Originally Posted by frisco99
I have some thoughts on that. For some unknown reason, two years ago, somewhere around my 56th birthday in March, I woke up in the middle of the night and was overcome with the desire to buy a motorcycle. Never had one before, had ridden one back in 1968 for about 6-7 rides, but it didn't take a holt. But two years ago I was possessed, and I spent an entire year researching, I was overseas so much I didn't have time to spend in the U.S., so I Googled for a year, and I decided on a '98-'01 BMW K1200RS. It's a personal thing, but for me, I like the design of the fairing better on the earlier model, and second, I read quite a bit about the difference between the non-linked brakes (98) vs the 02s (linked), and moreover about bleeding them, the 98 being easier to bleed. Also there seemed to be some computer chip issues, so I went with the 98. I could afford either one, so it wasn't about the money, but I have to say I did save maybe around 2 grand on the earlier bike, and that gave me a nice cushion to put into upgrades, like my 5.5 inch rear rim, like my steel Goodridge brake lines, my GT heated seat, and my Glasurit paint I will apply in 6 weeks when I get back from Angola here. End result, I love my bike, the motors are identical I believe, it's possible the 02 might be a little faster with the newer ECU, but I hit 130 no problem, so my bike is plenty fast enough for me. But the distinction between the two is small at the end of it all, you can't loose, either way you will have the finest bike there is, according to the conclusion I reached on my 57th b-day just over a year ago. I found a 98 with 25K miles in Detroit, new brakes, tires and battery, plus the panniers, soft tail bag and BMW 3-tier tank bag, and faked my way back to Colorado on it just fine, now I am a total addict. On the issue of the cruise, I read a lot of posts where some can't do without it. I can, I just went 2550 miles from just outside Denver to Houston and back, found myself fighting off falling asleep 2 or 3 times, and it occured to me had I had the cruise and not needed to manually control my speed I probably would have fallen asleep. You get up there in north Texas or New Mexico and it can be a fair ways down the road before you get to a motel. Plus I used to pull over and have a cigarette, but I am struggling to quit so I couldn't even do that. Anyways, I am cool without the cruise.
Let us know what you come up with, any help you need is right here, this is an incredible website for support. Jack
Man, that is one well-put post, brother! I could not agree more. My 2000 K1200RS was $5k from a very well-off gent who couldn't wait to get rid of it so he wouldn't be reminded of his bad back preventing him from ever being able to ride it again... I had to practically climb over all the fine German sheet metal, in the form of 2 (or 3, I can't remember, I was so wound up with buck fever), 600 series M-B's in the driveway of his oceanfront home, and a huge white Ford Expedition that I had to remind the seller he had to move before I could get the shiny beast out of the garage to look and hear it in the sun... it had a LOT of upgrades and farkles from Pirate's Lair, etc., and wasn't even broken in at 16k miles... and you are right- the $5k I spent on this bike left me with 3 or 4k to deal with the rest of the bike as well... I was able to upgrade almost everything with that saved dough from going with a mint 2k model, including going with a great HyperPro steering damper, except Wilbers front and rear: the top-end, fully remotely adjustable models- more expensive, but if you ride one-up then two-up then commuting then canyon carving all in the space of one or two days like I do, the ridiculous amount of easy adjustability makes perfect sense on these suckers; the top-end Wilbers are STILL about 25% cheaper overall than the Ohlins I priced out as well, at least if you go through Ted Porter (www.beemershop.com)
, who's the most knowledgeable guy for Wilbers that I've yet run across.
And you're right about the fairing, too- it looks sleeker, cleaner than ensuing year models, IMO... I also never thought I'd like the yellow models; I recently ran across the first '98 'Taxi' I've ever seen in person at Ted Porter's last week, and damn.. that color is so rich 'n syrupy that ya just want to get out a knife and fork along with the riding boots! Mine is the silver and dark blue model; I never thought I'd like a 'striped' two-colr paint job, but it's beautiful, and I get stares from folks everywhere riding this beautiful beast, from skateboarders to cops and teenage girls to the occasional grubby biker (me, in decades past- a PhD in working-class jobs and no family until later in life), who'll almost invariably give a long look at the bike and a wave, knod, or thumbs up with a smile... the bike's a head-turner. Now all I have to do is find a *quiet* aftermarket exhaust system, so I can shed 22 lbs. or so from the bike without going deaf in my left ear. I turn the wick up a *lot*, so that matters to me and my 3/4 face helmet-clad noggin...
The cruise I can do without, for the same reason... also, I've NEVER felt like giving up ANY control of a motorcycle's throttle to anything; I NEED direct control, all the time. It's never been an issue, and for some reason, the previous owner of my 2000 K1200RS had the bear-trap throttle springs replaced with later, softer ones, post '02 mirrors, pegs, bars and a Comfort windscreen, amongst many other things. Those later parts help, for sure, and I like the BMW adjustable pegs, with the black shifter lever extension and the adjustable bars. I've had and enjoyed cruise in my cars over the years, but every bike I've tried with cruise, Beemers included, left me shaking my head and vowing to never use what I don't like, even if it's there on the used bike I buy... good thing that it wasn't available in 2000 anyway, I guess. A nod to the stainless steel brake lines, too... great difference in feel, IMO. I went with the Spiegler (sp?) brake line kit from Pirate's Lair... and all the wonderful advice, encouragement, information and patient help from the great folks on this forum have only made my experience on this amazing ride all the more cool and safe!
BTW, you can order for anywhere from $90-$150.00 a set of sano stainless steel allen-head screws which replace ALL the exterior black-painted hex cap screws eventually chip and peel the paint off the heads; looks great, and really cleans up the clean-up process as well, no pun intended... I'd recommend you look into eventually installing brake oscillators, a set of PIAA lights and maybe a PIAA hi-output ultra white headlight bulb as well. Can't have enough lights to see and be seen... an LED upgrade to the rear light, along with Lite Buddies with the optional Stop Alert (all of these- the now-gone from Pirate's Lair LED taillight upgrade, the Lite Buddies, Stop Alert, as well as the PIAA driving light kit and the PIAA bulb had all been done months before I bought the bike by the previous owner.
To the OP- good luck, congrats, and welcome to the club, man! This is THE best place on the Web to share info and learn, learn, learn... every time I come, it's another very peasant learning experience!