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I always thought that 2006 - 2008 K1200GT's were the most beautiful bikes ever built. I've been looking for a new bike to ride on a social distancing vacation to Mexico this December/January, and I've seen some local (San Francisco Bay Area) low mileage K1200's that are tempting; however, after reading through this forum, I'm getting the vibe that they are a little too fragile for me...it turns out to be difficult to reliably transmit 150hp from the engine to the rear wheel. Seems like the consensus is a K1300 is way mo' bettah. I (maybe stupidly) sold my ST1300 in June (way heavy, but othewise kind of amazing). I really don't need the horsepower (fact is, horsepower is bad for my karma). I mostly want a bike that has a big windscreen and suitcases. Anyhow, feel free to pile on and tell me I am an idiot. I really like the looks of K bikes of that era...but I also think they might not be the best rational choice to ride to Chiapas.
 

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2010+ R1200RT. Nice windscreen and very comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, thanks. Kind of have my eye out for a 2006-09 RT. BMW does have them kind of sussed out after all these years. Stable, not super heavy, doesn't have all the karma destroying horsepower, but I just don't like the way the fairing looks...
 

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I sometimes think the issues with the K1200 are over hyped. After all, you will always get the people with issues posting on t'internet. Those that don't have issues rarely do. What were the stats? if someone likes something they will tell 4 people, if they don't - they will tell 11.

I've a 2008 K1200GT. All the recalls done (remember, every car and bike manufacturer has recalls) and I love it. Fragile? It takes myself, wife and luggage around Europe for weeks at a time with no issues. Just do your research and buy one with serivce history/check all recalls done/low mileage/later years.

On saying that, stay away from 2006 ones. They do have more issues, which were resolved in the later years. But I'd have no hesitation in buying a 2008 K1200gt again.

And if you can afford it, go for a K1300GT. They were an improvement while still retaining the style and ergonomics of of the 1200's.

Horsepower bad for your karma? I think I'd find it hard to go back to less horsepower now, it's addictive.

I read someone reviewing their bike (can't remember which one, but a big japanese model). They were extoling the fact that they haven't had any engine work done and the bike has done 40,000 miles. That's just run in in one of these bikes I thought.

And like you, I just can't get on with the looks of the RTs. Too wide for me.
 

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2009 K1300S, 2017 S1000R & 2021 Vespa Primavera clown paint job
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Maybe someone can comment on what years had the fuel strip for a sender unit too. Can be annoying. I had an 07, 10 RT both good bikes. The 10,11 and 12 year models have a more stable valve train and in general very good long distance machine. I even found the windshield to be good, hot behind it on warm days. And easy to adjust with shims. The K bike you are lusting over is an expensive bike to maintain if you can not do all the work yourself.
 

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You can read my "Not a Happy Camper" thread to follow my recent experience with a 28,000 mi 06 K1200GT. After getting a few things sorted, I'm bonding with it. Last week I spooned on some new Metzler Roadtec 01's and I must say the big boned gal handles, stops and tracks much better.
Everything works...for now. The down side is the 2nd gear jumping issue on anything other than gentle throttle input. Every other gear offers thrilling acceleration up to redline with no glitches. OK, I haven't redlined it in 5th or 6th as I value my license, but it pulls strongly with no hesitation. Since I don't have the $3K at the moment to rebuild the tranny, I've just developed a ride-a-round and short shift into 3rd quickly. Still very annoying. Once up to interstate 80mph cruising speed it's pretty sublime.
I can't imagine taking it to Mexico. I bought it to ride up to WA from Central California to see my Father, and I have doubts about taking it on that trip. I did a ton of research before I pulled the trigger, the seller had replaced the clutch plates with the Barnett product, and on my test ride it performed normally.
So if I could hit the rewind button, I would have walked away from the sale. Follow the advice of these esteemed forum members and shell out more bucks for a K1300GT or the tried and true R bike. Personally, I would not buy another BMW product, and if I was looking to social distance to Mexico the name on the tank would be Japanese.
It's a beautiful, pristine ticking time bomb.
29333
 

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I always thought that 2006 - 2008 K1200GT's were the most beautiful bikes ever built. I've been looking for a new bike to ride on a social distancing vacation to Mexico this December/January, and I've seen some local (San Francisco Bay Area) low mileage K1200's that are tempting; however, after reading through this forum, I'm getting the vibe that they are a little too fragile for me...it turns out to be difficult to reliably transmit 150hp from the engine to the rear wheel. Seems like the consensus is a K1300 is way mo' bettah. I (maybe stupidly) sold my ST1300 in June (way heavy, but othewise kind of amazing). I really don't need the horsepower (fact is, horsepower is bad for my karma). I mostly want a bike that has a big windscreen and suitcases. Anyhow, feel free to pile on and tell me I am an idiot. I really like the looks of K bikes of that era...but I also think they might not be the best rational choice to ride to Chiapas.
Can't advise on the K12 but I've had a K13GT (late 2010 "Exclusive Edition" - which i think may have been a UK only tag - with all the gear) for 3.5 years and love it. From what I gather, its a better bike in every respect than the K12. 158BHP isn't too much and the engine is very well calibrated - no holes in the power delivery and smooth as a sewing machine, especially since I did the shims and got them all to within half a thou. I also fitted a K1200GT exhaust cam as an experiment to shorten the duration for fuel economy (though the economy was already good, e.g. high 50s mpg when cruising at 80, and the new cam doesn't seem to have killed much power or bought much more economy - I probably need to flash the chip or put a PCV on).

Mine had had all the warranty recall work done before I got it and I bought it with a 2 year insured warranty which was just as well as both switch-gear blocks failed (cruise control stopped working on the left and the right one suffered from a known problem where direct sunlight stopped it from starting). Both were replaced under the insured warranty and the dealer even "found" some problems with the ESA shocks which meant I got 2 new ESAs fitted (total cost with labour would have been £4k).

The point is that even a late 13GT still has the tail-end of the development issues and I suspect a K12 would have a lot more.

I'd say a K13 is worth at least £2.5k more than a K12 just for the general sortedness and avoidance of future hassle.
 

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I bought a brand new 2006 K1200 GT and later a 2009 K1300GT. I have had ZERO issues with both bikes. I do all my own maintenance work on both bikes. I only have around 10,000 miles on each bike and thats probably why I have had such good luck. I dont like the newer 1600 series bikes as they are not really a sport tourer in my opinion. I have other bikes I ride more but these have been wonderful bikes and I can keep up with most sport bike riders on either bike.
 

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I have an '07 K1200 and a '10 K1300. When I bought the '10, it was to upgrade from all that I had read about prior year model K12s, one of which I had. However, after obtaining the upgrade, I can speak to the 13 as being the better bike. But, I refuse to get rid of my K12 because it has never let me down. It has almost 80K on the odometer and the recalls took care of every glitch except one. The nemesis of the fuel strip expiring about every two or three years.
As far as jetting down to Mexico, you can have that, but the GT will get you there in style and with much excitement during the ride.
 

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Andy, You just may be in luck. I have a 2009 1300Gt after having owned a 2006 model. The ergonomics are so much better. I could go into all sorts of reasons why. I installed highway pegs that fold up, a pulsating rear tail light, clear lenses, and a few other goodies. I have ridden the bike to VT and down to TN & GA and did the Tail of the Dragon and the Cherehola. I installed a Garmin GPS into a bracket in the middle of the handlebars.
The bike is mechanically perfect having service done just recently all by BMW.
Now, I am 84 and have not been riding too much the past 2 years. I did about 1500miles last year and a few hundred this year. I am about ready to hang up my boots.
=This is my first post about wanting to sell the bike. I may change my mind after this season. BUT. I will sell the bike tomorrow for $8000. It has a little over 20K miles, I would have to check. No scratches or bruises and new tires last year. Give me a shout if you have an interest. I can email pictures, service records or the like. I am in Westchester County, NY.
 

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I rode a 2007 K12GT from 22k miles to 85k miles from 2010 to 2020. Had a drive failure, did the cam stuff. Fuel pump failed, warranty item, and I bought a 2010 K 1300GT in pristine condition with 31k miles from the dealer in Asheville, NC for $6,100. Rode it 400 miles the first day in heavy rain from GA into VA.
Like the bike, the size, the power, weather protection. Rode it from New England to Florida in April and May 2020, 3,600 miles, 9.5 days, scenic, wind, rain, tornados, cold and heat. The 1300 is more reliable I think. considered an RT but engine not as quick, 1600 is too big.
not sure about Chiapas, but would take it most anywhere there is pavement.
 

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Andy, I have owned several BMWs since my first R69-US in 1974-75. I had a K1200GT a few years ago. Very nice bike. Really too fast (for me). Yes, I saw 115 MPH on a good county blacktop, and was still accelerating when I glanced at the speedo. I'm sure it would cruise to Chiapas way faster than the roads would allow. Maybe an R1200GS would handle the tour better. See if you can rent a DVD of "Long way Around".

I loved riding my K-Bike in the spring and fall, and nice days in the winter weren't too bad. However on 100ºF days, there was a LOT of heat coming off of the cooling system.

Many folks think the jugs on an R-bike will make ones feet feel hot. I have never really felt that way. Of course I wear ventilated boots.

On another note, I've never toured Mexico on a bike. There are many areas that I hesitate to tour in a car unless I have some local friends with me. I've never been south of Toluca, much less to Chiapas. I understand it is one of Mexico's more wild and wooly states. Will you be travelling alone? With locals? Do you at least speak some Spanish?
 

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I always thought that 2006 - 2008 K1200GT's were the most beautiful bikes ever built. I've been looking for a new bike to ride on a social distancing vacation to Mexico this December/January, and I've seen some local (San Francisco Bay Area) low mileage K1200's that are tempting; however, after reading through this forum, I'm getting the vibe that they are a little too fragile for me...it turns out to be difficult to reliably transmit 150hp from the engine to the rear wheel. Seems like the consensus is a K1300 is way mo' bettah. I (maybe stupidly) sold my ST1300 in June (way heavy, but othewise kind of amazing). I really don't need the horsepower (fact is, horsepower is bad for my karma). I mostly want a bike that has a big windscreen and suitcases. Anyhow, feel free to pile on and tell me I am an idiot. I really like the looks of K bikes of that era...but I also think they might not be the best rational choice to ride to Chiapas.
I would say the GT isn't the best bike for warm weather because the fairing is very effective and keeps you in still air (you can ride in moderate rain in just leathers at anything over 50mph as it's deflected round you), which also warms up a bit from the radiator. Its great in colder/wetter weather (like we have in the UK for most of the year) and when I jump on other people's bikes on cooler days I can't wait to get back on the BM,....but I find anything over about 24C (75F) uncomfortable....OK, in riding jeans and a mesh jacket you can go a bit warmer on the open road, but in town you get hot quite quickly.

Another thing to be aware of is that the radiators on these block up quite easily with insects and grit as they are set low down and catch a lot of shite from the front wheel. Its difficult to get out as you'd need to hose it from behind regularly but can't get at it. Mine now gets hot in town on hot days because the bottom half of the rad (where the fan is) is completely blocked and can't be unblocked. I've bought a low mileage second hand one (from an S which is the same) and will fit it soon, along with a piece of fine mesh over the front to catch the crud but be removable to allow me to wash it out.
 

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Andy, You just may be in luck. I have a 2009 1300Gt after having owned a 2006 model. The ergonomics are so much better. I could go into all sorts of reasons why. I installed highway pegs that fold up, a pulsating rear tail light, clear lenses, and a few other goodies. I have ridden the bike to VT and down to TN & GA and did the Tail of the Dragon and the Cherehola. I installed a Garmin GPS into a bracket in the middle of the handlebars.
The bike is mechanically perfect having service done just recently all by BMW.
Now, I am 84 and have not been riding too much the past 2 years. I did about 1500miles last year and a few hundred this year. I am about ready to hang up my boots.
=This is my first post about wanting to sell the bike. I may change my mind after this season. BUT. I will sell the bike tomorrow for $8000. It has a little over 20K miles, I would have to check. No scratches or bruises and new tires last year. Give me a shout if you have an interest. I can email pictures, service records or the like. I am in Westchester County, NY.
Wow! Riding a K GT at 84! Impressive
 

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I had a 2007 K1200GT for 7 years and LOVED it. I Only sold it to get a great K1600GT. I rode with the guy I sold it to and couldn't keep my eyes off the bike cuz it just looks So Sharp and performs Amazingly! The basic improvement of the 1300cc was the wet clutch but the 1200 i heard could run low on oil and still be ok. I really wish I had kept the bike With my updated K1600GT but the guy who bought it Loves it and who am I to deny another man's Joy & Happiness. You Will be happy with either a 1200 or 1300 ...but I must admit, you'd be even happier with the AWESOME K1600GT. I feel its the Best all around bike ever made. Good luck in whatever you choose. :cool:
 

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I've had my 07 GT for about a decade now, and this bike has been as reliable as all my Japanese bikes. The only extra thing I've done is had the ABS system redone by (the name escapes me, the outfit in Idaho). Otherwise it's been regularly scheduled maintenance and many miles of grins and smiles.

Sometimes I get a little surge action when it's been WFO for a while, but the roll on/off trick works every time. I've not regretted buying this bike.
 

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Good advice here. I have a 2006 bought used in '07 with 8,163 miles on it. Now I have 77,277 miles. I should get out more. Been all over the western US and Canada two up on it. Fully loaded side, top and tank bags. It hauls and is great.

Yes I tell people it's the best and worst bike BMW ever made. So poorly engineered and yet one of the best power/riding/feeling bikes ever.

Study what the bikes require to be up to date. Suggest getting a 1300. Make sure these things are addressed and then ride.
Hope you have fun in what-ever your decide.
 

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A 2007 K1200GT with low miles fell into my lap last fall for a very good price. I hadn't been run for several years and I knew of the issues with the K12GTs so I knew it would need a few things. The iABS2 module (non-servo) needed servicing (tight brushes), the fuel strip was bad so I replaced it with a "spoof" and low fuel switch to make a low fuel warning light, the wires to the front ESP shock were broken, new battery and tires were fitted, I replaced the gear shift pedal with a used one from a K1300GT (smoother shifting), and after experiencing the high idle and BBS syndrome several times I did the "quick fix" fettle (seafoam clean/lube of the idle control valve). I installed an AF-XIED when I got the bike to richen the mixture just a tad. All the recalls had been done on the bike by my local dealer, including the BMS-KP engine controller. The bike runs perfectly now, and I expect it to for many miles to come.

I had had two brick K1200GTs prior to this bike and considered them the best touring bikes I had owned. This wedge K1200GT is far and away a better bike - it has much better performance, it's lighter lighter and more nimble with a very comfortable riding position, and it provides great wind protection. I've never owned an oilhead RT, although I've had a number of oilheads, but I don't care for the RT's wide fairing. I don't see any sport touring bike out there that I would rather have than my K1200GT - the K1600s are bigger and heavier than I want, and the R18s are not for me.

Fixes for most of the issues are well-known and not costly to do, but If you don't care to work on the bike yourself you may be better off with a K1300 because it addressed all the issues mentioned above. These wedge K bikes are really well-engineered bikes in my opinion, but they need some attention from time to time to keep them in tip top shape.
 
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