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Thread: Are our bikes that good?

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    DrPaul DrPaul's Avatar
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    Are our bikes that good?

    I've had my previously-owned 2008 K1200GT for about a year and a half and around 12K miles. It's been about the most trouble-free motorcycle I've owned in my 40+ years of riding. Judging by the low posting activity on this 'Wedge K-bikes' sub-forum, I'm guessing the rest of you must feel the same. Heck, even the never-ending and always-entertaining oil and tire threads are rare here! So, are our bikes really that good? Or, are there just a lot fewer generation-2 K riders out there than the other BMW models can claim? Or, are we so busy riding and tinkering with these fine machines there is no time to post our comments and concerns? Guess I'm just trying to kick start a little mid-summer discussion about our favorite two-wheeler. Anyone out there? Hello?
    DrPaul - 2008 K1200GT
    2004 R1150RT - sold,1974 R90/6 - sold
    2002 R1150RT - sold,1987 K75S - sold

  2. #2
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    Back in '88 at the Madison Indiana rally, one of the attending wrenches mentioned how all of his work was with airheads, the only K to come through just had a leaky fuel line clamp. Give your bike some time and miles, it will develop a full set of issues
    1987 K75S
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    2012 Ural Gear Up

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPaul View Post
    I've had my previously-owned 2008 K1200GT for about a year and a half and around 12K miles. It's been about the most trouble-free motorcycle I've owned in my 40+ years of riding. Judging by the low posting activity on this 'Wedge K-bikes' sub-forum, I'm guessing the rest of you must feel the same. Heck, even the never-ending and always-entertaining oil and tire threads are rare here! So, are our bikes really that good? Or, are there just a lot fewer generation-2 K riders out there than the other BMW models can claim? Or, are we so busy riding and tinkering with these fine machines there is no time to post our comments and concerns? Guess I'm just trying to kick start a little mid-summer discussion about our favorite two-wheeler. Anyone out there? Hello?
    Well, since you asked... recalls and issues do exist. The infamous air box issue. Not really replaced unless you asked for it I think it was. Been a long time so memory is weak on this one and attitude far more negative than 5 years ago. ABS failures were definitely in there. Final drive failures as well. Some type of wiring problems with the brake pads I think. Cam chain tensioner issues as well I seem to recall. Could be wrong on that one. For fact they didn't survive very long in the marketplace. Nor did their replacement the K1300GT.

    So, to answer your question... No, they are really not that good. But the appropriate question is really Are you happy with yours? Apparently so and that is a good thing.

  4. #4
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Most of us who actually ride/ownthese models are relatively happy with ownership...heck, we have two S's. Like any hi tech model...it has a few blips...but when that 160+ HP roars under your saddle and makes one smile, all's good.
    .
    I just swapped an airbox & idle valve on a 2007 12GT and rode it earlier this week...RT on steroids...and I had one of those. Regular maintenance is key and riding it regularly helps with crummy fuel issues. It's the only model that had the brake wear indicators other than the LT, but a software flash often fixed that.
    The cam tensioner and chain guard mod seems to be the same issue the Oilhead boxers had with sloppy chain noise...it was just WAY louder on the early wedges.

    I think a lot of the K12/13 GT owners I know are most likely headed to a K16...I want a S or a R version

    And that would be MY opinion

    BTW ...Happy 4th
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    Most of us who actually ride/ownthese models are relatively happy with ownership...heck, we have two S's. Like any hi tech model...it has a few blips...but when that 160+ HP roars under your saddle and makes one smile, all's good.
    .
    I just swapped an airbox & idle valve on a 2007 12GT and rode it earlier this week...RT on steroids...and I had one of those. Regular maintenance is key and riding it regularly helps with crummy fuel issues. It's the only model that had the brake wear indicators other than the LT, but a software flash often fixed that.

    I think a lot of the K12/13 GT owners are most likely headed to a K16...I want a S version

    And that would be MY opinion

    BTW ...Happy 4th
    The K13 seemed to have worked most of the K12 bugs out. That K13 though was immediately hit with a recall on the handlebar switches. Very nice switches but they broke by the numbers when released. Lack of R&D presumably. I put a few long trips on that model and it was indeed a rocket ship having a bit more hp than the 12. 160 or 165 rings a bell for some reason. I think the 12 was actually somewhere around 150+ hp. Surprisingly comfortable for my 6'1" frame I have to admit as that was a concern prior to leaving on the trip. My only hesitation in owning one? The fear of being ticketed at somewhere in 3 figures which seemed to show up on every slab I cruised on. Actually rode between an Audi and a Benz on the Florida Turnpike one time while maintaining approximately 110 to 115 for almost 1 hour. Sure was capable of putting a smile on your face and me in jail so I bailed. If they could only get about 135 hp to 145 hp out of an RT.... oh yeah, + fatten up them front fork tubes. That bike would rock!

  6. #6
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    PB230036-L.jpgThis road was made for these bikes...SH130 tollway in Central TX...and the S comes in at 163 on the HP...dual air intakes help it breathe I assume

    I passed a State Trooper who was cruising at 70...never saw him again
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    PB230036-L.jpgThis road was made for these bikes...SH130 tollway in Central TX...and the S comes in at 163 on the HP...dual air intakes help it breathe I assume

    I passed a State Trooper who was cruising at 70...never saw him again
    Both 85 and 163 are nice numbers!

  8. #8
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    My 2007 F800S was so bad, it was lemoned out by BMW NA at less than 18 months old. The 2007 R1200S that replaced has had oil and tires a few times, and 6K and 12K service and that's it.
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    Jordan M, MOA #24434
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  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    The K13 seemed to have worked most of the K12 bugs out. That K13 though was immediately hit with a recall on the handlebar switches. Very nice switches but they broke by the numbers when released. Lack of R&D presumably. I put a few long trips on that model and it was indeed a rocket ship having a bit more hp than the 12. 160 or 165 rings a bell for some reason.
    175HP at the crank for the K1300S.
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #10
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    122HP for the R1200S and mine dry weight is well under 400lbs.
    My bike shown here
    Jordan M, MOA #24434
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  11. #11
    Rally Rat
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    My air box/idle valve has been replaced, having issues again and no warranty or help from BMW. With the lurching and crappy throttle response at low rpm I am at the point where I hate riding it. I added the "Booster Plug" but no help, probably because of the air box. I took the air box out and put a straight edge against it, cant find anything that is warped, but that is what the dealer is telling me. It is an '06 so well out of warranty and I don't think I should have to spend another $850 on a BMW fix that was already paid for once.

    Thinking of buying a airhead...........

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    The K13 seemed to have worked most of the K12 bugs out. That K13 though was immediately hit with a recall on the handlebar switches. Very nice switches but they broke by the numbers when released. Lack of R&D presumably. I put a few long trips on that model and it was indeed a rocket ship having a bit more hp than the 12. 160 or 165 rings a bell for some reason. I think the 12 was actually somewhere around 150+ hp. Surprisingly comfortable for my 6'1" frame I have to admit as that was a concern prior to leaving on the trip. My only hesitation in owning one? The fear of being ticketed at somewhere in 3 figures which seemed to show up on every slab I cruised on. Actually rode between an Audi and a Benz on the Florida Turnpike one time while maintaining approximately 110 to 115 for almost 1 hour. Sure was capable of putting a smile on your face and me in jail so I bailed. If they could only get about 135 hp to 145 hp out of an RT.... oh yeah, + fatten up them front fork tubes. That bike would rock!
    The the ticket issue is is the reason I stick with the oil heads. BTW, even the oil head is capable of sustained 115 MPH+ this time it was 3 Benzes, a BMW car, Cadillac CTS and an Audi. I was headed to Little Rock, out of fuel at Russleville only upper 20 mpg at that speed.

  13. #13
    DrPaul DrPaul's Avatar
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    OK, that got a little chatter going out there. And as one would expect with these powerful machines, the thread eventually distills down to horsepower and speed. No surprise; that's likely the fundamental reason we own these bikes. Oh sure, the creature features of the K bike far surpass those of my R1150RTs. But it's when you twist that throttle ... well, you know what I mean.
    DrPaul - 2008 K1200GT
    2004 R1150RT - sold,1974 R90/6 - sold
    2002 R1150RT - sold,1987 K75S - sold

  14. #14
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    The creature comforts of a K bike are better than an RT??? Really? Not mine.

    I bought a used 06 K1200GT at a good price and well aware of its many design problems- and am slowing chewing through the ones mine has.
    For example, after installing both the new cam chain tensioner and the jump guard I still have a noisy on startup cam chain. Looks like I need to measure the chain and think about a new one at only 27K miles.
    The things wanders and is going to need ball joint replacement to restore handling.

    The tranny is clunk junk compared to any J brand bike or even newer BMWs but the much maligned clutch on mine seems fine to me though with a bit heavy lever effort.

    I'm confident of my ability to sort this thing out and get it running "as new" or better- which I'm doing to see if its power and handling are enough to keep me interested in letting it occupy garage space long term.
    So far, both its handling and power delivery are well below that of the K-RS brick (with RhineWest chip and Ohlins) that I also ride. Sure the wedge has a bit more up top but its total power curve isn't nearly as much fun or delivered as well. Perhaps by the time I sort the handling, I'll have figured out what I need to do about that. I haven't delved into airboxes and programming, yet.

    The whizzie brakes on the 06 GT are the worst of any of the 4 BMWs in our fleet for feel and take more effort than they should on a bike this fast- though they work well enough in the end. EBC HH's helped- at least it feels more like my (non whizzie) 08 RT that uses the same pads.

    These bikes died because they didn't sell well and probably because BMW saw a big opportunity to improve margin with the 6 which can likely be built at a very similar factory cost. The RT. GS or whatever is in general a better handling, more comfortable machine that is cheaper and simpler to maintain- and is the core of brand history. Perhaps if the first wedges had been an all star design and execution they'd still be around, but they were neither..The early wedges are yet one more example of why its good to wait until year 4 before purchasing a new to the line model and both the 6 and waterboxer seems to be proving it yet again..I can think about replacing my 08 RT in about 2018.....

  15. #15
    DrPaul DrPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    The creature comforts of a K bike are better than an RT??? Really?
    My last RT was a 2004. No heated seat, no cruise control, no computer, no ESA, no brake pad wear indicator. I guess the newer RTs have all of that now. Anyway, sorry you've had all the problems with your '06. Hope you get them sorted out.
    DrPaul - 2008 K1200GT
    2004 R1150RT - sold,1974 R90/6 - sold
    2002 R1150RT - sold,1987 K75S - sold

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