To Buy, or NOT to Buy... a K1200S; Issues ('05-'08) - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 2012, 6:57 pm Thread Starter
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To Buy, or NOT to Buy... a K1200S; Issues ('05-'08)

Hey Folks,

I'm a self-admitted internet research geek looking to move into a nice sport/sport-touring bike from my 2009 Ducati Monster that I bought new. I thought I wanted a Honda VFR800 for it's stellar reputation as a great all around bike. But then I discovered the BMW K1200S....

From all the looking I've done, it would seem this is one fast but comfortable sport-touring bike perfect for a 40 something rider such as myself. Not really well-heeled, I was pleased to find used 2005-08 models are going for $7-8,000 nearby with 10-20,000 miles of wear. But then I bumped into A LOT of complaints in the forums, this one and others. Stories of too many failed transmissions, scary brake issues, a host of nagging electrical issues, etc. is scaring me off. From the looks of it, this model has been plagued with problems from the start. And they seem to have not been well-sorted either as years passed. Lots of folks state "but all was covered under warranty," even if it took half a Summer to get parts from Germany.... Well, I would not have the luxury of a warranty in most cases, nor would I want to risk it anyway from what I've read.

I take all of what I read online with a grain of salt, realizing most who take the time to post on a forum are either: discontent claiming the sky is falling or, at the opposite end of the spectrum - the elated who are proud of their new bikes.

Now onto the meat of what I am asking:

How significant and wide-spread are the issues with the K1200S series bikes? I'm not talking about independent cases here, but a real statistical analysis. Has anyone seen the tabulated data after all this time? If so, where can I access this from a reliable source? It's hard to get a bead on the real matters at hand without a broad perspective.

I really am trying to talk myself into the brand here! But am finding myself quite reluctant given the glut of negative comments so easily found on the various forums. I'm not particularly hard on my bikes, quite the contrary I suppose, but I do expect an expensive machine like the BMW to perform near flawlessly for at least 10 years or 100K before deserves the only slot in my garage.

At risk of offending an unusually proud crowd of brand loyalists (yet open to suggestions),

Jason of Oregon
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 20th, 2012, 5:14 pm
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These are good bikes. However you will have to own one to make up your own opinion. My suggestion = by the bike you would like to ride the most. Also check out the k1200r sport for more comfortable egros. If drivabilty and tourqe or king on your list look at Aprilia Futura and Triumph ST. I think the k bike is the best for highway use. Super smooth, no highway vibes, long, heavy, and stable for high winds and rain. I was worried when I got mine too. 13k miles later, no issues at all..... Bottom line buy what you like best. Remember there is not a perfect bike out there, but there are a few that come close. I think the K1200 is one of those.... Good luck!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 23rd, 2012, 9:39 pm
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I have almost 80,000 miles on my early build 05. No major issues. (Fingers crossed).
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2012, 2:28 pm
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I am in the same position as you, I recently started looking at the k1200s because there were/are a couple of good deals around.

All the research I have done thus far, tells me to stay away from 05 and 06, the 07 and 08 models seem to have the bugs worked out. Something about a remapped fuel programming and also less transmission problems.

BTW if you have not test road one, I would suggest it. I was focused on R bikes but within 2 miles on a k1300s at the dealer I was a complete convert.

Also, I am planning on staying away from ESA.

If anyone disagrees with the above please feel free to add thoughts.

Matt
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 30th, 2012, 4:51 pm
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I have no knowledge of the K1200S, but in general would recommend either avoiding the early ESA on a used bike or plan on replacing it with Ohlins/Wilbers, etc. I love my K13S, though I understand a number issues/preferences were solved with it from the 1200S. It is great in the twisties as well as on the freeway, and I even love it so much on the track I put on BT-003 race rubber in June for a two dayer. My recommendation would be that IF a 1300S is available in your price range, it would likely be the better purchase. Which ever way you go, enjoy! (57 and every new bike I get seems to be a little bit sportier....looking at my son's Duc ST4 that is up for sale.)

Jim Douglas
'00 K1200RS >135,000 mi, '09 K1300S sold @ 22,232 mi
'93 K1100RS traded up @ 78,000 mi, '85 K100RS sold @44,000 mi, Kawi 650 track bike - sold
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 6th, 2013, 8:11 am
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Considering purchasing a K1200S

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbjay
Hey Folks,

I'm a self-admitted internet research geek looking to move into a nice sport/sport-touring bike from my 2009 Ducati Monster that I bought new. I thought I wanted a Honda VFR800 for it's stellar reputation as a great all around bike. But then I discovered the BMW K1200S....

From all the looking I've done, it would seem this is one fast but comfortable sport-touring bike perfect for a 40 something rider such as myself. Not really well-heeled, I was pleased to find used 2005-08 models are going for $7-8,000 nearby with 10-20,000 miles of wear. But then I bumped into A LOT of complaints in the forums, this one and others. Stories of too many failed transmissions, scary brake issues, a host of nagging electrical issues, etc. is scaring me off. From the looks of it, this model has been plagued with problems from the start. And they seem to have not been well-sorted either as years passed. Lots of folks state "but all was covered under warranty," even if it took half a Summer to get parts from Germany.... Well, I would not have the luxury of a warranty in most cases, nor would I want to risk it anyway from what I've read.

I take all of what I read online with a grain of salt, realizing most who take the time to post on a forum are either: discontent claiming the sky is falling or, at the opposite end of the spectrum - the elated who are proud of their new bikes.

Now onto the meat of what I am asking:

How significant and wide-spread are the issues with the K1200S series bikes? I'm not talking about independent cases here, but a real statistical analysis. Has anyone seen the tabulated data after all this time? If so, where can I access this from a reliable source? It's hard to get a bead on the real matters at hand without a broad perspective.

I really am trying to talk myself into the brand here! But am finding myself quite reluctant given the glut of negative comments so easily found on the various forums. I'm not particularly hard on my bikes, quite the contrary I suppose, but I do expect an expensive machine like the BMW to perform near flawlessly for at least 10 years or 100K before deserves the only slot in my garage.

At risk of offending an unusually proud crowd of brand loyalists (yet open to suggestions),

Jason of Oregon
Jason:

After all your research, what did you decide to do? I ask because I board a plane on June 14th to test ride a K1200S that's for sale. Like you, I have scoured the Internet and I am concerned. The present owner swears his bike has none of the issues that you and others have mentioned. I was able to persuade the owner to take the bike I for its 20K service and to complete 2 recalls. I am waiting to hear the results.
Of course, you are probably wondering why I don't opt for the 2009 model instead. My budget is limited and I don't want to wait 3 more years until I have saved enough to afford a 2009. I guess I am prepared to take my chance on the '06, trust that the owner is being honest, and hope that somehow this particular bike does not have the same issues.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 2013, 6:14 pm
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Just bought a 2007 1200s and loving it. Except trans become exceptionally loud in neutral. Heard it could be clutch basket and maybe plates with 23000km on he clock. Also left key in ignition once whilst having a coffee ended up with flat battery after one hour and had to push start... Recharged on way home. I would say for the money you get a lot of bang for your buck and they are great bikes for sport touring. I have a Laser hotcam pipe and sounds way better than any Japanese competition. On sound alone I dismissed getting a VFR
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