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Thread: Switching from R100RS to R1100RS - buyer's checklist suggestions?

  1. #1
    Newbie drj434343's Avatar
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    Switching from R100RS to R1100RS - buyer's checklist suggestions?

    I'm contemplating a switch from my R100RS to a R1100RS. I'm pretty familiar with all the potential issues of the R100* models, and have addressed most of them. I feel pretty confident about long hauls on my current bike because of all that work.

    Now, in an effort to seek greater comfort but stay within the RS motif, I'm contemplating moving up to a R1100RS. My hope is enjoying greater power and smoothness; better more predictable handling (no nose dive!), and most importantly, a bit more comfort. Cycle Ergo reports only half the lean forward angle on the R1100RS versus R100RS (15 deg vs. 28 deg). That makes my back and arms happy just thinking about rides over an hour.

    That said, I've done a lot of reading on the unique set of issues on early oilheads. Here's my list so far.

    1. Weak transmissions; shift fork wear causing incomplete engagement and stuttering; then popping out of gear, then rebuild!
    2. Paralever bearings?
    3. Spline wear and lube issues (M97 and up?)
    4. Ignition hall sensor failure at higher mileages

    Just like every bike, I can read a litany of stories on both sides; either 100K miles with no issues, or 3 transmission replacements at 30K. That said, I'm hoping to get some advice on two things.

    1. For those that have had exposure to both the later airheads and early oilheads, what is your overall impression of their comparative reliability?
    2. As I start looking at used R1100's, are there specific things I can do during inspection to investigate the common issues in my above list? Like looking for paralever play while on the center stand, or seeing if I can feel hesitation under acceleration in 3rd gear? Are there tests that are considered good enough to get a decent feel for condition, or should I only consider cream puff full records examples?

    Cheers,
    Jason

  2. #2
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    Just a note on the paralever bearings in particular: I wouldn't consider this a reason not to buy an otherwise appealing bike.

    I think of them now like, say, a clutch plate: You'll probably have to replace one sometime, but probably not more than once. Fortunately, it's a lot cheaper than a clutch job.

    And, honestly, that's probably the case for all the bearings in the final drive. My R1100RT turned over 80k this morning, and I'm just planning when in the next six months or so I can take the FD off for a couple weeks to have it rebuilt. To me that's the trade-off with BMW's shaft drive: Trivial maintenance most of the time, but occasionally something expensive. The only question is whether you decide when to spend the money, or the bike decides.

    Edit: The same is true of the HES, but even more so. Assume it needs to be replaced, and replace it. Just replace it. The alternative is finding out it needs replacement by the side of the road in the rain. DAMHIK.
    2000 R1100RT / 1987 K75C (RIP) / Santa Clarita, CA

  3. #3
    Left Coast Rider
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    James has pretty much covered the bases here. Find an RS with good maintenance records and buy it.

  4. #4
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Jason:

    I've had both, but my Oiler was an 1150:

    1. They're both fairly reliable bikes, the R1100 more so.

    2. Get a '97 or later 1100 and then you have no transmission worries.

    Good luck.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  5. #5
    Registered User rxcrider's Avatar
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    Maintenance records (even verbal ones) are nice. An honest seller who knows the bike and will disclose the flaws is a major + as well.

    Off the cuff check list...

    Brakes:
    Pad and disk condition / thickness
    Brake lines - OE or already upgraded to a good set of braided lines
    Fluid condition - I'd pop the caps and have a look if the buyer would allow it.
    Any signs of leaks? Take alook behind the plastic cover on the front MC for leaks / corrosion.

    Suspension & Drive Train:
    Worn out OE shocks or upgraded? If upgraded - correct springs for your weight and last build or rebuild date / mileage?
    Any play in bushings or bearings front or rear? Move it, bounce it , wiggle it - should have no play or clunking anywhere.
    Wiggle the rear wheel with the bike on the center stand and the wheel off the ground - hold it top and bottom and front / rear:
    - any play and look for the source - could be pivot bearings / bushings or it could be a final drive issue
    spin the rear wheel at the same time with the bike in neutral. Any bad feel / noise?
    spin the rear wheel to a stop in each gear with the clutch engaged (lever released) to apply some load in each direction.
    spin the rear wheel in each gear with the clutch disengaged (lever pulled) to rotate the gears in each direction.
    If the seller will permit, I'd pull the starter to look for leaks, inspect the clutch lining and freeplay at the input spline.
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showpost.php?p=932078 (thanks again, happy wanderer)
    Any leaks? I'd loosen the front clamp and peel pack the FD boot if permitted to look for leaks at the Gearbox or FD seals.
    Fluid level and condition for both the gearbox and FD

    Engine:
    Any leaks (including rear main with the starter removed (if permitted)
    excess valve train noise, including left side chain slap at startup which would indicate the tensioner hasn't been upgraded yet.
    any witness marks which would indicatea leak around the intake boots.
    oil level - including the side stand dance after a test run to bring it up to operating temperature.
    Pull the drain plug at the back of the airbox to check for excessive oil carry over
    - have a rag handy just in case since it will drain onto the muffler
    sight glass condition - any seepage? - easy fix, but I'd want to know sooner than later.
    air filter condition

    Test Run:
    quick starting with no bad noises from the starter?
    Smooth running?
    Strange noises in any conditions?
    noise at a stop in neutral with clutch engaged and disengaged?
    freeplay at the clutch lever?
    pull to the left or right on flat ground - properly aligned, they should track dead straight.
    surging at steady throttle, light load cruise? try 2nd and 3rd gear around 30 - 40 MPH - maybe with a slight incline as well

    Other:
    Add ons like system cases can set you back a bit if you buy them afterward, but seem to have little impact on the bike price. I'd look for one with the farkles you want - suspension too.

    If I were looking to buy, I'd take a hard look at this R1150RS:
    http://www.sillsmotor.com/new_vehicl...97&pov=3213717
    It has been sitting on the floor for a while (assuming it is still there) and is sitting on Ohlins and system cases installed - looked really clean.

    Go Read through Anton's oilhead info if you haven't already done so. http://www.largiader.com/

  6. #6
    Newbie drj434343's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback, especially some of the details rxcrider outlined. Though, I doubt a typical seller would allow me to remove the starter looking for weeping in a normal purchase transaction!

  7. #7
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    That's a great list, rcxrider.

    Can you elaborate on "noise at a stop in neutral with clutch engaged and disengaged"? What's this?
    2000 R1100RT / 1987 K75C (RIP) / Santa Clarita, CA

  8. #8
    Registered User rxcrider's Avatar
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    Rattling noise in neutral with clutch engaged may indicate an input spline issue. Growling with clutch diengaged may indicate a throw out bearing on its way out.

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