Thursday, June 05, 2008

Maintenance Issues, answers for Irondad

Irondad, who runs the great blog: Musings of an Intrepid Commuter asked me to comment on maintenance issues re my 2004 R1150Rt Oilhead.

Here's some of the things that come to mind, Dan:

Valve adjustments each 6k miles is correct, but not hard to do at all. In fact, after about 25k miles, they don't seem to need much adjustment if any. I've not had to do anything the last two 6k services. Valves out of adjustment increase the buziness endemic with the Boxer engines. Maria loves running at 4k rpm, really smooth.

I can't speak for the newer 1200x models (don't really like their looks) but my motorcycle is pretty easy to service. I am no "natural mechanic" by any means so if I can do things such as valve adjustments, throttle body syncs, oil/transmission/final drive fluid changes, alternator belt swaps, brake wheel circuit bleeds, shock replacements, clutch bleeds, brake pad and rotor replacement, minor electrical repairs and what not, then anyone else can as well.

I love my oilhead and fully expect to go over 100k miles with her. The expertise one can find online at sites such as and fellow beemer riders is outstanding.

All the above tasks, just part of scheduled services I've learned to do. I've found great satisfaction in doing my own services, I know its done and done right. Lets just say the one service I took her to the dealer for, I found their work "lacking".

Parts replacement was due to parts wearing out, not breaking. More riding = more wear on parts, I wonder if there's a correlation? Oh and yeah, there's very little about beemers that is inexpensive, they are really "proud" of most of their parts.

Only problem, two flats which really one can't blame on the motorcycle designers! : )

Sometimes I find myself wishing I had a GS vice an RT when I come across an inviting dirt road but then Maria always brings a smile to my face and an eagerness to go riding. What more can one ask?

There's apparently been some reports of pre-2004 (when oilheads went dual spark) models that had "surging" issues at some speeds. Not sure but have heard a good TBS helps with that. Never ridden another RT but mine so I can only relay what I've read about online.

Oh, my front and rear brakes are linked so activating one, engages the other as well apparently. Some folks hate that. I am used to it. I hear the newer models are somewhat de-linked but don't have details.

ABS took some getting use to when I first got her. Learned the hard way not to jam on the brakes at low speed with handlebars locked to one side. : (

Love the ABS now, I can stop really well and no wheels locking up.

RTs have great wind protection, good thing in cold weather, not as good in hot weather. Oh, and a friend of mine described my fairings as having the wind profile of a clipper ship! Crosswinds can be interesting if strong enough.

Took me a while to fit out my RT for long distance riding comfort, lowered pegs were part of it, the Master Yoda Riding Position was another, barbacks/risers for the handlebars helped and just learning to move around while in the saddle took a while. Now I can do 500-700 mile days with only minor soreness at the end, I'm getting old.

These motorcycles use a dry clutch so they're known for loud shifting noises. Klunk!

Another great site is Jeff Dean's R1150Rt Site, he's one of the founding members of the BMWMOA I believe. LINK.

Hope the above helps.

1 comment:

irondad said...

Thank you. I'm honored you took the time to share. I agree that the 1150 looks much better than the 1200. To me it looks like BMW just piled parts on top of each other. Performance wise, though, the 1200 is better. I've ridden both models of police bikes. Both get around a track really well!

I just may end up with a BMW. I'm told the mileage is near 50 while the new Honda ST is around 40. Don't know that I want all the fancy stuff, though. The ABS and adjustable windshield would be enough.