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Thread: 03 K1200 vs. Slant 4 vs. K1600

  1. #1
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
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    03 K1200 vs. Slant 4 vs. K1600

    All three bikes seem to have issues (K1600 not out long enough to tell). Are the flying bricks built any better than the slant 4? Or is it that labor rates have gone up and the bikes have gotten more complicated?

    I have an 07' GT and all recall work including cam chain guide etc has been done. 20k on the bike and just put new Pilot Road 2s on after two sets of Interacts. My chicken strips are less than an inch, but I'm not dragging my pegs and don't aspire to on the street and this is not a track bike. I'm in my late forties and 6 ft and ride enthusiastically and prefer the twisties to the slab. I like the GT as I can go out for an hour and enjoy twisties or take off for a day trip or multi-day jaunt or ride to work. It's no Speed Tripple, but it's quick and you can take your laptop to work without wearing a backpack.

    Would a 03-04 GT or RS be a nice addition? Or would the K1600GT be a good change up? I'm a network engineer and while I have tools I will not likely be messing with whatever I ride and own much. I even leave routine maintenance to the shop. That being said a warranty is looking appealing, even though my bike is trouble free at the moment and paid for.



    Any input would be appreciated. (And no I am not sure what I want to do. I could have worse problems.)

    Thanks,

    -Dennis
    2013 BMW K1600GT - Montego Blue Metallic
    2007 BMW K1200GT - Graphite (traded)
    2004 R1150RS - Pacific Blue (sold )
    Dennis BMWMOA 150423 FingerLakes BMW Club 396 IBA 50178

  2. #2
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    I am not sure of your question. If keeping the K-GT. the other choices have tremedous overlap to what you already have. If you want something similar, the RS will be a bit more sporty, but so would an K-S. The K16 would be a bit more refined. Are you wanting a similar style second bike? You have had an R-RS so you know the basic focus of the K-RS. (different creatures but similar design intent). Why not a dual sport or something with a bit more sport, the R12S or perhaps the K13S. You can outfit either I think with enough boxes to carry a laptop and more.

    As for the K RS, I have set mine up more on the sport side rather than the touring side. It works for me. I can get stuff in one side case. Enough to carry two laptops. The larger portable workstations with 17" screens really don't fit. You will need a top box or large rear mount bag.

    As for costs, my K RS has been great. However in doing the needed upgrades for crossing over 100,000 miles and keeping it fresh I have basically bought the bike again. ( New fuel lines in tank, new rubber tubing/parts on engine, new suspension, new clutch, alternator, rear main seal, slave cylinder, new brake lines, replacement final drive and rear rotor,) These are thinks I kinda new were coming and around 70,000 miles made the decision to keep the bike and thus commit to these services/repairs/upgrades. Everything still works and works very well. I ride it much as you do with commuting, some trips and some enthusiastic adventures. That cost however is still cheaper than I could have moved into a K13S or GT.

    So before you can really ask what you posted here, I think, IMHO, you need to sit down and write out long hand what you would desire in a second bike. Then opinions based on the question about those needs will be better focused on what you are considering.

    NCS
    03 K 1200RS (Black is Best)
    03 Honda RC51
    74 Honda CB750 K4

  3. #3
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
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    I agree, I need to decide what I want. Part of the reason for my post. The 07' GT is a great bike. Just had always heard the bricks will run forever and perhaps my GT will. You make good points, even if I buy a low mileage RS, there is a lot of work that ought to be done to update aging infrastructure (brake lines, hoses, etc). Living in the Northeast the riding season is short, do I really need two bikes so similar. 03-04 RS or GT and 07' GT. I have yet to buy a bike brand new, do I really want to go down that road and buy a bigger 1600. Have not ridden it yet, but I do like to see a tachometer go up past 10,000 and the 8,500 red line does not excite me, but I am sure the 1600's torque would! My laptop is a 15". I can carry it in my panniers along with shoes, lunch, water bottles and anything else I might need. I'm not a purist when it comes to riding, naked bike no tunes no electronics. I like the creature comforts the GT offers along with radar detector, iPod, GPS (When needed, good to get lost most of the time.) heated grips, powered tank bag when i want to take the panniers off and still have water, air pump and whatever. That does not mean I do not push the bike and hunt for new twisties!

    I have a bad back, so while the GS is appealing to me riding off paved roads is not in my best interest. Any sudden vertical impact is bad. GT is better than sitting in a car for me.

    Buying a K1600GT or anything else for that matter is a lot of dough that might better be left for retirement or buy a very different used bike like a R -S or K - S that is same vintage as mine or newer and does need a whole lot of updating. Deteriorating brake lines would be my biggest concern on an older bike.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    -Dennis
    2013 BMW K1600GT - Montego Blue Metallic
    2007 BMW K1200GT - Graphite (traded)
    2004 R1150RS - Pacific Blue (sold )
    Dennis BMWMOA 150423 FingerLakes BMW Club 396 IBA 50178

  4. #4
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    I am in agreement with NCS. Sit down and decide what you might be looking for and see if that constitutes a new bike, or maybe just slight mods to your slant GT. I had my 2000 K12RS for 9 years and picked up a new K1300S. I totally loved it and the RS pretty much sat unused for three years. My plans were to use it more as the touring bike and on colder days with the tall Aeroflow and hand guards....sort of my version of a GT. But it just never happened. Now that things in life are changing and I have sold the S, I am back on the RS. I still love it. But, what I am saying is there was enough overlap for the riding I did in the past three years that the newer bike with more doo-dads, etc was the bike of choice on any given day. I think if you were to get a brick, pretty much any brick, I bet you would be opting for your GT due to the factors you noted - power, options, comfort, etc. A K1600 would, to me, be MORE of the same. A newer, more powerful, version of what you have with more optional equipment. I think that is why it is replacing the K1300GT..... To me, a K1300S would likely be different enough from your GT that you might split time, it certainly is more sporty, yet very comfy. I am 6' with a 33" inseam, 180 lbs and it fit me really well.
    Good luck
    Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >135,000 miles my primary bike again,
    Gone: '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi
    '06 Kaw 650R track bike sold
    http://www.seagullbb.com/

  5. #5
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
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    It's like skis, I have two pairs of skis. One pair for carving and another for when the snow piles up. Not sure I want two bikes, I think they like to be ridden and unlike Jay Leno I cannot swing a whole stable of bikes. I guess I was hoping some flying brick enthusiasts would chime in and try to sway me that I ought to give a brick a go. You guys have proven as fellow MOA members you walk the high road and are not trying to sell me that a brick is better than a slant 4 or the new six. Quite the opposite, you guys are truly trying to help a brother figure out what he needs. Much appreciated guys. I am trying to be objective and not think newer, bigger and more expensive and new is not always better. Staying away from the sense of need when what I have is a bike many would be more than thankful for. I am also trying to live life, life is short. I could save the dough for retirement, or pay down the mortgage faster, or have a shed built and a few dead trees taken down... by a boat.. It's early in the season, I'll get my riding legs under me in a couple of more days and see what's next.
    2013 BMW K1600GT - Montego Blue Metallic
    2007 BMW K1200GT - Graphite (traded)
    2004 R1150RS - Pacific Blue (sold )
    Dennis BMWMOA 150423 FingerLakes BMW Club 396 IBA 50178

  6. #6
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Dennis:

    I went through the "picking a new bike" exercise a few years ago, and found it helpful to visualize my type of riding, type of routes I rode, and types of trips I took, to help me decide what to get. In the end, the selection I made was perfect for me (it only took me 10 years to figure it out ).

    In your case, I see you ride nearby twisties on short outings, commute to work, and go on single and multi day trips.

    To use your ski analogy (which I like ), for all of these rides, you're using a heavy Super-G of a motorcycle, and I'm wondering if you wouldn't enjoy a slalom ski of a motorcycle, as a second bike for running the nearby twisties. It wouldn't even have to be a BMW; I'm thinking a low mileage Aprilia, Duc 999 or the like, which are not too expensive.

    But if the mental exercise is about whether to have one bike or two bikes, your GT would be a good pick for many riders.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  7. #7
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
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    Thanks Rinty! The wisdom of a fellow skier, squash player and road carver. The GT is a lot of bike to get on edge as is a big ski, it's a big hill ski and it can be pushed and rewards when it is. I have a friend with a new Street Tripple R, definitely a better carver. He's been trying to get me to by one or at least try his. I am sure I would enjoy it and perhaps scrub some virgin rubber and I know it would be snappy in comparison like a 12.5m ski versus the 19m I am riding. I'll really have to weigh this, perhaps see what's around on Craig's list toward the end of the summer. All the bikes at the start of the season seem to be priced a little high.

    Does a long wheelbase bike need to be ridden faster in the twisties to appreciate what a shorter wheelbase bike would at a slower speed? I am thinking the answer is no, and that is just reward that comes from pushing.
    2013 BMW K1600GT - Montego Blue Metallic
    2007 BMW K1200GT - Graphite (traded)
    2004 R1150RS - Pacific Blue (sold )
    Dennis BMWMOA 150423 FingerLakes BMW Club 396 IBA 50178

  8. #8
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    The wisdom...drubery
    You're too kind.

    ...a new Street Triple R...
    You might also want to give some 650s a try, in the twisties; i.e. BMW, or Kawasaki Versys. I've ridden these in the Kootenays, and they're amazing corner strafers. A Versys can be had for very little money.

    Does a long wheelbase need to be ridden faster in the twisties to appreciate what a shorter wheelbase would at a lower speed?
    A bigger factor may be mass, rather than wheelbase; I'm not sure. But if you try some lightweights in your local twisties, you'll answer your own question.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  9. #9
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    I would agree about a smaller lighter 650 or something for your twisties....I picked up the Kawasaki 650 pure race bike for exactly that...only even more focused. It has a Penske shock, 636 front end and rear wheel, Woodcraft rearsets and clipons, Hotbodies full plastic, (and more stuff) but retains the stock motor for reliability. After recovering from my rib breakage (fell on stairs at home), I will have it on the track soon. It only has 70 bhp, but only weighs about half what the S weighed, so it will be Way more nimble. I got mine - full race prepped - for $4k, so in looking, I know you can get similar bikes for the street for even less that are in nearly pristine condition. Darned near disposable they are so inexpensive compared to our BMWs....
    Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >135,000 miles my primary bike again,
    Gone: '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi
    '06 Kaw 650R track bike sold
    http://www.seagullbb.com/

  10. #10
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Your race bike sounds like the deal of the year. The Versys engine is based on the 650R's - very smooth.
    Last edited by Rinty; 04-29-2013 at 09:53 AM.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  11. #11
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    My take is that the K-bricks got the "last forever" reputation because they were much more modern than the airheads which were the standards when the Ks came out. The water cooling, injection, and overbuilt design all contributed. But things have changed since then. Everything has gotten more modern, and current design and manufacturing standards have increased the live of all bikes.
    Some of us are old enough to remember when most cars died by 100,000 miles, except for a few Mercedes diesels and the ones owned by guys who constantly tinkered. Now the cheapest Kia can exceed that mileage, and more if the oil gets changed on occasion. I would expect your current K to last far longer than you want to own it.
    So by all means go get a second bike, or swap yours if you want. But don't do it based on how long it's likely to last. They are all too good now.

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