BMW R 1100 RT Motorcycles Reviews (3)
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2009-06-10 1999 BMW R 1100 RT Dual Sport View Listings

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I have owned my rt since almost new. It is rock solid, left me stranded only once. A flat tire, to tell the truth. The paint has held up well. The hand controls are starting to show some wear but I have 68,000 on it and it will be over 69 when I return from a trip to my brothers middle childs high school graduation. I know. What an excuse to get away and do the Skyline Drive again. The 60,000 mile service was well worth the cost. Tires and oil changes are about all I've done. It is due for shocks front and rear.
- John Parson, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

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2003-09-17 1999 BMW R 1100 RT Dual Sport View Listings

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I own a Honda CBR929RR which I intend to keep. This means I don't need a bike to do sports and touring duties i.e. sports tourer. In fact, I've gone the other way and now have two bikes from the opposite ends of the spectrum. The Fireblade is impractical for carrying pillions any distance. So I bought a bike I knew was going to do lots of miles and comfortable for my passengers. I'll still use the sports bike sometimes when I need to clear the old cobwebs from the head. The R1100RT has a smaller rectangle shaped headlight that looks a bit dated, otherwise the shape is identical to the newer R1150RT model. The headlight is very bright and works well. The first time you ride this bike you realise how heavy it is. After a couple of rides you get used to the weight. On most bikes (especially 'in line' four cylinder touring bikes) you normally need to throw your entire body weight into the corners to stop you going straight off the road, but the boxer tips into corners like nothing else. You can weave side to side easily and safely. It is something you have to experience to appreciate. Effortless cornering? The suspension is soft and plush over bumps. The front forks do not dive under braking, no matter how hard you squeeze the ABS assisted brakes. It's a very strange feeling when stopping but it inspires confidence as you know you can stop quickly without the weight transferring over the handlebars. The indicator switches take a bit of adjustment (mentally). To turn left you use your left thumb pressing forward. To turn right you use your right thumb pressing forward. To cancel both after changing lanes you press a switch upwards with your right thumb. This can get confusing as I sometimes press the horn button upwards with my left thumb!! The radio works well in traffic. The volume and channel switches are built into the handlebars. Once you reach 100 kph (or 60 mph) you need to either turn the radio up or raise the electric windscreen. When the screen is down the wind is in your face. Once you raise it the wind sound disappears. The wind actually sucks you forward sometimes and you can lower the screen a tiny bit to balance this out. There is no stress on your upright sitting position as the fairing and screen work beautifully. Looking from the front, this bike is wide, probably to hide the big cylinders. With the panniers on, you can't squeeze between cars anymore, but they are easily removed for daily commuting. The heated handgrips are magic in the mornings. My hands can get sweaty. There are two heat settings. If you don't have heated grips I'd recommend fitting aftermarket hand warmer kits as they really make a long trip more comfortable. There are power outlets in the dashboard and one below the rear seat. You can power your heated vests or CB/Intercoms from these outlets. There is a tiny bit of storage under the pillion seat if you want to stash little used items. A petrol guage and warning light tells you when to refill. If you are like me, I don't wear jewellery or watches, so the digital clock comes in handy. Also there is a gear indicator. Hard to get confused with only five gears but it can't hurt and at least you know for sure what gear you're in. The bike comes with two side panniers (hard luggage). I did notice one side was slightly smaller even though they look the same. I can just fit my full face helmet into the right side pannier and my spare helmet which is looser, fits into the smaller case?. I thought about getting a 52 litre aftermarket top case but the BMW case looks better, is top quality and matched the other bags. Some of the coloured ones look good but the plain black large cases look more like an esky or plastic garbage bin. The genuine BMW case is pretty small at 33 litres but at least I could get it keyed alike before the barrel is installed into the case. One less key to carry. Also the genuine case fits on the standard rack. Another brand means fitting adaptor plates or fitting their own rack system, putting the price through the roof. If I can't get my stuff into the three cases, then I better take the car instead. All the cases come on and off easily. The ignition key now fits both panniers, the radio cover, top case and fuel tank. I carry a spare key as I'm always forgeting something and hate turning the bike off to open the pannier etc. The bike won't run with the side stand down. This is a bit painful when I need to move the bike out of the garage and lock the door. I cannot get off the bike without stopping it. Using the center stand is easy with the swing out handle to grab. The power is okay. I'm not going to tell you this is a 'do it all' bike and the power and handling are supreme. The bike accelerates well considering the weight. The vibration from the boxer twin is more like a pulsating feeling. It never annoys you when riding between 2,500 and 3,500 rpm, which is where you spend most of the time. I expected the twin to give me sore hands but the bike is so smooth and quiet on the road. The engine is under stressed at touring speed and the handling is surprisingly good. You won't break any land speed records but this bike will happily do the freeway speed limits where it is happiest, and do it forever. When I got the bike serviced, the shop loaned me an old R65 boxer around 1976 vintage. It was old and crappy looking but I was surprised how smooth and quiet it still ran. The head was making some tapping sounds only when idling, but this proves how these bikes are built to last. The gearbox was still clunky and I put that down to the heavy industrial nature of the machine. I hope someone gets on my bike in thirty years and thinks the same thing. The fuel consumption is much heavier around town. In touring mode where you spend most of the time in fifth gear (the R1150RT has six gears) the fuel consumption is nearly 40% better and you can get home without refuelling, where the V twins are filling their tiny tanks. The shaft drive is a godsend. I normally oil the chain on my 'blade everytime I get back from a ride. This is definitely an easier bike to maintain as I look forward to NOT lubing the shaft. I normally get off and walk around every hour or so. The seat is wide and adjustable (manually). Your bum will get sore after awhile, but that's what motorcycling is about, getting off and having a look around or chatting with strangers (and other bikers). The quality is there and I constantly hear stories of these bikes doing astronomical miles before requiring a rebuild. My fireblade would run rings around this bike but where can I ride fast ALL the time? I guess the BMW is a car on two wheels, but it sure is fun to roll about in total comfort.
- Ray Yuen, Australia

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2002-10-05 1999 BMW R 1100 RT Dual Sport View Listings

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Well thought out bike. LIKES are brakes ABS, Suspension, handling,styling. DISLIKES are transmission (noisy), price and expensive dealer service. Find a good mechanic or do you own servicing (my opinion).
- j c relis, ft Collins, Colorado

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