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Thread: Opinions: buying a 2004 K1200GT

  1. #1
    Maniacal Engineer
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    Opinions: buying a 2004 K1200GT

    This is getting ridiculous. Bought a new Bonneville last fall to re-live the 60s. Then bought a pretty 2004 R1150RS in March to have a serious sport-tourer. My wife decided she IS interested in riding with me and actually going somewhere, so now my eye on a certain short-mileage, well-farkled 2004 K12GT to replace the RS.

    Question is, does this model have any ergonomic shortcomings or mechanical problems? I like the idea of the old longitudinal engine -- assuming the bugs were dealt with years ago. Any comments, cheers or criticisms welcome.

    Art

  2. #2
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    I love and hate my GT.

    If I'm going 2 up it's either a day trip or I have a sherpa hauling my gear.

    The bags are small and hard to open/close.

    If I'm carving up a mountain pass in Vermont, I'm a happy camper.

    I have put bar backs on mine they helped a lot.

    It looks great.

    It pulls to the right so much so my left shoulder aches after a long day of riding, I'm pushing left ALL day long. The only time I can let up on left is for a sweeping right hand turn.

    It is fast.

    The millage is mediocre (40 mpg), but I'm thankful for the short range because the seat sucks.

    Did I say how good it looks?

    I took my 20 year old K75 cross country last year instead of the GT. It's my all day, 2 up bike. The GT...is my poser bike.

    And it's depreciated so much since the replacement came out, I'll probably be loving and hating it for a few more years to come.

    Day at the Lake
    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
    05 R12GS
    87 K75CT

  3. #3
    Lookin' good, America! 68820's Avatar
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    Thumbs up My K12RS is fine...

    for touring, commuting, and riding in general. There are some things that make the bike better: driving lights, a Sargent saddle, a peg lowering kit, louder horns. It has a small left bag. Mine tracks straight, so I can't complain about pain after a long day in the saddle. It doesn't get great mileage and the tank is small. The bike eats miles on the highway. For me, it does the trick.

    The 2004 K1200GT is a little more "civilized" than the K1200RS. It has a more upright seating position. The weather protection is better. The windshield is electric, it has a heated seat, and cruise control. Add a Stealth Backrest and you're good to go.

    If you don't care about the vintage, look at the K11 series. The K1100RS is a great bike, with large bags and decent gas mileage. There are plenty of them on the road with more than 100K miles and still going strong. The K1100LT is also worth a look. It has more touring features than the RS, but at the expense of sportiness. The K11 Owners Group is visiting for more info.

  4. #4
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Thumbs up My favorite bike.

    My K1200RS is the most satisfying bike I've owned, and fits my riding style very well. I do a lot of cross-country touring and live in the west (west of the Rockies) where there are a lot of open roads and big, fast sweepers.

    The K1200RS is incredibly stable, especially at higher speeds and/or in side winds, and it eats up miles and corners like cake. I get between 45 and 50 MPG if I keep it to 75~85. I have hit as high at 55 MPG running a steady 75~80 through the mid-west. The brakes are fantastic, the bike is dead smooth at any speed, and it never seems to work hard. Passing is just fun.

    I don't like all the wind blockage of an RT-style bike, so the RS body work is just right for me. The GT has a bit more, but not too much for my tastes.

    I've ridden the newer ("Flying Wedge") K-bikes and although they are very fast and good handling, I prefer the smoothness and stability of the K1200RS/GT series.

    One last thing, if you don't own a Valentine One - buy one immediately after buying this bike. It's much cheaper that way.
    Greg Feeler
    BMW MOA Director & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  5. #5
    Registered User jgr451's Avatar
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    I love my 04 GT.

    I have 30 ,000 km on it.I have 80,000 km on my 01 pickup truck...bought them both new.
    Just sayin.
    Sometimes,nothing is a real cool hand.

  6. #6
    Mudbug
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    K1200GT is great

    It is a great bike. Good for solo and 2-up riding. If you want larger bags, you can get large, black replacement lids. The reason the bags have limited space is the left bag is cut out for exhaust.

    I get 44 mpg on the highway and 40 in the city. I ride all over the country without a worry. I left the handle bars and foot pegs in their original position. I did get a used Corbin saddle. The OEM saddle does not fit me as well. I also bought a BMW trunk. GIVI makes one that is larger and better.

  7. #7
    DHairgrove
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    K1200gt

    Got mine new in '04 and put 92K miles on her with no major problems. The stock "comfort" seat is OK for shorter trips, but if you plan to do long trips with your spouse get a Russell or Mayer. You might want to trade the stock bag lids for the extra wide ones and let her use the larger one

    I got a Uni-go for our camping gear and that works out nicely too.

  8. #8
    From MARS
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    When I went looking for a bike, it came down to the K-RS or GT. They're basically the same bike, so it came down to price. The RS was a couple of grand cheaper. After modifying it to fit me, with bar-backs, GT windscreen, and a new seat, (total cash outlay=$800) I couldn't be happier.

    Much of my riding is done during the winter months when I have more time to play. Originally, I thought that not having the added protection from the elements offered by the GT was going to be a problem, but that hasn't proven to be the case. I'm an ATGATT rider and have found that, with electrics, I don't need the added protection in the cold, and I don't want it in the summer heat.

    The only complaint comes from the SO riding pillion. She says that, compared to the K75 we used to have, there is much more wind. She sits higher on the K-RS. Raising the windscreen doesn't help. In fact, she says that the lowered position is more comfortable. There is more wind, but less buffeting.

    Overall, I don't see how one could go wrong with either version of this phenomenal machine.

    Tom

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheRidesABeemer View Post
    I love and hate my GT.


    It pulls to the right so much so my left shoulder aches after a long day of riding, I'm pushing left ALL day long. The only time I can let up on left is for a sweeping right hand turn.


    Day at the Lake
    I too have a love/hate relationship with my K1200GT.
    As to the pulling right, I gave up and removed the spacer on the rear wheel
    and carry about 10-12 pounds in the left bag. It really makes it nicer.

    I do call it Sledge as in Sledge Hammer. It is not very subtle, it is very heavy, it is
    awkward moving around at slow speed, but it is VERY powerful and fast.

  10. #10
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDRUNNER View Post
    I too have a love/hate relationship with my K1200GT.
    As to the pulling right, I gave up and removed the spacer on the rear wheel
    and carry about 10-12 pounds in the left bag. It really makes it nicer.

    I do call it Sledge as in Sledge Hammer. It is not very subtle, it is very heavy, it is
    awkward moving around at slow speed, but it is VERY powerful and fast.
    I wouldn't remove that "spacer" if it were me, because it's not a spacer - it's a friction coupler designed to keep the mating surfaces of the wheel and rear drive tightly coupled.

    As for pulling to the right, all BMW's with the driveshaft on the right do it to some degree because that side is heavier. The K-bikes are arguably a bit worse because the engine crankshaft is also on the right side. However, if you have to fight the bike, then I would say there is something wrong, or you're not allowing for highway camber. In many parts of the country the non-Interstate roads have quite a curve to the for water drainage. Riding on one of those with a K-bike will create a fair amount of right-hand pull. I'd be interested to know how badly you think your bike pulls to the right when on a dead flat surface - like a multi-lane section of Interstate.
    Greg Feeler
    BMW MOA Director & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregFeeler View Post
    I wouldn't remove that "spacer" if it were me, because it's not a spacer - it's a friction coupler designed to keep the mating surfaces of the wheel and rear drive tightly coupled.
    OK, I'll put it back.
    It didn't seem to have much effect anyway.

    Thanks

  12. #12
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDRUNNER View Post
    OK, I'll put it back.
    It didn't seem to have much effect anyway.

    Thanks
    Common mistake, apparently. I though it was a spacer for a long time, but got better information along the way.
    Greg Feeler
    BMW MOA Director & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  13. #13
    Republic of Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhbmw View Post
    This is getting ridiculous. Bought a new Bonneville last fall to re-live the 60s. Then bought a pretty 2004 R1150RS in March to have a serious sport-tourer. My wife decided she IS interested in riding with me and actually going somewhere, so now my eye on a certain short-mileage, well-farkled 2004 K12GT to replace the RS.
    Uh . . . why not just keep the RS? Hard side cases and a top case (which can be removed when you're not touring), and a good tank bag (Marsee Corona mount?), and you should be good to go for long distance two-up.
    Mike White
    MOA Life Time Member #57882
    '13 K1300S "30 Years", '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '97 Ducati 916, '95 Ducati 900SS CR. Gone, but not forgotten, '75 R90S

  14. #14
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeemerMike View Post
    Uh . . . why not just keep the RS? Hard side cases and a top case (which can be removed when you're not touring), and a good tank bag (Marsee Corona mount?), and you should be good to go for long distance two-up.
    My guess is to be able to tour two-up with the same (or more) passing power as solo on the R1150...
    Greg Feeler
    BMW MOA Director & Ambassador
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

  15. #15
    Republic of Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregFeeler View Post
    My guess is to be able to tour two-up with the same (or more) passing power as solo on the R1150...
    Gee, why didn't I think of that? Oh yeah, because he didn't mention more power as one of the reasons to change bikes!

    I don't know how much he and his S.O. weigh, so I don't know how much of an acceleration penalty he would incur. I do know that I and my S.O. travel two-up on a mere R1100RS, and we do not have any problems passing people.

    Since he said he bought the R1150RS to have "a serious sport-tourer", I was assuming he would still like to have one. The GT would certainly have more power for two-up, but it also has more dead weight that has to dragged around corners. The R1150RS has more-than-adequate power for two-up touring, has plenty of room for two people and their stuff, AND he already owns it! I was just suggesting that he may not want to jump to a new bike until he is sure he needs a new bike.
    Mike White
    MOA Life Time Member #57882
    '13 K1300S "30 Years", '95 R1100RS, '88 K75S, '97 Ducati 916, '95 Ducati 900SS CR. Gone, but not forgotten, '75 R90S

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