Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lehighton, Pa, USA
Here is our brief experience. I took out three of the most expensive Harley's for a test ride, rented a Heritage Classic for a weekend. My SO other loved the thrill of the ride, but for me, it was exhausting, didn't like the noise and wind buffeting.
A BMW shop nearby had an 85 K bike for sale for $2k. That got us in the door. It smoked so bad I refused to take it out.
They had a 97 and 99 R1100RT for sale. The 97 had a lot of grinding when shifting, and backfired. We ended up buying the 99, for too much, but we didn't know any better. That went back to the dealer about four or five times.
Owned it for three weeks, got it outfitted as best we could and took a four day trip with it. It was very tight for two people and luggage, and extremely top heavy, IMO. I dropped it before I ever left the damn lot. It rode so bad on the way back, we stopped at the dealer and ended up trading that for a 99LT. While it was so much better all around, we later found it needed two new tires, brakes, shocks and a few other items, costing well over $2700, not including installation of the shocks!
So far, we have about $9k invested in all this. We knew nothing going in to the venture, never even looked at a BMW prior to this. It is expensive, but it is the best riding bike I have ever been on.
We are preparing to do just about all our own servicing, as much as possible, and hope it pans out in the end. Dealers appear to be few and far between, and expensive, when you can get in.
Bottom line, this is the most fun bike I have ever been on. I stopped riding about 18 years ago, had no intention of riding again.
My buddy has an 82 GW, rarely has anything done to it, tires brakes and battery, and it runs well. He bought that for $2500, put another $800 in it, and that was it. Lots of GW's for under $5k. I couldn't find a GW that had reverse in my price range. I also attempted to move my buddy's, and couldn't, so that was the end of my GW shopping. I had looked for almost six weeks for a nice GW, but some twist of fate had us end up with the LT. Other than the expense, we love it.
If we had to do it over again, I would buy privately, and get what you want already on it. There sure was not much out there for comparison. I just did not like anything else. After riding the LT, I knew if there was a bike for us, this was it.
Lots of much better deals on this forum that what we got! Without all the help here and on the RT forum, we never would have left the house with the RT, and probably would have sold that and that would have been the end of our riding, period.
Hope that helps!