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Thread: Ready to take the Plunge - Buying an RT

  1. #1
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    Ready to take the Plunge - Buying an RT

    While I am a newbee to riding (only 10 years), I have mostly rented HD in the past. I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!

    Living in Florida (tired of shoveling snow in Wiscopnsin) I can now ride year round. I have been reading MOA magazine for the past 3 years - its interesting and much like my aviation pilots association publications - very member oriented.

    My question - What are the primary items to review when considering the purchase of an RT.

    I am considering a 2004-2008 1150RT or 1200RT with under 70K miles. Newer ones are a little outside of my current 2 wheel budget.

    If this were a Beech or Cessna aircraft, I know of several model specific inspection guides I could use to evaluate a prospective purchase.

    I understand the twin spark change (05? model year) solved some nagging engine issues. What else should I be looking for. Most of the bikes I am considering have service records available.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Billy O

  2. #2
    You stupid, fix it! r11rs94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0wmowen View Post
    While I am a newbee to riding (only 10 years), I have mostly rented HD in the past. I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!

    Living in Florida (tired of shoveling snow in Wiscopnsin) I can now ride year round. I have been reading MOA magazine for the past 3 years - its interesting and much like my aviation pilots association publications - very member oriented.

    My question - What are the primary items to review when considering the purchase of an RT.

    I am considering a 2004-2008 1150RT or 1200RT with under 70K miles. Newer ones are a little outside of my current 2 wheel budget.

    If this were a Beech or Cessna aircraft, I know of several model specific inspection guides I could use to evaluate a prospective purchase.

    I understand the twin spark change (05? model year) solved some nagging engine issues. What else should I be looking for. Most of the bikes I am considering have service records available.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Billy O
    04 was the last of the 1150's. 05 and up are the 1200 RT's. I love my 04 1150. does all I want with little to no troubles. 70,000 and counting.. Good luck on your choice.
    The thing about traveling is, you never want it to end and you can't wait to get home.
    I answer to Roy, Chief, or Sarg.
    04 R-1150-RT current bike. 94 R-1100-RS74,383, Sold, 78 R-80/7, K.I.A by a D.U.I
    www.OceanStateBMWriders.com

  3. #3
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    My suggestions: '04 R1150RT or '08 R1200RT (or better yet, an '11 camhead R12RT).

    The '04 R1150RT was, IMO, the best of the oilheads -- only year for twin-spark in an oilhead to cure the surging issues, and most all the "bugs" since '96 worked out.

    IIRC, the '08 ('07?) R12RT was the first year with the newer, non-whizzy brakes. I've never minded the whizzy (aka "power assisted") brakes (my '04 RT and three K12LTs had them), but a lot of folks feel they are too touchy and too expensive to repair/replace if the Integral ABS module fails.

    Plusses for the R12: Much lighter bike -- like ~100 lbs. lighter. Better (but also wider) saddlebags. Slightly easier to remove tupperware.

    Minuses for the R12: The fuel strips -- guaranteed to fail at regular intervals. Replaced with a float mechanism in '11.

    Plusses for the R1150: Simpler design -- no central computer and networked electronics. IMO, the best-looking RT ever made.

    Minuses for the R1150: Simpler design -- no central computer and networked electronics (with a GS-911 diagnostic tool and a laptop or a Bluetooth smartphone, the R12's electronics make trouble-shooting a lot easier.) Older style final drives fail more often than the newer big-hole drives, but that is not much of a difference -- a properly shimmed FD can last the life of the bike.

    Both bikes have good aftermarket support.

    Sorry if this doesn't make your choices any easier -- my solution is to own an '04 R1150RT *and* a '12 R12RT

    EDIT: p.s. -- test drive both. Despite the similarities, the R12RT and R11xxRT handle/ride quite differently. Also, depending on your body shape/size, you may find one more comfortable to "live with" than the other.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  4. #4
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    Take a chance.
    Just take a chance.
    If you know anything about airplanes you probably know how to recognize a good motor in a good bike.
    So just find one in your favorite color and take a chance.
    dc

  5. #5
    Caribbean Druid dwestly's Avatar
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    Where do you live in FL?
    MSF RiderCoach, Sport Bike Coach, Track Junkie, IBA, MSTA, AMA, HRCA, Factor Demo Rider
    2012 BMW R1200GS, 2013 Ducati Hypermotard SP, 1990 Honda GB500TT
    Helmetless riders=Darwinism in action.

  6. #6
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Pull the trigger and get the R1200RT - a fun bike to ride and capable of long miles when you need to tour great distances.

    Being realistic, however, I would also slap some duct tape on the biggest piggy bank you can find and label it "Final Drive Replacement," regardless of what model year you choose.

    Then feed it regularly and go out and enjoy the bike.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.)
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer,THE REF Staff)
    Iron Butt Association Member # 34281

  7. #7
    Encouraging Entropy joeybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david13 View Post
    take a chance.
    Just take a chance.
    If you know anything about airplanes you probably know how to recognize a good motor in a good bike.
    So just find one in your favorite color and take a chance.
    Dc

    +1
    - Joe ('11 DR650 & '11 R1200RT)

    My Motorcycle Courier Adventures

  8. #8
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    As charlie brown (my hero) would say as Lucy pulls the football away....

    Arrrggggh.................

    Thanks for all the great input and yes, it dosen't make the decision making any easier. My objective is to ask the right questions and understand if there are some year/model specific gremlins I need to know about.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

    dwestly - I live in the Ft lauderdale area. - Northern Broward County. My company is HQ in Tampa.

    Greenwald - I was born in Sheboygan, raised in Milwaulee. I'm a UWM grad. I have been to Oshkosh numerous times (flying & driving), sister lives in Door County & friends in MKE & Madison. The Midwest is really more "home" than Florida - however I will take the winters down here.....lol

    Bill

    Now if I can just convince my spouse that her convertible would be just fine outside, I would have more room in my garage for MY toys.......

  9. #9
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by 0wmowen View Post
    As charlie brown (my hero) would say as Lucy pulls the football away....

    Arrrggggh.................

    Thanks for all the great input and yes, it dosen't make the decision making any easier. My objective is to ask the right questions and understand if there are some year/model specific gremlins I need to know about.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

    dwestly - I live in the Ft lauderdale area. - Northern Broward County. My company is HQ in Tampa.

    Greenwald - I was born in Sheboygan, raised in Milwaulee. I'm a UWM grad. I have been to Oshkosh numerous times (flying & driving), sister lives in Door County & friends in MKE & Madison. The Midwest is really more "home" than Florida - however I will take the winters down here.....lol

    Bill

    Now if I can just convince my spouse that her convertible would be just fine outside, I would have more room in my garage for MY toys.......

    Small world, Bill!

    You've got all that Wisconsin blood in you, but I envy you current locale. I've spent countless vacations scuba diving in the gulfstream off of Singer Island (Palm Beach County) and off of Key Largo as well, spent 6 days at Daytona Bike Week in '04 and occasionally make it to the Spring Hill area (just north of Tampa) for seminars, etc.

    Enjoy the sunshine state and good luck with your decision.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
    Nationally Certified Law Enforcement Motor Officer (Ret.)
    MSF RiderCoach # 121656 (BRC,SBRC,IS,IME,SMARTrainer,THE REF Staff)
    Iron Butt Association Member # 34281

  10. #10
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    In the spirit of full disclosure -

    I'm a BEARS fan......

    My wife & son are both Packers fans. I guess they have just spent too much time outside in the cold...... Everything is fine in our house....except for 2 sunday's a year....

    I was just getting my SCUBA gear out last week to send it in for routine maintrenance. Lots of wonderful dive spots in SoFL & the Keys.



    Bill

  11. #11
    Registered User 39520's Avatar
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    Just a tip.

    As far as BMWs go, I have owned, over the last 26 years, six of them: an 86, a 99, two 05s, an 08, and a 10. I have had shaft drive, belt drive, and chain drive. I have had an airhead, oilhead(s), upright 2 cylinder, wedge four cylinder, and transverse 4 (S1000RR). I bought all six without a test ride, and four of them sight unseen. Three were new at local dealers, one was used at a distant dealership, one was a cashless swap with a private party, and one from a local private sale.

    Reliability has been consistently excellent across years, models, and configurations. The only thing that has really changed over time is that they became more complex - natural evolution - and they gained more doodads, more horsepower, better handling, massively better brakes, and better fuel mileage. Like on cars and airplanes, fuel injection and overhead cams really cut down on routine maintenance. My K12S is seven years old, but the front suspension is still way ahead of any other brand.

    I liked all of them, and still have the first and last ones.

    I never took any of them into a shop - BMW or independent - except under warranty, and the number of warranty claims I have had in 26 years I am sure I could count on two hands, possibly one. Club wise, I have subscribed to the MOA magazine for the whole time, and sporadically with the other club.

    Best of luck with your purchase!

    Disclaimer: I have also owned some other bikes over the 26 years - some Yamahas, Moto Morini, Ducati, but I only kept one: a nice DT250. Also a Cessna 150.

    Also, there were some 1150's that were '05 models with 05 VINs. Not many. I had one, a nice RT.
    Last edited by 39520; 08-08-2012 at 03:35 PM. Reason: verb tense agreement
    Ub
    05 K12S . 86 R65

  12. #12
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    Bill

    Just my opinion...you really need to test ride an 1150 and a 1200. They are very different animals. My 1200's have both been GS's, but I've owned an 1100RT, an 1150RT, and have ridden the 1200RT. Again, the 1200 is very different than the oilheads. I don't think you can make the best decision until you've ridden them. The differences go well beyond appearance and price.
    Howard Edwards

    2009 R1200GS; 1975 R75/6

  13. #13
    Registered User ras100's Avatar
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    I've owned an 1150 (2002) and a 1200 (2008). My 02 was a beautiful bike decked out in Titanium Silver (the best color!) with a top case as my only option. I put a lot of miles on her and have many fond memories of my travels with her. I would be careful of the surging problem of early 1150s. The servo-powered brakes were linked so you had to be very careful in certain situations. The 08 RT was a much improved model, IMHO. You would be happy with an 1150 but happier with a 1200, especially a newer model.
    2012 K1600GT (Big Red)

  14. #14
    Swamp Fox GeneT's Avatar
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    Hello Neighbor

    Quote Originally Posted by 0wmowen View Post
    While I am a newbee to riding (only 10 years), I have mostly rented HD in the past. I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT!

    Living in Florida (tired of shoveling snow in Wiscopnsin) I can now ride year round. I have been reading MOA magazine for the past 3 years - its interesting and much like my aviation pilots association publications - very member oriented.

    My question - What are the primary items to review when considering the purchase of an RT.

    I am considering a 2004-2008 1150RT or 1200RT with under 70K miles. Newer ones are a little outside of my current 2 wheel budget.

    If this were a Beech or Cessna aircraft, I know of several model specific inspection guides I could use to evaluate a prospective purchase.

    I understand the twin spark change (05? model year) solved some nagging engine issues. What else should I be looking for. Most of the bikes I am considering have service records available.

    Thanks for your feedback.

    Billy O
    Hello Bill O,

    I started with hello neighbor as I am in Plantation.

    I recently moved up to a 2008 R1200RT, I am very happy with it and encourage you to go for a test ride on one. I happen to know where there is a 2007 with a new computer which has a 2 year warranty, low miles however it needs two tires.

    If you want to know more about this contact me by personal email.

    Even if you just want to ride or BS I am available.
    Gene T

  15. #15
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    Since it appears you are a pilot and know Beech stuff, get the RT 07 up. Think Bonanza or Baron and go from there. Fantastic bike that takes more than a couple of hour test ride to appreciate. I recently purchased the demo 2011 I put all but 200 miles of the test ride mileage on and got a really great deal. One of those things I would have been an idiot to pass up.

    The RT is an absolute blast to ride, and I have no reservations in recommending it to anyone.

    Jump into the pool, the water is fine.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

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