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Wow - after my Suzuki this feels like real luxury! Makes a mockery of most japanese bikes as you can use it day in day out without worrying its turning into rust and corroded aliminium, unlike Honda et al. Have used mine through 2 British winters and still looks great (try that with any other make and see what happens).
Starts every time, goes well quick enough to lose your licence and will arrive anywhere with no fuss.
Fuel consumption is good on long distances, handling is sure footed not twitchy at all.
Comfort is spot on, no more cramped back and backside aches!
Definately wont be going back to Japanese after this!
What really does it for me is I can put it away after a long soaking wet ride and not worry about it. No chain to oil, just leap on it next day and off again! Tops!
Bmw k1200RS, this bike is not a patch on any of the japanese machines i have ridden, i find my k1200 a heavy clumsy machine to ride with the exeption of motorway riding. my Yamaha R1 and Honda CBR600F are far better machines. if you want a heavy and thursty machine to get you to the south of france in a straight line well this is it, if you want a quality tourer you need to buy the RT, the K1200RS is not that good on fuel, at good progressive riding you only get around 160 miles to a tank. (over 250 on the RT) the bike is very heavy even without its luggage, going into corners i find the bike wanting to tuck into the turn due to the flat styled engine, its a bike i wont be buying again i think i will stick to japanese machines in future. this is only an opinion not a fact.
First, to qualify this report.
I've had a lot of bikes and have used them for fun, commuting and touring. I've had most makes (Honda, Yamaha, CCM, Kawasaki, Ducati, Triumphs and BMW's), and some pretty fast ones too (stage 2 tuned 150 bhp CBR1100XX Blackbird). I use a bike most days and travel between 10-15 thousand miles a year on them. I use them for pleasure and as workhorses.
What I say next will not sit easily with some of the more effete magazine road testers (who mostly travel to work in cars, have total access to a car park full of motorcycle exotica and don't have to spend a penny of their own hard earned on their rides).
The BMW K1200RS and the K1200GT are simply brilliant all round motorcycles.
It's like most things really, it all depends what you want things for. At 52 years old I want some comfort, some speed, the slenderness to filter through the London rush hour and the ability to munch the miles when needed. Have you ever tried to do 60 minutes on a Ducati Superlight at speed? I did and the Osteopath thanked me for the next three weeks!
My intro to the K1200's was with a K1200LT (see my review on that). I thought it had a great engine but it was just a bit too heavy and wide for my daily commute. This experience led me to buy a K1200RS SE. I used this for work and touring and covered about 12,000 miles in 2001 on it.
I went down to Rome on it and got back from there to Hertford in just 24 hours. I'm telling you, when you let these bikes loose on the open Autoroutes, they fly and they're comfy. You can hold a steady 120mph for about 90 minutes, after which you'll be thinking about refuelling.
The 21 litre tank will average 43mpg (even when pushed hard). That gives 210 miles range despite the refuel light blinking on at 150 miles.
I part-exchanged the K1200RS for a K1200GT in 2004. I wanted the more upright position and the better weather protection. Additionally it came with matching luggage, electrically operated screen, cruise control and heated grips and seat.
The cruise control is super useful on the motorways, it lets you relax and massage your right wrist (no jokes please).
The GT is just an easier going RS and it's so much more practical. It has roughly the same speed, handling and braking of the RS without the wrist and wind pressure. The GT is a direct descendent of the Police Spec RSs.
With regard to the handling. The 1200 series are not a sports bikes and I wouldn't want one on a track day. But, treated with respect and it'll reward you with its low centre of gravity and reasonably high ground clearance.
The brakes are brilliant on both the non servo and the servo versions. Im a great fan of ABS as Ive suffered two front end wash outs in the last 30 years and its not something IO want to repeat.
BMs have some great integrated design features, for instance the luggage clips into recesses already on the bike and locks with the same ignition key. Why shouldnt it? So why dont Hondas?
I've only had a couple of problems with the RS, a seized rear brake pad and a blown clutch seal. The BMW network dealers are good, helpful but expensive. I'd recommend the extended warranty that BMW makes available. This warranty also comes with full European recovery facilities.
So far with GT, no problems at all.
Theyre quite expensive new at around £12,000 depending on options. Best bet is to get an 18 month old one the renewable, residual BMW guarantee, youll save thousands.
Oh by the way, most UK dealers will let you test ride either for free. Go to it!!
Engine Cubic capacity - 1171 cc
Bore/stroke - 70.5/75 mm
Max output - 96/130 kW/bhp at 8750 rpm
Max torque - 117 Nm at 6750 rpm
Design - In-line
No of cylinders - 4
Compression ratio/fuel grade - 11.5 premium
Valve control - DOHC
Valves per cylinder - 4
Fuel supply - Motronic MA 2.4
Alternator - 840 W
Rear-wheel drive - BMW Paralever
Clutch - Single-plate dry clutch, diameter 165 mm
Type of frame - Cast aluminium frame
Wheelbase - 1555 mm
Steering assembly angle - 62.75°
Brakes; front - Dual-disc brake, diameter 320 mm, rear - Single-disc brake, diameter 285 mm
Wheels - Light-alloy; front - 3.50 x 17 MTH 2, rear - 5.50 x 17 MTH 2
Tyres; front - 120/70 ZR 17, rear - 170/60 ZR 17
Length - 2250 mm
Width with mirrors - 850 mm
Handlebar width - 680 mm
Seat height - 770/800 mm
Weight, unladen, with full fuel tank - 285 kg
Max permissible weight - 500 kg
Fuel tank - 20.5 litre
Fuel consumption - 90 km/h (56 mph) - ltr/100 km, 120 km/h (75 mph) - ltr/100 km
Acceleration - 0 100 km/h (62 mph) - 3.7 sec
Top speed - 245 km/h
A great all rounder - Advantages: Stable handling, Well sorted for touring, commuting, and day trips, Good mix of power and braking - Disadvantages: Expensive to buy, Not many dealers, Parts and accessories are expensive
NEWS FLASH! At the 2002 NEC Bike Show, BMW showed their K1200GT, which is based on the K1200RS, with many improvements to the fairing, which should improve rider comfort significantly. The GT is due for release in the UK in Spring. ORIGINAL REVIEW: I have owned several BMWs and travelled 50,000 miles to date on my current K1. I have considered a K1200RS as the spiritual successor to the K1, but found it wanting. The engine is remarkably powerful, which makes its six-speed gearbox both tiresome and superfluous - I am sure two gears would be enough! The suspension is firm, but its handling is solid and dependably BMW. The disappointment is that the novel front suspension does not provide a smoother ride. The brakes are powerful and unobtrusive. The riding position seems a bit odd, in that I found the footrests too far forward and the handlebars too far away. But my biggest criticism I reserve for the fairing, which looks good, but provides little actual rider protection. I travelled over a 100 miles in rain, sleet and snow, so my demonstration ride was reasonably fair! By contrast, my K1 is cosy and sublime! At the NEC Show in 2001 there was a Police-spec K1200RS on display, with an extensive range of added aerodynamic aids to the fairing and better screen and more relaxed riding position. The response to my enquiry was that they are developed to meet the "peculiar" needs of the Police! QED. A good looking bike which may suit recreational use, but not daily use all year round in all weathers.
The K1200RS is one of BMW's least BMW like bikes, bar the 650 and sounds nearly like a bike should. It's funny, as I'm thinking of ways to describe this bike, I can only think of most of the others, which I've also ridden. Anyway, this bike handles like its on rails, has very good acceleration and just feels right. Though like most bmw's it suffers from a lack of feedback due to th wishbone suspension system at the front, but it's something you get used to. As proof of how well balanced and easy to ride this bike is, when I worked at a motorcycle training centre a few years ago, I guy actually bought a similar model to this and passed...hadn't ridden a bike in his life apart from 20 years previous when he experienced a Squarial!!! Need I say more!!! I've always liked BMW's despite the stereotype of them being purely 'old man' bikes. I first rode one when I was 21 on an open day 3 or so years ago, and thought they were so well balanced compared other Jap bikes. In conclusion, if you want a bike that will keep you on the road and let you enjoy yourself in safety.
Definitely the best BM so far. It's fast, smooth and versatile. My husband has been riding BMW's K1200RS for the last 18 months (with 14 years experience of various other BMW models). During this time he has covered 22,000 miles in all weather conditions. So far it can't be faulted. It has been totally reliable.The only expense has been servicing and tyres. The original tyres were Metzeler MEZ4 which were found to be adequate only. They were changed to Bridgetstone Battlax BT56(front) and BT57 (rear). They completely transformed the bike from a tourer to a sports tourer. They encouraged the rider to explore the limits of the bike, the grip was excellent in both wet and dry conditions. As with the majority of BMW's this is shaft drive. Although the initial cost of the bike is high (BMW has recently reduced all the prices on their bikes) part of the cost is recovered due to the fact that BMW's are made to last. With Japanese bikes of the same performance you will be going through chain and sprockets like they are going are out of fashion. BMW shaft drive has advanced to the degree that the accelaration is instantaneous and almost as rapid as a chain driven bike. Bearing in mind that this bike is just over 1/4 tonne in weight the brakes are more than man enough to haul this bike up to a halt from some rather illegal speeds(I have it on reliable authority that 160 mph isn't out of the question!) The K1200RS is equally at home scratching round country roads as it is touring the autobahns. This bike is more than a match for the ZX9R's and Thunderaces of this world.
the BMW k1200 RS is the best motorcycle i have ever road on! I t is swift and smooth, and the acceleration is incredible. My father used to have a trail bike when we were living in Spain, but is just doesn't compare to the power of this machine. But beware...The parts for the bike is VERY expensive, so, if yu decide to buy this bike (which you should) then be careful of it! I once dropped it on its side, and with it weighing over half a ton...i wasn?t a good idea!!