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Thread: 2005 k1200s considering vs. ??

  1. #1

    2005 k1200s considering vs. ??

    Looking for some advice, I'm going from my first-bike-at-50 K75RTA, which is great but too upright for me, to a new bike - more forward lean and I"ve decided I am sticking with riding bikes so time for a good one. Tried the Triumph Sprint ST (07) and GT (new) yesterday, great - so much lighter and easier to handle than the K75T, great luggage, etc - but at 6'2" the wind buffetting at 75 on the highway was disconcerting and a show stopper. Am trying a k1200s 2005 next week - there are a couple of ~20k used ones in town at under $10k which is $2k under a new sprint GT. Want to stay away from +600 lb bikes. No RS's around town at the moment but am keeping an eye out.

    For those of you with experience with the K1200s:

    - how is the highway comfort/wind for taller riders? Most of my riding during the week, is 65 mph freeways
    - should i be concerned about repair costs and dealer service costs?
    - the 1200s was a superbike in its time, am I crazy (safety wise) to go from a K75 to a K1200s?
    - ride compliance is a big deal for me - back issues - forward lean helps. Any views on K1100RS vs the K1200's?

    On the last point, regardless of whether I get something like the 1200s / rs or a triumph I'm planning on doing a 1-1 instructor track day to get comfortable with the more powerful bike.


  2. #2
    Western NY Rider drubery's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Western NY


    First of all the K1200S is still a wicked fast superbike, not that it does not have manners. A good rule of thumb (or wrist) taught in most riding courses is keep your wrist below your knuckles to avoid unintended throttle input. I am 6' and have ridden the bike, but my laptop would not fit in the soft bags, so I ended up with an 07' K1200GT. I work in IT and ride to work daily and then try to take the long way home whenever I am able.

    There are several mechanical issues and recalls you need to be informed about and make sure they have been addressed before buying the bike. On some of these bikes there have been front brake line, rear swing arm, ignition ring recalls. The air box and CAM timing chain are non-recall issues you need to be aware of. The timing chain issue is of the greatest concern to me (imho). There is a guard that BMW released that should be installed and if not already done the tensioner should be replaced. If the chain jumps on the sprocket significant and costly damage can occur. There is lots of information in the forums on all these issues, it is an awesome bike with some very sophisticated engineering and needs to be treated accordingly.

    I have a bad back as well, ruptured disk at L4-L5. I have the bars on the GT all the way down and the seat all the way up. With no weight on the grips and my knees grabbing the tank I can ride all day on all sorts of roads. I have less back problems when riding my bike than driving my 2011 CRV with heated leather seats, although the CRV is vast improvement for my back than my Accord. The only complaint I have is the seat which is different than the S. The seat tends to cut into my thighs at times and like many I plan on replacing it with a custom seat.

    My first bike was an 04' R1150RS (Not the RS you are considering). It is a fantastic bike, but with a dry clutch and horizontally opposed twin not as smooth as the K bikes. It was however a lot better on gas mileage (20%). There is a lot more shifting in the two cylinder as well, whereas the 4 has enough torque in almost any situation to respond without shifting. Both bikes have very similar brakes, excellent. Both have paralever and telalever suspensions, very safe. I found the R1150RS to be plenty fast, but far more forgiving and was looking for a bike that required more of my attention. If you can discipline yourself to only ride when your 100% in the game than I'd go with the K bike. (get some sliders on it in case you drop it in your driveway) If you want a more relaxed ride it will come down to self control on a K bike.

    I received plenty of feedback for buying an R1150RS as my first bike at 45. I listened to all of it and do not regret the close to 5K I put on her. I am starting my second season with 7,300 miles in my 1st 12 months and 600 miles this season to date. I am always ATGATT, High-Vis, Motolight sand Hyperlights as well as being ever vigilant about cagers.

    As far as a track day, give careful consideration to reading Keith Codes Twist of the Wrist II and attending his California Superbike School. I hope to attend the 2 day school next year ($2,400).

    Good luck with your choice!

    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

  3. #3
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Lancaster County, PA
    I starte out with Kawasaki's, got my first BMW, a 2000 K1200RS for something differant. Wanted to get my wife to ride, added a K1200LT to the stable but hated the weight and sold it. I went from a K1200RS to an "S" about 3 years ago and love it. I also have back/neck issues. The "S" has helped the back but made the neck worse, or maybe being a remodeling contractor has made the neck worse, either way, not sure how long I'll be able to lean forward. Other than that, I love the bike. I put a Bestem (Givi look a like) trunk on it to hold things I need to stay dry, and First Gear soft bags for when I travel. Would love actual Givi hard saddle bags but just cant justify the expense for the 2-3 trips I take per year, and BMW's hard bags are too small to bother with. I ended up putting a K1200R top triple clamp on my bike, flattened out the bars and raised them about an inch, also went with a Corbin seat and MRA touring shield, Throttlemeister bar ends and fairing extenders in cold weather for better wind protection. Love the handling compared to the K1200RS, less weight and better turn in. Love the power compared to anything but the S1000RR, I mean 167 hp/176 mph, what more do you need? I've done 10-11 hour days in the saddle, from here in PA to TN, VT, WV, Buffalo NY, plus countless local rides. I'm headed to Deals Gap again this coming weekend, hope to put about 1500 miles on in the 3 days we are out. When asked what my next bike will be, I never know how to answer, I cant think of any other bike that would suite me the way my "S" does. I've had some issues, air box and stepper motor replacement, Cam tightener, plus the warranty covered stuff, but it has never let me sit, and what mechanical device doesn't need repair if you actually use it?

    A friend of mine loves his Triumph, and it is a great bike, another loves his '08 K1200GT, also a great bike, but right now I wouldn't trade my K1200S for either.

    Good luck in your hunt, I hope what you buy makes you smile every time you sit on her!

  4. #4

    K12 or?

    Unless you just have to have the power of the K12S, the R1200ST is a magnificent bike. It has more power than most would think, weighs 523 lbs wet, has excellent riding position and road manners and gets 50mpg. An R1100S ain't a bad option.

  5. #5
    Greg... The test ride will help much. Can mention I'm 6'4" and find the '05 K12S immensely comfortable. It has that forward lean you are looking for, and while it can be ferocious at higher RPMS, I find it easily manageable down low. The bike has some weight (500lbs dry) giving it a planted and comfy ride.... but it does tend to be a breezy bike. Except for a fuel level sensor going bad last month, have had zero issues with the bike. Have had other bikes come and go through barn here. This one remains.

  6. #6

    Decision made, thanks for the help...

    Since everyone gave me such great insights and experience, i thought I'd let you guys know how this worked out...bottom line (can I say this on a BMW site...) I bought a Triumph Sprint GT today after riding a bunch of bikes of several makes over the last week.

    What did I learn? (apologies in advance to anyone who owns any of these bikes and feels differently....)

    1. The upright riding position really isnt for me, whether its on the K75RT or another BMW RT or a Honda ST1300, FJR, Concours. It works better on an adventure style bike.

    2. The only BMW I considered with this riding position, the K1200s, really is way too much bike for the average guy like me, especially coming off a K75 where ya can twist all you want and not get in trouble. If there had been some K1100rs's or r1100rs around I might have tried them.

    3. The Honda ST1300 and FJR are nice, but, in all honesty - Very impressed with how a well maintained K75 stands the test of time against these very nice bikes. Add an electric windscreen and upgrade the brakes on my K75RT, maybe get it a fresh paint job and it'd be right there with them. Less power, but the K75 handles so much better on the highway.

    4. Ducati multistrada - a cool ride, surprisingly comfortable and the electronic modes very neat. I can see those modes moving into the industry broadly.

    5. Motorcycle-Ergo site is helpful and neat armchair reading, directionally good, but nothing beats getting on the bikes.

    6. BMW and Triumph, Ducati dealers understand folks might actually like to ride a bike without buying it.

    7. The Honda VFR1200F is a huge disappointment. On paper, I shoudl have bought this bike and it should have kept me off the Sprint. I'm a fan of honda engineering but someone in honda ought to be shot (used to do work with them - any company that has race engines on stands in the lobby, as artwork, cant be all bad). Beautifully finished, but flawed. Despite all the online and magazine reviews, this expensive bike should finish far behind the BMW's and Triumphs. Ride quality is awful, rides like a race bike which is fine if you're not on regular roads but tore me up on a short ride. Throttle programming is wierd, maybe something you can get used to but unnecessarily. I suspect a lot of evolutionary fixes over the next couple of years - which could make it a real contender.

    8. Concours - the only bike which felt heavier than my top-heavy K bike, the others (FJR, ST1300 are heavier but have low CG and are easier to handle at low speed). All the bells and whistles, looks well put together, kipass is wierd, lots of wind buffetting even with the enormous windscreen (again, my old K75RT with the fixed screen is better) - but so much drivetrain lash to go with the power, that I didnt find it very enjoyable at low speed.

    But, the Sprint GT fit me like a glove and the riding position is wonderful without the power being frightening, although there is still a lot of it.

    So the K75RTA is going to leave the farm for a new home and will probably run another 17 years without incident. Will miss wrenching on BMW's and searching the MOA for help, so, I probably need to find an old R100rs to monkey with next winter.

    Cheers and good-riding, Greg

  7. #7
    Tutum amicus r184's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    So Cal
    Sounds like you keep a pretty open mind and rode a lot of different bikes. You found what was a good fit for you and went with it. Enjoy!

  8. #8
    2-up and havin' fun sugarhillctd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Just above the Notch, NH

    Nice work on selecting your bike.

    I agree with you about the C-14 Concours. Had a new '09 for all of last season- never came to like it. Too big, too heavy, too upright. (LAST time I buy a bike without a test ride- did it on the strength of all the good magazine reviews- what do they know...)
    So I went back to a brick. Test rode a K1300S also- might be one in my future.......
    John & Cathy
    '92 K100RS4v 2009 R1200RT
    SS1000, BBG, 50CC- NYC to SF

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