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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks, New to the BMW world and glad to find a BMW site to discuss topics.

New owner? Well, maybe....will know today...

I have looked at many articles on here and across the Interweb to educate myself on the 1997 K1100LT.

When I go today to look at the bike, I know to look around the bottom of the tank area for leaks, the 'O' ring leaks, etc.

The difference here is the bike only has 1,000 miles on it. A 1997 with 1,000 miles, I wonder if I should look for anything else related to age and sitting. It has been well kept, out of the weather in a dry simi-warm location.

Any advice would be appreciated...

Marion
 

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Hi folks, New to the BMW world and glad to find a BMW site to discuss topics.

New owner? Well, maybe....will know today...

I have looked at many articles on here and across the Interweb to educate myself on the 1997 K1100LT.

When I go today to look at the bike, I know to look around the bottom of the tank area for leaks, the 'O' ring leaks, etc.

The difference here is the bike only has 1,000 miles on it. A 1997 with 1,000 miles, I wonder if I should look for anything else related to age and sitting. It has been well kept, out of the weather in a dry simi-warm location.

Any advice would be appreciated...

Marion
A couple of months ago I was at BMW Motorcycles of Atlanta and talked with a tech and man who was looking at buying a very low mileage 2000 LT that had been in storage for a couple of years. The tech said he would not recommend he buy the bike because there could be a lot of problems with dried out seals. John Zeiler who is a member of this forum and an "expert" on LT mechanics is someone I would suggest you talk to before you make the purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Al, Appreciate the insight.....I thought that may be a concern but wasn't sure if seals stayed moist over time...I will reach out to John

Think I'll take the safe approach today until I get more info.

Thanks again,

Marion
 

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Tires and brakes are a must on a bike that old that has sat. Engine/trans seals are a crap shoot if not obviously bad. Fuel system probably needs a rebuild too, possibly with a new tank. Not familiar enough with the drive unit to make a judgement call but I would want to have someone in the know check it out before I rode the bike much. That said I do know a collector that would be interested if the price is right and the bike shows as a true 1000 mile original. Let us know what you decide. Steve
 

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Wow, 1000 miles on a 19 yr old bike. Just plan on replacing All soft parts including brake lines, seals, caliper seals , FI lines and on and on etc. Also plastic tubes like FI manifold etc. OTOH, if it were sold at a really good price and you can do all that yourself you would have a great bike. But it would still be a 20 yr old one. Only you can decide.
 

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I agree with everything that's been said this far. I recently bought my 2000 1100rt and it had 16k miles on it. That's a low mileage bike since it averages to 1k/yr. This one is basically forgotten and neglected.

When you do go look at it, make sure they know that and don't just try to claim that it's low mileage and worth more because of that.

All of the seals and rubber lines are probably going to need to be replaced, but I'd honestly expect that on any 19 year old bike I bought. The big concerns with a bike that has been in storage this long is the fuel system and tires.

No matter how much tread is left on them, you're going to want new tires since they have basically dry rotted. You can check the side of the tire and get an idea of when they were manufactured.

As for the fuel system, unless it was completely drained and properly prepared for storage, any fuel that was left in the system will have turned to varnish, created corrosion and deposits in the lines. Yes, the tank may have been drained, but the injectors/carb will be destroyed after sitting that long with fuel in them.

I'm not trying to scare you off, it could be a great deal, but be very wary and careful with it before purchase. In this instance I'd even advise taking a trained mechanic with me to look at it, or at least make it a condition of the sell.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All great suggestion. I will take a very cautious approach to this. You are right, low mileage is not a selling point. If anything it can be a reason not to buy it. But, I will keep an open mind going into this.

I'm told the bike was a promotional by BWM at the 1996-1997 Winter Olympics, and won by someone. Don't know if it was by this owner or not.
 

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Actually with all of the good feedback provided on the cautious side, I will go out on a limb and say maybe you need to replace all of the rubber/seals/fuel stuff . . . . . but maybe not. It depends a lot on what environment it was kept (temperature and humidity), and how it was prepared for storage. If the fuel system had been drained, or even had Stabil added, that's a plus. If the owner ran the bike every couple months to keep things lubricated and keep fuel agitated, that's a plus. If he/she kept the battery charged (or removed), that's a plus. On the other hand, if it was parked in a damp garage in 1997 and then never touched since, it could require a bit of work to bring it back to service.

I have a 1989 K100RS that I bought new in 1990. It only has 52,000 miles, but still has pretty much all of the original factory parts on it, and it runs like a clock. The only things replaced have been filters, tires, brake pads, batteries, the clutch cable, and the rear master cylinder has been rebuilt. It looks nice enough that most people think it's been restored, but it's all original. I also have a 1970 Honda and a 1981 Yamaha that have pretty much all of their original rubber parts, including brake lines, carb collars, vent hoses, etc.

So the reality is each case is different, and the details of the bike you are looking at must be observed closely. Sounds like you have done your homework. Now it's time to spend an afternoon looking over the bike.

'dale
 

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Other guys have reported critters (mice) taking up residence in their stored bikes, so I'd also keep an eye out for any evidence of nesting in your potential acquisition. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the great insight....all worth considering....
I have also been emailing with John and he provided some great info as well...

I did get a chance to see the bike. Since 2009 it has been in a plane hanger, climate controlled, not house warm but not barn-like cold either. Brought a flashlight so I could really get underneath and look for any leaks etc. Didn't see any but that doesn't tell the whole story. Ran my hand front to back over the undercarriage. Seems ok. The tires, although no visible sidewall cracks did seem ver hard and smooth, almost like once you start to ride, they may start cracking easily. The sidewalls also have a somewhat of a shine to them, not from amor-all, but just a shine that made me take a second look and kept me going back to the tires.

He mentioned that he added oil. That made me suspect. I would have thought a full oil change would have been more appropriate, plus, just adding oil made me think 'why'? Was it leaking somewhere that it needed to be 'topped off?'.

Another mention was that he also added brake fluid. Once I started looking at the front brake master cylinder, I noticed it very wet around the gasket along the bottom. Plus the brake was very soft. Made me think a rebuild was needed.

The paint had some spots in it that I couldn't understand. two or three 'white dusting' spots that almost looked like the paint was worn. Couldn't explain it, but it looked odd.

Also, there was a scraping of the trunk. ABS had some scraping where it 'nudged' into something.

He also tried to wax some of the flat black ABS parts. Of course it left the white wax marks.

He said it ran, but couldn't start it in the plane hanger and outside was very windy and cold. He assured me it ran fine, but couldn't know about how it drove because it hasn't been moved in so long.

I think there may be some value there if I would be willing to tear into it and go part by part and address any concerns. Which I would do, because I see this as a project bike, not a 'new', ready to ride bike.

We will see where this goes....

Thanks again for all your help and guidance. I would like to add this to my 'collection', well, start a collection to add to my.....ok, don't turn away here...my Harley Road Glide..

I like all bikes...A BMW would give me a different perspective from the HD.

Marion
 

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Now that you know the cautions, and you like that vintage bike, what the heck dive in. When they are running they are pretty bullet proof. Get a price in mind before you go. I always pay too much for stuff. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I know Beech! I know!.... I should just 'pull the trigger'! But, I also have a cautious side, and like playing out 'the deal'.

Then I see a K1600 GT, and think maybe new......

I'm also looking out for a 1979-1982 Honda CBX 1100

Something will be in the garage making the Harley jealous !!
 

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If you're willing to do the work and the price is right I'd go for it. The bike sounds like it needs a loving owner. I'd change the tires before I rode it, just for peace of mind.

As for an oil leak, when I bought my bike it was blowing oil around the fill cap. Apparently that was an issue on older BMW bikes. I changed the fill cap, neck and O rings for about $15 and haven't lost a drop since. No clue on the rest of it.

Good luck and let us know if you do buy it. Plus start a build thread. I love watching the process of a rebuild and living vicariously through other people's wallets and time. :D
 
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