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Thread: '04 K1200RS Advice!!

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  1. #1

    '04 K1200RS Advice!!

    Hi to all you fellowBMW riders Hope your holidays went well. Have a question to ask some fellow K1200RS riders.
    I am thinking about buying a 2004 RS with 18,000 miles on it. The service has not recently been done on it but it is a good buy. I have owned two other BMW's, R1200RT and F800ST. How much different is the K1200RS as opposed to my RT? What should I look for when inspecting the bike. It is out of state but not too far so I was thinking about taking to the local BMW shop and having them give it the once over. Any information you could provide would be most helpful. Looking forward to getting back on a BMW as I wish I had never traded off my
    RT. Thanks people and God bless

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Northern Front Range, CO
    Mods- you want to move this to In-line K-bikes?

    as to your question- K bikes have little correspondence to big R bikes- other than quality of manufacture. The engine respose and feel is quite different. you should ride one before pulling the trigger. not necessarily better or worse, just different.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  3. #3
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Hillsborough NC
    My IMPRESSIONS based upon MY EXPERIENCE.. Yours will differ

    The KRS and the RRT are set up so very differently. Both are great bikes. I have ridden an R RT a few times and found it an interesting ride. I felt however that it was a much more static ride. On the K RS you really do lead the bike with your body into turns and the bike responds very well. On the R RT I felt I was limited in doing this because of the ergos. Like I said they are very different bikes. If you want an R RT with the smoothness of the K RS or brick GT, look elsewhere. You will never achieve the the position and wind protection of the R RT without really bastardlzing the K RS. By the same token it would be difficult to transform an R RT in the K RS.

    There will be less wind protection. The buffeting layer of air is right around mid helmet. If you raise up you are in the nice clean quiet air above that. If you lay low over the tank you get into the still air there. Some folks have tried larger screens to make the bubble more RT like. (I started with the larger Comfort Screen. It has a small lip at the top. I then went to the standard K RS shield that just arcs back about 3 inches lower. I ended up with a shorter one that is about as tall at the windshield uprights. Air hits about neck level and shoulder level. I tend to like this and have moved the bars forward and down to what I feel is easier on the body, the back (it is arched forward and not straight up and down) tighter abs do better with this also, and wrists. Legs are good with feet perched on the footpegs with toes up on them and they are higher and rearward. Alternate position is on passenger pegs. I will put the larger shield on along with a back rest for doing two up things with wife.

    Ride, firm is better. The bike seems to want to wander or not follow a line cleanly if you have the suspension set soft. Once you set the sag as it should be and take some time and get the rebound set well all is good. It is an active ride. Straight is straight and the cruise is really nice. It will move around in dirty air but once you expect that it feels stable and straight. Tires will make a difference. Old Metzler Z6s were real straight running but also promoted the drift to the right and overall heavy feeling. Michelin PR2s improved that and the feeling at slow speeds and feel less heavy. They also will move around a bit more in straight lines. My favorites are the Q2s as they seem to allow the bike to feel lighter and quicker and to allow greater latitude in lines for a curve.

    Tire pressure matters. I run a range of pressures based upon do the tires warm up some. Typically I want the tires to warm enough to raise the pressure 10%. Less than that I figure they are too hard and running cold. More than that too soft and running hot. The range then is 33-35 front 35-38 rear depending on tires, temp and riding. If loading the bike for two up I go to 36 frt 42-44 rear. Other threads will comment about the bike handling being sensitive to get this balance right.

    In curves you really do well to set up the bike before the curve. At a minimum you get your torso and shoulders into the turn, with helmet inline with the inside mirror. (lead with your elbow AND shoulder) Sliding a cheek across the seat a little doesn't hurt either. Let the bike then follow the line through the curve, move the bike upright, move the body back to center and prep for next curve.

    If you tend not to do this, the bike will want to follow your body, If you tend to sit up straight in a curve, the bike will follow that and move to stand up. It really responds well to how you contribute to the handling with your body position.

    If you push the bike down into curves as well, your toes will scrap quickly and if riding well with the balls of the feet on the pegs, the pegs will scrap. It works well to have the pegs up and back on the alternate position. If you choose to lower the pegs, they will hinder the enjoyment of the bike.

    Engine is a delight. Engines will vary a bit with state of tune and where foot pegs and handlebars are moved to. You may detect some small buzziness or not. Overall it is smooth and refined with adequate power. I find I like to ride it best at 4K or above. With earplugs in I have to look at the tach to tell what gear the bike is in. Once above 4k, the engine feel doesn't give much feed back on rpms. It is easy to bump the rev limiter in 2nd. It is easy to cruise the slab in 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th. The power delivery by todays standards is measured, linear, adequate but seldom overwhelming.

    The bike will tend to wander to the right. Some tires do this more than others. I put my rainsuit and extra stuff in the left bag and leave the right mostly empty. This balances it out. Left bag is a pain to use because of the cut out for exhaust.

    The brakes are awesome. I tend to like the linked servo brakes. They do the job, they do it very very well and without intrusion into the riding experience. I am not afraid to use the front brake and it is my predominant tool to slow the bike down in a hurry. I have braked hard many many times from triple digits down shifting quickly, hard on the brakes (front lever) and a bit of chirping from rear with downshifts but never kicked the abs in that way.

    Ok..there is much more about the K RS to like. It's a cherry of a bike. You do have to keep it fresh with upkeep.

    Upkeep. I get the ABS system flushed every year.
    Rear shock lasted for me 2x about 45 K miles
    Front shock lasted 80K
    Fuel mileage 36-42
    Oil.. used Amsoil Syn after 18,000, changed around 10k. now uses about 1/2 quart between changes (100,000 miles)
    Tires... for my riding, commuting on slab with some trips here and there. Sport touring tires.. 8k-11K (Roadsmarts, PR2s etc) Sportier tires 5.5K (Q2s)
    Pivot Bearings on rear drive replaced around 45K
    Rear Brake Pads 15-18K
    Front Pads 60K
    Rear Seal experience.. Mine was replaced before I bought it with only 7800 miles on it. (it sat A LOT). Constant riding after that 3 yrs later at 90,000 miles alternator failed. Labor the same to get to both, so had clutch (worn but not worn out) and rear seal, (moist with O ring cracking but not failing) both replaced.
    Final drive. After 25K I always got a little mistly grunge around boot. Sometimes I might have a trickle down from the boot. (1/2 teaspoons worh) Might be a small run today then nothing for 3k-20k miles. Lived with it. Bearing was getting loose at 95k so changed to a low mileage one.
    Rubber stuff. Expect some upkeep here just because of age. I have had distribution rail require replacement (80K) and throttle body rubber (98K). Had brake lines redone this year. Fuel lines had cracked inside tank. Make sure disconnects are changed out to solid fittings or metal quick disconnects (the OEM ones will fail.. WILL FAIL)
    Some of the sensors for Cruise and ABS have gotten dirty and needed brought back into specs.

    In the last 15,000 miles I have almost re-bought the bike through upgrades and repairs. This is all so it is still fresh feeling, totally working, and good to go for crossing 100,000 miles which will be this month. (new front /rear suspension, clutch, rear mainseal, slave cylinder, starter clean, new brake lines, new fuel lines, new distribution rail and other tubing, throttle body rubber, coil pack, wires, change final drive, and a few other things that escape me)

    Right now, with new coil pack and new wires.. replaced suspension 19 months ago, good rubber on the wheels.. I think the bike runs as good as or better than I ever remember.

    So in the end.. the K-RS isn't an R-RT. Very different bikes in design and implementation.
    I have used mine for two up riding, commuting, camping, dirt roads, bad mountain roads, smooth slab, track, all year, 10 degrees to 106 degrees and I am still very very pleased with it. I wouldn't trade mine for an RT unless.. may be.. just maybe.. If I had an K13S then I might, but not for sure consider and R RT. I say might because I am still just so pleased each time I ride the bike. It fits me so well, it rides so well, it performs so well, it is sooooooooo versatile, I love the basic features of adjustment to fit it to you along with the heated grips and cruise control. It is a great bike still and worth having in the stable IMHO.

    Good luck with your choice. Let us know what you do.

    If you get it, just go ahead and get it fully serviced to make it fresh for you.

    Hope this helps a little
    Last edited by NCStephen; 01-14-2013 at 06:55 PM.
    03 K 1200RS (Black is Best)
    03 Honda RC51
    74 Honda CB750 K4

  4. #4
    3 Red Bricks
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pleasanton, Ca.

    Welcome to the forum!

    Please read:!

    I've added this info to the title of your thread. This info helps us all.

    I hope you get the bike. If you do there are several very knowledgeable K12 owners here that can help get you "at one" with the bike.


    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
    3 Marakesh Red K75Ss
    Mine, Hers, Spare

  5. #5
    As NSStephen has so eloquently stated, a K and an R are two different bikes (i.e. apples and oranges).

    I own/ride a 2004 K12RS, and an 2004 R1150RT. Now, the 1150RT is not an R12RT, but they are more similar
    than an RS.

    The K is my "commuter" bike. The seating position on the K is not conducive (for me) for long days in the saddle.

    That said, the K is twice as fast, twice as smooth, is water cooled, has a better transmission (less "clunky") has
    cruise control, etc. etc. etc.

    I just like the way my RT fits me much better when traveling long distances. If BMW had made an RT with a brick
    engine, they would have made the perfect bike for touring. Alas, they didn't, and don't bring up the LT, it's
    not the same engine, much larger than the RT, etc..

    Depending on your size, the RS may work for you. My wife rides a 2003 K12GT and absolutely loves it. I have a hard
    time keeping up with her on my RT.

  6. #6

    2001 Krs

    I haven't ridden an R RT but come from years of straight-up dual sport saddle time.

    The K RS is a ridiculous amount of fun. I've owned mine for only a few months but I can see years of learning how to truly ride it well. The ergo's are different for me. First time I mounted I thought, wtf because my feet felt behind me. My body and muscles are adjusting though and I like it more every time I ride. I rode it home (450 miles) with the stock windshield and was very buffeted and in the wind (I'm 6'1") which I think will be enjoyable in the summer....but, mine came with an Aeroflow touring windshield too and it (strapped on the back initially) does put me into a pocket of goodness where I don't even use earplugs and can hear the engine and jet-engine gear whine. I like that although sometime the machine is so mechanical that it feels like I am on a very high-tech and fast piece of german farm equipment. Contradictory I know but I am getting to learn the bike and have only ridden in Fall/Winter. Solid piece of machine as I stripped mine down, replaced fasteners just because (bolt depot is the bomb), replaced the fuel quick disconnects (they crumbled in my hand when I took them off), all fluids, etc. I am looking forward to some touring but a bit apprehensive of long saddle time since a lot of weight is put forward on the wrists and the hip bend is more pronounced for me than I am used to.

    Great buys out there on these bikes. I was very pleased with the condition I discovered of my 2001 with 32,3xx miles on it.

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