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800 S. Francisco St.
Mission, TX

Our website is all about motorcycles, especially BMW cycles. We cover rides in the Southwest and Mexico, motorcycle modifications and review motorcycle products. 


BMW K1200s - New to me Bike

Tomas Perez

I'm a touring bike type of guy.  Well... maybe sport touring type of guy with much greater emphasis on the "touring" part.  But being a technical type of guy I also realize that everything is relative.

Rolled out of trailer and waiting for a new battery

I've been a fan of the boxer engine for a long time.  I like the way they propel the bike down the highway.  I don't know about the newer boxer engines but the older engines had this awesome burbling sound as they passed you on the highway.  In addition, the vibration of the boxed engine is a low frequency type (compared to 4 and 6 cylinder engines).  It doesn't appear to bother a rider as much as a high frequency buzz.  It's a win-win for a touring rider that spends many hours on the saddle.

But then there are times that you simply want (or need) pure unadulterated power.  At times, while on the RT, I miss the power of a modern 4 or 6 cylinder engine.  Don't get me wrong - the new RT is powerful and fast.  The RT is like two different kinds of bikes.  You have the old man touring mode where you shift at 4K at the highest and the engine never gets close to 6K rpm.  But if you press it beyond 6K rpm it's like a different animal.  On top of that it handles so well that experienced riders can hold their own in most cases.  

Disclaimer - I do not fall in that group...

 A step brother to the RT boxer is the K-GT touring bike.  I recently test drove one and it brought back memories of past sporty touring bikes that I've owned.  The search was on for a K bike.  I didn't want the GT because it's too close to the function/purpose of my RT.  I first looked at the R but found it a bit too raw or naked for my taste.  I then found a very low mileage 2008 K1200s that fits the bill between a tourer and plain bike very nicely.  It's a brute but at the same time can


replace my RT as a touring bike.  The KS strikes a nice balance between a hot rod and a sophisticated long range bike and being a BMW it also has character (some of it good, some of it bad).

My first gas stop.  I was glad to put fresh gas in the bike.

I've ridden the bike 300 miles and it seems like I am adjusting to the riding position.  The proof will be when I use it on 100 to 300 mile rides.  My RT is still my long range tourer and the Super Hawk is better around town than the KS.  My evaluation and ride reports on the K1200s will follow after I added more miles.  I just got it titled, tagged, and insured yesterday.  By the way, insurance for the 2008 K is double what I pay for the 2010 RT.  It must be that 167 HP, 96 ft/lb of torque and 11,000 rpm redline.  In the background of the photo above (gas station photo) you can see some of the vastness of Texas.  It's ideal for a bike like this.  It was so hard keeping it under 75 mph on my way home.  Once, while merging into the interstate, I looked down after shifting though all 6 gears and see 100 MPH on the speedometer.  I'm sure I was shifting at 50% of red line!

Cruising home somewhere on highway 77

Very clean bike.  Cleaned up but not detailed yet...

Bike ready for a run (disregard old sheepskin - it has the low seat)

Update: 2013/07/19:

 The gas tank had so much vacuum at my last two fill ups that I had to use a screwdriver to break the gas cap loose.  A few days later and although the gas tank was still nearly full I decided to investigate and look for the cause.  Tracing the vent line coming off the top of the tank I soon discovered a double kink on it.  It was totally blocked off.  Since the bike is hardly used I am suspecting that this might be a factory error.  It was a simple matter to reroute the line and all is good now.  Since the gas tank was removed I decided to look at the ABS module.  My "brake failure" light has been on most of the time.  It was fairly simple to remove the unit.  It has four brake lines attached on the top, three bolts holding the unit on the bike, and two wire anchor points on the sides of the module.  The unit is off for a rebuild right now.  Update will follow as soon as I get it back.

Line now free flowing

Update: 2013/07/30:

 In a total of 8 days I shipped out the ABS module and got it back after it was rebuilt by Module Masters.  I installed it the same day I got it and my ABS is fully functional again.  The repair was done at a fraction of the cost of what the dealer wanted to fix the ABS.

Update: 2013/08/15:

I took the bike to a BMW dealer to get to bulletins (recalls) done on the bike plus a software (included a fuel mapping upgrade) flash.  The result of the update is better mileage, smoother idling (still not perfect), and much better in town riding when in 2nd or 3rd gear and RPMs less than 3,000.

Update: 2013/10/07:

I got a pair of used Helibars and installed them on the KS.  It's a minor change to the stock bars and they look totally stock but you do notice (feel) the change on long trips.  I did have to modify the left bar a bit to get a better OEM fit of the switch gear.  The standard mounting holes place the switch gang rotated too much in the clockwise direction.  For example the left turn switch was directly under the bar.  The right side can be adjusted but the left side has mounting screw holes to hold the hand grip in place.  What I did was drill another hole slightly CCW from the existing holes.  The photo below shows what I did.  The shiny area around the hole is where I chamfered the hole slightly.  It's a very nice (actually better) fit now.

Helibar Mod

Thanks for reading,