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2005 K1200S Review

For the of the very first K1200S arrived

Written 3/25/2005 Update 4/17/2005


K1200RS and Suzuki GSX-R1000

2005 BMW K1200S with 1

Weather: 45 f / 7 c — Overcast, but Dry

ride distance: 70 miles

The news of BMW’s new Hyper-Sport in October of 2003.

Germany’s own magazine due to lapses in security at the BMW studio, published actual of the Superbike’s brand new frame, inspired Duolever front engine and new the body work . For the first time in recent sport riders everywhere their usual discussion of Japanese sport bike is the king of the road and collectively their mental satellite toward Germany. Imagine the of thousands of weather beaten and satellite dishes squeaking by millimeter toward a new source.

by itself is an achievement. Finally 17 since that exciting the bike arrives on our shores, to be delivered to the very patient Why patient? Read on-

CURRENT HISTORY: Along the way the delivery of this new awesome machine was by about 4 months, due to last not so minor adjustments.

BMW, decided to hold the release they were satisfied the machine’s performance. Other may have released the bike and issued a series of recalls but not They deserve credit for a but very classy handling of situation.

Since deposits already accepted globally and some bikes (about were delivered in Europe, country offered their own fix to keep their customers Italy supplied brand new BoxerCup edition motorcycles as Sweden offered loaner as well. Holland returned the trade in bikes temporarily and free service.

Some offered refunds but to my knowledge few, if any of the buyers forfeited purchase. Luckily the delay was the winter season in Europe, made it less bothersome for riders to be without a bike.

The but prerelease adjustments to the K1200S but is not limited to the following:

1- Routine control tests conducted at the revealed that wear and was occurring at the camshafts. It had to be changed.

2- The for the cam follower did not meet BMW Motorrad It had to be changed.

3- BMW made modifications in the chamber, in the mapping of the ignition and levels and in the air box.

THE BIKE: The BMW Motorcycle is a Hyper-Sport. It is 500 lbs (dry), 167HP, at a redline of 10,500RPM; a first ever on any production Hossack inspired Duolever suspension. The options include first on a production motorcycle an suspension stiffness adjustment, works quite effortlessly and can be in 9 ways as you ride the bike.

The engine is a transverse (cross the water-cooled, inline 4. The power the motor is delivered to the rear-wheel via latest final shaft which is maintenance-free for the life of the The test bike was equipped ABS, ESA and Heated Grips. It was for this review by Steve of BMW of Manhattan Motorcycles. with 1 on the odometer.

RIDER’S BACKGROUND: ride, 1999 BMW K1200RS, paint, Two Brothers Exhaust, KN and all comfort and luggage features About 30 lbs lighter and 14 HP more stock, with 51,000 on the odometer. Last prior K1100RS with Ohlins suspension, otherwise stock. He is the of two BMW Motorcycle web sites, a freelance journalist and photographer.

PRE-RIDE: I was by Steve Sergi. to be careful this bike.

It is brand the tires are totally fresh, the brake disks have no on them and the engine of course is not yet in. He also mentioned that the behaves differently from in turns and hard braking stand the bike right up and he warned me about the awesome of this bike. I nodded my helmet on and sat on the bike and was ready to the ride that I have waiting for more than a

THE RIDE: The bike starts off. I set the ESA to rider+luggage for preload and for rebound, in expectance of the type of riding I was about to have. Put the in first gear and off I go. Hmmm, is the power?

This is almost too Open the throttle some and ah, there it is just a hint of at only 50 feet away the dealership and 20 feet before the stoplight. As I go through a few streets to get to a gas (fuel warning light was I notice something very

I feel totally at home on bike. I know where is and I can predict the bike’s every I haven’t been 3 minutes my ride and I’m already my Manhattan Dance; zipping in and out splitting lanes, crossing passing buses and taxis and K1200S feels unbelievably like my K1200RS that I gotten so used to, except it is somewhat lighter, more and with noticeable but slight

I pull in to fuel up, and I get stopped 3 by guys who wanted to know kind of bike this how much it costs and how powerful it I was eager to fuel up and get on my way, but a good press person I am, I stood around for about 5 answering questions: as fast as MSRP only 15.5, out the front suspension. yes, no One of the guys gave me his card and me to join his bike club.

This is kind of curious, I do get when I’m on my K12RS, but I had the lure of the new and hot vehicles.

This point will only sense to the K12RS/GT owners: as I up, I notice that it is a lot easier to put into the S than the RS. On the RS, there is so plastic around the fuel cap I am always careful not to spill a

With the K12S, there is any plastic around the cap and it is hassle-free to the nozzle (which it needed 4 gallons, as it must have had a in reserve).

HOW DID IT GET SO PLEASANTLY CIVILIZED AT THE Back on the street and onto the Side Highway heading where I can open the baby up. 15 into the ride and I am somewhat with the absence of mind power, which I have expecting all this time read on, it gets better).

it be me? Have I gotten so jaded a 170HP, 545LBS (wet) just doesn’t get me excited any Where is the uncontrollable rush of

There as I push the rev above and get a hint of extra power, it on me. This is a gentlemen’s Supersport and not a machine. I know what you are I wasn’t pushing it, I was too timid to get to know the bike- Anyone who has me ride can attest to the fact I redline my RS frequently and in all gears. At 590 lbs wet and 125 rearwheel HP, my K12RS is not mild

Don’t get me wrong, the new K1200S is but it is a kind of smart, controlled, fast. I believe that is the reason I love my RS. I can spend on that bike, do on average 500 a day and enjoy the sheer sense of the beautiful dash (now with Carbon Fiber to the folks at Z-Technik ), the stability, the cruising speed and on and on.

As I was working turns I accepted the fact the K1200S is a sweet cornering and it certainly corners much than the RS, however that’s not much since almost lighter sport bike better than the RS. Nevertheless it is to ride a lighter, more bike that still the values that some of us dear in the two-wheel world.

For riding speed and luxury is fun than just speed or alone.

There lies the to BMW’s new Supersport. It is the next of this exact concept.

COMPARISON: As I paused to take pictures, I was reminded of my first ride on the K1200RS back in Compare to my then K1100RS, the K12 was a

It felt very quick, it better, it was lower, the Telelever was a and the lack of dive was simply Within 30 minutes I was blown by the beauty and power of that I had to have one and I did get one 4 months later. Now 6 later, I am test riding the generation K bike, the supposed if we lived in a perfect world. The compare to the RS is lighter, corners faster, more agile, but it is very similar in many

Is it possible that because I a hyped version of the K12 the differences less extreme? The familiarity was a welcome, as I truly enjoy my RS.

ESA: ESA is on both front and rebound only on the front and pre-load on the back.

During my I played with the ESA settings. The can be adjusted when the bike is like at red lights, the rebound can be any time. I switched between and Sport and noticed a slight in stiffness. Switching to Comfort the edge off the suspension.

I do need time on the seat before you a valid comment on the ESA. it is an ingenious invention, however as I this paper I am not sold on it. I my suspension settings on near max therefore I’m not a type who too much about plush Note: It has been brought to my that the ESA has a break-in period and may 1000 miles before it’s full potential.

THE The seat is simply marvelous for an But for my taste, a Sargent Cycle Sport Seat with back acceleration support be a must on this bike. One to be held in place on acceleration to ending up on the rear seat.

POSITING, ERGONOMICS AND OVERALL The new K1200S is narrower than the RS and it is by about 80 lbs, however its is longer by just short of an In a longer bike I should be more comfortable but I felt I felt that I was a little too to the bars nothing too bad or uncomfortable, but I more distance to the bars and I prefer them wider.

The position on the K1200S is just more aggressive than my RS, is set to the original 1999 settings (no bars, and the pegs in the high I felt very comfortable on BMW and completely at home. The slight was a surprise, as the RS is known for its silky ride, however it is of no significant

WINDSHIELD: The shield is very designed. I’m 5 10 and found it to be ideal. It provided just the amount of coverage and made flights even more and quiet. No issues with the and wind tunnel testing has paid off.

KINSHIP: the I took some photos and . I decided to take this ride more seriously. all I’m supposed to be enjoying The tires were scuffed in enough and it was time to get more I began riding the K12S as I normally ride my bike and the of the engineering and overall feel of the gradually grew on me.

I felt a click that I normally only with my RS. I am not certain why it shock me but this bike like an extension of my body in a short 30 minutes. I felt a that I do not share with motorcycles in such a short

SPEED: Red line is at 10,500RPM, the rev kicked in at 105MPH in second and at about 125-130MPH in third (one time at 125 and another at

I topped 135MPH in 4th gear deciding to cool it. This is designed to handle the mid to upper digits in ease. It is at home in any over 120MPH, in some even more so than the 620 lbs RS. The new BMW comes alive in those It is simply solid.

I can’t a higher praise than:

Brakes: The bike feels and the brakes are sensational, I wish I make up a word to describe the alone. They are like an anchor, or opening a parachute. The are 100% mind blowing, and times superior to non-EVO

A BAT OUT OF HELL OR THE GIXXER FACTOR: I to visit a friend who rides an Suzuki GSXR-1000 (he let’s me his bike from time to for a back-to-back comparison. I parked the S in his and let him ogle over the new as I took his for a ride. (His bike is not although it has no engine mods. It have the following alternations: gearing in the rear sprocket: +2

BMW K1200S

Ferrodo track brakes, steel -2 race brake up front. Ohlins steering

Compare to the K1200S the Gixxer is a bat out of There is immense power the get go and with no end in sight.

There is so power that you are simply by this beast. Was I expecting the experience when I first the K1200S? I think so and that’s why I was disappointed. Compare to the BMW the Suzuki is smaller, lighter, narrower, compact and truly outstanding in of power delivery.

I had to be at my most when riding this This machine just into life from and the torque keeps building redline. I managed 148MPH slowing down without very hard (I was encouraged by my to be merciless to his bike).

The Gixxer has all the speed you’d dream and it is quite a rush but it the comfort and the luxury. Such as

After I got back on the BMW, it like a GT. Compare to a race-ready like the Suzuki, the K1200S like a magic carpet And for me it is a better choice.

The Suzuki is exhilarating and would make an track bike but for me the K1200S is as fast, corners very with superior brakes yet the degree of comfort and luxury I crave in a bike.

I understood the BMW more after my ride on the I also realized that the that causes the illusion of on the S is the delayed introduction of massive

In the S the real power kicks in at the RPMs but in the Suzuki it is available idle.

DUOLEVER: The Duolever bumps better than the Telelever. The short travel of the RS suspension is an issue on rough The Duolever solves that It also removes some of the by providing feedback.

One interesting on the way back to BMW of Manhattan I got some air on the Side Highway and I could you from experience nothing can the RS from the ground. So there’s 80 pounds difference. As for other including cornering I would to reserve judgment until I had the pleasure of riding this in the twisty secondary roads.

Very impressive. The search for is gone.

For a longtime BMW rider the is a joy. No comments really. It what it supposed to. My RS got this after 30,000 miles, should pretty much it up.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is so hot and so new, it turns heads, people to stop on their and walk up to you to inquire.

For the record at the end of my I had exhausted half of the tank. the fuel mileage is expected to get with time.

I like to add the new K1200S doesn’t end the rein of the the way the later terminated the spark of the

The K1200RS is still quite for the following reasons: Its weight a planted solid feel is amazingly luxurious on our roadways. The RS is smooth with zero The RS is lower, and has the advantage of nestling the inside the bike, rather on the bike. The RS’s dash is a and truly lovely to glance on days of riding and for most of us, it is fast with nearly too power.

CONCLUSION: The K1200S is a successful and incarnation of the K range and a superb in the global Supersport market Its combination of outstanding luxury, comfort, brakes, safety and places it in a league all its own. again, BMW has managed to raise the bar for the universe.

Shahram Shiva

25, 2005

UPDATE: April 8,

Another ride on the KS today. time for 10 miles in morning This is the same bike I rode from new and it had 120 miles on it

K12S handles traffic well and because it is narrow plenty of torque, makes splitting a snap. This is a bike indeed and it was even the second time around. Now a little mileage the engine even more powerful. For my I would change the shield to than stock with a tint. I prefer unobstructed air to hit my upper chest and not my helmet—for in quiet riding.

I have setup on my RS and it is a thing of beauty. The also has to go, a Sargent would do for this bike. I love the gearing and the bike is very in low revs.

UPDATE: April 16,

My ride on the Gray K1200S Today I rode the bike this time it had 550 miles on it.

The seemed to have more It made me focus harder to try to it under control. I would that it had about 15% more all at the right places too. It what mileage does to a

The bike is now broken in, and after the 600 service it should simply I noticed that it had much pick up from idle. So so, that the front wheel to come up.

It put a big smile on my face. to other test riders, do not sport bikes on powerband 0 miles, wait a couple of miles for a more accurate 😉

Click here to read a focused version of this ride

BMW K1200S
BMW K1200S
BMW K1200S

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