Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 11 Old Jun 21st, 2019, 12:21 pm Thread Starter
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Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

Hi, I just joined the forum and would like some input from the crew:

I'm in my late fifties, 6'3"/210 lbs. and in very good physical health. I have a 34" inseam and a long torso. After a 14-year hiatus from motorcycling, last year I became the owner of a 1994 R1100RS with just over 28000 miles. From the look of the bike and the maintenance records, the bike has been treated kindly. I'm the third owner. I just replaced the 14 year-old Elixir battery with a Scorpion AGM battery and the worn out Metzlers with Pirelli Angel GTs. And I replaced the stock windscreen with the tallest one available from Parabellum. The RS is just about to turn 30000 miles and is a blast to ride. The right amount of sporty and simplicity.

The previous owner, being as tall as me, also gave me a set of BarBax which I installed. (My previous bike was a 1998 Honda VFR800. Try as I might, I could never get enough stress off my wrists or back to make the VFR a comfortable ride.). With the BarBax, I'm able to center my balance, but just barely. Truthfully, I wish I could find a way to install RT handlebars on the RS.

There are other concerns I have about the RS; it was the first year for that engine design and there were issues with the transmission. Also, the tri-spoke wheels supposedly can be bent easily by the wayward pot hole.

Looking online, I've noticed 2005-2007 R1200RTs for sale at around the same price as I paid (mid $3K) for my 25 year-old RS(!); some with less mileage, too. I can't help but wonder if these bikes are being sold before big repairs are required, or do BMW values drop faster than a brick sinks in water? I've seen the same price drop in K1200GTs from the same model years (another bike of interest).

I've learned firsthand that rider comfort is critical to preventing rider fatigue. An R1200RT might be a better match than the R1100RS for my riding goals. Or am I better off staying with the RS. Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :-)
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post #2 of 11 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 7:51 am
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

I'd keep the RS, makes no sense to me to sell it for a 15 year old RT. If I were looking for an older RT I'd get an 1150. I've had both and prefer the 1150 engine which is a classic imho. It takes some time to get used to the electric brakes (power servo brakes) on the '05s.

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post #3 of 11 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 8:09 am
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

Ralph... first- Welcome on Board- good to have you and you will find a lot of experience and expertise here- not to mention- friends you never knew you had...

but I digress... I Owned and Loved my 2005 R1200RT until 2014 when the new wet heads came out. I traded for the '14... I cannot tell you how many times I missed the '05.

It is fundamentally a great bike. In all the years between '05 and '14 the only issues ... ever... was the fuel pump controller- which is a very easy fix and in some cases about a 10 minute owner's fix (put a small circular clamp around the neck of the FPC).

The '05 was an easy bike from a owner's maintenance perspective. Easy to get to things if needed... accessible. Lots of experience out there an numerous articles etc. on the web if needed. Simple to do the regular services- which means you will do them and if you are slightly mechanical an enjoyable part of ownership.

I wish I still had her and look at my photo that's the '05... :-)

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post #4 of 11 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 9:51 am
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hopz View Post
Ralph... first- Welcome on Board- good to have you and you will find a lot of experience and expertise here- not to mention- friends you never knew you had...



but I digress... I Owned and Loved my 2005 R1200RT until 2014 when the new wet heads came out. I traded for the '14... I cannot tell you how many times I missed the '05.



It is fundamentally a great bike. In all the years between '05 and '14 the only issues ... ever... was the fuel pump controller- which is a very easy fix and in some cases about a 10 minute owner's fix (put a small circular clamp around the neck of the FPC).



The '05 was an easy bike from a owner's maintenance perspective. Easy to get to things if needed... accessible. Lots of experience out there an numerous articles etc. on the web if needed. Simple to do the regular services- which means you will do them and if you are slightly mechanical an enjoyable part of ownership.



I wish I still had her and look at my photo that's the '05... :-)


The wet heads are a mixed bag. Traded an expensive clutch replacement for the alternator. Then there are tools required to do a valve adjustment. I wonder if the 1800 coming out will be at least as simple as a hex head or simpler to maintain? Sometimes I miss my Vulcan from a maintenance perspective.


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post #5 of 11 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 9:59 am
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph1212 View Post
Hi, I just joined the forum and would like some input from the crew:



I'm in my late fifties, 6'3"/210 lbs. and in very good physical health. I have a 34" inseam and a long torso. After a 14-year hiatus from motorcycling, last year I became the owner of a 1994 R1100RS with just over 28000 miles. From the look of the bike and the maintenance records, the bike has been treated kindly. I'm the third owner. I just replaced the 14 year-old Elixir battery with a Scorpion AGM battery and the worn out Metzlers with Pirelli Angel GTs. And I replaced the stock windscreen with the tallest one available from Parabellum. The RS is just about to turn 30000 miles and is a blast to ride. The right amount of sporty and simplicity.



The previous owner, being as tall as me, also gave me a set of BarBax which I installed. (My previous bike was a 1998 Honda VFR800. Try as I might, I could never get enough stress off my wrists or back to make the VFR a comfortable ride.). With the BarBax, I'm able to center my balance, but just barely. Truthfully, I wish I could find a way to install RT handlebars on the RS.



There are other concerns I have about the RS; it was the first year for that engine design and there were issues with the transmission. Also, the tri-spoke wheels supposedly can be bent easily by the wayward pot hole.



Looking online, I've noticed 2005-2007 R1200RTs for sale at around the same price as I paid (mid $3K) for my 25 year-old RS(!); some with less mileage, too. I can't help but wonder if these bikes are being sold before big repairs are required, or do BMW values drop faster than a brick sinks in water? I've seen the same price drop in K1200GTs from the same model years (another bike of interest).



I've learned firsthand that rider comfort is critical to preventing rider fatigue. An R1200RT might be a better match than the R1100RS for my riding goals. Or am I better off staying with the RS. Any insights or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :-)


I’m similar size, 6’5, 225, 34” inseam. I have a 2009 RT. I put bar risers on and peg lowering kit as well as a calsci xl windscreen. Works for me. The riding position is more GS or UJM now, which I like better. If you get a hexhead, get the latest possible, meaning 2008-2009. I would say that for any BMW bike. It takes a few years to work the bugs out, at least with their bikes in the new millennia. The 1200 has more power and is a little smoother.


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post #6 of 11 Old Jun 22nd, 2019, 10:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

Hey guys,

Thank you for the feedback I've received so far! I just wanted to share a little more info with the group. I understand it's not always the best idea to get the first year of a model redesign. Typically, there are bugs that get worked out as the design matures. Unfortunately, my budget is very limited. That's why I'm on a 25 year-old BMW, and considering a 14 year-old BMW a major upgrade.

Hopz, I appreciate what you wrote about the '05 and ease of maintenance. The newer bikes just seem to be getting more and more complex to the point of needing an advanced degree in Computer Science just to change the fluids. :-P

There's a local pre-owned motorcycle exchange here in NJ which has a silver '05 R1200RT available for $3999 plus tax, title, etc. It has 51181 miles on the clock and looks very clean for its age/mileage. (Plus it was the most comfortable bike I sat on compared to all the other bikes there, from K bikes to Yami FJRs to Kawi Concours). The price is haggle-free and looking at their website, they have excellent customer feedback. They would take my RS as a trade-in towards the RT. And they provide a 30-day unlimited mileage powertrain warranty and offer extended warranties from 6 up to 36 months. I'm going to see if we can work out a deal.

I'll keep you all posted,
Ralph
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post #7 of 11 Old Jun 23rd, 2019, 6:12 am
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

Ralph. I would go for a 07 or newer RT. The 05's and 06's have electric, what some people call, "whizzy" brakes. Some (not all) riders have had the module go bad and you are looking at a $2k bill to properly repair it. On my 08 RT, I just had the abs unit rebuilt by Module Masters for $290. Here are a couple of posts to read:


https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...s-2003-rt.html


https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...s-2012-rt.html


https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...6-r1200rt.html


https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...servo-not.html

Mike Trevelino
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post #8 of 11 Old Jun 23rd, 2019, 10:14 am Thread Starter
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino View Post
Ralph. I would go for a 07 or newer RT. The 05's and 06's have electric, what some people call, "whizzy" brakes. Some (not all) riders have had the module go bad and you are looking at a $2k bill to properly repair it. On my 08 RT, I just had the abs unit rebuilt by Module Masters for $290. Here are a couple of posts to read:


https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...s-2003-rt.html


https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...s-2012-rt.html


https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...6-r1200rt.html


https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/rt-seri...servo-not.html

Thanks! I'll take a look at those posts. This morning I was thinking about it, and it seems to me the 800lb gorilla in the room with the '05-'07 R1200RT is the Evo Brake system. Riders love it or hate it. Some servos function perfectly, others run up a sizable bill for parts and labor. I personally think it adds unnecessary complexity to an already excellent antilock braking system, and a wonderful motorcycle.

Given that an '05-'07 R1200RT is long since out of warranty, it seems that an owner might have some options on how to deal with a faulty brake servo:

1) But a new/used replacement servo and have a mechanic install it
2) But a new/used replacement servo and install it yourself, or
3) Remove and bypass the evo brake system entirely (there's actually a YouTube video(s) on how)

Bypassing the servo is an intriguing idea, but I'm not sure if that would also disable the ABS. It's an option I would consider if I purchased the R1200RT and the "whizzy brakes" became a chronic problem. Especially if replacing the servo ended up costing as much as what I paid for the bike. I will definitely check with the dealer if the servo would be covered under an extended warranty.

Ralph
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post #9 of 11 Old Jun 23rd, 2019, 12:50 pm
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

Yes, that would disable ABS.


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post #10 of 11 Old Jun 24th, 2019, 5:27 am
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

I'm with Mike Trevelino on this one. If you are going for a 1200, I suggest the '08 as the earliest model to consider.
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post #11 of 11 Old Jun 26th, 2019, 8:51 am Thread Starter
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Re: Which: '94 R1100RS or '05-'07 R1200RT?

Hi all,

I've decided not to pursue a purchase of the '05 RT. Thank you for the valuable comments! I'll keep and eye out for an '07/'08 RT or beyond.

In the meantime, my '94 RS is in need of new shocks. (It may still have the factory installed ones; I need to check the maintenance records). I'm looking at Wilbers type 630/640 (f/r); if anyone has any experience with those, please share your thoughts.

Best regards and good riding,
Ralph
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