Presuming all the recalls have been done, I would go with the lower mileage bike. You can put any money you save into an electronic cruise control. The early RS has a throttle spring that makes your hand numb for the first week and after that God help anyone whose hand you shake. You wont like the sound their fingers make as you splinter them. You look at your forearms you will tell Popeye rode an early RS.
Clutch: I bought a 2yr old bike and my clutch went at 24k, so no not unusual, and not a sign it has been cained. Some riders aren't kind to clutches. the replacement has done double that in 5yrs - with me riding it, and no signs of oil seals or slippage.
Look for signs of oil leak around the oil/water pump. The Gasket goo BMW use goes hard and if the Turkish assembly worker in the Berlin factory was having a bad day, they work loose. 2 x 50c O-rings and a tube of blue hylomar for $10. Otherwise bomb proof to 60k miles. Not knowing the history I would avoid a 50k bike it could be nearly shot if oil services were neglected. 24k bike has at worst missed 2 changes. Mine I change as soon as it discolours in the sight glass, and that is within the recommended miles. NEVER MIX MINERAL and SYNTHETIC, they form a glob of gel. took two hours to clear out with the block full of flushing oil. three oil changes 10miles apart and lots of cursing. now she is fine: 10w40 semi every 3-4 months.
By the way, have you ridden the bike? Some don't like the weight, the slow turn in and lack of feel? Personally I freak out Blades, a K12 in the right hands and the right roads is blistering. But you have to know it's limits and have faith to go to them time after time without overstepping them. The anchors are awesome but they will only stop you so many times - hard before they warp or craze which get expensive. You hardly need them most of the time so make sure you use them regularly or they can seize or the pads glaze, just don't hall down from 155mph to 0 with your humerous snapping or you will warp them as I said. Most corners you need third if you want a good exit, but the damn thing will hold anything from 20mph to 140 in 6th even on a steep hill. 50k bike look for any signs of rust on the shock tubes, this blows the seals and they are $1,000 for 2 new shocks which unless they are after marker come with no guarantee, from BMW. Hagon are a good UK after market pair, my mechanic thinks ohlins are doggy doo, no experiene personally. Like the OEM best but beware ebay old ones polished up with chrome cleaner it screws seals too = dirty but rust free should be ok at $100 at least for 5-10k miles. 2yrs 24k miles for new oem if you get road salt on them.
BY the way, BMW changed the main casting seal material in 2002. Part number is the same.
Use Hylomar Blue scrape off the 1307 BM use and your seal wowes will be over.
Last edited by willy13664; Jun 25th, 2008 at 7:51 pm.