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I am back into riding after a many year layoff. Looking for a good solid used bike. Test drove one '02 1550RT and really liked it..... I have spent the last month reading up to get educated about what bike I want to purchase... A used '03 1150 RT has just come into a local dealer that I want to give a serious look at..... I have read as much as I can about what can go wrong on these bikes, but what I would like is a summary on how to check out a used bike and specifically what to look for. The bike in question has 30,000 miles on it.....

Thanks in advanced.....
 

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A possibility for you to look at is at Erico motor sports in Denver they have a 05 rt that was part of a collection they bought from a 71 yr old man getting out of bikes it has 750 miles on it and they want 10k for it.Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks but I want to buy something local...... was just looking to see if the experienced people here could give me a run down on things to look out for on a used 1150 RT.....
 

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I only have experience with LT and might not know enough about RT's. But to get this thread started here are some additional questions that might help the experts to answer your questions.

What bikes have you ridden before?
How skilled are you at wrenching yourself?

BMW's in general will be higher on maintenance cost if you go to a dealership. But they are very easy to maintain yourself and are probably the best bikes around if you maintain them yourself. At 30K few possible things to look for are suspensions, Upcoming 32K miles service (assuming 24K was done on time), slipping clutch, final drive (not sure if this is relevant on RT), tires and battery.
 

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Just from what I have learned on the forums, the 2002 model 1150RT is the year that suffered the bulk of the final drive failures. I would avoid that model year... I ride a 99 R1100RT and am very happy with it...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To ask this question a different way- I am going to look at and ride a used '03 1150RT. What are the tell tail signs to look for and listen for on this bike that might help me make a better informed decision on whether I should by this bike or not.....

thanks-
 

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I have a 2002RT. Things to look for include all the usual crash damage. Look and see if the steering stops are mashed. Look for new parts including rocker covers. Now the bike is essentially very nice to own. The gearbox is a bit clunky but if you load up the gear lever before changing it generally changes well most days. Check the colour of the fluid in the brakes and clutch, it should not be dark. It would pay to have the fluid changed throughout the whole system anyway. You can do it yourself if you get the special funnel and strip the bike down to gain access to the ABS unit. Check brake pads for wear. Check the steering head bearings for looseness.
The rear pivot bearings should be checked. So put the bike on the centre stand and see if the rear wheel moves in the 3-9 direction any noise could mean new bearings will be needed. It is unlikely that it can be adjusted out. I just replaced mine and I am carpenter so it is not brain surgery.
If the wheel moves in the 12-6 position that could be a bit more difficult to fix.
Measure the thickness of the brake disks with a micrometer 4.5mm minimum or it will need new disks. Check for oil leaks, mine has never had one, check the service book to ensure it has been serviced. Tyres and registration, engine and frame numbers. All this is common to all bikes except for the pivot bolts.
Then if the price is right buy the bike if you like it. They are great bikes, handle well and are very comfortable and fast. And they look good!
I forgot, if when you first start the bike it sounds like a bad rattle on the left side for a few seconds that is the cam chain adjuster. Replace that with the item from Rubberchickenracing.com it works.
Brian
 

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Don't forget to make sure the ABS lights go out after you get going a couple of mph. If they do not reset to normal (no blinking) while moving, do not buy it. This model bike has the servo assist brake system and takes some getting use to and is very expensive to repair. If you can find a price point you can live with buy a 2007 or newer.
 

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Yes, The 03 will have the servo, (power) brakes...

They are the best brakes ever designed on a motorcycle.....As long as they are working..Stop it so fast it'll throw you off..


Key on ABS light flashes fast for a few seconds. Then the servo's chirp and the light flashes slow. Now start the engine... Always wait for the servo test before starting... As you roll away, The self test executes and the abs light goes out..If it continues to flash.. That's at least two thousand off the price...
Keeping the fluid fresh is the secret to longevity of this system..

As far as the rest goes.. Give the rear wheel a shake.. You're checking the bearings in the rear wheel and also the swingarm.. Any movement is a cause for big number negotiation..

These engines all make valve noise.. A little is fine.. They sound like a sewing machine..

Just give it a thorough test drive.. If it does anything squirrely, Don't buy it unless you're confident you can fix it...

They are great machines.. And can go a long way.. 30K is just really broken in... Mine has about 25K on it and I bought it with the ABS light flashing...But mine is pre servo brakes... Big difference. Mine was just a wheel sensor adjustment.. But I still got 2500 off what he was asking because of the light flashing...

Good Luck,

John
 

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Tbird1 said:
I have a 2002RT. Things to look for include all the usual crash damage. Look and see if the steering stops are mashed. Look for new parts including rocker covers. Now the bike is essentially very nice to own. The gearbox is a bit clunky but if you load up the gear lever before changing it generally changes well most days. Check the colour of the fluid in the brakes and clutch, it should not be dark. It would pay to have the fluid changed throughout the whole system anyway. You can do it yourself if you get the special funnel and strip the bike down to gain access to the ABS unit. Check brake pads for wear. Check the steering head bearings for looseness.
The rear pivot bearings should be checked. So put the bike on the centre stand and see if the rear wheel moves in the 3-9 direction any noise could mean new bearings will be needed. It is unlikely that it can be adjusted out. I just replaced mine and I am carpenter so it is not brain surgery.
If the wheel moves in the 12-6 position that could be a bit more difficult to fix.
Measure the thickness of the brake disks with a micrometer 4.5mm minimum or it will need new disks. Check for oil leaks, mine has never had one, check the service book to ensure it has been serviced. Tyres and registration, engine and frame numbers. All this is common to all bikes except for the pivot bolts.
Then if the price is right buy the bike if you like it. They are great bikes, handle well and are very comfortable and fast. And they look good!
I forgot, if when you first start the bike it sounds like a bad rattle on the left side for a few seconds that is the cam chain adjuster. Replace that with the item from Rubberchickenracing.com it works.
Brian
All of the above, plus:

1) As you appear to be buying from a dealer...if the ABS lights do not go out after 10 meter moving then do not even consider to buy the bike.
Coming from an authorized dealer, it should never be sold with a faulty ABS system.
2) When you test the bike, make sure the engine is "cold". If he gives it to you already warmed up.....tell him you want to test it cold and you come back next day.
Reason being that unless well tuned, they are inclined to stumble and even quit as they go through the cold to warm transition. Engine should be idling when warm at around 1100rpm ~ 1150rpm. Any higher and they adjusted it to cover up a crappy idle, i.e tuning issues.
Is this the twin spark model? The twin spark is the pick of the bunch.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the help but the '03 sold in 2 days and U missed it..... *UPDATE* and '06 an '08 and an '09 (all RT's) just came up for sale all with low miles..... a little more than I was hoping to spend...... what say you about the different years?.... stay away from the '06?

Dang- with help from you guys, I'm gonna get one yet...... LoL
 

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Yes, since there are choices skip the 06 model year that is the last of the assisted brakes. An interesting idea but even BMW felt it was not worth continuing on the model line. Life is short, buy one and enjoy it.
 

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I want to say AGAIN... Servo Assisted Brakes are nothing to worry about nor to avoid.

I have an '05. No issues, easy to work on, love the brakes. Some will say that they are prone to servo pump failures... well not that it could not happen but it is not high on the failure rate list at all. There is lots more you could be concerned about.

I also want to say that the 1200's are a far better choice for good reasons. Yes, do all the things you do when you are looking at a used bike... but always remember... listen to your inner voice. If it gives off a negative vibe... pay attention.

Go for the one you like...
 

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I want to say AGAIN... Servo Assisted Brakes are nothing to worry about nor to avoid. I have an '05. No issues, easy to work on, love the brakes. Some will say that they are prone to servo pump failures... well not that it could not happen but it is not high on the failure rate list at all. There is lots more you could be concerned about.
Ditto, +1, absolutely....
It's turned into a real scare mongering and lots of people jumping onto the bandwagon.
Your none servo ABS can die just as well and would still cost you a bundle, should you be the unlucky one.
I heard that much about people having no brakes if the servo ABS fails while riding, that's rubbish.
The 1150RT was suppose to be the worse of them and from true experience I can tell you that this is incorrect.
No..mine didn't fail, call it a brain fart.
Pulling away from a friend's home (we were going for a ride as a group), I was traveling down a very steep hill and every time I put her in gear, the engine quit.
Not once, but "3" times.
Absolutely no issue to pull up and stop, every time.
Yes, some of you have probably guessed already....I had the sidestand down. :brick:
 
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