BMW K1200, K1300, and K1600 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I would like you’re all’s collective opinion.

I picked up a 2002 K1200RS back in December with 36K miles on it. Always wanted a K1200RS as in my considered opinion it has to be one of the most attractive motorcycles designed in the modern era and I wanted to keep the miles down on my 2005 R1200RT. I plan to use the K bike to commute back and forth to work.

I got busy beginning the first of the year and only now am I starting to put some miles on the RS.

Much to my surprise the bike is like trying to “steer a brick”. :(

After riding hundreds of thousands of miles on just about every type of motorcycle imaginable I can safely say the K1200RS requires more muscle to initiate and to keep in a turn that any other bike I have been on. This puppy is happy in a straight line. It has to be forced into the twisties.

I understand that I am tapping into a wealth of motorcycle knowledge here. Is this the nature of this beast or should I be looking into the setup or other areas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
I'm guessing there is something wrong with the bike. My 03 leans easily into turns no problem. The bike doesn't steer any harder at speed than any other bike I've owned or ridden, owned about 2 dozen bikes so far.
At low speed it takes some getting used to. I think that is due to the weight more than the steer assembly of the bike.
I'm sure some much more knowledgeable than me gearheads will chime in with better answers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
In April i travelled 560 miles on my 2007 R1200RT ( A truly brilliant motorcycle ) to view and buy a 2004 K1200GT with 8000 miles on the clock.

My initial feelings on taking it for a test ride was that there was something seriously wrong with it, particularly at low speeds where i felt that it just wanted to fall over in a turn. I have over 40 years of motorcycling experience, much of that as an Advanced Police motorcyclist and this bike felt dreadful.

Checking the obvious first i found the front tyre ( Michelin Pilot Road ) was well down on pressure and correcting that and increasing the preload on the rear shock made a BIG difference but this bike will never handle as well as a 1200RT. That said i have now done 3000 miles on it and as a long distance mile muncher it is very good and fast sweeping bends suit it well.

I think the biggest problem you have is that you are comparing the K1200 against an R1200 and they are as different as chalk and cheese.
One is very light and one is very heavy.
The K1200 has 20 bhp more but on the road i think the R1200 is probably a faster A to B bike due to handling.

Which bike is better to ride either slowly or quickly? NO DOUBT ABOUT IT R1200RT.


Which bike looks best NO DOUBT ABOUT IT K1200 RS/GT.

I have settled into the K1200 and the handling is no longer an issue.

Cheers Darryl :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,680 Posts
Look for a front tire with a more triangular cross section. That will speed up the steering.

I had a very round Maxxis front and it was a dog to steer in the mountains.


Mack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
896 Posts
Tires maybe toast. I assume first thing you checked was pressure.. 38f/40-42r also it might just be time for tires, also a squared off rear will affect turn in. K1200RS and GT had a steering dampener it also could be shot. And lastly if the rear spring preload is to low and the bike is riding nose high that will majorly affect turn in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,791 Posts
There was a problem with some 2003's, the front ball joint was too stiff and they were replaced, but only if the customer complained, not sure if the 2002's were affected, I did have the serial numbers for the bikes affected but not here at work.....!

Mine is one of them, but it steers fine unless I am doing less the 20 MPH, but then they are heavy bikes, not for city riding that's for sure....! :teeth
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
The K12RS is part of the series..........of flying bricks..................I have no problem with the handling and do my best to keep my speed above 80 mph to take advantage of the bikes inherent characteristics........that thing at the end of the right bar will assist you in turning if managed correctly ........... IMHO ................... :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
Worn front tire(anything more than 3.5K is getting worn). Usually the more wear on the front tire, the more steering input is needed to make the beast turn.
Try putting a PR or PR2 on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
The KRS requires more steering effort than any other bike I've owned, but not an excessive amount. New tires and correct air pressure help a lot.

If it feels REALLY excessive, you might have to adjust or replace the steering head bearings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
Maybe tires

K bike either has new tires or needs new tires, there is no inbetween. If they are flat the steering is a little slow. The bike is heavy loves sweepers, on tight stuff you have to pull or push the bars a little.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
balance

I seem to think my front tire is about 10-15psi low on my 2000krs and like to run it at 40psi to help that feeling. ON one of my first rides on the krs I dropped the bike on its left side doing a low speed turn around-oh shit !!! after learning how to handle the heavy rocket I can now do a stop and go and or turn without takeing my feet off the pegs. Practice is all I needed to learn how to ride the krs ,I ride in the city alot at rather slow speed around the local lakes an feel confident doing so . The big rockets tend to be pointed in a direction , and I usually use negative steering to move the rockets trajectory. it handles well at 25mph in the sweeping turns of local lakes, and on the freeway home blast to 100+mph in short order,, love that k1200rs. joe :clap:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
Sticky steering head bearings will definitely cause the bike to "fall over" into courners as you need to create pressure on the bearings before they move, even though it is a (relatively) small amount of movement. Of course, ifthey are OK, Ohlins will make your bike handle better than your boxer :teeth
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
513 Posts
Papilio said:
tyre pressure, you have not told us about that. Certain suspect
papilio is correct. Tire pressure is very important. this bike is very heavy and needs lots of air pressure to keep it up on it's toes.

I like 40 to 42 PSI on the front when cold in the morining and 42 to 44 in the rear.

keep the front tire above BMW's reomended 38psi. 40 + will help it respond to steering inputs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,791 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
296 Posts
brucecha said:
Worn front tire(anything more than 3.5K is getting worn). Usually the more wear on the front tire, the more steering input is needed to make the beast turn.
Try putting a PR or PR2 on it.
I couldn't agree more. I spent a lot of time getting mine to steer and handle as I like, the tried a set of Pilot Roads. They transform this motorcycle-it's as if they built these tire around it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
To all:
Thanks for your replies. The feedback so far is that the bike is big , heavy and combined with the long wheel base she ain’t no Aprilia RSV4 (which I had the misfortune to destroy one earlier this year – good thing was I was not mine – another long and sorted story.)

I guess what threw me was that the R1200RT was sooo much lighter feeling than the K1200RS. I did not expect that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
New tires always make a certain ease reappear. Also tire pressures do play a part. ALSO, not so much mentioned here..

If I RELAX and dance with the KRS, lead by a lean of my body and shoulders, slide a cheek to the inside, view to the inside over mirror, the bike so willingly follows. When I have to correct a line in a curve it is usually the bike is turning in too tight, If I ride somewhat tense and remain kinda straight in the saddle, the bike has to be forced more into a turn and will tend to stand up. It is a pretty significant difference in how the bike feels, same road, load, tires, pressure etc. While it is perhaps more active riding that the R RT, I always enjoy it.

A friend hit some deep gravel over tar up in the mtns here a month ago and dropped his new to him 05 R RT, It broke the valve cover and guard on the bike and his ankle in 3 places and leg in one. The bike was easy to repair and he asked me to ride it back.

Saturday we went and retrieved it. Wow, such different bikes. My feet felt all in the wrong positions, the hand grips were OK, the seat a bit cramped forward. Yes the bike did very well but I felt somewhat hemmed in by how the bike fits. I was used to the more active ride I mentioned and found it not as natural to do that. It was more like I was in a very neutral riding posture and difficult to move outside of that one posture. I ended up for much of the trip with my butt pushed up against the bottom of the passenger seat, my feet on the rear pegs. The engine is deceptively quick and seemed happy in any gear as well and ok at 5-6k rpms. My feet got hot at times on the RT. It felt much taller as well in the saddle. I was also way surprised at an avg of 51+ mpg via the trip computer. (the KRS would have been maybe at 39 for the same ride)

What I learned,
The riding styles are different. The engines respond similarly but feel very different. The comfort level is good in both but again in some different ways. The RT felt cramped in upper body ways some, the K RS then felt a bit tight below the waist. The RT feels higher and more perched than the K RS.. Both are great bikes in their own way. I can see the lure of an RT lover, of working to change the layout of the RS to feel more like an RT. I think that is a disservice to both bikes and designers. The time on the RT did make getting back on the RS feel a bit awkward at first. Feet way high and back, reach forward more than I remembered. Seat way low.

Such good bikes, both of them.. but such different bikes. One does have a heavy feeling that encourages moving around, the other feels lighter but I felt limited in riding posture. If choosing just one again, ( the RT and RS really aren't comparable as they are different approaches to a bike ride) it would be the RS. I do love the RS on so many levels it would still be my choice.

NCS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Relax and Dance!!! I get it.
Your know you're correct. Come to think about it for some reason I'm trying to "work" the RS rather than having it "work" for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
896 Posts
36k on the bike if it has the original shocks they are shot. If you are a big guy, or the previous owner was a big guy the rear will be shot and the bike is riding nose high and it will turn in SLOW. Have you checked the front and rear sag measurements? A lot of people don't. Spring preload will make more difference then a couple of psi in the tires. You can take damn near any sport bike and make it steer like a truck if the suspension is off. If your 625 lb brick is riding nose high it will for sure turn in like a porky pig. Once you know the sag is correct (assuming that the rear spring isn't totally sacked, and it can be adjusted) then move on to new tires Michelin Pilot Road 2 are a great choice ( Not the original Pilot Roads) Then tweak tire pressures. And again check that the steering dampener.. and FYI BMW bikes with telever front ends don't have steering head bearings that need adjustments like bikes with conventional forks.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top