First, a BMW motorcycle is a "beemer", and BMW car is a "bimmer". If you are going to own both, you might as well get this little bit of trivia staight, contrary to what some say. It is kind of like knowing secret handshake.
The R1150R is a very dependable motorcycle, IF you maintain it properly. It should get fuel mileage in the 40's, and should go at least a couple of hundred thousand miles. They are relatively easy for the DIYer to work on the bike at home, especially the routine maintenance, including valve adjustments, so there is not much excuse for not changing the lubricants on a routine schedule, maybe even more often than required by the BMW manual. For a BMW with 44,000 miles, I would want to see the service records since new to ensure that maintenance has been properly performed.
If these bikes have a "weak" point, it is the drive train outside of the transmission (the transmission itself is fine, again with reasonable gear oil changes). Although the BMW manual does not require it (of course, BMW has "lifetime" fills in their car transmissions), the splines on the transmission input shaft and the final drive input shaft should/need to be cleaned and lubricated with a light coating of high-moly EP grease. The consensus seems to be about every 40,000 miles or so. The problem is that this requires significant disassembly of the drive train, and so most people don't do this (if they are even aware of it). It is something that can be done in your garage at a significant savings over what the dealer will charge, but it is a time-consuming task. Some bikes never have this done, and never have a problem, but the consensus seems to be if you don't do this maintenance you are running a risk.
Some bikes suffer bearing failure in the final drive, but this seems to be a limited problem (contrary to internet chatter). Freqent FD gear oil changes and examining the oil for metal particles (they are easy and cheap to do at home) and frequent monitoring for any sideways free play/movement of the rear wheel will reduce the likelihood of this problem and catch it early if it does start to develop.
"That's right, you're not from Texas, but Texas wants you anyway." -LL
2001 Z3 3.0i Roadster (Topaz Blue Metallic, 5-speed manual, Sport Package, CD radio, heated seats and mirrors, non-power top via special order)
"Beemer" is for my BMW motorcycles - '13 K1300S, '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '75 R90S (gone, but not forgotten).
Last edited by BeemerMikeTX; 02-27-2012 at 05:06 AM.