Steers Like a Brick - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 10:05 am Thread Starter
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Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA
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Steers Like a Brick

I would like you’re all’s collective opinion.

I picked up a 2002 K1200RS back in December with 36K miles on it. Always wanted a K1200RS as in my considered opinion it has to be one of the most attractive motorcycles designed in the modern era and I wanted to keep the miles down on my 2005 R1200RT. I plan to use the K bike to commute back and forth to work.

I got busy beginning the first of the year and only now am I starting to put some miles on the RS.

Much to my surprise the bike is like trying to “steer a brick”.

After riding hundreds of thousands of miles on just about every type of motorcycle imaginable I can safely say the K1200RS requires more muscle to initiate and to keep in a turn that any other bike I have been on. This puppy is happy in a straight line. It has to be forced into the twisties.

I understand that I am tapping into a wealth of motorcycle knowledge here. Is this the nature of this beast or should I be looking into the setup or other areas?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 10:32 am
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I'm guessing there is something wrong with the bike. My 03 leans easily into turns no problem. The bike doesn't steer any harder at speed than any other bike I've owned or ridden, owned about 2 dozen bikes so far.
At low speed it takes some getting used to. I think that is due to the weight more than the steer assembly of the bike.
I'm sure some much more knowledgeable than me gearheads will chime in with better answers.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 2:05 pm
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In April i travelled 560 miles on my 2007 R1200RT ( A truly brilliant motorcycle ) to view and buy a 2004 K1200GT with 8000 miles on the clock.

My initial feelings on taking it for a test ride was that there was something seriously wrong with it, particularly at low speeds where i felt that it just wanted to fall over in a turn. I have over 40 years of motorcycling experience, much of that as an Advanced Police motorcyclist and this bike felt dreadful.

Checking the obvious first i found the front tyre ( Michelin Pilot Road ) was well down on pressure and correcting that and increasing the preload on the rear shock made a BIG difference but this bike will never handle as well as a 1200RT. That said i have now done 3000 miles on it and as a long distance mile muncher it is very good and fast sweeping bends suit it well.

I think the biggest problem you have is that you are comparing the K1200 against an R1200 and they are as different as chalk and cheese.
One is very light and one is very heavy.
The K1200 has 20 bhp more but on the road i think the R1200 is probably a faster A to B bike due to handling.

Which bike is better to ride either slowly or quickly? NO DOUBT ABOUT IT R1200RT.

Which bike looks best NO DOUBT ABOUT IT K1200 RS/GT.

I have settled into the K1200 and the handling is no longer an issue.

Cheers Darryl

Last edited by Darryl; Jun 14th, 2010 at 3:08 pm.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 2:38 pm
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Look for a front tire with a more triangular cross section. That will speed up the steering.

I had a very round Maxxis front and it was a dog to steer in the mountains.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 2:40 pm
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Tires maybe toast. I assume first thing you checked was pressure.. 38f/40-42r also it might just be time for tires, also a squared off rear will affect turn in. K1200RS and GT had a steering dampener it also could be shot. And lastly if the rear spring preload is to low and the bike is riding nose high that will majorly affect turn in.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 3:36 pm
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There was a problem with some 2003's, the front ball joint was too stiff and they were replaced, but only if the customer complained, not sure if the 2002's were affected, I did have the serial numbers for the bikes affected but not here at work.....!

Mine is one of them, but it steers fine unless I am doing less the 20 MPH, but then they are heavy bikes, not for city riding that's for sure....!

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 3:57 pm
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tyre pressure, you have not told us about that. Certain suspect
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 5:00 pm
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The K12RS is part of the series..........of flying bricks..................I have no problem with the handling and do my best to keep my speed above 80 mph to take advantage of the bikes inherent characteristics........that thing at the end of the right bar will assist you in turning if managed correctly ........... IMHO ...................
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 5:14 pm
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Worn front tire(anything more than 3.5K is getting worn). Usually the more wear on the front tire, the more steering input is needed to make the beast turn.
Try putting a PR or PR2 on it.

Bruce C
'04 K1200RS Capri Blue(totaled)
2008 Triumph Sprint ST
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old Jun 14th, 2010, 5:39 pm
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The KRS requires more steering effort than any other bike I've owned, but not an excessive amount. New tires and correct air pressure help a lot.

If it feels REALLY excessive, you might have to adjust or replace the steering head bearings.
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