I just acquired my 2003 K1200RS a few days ago off an E-Bay deal, with 11.5K miles on it. For those unfamiliar with E-Bay here is the essential trick: you have got to make one bid to "test" the market, in case there are just no buyers around. Then, essentially, you make your play in the last 30 seconds of the auction. If you try to become the leading bidder going into the last minute, you have a pretty good chance of being snipered in the last minute or so by a lingering bidder waiting until the last 30 seconds. So, you may want to throw in your own last minute bid in the last 30 seconds, and then may the man with the most toys win!
BMW leased this bike in March 2004 and in January 2005 it was turned back in, bone stock. I had mucho trouble getting the bike running due to a low battery and some other problems like my not knowing much at all about these bikes!
Today I finally got the bike inspected, and I took it out for about a 100 mile ride around Port Aransas TX here on North Padre Island, and around Corpus Christi. What a surprise, I came accross a gagle of Gold Wing riders while out there. Well, it is riding season!
The K1200RS impresses me as a heavy but powerful bike. Since Corpus is so damn windy, the extra weight actually helps. But, high winds are not much fun to ride in. Take her up to 80 in a 20 mph wind and you have some serious buffeting! Now I know how those dudes at this years Daytona 200 were feeling!
My previous BMW back in the 80's was an old 1976 R60/6, arguably the smoothest boxer they ever made. The K1200RS does not have that "Airplane Wings" feeling that the boxer gives you, but the K1200RS is also a pretty smooth bike. Lots of power on tap compared to the old R60 that's for sure! But then, the R60's Continentals could last as much as 13,000 miles as I recall. I wonder why? I am going to find out: Power costs money.
Is the K1200RS a crotch rocket? Well, maybe, but it impresses me as a little too heavy for that. My impression is that the sport boxers are probably a lot easier to ride.
Mine came with the saddle bags, which are pretty cool. I instantly realized, though, that a top-box like the one my R60/6 had as an accessory is actually a better piece of luggage, conceptually. I guess I will be going to get a Givi. Why? Well, a top box on a rear luggage rack is easy to fiddle with you are standing around the bike, easier opening is from the top, and of course it can hold the helmet, gloves, and rain gear when you are in the restuarant. When you are on the bike it holds beer and food a lot easier. What a nifty fact of riding that has not changed ever! But it does hang out there
In these 20 mph winds, I realized that my cheapie XXL HJC helmet got too loose at 80 mph. I have a XL Shoei helmet that I plan to wear on my next ride, that is a tight fitter. I hope that helps, a tight fitting helmet. Are ear plugs a good idea?
Also, I realized that riding 100 mph is not much fun unless you are gonna ride in still-air weather. That pretty much eliminates Corpus Christi man, don't even thing about it! This is the wind-surfing capital! I am heading to the hill country!
OK guys, now for the 64,000 question, what is the ratio of the maintenance costs for the 2003 K1200RS vs. the maintenance costs for a 2008 R1200GS ? I know the market values are this: right now the GS would cost twice as much money to just get one. That is an amazing fact: The K1200RS on the used market is really a pretty good buy right now. I got mine for under $8000.
The one thing I can't believe is the dual disk brakes on the K1200RS. You can operate them with one or two fingers! Hydraulic assist ABS man this thing has professional brakes. The old R60/6 of 1976 vintage had drum brakes. Believe me these disc brakes are like coming from another world. I have lot to learn to ride the K1200RS.