Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: East Granby, CT, USA
Beware Verholen handlebar risers for K1200R & K1200S
This past September, I purchased the Verholen bar risers for the K1200R (bought them from A&S). Had them installed on my bike (per the instructions) by the dealer I bought the bike from -- costs about 3 hours in labor. To my horror, after installation, it turns out that raising the bars also raises the clutch and brake cables so that they cross right in front of the instrument panel in a manner that blocks the view of the speedometer -- extremely bothersome and a significant safety problem, IMO. (You have to ride the bike to appreciate what a problem it is.) See the first three pictures, which were taken by an A&S service technician sitting on the seat of my bike in riding position (ie. the pics show what a rider would see).
Just to show that it's not just my bike, also attached (photo #4) is a photo of a yellow K1200R that I got from the K-bikes forum. This bike has the bar risers installed, with the identical cable problem to mine. It's my suspicion that K1200S bar risers may have the same problem also.
In fact, it's no surprise that the cables cross in front of the speedometer if the bar risers are installed with no modification to the cable route. This can be appreciated by looking at the last photo (photo #5), which shows a stock K1200R Sport that I found on the web (same bar and cable position as the K1200R).
This photo shows the cable position with the factory bars, with the cables crossing at the bottom of the instrument cluster, with no obstruction of the view of the speedometer. If you imagine raising the bars vertically by 2 1/2" in height, you can see that the cables would then also be raised by 2 1/2", which would put them squarely in front of the instrument cluster, just like the photos on my bike.
As I said, I discovered this to my horror, bec in order to have the bars removed, it would cost me about $300 in labor. (Not only that, but one of the major factors I considered in buying that bike was the fact that I'd be able to raise the bars -- I'm 6'1", and without the bar risers, I can't comfortably ride the bike, and wouldn't have bought it.)
So I drove the bike 90 miles to A&S to see what they'd do for me (and I also wanted to check out the dealership). Nada. They offered to help, at standard labor rates. So I took it back to my dealer, who spent $700 of my money figuring out a custom cable routing and ordering and installing custom cables. With the cables my dealer installed, I now have a great, comfortable bike -- but the total cost of the bar risers came to $1100.
I also communicated with Verholen at length, including sending pics, etc. They denied there is a problem, and refused any help or compensation for my added expense (even after I offered to send them pictures and specifications of how my dealer perfectly rerouted the cables, so that they could fix the problem with no engineering cost to them.) Basically, their customer service was total crap. In America, a business like that would never survive.
Interestingly, on the day I brought my bike to A&S, they had a K1200R on their showroom floor with the bar risers installed, with a cable problem almost identical to mine. They, too, said they didn't think it was a problem. I recently emailed their general manager, and despite the pictures, he also said he didn't see a problem. I don't know about these folks, but I'm willing to bet that no manufacturer, especially BMW, would ever let a bike out of their factory with cables like that. First crash and there'd be a major lawsuit.
So if you're thinking of modifying your K1200R or S with the Verholen bar risers, think again. And I wouldn't count on Verholen for help with any problems with parts they sell. Maybe in Germany customer service is not the paradigm that it is here.