If you are set on purchasing a used bike, The general consensus is that you should purchase the latest model that you can afford. Some folks find that the cache of owning a new bike is not worth the extra price one pays, when there are plenty of used bikes out there that can be had for thousands of dollars less.

Or, as Short Cut says: "Before you even look at bikes determine what kind of riding that you want to do. In my case there isn't any one bike that will do this. So I shop used for well maintained low mileage bikes. The money you can save by buying a used RT rather than a new one can be 6-7 thousand dollars. [with the money you saved] Now you can buy the most bitchin' dirt bike. However if you go to the used market again you could pickup a nice dirt bike and sportbike. Ya see that adds up because your saving a bunch from not buying a new dirt and sportbike so you can easily ply what's left into a nice dual sport and so on. Anyway that's the way I became the owner of 8 motorcycles. Nine including my son's PW50 which is the only bike that I purchased new.

Bikes older than 5 years are much cheaper to insure as are multiple bikes. Having multiple bikes also means you never have to say you can't go riding because one bike is having a problem."

The R1100RT series ran from 1996 to 2001, and is replaced by the R1150RT in 2002. The 1150 model shares many of the same parts and components of the previous model, but is really a very different bike in many regards.

If you are considering an R1100RT, the models are little changed over the bike's 7 year run.

Bill Cromie points out that many of the differences over the years are technical in nature and are designed to eliminate bugs or problems with the initial design. He says:

"...here are the RT changes and the manufacturing dates they occurred:
  • Side stand switch 2/96
  • Single throttle cable with distribution block 7/96
  • Drive shaft 4/97
  • Cylinders 8/97
  • Heads 8/97
  • Thermostat from manifold to engine block 12/97
  • Main faring bracket 12/97
  • Clutch Assembly 12/97
  • Engine block 12/97
  • Crankshaft 12/97
  • Oil pump 12/97
  • Throttle bodies 9/98
  • Connecting Rods 12/98"

That is not to say that just because BMW changed these items, that all bike's components are defective. In many cases, many of these items may have been fixed or replaced/upgraded as part of the bike's natural service life.

This brings up another very important point to consider when purchasing a used bike - be sure to check on the owner's service documentation of the bike. It should be complete and you should be able to see which items where addressed under warranty over the first 3 years / 36K miles of the bike's life.

For some excellent pointers on buying used motorcycles, visit Ted Verrill's site at http://www.verrill.com/moto/kbikebuyingguide.htm

As to purchasing new, there are benefits to consider:

  • Having the latest and greatest
  • Financing options
  • Longer service life
  • Warranty
  • Dealer Service

On the other hand, new bikes may come at other costs:

  • First year model bugs
  • Higher price
  • More expensive insurance
  • Less ability to self-maintain the bike
  • Not broken in

Whatever you decide, New or Used, you will love your bike. These bikes are the best all-around multipurpose street bikes you can ride. So, get what you can afford and get out there and ride it!