2003 k1200rs - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2019, 12:23 pm Thread Starter
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2003 k1200rs

Hi!

I am new here and could use some input regarding a possible purchase.

I ride a 1998 1100RT. Well, "rode"... it is no longer with us.

Yesterday, I visited a 2003 K1200RS with 27k miles on it. It had the clutch and main seal replaced 7 years ago at 23k. SO only 4k miles ridden in 7 years, but apparently never sat for more that 2 weeks at a time.
I didn't ride it, as the registration had lapsed, but the owner took it for a quick spin. Sounded beautiful. He is third owner, but it has comprehensive service records. Ohlin shocks F and R. It really is mint. He was asking $3000 but will take $2600.

While I was inspecting the bike, all looked clean and solid. The only thing was a little but of fresh oil right along the seam between engine and gearbox; not at the rear of gearbox. The seam was glistening along its length... although it was dry in the pan/cowl (?) that sits directly under that. He recently did his own oil change, so I can't rule out that he spilled a little and a drop or two collected at that seam... but it gave me pause.

Also that seam isn't perfectly flush. I have attached a photo. I have no idea if this is normal.

The owner just texted me a few minutes ago. I had asked him to take it out for a longer ride and recheck that spot. He went for 20 minutes and got rpms up to 5500 (not registered, he can't take it out on main roads...). He sent photos of that same part - perfectly dry. Thoughts?

I have no reason to doubt that this man is being anything anything but perfectly straight with me; he is an affluent man in his 70s who is getting out of the riding game and wants his bike to go to a good home.

One other question. It is a big bike. This bike is even bigger than my RT. I am 5'9" 160lbs. I ride in Los Angeles traffic every day, splitting lanes. I occasionally tour and like to get on well-graded gravel occasionally. Even if this bike checks out mechanically, how is it as an everyday commuter with lots of clutch action..? I am looking for a reliable replacement for my RT that is within my insurance payout range (this is) and don't want a project.

Any and all input would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks a ton!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 2019, 6:11 am
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Same here

I had the notorious engine/clutch seal replaced on my 1997 K1200RS several years ago, and have done at least 15,000 miles since.

I can't swear that your seal has not failed again, but that same seam on my bike is always collecting grime just as in your photo, yet the new seal is fine.

Hopefully, that's all yours is - grime collecting in an area of low pressure.

(Try giving it full throttle in top gear riding uphill from 30 mph - if it doesn't slip then, it's a good one - you could always do this as a pillion, without committing to purchase . . )

As a commuter, the big K is very good. You can adjust the seat and pegs, fit bar risers, have no problems with cooling (unlike on the new slant Ks) and the clutch lever is very light with a silky gearbox.

All big bikes are tricky when stationary, but the RS carries that motor very low in the chassis, and once rolling, is a joy.


this is a very honest review of the RS.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 2019, 10:43 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcchoc View Post
I had the notorious engine/clutch seal replaced on my 1997 K1200RS several years ago, and have done at least 15,000 miles since.

(Try giving it full throttle in top gear riding uphill from 30 mph - if it doesn't slip then, it's a good one - you could always do this as a pillion, without committing to purchase . . )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaroH6MNVnY

this is a very honest review of the RS.


Thank you for this! I actually have a pretty good feeling about this bike. I really wish I could have ridden it, though (reg. lapsed)

Is the fact that the seam not absolutely flush at all worrying to you?

And yes - saw that review - love those old M&M videos!

Cheers!
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2019, 7:14 am
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Thumbs up Flush?

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Originally Posted by mtlla70 View Post
Is the fact that the seam not absolutely flush at all worrying to you?
Not really - it's an old Beemer, not a Rolex, and mine is similar.

Not sure what 'elapsed reg' means over in the USA. We have insurance, road tax and MoT to worry about.

How about having the bike off the street and trying to set off in 4th or higher gear? I saw a qualified BMW tech do this to test the clutch on a GS. The engine should shudder and stall. The GS didn't - it limped away with no relation between engine revs and wheel speed. Clutch was buggered.

Hope you do find the K is sound - I still love mine after over 14 years and often choose it over my K1300S Motorsport aka Starship.

PS my tech used to work on London Metropolitan police bikes and has seen these Ks with over 200,000 miles on them with absolutely no major surgery. Yours is barely run in . . .
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2019, 9:39 am
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Is the fact that the seam not absolutely flush at all worrying to you?!
My 2002 with ~ 65k miles has always had uneven seams both before and after the O-ring replacement.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2019, 11:19 am Thread Starter
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Hope you do find the K is sound - I still love mine after over 14 years and often choose it over my K1300S Motorsport aka Starship.
*"lapsed reg" = expired registration*

Turns out it wasn't sound... I had been back and forth with the gentleman yesterday concerning the lapsed registration. I took the opportunity to ask a few more questions. One was, "Other than the BMW dealer where the previous owner had the clutch replaced, what shop did you have it serviced at?"
He said that he hadn't had it serviced other than the oil/filter change that he did. So, I called the dealer to inquire about that clutch job in 2012. (I had taken a photo of the bill) When I gave the VIN, the guy said that it had been brought in in 2016 as well; they replaced a faulty battery lead. The tech then said, "Huh" and paused before telling me that at that time they had also diagnosed a front pinion leak, cylinder leak, and main seal leak. And that the owner (by this point, the gentleman in question) had declined service.
Gotta say, I'm generally a good judge of character and am surprised at this gentleman's deception...

It was a beautiful bike cosmetically, but I'm glad I didn't get seduced into an abusive relationship.

Ended up buying a 2002 R1100S last night. Might add a K-bike down the road...

Cheers!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 2019, 6:52 am
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Bummer

That's a real bummer.

I've spent three weeks riding GSs with the new Boxer 1250 engine lately, but can't live with those Boxer vibes. Still feels like a threshing machine to me, so will be trying a Triumph Tiger 1200 triple at the weekend - to cope with the UK's decaying roads.

Sadly, with the demise of the 4 cylinder K, and the S1000 engine buzzing like a chain-saw, BMW no longer make any bike I'd want to buy.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Sep 5th, 2019, 11:49 am Thread Starter
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Ah, sorry to hear you're having to migrate away from BMW. The Tiger seems awesome, however. Never ridden one, but watched lots of videos and read lots of reviews. It will be in the running when I am on the hunt for a more aggressive ADV bike; hopefully at the end of next year I can add one. It'll be between GS, Tiger and Africa Twin...
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