1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
3xR90/6, two just sold, one for a sidecar.
1983 K100RS for winter project, two K's sold and just acquired a very rough R80RT.
Before you anything rash, confirm that it is indeed the clutch spline by removing the starter and looking at that spline. Rotate the transmission shaft by turning the rear wheel with the transmission in 5th gear.
It does sound like it is though. Tough.
Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6
Considering that you purchased this bike for $3100, most people would consider this a bargain. If the bike didn't have the problem, it would be worth considerably more then what you paid. This Spring, you might be able to get $5k for the bike if it was fixed. So, even if you fix it, you can still get all your money back out of the bike. The 1999 year is considered to be one of the better years of the oilheads. So, you picked a good year.
You need to find out what is wrong with the bike. Most likely it is the input shaft. Here is how you would determine this: (1) Take off the left fairing side. There are a lot of screws, but it does come off. Some screws are hard to find. There is also a screw behind the left mirror. You can pop off the mirror assembly. (2) remove the starter. Removal is quite easy. Once the starter is off, you can easily see the input shaft and clutch. If the input shaft is gone, there will be red or grey matter around the shaft. You might even see metal shavings. You can also turn the rear wheel (in 5th gear). About 1/2 hour of time to do this. It might take you a little longer considering this is the first time you have done it.
If it is the input shaft, you have a couple of options: (1) Remove the transmission and have someone replace the input shaft for you ($1000-2000); (2) Remove the transmission and replace the shaft yourself ($500-1000). You will need to find a copy of the factory service manual on-line. If you can't find a free copy on-line, let me know, and I'll see if I can find a link for you; (3) Find a used transmission ($300-1000). You can find them in places like this site, ebay, craig's list, Boneyard, other BMW forums. If you find one, ask questions here on-line before buying. If you do this make sure you get the correct transmission. They changed them every couple of years. You will also need to buy a new clutch. (4) You can part out the bike.
There are a couple things to consider before parting out the bike. I have parted out 2 bikes over the past 30 years. The first bike I did was an old airhead. It took about six months to sell everything. I ended up with more money then the bike was worth as a whole. The second bike was parted out about two years ago. It took me 26 months to sell everything. Again, I got more money for the parts then the bike was worth as a whole. But, it took a very long time to sell everything. If you part out this bike, it will probably take at least 12-24 months to sell everything. Sell items as a whole. Like sell the fairing as a whole. Don't part out pieces of the fairing. Same thing for the engine. You can make more money by selling the individual pieces, but it can take years to sell everything. Every part of the bike has value. The frame usually needs the Title.
As for a Honda, let me tell you about my experience. I switched to a Honda many years ago. The cam shaft drive belt broke and wiped out the engine. Not too long after I purchased the bike. Went back to BMW. Bad things can happen to any bike. This just happen to be your unlucky day.
If you like the bike, I would fix it. The silver lining is that you paid a very low price for the bike. Even if you fix it, you will be able to get the money back out of it someday. BMW bike hold their value over time. I usually sell my bike for the same amount I purchased it for. There is no easy solution for you right now. As mentioned above, you need to take a break and determine the best path to get past this point. Don't panic and make a bad decision.
Thanks for all the feedback and support. I may sound frustrated in my musings but honestly I am over the angst. I know there are a bunch of options I just need to decide and will take time to think them through over the next couple of weeks while on Christmas vacation. I am a school teacher so I will have the time to decide. I guess the most disappointing thing for me is that if I repair the bike what is to keep it from happening again if the problem is an inherent design flaw? And yes now days everything is caveat emptor. I did talk to the seller and he says are you sure it is not something else. And I did test ride the bike and the bike had no noises or clutch issues. I guess it was not my day. By no means am I wealthy.....that just does not happen on a teacher's salary, but I am not destitute or living paycheck to pay check. But it does take me more time than perhaps others to build up a nest egg and putting out close to 2500 bucks cuts a little too deep into my next egg right now. But once past the holidays I will get back on track and will either fix it or dispose of it. I did look at other bikes for 5000 dollars but I tried to find a bargain thinking I did...oh well it really is a nice looking bike. But now it is just a place keeper in the garage for now. If I take the time to build my war chest back up I should be in good shape to have the bike fixed by the time school lets out in May. The only problem will be the constant reminder to the wife that I messed up once again..
Man... feeling your pain from over 2000 miles away. Lots of good suggestions so far and plenty of great pictorial help here. If you are at all mechanically inclined and it is the input shaft to clutch hub splines that are stripped pulling out the drive train and repairing it with a known good used transmission would be my choice were it my bike. It's too low mileage and great condition to let go. And maybe, just maybe you have a drive shaft that let go. In that case, very easy and not that expensive to fix. Here's hoping.
MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
'81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT
Man why didn't you say you were a teacher earlier!! You have the World's hardest job and so fixing this bike will be a piece of cake for you. I taught for 30+ years and have fixed much more difficult mechanical problems on my slim salary. Had to. You have a beautiful bike that in my opinion looks better than a $2500 piece of jewelry, is bigger, AND has the potential to cary you to great adventures. Put it in perspective man! Find a place to work on it, begin now while the school kids are home for the holiday break, use the next few months to go at it slowly, and take lots of pictures of every step. After a particularly frustrating day at the IQ factory do 20 minutes of wrenching therapy. Post everything here and listen to the advice to choose a path that is right for you. Best to you and thanks for your teaching service.
2002 F650GS, 1998 R1100R 75th anniversary edition, 1983 R80RT (just sold), 1959 R60 (in restoration), Honda CT90
If you must make a mistake, make a new one each time.
I'm going to look at an R1100RT tomorrow so I've read this discussion with some interest.
The bike I'm to look at (per the present owner) has had all service done and he says he has the records. We'll see.
That said, at $3,100 you indeed got a bargain, and if you put $1,200 into repairs you'll still have less in your bike than the asking price of the one I'm to look at.
So as another asylumee noted, you can repair the bike and get $5K for it come spring time. So you might still have a bargain. Eh?
'98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT
If you insist on exercising a right to burn our flag, first be so kind as to wrap yourself in it and then douse yourself with gasoline just before you strike the match.
What a great looking '99RT. After thinking about it overnight, a clutch disc (plus bolts) and an input shaft or used transmission (you could sell/swap yours) might be an economical out. Maybe there's a member in your area who could help with the repair.
The more removed from the actual event of the bike quitting on me the more level headed I become. I really like this bike from the looks to how it performed, for all 250 miles, and I am thinking I want to keep it, but I don't want to repair it just to have it happen again. I found the above link that purports that they can sell me a clutch disc that will prevent this from ever happening again. What do you all know about this? Seems a bit pricey and does it actually bullet proof the splines?
The other option is to just take it to the dealer and have them do it right and get the warranty for the work done and go on my merry way........only the Shadow knows what will happen....thanks for all the support.
Have you had a chance to read through this: http://forums.bmwmoa.org/showthread....r-1999-R1100S? There are a lot of thoughts on the issue.
Short answer is that clutch is for the 1150. You could have a warped clutch pack or maybe centerline offset.
I did read through that thread and it is mind boggling.......and that is my greatest fear, that there are underlying issues that could lead to this again if I keep the bike and repair it. We have very few if any independent shops that would know how to address underlying issues. For now I am signing off on this thread and will hopefully be back in a couple of weeks with an update. Time to sit down with my CFO and see what I can afford to put into the bike.
Do not think for one minute that a different clutch disk (spline hub) will cure this problem. See the recent thread referred to by Roger RT. It is a classic alignment problem (i. e. a manufacturing error). I have a dial indicator and fixture that I can send you that will allow you to thoroughly evaluate the alignment with any disassembled transmission housing. No motorcycle shop is equipped to do this, I'm sure.
If you replace the whole transmission as an assembly, you may get a good one - or you may not.
You will learn a lot before you are done, but it does otherwise look like a very nice bike.
Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6
WOW, what a beautiful bike. i fully understand your dalema, i just purchased a 02RT at a very good price. i got it knowing i would be doing a full resto job. haveing said that, the po said i could test drive it. i said ok ill be there at sunup and be back at sun down, he said fine just dont hurt yourself. no history on the bike whatsoever, so i looked for signs of previous work. none. at any rate i got er home and started the surgery process, splines wer never lubed and a good 40% gone, the clutch disc itself had about 10 more miles on it. toast. so iam doing the input shaft with antons help. its really not that bad of a job, when i removed mine i left the gearbox attached to the swing arm and rear wheel. ofcourse guide pins an all. lucky for me i have done spline lubes on the crusier bikes several times so i had an idea what i was in for. if you want to un load the bike e mail me. with antons help we will geter done. happy motoring and merry christmas,,,,
The pursuit of reality at all cost.
Nice looking bike. I may be wrong, but I believe those cylinder head guards you have are optional. And a real good option to have, trust me. Everyone is right about a couple of things: I would agree that is a $5000 bike or close to it, in the Spring. And at $3100 it was a great deal. As someone said, the 99's are supposed to be one of best years. I thought you also said it came with Ohlins on it? That's rare and a $1600 bonus on the machine. Most of us here on the site would be fixing that baby right back up, no question about it. If you do, you won't regret it. I love my 1100, everything about it. I admire Japanese bikes, but they just don't make one that has all the qualities and features I need in a motorcycle.
As for being worried about it happening again, I look at Voni Glaves. She has something like 300,000 miles on her red 1100RS. I firmly believe that if I keep the splines on my bike lubed at the recommended 40,000 mile intervals, they will last me a long time. And it takes me quite a few years to put 40,000 miles on my bike.
Wow, I wish I lived closer to you, I'd help you do the job. You really should consider jumping in and doing it yourself or see if a local Bmw club will help you out. I did submit a tutorial here for doing the spline job, which I did on my 02 1150. Check out this write up I did:
I had never really messed with a beemer bike before and I could do general maintenance stuff. If you do this job yourself, you will learn so much more than you now know. You will be glad that you did this and you'll be proud of yourself too. Come on......get in there and do this!