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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First post on this forum.....

I'm going to be selling my '86 K100RT (a classic in its own right) and have been considering a jump to a gently-used K1200LT. I owned a '96 K1100LT previous to this bike and I do miss it, so I figured upgrading to the BMW road-sofa would be what I want...

BUT... I do prefer the "sportier" aspects of the RT. I have loved the look of the K12RS since its introduction and have heard good words about its performance as a long-distance tourer.

I like the upright riding position, and it would appear the K12RS has a more forward riding position... I also have a recurring herniated lumbar disc that I would imagine might be aggravated by a forward riding position.

My question is, how is the K12RS for long-distance touring, as in, am I going to be crying for relief after an 11-hour ride? I don't do long-range touring every day, but when I do, I don't want my bike to be a negative factor on the ride.

I know the only definitive answer is to find someone who will let me borrow theirs for a "test-ride" - that could be a challenge. But, with riding season here still over a month away, I figured I'd ask the opinions of people who ride one.
 

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I went from a K75RT to a K12RS. (Still haven't sold the K75RT, but that's another story. ;) )

Early on I had some comfort issues with my legs. They're tucked up a bit more than on the RT. I found relief by stopping and walking vigorously until I got my heart rate up (and exercised the muscles in my legs.) I don't have to do that any more and I've done a few 12+ hour days.

I might have had some back discomfort on the first few rides but can't recall for sure. I did follow the "Master Yoda Riding Position" as described at BMWST.com.

IMO, the only way you're going to find out if a bike is good for *you* is buy it and ride it. You may not even find out within a couple months, but if you don't like it after a year, it's probably time to try something else.

BTW, when I ride my K75RT these days it feels really wierd. ;)
 

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i have had 2 knee repairs and have argued with doctors for 20 years about a back surgery to correct a herniated disc.I argue against! Limited feeling in left leg, chronic pain etc. I love my RS! I did put bar backs on it and the aftermarket footpeg mounts.Also a Areoflow windshield,while butt ugly is great in the cold months or on long trips. The stock screen goes back on in the spring.A tank bag gives me enough storage for a 3-4 day trip.A set of soft bags and my sweety and I are good for a week. The thing is very quiet which on a long trip is a blessing. Handles great in the twistys. Now it took a few thousand miles to learn how to ride it. Rider break in I believe its called.The first couple 100 miles I really thought I screwed up. Now a 300 mile ride after work is no big deal. The quirks and problems of the RS/GT are well know and easily fixed. Go eat some bugs!
 

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Perfect all around sport tour

I just returned from a 2300 mile ride to Big Bend in West Texas on my K1200RS. I'm 6'4" and really love this bike. I transform the stock setup for long trips by adding a GT windscreen with Laminar Lip, hard bags, soft trunk from T-Bags, and a Marsee tank bag. Add my Escort, and 30 Gig video Ipod and I'm feeling good, and ready to roll. Great wind protection using the Laminar Lip. I also use a Russell saddle that feels great to me.

I'm not really crazy about the touring look, but the great thing about the KRS is it's versatility. When the trip is over you can change it back to more of a sportbike look. By just adding or taking off a few items you can have anything in between.

I too have lower back problems, but long rides on the KRS don't make things worse. Of course, you'll really only know after riding one yourself for an extended period. Good Luck.

Pictures attached in "long tour" "short tour" and "track day" modes.
 

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all day riding

the bike takes some getting used to. i went to type II barbacks, and lower footpegs. changed to a sargent seat. coming back from bigsky mt last summer, i did 1000 miles the first day, got up and did 1600 miles(28 hrs) straight home from sioux falls to tampabay. on long days, i use a wooden bead mat over my seat. sure i get fatigued, but i change positions a lot, and lean on my tank. all in all, it's the best touring bike i've seen. i bet the lt is better, but couldnt go the size and weight. just ride the bike, u will see what changes to make to make it work for u.
 

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RS Comfort

I had a 2000 KLT for four years, until I sacrificed it to the "Diesel Fuel on the Road" Gods of West Virginia, they exist, look it up. Don't let the KLT fool anyone. If you have not thrashed one in the mountains for years, you have no idea what that bike is capable of. I still feel I can ride it faster than I can my RS at this time, I've only had my RS for nine month's now. I was one with the KLT, and when it was given up, the side stand, along with the footpegs were ground down pretty good, and not from the crash. My buddy with his lighter ST1100 could never keep up, the KLT is awesome. With that said, my back is not the greatest and the left knee is worse. I have no problem riding the RS for long distances. We rode back from the Lima, Ohio, BMW Rally last year to Charlotte, NC in 11 1/2 hours. I had 30mm bar-backs at that time but have since taken them off for cool weather riding. Even with the bar-backs off, we regularly ride 5 to 8 hours a day. The bike is comfortable and you'll have no problems. Like many say, ride the RS stock for at least 1000 miles before you install bar-backs. The biggest, for me, as a long distance rider is to stay hydrated. This is huge. It cuts down on fitigue, keeping the body fresh. I put a Camel Back hydration unit in my tank bag and hang the hose between the zippers. The hose is attached to a retractor so when you're done drinking, spit the hose out and it retracts on the fly. Stay moist, stay fresh, stay alive. :ricky
 

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Thc

JamesTexas said:
Bud, Hope to see you April at THC Roundup in Kerrville.

I'll be there. Don't want to miss a THC ride. I went through the hill country on my way to Big Bend. Hit a large rock on 336 and was stranded for 5 hours on the side of the road while my riding buddy went for help. Finally got towed to Alamo BMW for $275. Got there at 11:30PM and had to stay in a real flea bag motel next to the shop. Next morning Alamo BMW got involved. Sid Rodriguez was really great. He did everything possible and got me back on the road by 1:00 PM with a new front wheel and tire. Somehow trips to Big Bend always turn out to be an adventure.

Watch out for rocks and rough cattle guards on 336. If you have trouble you'll find out just how desolate 336 is. I had five cars pass in five hours! Only one stopped to offer help.
 

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no power in the 'verse can stop me
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budcarrigan said:
Hit a large rock on 336 and was stranded for 5 hours on the side of the road while my riding buddy went for help. help.
Bud, was the tire flat after hitting the rock ? I can't tell from the picture.

If not flat, couldn't you ride the thing?
 

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Went to the THC last year (BMWST though), and it was awesome. Remember that road (336), but 335 was the winner in my book; just incredible. I don't remember seeing any rocks on 336; what do you think it was? And you didn't see it, or how did you hit it? I think it's very important to ride those roads with a riding buddy, or during a rally, where other riders are passing by at a higher rate than 4 in 5 hours.

I plan to hit Big Bend early march, but from El Paso, I'll do it a mini-tour, in 2 days. I can ride everywhere in and around the park in 2 days, with 400 miles a day. Want to do CO in September too (that one 4 or 5 days), so will probably do the THC again next year, and keep doing it every other year. It's a loooong boring ride there. Take care, and have fun at the THC.
JC
 

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Lots of people like the KRS and lots of people don't. It's taste. I think the KRS is a great sport tourer. I rarely see any long hauler sport tourers on the road. I see BMW's, Gold Wingers and Harley Road Kings and full dressers. Where are the other sport tourers out there? I see them commuting, but not on the open road. The KRS will suck up miles until your butt hurts. It's that good. I think most of the discomfort and complaining is the lack of conditioning. I'm not talking about going to the gym. I'm talking about riding, riding and more riding. I like hours in the saddle and long mileage days. I do it a lot and I'm used to it. Buying a sport tourer, doesn't make someone a long distance rider. Riding the hell out of your sport tourer is what makes the long days easy. I went to Monterey this last weekend for a bowl of Calm Chowder. The ride was about 750 miles round trip. It was my friends first long ride on a Gold Wing that he commutes on. The Goldwing got to him because of the saddle time he was not used to. I can think of a dozen bikes right now that I want. I will never be able to do everything I want to do with just one. The KRS sure does a lot of things well to keep me happy. I'm looking for a newer KRS to go with the one I have. One is good, two is gooder ;)
 

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I have a 2002 KRs and have put 40,000 miles on the bike to date. Normally go out every Sunday and ride 300 to 400 miles. Originally, I kept my arms too straight and my wrist would bother me. Once I bent my elbows and leaned further forward, I have not problem with the bike. I have done some long trips couple of thousand miles, on the bike and like it.

My two complaints... The bike is a beast and weighs a ton. You need to be very deliberate when you are moving slowly, putting the bike on the centerstand, taking it off. Once it gets momentum, it is difficult to keep up. (Tilting in one direction.) The other issue is the wheelbase. If you want to spend time with the sports guys, the bike has a long wheelbase and will naturally not turn as fast as a sportbike. 60.2 inches vs. 55 to 58 for a real sportsbike.

But, if you like long fast sweepers, like to accelerate, stay primarily on main to secondary roads, ride with a passenger who also likes to go fast, its a good bike to own.

If you do have back problems and like to ride upright, I would not get this bike. I did get sore riding the bike, but I do go to a gym four times a week. No more problems. To me, the bike is designed to be ridden with lower bars. Not sure how much the higher bars change the handling.
 

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Love It

I love mine, I bought it in Tampa and rode it home to VB... About 950miles after the detours. Not bad for the first day out on a new (used) bike. Then in Sept I did my first Iron Butt SS1K... 1025mi in 18 hours. Great bike all around, I commute on it when the weather man says I can.

A few mods:
PIAA 1100X lights
BMW Navigator II GPS
Sargent World Tour Saddle
BMW Comfort (K-GT) Windscreen
BMW Upper fairing extensions (K-GT)

Despite what some may tell you, the Zebra is the fastest color(s) :tim
 

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shook sez said:
Bud, was the tire flat after hitting the rock ? I can't tell from the picture.

If not flat, couldn't you ride the thing?
Although it doesn't look like it's flat in the picture, the tire was completely flat. My luggage was taking the weight off the front end and making the tire look like it still had air. I had a portable air pump, but even after beating on the wheel with a rock, the tire would not take air. I thought about using a bigger rock, but was afraid of doing more damage by hitting the brake rotor.

Another factor was that I was 30 miles from the nearest town, Leakey. Way too far to do much of anything except wait on a wrecker. I'm still waiting to see if my BMW MOA Platinum Cycle Club will reimburse my for the tow to the closest dealer.
 

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ELP_JC said:
Went to the THC last year (BMWST though), and it was awesome. Remember that road (336), but 335 was the winner in my book; just incredible. I don't remember seeing any rocks on 336; what do you think it was? And you didn't see it, or how did you hit it? I think it's very important to ride those roads with a riding buddy, or during a rally, where other riders are passing by at a higher rate than 4 in 5 hours.

I plan to hit Big Bend early march, but from El Paso, I'll do it a mini-tour, in 2 days. I can ride everywhere in and around the park in 2 days, with 400 miles a day. Want to do CO in September too (that one 4 or 5 days), so will probably do the THC again next year, and keep doing it every other year. It's a loooong boring ride there. Take care, and have fun at the THC.
JC

Yeah, 335 is a much better road. Our plan was to ride 336 to Rock Springs, come back down 336, and then take the big sweeper 55 back to Rock Springs.

The rock must have just rolled off the hill. There was a sign just before I hit it that warned of falling rocks. I was warned, but just didn't have time to react. Guess I'll pay a little closer attention to falling rock signs in the future. The rock was right at the exit of a turn and I didn't see it till it was too late.

I always ride with a buddy. It would have been a whole lot worse if I'd been on my own. At least he could go for help. Didn't see any bikes in 5 hours. It was a Tuesday and not as many bikers as on the weekends. Only 5 cars in 5 hours. Only saw lots of deer and hogs during my wait. My riding buddy came back in 2 hours and waited with me.
 

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Trading for a tourer

cjstora said:
I owned a '96 K1100LT previous... and I do miss it, so I figured upgrading to the BMW road-sofa would be what I want... But, I have loved the look of the K12RS since its introduction and have heard good words about its performance as a long-distance tourer. My question is, how is the K12RS for long-distance touring, as in, am I going to be crying for relief after an 11-hour ride?
I made the K1100LT to K1200RS move. Don't think for a minute that the KRS is anything like the KLT as a tourer or anything else. Don't trade for a KRS without riding one for at least a couple of days in a row. I think these guys who claim they've comfortably ridden 1,000-2,000 mile days one after another on the KRS are simply BS artists. They want you to join their pain. OK, maybe I ain't in the greatest shape, but a backache starts-in on me the second day like you wouldn't believe, and no matter how much I try to be a Master Yoda-boy. Be careful here. Just my $0.02 worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
K_Biker_Bill said:
I made the K1100LT to K1200RS move. Don't think for a minute that the KRS is anything like the KLT as a tourer or anything else. Don't trade for a KRS without riding one for at least a couple of days in a row. I think these guys who claim they've comfortably ridden 1,000-2,000 mile days one after another on the KRS are simply BS artists. They want you to join their pain. OK, maybe I ain't in the greatest shape, but a backache starts-in on me the second day like you wouldn't believe, and no matter how much I try to be a Master Yoda-boy. Be careful here. Just my $0.02 worth.
Well, truth be told, I'd LOVE to buy a K1... the bike still gives me the same goosebumps as when they were introduced... but trying to find a K1 owner willing to part with one is akin to trying to locate a yeti with an umbrella.

I am going to ask if anyone in the local club would be willing to let me borrow their K12RS for a day or two. It might take the promise of a flat of beer or two to make that happen, but it will be an investment well spent.

I know I will find the LT comfortable, as I said, I used to own a K11 and my father owns a K12 and I'm comfortable on both. ...but I don't have the time I used to have for long distance touring, so for putting around town the LT is a bit of a beast. I'm just thinking of getting something lighter, more sporty, that's fun in the city, but that can still do the occasional long haul without me walking around funny afterwards.
 
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