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I purchased my RT in Jan 1998 new for £11,000. Being 6ft 4in and 18 stone it really was the only option for a daily commute of 120 miles. For the first year I commuted daily but now only commute about two to three times a week. My overall impression is that the bike is excellent, very comfortable easy to ride and actually very easy through traffic. Fuel consumption is good about 40mpg or 210 miles on a tank to the reserve light. The gearbox at times can be lumpy for no apparent reason but generally is smooth.On a normal run fourth and fifth are quite close so a sixth for the motorway would be good.
The only complaints I would level at the bike is the runing cost, service every 6000 miles comes in at about £400 which does not include tyres. The bike came with Metzlers(?) but has since gone onto Bridgestones which give better mileage and handling. I now get about 8,000 miles on a set which cost about £200. I had a number of electrical faults, which included the starter cutting in when very wet! Not a good sound I can assure you. It has not happend again although I try and keep wd40 handy.
As far as design is concerned the bike suffers from a couple of design faults. The headlight is simply not good enough. I suggest that it is actually dangerous, I have fitted a brighter bulb and adjusted it to beam higher. What it really needs is lights like the GS1150. The heated handlebar grip switch ABS and Hazard light swith on the dash can not be seen in the dark. They should have some glow or back lighting. The seat is OK for 80-100 miles but if a gel was put in the seat as in wheelchair seats it would more comfortable.
A final thought for those of you keen to zip through traffic, don't do it with the panniers on they are wider than the wing mirrors!
Interesting that you say that the light isn't good enough and that it needs lights like the 1150 GS. Many GS owners complain about their headlight not being good enough either. In fact when BMW recently published an ad for the R1150GS making some claim about the lights, a number of owners complained to the advertising standards authority.
As far as BMW bikes go, I love the bikes, great for real roads. However, I would like people to know the way I was treated by BMW when I had a dispute with one of their dealerships. Please take a look at the following website: www.bmwlemon.com/dontbmwcare.htm I really would appreciate it if people emailed BMW (firstname.lastname@example.org) and voice your support for my protests againts them