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Thread: '04 K1200RS Advice!!

  1. #1
    snats48
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    '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
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    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
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    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
    NCS
    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
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    Snats,


    Welcome to the forum!

    Please read: http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...r-thread-title!

    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.



    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

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

  5. #5
    Registered User texasmule's Avatar
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    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.

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    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.

  7. #7
    Registered User texasmule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakerider View Post
    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.
    No, outstanding buys out there on K12RS/GTs. We picked up my wife's '03 GT a couple months ago w/15K miles for $6,650 and it was in excellent condition w/many accessories. Bought the '04 RS in 2011 w/8K miles and it was damn near new $7,250.

    These bikes are so overlooked by BMW riders (all riders) that they are a bargain out there right now.

    They pull like a freight train, are water cooled, have cruise, built like a panzer tank. The only downside is riding position (I'm 6'3"), but I can say that about most bikes.

    My wife rode the RS for a year, and we started looking for a GT for her since she loved it so much. (had to have the heated seat, and electric windscreen, women) She has ridden damn near every BMW made, and she really likes the brick K12s. (the girl likes HP) BTW, she had a 2006 K12GT and didn't like it, not enough linear torque.

  8. #8
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    lakerider- you don't hold yourself up by your wrists/arms. ride "light." hold yourself up with your core. google "master yoda riding position" for a more thorough explanation.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  9. #9
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    Agreeing with you don't hold yourself up by your wrist. I have my K-RS set up as far forward as I can make it. Using the early bar mounts forward and pegs back. (This is probably 5 inches in front of GT bars. I depend upon my core and the air flow to care for the upper body. Seldom is it my wrist that are sore. I have found that this position actually helps my back feel looser and freer.

    As for the feet back behind you feeling. I have become accustom to riding with my feet on rear pegs. Again my core and knees holding against the tank support most of the weight. The balls of the feet back on the regular pegs feel very neutral. The RC 51 feels a little more like the feet are behind you. Arms are much lower there. In a semi crouch on the RC 51 the elbows are down near the knees and the forearms almost parallel with the thighs. This isn't really possible on the K RS even with the bars low. The K-RS feels like a big old hwy cruiser when switching back and forth between the two.

    When I have ridden an RT it feels like my feet are out in front, totally out of place and out of a place of balance and readiness. The bars feel like they are crowding back into the riding area. I know it all works out once you are used to it. Just be prepared that, again the K-RS (and brick GT) are not an RT. You can easily see the ergo differences at cycle-egros.com

    I think the end word again is the RT and K RS are not the same. When you switch, ride a year before you begin worrying about fixing any thing. Let the newness of the positions grow with you.

    from cycle-ergo.com (consider these trends in the seating ergos and not exact. I left it at the standard height of 6' and 32" inseam and 95% straight arm)
    R12RT forward lean 0 knee bent 80 (smaller = more bent) seat 32.5
    R11RS forward lean 15 knee bent 72 seat 31.7
    R12GS forward lean 0 knee bent 86 seat 33.6
    K75S forward lean 18 knee bent 86 seat 32.8
    K12GT Brick fwd lean 18 Knee bent 81 seat 31.6 (did they get this reversed with the RS? I know mine feels similar to a K-S in forward lean)
    K12RS forward lean 15 Knee bent 71 seat 31.7
    K12S wedge fwd lean 26 Knee bent 74 seat 32.2
    K12GTWedge fwd lean 6 knee bent 78 seat 31.6
    K16GT forward lean 8 knee bent 88 seat 33.4
    s1000rr fwd lean 40 knee bent 70 seat 32.8
    Enjoy, Ride safe, and often and laugh even more.

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

  10. #10
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    I would say that , yes, that site got the KRS and KGT brick backwards. Going to my RS from my buddy's GT is as much different as going from my RS to my K1300S. My RS feels totally upright after riding the S, and the RS is without a doubt much more forward leaning than the GT (especially with the older bar mounts and set forward as you and I both have). The GT Brick also has the later stock peg mounts which are about an inch lower than the early stock RS mounts.
    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/

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    lakerider- you don't hold yourself up by your wrists/arms. ride "light." hold yourself up with your core. google "master yoda riding position" for a more thorough explanation.
    Yes, agreed. I am getting used to riding light and every new ride I feel lighter. But as the ride wears on I can feel it more in my hip bend, lower back, and eventually arms. I am just used to all my weight coming down the center of my spin with my feet directly below. My winter Aeroflow doesn't push me back either like the stock windshield does.

    Anyway, want to ride now but cold and icey in virginia.

  12. #12
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lakerider View Post
    Yes, agreed. I am getting used to riding light and every new ride I feel lighter. But as the ride wears on I can feel it more in my hip bend, lower back, and eventually arms. I am just used to all my weight coming down the center of my spin with my feet directly below. My winter Aeroflow doesn't push me back either like the stock windshield does.

    Anyway, want to ride now but cold and icey in virginia.
    Riding a K-RS is much more active than the R-RT. The more your ride the better you will be.
    We get two warm days before winter returns Thursday. I am planning to be on the bike both those days. You?

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

  13. #13
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    Well pt re the diffs
    Got an 08RT as main ride but also own a 06 K-GT (wedge motor) and ride an 02 K-RS regularly. The K-RS is my favorite motor of the bunch and my favorite if high speed sweepers are in the mix for the day..The RT is routine daily commuter and touring machine while the K-GT is for faster play days closer to home where the abiltieis of the K-RS aren't needed. (I'm too old for crotch rocket ergs)

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