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Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys a series of questions for the experienced folks on the forum.
I was looking over the maintenance requirements and it seems as though an RT owner spends more time wrenching than riding. Since I just had the 6k knocked out at the dealer and I'm going on some longish riding I'd like some REAL WORLD answers.

The 12k service calls for:
1. New air filter
2. New alternator belt
3. New plugs

and of course a host of other lesser routine fluid changes and valve checks.

So with this said does the bike need the filter, plugs and belt replaced at 12k, or is this one of those if you ain't riding and have nothing better to do replace them jobs?

Thanks in advance.......... T
 

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Just estimated landmarks...some of us see them coming and some drive by several thousand miles. I like doing most my service in the winter..that way it frees me up for the riding season to just ride.
I try not going deep shift on anything...its stressful :)

Your choice -
 

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Teach said:
The 12k service calls for:
1. New air filter
2. New alternator belt
3. New plugs


Thanks in advance.......... T
What year is your bike? My 2011 service schedule didn't call for a new alternator belt at 12K. I did replace the plugs, air filter, adjusted the valves, TB sync and changed all the fluids at 12K. The bike runs noticeably smoother, idles better and my average gas mileage increased a few miles per gallon.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
pipestone, I like to take care of mine during the winter months as well. I purchased my RT in September so it limited my mileage up to this point but I have a 14k trip starting in 4 weeks and I dang sure don't want to need to do anything more than an oil change and valve check while on the road.
I had the dealer address the FD and gearbox fluids while doing the 6k, but I'm going to be closer to 24k upon my return from this ride so I'm asking to find out if these are required items or just nice to do. If I need to address them while traveling I'll do so but I've never had a bike that NEEDED all this TLC with so few of miles on the odo ;)
 

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Teach said:
I purchased my RT in September so it limited my mileage up to this point but I have a 14k trip starting in 4 weeks and I dang sure don't want to need to do anything more than an oil change and valve check while on the road.
...... but I'm going to be closer to 24k upon my return from this ride ;)
OK - so I'm the only one reading this that is wanting to know where your going in 14 - 18
thousand miles? Oh, on a brand new bike that may or may not have hit break-in yet....

With tires lasting around 6-8k, aren't ya gonna have at least a couple tire changes in there?

"Ride her hard and put her away wet..." but I'm just curious as to where your going.
2 months on the road. This would be me jealous. :bowdown:

Argentina?
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If the valves have been looked at and they are o.k...the throttle body sync would be something that I personally would have looked at, but not the end of the world if your machine is running smoothly..but the rest in my opinion, #1- #2- #3 could wait till later as long as the fluids have new..and the brake fluid flush could wait as well.

..or you could plan on a stop at one of the good dealerships along your route(trip)..take your plastic removal tool..set a date at the dealership..strip your plastic off in the parking lot and have them recheck the valves and do a sync. job for you. Yes this will cost a little, but by you taking off the plastic should cheapen it up quite a bit. I guess what I'm saying is the valves should be checked again ~12000 mi. and while you are at it check the sync. if it hasn't been done.

...but this is just what I think :cool:
 

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Teach said:
Ok guys a series of questions for the experienced folks on the forum.
I was looking over the maintenance requirements and it seems as though an RT owner spends more time wrenching than riding. Since I just had the 6k knocked out at the dealer and I'm going on some longish riding I'd like some REAL WORLD answers.

The 12k service calls for:
1. New air filter
2. New alternator belt
3. New plugs

and of course a host of other lesser routine fluid changes and valve checks.

So with this said does the bike need the filter, plugs and belt replaced at 12k, or is this one of those if you ain't riding and have nothing better to do replace them jobs?

Thanks in advance.......... T
1. Depends on riding conditions
2. My maintenance manual noted 4 years or 24k miles. those that have replaced the belt as recommended noted no visual problem with the belt and kept the original as a spare.
I wouldn't worry about this.
3. Again this was a 4 year 24k mile recommended replacement.
I wouldn't worry about this one either.

In 14k miles if you're playing it safe. 1 FD service, 2 oil changes. Don't know the valve check interval for a cam head but safe to say, 2 checks, most likely no adjustment.

If it was me it would get 1 oil change somewhere in the middle and a service when I got back.

YMMV
 

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There are many considerations...

- It IS your bike and you can ride it and maintain it the way you want.

- The people who designed and built the bike are telling you what to do in order to have your machine work to its best level. Trust them or don't is your call.

- When you try to sell your bike, most BMW buyers will put an enormous amount of faith and trust in a deal if the seller has complete and believable record of the maintenance history.

- As a buyer, If there is no history that I trust I expect a considerable discount.

- You forfeit any right to complain about any element of performance if you do not do it their way.

- You also create a condition where attempting to diagnose a problem is made more complex and possibly more costly.

- You may cause your three year warranty to be made null and void, or at least present the opportunity for the claim to be denied.

Other than that no real harm...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
MattWhite, heading to AK and down the west coast from PA and returning. I'll be on the road about 50 days.
I'm looking to get 10-12k out of the PR3's, so I'll be stopping for rubber once along the ride, and obviously an oil change or two where I'll also check the valves. Changing plugs along with the first oil change isn't a big deal. gearbox and FD fluids can also be done again when I get back.

hopz, I'm not really concerned with what the next owner may or may not wanna see in the maintenance log. I'm more concerned about the reliability and hassle of being on a road trip and needing or not needing to find BMW dealers. I ride a lot of miles in a very short period of time each year, so I want to be mobile not servicing.... if that makes sense. If the bike NEEDS this stuff, obviously I'll plan that in, but if its just stuff that can be done, I'm not gonna worry about it.

thanks for the replies...... T
 

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OK, given the last post I understand better what is on your mind.

IMHO- your AK and back to PA is a great ride and I would do no more than an oil change, possibly in AK or on the West Coast.

I would recommend at least two spark plugs in your road kit and you will probably never pull them out. My pals over at BMW Sport Touring have many extensive Road Trip reviews on AK trips and few have had difficulties other than tires. Many of them buy tires and ship to the H-D shop in anchorage since there is BMW dealer there, or even ship to the Alaska Leather shop- also bike friendly and helpful.

I would also pack the tools for a valve adjustment since you will be passing through the "break-in" period on a trip like that.

Let us hear about the preparations and of course the ride report.
 

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hopz said:
Let us hear about the preparations and of course the ride report.
Yes please.
Sounds like a blast.
 

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Teach said:
I was looking over the maintenance requirements and it seems as though an RT owner spends more time wrenching than riding.
Why yes, a BMW is closer to being a Ferrari than it is to being a Camry.

And, it's worth so much that is seems like one really should do the maintenance as opposed to something not worth much that inspires ignoring maintenance.

Did you think you bought something different than this?
 

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on my 1100rt and 07 1200 rt Valves are supposed to be checked at 6000 miles. I check them, and they seldom need adjusted.
Same on tb sync, I check and the sync seldom needs to be done.
A trip like yours is probably the easiest scenario on the fluids.
If it was me, I'd just run it, keeping an eye on the tires, unless it starts to run bad.
Then change fluids when you get home.
 

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You better get a Honda for this trip...:rotf:

I think other than the oil changes and maybe check the valves once... You'll be fine if all the other stuff is fresh when you start......I've seen air filters that had 30K on them and still look like new... Blow it backwards with some air and off you go...


Hers's the deal. You'll be riding every day I suppose. Taxi's go hundreds of thousands of miles because they get driven... It's the sitting that brings on the bad things in the oil and brakes...

You'll be fine...If you are seriously riding I think you'd be surprised how long it'll take the oil to start looking funky in the site glass.. And finally you'll change it because you feel sorry for it...

Have fun.. Carry tires... That's what you need to be worrying about..

John
 

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One of my favorite ride to Alaska stories was when my pal crossed the border and the Canadian Border Guard said "what is your destination?"

He said "Anchorage Alaska, United States of America." The Guard said "Are you aware that Anchorage is 2,300 miles from here? " He said yes... and was waved through, but he confessed that it did startle him some...

He had a great trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
hopz, first let me apologize. After looking at my previous post it could read a little rude even though that was not my intention. Secondly, yes I'll definitely be taking along some spare stuff like oil filters, plugs and spare brake pads.

The pre-ride stuff is all done and trailer is already packed... sleeping bag, tent, cook stuff, etc... plug kit, electric tire pump and tools all packed in the bike, along with a spare couple gallons of fuel I'll get along the way. I'll be towing my small aluminum MC trailer which weighs in loaded at around 200lbs w/cooler full, 15lb tongue weight. I considered just packing everything on the bike itself but there is less weight towing and it doesn't end up so top heavy (50 days is a long time, lol). Everything was just serviced and I'll fill her up with new synthetic oil just before departing which will make my first oil change due upon arrival at Fairbanks 4k mile mark.
Ride route is across the lower 48 to Montana, north to Edmonton, northwest to Dawson Creek, up to WhiteHorse & Tok and on to Fairbanks. We'll spend 4-5 days at Fairbanks with a day trip up to the Arctic Circle for a photo op, bike servicing and day rides. From Fairbanks we'll head south to Denali and Anchorage for a couple more days, scenic byway back to Tok and head down the Stewart Caissar Hyder and onto Idaho. From there to Seattle, down to San Diego via the scenic roadways to visit a friend and of course oil change number 2, back up to Vegas and a nice little meander back to PA.
I'm looking into creating a Blog for the trip and if so I'll post a link so folks can follow the ride to see how the RT does (probably better than me, lol).
 

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Sounds like a great trip. You just need to get adjusted to a good maintenence schedule that works with your travels.

We do not know the year of your bike. Only reason that I ask is neglected brake fluid which will go bad even if not used. But you did say tat you just changed all fluids.

Your traveling, the long miles every year look like they can be synced to a good wintertime maintenece schedule for the trans, final drive, brake fluid, valve check, alt belt (if needed - just keep one around), spark plugs and throttle body adjust.

Then on your long trips you will be looking at tires, oil and air filters.

One thing, I do know that fossil oil is recommended for the first 20K miles. Don't know how to get around that one. The oil is so simple to change, especially with the center stand, but what do you do with the oil on the road if you need to do this?

Sounds like you need to make friends with a bunch of us along your route :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The oil changes are the easy part. Not sure how much long riding folks do here but I've found you can snag one of those big ole aluminum foil roasting pans at just about any store, swing into any mechanical shop and ask if they mind if you change your oil behind the place. Most are VERY friendly and will even take the old oil off your hands.

I've heard all kinds of mileage for switching to synthetic but my tech said 10k is what BMW recommends for the RT, not before. For the record mine is a 2011 that was purchased last September. My brake fluid will be good until I return according to the tech, so we'll handle that when I get back. BMW recommends the first change at 12k or one year followed by every two years. Since I'll still be under a year the tech said it will be fine.

Normally my trips are right around 6k and I do a couple each summer, so this wouldn't normally be an issue. However I do tend to plan a long ride every couple years. So really I think I'm just gonna ride it.
 

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You're confusing the 12000 mile service, which is actually 20,000km. The alternator belt doesn't get replaced till 40,000km. If your dealer told you this schedule time to find a new dealer.

Joel
 

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Teach said:
REAL WORLD answers.

The 12k service calls for:
1. New air filter
2. New alternator belt
3. New plugs



So with this said does the bike need the filter, plugs and belt replaced at 12k, or is this one of those if you ain't riding and have nothing better to do replace them jobs?

Thanks in advance.......... T
Been thinking about this over the weekend while riding on the Oregon Coast. Had a great ride even in the wet. This is my opinion. I feel much of the BMW maintenance format is based on the thought that "they" don't want to not cover their butts. And if you do all this maintenance you will seldom have a surprise problem ( ;) ). The alternator belt change. No way I would worry about it until 36 K miles. But I would do it then. You can do this yourself with out the factory tool. The newer bikes you can not loosen the distance adjustment of the alternator but must force the belt over the edge of the pulley. You can do this with a piece of soda can aluminum as a shim. Or find a friend who was foolish enough to buy the $150 BMW tool. (me) Yes I agree that you can not change your brake fluid often enough. In the Northwest, every year is good. Arizona, every two years eh? Synthetic oil, every 6 k miles, if you are on a trip don't worry just fill it up and in an emergency any good brand will do. You can further on highway milesI even used snowmobile syn on one trip last year in the middle of no where. Get the most correct weight you can though. Spark plugs, go a long time these days. At least 18K miles. On my K bike I go 24 to 30K mile on them as they are hard to get to and they work just fine. Some of the platinum ones only need to be changed at very long intervals. Sometimes just so they will not become one with the aluminum of the cylinder head! The new RT's with the shim valve adjustment rarely needs adjustment with in 12K miles and certainly if you are on a trip do not worry about it. Even the 09 and earlier tappet units hold their setting well and are usually only off a couple of thousandths when you check them at 6K miles and will be just fine on a long trip. No worries. Do change your final drive oil and transmission oil every two years. Throttle sync as needed. Change your throttle cables at 40 or maybe 50K miles, but do change them. What am I saying? Common sense is applicable here. I do not change my air filters at 12K miles. I do change it if I did an especially dusty ride though. And I don't use K&N type cloth filters. The paper is superior in dealing with small particle size. I know it is more expensive. I also use OEM oil filters on everything. But if you must go less expensive the stuff at beemerboneyard is good. And use motorcycle oil in a motorcycle. I have personal experience with valve pushrod lifters going south from auto oil in a motorcycle. That cam surface needs everything you can do to help it live. I also buy tires in pairs unless one had a flat and was not very old. Fresh tires is a great feeling. Why have a wonderful machine and not take good care of it. If you don't do your own work and are inside your warranty, you have other issues to think about and need to take care of business. I have not seen anywhere that you need an alternator belt at 12K miles. This statement is what caught my attention. They do break though! There was awhile in the 2002 era that people carried one as a spare. So that tells me they were not changing often enough and a look see really will not cover it as age comes into play too. I carry a fuel pump electronic controller, more to share than use. I carry a 60mm final drive seal. I also carry a spare H7,
 
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