R1100RS.... what to look for?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by skierd, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
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    Fairbanks, AK
    A local dealership traded in a 94 R1100RS a couple weeks ago. The price is right, and the bike looks to be (visually) in pretty good shape, so I'm hoping to take it for a test ride this weekend. I know I've heard the early oilheads referred to as 'beta' models, meaning they were exactly finished when they left the factory, but also see people have tons of miles on them. Looking for a bike to do some mild touring, occasionally 2-up, thats also fun just heading out for a day of riding.

    What kind of things should I be on the lookout for? I've heard/read about transmission issues, how do I check for problems? Final drive issues? Do these have electrical problems like some of the later bikes?
    #1
  2. Bike2it

    Bike2it n00b

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    Winthrop, Washington
    I have a 2000 R1100RS that I purchased in 2003 with about 6000 miles. I currently have around 60,000 miles on the bike. I get close to 50 mpg if driving near the speed limit, about 44 mpg is the worst I have gotten loaded and 2up. The ABS caused a little trouble due to poor battery output, new battery and all fixed. Tires seem to last about 7-9k. I installed bar backs, love them.
    Lately I have been looking at getting a new bike but when it comes right down to it there is absolutely nothing wrong with this machine, it has everything and does anything a great road bike should do. I think I am just going to keep it.
    Check the final drive by putting the bike on the center stand and try to get the rear wheel to move sideways back and forth. If there is slop, check closely with a mechanic. Final drive is a pricey fix.
    It is a great bike!:clap
    #2
  3. richarddacat

    richarddacat Rollin' and Tumblin'

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    Seem to remember the early 1100's had a surging issue. I'm sure there's a fix out there so it shouldn't be a big deal.

    I'm also looking at 94R1100RS that a neighbor has, as far as I know he's never ridden it, been sitting parked in his garage for I know 8yrs. I saw it once with the seat off and a jumper cables on it.

    It may have more issue that I care to deal with but it also may be a steal of a deal. :evil
    I guess I'll have to go knock on his door because I seldom see him out.



    :lurk
    #3
  4. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    Well, I finally was able to take a look at it and go for a test ride earlier today. The dealership sold it to a guy who kept it for a whole 2 weeks before putting it up for sale. :bluduh Would have been really nice if he had just left it at the dealership for me to trade my Honda in as an even swap, but...

    What a neat bike! This is the first big BMW I've ridden. Didn't notice any surging, and the motor was a lot stronger than I was expecting. It rode beautifully, extremely easy handling and loads more character than the Nighthawk could ever have. I could use a little more room on the seat, as I was all the way at the end of it, and I'd need a taller windscreen to stop the booming. Hoping I can get my Honda sold here in a few days and finally make the swap.
    #4
  5. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated

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    I don't usually recommend Corbin seats, but the Corbin for the RS elongates the rider's section by quite a bit, and it's shaped perfectly; although it is really firm, as Corbins tend to be.

    Precisely adjusting the valves, checking/adjusting the TPS, and syncing the throttle bodies will minimize the surging. A throttle lock with a little tension on it will take care of the rest of it.

    The best upgrade you can give her is some aftermarket shocks. The stockers were awful.

    Mine was a Beta (early, early '94 model). I miss her.

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. weeman

    weeman Adventurer

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    I agree on all points that Stobie mentioned. I own a 1995 R1100RSL with 38k and without close TB sinc and valve adj you'll notice more surge but what a wonderful bike! Stobie, what exhaust is that on your bike?

    Steve
    #6
  7. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated

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    That pipe is a Giannelli. It had a pre-muffler under the engine, where the cat was, that was like one of those old California Turbo mufflers. It really had a great, deep tone without being loud. I don't think they have a distributor in the US any more.
    #7
  8. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    How many miles are on this 94? The early models later received an updated clutch design that was supposed to be an improvement. One nice thing about these imo is that they are a cable actuated clutch so you don't have to concern yourself with the slave cylinder oiling the clutch, only the rear main seal. I sold mine with the clutch on it's way out(yes I told the buyer) because it's a pretty involved job, or expensive job and because I'm coming to the realization I can't do the ergo's of sport touring bikes. It was a very neat bike though, glad to have got a chance to sample one.
    #8
  9. Stobie

    Stobie Mr. Motivated

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    The prospect of having to swap out a clutch on an oilhead is one reason I'll probably never own another one. All the routine maintenance is really easy, but the semi-major stuff is a pain.
    #9