You guys might remember I had the K1200R for a week prior to the R1200S review. Jumping on the K1200S is completely a different experience. It has a regal and sophisticated feel. One bike is never enough, I think each enthusiasts should have at least 4 bikes in the garage, however if I were to have only one bike it would have to be the K1200S.
I love this bike!
I like the smoothness, the poise, the huge power potential, the ergos, the riding position and the hyper-sport styling. I like how I fit on this bike. My appreciation for this bike is now more focused since I've been riding a lot of different bikes. It's a good time to get back on the K12S seat.
What I don't like about it are the above mentioned seat, the shield and the grips. However these are easily correctable in the aftermarket. If I had this bike for longer, I would have tested different shields, two seats and grip puppies. But the bike is going back in about 10 days, so in reality no time to pull off a proper product evaluation.
The shield is not good for my taste. A shorter shield is a must on this bike. The OEM shield produces too much buffeting and makes for a very noisy ride. The new OEM sport grips that have appeared on several Beemers are meant to test our tolerance for torture. They are simply terrible for non-track riding. Give me the GT or RT style grips any day. And lastly, I am convinced that there is no such a thing as a good OEM seat--after you try amazing aftermarket seats. When you get used to aftermarket seats, riding with OEM is out of the question. But if you haven't tried a good Corbin or Sargent, chances are you'll be satisfied with the stock seat.
The BMW K1200S takes getting used to in the backroads. Initially as I hit some twisties, it felt like it was floating over the road. Keep in mind that I'm very used to riding bikes with Telelever front suspension. Also, when I rode the K1200R in the same location, I didn't feel the weirdness of the suspension as much. It took about 40 miles of twisties to become comfortable with the K12Ses riding habits.
In contrast the R1200S' front suspension feels very close to a conventional fork set up, even though it has the Telelever. But the R12S has a unique Telelver that is super lightweight and rigid. The R12S is the least finicky cornering machine in BMW's line up. That bike loves to go around turns.
The K1200S, although many times more agile and flickable than its predecessor the K1200RS, requires a skilled rider to swiftly maneuver through the twisty backroads. I think 500 miles of backroads only should be an ideal training time to get real comfortable with the K12S. Of course the best training would be to take it to the track.