Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: San Diego, CA, USA
My K1200S test ride.
I posted this on another Forum and just wanted to share my K1200S experience here too.
I've got a fever for the Dark-Side.
I've always been an admirer of the K series bikes. Last weekend a friend of mine (yes I have a friend) and I swapped bikes for a couple of hours. I rode his new K1200S and he rode my R1200GS. He loved my GS but then again; who doesnít love the R12GS?
Itís the K1200S Iím here to talk about today. Overall opinion: WOW! Now Iíve ridden all kinds of bikes including the K1200GT but this was my first run on the K12S. At first the bike felt quite awkward. I wasnít feeling as though I was going to enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It felt front-end heavy and took some work to make it go where I wanted it to go. Once I settled in however it started to feel natural and I quickly became accustomed to the feel.
The first part of the ride was slab at about 80mph. Rock steady with no wind buffeting at all. The faring provides very smooth airflow over and around my 5í8Ē frame. Suspension soaks up the bumps and tracks down the road like itís on a rail. 80mph feels more like 40mph. The power is intoxicating! Roll on the throttle in just about any gear and what ever was in front of you is now behind. After a year and a half on the GS itís hard to describe just how powerful the KS is. More than anyone will ever need.
Off the highway and onto a tight twisty road. Again the bike took some getting used to. Not nearly as nimble or athletic as the GS. I found myself falling into each turn too soon followed by slight over-corrections to get back in line. Again just a matter of shaking off the GS rider in me. The KS is a bit more work in the tight stuff but nothing I didnít enjoy.
Off to the mountain sweepers. Forget it,.. this bike was built for this and it shows! Awesome, awesome, awesome! Once I relaxed, it became a matter of thinking what I wanted to do and it happened. I road the KS through the sweepers faster than I ever ride my GS on this kind of road yet it didnít feel as fast. The bike just glides along the road smooth and solid in a way that inspires confidence. Lean over into a turn, get your line, gently apply power and feel it pull you out of the turn like a rocket. Warning: Once you are comfortable on the K1200S and you find the right road, you will go fast so be prepared for whatís around the next bend!
I also had the chance to open it up a bit on a long stretch of strait road. The road was grassland on each side and visibility was clear for a little over 3 miles. If there was going to be a time to see a little of what this thing will do, this was it. Riding 200 yards behind my GS at 60mph, I poured on the power in 4th gear, blasted by the GS, speed shifted into 5th, glanced down a second to two later and the needle was at 150 and climbing. I was running out of clear road quickly so I rolled off and back down to reality. WOW! My old Ninja 900 never came even close to that.
High speed disclaimer: Donítí get me wrong. I donít condone my excessive triple digit speed on a public road. In retrospect, 150mph on a public road (even for a second or two) is always asking for trouble and you're just lucky if it doesn't find you.
Hypocrisy aside and for what itís worth, it was calculated madness. It wasnít as if I just had Demons in my head saying "GO FAST, PUNK OUT THE GS!" I just wanted to sample what the K can do and the opportunity presented it self. I have experience with powerful bikes, the BMW is rock solid, the road was clean, the area deserted, and I had clear visibility for miles. Suppose I could try to justify it any way I want but in the end it just appears that I was ďseduced by the Dark Side.Ē I was ďmore machine than man, twisted and evil.Ē It was quite a rush but please folks, donít try this at home.
I wanted to ride that bike all day. Funny thing is, when I got back on my GS it felt very strange to me. The two bikes are Sooooo different! Not to worry, within a few miles my GS was part of me again and we enjoyed the remainder of the day together.
Bottom line, the K1200S is a fantastic machine. Almost every system on the bike and the way it performs I would rate as fantastic. There are some minor gripes mostly geared to stuff that's correctable for a price. i.e. silly oversized muffler, and no center stand included on a 18K bike. The bikes many praises out shine any of the minor complaints I have at this time.
Motor and power: Fantastic. ESA: I like it a lot!, Faring and aerodynamics: excellent., Suspension and brakes: Awesome. Transmission: A lot of bike mags complain about this but I thought it was fine. What else can I say. The bike is great, I like it a lot and I must have one some day soon!!!
San Diego, CA
Last edited by mark5lam; Oct 26th, 2005 at 9:36 pm.