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Topic: 1997 BMW R1100RT with 55,000 miles  (Read 4248 times)

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splais
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« on: April 10, 2012, 10:06:57 PM »

I have a chance to get this bike for something between 4000-4500 dollars.  We do not have a BMW dealer in town, but do have shops that can work on it.  I have some experience owning and caring for a HD Heritage, but nothing with this much mileage.  The has records of all maintenance and it seems he has done things right and when required.

Question:  All things being equal - am I asking for trouble get this bike with this much mileage.  Anyone with the knowledge please respond.  thanks.

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falconati
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« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2012, 10:09:21 PM »

These motorcycles can go plenty further.  If you want a BMW RT and this is your price range, you should expect about this many miles.  If you don't need an RT, you can buy a sports-touring bike with less miles for the same amount of money.

In short: the miles are fine on the engine if his maintenance is in order, but there are cheaper alternatives if you're not set on this make.
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 09:41:36 AM »

So one in that price range with 20,000 miles would be a steal?
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 09:43:31 AM »


So one in that price range with 20,000 miles would be a steal?


I'd think so.  Seems like $7000 is the automatic asking price around here regardless of how high the mileage.
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 10:00:23 AM »


So one in that price range with 20,000 miles would be a steal?


These bikes will do very high mileages. Underused bikes sometimes have gearbox etc problems. Better to get one that is regularly used.
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« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 08:28:05 PM »

I wouldn't go as far as to say 'a steal,' but it's not unreasonable.  You can probably get your money back out or take a very small loss.  They don't go for much less.
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cruisin
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« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 08:59:46 PM »

55K on an 1100RT is not normally considered high mileage, as a well maintained RT can easily see 200K with only minor problems.  The maintenance records being available should give you peace of mind.  But a '97 IS a 15-year old bike making me want to say $4000 would be the upper end of the price spectrum and $3750 would be a 'good' deal.

If you are willing to travel to get one, check out the ads on IBMWR.org

Here are a few titles & prices seen there right now:

1999 R1100RT 43k miles; super clean
Price: $4900
Location: Pt. Pleasant, NJ

2001 1100 RT lo mi. Very good condition
Price: $5000 obo
Location: Oakland CA

2003 R1150RT
Price: 6850.00
Location: Southern California

2002 R1150RT
Price: $5300 Firm
Location: suburb of Cleveland,OH

2002 R1150RT
Price: 5750.00
Location: Phoenix

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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 09:01:28 PM »

http://www.searchtempest.com/
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2012, 09:04:14 PM »

The 1100 oilhead is a very sturdy bit of motor, only slightly more complicated than a Guzzi rock.
I have two and one of them I've put more than 100k on.

Seattle Craigslist has a few 1100RTs all about in the same price range. I say go for it.  Thumbsup
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 01:37:46 PM »


a Guzzi rock.



Was that a missive from the Department of Redundancy Department?
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coho
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 01:53:24 PM »

Aiming for accuracy.  Bigok
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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2012, 01:33:37 PM »

+1 on the mileage comments - 55K is just getting nicely broken in.  Not know where you are, it's tough to get a meaningful Blue Book number (it's tied to location), but "under $5K" for a '97 sounds a little high.  

"Guys who work on BMW's" and "guys who really know BMW's" aren't the same thing.  To keep your Beemer really happy, find a "guy who really knows..."  FWIW, even though there's a BMW dealer perhaps 15 minutes from me, I take my '03 K1200RS to a dealer 60 miles from here because they're "guys who really know..." unlike the other dealer who "works on BMW's".  

These bikes are a bit of an investment over time, but they do pay off!   Bigok
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2012, 01:52:57 PM »

   Ride it at a constant low speed and see if you can ignore the surging.  It bugged the hell out of me.  I thought it was unacceptable for a supposedly tech-advanced bike.
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2012, 08:46:48 PM »

"most" of the surgers, with careful and accurate tuning, can be made to run correctly. The S and R models surge the least, in fact, due to exhaust configs and computer settings, the R11S is known to be pretty much surge free (altho a frind of mine's 99 R11S has "issues").
miles are not a concern, price is a tad rich.
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cruisin
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« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2012, 09:52:02 AM »


   Ride it at a constant low speed and see if you can ignore the surging.  It bugged the hell out of me.  I thought it was unacceptable for a supposedly tech-advanced bike.


Surging is easily tuned out on "most" R models.  It involves ensuring the injectors are clean, plugs are properly gapped, TPS voltage adjusted to specs and throttle bodies synchronized.  It's pretty esay to do if you are comfortable turning a wrench on your own bike and should be a no-brainer for a good mechanic at a reputable shop.  I've been tuning my own RT/s since 2001 abd yet to have a problem with surging.
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2012, 11:22:47 PM »




These bikes will do very high mileages. Underused bikes sometimes have gearbox etc problems. Better to get one that is regularly used.


Probably come this weekend I'm going to put the Strom on the market with an eye toward something like this bike. What should I look for as far as the gearbox issue? Any other issues that need to be checked out?
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2012, 08:35:20 AM »

Well now... by pure coincidence, I happen to have an R1100RT sitting in the garage at the moment.  There's about 98K on the clock and, based on a quick inspection, it's definitely been around the block more than once.  This is a loaner bike from Hermy's BMW in Port Clinton, PA.  Anyway, so far I've clocked about 80 miles on a mix of roads and, even at just short of 100K, this puppy is still a goer.  (Sorry - no idea about the model year - they just handed me the keys, told me about the controls, and said "ride safe.")

It's interesting to compare the RT with my '03 K1200RS.  The RS has it hands down on horsepower and flat out motivating down the road - no surprise there.  But the RT is doing darn well in handling, and generally coming up to speed "right quick".  Cruising at an indicated 80, the bike doesn't feel like it's straining to maintain the pace.  

One of the surprises with the RT is the clutch and tranny feel much, much tighter than the RS.  Shifting is much more precise - the bike "snicks into gear" while the RS feels somewhat "loosey goosey" by comparison.  The clutch, too, is a little crisper than the RS.  Given the miles on the RT (~98K) and RS (~30K), this is all the more surprising.  Both bike, of course, are maintained by Hermy's.  If anything, I'd guess the RT gets it service only when all the customers are taken care of.  Still, I'm impressed by the tranny.  

On the issue of surge, there may be some present, but if so, it's insignificant.  Whether in slow speed riding through towns posted at 25 MPH or zipping along at speed, the engine is predictable and well-behaved.  

At one point, in a particularly tight downhill curve, I got into the brakes a lot harder than I had any business doing.  NTL, the RT accepted the inputs and kept its footing without a surprise.  Whew!  

I do have a gripe and a half.  The half gripe first: after the turbine smooth RS with its four cylinder motor, the RT is definitely not as smooth.  I wouldn't call it buzzy, but there is some vibration that never really goes away.  Again, being used to first the Concours and then the RS, I'm now used to "turbine smooth".  OTOH, I can see why folks do multi-hundred mile days back to back on a boxer and don't complain.  

The other gripe is unique to the bike.  It has what I take to be a Sargent saddle and the resulting ergos are... well, I wouldn't keep the saddle on the bike.  I'm 6' and have a 34" inseam.  NTL, with this saddle, flatfooting this bike is uncomfortable.  Underway, I'm way too far forward on the bike and the saddle keeps me from moving back.  Looking at how the saddle has worn over time, I don't think I'm the first rider to have a problem with the saddle.  The back of the rider's part of the saddle is crushed down instead of standing up.  All in all, the saddle, if I owned this bike, would go.  

While I still like my RS, for two-up touring, this RT has a lot going for it.  And that's at almost double the miles the OP is looking at in the bike that started this topic.  
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