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Thread: '03 vs '04?

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by GIARCG View Post
    You would if you had an '03 that surged like my did.
    No - I would properly tune it, and then would add an enrichening device if required. Much better than stick coils which are fragile, failure prone, and expensive.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    No - I would properly tune it, and then would add an enrichening device if required. Much better than stick coils which are fragile, failure prone, and expensive.
    Just curious, but I work on a lot of motors and just about every newer car I see runs stick coils. If they're so unreliable, (the design is what I'm referring to), then one would think they would see diminished use.

    2004 RT, 98k, replaced stick coils at 35k but it was during a "let's try this phase" of troubleshooting that had nothing to do with the ignition.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by RPGR90s View Post
    Just curious, but I work on a lot of motors and just about every newer car I see runs stick coils. If they're so unreliable, (the design is what I'm referring to), then one would think they would see diminished use.

    2004 RT, 98k, replaced stick coils at 35k but it was during a "let's try this phase" of troubleshooting that had nothing to do with the ignition.
    The old fashioned coils on my 1st K75 were still fine when the bike was wrecked at 370,000 miles. The coils on Voni's R1100RS are still fine at 410,000 miles. We have a few other bikes with coils fine over 100,000 miles. I read about lots of stick coil failures anywhere between 20K and 50K. Pulling them to check or replace plugs often leads to broken wires or other damage because they are so fragile.

    In lots of cars they are touched once every 100,000 miles which is the spark plug replacement interval. Maybe that makes a difference. I'm not sure but on this forum alone I read about lots of stick coil failures and (other than old Airheads) almost no regular coil failures.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  4. #19
    Registered User tangoalpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skrusich View Post
    Long story but I just purchased 2 R1150RT's. One is an '03 with 16 K miles in great condition with a solid service history. The other is an '04 with 29K miles in great condition also with a solid service history.

    Other than the obvious ie. color, mileage, etc, are there any failure points, techinical reasons, maintenance reasons to favor one over the other?

    I did not intend to buy 2 but now I have to decide....any input or advice will be appreciated! Thanks.
    First of all I see that you're new here, so let me be the first to welcome you to the BMW family and the Fraternal Order of Oilhead Owners. Just in case you haven't already figured it out...you now own an Oilhead. No wait, make that TWO Oilheads! Don't mind the bickering back and forth, we're like a big happy family that really cares about each other but argues at the dinner table over small matters. So anyway....welcome again to the family.

    Now to your post and the question you asked. To be perfectly upfront with you, I was somewhat lost on what you were trying to say. You stated that you bought the two bikes, which you did not intend on doing, but in the same breath you said that you now need to decide. Your follow-up post stated that you didn't know much about either bike and do not want to live with a hasty decision. So admittedly, I'm a bit lost on all of that. It sounds like to me if you were only intending on buying just the one bike, but ended up buying both, the hasty decision was already made (from how it sounds). So I'm not sure what it is you're still trying to decide upon. Are you planning on keeping the one bike and selling the other? Keeping both and keeping the second as a spare or as a parts bike? Maybe you could clarify that for us. From my perspective....you now own 2 really great bikes! I'd be curious how that all came about too. Was that a package deal? Same seller?

    As for the specifics of your question, yes, there are a couple weak points worth mentioning that you should be aware of. The Servo Assisted ABS Braking System is one that comes to mind for most owners. To me, it seems like it's a love/hate relationship for many. I personally love the whizzy brakes on my bike and I marvel at what an amazing piece of engineering the entire system is. Then again, my system works and has never failed me. I might have an entirely different opinion if I were looking at a $3,500-4,000 repair bill in order to fix a broken system. The braking system is linked between the front and rear brakes, so whenever you apply the front brakes, the rear brakes applied and vice versa. The ABS pump works like any other anti-lock braking system, except in that ours has those wonderful squealing servos. The purpose of those servos is to prime the hydraulic fluid pressure through the system so that when the brakes are applied, the braking response and pressure is boosted/amplified. The end result....VERY TOUCHY BRAKES! Don't stomp on them unless you'd like to reenact a scene from the movie Superman as you fly over the handlebars. The system need to be serviced as of others have said no less than once per year. That's a non-negotiable. Secondly, you should plan on replacing those brake lines and upgrading to steel braided hoses. Most folks prefer Spiegler. If you maintain your system as you should, it will last you many years to come. There are plenty of Oilhead RT owners with 70,80,90,100k+ miles on their bikes with functioning Servo Assisted ABS. With regard to your '03. Your bike was equipped with them. There wasn't an option to order the bike without them. They were only model years 2002-2004. If yours doesn't work, then it could have been removed. However....you noted that the ABS light goes out after the self check and the wheel begins spinning. Whoever somebody has removed their ABS system, from every account that I've read, the annoying ABS light remains on. As if the computer is looking for the missing ABS. Advice on how to turn the light off usually ends with a remark along the lines of..."remove the build or put tape over it." meaning that if your system was removed, then the light wouldn't go out. So my theory is that possibly, your ABS system is intact, the pump is working and that only your servos are dead or disconnected which is why you cannot hear them when you apply the brakes. Just a theory...I really have no idea whether that holds true or not, but gee....it sure does sound like a logical explanation, don't ya think?

    Next, final drive failure. Regardless of what bike you opt to keep/sell, if that's your plan, final drive failures were a problem for many owners. My bike had a complete final drive meltdown at 19,000 miles and had the FD replaced. The bike now has 25k miles on it. Now it's believed the cause of this had to do with over shimming and not necessarily poor BMW design. Unless you know that your FD was recently serviced, I would drain the oil, taking note of any metallic shavings. It least it's a starting point and you'll then be able to document what you saw and what the condition of the oil was upon changing it for the first time. I'd do the same with the crankcase and gearbox. Get a service manual and be sure that you know what the correct torque specs are when screwing back in the fill/drain plugs. Just to give you an idea...the R1150RT requires 23NM of torque for the fill/drain plug FD and the gearbox is 30NM. Buy a couple torque wrenches (3/8 and 1/2 if you don't already own them). They require crush washers which you will use in conjunction with the drain/fill plugs. Do not reuse old crush washers. Thrown them away! A good source for these and many other cheap parts is Beemerboneyard.com. As for me personally, I can't speak for others, but I will change my FD and Gearbox fluid every other oil change. So...every 10K miles. That's my plan of attack to try and head of any potential problems that might occur later down the line.

    Last thing....output shaft. It's another area that requires maintenance. Depending on your skill level, you may or may not want to tackle this on your own, but either way, you need to ensure that the spines on the output shaft are lubed regularly and properly. If you PM me I can send you a couple links and tell you about a couple sources that I used to help bring me up to speed on my bike. You now own two of these bikes, so learning how to properly maintain them is key. As they say...knowledge is power.
    "Der Bimmer ist wunderbar."

    Tango Alpha
    2002 R1150RT

  5. #20
    Thanks for all the advice....I still can't decide but am leaning toward the '03 simply because it is pristine with 16K miles. Have not ridden either much yet but have noticed only slight surging around 3K rpm's on the '03. I will pay more attention to it!

  6. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    No - I would properly tune it, and then would add an enrichening device if required. Much better than stick coils which are fragile, failure prone, and expensive.
    Rock solid valve adjustments, twin-max synchs and the use of a AF-Xied helped but the surge remained. The only fix was getting an '04.

    I did have to replace a stick coil on the '04... not a big fan of the design but I know that the coils were not the cause of surging on the '03. I tried known good ones on it with no effect.

    If I have another one fail I'll be going with the external coil mod.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by RPGR90s View Post
    It might be on the fiche that way but I've never seen a '03 with dual spark.
    Some of the model year changeovers were very early in those years. Case in point, the '05 R1200GS that came out in January '04 or even earlier. I know the Oilheads were very early in '03 and/or /04.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  8. #23
    Registered User tangoalpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skrusich View Post
    Thanks for all the advice....I still can't decide but am leaning toward the '03 simply because it is pristine with 16K miles. Have not ridden either much yet but have noticed only slight surging around 3K rpm's on the '03. I will pay more attention to it!
    Still not sure what you plan on doing. Are you selling one bike and keeping the other? Keeping both bikes?
    "Der Bimmer ist wunderbar."

    Tango Alpha
    2002 R1150RT

  9. #24
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    To add another dimension, there are two different twin-spark models: without 2nd Load Relay and with it (later models). The 2nd Load Relay, which powers the stick coils directly, has better ignition based on my experience. The 2nd relay can be added.

    My 2004 RT without 2nd relay naturally surges a little. My 2001 GS doesn't have a trace of surging. I added an LC-1 to the RT and an AF-XIED to the GS (on setting 5). Both now have smooth, linear throttle response from idle to redline.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by roger 04 rt View Post
    To add another dimension, there are two different twin-spark models: without 2nd Load Relay and with it (later models). The 2nd Load Relay, which powers the stick coils directly, has better ignition based on my experience. The 2nd relay can be added.

    My 2004 RT without 2nd relay naturally surges a little. My 2001 GS doesn't have a trace of surging. I added an LC-1 to the RT and an AF-XIED to the GS (on setting 5). Both now have smooth, linear throttle response from idle to redline.
    Roger, can you explain more about the 2nd Load relay? Where is it located? (if fitted)

    thanks,

  11. #26
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    On early twin sparks, the stick coil power came from the key switch, same as the common coil. That meant all three coils drew power through the key, creating a large voltage drop. A relay was added that was switched on with the key, providing power to the stick coils directly from the battery. It may not sound like much but it makes a big improvement.


    As you face forward, it is to the left of the Coding Plug (CCP). If it is there.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by AntonLargiader View Post
    Some of the model year changeovers were very early in those years. Case in point, the '05 R1200GS that came out in January '04 or even earlier. I know the Oilheads were very early in '03 and/or /04.
    True... my '04 Rockster has a build date of 02/03.

  13. #28
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    newb oiler onboard

    new-again to BeeEmms. Had an '87 K75s from '88 to 2010 when I left the country and lived in Thailand for about four years, thus had to sell most of me toys. The K-brick went to Alberta buyer who rode it home from Norcal! Salute

    Fast forward to now.. I am searching for info, and found it in one of this thread's themes: when did the dual spark head production run begin? This is because I just bought an 03 R1150RT Maidschen grosse to mix it up a bit with my Italian girls in the garage.. and am dying of curiosity! Surely its been iD'd at which VIN the dual spark engine run started. Soffy if I missed it, but have tried the search function to no avail. My bike's stats:

    Production run #: E88947
    Engine code: Z

  14. #29
    According to the fiche it started in 12/2002. IIRC the '04 model year started early, like 04/2003, so there were only four months or so of the 2003 model year with the dual spark and the RT may not have even been produced during those months. I thought it was an '04 thing.

    Plug your VIN into one of the websites to get the month of production (you can also get it from your VIN sticker) and then run the last few digits higher and higher to see when you get to 12/2002.
    Anton Largiader 72724
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    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  15. #30
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    OK, then it would follow that mine's a mono spark model - per https://www.mdecoder.com, it has a build date of June 2002. IMHO simpler is better for the long haul and self-maintainer dudes. For fast, I ride Italian. For long distance, this should be a Choice ride... esp with the longer GS intakes' torque curve. we'll see what the mid-range and/or level of surging issue is, if any, when she arrives next week!!!

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