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BMW R1150RT aka ex-police bikes, worth a look?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Denelor, May 24, 2006.

  1. Gday everyone,

    Thanks for the feedback in my sports tourer thread,

    Based on all your feedback i also thought it might be worth considering an ex-police bike, and there is an up and coming auction.

    So if anyones able to help with the following id much appreciate it :)

    - anyone been through the auctioning process with fowles before? am i likely to get a good deal on a bike there?

    - bike specific: anyone know of any problems/things i should checkup on buying an ex-police bike? from all the reviews ive read the r1150rt get a rave review (presumably why our law enforcement uses them)

    -how high is too high for mileage on these?

    -Are there gonna be any extra expenses involved with an ex-police bike or does it just come with panniers pretty much roadworthy?


  2. hmm i'd keep an eye out for repaired crash damage. I have read stats somewhere (i'll try and find them). That stated about 66% of bike police in NSW had crashed in a certain year. They quoted actual number but i can't remember them exactly (e.g. 60 of 90 police bikes in operation have crashed this year)
  3. A mate bought an ex-cop bike last year. All he did was to refit the stock bars on it. Says that it goes like a charm. Dunno how much he paid for it, or whether it was crashed at any time.

    As for the model itself, it's a great tourer, and despite its looks it can get up and boogy if the rider's of a mind to.
  4. You may want to replace the seat - original BMW ones are expensive but places like Discount Motorcycle Wreckers in Coburg often have aftermarket ones.

    I've had an acquaintance with 2 ex cop bikes - one many years ago (an R75/5 and more recently my K series). Both were very good - the likelihood of them being crashed is no higher than any other second hand bike and the repairs are all done properly if they are. The repair quality becomes an OH&S issue for the cops and that's something they take seriously...

    Maintenance is by the book and done by BMW Southbank here in Vic. If you have a query, give them a call and ask - Danielle in their service department is pretty helpful and they have full records on all the bikes they service.

    I've heard no reports of problems from people in the BMW club that own one. The other thing of course if you own one if you wear a white hemet and a flourescent orange vest - everyone gets oput of the way. You'll have a lot of fun watching the traffic magically part to let you through. :LOL: :LOL:

    If you do buy one - join the BMW Club You'll have access to all the expertise etc. you need - including bi-monthly service days with all the special tools and advice you'll need.

  5. What sort of $ do they fetch at auction, I wonder?
  6. A quick look at bikesales.com

    for a 2003 R1150RT there's nothing much under $18,000 except for one ex-cop one in Queensland for $9,900 (73,000k).

    the others all have between 10-25,000 k on the clock.

    that gives you a benchmark price when you are bidding.
  7. Make sure you get yourself a nice white helmet with it, you'll notice other drivers will behave themselves exceptionally well around you. :grin:
  8. I have an ex cop k1100.
    I am the third owner since the Vic police had my bike and I have done over 100,000km. I don’t know what you will pay these days but they used to be very cheep not so now I hear. I wish I could tell you and all the others looking at them to stay away, you don’t want the problems just to keep the price down. :LOL: (I will need another bike one day) But I can’t, I have had no problems and it’s a great bike for touring.
  9. Edward,

    This one I might be able to help with....

    There should be qute a few bikes up for auction - I'll be there helping a mate choose one and hopefully he'll have the dollars to buy one. Generally, Vicpol will have lower mileage because of the greater city work, and all teh bikes were serviced before the commonwealth games. I'd think they'd be going for somewhere between $6000-$10000, depending on how many, how lucky etc etc etc. There will be R1150RT-Ps and no doubt a few K1200RS-Ps as well. There will be holes in the dash from where all the equipment got attached, which can easily be plastic welded up.

    The modifications do vary between state and country, but not much. However, the "decommissioning" will vary - Victorians have a habit of just cutting wires rather than disconnecting them. Also, there were several Vicpol bikes that have had complete engine rebuilds through thrashing the beast before they had a chance to warm up, where they new big end bearings/ctrank bearings were fitted. No real problem - this usually happened within 20,000km and have been rebuilt by BMW certified mechanics. In fact, all work gets done by BMW folk. The bikes are likely to have a full service log, which gives you a great idea if the bike was thrashed, crashed, or well cared for by some really anal rider.

    In the service area, brake discs and pads may need replacing (after market discs cost about $200 each) tyres are around the $200-$275 mark. Resprays will set you back $2000 if you do nothing yourself, registering will cost about the $800 mark after stamp duty, roadworthy, plates, and registration. At really high mileages (150,000km or so), expect worn throttle bodies ($200 each s/h), worn throttle cables (~$180 and a c*&t of a job, putting it nicely), stuffed fork seals (~$20 each + $20 oil). Also, the clutch and input shaft splines wear (noisy clutch,and you tend to feel a knock on the front engine cover), eventually failing by spinning out the internal splines on the clutch (you can speed up this problem by doing clutched wheelies...~$1600 to fix). Quite often the fuel guage and gear switch for the display don't work well.

    Some nasty photos of the clutch/spline problem can be found here:
    Although this is for a K series bike, its very similar to the R series. Do a search if your excited about splines!

    Standard services (@ 10000km) are around $250, major services (@20000km) cost about $400. Expect to replace a tyre at each service (give or take....).

    Differences between police bikes and civies:
    Police bikes have an extra battery and separate police circuit instead of a CD player/radio, different removeable side panels (below and behind the seat ~$180 to replace new to accomadate teh rear crash bars), radio box instead of pillion seat, different dash panel to allow mounting for front red/blue flashers, extra circuits/fuses/relays/switches for police circuits (depending on the level of decommissioning!), calibrated speedo, mounting points on front frame for front crash bars (perfect for spotlight mounts), thermo fan on the oil coiler, some were fitted with a higher ratio rear end (uncommon), and no doubt more stuff which I have yet to find!

    Here are some web sites:
    https://www.bmwmc.net/mc.asp?O=frames (say yes to the permission, then press "logon")

    Overall, I really like my RT-P. And for the price, it was a whole lot of bike. One thing - they aren't fabulous commuters around town (wide touring panniers limit lane filtering/splitting). They are heavy bike when going slow, but you get used to that and at anything more than walking pace, it hides its weight. As far as touring - it is fan-bloody-tastic. Around 400km to the tank, very comfy and good luggage carrying. Under heavy braking, the bike doesn't dive, which can be a bit weird till you get used to that too!

    Hope all this helps,



    (Editted - my fingers were typing faster than my brain!, and the bit about minimal dive under brakes.)

    PS If you buy one, join the BMW motorcycle club - its worth it....and can I have your rear crash bars?
  10. What Neil says about splines and instruments is probably a little more applicable to the K's than the R's. If they've been properly serviced at least 150,000km should be possible though without major problems.

    The other point is that whatever you get should keep its value very well.

    The Internet BMW Riders http://www.ibmwr.org is another great source of BMW info - lots of stuff there about splines etc.

  11. Wow,

    Thanks guys, appreciate the responses, looks like i'll be there next wednesday sifting through whats on offer, it'd definately be great to meet up with you there neil and get some advice on which one's you think would be a good buy..However no pillion pad is a concern, does this mean they also removed the pillion footpegs and 2-up riding on one of these wouldnt be feasible?

    Just one final thing, is there such a thing as too many k's for these bikes or wont it apply by the time vicpol sell them


  12. Footpegs are cheap (Discount Wreckers at Coburg will certainly have them - they are pretty good for BMW) you don't need original BMW ones.

    The cost will be for the seat. The dual seat is replaced by a single seat and radio box. Great storage if you aren't taking a pillion ever since the solo seats are designed to be used for hours at a time but expensive to replace if you are.

    You might be able to find some sort of pillion pad to repalce the radio box but generally it's best to go for an aftermarket seat (originals are expensive) I know people who have picked them up on eBay though.

  13. Edward,

    Not a problem meeting up. I'll PM you the mobile, and Scott (my friend who's on the lookout for an R1150RT-P too) and I will meet you there.

    I agree with Tony - footpegs aren't a problem - the mounts are cast into an alloy section that covers the exhaust/drivetrain and they bolt on. I think you'll find replacing the radio box a bit expensive though - you need to remove pretty much all of the rear white bodywork, which means the Radio box lid, base plate and rear bodywork rear of the seat to above the tail lights. I've put another photo in the photo gallery section here that shows the rear bodywork pretty well - I don't know how to do the flashy thumbnail and picture bit! (I believe it needs admin approval..). These parts are generally expensive since most people who buy an ex police bike want to do a dual seat conversion. Discount Wreckers might have a set, or will at least be able to give you precise details on how to do it! I understand that future Vic Police bikes will not get a radio box, to improve resale value. All parts can be bought new through BMW, but I'd head to Discount Wreckers, K & R motorcycles or BM Motorcycles - they may have something suitable.

    My bike had the "comfort" seat on it, which meant that my GF couldn't reach the ground to ride it (didn't see a bad side to that m'self!), although I had no problem at a touch under 5'11". A cheap alternative to a lower seat is to use a seat from an R1100RT - they attach the same way and are a bit lower (and a hell of a lot cheaper - $180 vs $300+ for a second hand seat).

    As for kilometres - the R series is pretty well bullet proof, and it won't really apply to the ex VicPol bikes - it's likely that the most they'll have on them is 60,000km, since VicPol retire they're bikes at lower kilometres than, say, SA. My R1150RT-P has over 150,000km and the engine compression is still good and even, it's just showing it's age(?) with other bits dying around the engine...like the throttle bodies, the cables, the input shaft/clutch splines....or maybe that was doing crap wheelies that caused that...

    If I'm lucky and/or unwise, I might pick up a K series myself...


  14. Whatever else, you'll always stay warm on a K series :grin:
    Best winter bikes around...