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83 BMW R 100 RT discussion forum:

 
said 2002-08-09 01:26:46 
 
"Great!"- handling (it´s hard to tell when there is a passenger up,even in the twisties)good torque,comfort,fit/finish,lack of vibration,luggage space,impact resistance (between the cylinder heads and the fairing it´s almost like having air bags), parts accessability for almost any year, information and rider support groups, General reliability-(I even limped mine home on a single cylinder when a plug wire blew)Fairing is supurb- but look out for low speeds and cross winds (true for any faired bike, I suspect).
"Not so great"- performance (it´s slow for 70hp)slow reving too,repair costs (ouch! but see impact note above)Parts cost ditto. Accessability of some items is definitely complicated by the fairing-ie how about a hinged oil filter? Stopping- mine always has, but it feels fairly marginal if you´re pushing it.(tires can make a huge difference)Factory "smoked" paint job (love it or hate it, not much middle ground and wait until you have to have it redone$$$)It is a toe warmer- nice in the winter, not so nice in the summer.
"Flat Lousy" The electrical system is the real Achilies Heel to the perfect air cooled bike- what were they thinking?? Battery is way too wimpy, get the big gel one ASAP. Upgrade the regulator to the "police" hd one. Watch the voltmeter like a hawk and charge the system religiously- you only get the electric foot with this one, dare I suggest a set of jumper cables would not be over kill.
Hints- rewire up the unused parking light socket in the headlight shell and put a quartz light in there for day time driving, you´ll be surprised at the light output with that big reflector and you´ll save about 15amps. You could even limp home after dark on it, if you lose a headlight bulb and don´t have a spare. An aftermarket headlight switch with pilot light will also allow you to crank the engine without the load of the headlight. (the pilot light reminds you of the status) The breed is also prone to very minor ground faults (almost impossible to find) that will leave the idiot light glowing very dimly even under load. You´ll learn to ignore it eventually. Don´t sit in summer traffic at an idle for extended times (the manual says 10 min.) unless you plan on valve seats in your future. The Vermacht used the same basic engine in the North African desert, so you don´t need to be paranoid, just use some common sense. Touch the cylinder heads if in doubt, if they burn you through the glove immediately- shut it down. Despite my diatribe about the electrical system, I´d buy another one in a heart beat. Not many other 20 (or more for the series 5/7)year old bikes that are that desirable.
 
 
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