My Test Ride THoughts - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 7:43 pm Thread Starter
 
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My Test Ride THoughts

I got to ride a 2005 K12S that only had about 1,500 miles on it.
The pleasant surprise was that once at highway speeds, the pressure on my wrists let up substantially as the wind pushed me up a bit. The engine delivered impressive, linear power. Brakes were excellent, ride heiget was perfecta as I could easily flat foot when at a stop.

The not-so-pleasant surprise was the lack of protection from the elements. Why this surprised me is a bit of a puzzle as this IS a sport bike afterall. I guess I heard several stories of coast-to-coast riding and assumed there was decent wind protection. I found there was none. I suposed I needed to haunch down more but that would not be comfortable after about 10 minutes. I pretty much froze my butt off and the wind sounded like a DC10 taking off in my helmet. I quickly was reminded that I forgot my earplugs. The only other complaint was it was not nearly as flickable as my MV Agusta (obviously as it weighs 200 pounds more than the Brutale).

Clearly this is a great bike......just not the great all-rounder that I was hoping it to be. I could not imagine going on trips in excess of 200 miles in total. I sure wanted to love this bike but maybe the GT might be the smarter choice for me.

Is there any significant difference between the '05 and '07 models?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 2nd, 2006, 8:13 pm
 
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I guess it all depends what you are used to...

Coming off my RSV1000R I found the K1200S to have very good wind protection! Maybe not quite as good as my old K1200RS (especially for my legs) but adequate and very good for a sportsbike. The K1200RS was more touring focused than the K1200S so I would expect it to have better protection.

I toured around Europe for weeks with my K1200RS and never felt the protection to be a problem, if you want tourer protection you have to buy a tourer bike (GT, RT etc). But compared to naked bikes and sportsbikes the K1200RS and K1200S are great!

It sounds to me as if you should test ride the GT. That has, I am sure, excellent wind protection.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 2006, 1:03 am
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Nothing significant between an '05 and '07 to change your impressions.

It is a great all rounder. A blast over shorter distances, fine for 100's of miles in a day. Consider the GT if you really want a lot of protection and have plans for long rides/trips. I ride an RT for this, but when rides are less than 300 miles the KS is more fun. And if the ride is really spirited in the nearby canyons, I reach for the MV keys.

Noted your passenger comfort post. Would probably lean towards the K1200GT versus the K1200S. One other thought... the KGT would be another I-4 like your Brutale. Engine diversity sometimes enhances the appreciation of each. Give a R1200RT a try. I rented one overseas once picking a nasty week of weather. The RT was sublime... better protection than the KGT, almost 50lbs less weight, nice boxer twin charm and torque, excellent passenger accomodations, and FWIW, can hang with local squids and then some, in the canyons on the RT.

Last edited by sfarson; Dec 3rd, 2006 at 1:13 am. Reason: ReadingYour Passenger Comfort Post
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 3:28 pm Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure my ride would have been much more enjoyable had I remembered my ear plugs. I wear an Arai Corsair which is great in the Texas heat but the trade off for all that ventilation is the incredibly loud wind noise. This, I'm sure, made my ride seem more wind blasted that it actually might have been. My biggest concern is that if the head is totally exposed to the wind at rides in excess of 75 mph, my head is jostling pretty good. To compensate I stiffen my neck muscles involuntarily. I pay the price over the next couple of days with a very stiff neck.

I agree that the GT or RT probably, unfortunately, makes more sense for this 48 year old body.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 4:35 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomsterMVA
...lack of protection from the elements. Why this surprised me is a bit of a puzzle as this IS a sport bike afterall. I guess I heard several stories of coast-to-coast riding and assumed there was decent wind protection. I found there was none. I suposed I needed to haunch down more but that would not be comfortable after about 10 minutes. I pretty much froze my butt off and the wind sounded like a DC10 taking off in my helmet. I quickly was reminded that I forgot my earplugs...
Maybe the combination of wind noise and cold weather made it seem worse.

Compared to my previous Honda ST1300, I find the K1200S better overall from a wind standpoint. There are multiple aspects to wind protection beyond just what % of wind is blocked. The ST13 had fairly good wind protection, but it was susceptible to buffeting. With the windscreen up, backpressure developed pushing my head forward.

The KS exposes me somewhat more to the wind, but it's an even flow, there's less buffeting and under some conditions it's overall less tiring.

If you're cold, one good solution is a heated vest or jacket liner. I've ridden my KS an hour on the freeway at 80 mph in 25F weather, wearing only a heated jacket liner and long underwear under my leathers, and was OK.

Likewise I find the wind noise is somewhat less on the KS than on the ST13, which was very loud with the windscreen in the down position. With the windscreen up, it was quiet but uncomfortable from the back pressure pushing me forward.

I did 400 miles on the KS coming back from Deal's Gap last summer, and was OK. I personally wouldn't get a KS for multiday tours across the country, but I find it nearly as comfortable for several hundred mile days as my ST1300 was. From my standpoint (and body physiology) the KS gives up little in comfort but is much more exciting to ride.

Much depends on your unique body requirements and how it matches the bike. Although the KS works great for me (48 yrs old, 6'0" tall, 175 lbs), it might not work for you. If you want more wind protection, a more upright position, yet the same engine and drivetrain, there's the GT.

The KS won't turn like an MV, nor like a Ducati 748, but I had no trouble at a very spirited pace through Deal's Gap.
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