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800 S. Francisco St.
Mission, TX
USA

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

Ride Reviews

K1200S Fitted With Pilot Road 4 Tires

Tomas Perez

I purchased the K1200S only a year ago with just 3,000 miles on it.  I meant to buy it, fix whatever needed fixing, and clean it up for possible sale.  Most of you know that my main touring bike is a BMW R1200RT but every time I ride the KS I find it very difficult to part with it.  So... with this in mind and the bike at 7980 miles I decided to finally replace the tires that were on the bike since 2008 with a new pair Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires.

 

 The KS taking a break...

The KS taking a break...

I used a local independent motorcycle shop to do the tire mounting and balancing.  In order to become one with the KS I decided (although I got to a point that I regretted this decision) to take the wheels off myself.  Somehow, with my brother's help, I used his motorcycle jack to raise both wheels off the ground so that I wouldn't have to make two trips to the shop.  By the way, my bike doesn't have a center stand,  I've thought of getting one but the only thing holding me back is the fact that I will have to cut the belly pan.  I like the way it covers most of the bottom as it is now.  Second choice is a Pitbull stand and I think I would need two for front and rear.  Comments welcomed with this regard.

 

 Took a few boards to properly set up the jack.

Took a few boards to properly set up the jack.

 About to install.  Wheels are waxed.

About to install.  Wheels are waxed.

One of the things I like about my KS is that it has the color matched wheels.  It adds so much to the bike.  Since it's not often that we remove the wheels I wanted to take the opportunity to clean them well and apply some protection to the finish.  I first washed the wheels while the old tires were still on the wheels.  Clean wheels are simply a lot cleaner on hands and clothes while moving them around and it's also easy to show the tire shop that the wheels are in perfect condition.  Simply put... I don't want them scratched up.  After I got the wheels back with the new tires I used a cleaner/wax to clean them even better.  The cleaner/wax helps to soften baked on stuff like brake dust and bugs.  Apply some on whatever gunk, let it sit a while and then wipe with a micro fiber cloth.  I used the Meguiar's Cleaner Wax.  After doing 2 or 3 passes of the cleaner wax and buffing to a basic shine I applied a coat of Collinite No. 476S wax.  I recently got this wax and I use it on both bikes and cars.  I'm very impressed with it.

 

 Nice...

Nice...

By the time I finished cleaning the wheels it was getting dark.  I mounted the wheels myself as the sun was setting but the fender and belly pan were done as it got dark.  The reason for this delay, although it is a very easy job, is that I washed both parts.  I then applied interior detailer on the belly pan and #476S to the front fender.  Up close it looks a bit odd because I have not washed the bike and my last ride included riding through a light rain.  That's the bike below right after I installed the wheels and rode the bike over to a gas station.

 At a gas station.  One mile on tires.

At a gas station.  One mile on tires.

I rode the bike to the gas station and back and called it a night.  It would be two days before I got a chance to ride it and scrub the new tires up a bit.

I decided to ride out to San Isidro - a distance of 48 miles from my house.  Round trip would nearly put on the "standard" 100 miles on a set of new tires that people say to do before really pushing them to the limit.  But I'm not one to push tires to the limit - especially on a bike like the KS.  Nevertheless...

About 8 miles from San Isidro 681 (N-S route) butts up to 1017 (E-W route).  I stop at the stop sign and waited since a tractor trailer is approaching from the east.  About that time he switches on his blinker to his left.  Well... since he is slowing I figure I can pull out since I'm heading west and I can accelerate fast enough to avoid slowing the cars that are behind the 18 wheeler.  Besides... it's a good excuse to open up the throttle of the KS just a bit.  The KS lives in it's lower 25% of it's capacity.  At least it is with me.

 Time in each gear under these conditions is like 2 seconds on the KS and I shift at about 50% of redline.  Get to 6th, look down and see the needle passing 90MPH.  Cut the throttle about half way and look back to make sure I cleared the cars.  Oh shit!  Red and blue lights on a black and white!  DPS on my tail!  I pull over thinking I made a stupid move since I couldn't see the cars behind the truck.  I don't think he clocked me because he asked me if I knew how fast I was going.  I said "no sir but I was accelerating a bit hard to avoid the traffic".  He says "well it was over 80 mph and the limit here is 70 mph.  I'm giving you a warning."  After writing me the warning he told me to be safe and enjoy the rest of my ride.  He also added that he liked my motorcycle jacket - a BMW Airflow that's so well worn that it's almost grey instead of black.  (Forgot to take a picture of his car with lights flashing behind the KS).

On my way back I pulled over to take pictures of an old airfield north of Mission.  During some of my college days I worked at this location.  I worked with the Screwworm Eradication Program.  It involved the raising millions of flies.  Weekly production ran as high as 200,000,000 flies.  My job was to remove the maggot shit from the feeding trays.  The job basically involved scooping the poop up with our gloved hands and putting it in pails.  I'll save the gory details for a separate post.  I hated the job but paid better than average government wages.   Mike Rowe's Dirt Jobs would have loved to show that place although I don't think I am suppose to talk about it.  Security was very high.

 

 Texas Marker

Texas Marker

 That's the place in the distance.

That's the place in the distance.


 Those are tracks where the patrol vehicles pass.

Those are tracks where the patrol vehicles pass.

I had a very fun ride and the tires felt very good.  Not nearly enough miles to write a review of the tires at this time.  I'll have to wait to do a complete review in the future.  I'm using them on my RT also and they are doing very good mileage wise on that bike.

 

Thanks for reading.

Ride safe.

tsp