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Discussion Starter #1
There's a pretty nice looking 2006 R1200RT at a local motorcycle dealership, it looks like it's loaded with options and also has a matching BMW top case on the back.

Doing the math on this bike, it comes in at least $13,000 cheaper then a new bike out the door with only cruise control and anti-theft options on it. So, the 2006 is a fair bit cheaper. It has 64,615 klms on it (40,149.90 miles).

I know that the new RTs have a bit more get up and go but I would imagine that the pre-2010s are more then adequate to get the job done.

The thing that concerns me the most is the servo assist brakes. I've never ridden a bike with this type of brakes, so I can't say if I'd like them or not. I would imagine that they perform well.

At first, I was under the impression that these servo-assisted brakes weren't ABS but it looks like there is in fact ABS, that's great. I've heard some people warning that these brakes could be pretty expensive to repair if something should go wrong. Is this a very common problem and what kind of money are we talking?

If I did go for a 2011, I'd have to get the bike with only the cruise control and anti-theft options, as the bike is already quite expensive at that point but if I go with a slightly older model, I can find one with almost every option you can imagine and get it out the door for $13,000-$15,000 cheaper then a new one.

I guess I main concern was to get opinions on these servo-assisted brakes. Any comments will be a great help. Thanks!
 

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There is some debate concerning the servo assist brakes (ahem). I assume you know this 2006 bike has them.
They are a complication, both in construction and in maintenance. The fact that they can fail is a different matter.
Although (very) seldom, they do fail, possibly only if the system is not in perfect shape (such as the battery).
I am sure you will get a lot more response on this matter :)
Gaby
 

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I had a '06 with all the options and it was one of the best bikes I've ever had. I was actually sorry to see the servo dropped from later models.

I did have a problem with the brakes and yes it was very expensive. But it was the control box for the ABS and not the servo. The total cost was about 3,500 Euros but BMW Germany and BMW Ireland covered the costs of parts even though the bike was out of warranty (just) and I had to cover the dealer's (rip off) charges for fitting (plugging in) the box - about 330 Euros I think.

Overall I prefer the '06 model to later ones, especially the current model, which, yes is more powerful, but is less comfortable, has more buffetting etc.

Kevin.
 

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For what it's worth, I bought an 05 RT two years ago with the servo and it's been a really great bike - the newer ones without the servos were above my price range.

I think as has already been mentioned, the brake controller lump whether it's servo or not will be an expensive fix if it goes pop - it's a BMW :)

When I bought the bike, I did ask the dealer if the servicing was more expensive as the bike had the servos and he said no - same prices. If you do the bleeding yourself it's a bit more complicated and you really need a funnel thingy, but it's certainly not rocket science.

Jon
 

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I have an 05 with the servo assist. It now has almost 83,000 miles on it (and, incidentally, is for sale because I bought a newer RT). I've had no problems at all with the servo, and think that if the brakes are properly maintained, failure is a rare occurrence. Yes, it's a much more complicated system, mechanically and electronically, and as such, is going to be more prone to fail than a braking system without the pumps and controls.

I guess because I've had no problem, I don't see it as a real issue. But just as a person falling to the earth in an airplane with no power feels, had I had the expensive brake problem, I'd see it as a huge issue.

When you look at the price differential between a bike with the servo brakes and a new bike, it's a no-brainer. If mine failed today and I had to replace it, I'd look for a rebuilt servo or a used one with low mileage, get it installed, and keep riding.
 

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Biggest issue with the servo brakes for me is mostly no ability to trail brake. When I bought my RT, my dealer wanted to know exactly what I wanted and what I'd pay for it. He found it for me. I told him I was not interested in anything but a 2007 for the brakes alone, and it had to have under 30,000 on it - in perfect condition. He added a 2 year extended warrant and I'm on it now. Love it.

Bottom line to me is [other than the brakes for how I ride] the RT is a great bike. If something is going to fail, it's what they call a mechanical vehicle. THEY ALL have something on them that's eventually going to fail and none of them are going to be cheap to repair when that happens out of warranty.

Buy the bike. Ride it like you own it - and enjoy it because you do.
 

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I don't think I'd let it stop me from purchasing, but its one thing I really wanted to avoid when I bought my RT. Fortunately, I found a nice 2007 at just the right time and price. If I had found an otherwise perfect 06 and the price was really attractive, I likely would have bought it. In other words, its not a deal killer. I've had them both and while I didn't like the extra maintenance expense and complication, I didn't hate them either. In fact, they are pretty nice to have except in a parking lot. I did have one failure on an older GS but that was preventable. When you turn the bike on, let it pause just a moment before starting it. Failure to do this will give you a start reminder of what you did wrong. Fixing that requires nothing more than shutting the bike off then back on. Just pause for a bit first.
 

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Like Steve, I have a 2007 RT with manual brakes. I had earlier RTs with servo brakes. When the '07 came without them, I traded my '05 in on the '07 because of the brakes. It has been the nicest RT I have ever owned -- and I have had them all going back to the R100RT and R1100RT.

Personally, I would not buy an RT with the servos. That means '07 or newer, or it means an R1100RT. The latter, BTW, is also a great RT and can be bought inexpensively.
 

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Whizzie brakes work ok- girlfriend's bike an R1100S 04 model has them. I've got an 08RT without them.

I would never buy a bike with them. Aside from being a damn pricey and not necessary part, they significantly complicate routine brake maintenance- more time or more $ if you pay someone else. Whizzies are the only routine PITA maintenance bit on an RT which is otherwise very simple and quick to service. (Notice that I didn't say the only part that can fail- almost all current BMWs can suffer fuel pump controller failures and a few other known maladies that are design related)

If you can afford the few extra $, I'd suggest send them hunting an 07 or later or do it yourself.
 

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Hello, My name is Bob and I have Whizzy Brakes...(Hello Bob)...

but seriously...In my opinion whizzy brakes are no big deal.

Yes, a new owner should be careful on the first ride- any year. You should start and stop in a straight line 2 or 3 time to get a feel. After that... imo, no adjustment in riding style is necessary. Just ride it.

Also be aware that in slow speed turns hitting the brakes can and will surprise you unless you know how to ride- on any year bike.

Trail braking? The Front and rear brakes are linked on '07 and later RT's when the hand brake lever is used... when the foot lever is used you can apply only the rear brakes. Trail Braking. In actual practice, the '05/06 feels the same when you use only the foot brake in slow maneuvers.

Isn't there a recall on R1200RT's in the 07 and newer bikes for ABS lines?- Not on '05/06

And yes, I am no trained mechanic and yes, I did a full brake service on my '05 in about an hour most of that time due the fact that the rubber mount for the fuel tank rolled off into a place in the universe not previously known.... but I digress.

If you find an '05/06 that you like the brakes are just not an issue. If you want a '10/'11 because to the increased torque I understand that too. To avoid an '05 because of the brakes- I don't.
 

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hopz said:
Trail braking?

Doesn't that assume that the front rear brakes are independent of each other. Don't the brakes on '07 RTs onward remain linked so that the computer applies about 60 percent power to the front and 40 to the rear no matter which lever is used? Feel free to correct me on this but I think I am right....
On the 07 - the front brake is linked - rear is independent. Thus - trail braking capable. No assumptions - prior years of the 12RT both front and rear tied together - 07 on, not so.
 

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One more vote for not to buy a servo bike. But, that being said, if finances are an issue just use that servo system as more leverage to lower the price with the seller and go riding. Summer is near. Be careful in parking lots until you get use to it, the brakes can be a little grabby. Look up how to bleed with the funnel fill system and save yourself $200+ service there. And, be careful moving around with the bike turned off, little brake action available then.
 

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I had them on my 02'LT and bringing that beast down to speed, well they worked great! Now that I am off the servos and for the weight of the RT, I would stay away. :bmw:
 

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Both wife and I have servo assist brakes and like them just fine. It was like getting used to power brakes on a auto (I know...old fart). It was a great addition for the wife as we came off of Harleys and the anchor was too heavy for her to lift (little Harley humor). It does require more maintenance, but don't let it break a good deal for you.
Larry
 

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Ignorance is indeed bliss. To say a 2005-2006 is better than say a 2010, or 2011 is just insane, for many reasons other than just the brakes.

I'm new to beemers, but I did a lot of research for a long time, and I am a mechanic. That is what led me to narrow my search to a late model bike. That said, be happy with whatever you buy.

If you like the bike, buy it. There are thousands of the older bikes out there with no issues what so ever.

C.
 

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steveaikens said:
On the 07 - the front brake is linked - rear is independent. Thus - trail braking capable. No assumptions - prior years of the 12RT both front and rear tied together - 07 on, not so.
Steve

All the R1200RT's have the same in brake linkage, the front lever applies the front and rear brakes and the rear pedal applies just the rear, you can trail brake on all. That is the main reason I brought the R1200RT.

I had a R1150RT this was not the case, front lever and rear pedal apply both brakes.

Ian
 

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If you really like the bike and the price I would say yes. If you do your own service, another yes. If you don't it will be pricey. Just a bit more so with the servo system.
I have enjoyed my past and present BMW's. I am sure you will also.
:bmw:
 

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Trail braking? Are we all using the same term here? I'm very far from being an expert on such matters but every definition that I've heard of trail braking has nothing to do with applying only the rear brake. In fact, its primarily a function of the front brake. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_braking for details.

Traditionally, trail braking is done exclusively with the front brake even though trailing the rear brake will effectively slow the motorcycle, also decreasing the turning radius. If the motorcycle is leaned over, forces from the front brake and the deceleration causes the motorcycle to yaw (lean), while use of the rear brake generates a torque that tends to align (straighten) and stabilize the motorcycle.
Maybe y'all are talking about something else.
 

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I would bite the bullet and spend or save the money for at least 2007 RT which I own and after 4 yrs think it is still a great bike other than tall first gear at times I dislike.
And if you find one without ESA even cheaper I would buy it.
I have ESA and really keep the bike at one setting 98% of time and maybe play with
it more than use ESA..
I bought my bike new and wish now I would have purchased a used one for the reason
of how fast these bikes depreciate..
Some of the cost of used ones are almost like they are giving them away after paying
over 20k for a new bike.
My thoughts on RT purchasing..Good Luck Finding and Purchasing your RT ..Joe
 

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Again, if money is in short supply, I suggest you consider an R1100RT.

http://bmwdean.com/rt.htm

The R1100RT is a fine motorcycle with independent manual ABS brakes. They are readily available on the used bike market and inexpensive.

 
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