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Old 31 Dec 2003
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Location: Jersey City, NJ, USA
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Buying R1100GS; any problems?

Im about to buy a 1998 BMW R1100GS, 27,000 miles on it, for $7200. Does anyone have any problems with this? Are there any dirty little secrets that i should know about this bike?

Let me tell you more: This will be my second motorcycle. I just gave away my 1978 KZ400 that i rode 4000 miles on around the Great Lakes last summer. The trip was at times a frustrating experience because i had so many bike problems, but i made it. I paid $700 for that bike, so i guess i got my money's worth. I vowed never to ride such a piece of junk so far from home again.

So now i am moving onto my second motorcycle, and am about to take this GS. I love its upright riding position and want to be able to carry two passengers and luggage on long trips, without any power problems, and on this bike i can do it.

But, it scares me a little bit. I like bikes that i can work on. I would rather have a bike that breaks down occasionally that i know how to fix than one that 'supposedly' never breaks down (because i know it will break down and then i'll be screwed!) The BMW is fuel injected, and i don't like this; i don't like not being able to tune my bike up. But according to BMW the bike never needs 'tuning'. Supposedly the bike never needs anything besides its 6,000 services. is this true? should i be scared? The only thing i can really do to ths bike is change its oil, but then that is just the kind of bike i was dreaming of when my ignition switch was cutting out north of Lake Superior. Or maybe i'm just nostalgic for all those beautiful riding days i spent, summers past, with my bike in parts on my garage floor.

Tell me, is a BMW really all they say it is? And is this model a good buy for this price?
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Old 31 Dec 2003
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Girdwood, Alaska, USA
Posts: 29
Dont be scared of the fuel injection that you may not be familiar with. It is an easy bike to work on once you understand the way it works. It is easy to keep "tuned" or balanced. The price is in the right area if the bike is in good shape. Things to check: check for play in the final drive/rear suspension, listen for any weird noises in the tranny through all gears, check the paint on the adjustment screws on the throttle bodies and the throttle position sensor to see if anyone has messed with the factory settings. Other than that dont worry too much. Go with your feeling about how well the bike was maintained, because in the rare event that you dont fall madly in love with you new GS, there are plenty of people that will buy it and love it for you.

chuck 1100GS, 1150GS, F650GS
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Old 4 Jan 2004
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: L.A., CA
Posts: 12
I love my r1100gs. The main weakness in the bike is where the rear subframe attaches to the transmission. This is a well known problem and TourTech makes an aftermarket part to beef it up.

Regarding the paint on the TPS screw. Mine have been adjusted multipe times and have a few colors of paint. Many bikes come with poor adjustments from the factory and can use a bit of tuning. This is not a bad thing, just some thing to look for. Mine have been adjusted by factory mechanics at major dealerships. They all seem to reseal it with a different color paint.

[This message has been edited by G. Kennedy (edited 04 January 2004).]
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