K12R Coolant - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 16th, 2018, 2:57 pm Thread Starter
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K12R Coolant

Hello fellow K-bike riders.
I have a 2007 K1200R bought new and up until recently dealer serviced. As I am now trying to tackle basic service myself, I came across the following issue:
The 2004 K1200R manual identifies the coolant reservoir on page 10, has a 'Coolant' section on page 92, asks you to check the coolant level at regular intervals, and explains how to top it up. The coolant reservoir identification is deleted from the same picture in my 2007 manual, along with the whole coolant section. In fact, there is no information pertaining to coolants at all except for warning signs. Also deleted are the Min-Max range markings adjacent to the cooler reservoir on the actual 2007 bike.
Iím quite sure the specs on both 2004 and 2007 models are pretty much the same and canít understand why itíd be ok to top up the coolant on the former and not on the latter. Any ideas?
Thanks much.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2018, 6:21 am
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 2018, 5:41 am
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The 2004 K 1200 R is actually an RS. They are "Brick" motors and were discontinued in '05. Your '07 R is a transverse 4 engine, not inline and has no more similarity to the other then the fact that they both were built by BMW and have a pair of wheels. Everything else is different. So much so that in my opinion, they should have given the bike a new letter designation. It could have eliminated a lot of this confusion.

Anyway, go pick up a CD manual for your bike. I think it's going to be '06 to '08 K 1200. The R, S and GT are all on my manual and I think that's the same for all of them. They are all over the net for cheap, like $15. There is no excuse not to have one. The next iteration of he K is the 1300 and is nearly the same bike. They bored the cylinders a little bigger and changed the plastic around a little; that's about it.

To work on your own bike, you will eventually need a tool to hold your clutch basket when removing the hub nut. You will need a Crank Locking tool that goes in the Crank Position Sensor hole. You will need a tool for removing your Ignition Coil Sticks. Don't try to remove the Ignition Sticks with a screwdriver because you will just bust the shit out of them and they are $125 a piece. You will need to cut a big window in a 13/16th Sparkplug Socket if you ever need to get your front forks off. You might want to make up some nicely cut cardboard inserts to put in your Airbox when you have to remove your Airhorns and Filters. They will keep dirt out of your Airbox and Velocity Stacks.

You will not need all the huge expensive apparatus shown in the manual that was designed just to intimidate the average rider out of working on his own bike. That monstrosity they show used to just change the antifreeze is laughable.

Armed with these tools, a Factory Manual CD and a good set of Metric tools, I have maintained and drastically modified my '08 K 1200 for 8 years now without relying on the dealers for anything but the freebees like new gas gage strips and other recalls. BTW, did you get your free forged steel Rear Wheel Carrier? It replaces the Alum. job.


If you haven't already, you are likely going to be working on your clutch and your Servo Assist Brakes. I have written many posts on the clutch issues which you should be able to find on this forum. I don't have Servo Assist so haven't addressed any of that but there are clips on YouTube and elsewhere for your brake issues.

Good luck and write with questions.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 22nd, 2018, 8:12 am
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The 07 is not a Brick!

Rick Mead
2004 K1200GT Guards Red
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 2018, 11:53 am
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Crazy D,
Go re-read my post. I said the '04 is a "Brick" motor (engine sits inline). The '07 is a Transverse motor (engine sits crosswise).

What I have always been curious about; Do the Germans call the inline 3 and 4 cylinder bikes the "Flying Brick" as well, or is that a US term only? Or perhaps just English speaking? The Australian parts manager at our local Beemer dealer used the term but I believe he has been in the US for some time.

Either way, I always found it to be a very clever term. It tactfully sits on the fence between derogatory and just funny.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 2018, 6:55 pm
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I think the 'flying brick' term dates back to the '80s when a few folks tried to race the K 100, and I think it began in Europe.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 28th, 2018, 7:25 pm Thread Starter
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Thank you for your response SpaceViking, it's very much appreciated.
I am aware of the differences between the brick and my inline 4 engines. I should have specified that the K1200R manual mentioned in my email was printed in December of 2004 but for model year 2005 which is the exact same model as my 2007 inline 4 bike.
I'm attaching 4 pages from both Dec. 04 and 07 manuals. The 04 manual (on the left) identifies the coolant fill opening with call out bubble 6. Then in the table of contents, under Maintenance, refers to the Coolant section on page 92.
The 07 manual (on the right) deletes the coolant call out from the exact same picture. The coolant section is completely removed from the manual along with the reference from the contents under Maintenance.
My question was what triggered the change from 05 to 07 where all reference to the coolant is completely removed and whether it was ok to use the instructions from the Dec. 04 manual regarding the coolant.
Thanks again for your detailed response. I'll take your advice and pick up a CD manual for my bike.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 29th, 2018, 10:31 am
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Yeah, they print manuals up years before the release of a model. You can't go by manual dates. At any rate, avoid transposing Brick specs to anything past '05 going forward. There was one coolant tank change on the post Brick K-Bikes that I know of but I'm pretty sure the volume and hose attachments remained the same so servicing would remain the same as well. You can spot the difference by the location of filler cap. The early ones are with the filler in the middle and they moved the filler cap to the front on the later tanks. On KS bikes the mid located filler cap interfered with fairings. If there is any other reason, I'm not aware of it.

I have found that there is a fair amount of latitude with tank fill levels and how you add coolant. It's all no big deal. The level in the radiator is the more important and burping the system has to be done correctly when changing antifreeze for what ever reason it had to be drained in the first place. With the very small amounts of coolant we are carrying, the system can't have the water pump stumbling over air bubbles. The burping process is in the CD Repair Manual.

A note on manuals; in some rare instances I've seen outdated pictures with more recent models. They likely decided the graphic didn't mater to what was being discussed so they left the old on in to save the hassle. Actually, I have found more mistakes in the Parts Microfiche then the manuals. Just yesterday I noticed there was something missing from all Clutch illustrations.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Nov 29th, 2018, 11:09 am
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Bogie, Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I guess it was in the '80s that I remember first hearing the term. Always liked it.

I only recently learned that BMW didn't build the engines for the first K-bikes Those first 3 cylinder jobs were bought up in a lot from some car manufacturer; I think Fiat. Actually, pretty comical. Then it evolved into one of the most elegant and concise engine arrangements ever put into a motorcycle. I still haven't heard a truly convincing argument for why the design was discontinued.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2018, 12:02 am
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The term "Flying Brick" in common usage in Australia.
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