Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 30 Old Sep 5th, 2019, 6:24 pm Thread Starter
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Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

Hi,
I come from the K1200LT side and I may be buying a1150 or a 1200 RT. Can you please advice me what to be careful of on these two bikes? Where do they hurt? Do they have any problems and if yes which ones?

Thanks
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post #2 of 30 Old Sep 5th, 2019, 10:20 pm
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

Buy a R1200RT 2007 or newer. The 10-13 are pretty nice and good engines.

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post #3 of 30 Old Sep 6th, 2019, 2:10 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

iABS on the 1150 can be problematic and expensive to repair unless yearly fluid changes have been carried out and preferably the brake lines have been changed to braided. Great bike the 1150rt. I didn't want one but borrowed one for a ride and fell in love with it

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post #4 of 30 Old Sep 6th, 2019, 4:24 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikosK1200LT View Post
Hi,
I come from the K1200LT side and I may be buying a1150 or a 1200 RT. Can you please advice me what to be careful of on these two bikes? Where do they hurt? Do they have any problems and if yes which ones?

Thanks
Which 1200RT are you talking about?
The 1150 is a BEAUTIFUL bike whereas the 1200RT Hexhead(2005 - 2009) and the Camhead (2010 - 2013) were less than beautiful!
The 2014 - 2018 RT's are in a totally different league in terms of engine performance.

So, problems - yes the early 1150's (2002 and before) had potential gearbox input shaft issues. Also surging, also final drive issues. However, the 2003 onward (twin spark models) pretty much fixed all those issues.One thing that did persist (and on into the early 1200's) was the totally unnecessary servo brakes. The servo's can fail. However, very easy to remove the servo and end up with very nice brakes.

As for the 1200's (2005 - 2009) they continue to have fuel strip issues and switchgear issues.

Test rides are what you need. Take long rides, not a quick zip around the block. For me, the 1150 was better than any of the 1200's UNTIL the Wethead came out (2014 onward) and that was a game changer.

However, as you will know from being around these forums, we all love these bikes and most owners are besotted with what they have, with very few exceptions.
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post #5 of 30 Old Sep 6th, 2019, 4:31 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

NOTE: I only have GS experience, but the Can-BUS is pretty much the same..

In my experience, the new bikes are far to complicated for no good reason, to many sensors that can leave you stranded if they fail (Corrosion is a big deal, I guess that is more of a GS issue)..

Then again in the middle of nowhere that bring big headaches, on the road you just call AAA or a tow truck..

Ps: I value simplicity and reliability at all cost.. (more than 500,000 miles on 1000 & 1150 Platforms and not more than 25.000 on my 2007 GS that had let me stranded three times so far)
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post #6 of 30 Old Sep 6th, 2019, 6:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

So far thank you all very much for your knowledge contribution. You all know that buying a used bike is a pain in the b..., this is what I can afford now till I pay off the roof over my head. Of course this leaves to me no room for any tragical mistakes that cost a lot to repair used ones.
Please go ahead and advice me to avoid any mistakes.
Thanks
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post #7 of 30 Old Sep 7th, 2019, 6:47 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Originally Posted by nikosK1200LT View Post
So far thank you all very much for your knowledge contribution. You all know that buying a used bike is a pain in the b..., this is what I can afford now till I pay off the roof over my head. Of course this leaves to me no room for any tragical mistakes that cost a lot to repair used ones.
Please go ahead and advice me to avoid any mistakes.
Thanks
Yes, there is always some risk with a used bike, but that is almost always better than no bike at all!

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post #8 of 30 Old Sep 7th, 2019, 7:50 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

My first BMW was a 2002 1150RT, I still missed it when I sold it and bought an '07! Even though the '07 was newer I had a few issues with as compared to my '02. The 1150RT is a great tourer, especially with a Cee Baileys windshield! The only issue I ever had with it was the brake lines, but that's an easy fix with a set of new braided lines. If you can get one that's been properly taken care of and maintained I wouldn't hesitate to get another, but for now I'm enjoying my 2012 camhead!

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post #9 of 30 Old Sep 7th, 2019, 9:34 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

If you get an 1150RT, be sure it is a 2004, not earlier. The 2004 twin-spark models eliminated surging. Here is a 2004RT:



The 1200RT from 2007 on is better in all ways than the 1150, though IMHO the 1150 is prettier.
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post #10 of 30 Old Sep 9th, 2019, 4:35 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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If you get an 1150RT, be sure it is a 2004, not earlier. The 2004 twin-spark models eliminated surging....

...The 1200RT from 2007 on is better in all ways than the 1150, though IMHO the 1150 is prettier.
Not quite true about the 1150. The good ones ARE the twin spark, but they were from 2003.

As for your comment about the 2007 better in all ways, I can't agree fully on that either. For sure there were changes and improvements, but in terms of comfort, aesthetics and cockpit, the 1150 was a better bike for many of us.

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post #11 of 30 Old Sep 9th, 2019, 6:44 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

Both are great bikes but like a lot of things I would get the latest model year you can find and afford. So if going the 1150 look for a 2003 or 2004. Some but not all of the earlier oil head 1100 and 1150 bikes had surging issues. I had a '97 RT and a '02 GS and neither had any surging issues. But the twin spark did help on that issue. Same with the 1200. They are all great bikes but the later 1200's were the CamHead design which was an improvement as well. That being said ALL the 1200's were pretty rock solid bikes. The only real issue that was found on the pre-2010 (I believe) was the fuel strip with was used in place of a fuel float. BUT that is covered by a BMW 12 year warranty and actually not that expensive to replace (about +/- $300) The fuel strip design was changed around 2010 I believe.

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post #12 of 30 Old Sep 9th, 2019, 9:06 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

I thought I had contributed to this thread previously but I do not see it now....

In any case... my experience with my '05 R1200RT was all pleasure.

The scare about the fuel strip was two things... One was that is a fateful failure--- It was was not. 2. That is was the devil to fix- mine was simple and took about 10 minutes. No big deal... and no dealer involved.

My guess is that any '05/'06/07 will have had the minor fix done already anyway- just ask the seller...

Incidentally the Hexhead family is very consistent- meaning there is little difference in them- thus the '07's are the same as the '05's...

and... I can honestly say I enjoyed the '05 probably more then the '14 Wethead.... so there. (the '05 was friendlier, easier to work on and accessible.)

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post #13 of 30 Old Sep 9th, 2019, 9:23 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Originally Posted by hopz View Post
I thought I had contributed to this thread previously but I do not see it now....

In any case... my experience with my '05 R1200RT was all pleasure.

The scare about the fuel strip was two things... One was that is a fateful failure--- It was was not. 2. That is was the devil to fix- mine was simple and took about 10 minutes. No big deal... and no dealer involved.

My guess is that any '05/'06/07 will have had the minor fix done already anyway- just ask the seller...

Incidentally the Hexhead family is very consistent- meaning there is little difference in them- thus the '07's are the same as the '05's...

and... I can honestly say I enjoyed the '05 probably more then the '14 Wethead.... so there. (the '05 was friendlier, easier to work on and accessible.)
Having owned a 2006 and now a 2016 RT I agree the '06 was easier to work on and truly built like a tank. However, the 2016 requires valve checks at 12K intervals and not the annoying 6K of the pre-liquid cooled bikes which makes traveling a bit easier. And yes ... a failure of the fuel strip simply means that your fuel gauge does not function. It is my understanding that the replacement strip was the same design and part as the original hence the reason why some folks had to replace them numerous times. Not a big deal to replace and about 1/2 hour labor if I recall. I had mine done at the dealer under warranty and only had to do it once. It is my understanding that BMW will warranty the fuel strip for 12 years from the date the bike went into service.

I checked and the list price on the fuel strip was $175 and about an hour labor. But was free under warranty. But not a big deal at all.

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post #14 of 30 Old Sep 11th, 2019, 4:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Yes, there is always some risk with a used bike, but that is almost always better than no bike at all!

the news may say that Greek economy has recovered but it's fake. When every working person's financials recover then it will have recovered. Today as things are; having a used 1200cc BMW bike puts you high on the society ladder.

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post #15 of 30 Old Sep 11th, 2019, 5:04 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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My first BMW was a 2002 1150RT, I still missed it when I sold it and bought an '07! Even though the '07 was newer I had a few issues with as compared to my '02. The 1150RT is a great tourer, especially with a Cee Baileys windshield! The only issue I ever had with it was the brake lines, but that's an easy fix with a set of new braided lines. If you can get one that's been properly taken care of and maintained I wouldn't hesitate to get another, but for now I'm enjoying my 2012 camhead!

J
Yeah, the brake lines fail to most BMW's. I wonder why are we stuck on "BMW quality" and pay loads of monies for it when Hondas come cheaper for the same comforts and do not fail big time. Imagine, BMW never recalled the LT(and all the other models using it) failing final drives. I personally would feel ashamed to present another bike in the market.
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post #16 of 30 Old Sep 11th, 2019, 5:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Originally Posted by jeffdean View Post
If you get an 1150RT, be sure it is a 2004, not earlier. The 2004 twin-spark models eliminated surging. Here is a 2004RT:



The 1200RT from 2007 on is better in all ways than the 1150, though IMHO the 1150 is prettier.
Jeff, that's a nice, beautiful bike.
I feel honored talking to you.
Ouch, it has the same final drive like my 1999 LT. Should I go for it or look for a newer with the latest drive?
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post #17 of 30 Old Sep 11th, 2019, 6:57 pm
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Jeff, that's a nice, beautiful bike.
I feel honored talking to you.
Ouch, it has the same final drive like my 1999 LT. Should I go for it or look for a newer with the latest drive?
Final drives were really a non-issue for the RT's but to your question it is most always best to buy the latest model year your wallet can afford. Having owned a '97 RT, '06 RT and now a '16 RT I can tell you every iteration was better than the previous. Sure there are always things I miss about earlier models .... I like the old style switch gear. But I would never ever go back. The improvements in each iteration way outweigh any negatives.
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post #18 of 30 Old Sep 11th, 2019, 11:48 pm
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Not quite true about the 1150. The good ones ARE the twin spark, but they were from 2003.

As for your comment about the 2007 better in all ways, I can't agree fully on that either. For sure there were changes and improvements, but in terms of comfort, aesthetics and cockpit, the 1150 was a better bike for many of us.
Here stateside the twin spark was 2004 - early 2005.

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post #19 of 30 Old Sep 11th, 2019, 11:53 pm
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

I would suggest a 2004 R1150RT twin spark, or jump to the R1200RT 2008/2009 Hexhead. Especially nice are the camheads 2010-2013, but they still command at least $8-10K in good shape.

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post #20 of 30 Old Sep 12th, 2019, 8:17 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Here stateside the twin spark was 2004 - early 2005.
Interesting. My 2003 was a twin spark (very nice it was, too).
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post #21 of 30 Old Sep 15th, 2019, 8:15 pm
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

I have the 2004 R1150RT with 140K miles; had a few final drive seals replaced (3, first 2 under warranty), last one has stayed fixed. No other issues; starter is getting a bit noisy and I'll eventually need to replace. I've used it for work commutes, plus 2-up trips along the US west coast and Nevada and Arizona. Good tour bike, yet also easy to handle in commute traffic including lane splitting. (ABS brakes are nice to have when needed, and a couple of times I needed them.)
I also had a 2015 R1200RT, now replaced by a 2018, love it too. I'm heading out from California to Ohio / Kentucky / South Carolina / ... and back next month on it. Tours just as nicely as the 1150. No issues so far on the 1200.
So, I agree with earlier posts -- the last couple of years of the 1150, and the more recent 1200's, both nice and relatively good on the maintenance front. If I were on a budget and looking for a good touring BMW, I wouldn't shy away from the late 1150's.
But I also have an F650CS (OK, my wife will point out that it is hers), and for my 30 mile commute, one up and no luggage, that is quite acceptable as well. Good gas consumption, light weight, low center of gravity.
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post #22 of 30 Old Sep 17th, 2019, 5:15 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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I would suggest a 2004 R1150RT twin spark, or jump to the R1200RT 2008/2009 Hexhead. Especially nice are the camheads 2010-2013, but they still command at least $8-10K in good shape.
Close up on a 2004 R1150RT final drive. I don't know if you've seen this in U.S. The cable ties here used on the boots are common. I found one on my LT FD and 2 on the injection rubber boots. Even if it's done by authorized dealers?
Is this named BMW quality?
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post #23 of 30 Old Yesterday, 4:48 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Close up on a 2004 R1150RT final drive. I don't know if you've seen this in U.S. The cable ties here used on the boots are common. I found one on my LT FD and 2 on the injection rubber boots. Even if it's done by authorized dealers?
Is this named BMW quality?
Yep normal. Why? is it a problem for you?
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post #24 of 30 Old Yesterday, 4:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Yep normal. Why? is it a problem for you?
Well, yes. Cable ties are made to bundle cables not boots. Can you explain why one of the two fasteners of the photo on my LT was stainless steel and one plastic?

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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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...Cable ties are made to bundle cables not boots....
Not true, they are used for all sorts of things. I have a background in the aviation, automotive technical engineering worlds and these 'cable ties' are used for many different purposes besides cable bundling.
In the case of the Final Drive rear boot, it is an excellent use for it and (IMHO) way better than the stainless steel bands that were on them.

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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Not true, they are used for all sorts of things. I have a background in the aviation, automotive technical engineering worlds and these 'cable ties' are used for many different purposes besides cable bundling.
In the case of the Final Drive rear boot, it is an excellent use for it and (IMHO) way better than the stainless steel bands that were on them.
I disagree. I MUCH prefer the stainless clamp on on end of my boot as compared to the cable tie on the other. The clamp fits better, is easy to remove and install and looks better to my eye. Cable ties just scream CHEAP. And with the 90 degree angle that most cable ties have where the tail comes into the locking part, they simply can’t provide uniform pressure on a round part like a sealing boot. They are a poor solution if you really want to the boot to seal out water.

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post #27 of 30 Old Today, 8:30 am
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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I disagree. I MUCH prefer the stainless clamp on on end of my boot as compared to the cable tie on the other. The clamp fits better, is easy to remove and install and looks better to my eye. Cable ties just scream CHEAP. And with the 90 degree angle that most cable ties have where the tail comes into the locking part, they simply can’t provide uniform pressure on a round part like a sealing boot. They are a poor solution if you really want to the boot to seal out water.
Interesting. To me the black cable tie on the black rubber boots looks a lot more integrated than a metal band. Hey ho, It's up to you.
On the subject of watertight integrity, I can assure you that the black cable tie provides more than enough compression force to keep out water. Having done several deep water crossings, not a drop has got in. On a related subject, I can tell you that the metal ones often are no better. There are many owners that know that the FD input pinion is weeping because the oil migrates out of that boot leaving a drip, or stain on the FD.

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post #28 of 30 Old Today, 4:14 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Not true, they are used for all sorts of things. I have a background in the aviation, automotive technical engineering worlds and these 'cable ties' are used for many different purposes besides cable bundling.
In the case of the Final Drive rear boot, it is an excellent use for it and (IMHO) way better than the stainless steel bands that were on them.
Yes, I've used the blue color high temp cable ties on industrial gas turbines maintenance but, again, to support cables. Not boots.

I believe a BMW bike price is not paid for plastic ties.
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post #29 of 30 Old Today, 7:09 pm
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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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Interesting. To me the black cable tie on the black rubber boots looks a lot more integrated than a metal band. Hey ho, It's up to you.
On the subject of watertight integrity, I can assure you that the black cable tie provides more than enough compression force to keep out water. Having done several deep water crossings, not a drop has got in. On a related subject, I can tell you that the metal ones often are no better. There are many owners that know that the FD input pinion is weeping because the oil migrates out of that boot leaving a drip, or stain on the FD.
If you look at a cable tie installed on a circular object and can’t see the area that gets no pressure from the cable tie, then I would be wasting my time trying to convince you.

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Re: Buying an R1150RT or an R1200RT?

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I disagree. I MUCH prefer the stainless clamp on on end of my boot as compared to the cable tie on the other. The clamp fits better, is easy to remove and install and looks better to my eye. Cable ties just scream CHEAP. And with the 90 degree angle that most cable ties have where the tail comes into the locking part, they simply can’t provide uniform pressure on a round part like a sealing boot. They are a poor solution if you really want to the boot to seal out water.
Maybe .... but they seem too work fine. In all my BMW's never had an issue. May be a cost saving solution but it appears to do the job. And as far as looks you really can't see it with the bags on the bike. Every manufacturer today is trying to save every penny. There are certainly parts on my BMW motorcycle that I wish were more robust but all function fine. Heck same on my 2015 Chevy Truck. I love it but there is certainly a lot more plastic on it than I might prefer. Welcome to 2019.

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