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Shopping for a K12S. Originally I always wanted the R model, but at almost 53yo, I think I am ready for some wind blockage. Considering the age on these beasties, would getting ESA on one be a high priority for you all at this point in the game ? I understand it was a brilliant system, but as a mechanic by trade, I see mechanical issues in the future with anything electronic with this age. Would a ESA equipped or non equipped suspension be a factor for you present owners if you were shopping today ? Is it that good. For me, the bike will just be one up, tooling around town when I can get free time. Unfortunately, not able to get to mountain corners or distance trips any time soon
 

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Now that there are shops rebuilding the ESA systems it is a better option than in the past. I have one K bike with Wilbers and another with the OEM electronic shock package. I have to say the electronic package works well. I put it in comfort on motorways and go to normal in the small areas. Big difference. Sport is even tighter if needed. To get the shocks rebuild is about the same purchasing standard shocks maybe a little less. To outfit my bike with wilbers cost me 1400$ four years ago. Not cheap. (and the guy did a crummy job of setting them up...another story)
K12S bikes are not the best around town bike so be prepared. If you can find a suitable K13S it is a good choice.
 

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Beech is right. The k12/13 is out of it’s element around town. It can be done but there are better cheaper to buy, cheaper to service, cheaper to run bikes for that purpose.
 

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I only have a 2006 K12S and although it gets used round town (sub 40mph) some it is at its best on the twisties country roads (and some highway , although I find it heavy on the wrists at low speeds).
If I was to shop again I’d probably opt for a F900 / F800 type as my knees are crunched up😳… or a VFR!? Choices, choices 🙄

If you get it out of town though you’ll have to clean your teeth more often to get the flies off, as it brings a mad smile at speed!
 

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Shopping for a K12S. Originally I always wanted the R model, but at almost 53yo, I think I am ready for some wind blockage. Considering the age on these beasties, would getting ESA on one be a high priority for you all at this point in the game ? I understand it was a brilliant system, but as a mechanic by trade, I see mechanical issues in the future with anything electronic with this age. Would a ESA equipped or non equipped suspension be a factor for you present owners if you were shopping today ? Is it that good. For me, the bike will just be one up, tooling around town when I can get free time. Unfortunately, not able to get to mountain corners or distance trips any time soon
In fairness to the others, it depends on what "tooling around town" means. If you live in a small town like Bigfork, Montana then I'd suggest a different bike. If you live in a major city like the Los Angeles area, the K12S could be a great means of sprinting from South Orange county to the San Fernando Valley at mach speed.

@Beech is the K12S ESA rebuildable to comparable specs with the K13S?? I agree that the ESA on the K13S is pretty good. Especially comfort mode, it really takes the shock out of those freeway expansion joints. I've been told that the ESA on the K12S was not as good as the K13S and that you would be better off with high quality non-ESA aftermarket suspension like Wilbers.
 

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Shopping for a K12S. Originally I always wanted the R model, but at almost 53yo, I think I am ready for some wind blockage. Considering the age on these beasties, would getting ESA on one be a high priority for you all at this point in the game ? I understand it was a brilliant system, but as a mechanic by trade, I see mechanical issues in the future with anything electronic with this age. Would a ESA equipped or non equipped suspension be a factor for you present owners if you were shopping today ? Is it that good. For me, the bike will just be one up, tooling around town when I can get free time. Unfortunately, not able to get to mountain corners or distance trips any time soon
You can always add a taller windscreen to the R as I have. Not much buffeting at all. However, given your intended use, I would go for a lighter machine. Good luck.
 

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I'm 55 and have a k1200r ride it in town and on highway. I have the ESA package and it works great still. I purchased a larger fairing and wind stays off at somewhat legal speeds above that you need to get tucked in. Go buy the 1200r if you can find one. Steve
 

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My ESA on my ‘08 k12R was still working after 68k miles. Stepper motors fine and no leaks. Only replaced as I was gifted a set of Wilbers. A lot of issues occur I believe when adjustments are made when sitting on the bike, overloading the stepper motors. I used to stand astride the bike while making adjustments.
 

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Agreed, that's what the bike manual says as well. You can select comfort/normal/sport on the fly, but settings within each option (one up, two up, luggage etc) should be done standing still. Still waiting on mine to come back from the Queensland rebuilder...
 

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It is a good idea to have the ESA suspension rebuilt and I am doing that. I'll be presenting a couple of seminars on K1300S ESA rebuild at the BMW MOA Rally in Springfield, and a video coming shortly.
If you end up with a non esa bike, or for aany other shock needs, I am a Wilber's importer and Ohlins dealer and service shop. So please let me know.
[email protected] Dallas, TX
 

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I’m not sure what all the talk about around town or not is. I’ve had my 2006 since 2009 and it now has 39,000m on it.
I have the ESA and this is the stiffest, most uncomfortable suspension I have ever ridden on! It’s on the comfort mode all the time and I have learned to watch out for any bumps, dips, pot hole or slight variation in road surface if I want to keep my lower back alive! I am always up on my feet to counter any of that!
Due to its extremely stiff, uncomfortable ride, any trip more than 45m each way is way out of the question for me!
I am a 73yo runner in excellent shape, certainly not overweight! On the other hand, this is my around town bike which I have used for doing computer repairs for as long as I have it, plus all other errands. I’m also an EE. Between the OEM bags and a BMW soft center bag, it can carry quite a lot and the full fairing, heated grips, keep me comfortable, protected.
All the great safety features built in to the suspension and ABS have kept me alive!
Unlike some others, I have had zero issues with my bike but then, I am a retired BMW car mechanic. I take care of service things and ride my bike to promote longevity in every way. I cannot speak for others but have observed many customers in my life who do not know how. Bikes are certainly tougher to treat well and easier to abuse than cars too!
R
 

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There is a possibility your electronic suspension has locked up in a failure mode. I have known a couple of R bikes that this has happened to. This does not sound normal at all.
 

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I would tend to agree, when mine failed, suspension was still ok and pliable enough, just no difference in feel when changing the settings. Was not uncomfortable at all.

Just got word today that mine have been rebuilt now and will in the post tomorrow.
 

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I’m not sure what all the talk about around town or not is. I’ve had my 2006 since 2009 and it now has 39,000m on it.
I have the ESA and this is the stiffest, most uncomfortable suspension I have ever ridden on! It’s on the comfort mode all the time and I have learned to watch out for any bumps, dips, pot hole or slight variation in road surface if I want to keep my lower back alive! I am always up on my feet to counter any of that!
Due to its extremely stiff, uncomfortable ride, any trip more than 45m each way is way out of the question for me!
I am a 73yo runner in excellent shape, certainly not overweight! On the other hand, this is my around town bike which I have used for doing computer repairs for as long as I have it, plus all other errands. I’m also an EE. Between the OEM bags and a BMW soft center bag, it can carry quite a lot and the full fairing, heated grips, keep me comfortable, protected.
All the great safety features built in to the suspension and ABS have kept me alive!
Unlike some others, I have had zero issues with my bike but then, I am a retired BMW car mechanic. I take care of service things and ride my bike to promote longevity in every way. I cannot speak for others but have observed many customers in my life who do not know how. Bikes are certainly tougher to treat well and easier to abuse than cars too!
R
Surprised at this. Mine (K1300GT and S Motorsport) is sublime - certainly firm but covers the perfect range. I have both bikes in 2-up mode even when solo and in "Sport" most of the time out of town. "Normal" for town work and comfort for picking your way on really bumpy little country roads or tracks (the GT feels almost like a GS then)
 

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It is a good idea to have the ESA suspension rebuilt and I am doing that. I'll be presenting a couple of seminars on K1300S ESA rebuild at the BMW MOA Rally in Springfield, and a video coming shortly.
If you end up with a non esa bike, or for aany other shock needs, I am a Wilber's importer and Ohlins dealer and service shop. So please let me know.
[email protected] Dallas, TX
I'm in the UK so probably not viable to send to you and back but think I may tap you for advicee at some point as I believe my rear has gone on my GT - works as if in normal mode all the time whatever they're set to. The shock was new under warranty at 18k miles (35 now) and the bike's well looked after so not sure what's up. Haven't checked yet what the GS911 can see..
 

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I'm in the UK so probably not viable to send to you and back but think I may tap you for advicee at some point as I believe my rear has gone on my GT - works as if in normal mode all the time whatever they're set to. The shock was new under warranty at 18k miles (35 now) and the bike's well looked after so not sure what's up. Haven't checked yet what the GS911 can see..
Firefox racing in the UK rebuilds them. I nearly sent mine there until I found a shop on the east coast of Oz.
 
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