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Old 07-03-2013, 05:59 PM   #1
jbuggyus OP
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Is a 1996 bmw r1100gs to old?

Hi, I am looking at upgrading my current ride (2006 dr650 great bike) but now am looking at a 1996 bmw r1100gs with about 24,000 miles in like new condition and has all maintenance records as well. I have read how good, reliable and versital these bikes are, but my only concern is that it is 17 years old. This would be my first BMW and I really like the bike. Would that be a reasonable concern? I am not trying to start any debates, I would just like to hear from some of you out there. Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:03 PM   #2
krellheat
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Are you mechanically inclined to make some upgrades such as replacing the original brake hoses with braided ones?
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:10 PM   #3
mike54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuggyus View Post
Hi, I am looking at upgrading my current ride (2006 dr650 great bike) but now am looking at a 1996 bmw r1100gs with about 24,000 miles in like new condition and has all maintenance records as well. I have read how good, reliable and versital these bikes are, but my only concern is that it is 17 years old. This would be my first BMW and I really like the bike. Would that be a reasonable concern? I am not trying to start any debates, I would just like to hear from some of you out there. Thanks!
Too old for what? If that 24K miles was put on the first two years and then it's been sitting for the last 15 I might be concerned.
At that age it should have new brake hoses and the oil level window should have been replaced. If it's been ridden regularly and the price is right I'd go for it. The 1100s are pretty nice.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
jbuggyus OP
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Yes I am mechanically inclined to an extent, I am very familiar with air cooled VW's and these engines do have a similarity to them. The bike has not been sitting just ridden short distances. My concern was all the rubber seals starting to crack( if there are any). Braided brake lines would be a great improvement,Thanks
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jbuggyus View Post
Yes I am mechanically inclined to an extent, I am very familiar with air cooled VW's and these engines do have a similarity to them. The bike has not been sitting just ridden short distances. My concern was all the rubber seals starting to crack( if there are any). Braided brake lines would be a great improvement,Thanks
If you pulled VW engines and rebuilt them and they worked when you put them back in the car you've probably got the skills needed. Although the BMW and the VW are both boxers that's about all they have in common. You'll be comfortable with valve adjustments though.

If the bike has been ridden regularly then the seals less likely to have dried out. The oil sight glass can fail through age as much as heat cycles. If it were me I replace it at the next oil change as a preventive measure. I'd also replace the brake lines like I said before. 17 years is too old. I think that the steel braided from Cycle Brakes or where ever are cheaper and better than stock from BMW.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:16 PM   #6
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My (new to me) 1100GS has 125K miles and runs as well as my old (sold) 1150GS with 25K on it.

I echo the concerns about sitting....it can be more detrimental to sit and have various things dry/crack/clog than a bike to be run and well serviced.

Mine came with complete service history and the PO spent many thousands of dollars on servicing (it looks like he didn't touch the bike himself).

Age isn't really the issue....its more about the care shown the bike.
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuggyus View Post
Hi, I am looking at upgrading my current ride (2006 dr650 great bike) but now am looking at a 1996 bmw r1100gs with about 24,000 miles in like new condition and has all maintenance records as well. I have read how good, reliable and versital these bikes are, but my only concern is that it is 17 years old. This would be my first BMW and I really like the bike. Would that be a reasonable concern? I am not trying to start any debates, I would just like to hear from some of you out there. Thanks!
With a few basic upgrades it can be good as new Those bikes never die..
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:02 PM   #8
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What is the asking price?
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:04 PM   #9
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Thanks for the replies! Yes, I Have rebuilt a few vw engines and been working on them for about 25 years. Motorcycles though are a little different though. I do hope I am not wrenching on it all the time though (besides routine maintenance).
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
Bob_Johnson
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New here but since I have a similar experience I thought I'd post. I recently received a '95 1100GS with 20K miles, original owner, dealer serviced, all records, etc. The only difference is that my example sat idle for the last five years.

There's more information on these bikes in this forum than you can imagine and I won't attempt to duplicate it here. If you do some research you will find that there are some "common" problems to which our models are prone - having said that, my example has none of those problems. It did have seized pistons in the brake calipers, but a strip and rebuild solved that and now they are as good as new. The external fuel lines were not great after 18 years, but they were functional and probably would have lasted quite a few more years. The internal fuel lines, which have a bad reputation for deteriorating were as new on my bike (and yes, I did split them to check after I replaced them). The original fuel filter and fuel pump were perfect. As a matter of course I've replaced all the hoses and o-rings, including the brake lines, and all the originals were good.

The condition of these bikes seems to be the luck-of-the-draw. I would certainly replace anything made of rubber whether it looks like it needs it or not - after all, the stuff is almost two decades old. If your bike still has the plastic tank (as mine did) you will definitely need to replace it with a metal one - figure on $500.00 if that's the case. The only thing holding gasoline in my tank was the white paint and it was not doing a very good job.....

These bikes are very easy to work on, sometimes time consuming, but not difficult. Get a good shop manual and have at it. If the bike you are considering is in good condition I think you should be very happy with your choice.

Good Luck
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:12 AM   #11
KShow
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Pull the trigger, these things are solid. My 96 1100gs just turned 95K miles yesterday, wouldnt think of it as anywhere near used up. Yeah Ive replaced some parts along the way, but I dont own a single piece of equipment or vehicle that I havent done at least something to. If you want more peace of mind, look up inmate Hank , he has a 1995 1100GS with almost 500,000 miles.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:24 AM   #12
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I just traded in my 95 1100 to get back on a sportbike again and when I traded her in it was running like a champ. When I picked her up over a year ago, she ran good, but not great. I had just had to do the basic's and give her a new starter, some repairs here and there and a general once over. After that, I would of rode her to Alaska and back, without any hesitation.

As long as its been looked after I would do it.
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:25 AM   #13
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As KShow states, "pull the trigger"! I own a 1995 r1100rsl, though not a GS, it is a very solid bike! Just over 38k now it's not even broken in yet!
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbuggyus View Post
Yes I am mechanically inclined to an extent, I am very familiar with air cooled VW's and these engines do have a similarity to them. The bike has not been sitting just ridden short distances. My concern was all the rubber seals starting to crack( if there are any). Braided brake lines would be a great improvement,Thanks
Is your GS equipped with ABS? If so, flush the brake system with new brake fluid ASAP. Replace those original rubber brake lines immediately inasmuch as your safety is at stake.

There are plenty of lip seals in the power train on your bike. Engine seals can be preserved with a good engine oil with the proper additives. As you are likely aware, heat, oxidizers and acids are the enemy of seals so, select an engine oil with a high TBN.

Fresh fluids all 'round not that the bike needs it but to check and see if there is any debris anywhere it doesn't belong. The transmission and FD oils should look and smell fresh with a slight sulfur odor.

A well cared for boxer BMW of that age is no more a risk than a younger bike. Its the care and the way it was ridden that counts.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #15
Pekkavee
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Those bikes run forever.
Look here.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...hlight=400.000

I have a 1999 R1100GS and 110.000 miles in the clock. No problems at all.

Pekka

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