Cause for concern?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Qben, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Qben

    Qben Q

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
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    Anacortes, WA
    Hello everyone -
    I'm looking for a little advice on a 2003 R1150GS "Adventure" model. My first question is if the 70K miles on the bike is a significant cause for concern. I have no sense of when these bikes tend to start having significant mechanical issues. It should be noted that the owner claims to be in possession of a fully documented maintenance log with all recommended services performed (or at least entered). I have no plans to do any long distance touring on it (I know that means I'm not putting it to it's highest and best use). Is there a certain mileage level at which the resale value starts dropping off sharply?

    My second question is regarding what price would be an average vs. "very good deal" on this bike. It looks to be in very good shape from the pictures and has what I gather to be an above average amount of accessories. See below:

    extra set of TKC 80 Knobby tires
    GPS
    Crash Bars
    Fog Lights
    Billet Cam Cover Caps
    Windshield Wing
    Saddle Bags
    Waterproof BMW rear Bag
    Passenger seat extender
    TT rear rack
    Handgaurds with TT wings
    Pivot Pegs
    Tapered Aluminum Handlebars with 3/4 riser

    Thanks in advance!
    Qben
    #1
  2. Gezerbike

    Gezerbike Hey Rocky...........

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    Since you are already questioning the bike and have possible doubts about the bikes' service log, I think you will be better served passing on the bike. BMW boxers can make a heck of a mechanical racket that would probably drive you nuts. Why not add a few more bucks and get a liquid cooled single or twin with some warranty and sleep better. For the type of riding you suggest, they would probably serve you better.
    #2
  3. def

    def Ginger th wonder dog

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    If the previous owner has maintained the bike well, I would not be concerned until the mileage reaches, say about 150,000 miles. Even then, well maintained, these bikes go for decades.

    That model may be equipped with linked brakes of which I am not a fan but, others swear by them. Make sure the ABS (if so equipped) is healthy.

    Your profile shows no detail so we don't know where you or the bike are. There may be an inmate nearby who could visit the bike and take a look for you.
    #3
  4. Qben

    Qben Q

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    I wasn't really expressing doubts about the service log, just a healthy objectivity. I am more inclined to believe other indicators about how the bike was taken care of than just a service log, but if there is no contradictory evidence (none so far in this case), then a meticulous log is a good indicator of meticulous care.

    Def - I'd be delighted if someone who lives in the Seattle area wanted to take a look at the bike (it's in North Seattle). Sorry, I hadn't gotten into the details of my profile yet.

    Q
    #4
  5. rdwalker

    rdwalker Long timer

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    You are right about the fact that an older R-bike may be a surprise to the uninitiated. But they do work. As a matter of fact, I just realized that the previously unimaginable happened to me: there are only R-bikes left in my garage. I always pooh-poohed them, as I reveled in the silky smoothness of K-bike motors (had every type from K100 on, through various K1200's) - but somehow boxers worked out for me.

    My advice for the OP is to have someone familiar with R-bikes help look over the machine. Post a message in the regional thread here on ADV and maybe another inmate will jump in?

    By itself, the bike is generally very solid and there is nothing wrong with the mileage - if reflected in the selling price. My main objection would depend on the type of riding OP does: a bike with lesser mileage offers many more lifetime miles remaining. If you run up 15k miles a year, you may be looking for another machine in 2-3 seasons. Nothing wrong with that, but a consideration.

    In terms of additional equipment, this is what I would offer a seller over the price of a stripped bike:
    - tires & GPS $400 (if a current-vintage device, like a Zumo)
    - sidecases, rear rack and waterproof bag $300-600
    - everything else adds practically no value.

    Good luck with your search. Robert.
    #5
  6. scooteraug02

    scooteraug02 Dog Rancher

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    #6
  7. Gezerbike

    Gezerbike Hey Rocky...........

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    As the owner of a beautiful 15 year old 1100 GS ( see below ), I know only too well how well they work. My 5th Oilhead for me, and the best bike ever. 50,000 miles and I would take it anywhere, tomorrow But they do age. Part of the beauty of the Oilhead is that you can work on them if you know how, and what to look for. If you don't and require a dealer to work on it, it is not unreasonable to spend 15-20% of the value of the bike to have service work performed. I just picked up my KGT from the dealer yesterday and spent $ 600 on service work I can't do on that bike. And a bike with 70,000 miles, while not really a lot of miles on a well cared for GS, it is still a lot of miles. Shocks are probably pretty used up and another set, even stock, will run you a $ 1,000. If you don't need all that the 03 GSA offers, I just think you might be better served, and happier with a little newer bike. As for price, well cared for I would think would bring in the $ 6500 range. As for evaluating the bike, meet the owner in person and really look at the bike....both will tell you alot about the bike. Meticulous records indicates, to me, a guy who loved his bike, and that is worth a lot to me.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Qben

    Qben Q

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    Thanks Mike. Well put!
    While it's more bike than I "need" right now, I will probably go look at it. I am mechanically inclined and would probably do most any work that I am able to do on any bike I get. I know the joys (and frustrations) of doing my own mechanical work from working on my 68' Mustang and 78' sailboat engines. I've done relatively little on bikes, despite always owning one since I was 18, but this is just because they have been mostly Hondas and needed little more than regular tune ups.

    The most frequent use will be accessing trailheads in the mountains which involves 1.5 - 3 hours of freeway driving and 20-40 miles of forest service roads. I really like to be comfortable on the freeway and have been riding a Honda Shadow 750 for the past 10 years (until it got stolen a couple months ago... insert expletive here...). It had basically no wind protection and seemed to need higher RPMs than ideal, so I want something more comfortable on the freeway than that. No real issue with the dirt and gravel road travel, but it would be nice to get on something where the builder at least considered that as a possibility.

    I know the V-Strom bikes will come up and I'm definitely looking at them. Other suggestions are welcome. I have about a $6000 budget here (incidentally, the GS owner reluctantly said he could do that). http://seattle.craigslist.org/see/mcy/3619713160.html

    You have a beautiful bike, by the way!
    Q
    #8
  9. Gezerbike

    Gezerbike Hey Rocky...........

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    That is a very nice looking bike...........
    #9
  10. guzzifreak750

    guzzifreak750 Been here awhile

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    I am the current owner of a 03 GSA and can give you an outlook of what one looks like at 114k no problems here I change all fluids engine, trans , and rear at every oil change just to make sure there isn't anything floating around that looks suspicious. 95 k of those miles are mine love the bike and it has been great to me. Pm me for any questions and ill send you my phone number and tell you what too look at and discuss pricing to let you know if its a good deal.
    #10
  11. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    At those miles the bike could be great OR

    you could be looking at

    Clutch slave and line replacement

    Clutch plate

    Gearbox input shaft

    Final Drive bearing

    BUT........that's about it, not much else gives out and even the mentioned items often don't give out, but they are generally the first to go.
    #11
  12. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    OEM Battery

    Drive shaft

    Fuel pump

    Starter

    Check the play in the U-joints, though tough to do on a bike that isn't yours


    "extra set of TKC 80 Knobby tires, nice:clap
    GPS:clap
    Crash Bars - Came with these stock if they are OEM
    Fog Lights - Stock?
    Billet Cam Cover Caps, no idea what this means.
    Windshield Wing, Meh.
    Saddle Bags, OEM? Plastic? or Aluminum?
    Waterproof BMW rear Bag I assume this is the plastic duffle
    Passenger seat extender, Never understood what that was good for.
    TT rear rack,
    Handgaurds with TT wings protection from stuff, not a bunch warmer
    Pivot Pegs,
    Tapered Aluminum Handlebars with 3/4 riser", aka Ricky Bars??

    My guess for price is less than $8K.
    I'm not sure I'd let mine go for less than $5K and mine is well worn at 186K+ and counting and a 2004 so it has that going against it. :lol3

    Probably doesn't help a bunch huh?

    My eight years of wearing stuff is documented a bit in the link in my signature.
    #12
  13. Qben

    Qben Q

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    Anacortes, WA
    Every little bit helps. I appreciate your input. Was the 04' comment tongue-in-cheek or is there really something that makes the 04' less desirable? One of the reasons I ask is that a very similar '04 popped up on CL today. I might look at that one too if he can move on price.
    Q
    #13
  14. weeman

    weeman Adventurer

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    Upper left corner of the USA
    I just read your post and would be happy to ride down for a visit as I'm up in Bellingham not far from you. Give me a shout some warmer weekend and I'll check out your bike.
    I own a 36k on the clock r1100rsl and just enjoy the hell out of riding it. The other bike I own is a vintage r50/2 and equally fun too ride but have to tear it down soon for slinger cleaning and a motor refresh.

    Steve
    #14
  15. bone13

    bone13 Been here awhile

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    Make sure it has had the cam chain tensioners upgraded if not the cam chain guides should be looked at closely.
    check wear on the throttle body shafts (if wore, while running they will tick but lay your finger on the throttle cable pully and the tick goes away)
    clutch will be do in the near future if it hasn't been replaced yet (usually between 70-90k)
    as has been mentioned, other real likely possible issues final drive crown bearing, and transmission input shaft.
    Final drive bearing is pretty easy to check for any current issue... Set the bike on the center stand and in neutral. Roll the rear wheel backwards and listen/feel for any rumbling in the final drive. It should be SMOOTH.
    Sadly the only way to check the input shaft is pulling the transmission out.
    #15
  16. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    Some don't like the funky linked ABS, snd four spark with stick coils.

    Though the four sparks are supposed to surge less.

    #16
  17. Zoef zoef

    Zoef zoef Been here awhile

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    1150 of 2003 and younger can already have the upgraded cam chain tensioners installed in the factory.
    #17
  18. Qben

    Qben Q

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Oddometer:
    85
    Location:
    Anacortes, WA
    Thanks for all the info and keep it coming.
    I'm compiling a list of things to check and this is very helpful.
    How difficult to fix/expensive are these problems if I come across them?
    After I finish compiling the list, I'll post it and maybe you guys can rate the repairs.
    Minor - (2 hours or less and $100 in parts)
    Moderate - (a half a days work and $300 in parts)
    Major - (Major expense and pain in the A**)
    #18
  19. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

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    This may give you some idea of my experience with my 2004:
    Eight Years

    #19
  20. Qben

    Qben Q

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    Well Mr Head, I will just say that you really know how to get your use out of a bike. Well done!

    I spoke to the seller again and everything sounds positive.

    He said he replaced the final Driveshaft (new U-joints too) at 60K and at that time checked the transmission input shaft and splines for wear (none found), checked the clutch plate - no wear found. He also said the brake and clutch fluids were just changed.
    It has the upgraded cam chain tensioners.
    No wear in the throttle body shafts.
    The shocks are stock, but he says they are in good shape. That is they aren't leaking and are not worn out. Unknown if they have ever been replaced, but I gather not.

    He didn't even hesitate on any of these questions and elaborated without prompting, so he sounds like he's super familiar with these bikes, what goes wrong with them, and how to work on them.

    A similar bike came up that might be a better deal (at least for me). Here's the link. http://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/mcy/3626305063.html
    It seems to be farkled better and it has the Ohlin's rear shock. I talked him down to $6K so price is the same for both. I'd like to hear thoughts on which would be a better choice.

    I'm way more comfortable with the maintenance history on the 03' since it is all documented and basically seems very likely to need no major repairs in the near future.
    On the other hand, the other one is a little newer, a few less miles, better farkles and has that shock. The maintenance history is largely a mystery though.

    Also factoring into my decision making is my 32 inch inseam. I understand that the Ohlin's shock allows for some adjustment in the seat height.

    I plan to go see both of them this weekend.
    Thanks again for all the input.
    Qben
    #20