I've always liked my new to me K1200S. There are several posts in this blog pertaining to my purchase and how I feel about the bike (especially since my main touring motorcycle is an R1200RT). The one thing I found sub par on the KS was the rough idle and more importantly the fact that every once in a while the engine will die when cutting the throttle at slow speeds. The latest firmware update improved the situation but it was still very present. BMW NA - picture rolling to an intersection at night and the engine quitting on you in mid turn... release the clutch and risk a low side or use the starter and have your headlight turn off while cranking.
My desire was to correct or at least improve on that "shortcoming" and thus the reason for my purchase. I think every review I read was positive so I decided to give it a try. I like that the installation can be totally reversed without leaving cut or spliced wires. If I didn't like it I could return it or sell it.
- Bike: 2008 K1200S
- Mileage: 7,200 miles
- My experience with the KS: 4,200 miles (purchased at 3000 miles)
- Bike modifications: Remus muffler and K&N air filters
- Typical climate: Rather hot most of the year with mild winters (snowed in 2004, 1967, 1953?)
- Test mileage on device: 260 miles
- Device setting: 7 flashes
Before boring you with the details of my review let me start out by saying that - so far - I find this device amazing. I was expecting a slight improvement at best and perhaps only under certain conditions. I was even suspicious of their claim to ride the bike with the AF-XiED installed for a couple of tanks of gas. Another concern was the possibility of a big drop in gas mileage. The bike is already a little weak for long travel having only a 5 gallon tank and mileage in the 40's.
I installed the device on my 2008 K1200S which required removing the gas tank. And as chance would have it I was 15 miles short of a full tank! I purchased a rubber hose at an auto supply store and siphoned nearly all the gas out of the tank (at least 4 gallons). I didn't want to keep the gas... I put it in my wife's SUV. Someone has an excellent write up in one of the BMW forums for installing this device in a KS so I'll skip those details in this review.
I have a GS911 but I did not reset adaptive values after installing the device. I wanted to see how it felt just minutes after riding the bike before the installation. I start the bike and it doesn't sound much different than before but it always runs rather smooth after a cold start. Pulling away I notice it was easier starting from a standstill. My block ride, which I always take very slowly to keep peace with my neighbors, was about 75% better. It still had the engine bucking but not nearly as bad and hardly any jerking of the drive train. Once on the highway the bike feels stronger in all the gears. I continue to ride for about 10 city miles (low fuel light has been on since I started). That evening and the next morning the bike died on me twice. I was forcing myself not to work the throttle in an effort to prevent the stalling condition. Not perfect but better than before.
That night, after riding 15 test miles, I fill up and ride 35 highway miles in 72F weather. The bike felt better than my earlier test ride but it was pass midnight so I park the bike for the night. By this point I noticed the idle was much better than normal. The following day I rode 135 miles. It's so hard to tell but to me it felt so much stronger thru all the gears. I wanted to make sure that the bike wouldn't miss or hiccup at higher speeds or RPM range. Placebo or not but they bike felt much faster. All riding modes felt good.
The next day I go for tank #2. During this tank of gas I make the following observations:
- I like the idle rumble much better - Remus sounds meatier now
- Cold starts have a higher idle RPM (100 - 200 more)
- Adaptive changes have made a big positive difference
- Idle is 90+% steady now
- Engine has not died after the first tank of gas
- Slow speed running is about 90% better
- Running at 2,000 rpm is much easier now even in 6th gear
- I hardly apply any throttle to start from a standstill
- Pass 2500 rpm you can use any gear you want - normally use 6th when I used to use 5th
- Steady 60 mph yielded 47 mpg
- Steady 75 mph yielded 42 mpg
Like I said, I only have 260 miles on this unit but if anything it has gotten better the more I ride the bike. In addition, I haven't tried it at any setting other than 7. I want to see how it works in 6 and in 8 just to see what it does. I'm more interested in setting #6 than #8. So at this point what's not to like about it?
- Transforms the bike into what it should be
- Easy install
- Reversible installation
- Low cost for the improvements
- I read that it might harm catalytic converters due to enriched AFR
- Cost was about $220 for me. Some may consider that a minus. I don't.
tsp rating - 9/10 (I'm saving the 10 until I have more miles on it)
I want to try this device on my 2010 R1200RT. Two considerations: the RT behaves a lot better than the stock KS and the device cost more because it requires two modules because it has two O2 sensors. Can the RT engine get better? Post a comment if you have this device on a camhead.
Thanks for reading,