Living with the K1200S for 2 Weeks (images & videos)

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Living with the K1200S for 2 Weeks (images & videos)

Postby SHIVA on Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:05 pm

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After riding the R1200S for two weeks for a review for BMW ON and Iron Horse, I have the privilege of putting a K1200S through it's paces for another 2 weeks. This is a 2006 model in granite gray, fully loaded with all options that I picked up from BMW of Manhattan with only 13 miles on the odometer.

I'll be taking this K12S to bike nights as well to gauge people's reaction.

Click below for a short video clip.
http://www.BMW-K.com/video/BMWK1200S.COM1.MPG

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Last edited by SHIVA on Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby SHIVA on Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:40 pm

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.

More later.... :)
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Postby SHIVA on Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:20 pm

Here's an interesting story from today. I was running out of gas, the LCD panel showed 10 miles remaining. So I pull into this local gas station about 50 miles from home and as I'm about to put gas I realize that I don't have my wallet with me and I have no cash on me. Yikes! What to do now. I call Trainer who lives about 30 miles away, but he was busy and didn't pick up the phone, so I called the BMW Roadside and was on the phone with them for a very long time and it turned out, they couldn't help me. They do provide fuel but they expect to get paid for it. What to do now? So I managed to persuade the station owner to lend me a gallon of premium fuel, just to get home. I did promise that I'd return to pay him back, but he really didn't care. I think in his mind he is sure that he'll never see me again, but I'm going to surprise him in the next few days with a visit. I end up putting $5 worth of fuel (about 1.3 US gallon), which was more than enough to get me home. Of course on the way back I took it easy, last thing I needed was to get pulled over on a bike with dealer plate with no ID. A cop in a bad mood could easily confiscate the bike. So all went well. :) S
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Postby huecodoc on Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:03 pm

SHIVA wrote: as I'm about to put gas I realize that I don't have my wallet with me and I have no cash on me. Yikes!


Shiva, with your poetic skills you should have placed your $700 helmet upside down next to your BMW at the street corner, sat down and panhandled for a bit. It would have been quite a sight. :D
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Postby Eka on Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:36 pm

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I would paint that bellypan in the same colour.
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Postby k12oos on Sat Aug 12, 2006 4:49 am

I reckon the screen is a work of art...at 181cm it works just right for me, maybe its time to work out on the body stretch rack.... :lol: :wink:
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Postby SHIVA on Sat Aug 12, 2006 10:19 am

Hi guys, I've already explained my thoughts on how to achieve a quiet ride on a bike and that's done only in two ways.
1- When the redirected wind is hitting at your chest or blow, or 2- When it's hitting you over your helmet, and that's only possible when you're looking through the shield.

So, it is impossible, I don't care who is the maker, for a shield to be quiet when it's directing the wind to your helmet. This shield for me is loud and the only solution is get something much shorter, which I know exists in the aftermarket. The K1200R is the quietest bike I've ever ridden, because it places your helmet in unobstructed, fresh flow of air. S
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Postby SHIVA on Sat Aug 12, 2006 11:19 pm

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The R1200S is so light and flighty that it had screwed up my handing of big and heavy bikes. But I am happy to say that I'm back at my usual form in riding the K12S in a controlled hooligan way. So tonight I went bar hopping with my friend Jamie on the K-S. She loved it. She specially liked the ESA. In town with our notorious bad roads, I kept it in cushy "comfort" setting, on the highway, I switched to "sport" and showed this girl with the other girl was made of. ESA is simply amazing. These are two pics of the two girls, shot with my cell phone in dim light. Please excuse the low quality of the images, but I think the high content quality will easily compensate... ;) S

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Postby delirious on Sun Aug 13, 2006 7:53 am

You are a lucky man Shiva with those two girls. 8)

Can you get her on loan for two weeks as well. :lol:

Cheers,
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R1200GS arrived 08/03/08 - 28,000km's and counting.

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Ducati 1098S - 8,000km's and swapped for S1000RR.
K1200S - 20,000km's and crashed at the race track.
VFR800 VTEC - 45,000km's and swapped for R1200GS
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Postby andy griff on Sun Aug 13, 2006 10:34 am

Shiva,
your opportunity to ride the cutting edge BM fleet gives you a good chance to reflect on the nature of these bikes. Just goes to show that there's no such thing as a bad bike these days, just ones that are not suited to what the buyer needs.

I'va had my K12S since October and just taken my first chance to do a 6 day 1500mile Europe trip. Through 38 degrees in city centres, via Alpine curves, no limits autobahns and two torrential cloudbursts the bike was fantastic. I'm happy to understand that the heavy clutch and occasionally jerky fuelling pales into insignificance when you peel into a corner and the bike flies round or hit that bumpy road and flick the ESA to 'comfort' or see the 'go for it' sign on the German motorway and do just that.

Keep the comparisons coming
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Postby SHIVA on Sun Aug 13, 2006 6:38 pm

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Some shots from today. The top shot, is the main street in Nyack, NY where I ran into another K12Ser. I also paid a visit to that good gas station owner who helped me out before.

This is a cool shot of Lambo badge on a red Murcielago (I like it any way).

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3 Video Clips:

This one shows a lengthy bike stunt show.
http://www.bmwk1200s.com/video/BMW-K.com-bikestunts.MPG

These are two of the new Lambo Murcielago Spider.
http://www.bmwk1200s.com/video/BMW-K.com-Murcielago.MPG

http://www.bmwk1200s.com/video/BMW-K.com-Murcielago2.MPG
Last edited by SHIVA on Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby SHIVA on Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:05 am

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Night life in Manhattan. Above is a shot of another dear friend Heather. We had dinner and went to a couple of bars tonight. The picture quality is again from cell phone at night, so it's terrible, sorry.

Two more shots from today. The interior of old Jensen. And the K bike, mixed with American and Italian iron... ;)
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Postby Fido on Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:52 pm

Shiva...I too am interested in a shorter shield for my KS. I see shields of same height or taller than stock. Have you seen any that are shorter?

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Postby Fido on Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:57 pm

A member wrote in a screen topic in the Parts section in this forum (around August 4)....about his Z Technik screen.
Likes it a lot....but says it matches the dimensions of the stock screen.

So we may have to resort to cutting down a screen...and flat filing the edges.
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Postby SHIVA on Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:05 pm

I know the folks at Ztechnik, I'll ask them for dimensions. They usually put all that on their web site, but they didn't for this one. Thinking about it more, maybe the reason they didn't put the dimensions is because it matches the OEM. That sucks! Let me see what they say... :) S
Last edited by SHIVA on Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby SHIVA on Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:05 pm

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Every night of the week there is a bike night of some sort in NY area. Monday nights is at Bar Matchless in Brooklyn. Right next door to the bar is a shop that specializes in older European bikes "Works Engineering."

Here are two shots of the K12S in front of Works Engineering.

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Postby SHIVA on Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:50 am

I've done 500 miles since last Wednesday, when I picked up the bike. It's performing better of course. I can ride this bike all day. This is truly a sport-tourer. Very comfy indeed, smooth and stable, of course the 3 things I mentioned above still need to be changed.

A couple of questions for you guys, I think I may have read something about this in our Tech section. What is up with the fuel tank capacity and is the fuel gauge accurate? My gauge was showing 35 miles to empty, but the bike only took 3.62 gallons. Also I noticed that when I filled up the tank, although it appeared as being full, it could still take more fuel. That's very odd.

The 2nd point is about the servo/ABS breaks at slow speed. Twice when I tried to apply the brakes at slow speeds (under 10 miles) the ABS kicked in and the bike jerked forward about 4 feet. Luckily I had room, otherwise I would have hit the car in front. I don't remember my K12RS ever do it to this intense level, nor did I notice it on the K12R or other new Beemers.
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Gas, Brakes

Postby George on Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:13 am

Hi,
The gas issue is not unusal - every time I fill up this happens. It takes a fews miles for the bike to show full. Never had any probs with the brakes. Great pictures and site thanks, George :D
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Postby k12oos on Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:42 am

Filling the tank with bike standing between you legs always gets a lot more fuel into the tank...the difference is significant.

I have never had an ABS brake problem except under very high speed braking on a damp road when it was probably doing its job. I am a real fan of these servo brakes especially since the replacement banjo bolt was fitted. They take some getting used too but once familiar they are a good thing.

The bike is probably very tight, I believe it takes 10000km before the bike starts to really feel bedded in in every area.
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Postby SHIVA on Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:41 am

yea, I had a feeling that filling the tank up with the bike on its side wasn't the best way. so I did sit on it and put some more fuel in there.

this is odd, because I don't remember K1200R' tank behaving this way. but then again, they aren't the same.

when the fuel reached the top (bottom of the fuel cap), I sat on it and put some more in, the fuel was lined up with the fuel cap opening, the more I put in, it somehow didn't rise, just stayed level. where does the fuel go... ;)

PS: hi George, I'm aware of the computer taking a couple of minutes to reset. :)
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Postby Dr J on Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:58 am

the more I put in, it somehow didn't rise, just stayed level. where does the fuel go...


Maybe it feeds the rest to the ABS so that it has more juice to jerk around when you least expect it :wink:
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Postby SHIVA on Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:14 pm

My friend Jamie from above, is using the shot of her with the K-S as her main MySpace image:

http://www.myspace.com/jamieakaj

She said this after riding on the K:

This bike has Style, Speed and Sophistication.... ;)

Not bad... ;) S
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