracious help...

 

 

 

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Clunky shifting? Matter of opinion. I can think of a few other bikes that I have/have ridden that are much worse in how they shift. Try a 1-2 upshift on a DL 1000 Suzuki for instance. 

Remember there is 125+ hp and 94 lb ft of torque going through this transmission. It has to be built heavy enough to handle all that. Yes, the 2017 had a rubber damper installed to soften the shift. But since I know of zero transmission problems in any of these I would buy either version without a second thought. I hate to say it but I actually think the bike shifts rather well. Yes, there can be a clunk in the 1-2 shift or 2-1 shift. But, I don't seem to find any false neutrals or "miss" under high rpm/load shifting. At 50K plus miles it shifts just like it did when new. Oil can be a factor, and I do use Liqui-Moly. For instance I did NOT like Mobil 1 in this transmission. 

And did I mention no clutch issues with the new wet clutch design!!!

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23 hours ago, Skywagon said:

Boxer transmission have always been clunky up until 2017.  It's just part of the brand.  It's never bothered me.  The clunk/grind is usually from 1-2 and 2-1.  Again it just is part of boxer legacy.  I've been riding them so long I can shift 90% of the time without the clunk.  I wouldn't let the clunk steer me away from a 15 or 16.

 

 

2 hours ago, realshelby said:

Clunky shifting? Matter of opinion. I can think of a few other bikes that I have/have ridden that are much worse in how they shift. Try a 1-2 upshift on a DL 1000 Suzuki for instance. 

Remember there is 125+ hp and 94 lb ft of torque going through this transmission. It has to be built heavy enough to handle all that. Yes, the 2017 had a rubber damper installed to soften the shift. But since I know of zero transmission problems in any of these I would buy either version without a second thought. I hate to say it but I actually think the bike shifts rather well. Yes, there can be a clunk in the 1-2 shift or 2-1 shift. But, I don't seem to find any false neutrals or "miss" under high rpm/load shifting. At 50K plus miles it shifts just like it did when new. Oil can be a factor, and I do use Liqui-Moly. For instance I did NOT like Mobil 1 in this transmission. 

And did I mention no clutch issues with the new wet clutch design!!!

 

When I got my first RT in 1997, the shifting reminded me of Yamahas that I have owned - except for the BMW lack the occational false neutral. Technique that worked for me was to make sure you reached the end of travel on the shift before releasing the clutch. No missed shifts or false neutrals, just a rough feeling when shifting, technique made the shifts feel smoother. Technique did help smooth the 1-2 shift. 2-1 shift I usually do just as I stop. If stopping at a light, I usually go to neutral rather than 1st.

 

My 97 and 11 RTs shifted similar to each other. My 2018GSA shifts better in the sense that technique is not as important.

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The 2015 model year has been very problem free and was after the fix of the rear shock failures that blemished the 2014 launch of the RT Waterhead.  I have heard some say that certain examples of 2015 RT were terrible shifting.  I wouldn't know as I only have ridden two 2015s, the dealer test ride machine and the one I bought.  Neither was terrible shifting IMO, in fact I found shifting pretty darn good.  Maybe not benchmark but not bad shifting at all.  For context I was coming off a '99R1100RT with a 5 speed transmission and to get smooth shifts from that transmission does take a bit of Zen, so both 2015's were like silk in my experience.  I road a 2017 test ride machine and I guess it might have shifted a little better than my 2015, but not so much so to make me want to trade in for it.  Besides, with the shift assist feature found on most RTs sold in the US, my 2015 snicks nicely into the next gear anyway.   I would say if you can test ride the one your looking at you can decide if shifting is an issue for you.

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