R1150 question - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 12 Old Oct 6th, 2005, 8:06 pm Thread Starter
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R1150 question

A friend of mine is looking for a cycle to commute to work. I have found an '03 R1150RT with 77xx miles on it in the local area. Being a K1200LT driver myself, I don't know anything about oilheads. Is there anything anyone could pass along that would help him make an informed decision?


Bob Schrader
Wentzville, Mo.
'00 K1200LT
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post #2 of 12 Old Oct 7th, 2005, 1:05 pm
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I have had 2 K1200lt's and liked them both but had no confidence in them as they both kept breaking down.
LT's went and in came R1150RT it's wicked.
More fun to ride and it's been reliable.
Would recommend to anybody (so far).
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post #3 of 12 Old Oct 7th, 2005, 1:45 pm
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1150RT v 1200LT

What Have You Been Drinking ?.

I Have Owned 3 1150 Rt,s And 1 1150rt, And I Can Tell You That The 1100rt Is A Better Bike Than The 1150 Rt.
Bmw Built The 1100 Rt From 1995 To 2001 (6 Years ) And The 1150 Rt 2001 To 2005 (early In The Year).4 And A Bit.
Bmw Obviously Had More Sales With The 1100 Rt Due To The Fact Of Very Little Vibration And A Better Build Quality And Less Problems Than The 1150 Rt.
The Lt Is King And The 1150 Rt Is The Poor Mans Lt.

04 Graphite In Blighty

Last edited by eljeffe; Oct 31st, 2005 at 3:20 pm.
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post #4 of 12 Old Oct 7th, 2005, 2:30 pm
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Make sure it is a twin spark. The first 1150s had surging problem until they went twin spark which was 03 or 04, can not remember.
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post #5 of 12 Old Oct 8th, 2005, 2:20 am
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Hey Numbnuts.

He only asked if it was an OK bike to commute on.
Is there any need for the RICH MAN POOR MAN stuff.
Elitism again?
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post #6 of 12 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 8:20 pm
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I communted on LA/Orange county freeways for a year on an LT. Then this summer I acquired a 2002 R1150RT. As much as I love the LT, the RT is made for commuting. It's relative lightness makes handling simple in heavy traffic. Out here in the deep south of southern California where lane splitting is an answer to stopped traffic, the RT acts as if that's its purpose in life. Simply put I don't know how a bike can be better made for commuting.
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post #7 of 12 Old Oct 10th, 2005, 9:08 pm
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Can't go wrong with either bike. I've ridden both in several different scenarios and would have to say that for plain old commuting the RT is probably a better bike. If longer weekend trips are in store than I'd recommed the LT.

Never mind the "LT is king and RT is poor man's LT" comment below... pretty much baseless as neither bike is cheap and it doesn't address your pal's concerns.

2012 White R1200 GS
2006 Gray BMW R1200GS (retired)
2003 Black BMW K1200LT (retired)
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post #8 of 12 Old Oct 11th, 2005, 1:53 pm
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I owned an R1150RT for a couple years. Mine was a single spark and I had BAD surging that just couldn't be cured. It drove me NUTS! Other than that the bike was 100% reliable and trouble free and very fun to ride. It is nice to be able to pull off the bags and trunk and get the more nimble ride. Now I am spoiled by cd/radio/intercomm, heated seat, more room, smoother motor, etc.

Jim Andrews
Woodland, MN
2003 K1200 LTE
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post #9 of 12 Old Oct 31st, 2005, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by bikesnumbnuts

I too find that post very insulting and untrue. I can afford to buy any bike that I want, and after owning an RT and LT, I chose to buy another RT.

The twin-spark thing is nice, but it's not an absolute cure for the surging. The bike still requires a careful TBS and valve adjustment. At 7-8K miles the thing is not broken in yet, and may surge... they get better as they get older (and of course, a proper adjustment).

I do not know of any problems that BMW has had with the 1150 over the 1100 as numbnuts proposes. I don't know what's up with him. The 1150 is just the continuing evolution of the 1100, and as such has fewer problems than the earlier bikes.

As long as the usual caveats hold true, proper break-in, maintenance, no wrecks, etc. your friend should be just fine on the RT. It is a BMW though, so he will need to budget for a new seat and some auxiliary lighting.



Life is too short to compromise on your toys.

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post #10 of 12 Old Oct 31st, 2005, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by bikesnumbnuts
I guess your name says it all.

I have owned two 1150RTs, and I didn't experience surging with either one. I have an '02 LT and an '04 RT. To each his own, but I like the RT far more than the LT in every respect except passenger comfort.

Burt Jones

Last edited by eljeffe; Oct 31st, 2005 at 3:18 pm.
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post #11 of 12 Old Nov 1st, 2005, 3:46 pm
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Some pre-2004 R1150RTs had surging problems, as one of the posters above noted. I have owned R1100RTs, R1150RTs, and R1200RTs -- none of them surged at all, though perhaps I was lucky. I have never experienced surging personally.

In 2004, BMW went to the two-spark engine in the R1150RT, although a very few late 2003s had it as well. You can tell by the design of the valve cover. You can see the differences here: http://bmwmotorcycle.home.att.net/1150.htm

So ... ride the bike a variety of speeds and see if you detect surging in the engine. Most likely, you will not -- but you might. If you do, pass it by.

Other than that, just check the normal things you would on a used motorcycle. The 77K miles is not scary, if it was well maintained. Check the maintenance records on the bike -- who maintained it and how often? Did a dealer to it every 6K miles?

All this nonsense about the LT vs. the RT is just that -- nonsense. I have owned two LTs, and they were great bikes. I ride RTs now primarily because the weight of the LT was a little intimidating and because I have been a boxer nut (not numb) since 1967. By now, the boxer engine just feels normal to me, and has for decades, and I like the feel of one. A four-cylinder engine seems weird. But that's just me.

Jeff Dean
Tucson, Arizona, & Madison, Wisconsin

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post #12 of 12 Old Nov 1st, 2005, 4:58 pm
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G'day Guys,

I have had all types of BMW's, 1100RT,1150RT 1100S and K12LT. I liked them all and my partner favours the LT for comfort. If I was just commuting and the odd day touring I would also consider the 1100S with panniers or rack. Great bike. As for the RT's I never had any issues. It's a matter of personal choice. What ever you think you would be comfortable on.
We all ride because we enjoy it, It's not about types of bikes it's about getting out their on something you feel at ease with and just doing it.


04 K12LT
Melbourne, Australia
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