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Thread: Getting on a maintenance schedule

  1. #1
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    Getting on a maintenance schedule

    I'm finally brand new to BMW. I picked up an 03 r1150rt last week and plan to put probably 7K to 8K on this summer. I'm waiting on a manual and am collecting fluids and parts to start the maintenance program, but not really sure how deep to go at this point. Not my first bike, but first of it's kind.

    A little history. I bought the bike from a very honest gentleman in AZ. He had bought it used with 26K on the clock in 2011 and rode one long trip then short hauls to the 33K mark. He did maintenance like oil changes, he replaced the brake pads, but didn't bleed the system - I got the impression not a lot was done to the bike. No oil on the bottom of the final drive. No written maintenance documentation.

    I jumped on and rode it 1300 miles home to Oregon. Started every time, shifts well up and down, (occasionally I had to let the clutch out a little from N to first to get it to kick in). Tranny seems a little noisy and clunky, but I assume that is normal. Slight surge at about 3K rpm that would level as it went up, but I had a CX500 that would redline at 9K, so I'm used to keeping the R's up. It seemed to take a lot of effort to crank the bars through high speed corners - like, maybe I need to tune the suspension a little. I didn't have a book and figured, it's running, don't mess with it.

    It now has 35.3K. I'm thinking, change all the fluids; crankcase, final, tranny, etc. Flush the brake system, new plugs, valve set - all the normal, (for me), stuff.

    Is there anything else I should be thinking about at this point? If I was just going to do some afternoon jaunts this summer, I wouldn't worry too much, but what kind of extra things would you guys do?

  2. #2
    Registered User ncsonderman's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Oilhead nation

    It looks like you are on the right track as it comes to MXS. Yes, the transmissions are a bit clunky on the RT and it's just a bit of work to get into neutral every so often.

    Remeber that you have the 03' which has the servo assist brakes. When you service your brakes, make sure that you give the attention to the bits under the tank. I did this when I was new to BMW back in 05' at a "tech day" down in Atlanta. Those are put together on the BMWsporttouring.com forum and bring riders together to share their knowlege of working on bikes with someone who is A. Wanting to learn, and B. Willing to do the work themselves.

    As far as that surge you have around 3K, adjust your valves carefully and synch your throttlebodies. That should get it running pretty smooth.

    What a great bike to enjoy eating up the miles
    "It's not the speed of the ride that scares me....it's how quick I stop!"

    97' R 1100 RT "Ruby II"
    13' R 1200 GSA Triple Black

  3. #3
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    How much inflation pressure are you carrying in the front tire? The Telelever feels different than telescopic forks, but I would not describe it as requiring "a lot of effort."

    Congrats on the new bike!
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  4. #4
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    The in-tank hoses on my '04rt failed without warning at 27K miles. One minute go, next minute no-go. Highway, lefthand passing lane.

    Clean and lube the starter if it hasn't been done and make sure the internal planetary gear cover is secure.

    Those things and the need to lube splines were my only surprises, but I still have a spare HES and clutch slave cylinder waiting to be installed.

    It will run a lot better richer but ride for a while and then decide.
    RB

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    Thanks for the replies!

    Yeah, the book should be coming in today - it's taken a lot of effort to not just tear into things early.

    I was thinking about hoses and wiring on the ride back. Fortunately, the bike was kept under cover in a really dry area. One concern I had looking at it was the lack of tire pressure gauge, usually a used bike has a cheap one stuffed somewhere. It was riding well, and I only had a couple days to get home; eat sleep and ride. At least it had the factory tool kit. First bike I ever bought that wasn't a basket case.

    I've been researching the brake flush - looks to be do-able, but involved. Since I plan to do the fuel filter, I imagine it'll be tore down to the point replacing the lines won't be that big a deal, (I had a line break on an old bike I had - from the line to my leg to the exhaust, I got lucky on that one).

    I was hoping to hold off on pulling the splines apart until next winter, but it might be prudent to bite the bullet now. The wife leaves tomorrow for a week with family. If I need to cuss and throw things - now's the time to do it.

    I've printed off the 20Km maint schedules, guess I'll just go down the list+. I have a family reunion in Winnipeg right after the St Paul rally, with about a month to goof around in between. I'd like to spend the time riding, not wrenching - I've paid my Harley dues.

  6. #6
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    on top of what has already been mentioned:
    if your bike still has the factory brake lines (black rubber), replace them when you do the fluid flush. those lines were "adequate" (at best) when new, and they degrade & deteriorate with age.
    wiring, other than for the HES (do a search on that) unit, tends to be relatively trouble free.
    i'd also recommend that you start a "new shocks savings account", as you're going to be wanting some in the next 15,000 miles or so, and they're not all that cheap.
    .
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  7. #7
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    From what I can tell so far the bike is bone stock and original, except for battery and K&N air filter. The seat looks upgrade, wider and plush both front and rear, with detachable backrest. Thought it was aftermarket, but has BMW molded into the plastic underneath. Comfortable, I'll give it that. Has all the female parts and com system under the seat - looking at that will happen down the road.

    So far the only visual issue I've found is a leaky fork tube, which on this bike might be the easiest seal repair I'll ever have to do. The oil filler cap weeps a little, O ring on order. All the brake and fuel lines "look" good, but plan to replace. I have a Fluid Connector store close by that deals in most everything, including banjo bolt. Doesn't cost much for them to build custom; buy the hose and connectors from them and they install the ends for free.

    I take the wife to the airport this afternoon. Tomorrow I'll do all the hot fluid changes, then it'll be parked for awhile for tear down and inspection - looking forward to it.

    Hard to believe how much they want for uni-struts. Rebuild looks to be less expensive for just fluid and seal change. I have a spring manufacturer about an hour away that does a lot of OEM work. Again, sometimes custom stuff is cheaper. They run into contractual issues if you ask them to build something their customer "ABC brand" sells, and they make it for them. But sometimes the word custom allows them to sell closer to wholesale cost - I stress the word sometimes. Hope they can make springs this small. Nothing like watching these guys hot and cold forge springs out of raw stock. Progressive would be nice.

    I had a member send me a bunch of files to look over - looks like my day is covered. Everyone has given me a lot to think about - thanks!

  8. #8
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjensensr2 View Post
    From what I can tell so far the bike is bone stock and original, except for battery and K&N air filter. The seat looks upgrade, wider and plush both front and rear, with detachable backrest. Thought it was aftermarket, but has BMW molded into the plastic underneath. Comfortable, I'll give it that. Has all the female parts and com system under the seat - looking at that will happen down the road.

    So far the only visual issue I've found is a leaky fork tube, which on this bike might be the easiest seal repair I'll ever have to do. The oil filler cap weeps a little, O ring on order. All the brake and fuel lines "look" good, but plan to replace. I have a Fluid Connector store close by that deals in most everything, including banjo bolt. Doesn't cost much for them to build custom; buy the hose and connectors from them and they install the ends for free.

    I take the wife to the airport this afternoon. Tomorrow I'll do all the hot fluid changes, then it'll be parked for awhile for tear down and inspection - looking forward to it.

    Hard to believe how much they want for uni-struts. Rebuild looks to be less expensive for just fluid and seal change. I have a spring manufacturer about an hour away that does a lot of OEM work. Again, sometimes custom stuff is cheaper. They run into contractual issues if you ask them to build something their customer "ABC brand" sells, and they make it for them. But sometimes the word custom allows them to sell closer to wholesale cost - I stress the word sometimes. Hope they can make springs this small. Nothing like watching these guys hot and cold forge springs out of raw stock. Progressive would be nice.

    I had a member send me a bunch of files to look over - looks like my day is covered. Everyone has given me a lot to think about - thanks!
    - I would ditch that K&N filter and get a proper OEM paper filter. Read up on particle count and see why. I get mine here: http://www.euromotoelectrics.com/category-s/648.htm Good outfit, great products and good prices. BMW OEM is like $25 for identical part.

    - Fork tube seal on that bike can be replaced from the top easily without removing the forks. Handlebar comes off, a 14mm nut that is loctited by the way holds the stanchion place. Once off you can rotate the tube and slider away from the upper cross brace, remove the retaining clip and cap. Pull the tube up and out of the stanchion. Leave all the lower stuff ON. Get a hook type puller, don't ding the aluminum. Clean and tap in the new seal with a piece of PVC. Easy peasy.

    - I think you're going to find the O-Ring you need is not the one around the cap it's the one under the plastic part the cap screws into. Guessing your ordered 11 14 1 340 902 O-RING - 18X4 (to 12/02)
    and what you probably also need to replace is 11 14 1 340 901 O-RING (to 12/02)
    Double check with BMW on what the numbers are for your 03 bike. Not sure what changed and MAX BMW fiche only shows the ones till 12/02. ?

    - You will probably find (as many have already) that the OEM shocks (Showa brand) are not rebuildable. Like bikerfish1100 said, start saving for a set of Ohlins or Wilbers or something that comes close to them. You will be repaid in many tens of thousands of Smiles as Voni Glaves says. :-) The difference between worn OEM shocks and a set of Ohlins or Wilbers on these bikes is staggering.

    Welcome to the forum and BMW land. Not quite like Oz but close!
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  9. #9
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    Yep, looks like I'll be hunting down another O-ring! Now that you mention it, I can press on the lower lock ring and see seepage. I wondered what was going on since the top O-ring looks to be in good shape. Also looks like my first relationship with K&N air filter will be short - never did understand how those worked anyway, guess they don't very well.

    Thanks for all the help.

  10. #10
    Registered User ratze's Avatar
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    Cool

    Welcome sir jenson, glad you came over to the beemer side of life. i must say you chose the finest touring bike on the planet, iam about 4 months ahead of ya on the maintence schedule. i scored my 02 1150 from a local jap dealer at a very reasonal price, i had intentions of doing a full resto for 2 reasons, absolutly no maintence logs whatsoever and my trips are getting longer an longer. (10 to 15k) and thats what i like to do anyhow, i have a few in the stabel. at any rate after taking a few short trips just to get the feel of it i got home one day and pulled the tupperware off it, wow. i dont even think the 600 mile service was done and the bike had 48 on the clock, currantly it has 54 on it. and thats jes my test rides. the only thing i did to the motor was a valve job and a cam chain tensioner, the clutch splines had about 10 mor miles left on em. ended up with a low mileage used gearbox and new clutch assembly, the brakes i just could not get used to. i pulled the abs pump and ran em strieght, spiegler lines. the center of gravity is much better without the 14lbs up that high anyhow. cat converter had to go to, all that heat comen up an cooking the gearbox seals. (remus) just slipped in a different drivshaft, dident like the way the other one felt. paint work, lites lites lites, ect ect ect. shes ready and we are off, better halfs on the new gs. both bikes are ready for the long way round. aviate navigate communicate,,,good luck with your ride, you will love it.
    The pursuit of reality at all cost.

  11. #11
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    Wow, sounds like you went through it! I'm hoping not to have to do a final drive right away. Apparently, who ever did the last fluid change on mine didn't have a torque wench - things were pretty tight. At least everything that came out was fluid and resembled oil. Of course, I have 3 different styles of filter wrenches and none fit, and I bet that filter is on tight. Autozone has one down the street.

    I kind of like the brakes, but if they develop problems - I'm yarding it. I have to be really careful not to stop with the bars cranked, that's for sure. Was kind of concerned about braking in a corner, but got lost north of LA on the way home in some really twisty stuff for about 30 miles. Normally that's fun, but I'd been riding all day and just wanting to find I-5. I went into a left hand about 40mph over what I can do. I hit the brakes going into it; not enough room and had to do a braking lean. Front tire never locked up and just followed the curve, back tire just drifted around about a foot out like I knew what I was doing. Very controllable, which is odd considering how grabby they are at low speed. Bike saved my bacon on that one, and is a better rider than I am. Another thing I like is the fact that I've spent decades learning to stop with left foot down, right on the brake, then see-saw the left back to the shifter in case I need it. Now I just put my right foot down and take off when the light changes. Nice.

    Oh please, no spline issues right now. My CX500 had shaft drive with the same type of issues. The design and manufacturing problems probably cause most of the issues, but I just wonder how many guys like me, that grew up with dirt bikes and chain drive and think nothing of doing hard engine braking downshifts, cause a little of the early failure. If all are built the same, some having problems multiple times, some not - makes me wonder. I don't see riding style discussed much in posts about spline and FD failure.

    Anyway, back to work. Sounds like you had a good time getting yours fixed up. If you want to relive that, mine is right where you like it - we could do a straight across trade.

  12. #12
    Registered User twinsig's Avatar
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    +1 on scrapping the k&n
    +2 on shock fund, had my ohlins rebuilt for $500, Huge difference!
    +3 on the brake lines, don't trust the old ones
    I bought the 02 w/166k, now has 196.
    Something to look forward to...
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch
    Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote

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