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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Jul 31st, 2013, 11:26 pm Thread Starter
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Location: Chattanooga, TN, USA
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Almost a noob

Hi everyone. Going to look at and probably take home a 2002 K1200RS this Saturday. I've been on an 83 Harley FLH for 30 years so this is a hugh change. This bike has 17K miles as a commuter and occasional day tripper. Mostly interstate miles. Regular service with no mechanical issues at all so far. So far I've test driven two BMWs, a 2005 K1200LT and a 2013 R1200RT. The LT was way too big for me, kind of like operating my friends 36ft cabin cruiser. The RT was great but still a bit tall for me, I'm 5,6 and it had a stock seat. I won't know if I can be comfortable on this one (both feet on the ground) until I see it Saturday but it's got handlebar risers and the seat looks low in the pics.
So please, tell me why I should NOT buy this bike! Or warn me what to look for or walk away from. This deal looks so sweet it scares me.
I'm planning on commuting and cruising the Smoky Mountains 2up on the mountains.
Hopefully, if all goes well, I'll soon be a regular on here asking noobie questions that'll make your eyes roll and boring you all with tales of my adventures...with pics of course.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2013, 6:48 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyame
Hi everyone. Going to look at and probably take home a 2002 K1200RS this Saturday. I've been on an 83 Harley FLH for 30 years so this is a hugh change. This bike has 17K miles as a commuter and occasional day tripper. Mostly interstate miles. Regular service with no mechanical issues at all so far. So far I've test driven two BMWs, a 2005 K1200LT and a 2013 R1200RT. The LT was way too big for me, kind of like operating my friends 36ft cabin cruiser. The RT was great but still a bit tall for me, I'm 5,6 and it had a stock seat. I won't know if I can be comfortable on this one (both feet on the ground) until I see it Saturday but it's got handlebar risers and the seat looks low in the pics.
So please, tell me why I should NOT buy this bike! Or warn me what to look for or walk away from. This deal looks so sweet it scares me.
I'm planning on commuting and cruising the Smoky Mountains 2up on the mountains.
Hopefully, if all goes well, I'll soon be a regular on here asking noobie questions that'll make your eyes roll and boring you all with tales of my adventures...with pics of course.
Well, to be honest, if you are used to the FLH body position, I would think that the K1200RS position will be hard for you. It is on the "sport" side of a Sport-Touring bike.

After more than 10 years (and 85,000 miles) on a K1200RS, I really think that you nedd a LONG test ride to evalutate (1) your confort (2) if you like the bike.

By the way, I am also close to 5,6.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2013, 12:09 pm
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new to you K12RS

Hi Eddie,

Good point made by sailor. At 5' 6", you will be more than on your toes to straddle this bike. The seat has a high and a low position, but still.

Definitely a different riding style / posture from your H-D.

I would think you will want to look at removing some foam in the seat so you can better reach the tarmac. But then you lose some comfort in your butt.

Good luck with everything. You certainly live in the right neck of the woods for a bike like this !!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 1st, 2013, 11:04 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info

Thanks guys, good advice for sure and I am planning on a long test ride. The more aggressive position could be a welcome change as I'm never as comfortable as I'd like to be in the twisties on the FLH.
The best thing I saw in your post was what you didn't say. Nothing at all negative about the bike. Can't wait 'til Saturday morning.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2013, 6:14 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyame
Thanks guys, good advice for sure and I am planning on a long test ride. The more aggressive position could be a welcome change as I'm never as comfortable as I'd like to be in the twisties on the FLH.
The best thing I saw in your post was what you didn't say. Nothing at all negative about the bike. Can't wait 'til Saturday morning.
Every bike has good and bad points. On the 2nd generation K1200RS and K1200GT (2002-2005), both from maintenance and riding perspective, I would say the main negative point is the Integral-ABS system. Is is an ABS system that integrates electrical boosted assist braking. The earlier K1200RS (1998-2001 for the USA) do NOT have the same ABS system as the 2002-2005.

When riding, in low speed situation, the braking force is not always easy to modulate - at higher speed (above 30 mph) it is not an issue. Also, when the ignition is OFF, like when pushing bike in garage or driveway, you must be very careful as you only have what BMW refer as "residual braking" power.

In case of defect (low brake fluid, defective brake switches, defective ABS sensors, weak battery...), you will also have only very weak "residual braking" power - obviously this will show on the dash as warning light(s).

On the maintenance side: the fluid should be replaced every year and the procedure is fairly complex. If you are good with a wrench, you can learn to do it yourself (as I do).

But, the K1200RS also has many strong points - too long to list ;-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 2nd, 2013, 7:05 am Thread Starter
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Yes, the "power brake" setup on this bike is not desirable. Wish BMW would offer a refit back to normal brakes. Surprised they did it in the first place, it's right up there with having seatbelts on bikes in my opinion.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2013, 7:52 am
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Meh... the brakes are just fine for me. I use just the hand brake (even in panic stops) and life is good. Losing the habit of hitting the rear brake pedal takes a little while to accomplish. Aside from that, my only big gripe is the less than stellar (pun partially intended) headlight - think about going to an HID (see DDM Tuning and search here for the how-to). Oh, and replace the meep-meep horn with a Stebel air horn. Past that, life is good, IMHO.

One thing you'll notice is how the bike sounds at idle: like rocks are rolling around inside the engine. It's perfectly normal and no cause for concern.

As to being 5'6", I really don't know what to say, but I'd look hard at how stable you'll be on stops and moving around in parking lots. Dropping the bike is not much fun (check the videos by Carol Youorski for how to get it back up). Maybe thicker soles on boots? I would not drop ride height much - it's likely to screw up handling. A thinner saddle may help but at the cost of "numb butt".

Not all who wander are lost. Which still leaves room for more than a few lost wanderers...

Red Flash - '03 K1200RS, lightly farkled
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 3rd, 2013, 6:50 pm Thread Starter
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I went, I rode, I didn't bring it home

First, thank everyone for the input. I did take a long test drive and a second one with my wife. Much to my pleasant surprise both heels comfortably on the ground! On the ride it was light enough 1 or 2 up to handle with confidence.
I got scared off on one thing though, hoping to hear some input on this. The ride was on 2 lane back roads and up to about 60 mph. Going slower though, about 40-50 mph I felt an irregular thunking in my seat (my seat, not the one I was sitting on). I determined it wasn't the bumps in the road and I think it was cause by loading and unloading the power train as it was cruising along. Gear choice didn't change it. Back from the first test ride I put it on the center stand and in 1st gear. Rotating the rear wheel back and forth sounded like what I might have been feeling. Wheel movement in gear was from 1 o'clock to 2 o'clock. So, the big question is, did I feel normal operation or did I find a looming problem?
The second test ride provided humor and a more easily solved problem. My wife hasn't "squeezed me" like that since we were dating! A backrest or tour pack will be a requirement. As well as a taller windshield.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 2013, 8:17 am
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Without riding the bike, it's hard to say whether what you experienced is an on-coming issue or not. At least I certainly don't feel that on my RS. It could be anything from drive train issues to a tire or wheel issue. This is one I'd spend a little coin to let a dealer evaluate the bike. You can try putting the bike up on a stand, grabbing the rear wheel at 9 and 3 o'clock positions and try twisting (push at 9 o'clock, pull at 3 o'clock and vice versa). A tiny bit of play is OK. Also you can try putting the bike in 1st gear and turning the wheel. Again, some play is OK, lots isn't.

Good luck on finding a taller windshield. The after-market sources have pretty much dried up. Although counter-intuitive, try dropping the windshield. You're probably feeling the buffeting from the air coming over the top of of the windshield (I can see how the lip on the GT windshield would do that). Lowering the windshield would move the buffeting out of the way. The RS has a lower windshield, that can be raised, and the general air rush is much less objectionable with the windshield down.

And, uh, glad to hear you had a good ride with ...ah... your main squeeze.

Not all who wander are lost. Which still leaves room for more than a few lost wanderers...

Red Flash - '03 K1200RS, lightly farkled
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 4th, 2013, 3:37 pm
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Main squeeze...funny guy

Glad the bike is working out for you. Yes, a lower screen is going to give you a cleaner flow of air..

I DO have a Pirate's backrest that has been used maybe 3 times. It's crazy. No one wants to ride pillion on my bike !!

Let me know.
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