2003 r1150 rt

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by flaadvandmtbrider, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. flaadvandmtbrider

    flaadvandmtbrider Been here awhile

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    Looking at one of these used with about 30K miles, any known issues? Fueling OK? Would it be better to wait for the right 2004? I hear the head changed. Any input would be very helpful. Thanks.
    #1
  2. Mr.Moose

    Mr.Moose Living the Adventure

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    You might try checking BMWSt.com or bmwlt.com for some additional feedback.
    #2
  3. Lomax

    Lomax Nanu-Nanu Adventurer

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    I would not worry about the head change thingy. If the bike runs out good then get it. I have a 2004 R1150RT now and used to own a 2002 R1150RT in the past. They all run rough but they run good. The 1150 engine just did not hit the mark for a smooth BMW engine. My 84 R100RS and my 07 R1200GS are both much smoother. But saying that I still love the 1150's. Like any beemer it seems the harder you ride them the happier they are.

    Marc
    #3
  4. Mk5mike

    Mk5mike Been here awhile

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    Sorry for the obvious question but any benefit to the 1150 engine? Like easier to adjust valves or over built at all?
    #4
  5. Blakebird

    Blakebird r-u-n-n-o-f-t

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    Benefits compared to which other BMW engine? The original 1100 oilhead was a big step up in sophistication from the airheads.

    The R1100xx were 5 speeds, the 1150 started the 6 speed era (aside from the R1100S).
    The 1150 oilhead was in production for a long time....then came the R1200 'hex head'.
    #5
  6. DrMoto

    DrMoto Adventurer

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    If it has the abs brakes, make sure the fluid was changed regularly. Servo pump can be a $2k repair.
    #6
  7. Kentucky

    Kentucky Long timer

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    Tranny/clutch spline, final drive and power brake booster are $2500 each. Roulette.
    #7
  8. flaadvandmtbrider

    flaadvandmtbrider Been here awhile

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    Gulp..... Hmmm, let me rethink this purchase. Damn.


    #8
  9. steelerider

    steelerider Southafricanamerican

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    If my memory serves me well, the 2002 model year of this bike was a single spark cylinder head which was prone to low speed surging due to a very lean fuel mixture. In 2003 they switched to a dual spark which fixed 90 % of the tangible problem. My 2002 1150RT surged like crazy until I added a Techlusion fueling middle which takes about 10 mins to install, and instantly fixed the problem, and the bike ran much smoother. It had 36K on the clock when I bought it - one owner bike. Other than that, the starter needed to be pulled an lubed (gets a bit sticky with age, and can sound like its grinding on start) Easy fix The rear shock oil reservoir also needed to be refilled (another easy fix) and a the bike you're looking at will likely need it as well. I pulled the throttle bodies and cleaned them out (the were full of junk)
    The servo brakes take some getting used to (very touchy) but work great. Make sure that the fluid has been changed out - these needed a special flush procedure, and I believe that the 36K mile service also calls for a new alternator belt.
    There is the final drive issue, but in reality from what I have read the vast majority of these bikes had no final drive problems. I loved that RT, it was a great looking, great all round bike. Despite the fact it was 10 years old the shape still looked relevant. There is a TON of info online at BMWSPORTTOURING.COM - helpful people with years of experience with this bike.
    #9
  10. Av8rPaul

    Av8rPaul Have bike will travel

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    There are LOTS of these 1150's running around with big miles on them. These things have been in police service around the globe forever. If they've been maintained (like any other bike should be) the RT is as good a bike as there is and probably one of the best. I wouldn't let the worst doomsday scenario scare you off from buying an affordable excellent touring bike.
    #10
  11. avejoe

    avejoe Been here awhile

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    Love my 2002 1150RT. Best looking bike made IMO.
    #11
  12. RT Pilot

    RT Pilot Just lurking, thanks

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    I have almost 64K miles on my 03 RT, and it runs better now than it did at 10K. No major issues, kept the brake fluids serviced and other routine maintenance as required. Great all-around bike for commuting or touring, comfortable and more than fast enough for any highway situation. If you can get it checked out before you buy and get it for a good price you won't regret it.
    #12
  13. Effjay

    Effjay Adventurer

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    As my sig shows, both of mine are 2004 twin-spark. Both likewise with fairly low total mileage (10K/22K respectively), so my long term oilhead ownership and related "advice" is limited. Even so, I'd opt for latest technology based on total mileage and overall moto condition since likely all in consideration will have servo brakes plus replacement cost of the lower set of sparkplugs isn't a big deal.

    Having previously owned a 2007 hexhead RT from new until earlier this year, my transition to oilheads has been fairly recent and quite pleasant. As documented comparo specs reveal, oilheads have more heft while sporting less power yet appeal to me greatly. In my few weeks of R1150RT ownership, I'm enjoying making it my own just as with other motos before. This RT will be a keeper!

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    #13
  14. flaadvandmtbrider

    flaadvandmtbrider Been here awhile

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    Nice, nice, nice.
    #14
  15. Kentucky

    Kentucky Long timer

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    I completely agree as long as your finances can withstand the hit. A friend of mine has done three clutch spline replacements for friends of his in Kentucky. Crazy high percentange considering three failures just among his riding friends. The bike has to be split in two to remove the tranny and then the tranny has to come apart to replace the shaft. One of the problems is the shaft is too short from the factory and the replacement is the same part exactly when you buy it from BMW. There is a guy making correct length shafts that's only a few hundred more than the $600 part from BMW that is too short.
    Barry
    #15
  16. Kentucky

    Kentucky Long timer

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    My R1150RT only had 13,xxx miles when the shaft failed. Apparently it left the factory with only a small amount of lube. The transmission started feeling bulky and downshifts quickly became too difficult. It simply stopped pulling like it was in neutral. I was 45 miles from home when it started getting slightly difficult to shift. I didn't make it. The BMW dealer in Jax Fl quoted $2500 to do the repair. His notable quote to me was "we typically see these fail at about 50k miles". Really?

    The final drive failures on oilheads is rediculous considering they have been making shaft drive motorcycles for about 90 years.

    The survo failure rate is apparently widespread.

    Barry
    #16
  17. hyena

    hyena Been here awhile

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    I've had two oil head RT's. The first was a 2002 1150, the second was a 1997 1100. No problems with either. I believe one of the previous posts was a year off. 2004 was the last year for the 1150, and the only year with dual plug heads. Some 2002's (including mine) had servo brakes that were "grabby" at very slow parking lot speeds. BMW fixed that with the 2003. I don't believe there were any special issues with the 2003. That year came with the "comfort" seat standard, which my butt highly liked. I didn't have any problem with surging. It was a bit discernible, but I just ignored it. I like both the 1100 and 1150's equally. The 1100 didn't have the servo brakes, but the 1150 had a better headlight, and hydraulic clutch. Five or six speed - didn't make any difference to me.

    I think they're excellent bikes. Don't be afraid to pull the trigger. The only reason I don't have one now is I just like the lighter weight and agility of the 1200GS. But it's entirely possible some day there will be another 1100 or 1150 in my garage. Outstanding road bike.
    #17
  18. flaadvandmtbrider

    flaadvandmtbrider Been here awhile

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    I went and looked at the bike, was kind of surprised at the overall condition, not too good. The maintenance book showed the last dealer maintenance stamp to be at 6K miles, bike had 29K showing. There was a Pioneer head unit in the radio pocket and a Pioneer satellite unit rigged into the right side saddlebag. The wiring coming off of the handlebar controls had lost their cover so just a bunch of multi-color wires were exposed on each side. The paint on the body panels was severely blistered above the head pipes where they came off the heads. The left side panel was actually cracked near the lower mounting points. Dealer was trying to install a battery as I arrived so I got a good look at everything opened up. Exhaust pipes at the heads were so discolored (looked like red dirt) I don't think they would ever be chrome again. Total asking price out the door (all taxes, dealer fees, tag transfer) was $6K.- I passed.
    #18