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Old 01-01-2015, 04:07 PM   #1
Sportsbud OP
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High Mileage/older BMW bikes

Hey guys I don't know if this is the right forum, but I came here for a bit of advice, I have been eyeing a couple older BMW bikes, one is a 00 K1200RS with 143k on it, the other is a 96 R1100R with 42K on it. Both have been well maintained with a few scratches and both in great shape. Now The R1100 has had a new master cylinder recently, and all maintenance at a dealer, the K1200RS has not had all of its maintenance at a dealer but still well maintained. Now I am a complete newb on bikes, I have a 2014 Honda CRF250L as my only bike, and have been looking for something for long distance, not looking for a commuter(would be nice to show off sometimes) but these two fit my budget perfect, they are cheap!!! and are not stolen!!! Now what should I look for and is 143K just too much? or is it just broken in? Also the R1100R being a naked bike would it be better for me while learning how to wrench, or the K1200RS just going to last so damn long ill learn to wrench on my honda? Any advice (or pictures would be helpful).
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:46 PM   #2
BlairBear
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high mileage

I have an 08 gs with 100k, tried to sell it and no bites. I still ride It daily, it gets a lot better mileage than my 13 gas. I have done the maintenance myself and plan on a return trip to AK this year! Plan on taking the high mileage 08 rather the low mileage GSA. If it was taken care of don't worry about it.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:56 PM   #3
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Having owned a 2000 R1100R, I would take the R1100r bike over the K bike. The R bikes is simpler to maintain. Not sure if the R bike has bags, factory windshield or what but if it has the stock windshield you will need a laminar lip if you want to travel any distance. Also BMW changed the R1100 transmission in 97, so ones 97 up are slightly more desirable.

The K bike from your description hasn't been well maintained so I would be a bit worried about it.

Do some searching on both bikes and do your homework before you buy either. A lot will depend on your mechanical ability.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cycleman2 View Post
Having owned a 2000 R1100R, I would take the R1100r bike over the K bike. The R bikes is simpler to maintain. Not sure if the R bike has bags, factory windshield or what but if it has the stock windshield you will need a laminar lip if you want to travel any distance. Also BMW changed the R1100 transmission in 97, so ones 97 up are slightly more desirable.

The K bike from your description hasn't been well maintained so I would be a bit worried about it.

Do some searching on both bikes and do your homework before you buy either. A lot will depend on your mechanical ability.
My mechanical ability is I have alot of time on hand, and a smartphone handy for guides, I am learning and take my time I enjoy a challenge, but I am afraid that a naked bike like the R1100R may not be what i am looking for when I go cross-country.. btw here are some pics of the ACTUAL bikes


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Old 01-01-2015, 05:15 PM   #5
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Since you are going from a much smaller

bike, i would hesitate at chosing the K bike. That is one HEAVY bike.

With the BMW touring screen, the R1100R will make a wonderful lighweight tourer or run around, and it is a much better canyon carver than the K bike is.

JMHO
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sdpc2 View Post
bike, i would hesitate at chosing the K bike. That is one HEAVY bike.

With the BMW touring screen, the R1100R will make a wonderful lighweight tourer or run around, and it is a much better canyon carver than the K bike is.

JMHO
I really wish I could ride both and see whats better for me, my bike history is 1st one was a Grom, then my CRF250l, So I went from 220lbs, to a 300lbs bike, now I am looking for my next jump... anyone in LA that has one I could take on a quick ride to check and see?
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:45 PM   #7
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The highest cost per mile of any vehicle I've ever owned, is BMW motorcycles. In particular, the K1200 - the other aspect is all the plastic on the K1200 - it adds a fair bit of time to doing any maintenance. Valve checks take a lot more work than the R bikes.
They are very maintenance intensive overall, and things like doing a clutch will really test you.

Personally, if it were me, I'd look at something like a Bandit 1200 or similar and stay far away from the BMW's.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by KMC1 View Post
The highest cost per mile of any vehicle I've ever owned, is BMW motorcycles. In particular, the K1200 - the other aspect is all the plastic on the K1200 - it adds a fair bit of time to doing any maintenance. Valve checks take a lot more work than the R bikes.
They are very maintenance intensive overall, and things like doing a clutch will really test you.

Personally, if it were me, I'd look at something like a Bandit 1200 or similar and stay far away from the BMW's.
I just cant seem to find one of those in my price range, I have been looking for under 2k hence why I have been looking high mileage and older bikes, these two have fallen under that mark, if anyone has any leads I would gladly take them...
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sportsbud View Post
I just cant seem to find one of those in my price range, I have been looking for under 2k hence why I have been looking high mileage and older bikes, these two have fallen under that mark, if anyone has any leads I would gladly take them...
If you stop to think about it, that should be setting off the alarm bells - just my opinion but I'd rather pay a little more upfront for a more reliable and economical to own vehicle, than to have one you can't trust and is constantly costing money for repairs.

There's good deals out there, although $2k is pretty low for a bike as capable as the K1200 in the picture. If you're able to pick it up that cheap, it might be worth any pain it would cause down the road.... I personal would avoid it, but that is a good price.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by KMC1 View Post
If you stop to think about it, that should be setting off the alarm bells - just my opinion but I'd rather pay a little more upfront for a more reliable and economical to own vehicle, than to have one you can't trust and is constantly costing money for repairs.

There's good deals out there, although $2k is pretty low for a bike as capable as the K1200 in the picture. If you're able to pick it up that cheap, it might be worth any pain it would cause down the road.... I personal would avoid it, but that is a good price.

Best of luck.
Thanks for the advice, the low cost of entry may be a good offset to any maintenance costs in the future, I get to experiment with a "sport cruiser" and see if its my thing... I just wish I got some first hand knowledge of the maintenance required of the bike... and some people that have high mileage on theirs... I a;ready have a reliable truck and the Honda its new and should last an eternity, so I am not looking for the best of the best, it may spend a good portion of its time on a battery tender under cover...

P.S. Also saw a 1985 Honda goldwing 1200GL for 700, needs tires, a coil and a good wash, but too many unknowns on that one to risk it for me....
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:16 PM   #11
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I will buy that R1100R right now for under $2k. Where is it?
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:16 PM   #12
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I own a 97 R1100RS with about 56K miles on it and it has been very reliable. My cost of ownership has been very low. If the R1100R has a complete maintenance record from a BMW dealer, you should ask for a print out of it. That will let you see just how well it was maintained. If the seller has all the receipts, that's even better. I bought a 2008 R1200GS Adv last year and the dealer print out of all maintenance from when it was new played a large part in my decision. 2 grand for an oilhead BMW with detailed maintenance history sounds like a good deal to me. That does not mean you are 100% safe from expensive repairs but it gives you much better odds than a bike with no maintenance history. Put a good windshield on the R1100R and it will do long distance touring easily.

Since you are a noob, keep in mind that these older oilheads have transmissions that are clunky to shift. That does not mean they are deficient - it is just a characteristic of this design. They will never be as smooth as a jap bike. A lot has been written on the internet about these trannies and how to get the best shift quality out of them. Do some searching and you should find this info if you are interested.

They are also known for a problem with surging at part throttle anywhere between 20-60 mph. Mine did it but it was 99% cured with a careful and accurate valve adjustment. If the valve clearances are within spec but still not well matched on both cylinders, this contributes a lot to making the surge problem worse.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:25 PM   #13
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As a K series owner I'd want to know when the last clutch replacement was, along with seals and transmission work.
Also ask about when the final drive was rebuilt last.

At 143K I'd be in it for cheap as a project bike only.

I do all my own maintenance, have a well equipped shop and tools, and can tell you that a K bike is a labor intensive machine.

If you buy it, I do plastic welding; some of the plastic is probably cracked.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:27 PM   #14
Sportsbud OP
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Originally Posted by OConnor View Post
I will buy that R1100R right now for under $2k. Where is it?
Its in NOLA man, may be a bit far... It will be about 1 month for me to save up for one or the other, seems the guy with the R is is a pretty big hurry... so as a courtesy here is the CL ad... have fun!

http://neworleans.craigslist.org/mcy/4825576546.html
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Old 01-01-2015, 09:24 PM   #15
OConnor
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Originally Posted by Sportsbud View Post
Its in NOLA man, may be a bit far... It will be about 1 month for me to save up for one or the other, seems the guy with the R is is a pretty big hurry... so as a courtesy here is the CL ad... have fun!

http://neworleans.craigslist.org/mcy/4825576546.html
$1500 OBO?! Holy hell. Sell your first-born and buy that thing! Offer him $1200 bucks and laugh all the way home. Why can't I get deals like that within a few hundred miles?
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