Originally Posted by Jet-A
What a great forum! I have been reading many posts and I am clearly at the right place with most of the riders here with some experience (and not a bunch of squids).
Anyway - I currently own (including the pink slip) a 2003 Orient Blue K1200GT with a full Z-Tech exhaust and chip. I am a sport-biker at heart (former 600cc amateur class rider) and every now and then I push the little ole GT right to it's limits. I have an opportunity to buy an "S" and I wanted to know if there are good/bad reasons to do this. I have read a lot of threads about warranty issues and I am concerned about going from a nearly flawless bike to a possible nightmare? All thoughts/recommendations are welcome.
Thanks in advance!!
If you search the K1200S section you'll find tons of opinions and a host of other things that may help you make your choice. However, I think you'll find the majority of folks that have KS's may have had some issues but overall they love the bike (as do I).
The following is a "cut and paste" of my opinions from a recent email exchange between "Racegun" and myself:
Quote: Time for an updated ride report on the K1200S.
Well, as you may or may not know, I too owned a R1200GS for about 14 months and put nearly 15000 miles on it during that time. My experience with the R12GS brought me to the conclusion that itís the most versatile and capable all around motorcycle Iíve ever owned. The only reason I donít still have it is because Iím just a working stiff that can only afford to own one motorcycle at a time.
In my 25+ years of motorcycling Iíve ridden just about every type of bike there is from cruisers, to quads, to dirt bikes, to sport bikes and the enduro GS. I find my passion is geared towards road riding and more specifically sport touring / road riding. With that and even though I loved my GS, I still longed for more horsepower, high speed strait and cornering stability and touring comfort.
The K1200S promised to provide all this in one exceptional package and so I sold the GS and have been the happy owner of the K1200S since November 2005.
First let me say, there are still times I miss my R12GS and although I think the K1200S has met every one of my expectations and is almost the perfect road bike for me, itís not without fault. The faults however have been minor and do not tarnish my shining image of this fine machine.
I think you'll find the K1200S is most of what you have already read on many of these forums. Powerful, stable, comfortable. Comparatively speaking its low maintenance motorcycle with itís sealed paraleaver maintenance free drive shaft and systems that donít seem to require constant service or adjustments.
I generally ride about 150 to 200 miles on any given weekend day and have done a few 400 hundred mile days in total comfort with a big grin on my face. I avoid the slab and seek out any road that twists and bends its way through the desert or mountains. The bike is built for fast sweepers and long tight curves but still holds it own in the tight technical stuff too. I really believe the Hossack inspired front end is a marvel of engineering for a bike like this. It makes a long wheelbase seem allot shorter and soaks up bumps without upsetting the bikes line through a turn. Sure itís not as nimble as an R6 or Buell but I found that on most any public road those bikes have little or no advantage in the hands of similar riders. What the BMW does do is run with the sport bikes in the mountains then get you from A to B on the highway in a comfort the others only wish they had.
Faults: The biggest issues I had was a failed clutch while on a trip 600 miles from home. It turned out to be a bad ďSlave CylinderĒ which was replaced by the dealer under warranty. FWIW, my research suggests that the ďslave cylinderĒ problem has effected a few other bikes including the R1200GS. It seems to be an occasional issue with some 2005 and later bikes and not specifically a K bike issue.
The other issue seems to be a fuel mapping issue. I have on occasion experience a power lag while trying to roll on throttle coming out of a turn. This is one issue Iím hoping gets corrected soon.
Still, neither of these issues have changed my mind about my choice to purchase the K1200S. Nearly every single ride leaves a smile on my face and reflections in my memory of good times on this bike.
For me, at this point in my life and if I can only have one bike, Iím sure Iíve made the right choice in getting the K1200S.
If thereís anything specific youíd like to know, donít hesitate to ask.
Two more things:
First: The K1200S is not a bike that likes to go slow either. Although I've been known to cruise through tows at 25 - 30 MPH, it's like making a race horse pull a fruit cart. It's just doesn't want to be doing that. The open road is the place for the KS. It doesn't mind slowing down to pass through some little town along the way or to manage a tight hair pin turn at 20 MPH so long as you get to roll on the power shortly afterward. It surely hates being in the city and in traffic. If forced to manage stop and go traffic or linger anywhere south of 3500 RPM it protests a little. But then again, I don't want to be in city traffic or putting around at 30 MPH either.
Second: The KR is basically the exact same bike as the KS minus the faring, a slight change in steering geometry, and a slight gearing change for a bit more torque but a bit less top end. Other than looks, I don't think the differences are really noticable on public roads. It's not a city bike either. The GS is really a much better metro bike.
I like the KS because I really enjoy getting into the "art of the ride" (as a friend of mine called it). I love finding a great mountain road on a beautiful day and relish the opportunity to get off the seat and execute every turn to the best of my ability. Then when the day is done, get back on the slab, set the ESA to comfort and enjoy the ride home.
I also forgot to mention that the KS and I tend to eat up tires much faster than I did on the GS.