Greetings, new to K bikes, new to bmw. - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 2018, 6:37 am Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 15
Greetings, new to K bikes, new to bmw.

Hi there folks. Just picked up a 98 k1200rs with 10870 miles on it... yes, you read that right.. a 20 year old bike with less than 11k on it. Runs great, cant find any malfunctions at all. No leaks, unexplained rattles, scratches in the paint...

It appears there is a heated seat pad that was installed.. I dont think it's factory. It is tied in to the heated grips. Discovered that this morning when my hands got a little chilly riding in some light rain lol. It's an odd sensation to me.

hope that comes through.

I do have one question, can anyone identify what this key is for (if I rotate it.. the led blinks exactly 1x)?

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 2018, 3:21 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 15
Did my second half tank fuelup today.. looks like I'm hitting right about 40 mpg average.. Is this about normal (I'm assuming it is).

300 miles on the bike so far.. loving every single one of em. I dont know what mods have been done.. how can you tell if a set of barbacks were installed vs. factory?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 2018, 10:35 pm
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 105
That key on the tail section is definetly an after-market add-on. Didn't the previous owner mention it? Maybe an added security device of some kind? Let us know if you find out. By the way, thats a VERY clean and sharp bike you picked up!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2018, 5:30 am Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 15
I bought from a dealership. I have had no interaction with the previous owner...

And thanks. I've always loved the RS/LT family of bikes. My first encounter was a LS or GT in 04.. and been drooling over them since. Saw this on the lot at the dealer.. who doesnt even deal with BMW's and asked. They took it in on trade, had 10870 miles on it, was a 98.. garage kept the whole time and one owner. They wanted 2500.. I was like.. you have my full attention..

It's definitely a great way to get back into 2 wheels, but there is a learning curve. I have no manual, so I'm figuring stuff out on my own.. like the auto cancelling turn signals. My last bike was an 86 vt1100c (honda shadow).. so this bike handles completely different. It's more willing to lean, but I find that at a more aggressive lean angle, I'm still not turning as sharp as the honda did (as I remember.. 8 years makes for foggy memory).. so I'm finding myself shifting off the seat to get my COG shifted and turns tighter. All in all I love the bike. I fear I'm going to be burning through tires pretty quick. I've only had it a few days and my chicken strips (there were still some on the tires when I bought it) are gone.. and I didn't THINK I was riding very aggressively...

I plan on lurking in this forum a LOT and learning every thing I can. Other than a full fluid change.. which will happen this fall as they look clean and good right now... steel brake lines.. are there any other maintenance things I should be looking out for? Tires will probably be replaced next spring, its got a 10 year old set of pilot road 2's on it now. No signs of rot, unstability, cupping, or much wear really..

Any good tutorials for bleeding the brakes with the abs system?

Also, I know I'm flogging a dead horse, but just looking for opinions.. what it says in clymer and/or MOMS till I can get one.
1. Engine oil - not a wet clutch, so a high end synthetic for cars ok or stick with bike rated oils (I get the friction modifiers for the wet clutches.. but will a normal synth handle such a high revving engine.. not that I get it above 6k very often..)
2. Trans/Final Drive oil - 75w90? Anything I should be explicitly looking for?
3. Brake fluid - any dot 4.. whats mom say on this? I know its a nogo to mix types.. Where is my rear resevoir?
4. Clutch fluid - same as brake?

I know, some of these are questions that will start civil wars.. I'm just looking for opinions. Of course the correct answer will always be what BMW has said in the owners manuals (source for these?) and what it has said in subsequent tech bulletins after release... If all I get in regards to these answers is quotes from those or links to them.. I'll be ecstatic.

Thank you again gents..

Last edited by scythefwd; Jun 12th, 2018 at 7:00 am.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 2018, 7:49 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 15
Well, this is my first dry clutch (not on a car).. was having troubles getting it into first.. never thought about the rotational influence the wet clutches get from the oil making them a little easier to get into 1st.. Aggrivated the snot out of me today trying to get into gear going to work.

So ^ isn't a problem, it's a result of using a dry clutch that fully disengages. On to lighting...

Im considering adding some aux lighting /or changing over my low beam to a higher lumens bulb.
Suggestions? If you are running aux lights.. how are they wired (I get with a harness.. are you using a whole separate switch or just triggering a relay off the low beam, or high beam if thats what you use)? Recommendations for upgrades that work well with the bike while maintaining a "not blinding the drivers facing me or in front of me" type of lighting solutions?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2018, 10:32 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Posts: 137
getting into gear... you'll find it easier just to rock the bike slightly if it doesn't slip straight in... no biggy.
Oils... I go by the book... for both my K1200GT and K1200LT
Engine: Castrol Activ 4T 15W-50
Trans/final: GL5 rated 90wt
Brakes & clutch: Dot 4

Lots of threads on this on a few "K" sites.

Brake flush... this is for a 2003 but will be basically similar

Sydney, NSW
2005 Dark Graphite Metallic K1200LT
2005 Orient Blue Metallic K1200GT SE
Ulysses #45310

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2018, 8:25 pm
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Chagrin Falls, Ohio, USA
Posts: 12
Do your self a favor. Google "K1200RS manual " and you should get references on where to get it online or on CD. Then get one. Do it now
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Jun 29th, 2018, 9:49 pm
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 23
Hey, Scythefwd,

You will most definitely need to replace the OEM brake lines with Spiegler or Galfer PTFE/SS brake lines ASAP. It's not the miles that's the problem, it's the years soaking up DOT4. They fail by ballooning and bursting (leaving you without -usually- the front brakes), or pieces of the inside tube lodge in your caliber and lock up your (usually, again) front wheel. The latter happened to me. This is common to many brands of bikes 15 years or older.

The second most common problem is "THE (dreaded) O-RING". It seems just like a RMS leaking and it is in the same place but just a little easier to replace. Still have to split the bike and remove the clutch to get to it.

There is much info on both of these issues in this and other forums,

On the oil, my FD started weeping after changing the oil with syn oil. I lived with it for a while considering my options when I read a forum that suggested Dino oil doesn't weep as badly as syn. I changed back to Dino and it quit weeping. It seems the seals in bikes of this age were not designed for syn oil (it wasn't in common use at the time).

You might want to check the date codes on the tires, too. Forger the tread depth, if they are over 4 years old: replace with new rubber. It's not worth a spill, for you or the bike. With what you saved on the purchase you can afford it.

You scored a GREAT bike at a GREAT price!! These things are fast, smooth as a Lexus in luxury mode, and come with impeccable handling. You will enjoy it. CONGRATS!!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 1st, 2018, 9:44 pm Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 15
Well, went to lunch and came back out to my bike on its center stand.. I left it on the side stand. scratches in the lower quadrant of the fairing, left side mirror, and turn signal pod is now needing a magnet fix.

Got to work on the magnets.. instead of using flat magnets.. I have ring magnets with a stainless screw running through them (and mating flush to the nut on the screw as well.. ). 2 of the 3 magnets epoxied fine in place.. the third seems to be a bit more.. willing to relocate, so I"ll have to sand that area down and re epoxy it in place. All in all, holds stronger than the baskets ever did.

Yeah, tires are old and will be replaced over winter... already looking at the brakelines. No evidence of leaks anywhere at all.. fuel, oil (s), coolant, brake or clutch... nothing that I can see anywhere.

I'll keep that in mind regarding dino vs. synth oils..
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Jul 9th, 2018, 6:35 pm
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 105
So some clod knocked your bike over? Great, huh. I had it happen years ago when I was in school. Drunk kid pulled into my spot at night, hit the bike. At least he was honest enough to leave me a note about his mistake. Since that time, I always park the bike well to the rear of the parking spot, in the hope that the drivers will see it BEFORE they think "oh look, an empty parking space" and whip into my motorcycle.
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