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New to me 1999 R1100RT


Uncle Mike

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Just wanted to introduce myself. Purchased my first BMW Oct. 31st. A friend saw the R1100RT on Craigslist and suggested I purchase it so he would have a riding buddy. It was not far from my home which made it convenient also. The 1999 was one of a few  bikes in the garage and was being sold for lack of use. It had 13,030 miles on it and I had my reservations of buying any vehicle that was sitting for some time. The bike as you can see was cosmetically in great shape and started up so I purchased it for $2000.00. 

 

My story is when I got back into touring in 2000 the choice of driveshaft sport tourers where the Kawasaki Concourse, the Honda ST1100 and the R1100RT.  The R11 was out of my price range and ended up buying a used 96 ST1100 ABS/TCS that served me well over the years. So this was the bike I wanted 20 years ago but couldn't afford. 

 

I have replaced the 10 year old almost new looking tires with new Michelins, replaced the brake lines with galfers, rebuilt the front calipers, (inner seals still looked good after 20 years and yes I separated the caliper halves even though it is not recommended.)

There was no brake fluid in the reservoirs when I opened them. The engine oil looked terrible, as did the transmission and final drive. There was some fine metal on the transmission magnet which caused me distress but I'm going to change it again in about 500 miles. I put synthetic gear oil in the rear diff but it seems from threads that this bike does not do well on synthetics so I will replace it again with GL5.  Replaced the left cam chain tensioner with the upgrade. LED headlight. Wired a Zumo to the hot radio wire. Next will be sink the throttle bodies.

 

I'm retired, have some tools, a Clymer manual and can not get the bike registered till 01/29/21 with the DMV due to Covid so I have time to work on it till I feel safe riding it.  I hope I haven't purchased a money pit.  We'll see. Lots of good info on Youtube and on line for assistance. 

 

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Heck of a nice bike you have there. Don't worry about that metal paste on the magnet. That's what it's for, to collect that stuff.

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Welcome to the board and it looks like a very clean bike.  At 22 years old it should be expected to change out some things and it appears you got right on the brake lines.  By the way the new SS braided brake lines makes a very noticeable improvement in brake feel over the OEM rubber.  I think the '99 vintage has been one that didn't have a lot of the problems you might have read about concerning the transmission alignment wearing the input shaft, or final final drive failures, so I wouldn't worry too much that this bike will be a money pit. My '99RT with about 75,000 miles on it has been nothing but stone reliable.  The wire harness for the HES sensor is a weak spot on these bikes as they get up in years, as the insulation can get brittle and crack off, but I am not sure if that is due to heat aging over time, time only, or some combination. Others may be more knowledgeable on that issue.

 

So ride it and enjoy a fine example of a boxer twin.  You'll get a ton of nice bike compliments when your out and about.

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36 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

Just wanted to introduce myself. Purchased my first BMW Oct. 31st. A friend saw the R1100RT on Craigslist and suggested I purchase it so he would have a riding buddy. It was not far from my home which made it convenient also. The 1999 was one of a few  bikes in the garage and was being sold for lack of use. It had 13,030 miles on it and I had my reservations of buying any vehicle that was sitting for some time. The bike as you can see was cosmetically in great shape and started up so I purchased it for $2000.00. 

 

Welcome!  Great buy on a great bike.  Lots of resources here on this site and many online videos available.  There are also a few very good Oilhead repair manuals available online.  If you have trouble finding them, just shout out here and we'll point you to them.

 

The HES (ignition timing sensor) is a known problem.  At 13k miles, it's not likely to be problem now, but you are much better off getting it repaired with the correct wiring before you get stranded while out on a ride.  GL5 80w90 gear oil in the rear is the way to go. 

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48 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

There was some fine metal on the transmission magnet which caused me distress but I'm going to change it again in about 500 miles. I put synthetic gear oil in the rear diff but it seems from threads that this bike does not do well on synthetics so I will replace it again with GL5.  

 

 

Afternoon  Uncle Mike

 

That fine (smooth) metal goo is normal as there is continuous gear tooth contact in the transmission. 

 

Next time just run that fine goo through your thumb & finger, if it feels smooth then no issues, if you feel anything sharp THEN start worrying.   

 

You can do the same with the  final drive if that has a magnetic drain plug (good idea to add one). Smooth is OK but anything that feels sharp could be indicating an internal problem. 

 

 

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I was really thinking of replacing the HES sensor since I had the plastic and tank off.  But I was thinking the low mileage and complete lack of rain here in the Southwest (Las Vegas NV.) I might not change it till I replace the front shock. I did change the alternator belt though.

 

Oh I got a question. My 99 was missing that oil breather pipe you remove to replace the alternator belt. Do some models have it and some don't or some mechanic forgot to put it back on? I saw one on Ebay if I need to put one on. 

 

Thanks! 

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43 minutes ago, Uncle Mike said:

I was really thinking of replacing the HES sensor since I had the plastic and tank off.  But I was thinking the low mileage and complete lack of rain here in the Southwest (Las Vegas NV.) I might not change it till I replace the front shock. I did change the alternator belt though.

 

Oh I got a question. My 99 was missing that oil breather pipe you remove to replace the alternator belt. Do some models have it and some don't or some mechanic forgot to put it back on? I saw one on Ebay if I need to put one on. 

 

Thanks! 

Afternoon Uncle Mike

 

Yes, the earlier 1100 engines have that & the later ones don't. 

 

The changeover occurred sometime in the early 1998 model run. 

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Congratulations on your new

RT!   Those black ones are gorgeous!  Sounds like you stole her!   It’s great to see a fine unused motorcycle get a good new home where she can do what she was built for!   

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Nice bike Uncle Mike.

Don't skip that HES change.

It will leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

Your weather conditions may be kind, but that HES insulation deteriorates whatever the weather and Murphy's Law says you will get stuck in the middle of nowhere.

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On 12/4/2020 at 7:25 AM, BrianM said:

GSAddict is a member here and has rewired quite a few of them (did mine). You may want contact him and ask about repairing yours.

I've had three rewired by gsaddict, including one with only 16k miles on it. They all needed it, money well-spent. Be SURE to mark/index the backing plate before removing the HES so you can get it back where it was when reinstalling.

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23 hours ago, Miguel! said:

How can you tell if the HEF is original or rebuilt? Miguel

Afternoon Miguel!

 

Depends on who rebuilt it. If it was rebuilt by GSAddict it will be very evident as his work is top notch. In most cases a rebuilt will have more heat shrink on it than the original did. 

 

If you post a picture of the top connector area & the sensor end we can probably tell you it is is original or rebuilt. 

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