2004 - 13, 2004 MOTOR CYCLE NEWS 25 The launch of the K1200S also launched fierce debate. Here we...

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Transcript of 2004 - 13, 2004 MOTOR CYCLE NEWS 25 The launch of the K1200S also launched fierce debate. Here we...

  • 2004



    241WHY has BMW withdrawn its K1200Sdealer demonstrators from use, andwhy cant customers with deposits downget their bikes until the new year?BMW SAYS: Due to the defectivemanufacturing process of a third-partysupplied component (a camshaft), BMWMotorrad will delay customer deliveries ofthe new K1200S. This means customers whohave paid deposits wont be able to takedelivery before the end of the year.

    BMW Motorrad has decided to suspend allK1200S demonstrators until further notice,as wear of the camshaft can cause seriousdamage to the engine. It is important to notethat the quality of performance of thiscomponent is in no way related to the designof the K1200S engine.TREV SAYS: BMWs continuous testingand evaluation programme picked up that onsome bikes the camshaft lobes were proneto pitting on their working faces. These faces

    are surface-hardened and somewhere alongthe line the hardening process has failed.The resulting pits can lead to valves notopening fully. The worst-case scenario iscamshaft debris getting into oilways and theoil filter, or between other lobes causingsevere damage. BMW has no option but toreplace all the offending camshafts. As acompany which prides itself on buildingquality cars and bikes it must be mortified itsreputation is being tarnished this way.

    2WHY is it so much heavier than otherbig bikes?MEASURED WET WEIGHT

    (FULL TANK, READY TO RIDE)YAMAHA R1 200kg KAWASAKI ZX-12R 228kg HONDA PAN EUROPEAN 340kg (including ABS)BMW K1200S 250kg

    TREV SAYS: Pushing it around it feelsheavier than the R1 and so it should, whatwith the shaftdrive weight. Its easier to pusharound than the obese Pan, and wouldprobably be just as easy to manoeuvre asthe ZX-12R if it wasnt for the stiff steeringdamper. While riding, the K1200S feelsheaviest of the lot.TAYLOR SAYS: Its heavy, but I couldget used to it in time, as with any bike.JAMES SAYS: It looks and feels lardyat low speed, which for someone verticallychallenged like me is daunting at first.GREGORY SAYS: Its lighter than thePan but feels heavier through the steering.Turn the bars when stationary and it feelslike it has a flat front tyre.BMW SAYS: The K1200S is acompletely new bike with no directpredecessor. It has a low centre of gravityand competitive weight against hypersportor sport-tourer bikes even allowing for theextra weight of the shaftdrive and ABS.

    The K1200S is lighter than an ABS-equipped VFR800.

    3IS the K1200s top speedelectronically restricted?TOP SPEED (MCN TESTED)

    YAMAHA R1 185.74mphKAWASAKI ZX-12R 185.45mphHONDA PAN EUROPEAN 143.02BMW K1200S 173.34

    BMW SAYS: Top speed is not restrictedon the K1200S and neither is the power inindividual gears.

    4HOW close are those 167bhp claimsto reality?REAR WHEEL MEASURED

    POWER (BSD DYNO)YAMAHA R1 147.9bhpKAWASAKI ZX-12R 152bhpHONDA PAN EUROPEAN 107.3bhpBMW K1200S 143.9bhp

    TREV SAYS: Very close. Allmanufacturers claimed power figures aremeasured at the crankshaft. If you allow anaverage of 11 per cent power loss throughthe gearbox, clutch, drivetrain and all thebearings in between, the final figure is closerto the rear wheel measurement. In theory,

    YOULL justhave to waitto ride it

    I never experienced ahigh-speed weave orthat loose feelingwhen one is about tohappen before or afterthe damper was fitted.Nor did any otherriders I know of



    J BMW K1200S


    The launch of the K1200S alsolaunched fierce debate. Here weask BMW, professional rider andpotential buyers to give their verdict

    WHEN BMW launchedthe K1200S in July itquickly became oneof the most talkedabout bikes of theyear. Initial

    comments were very positive: its aradical departure for a manufacturerknown for its solid touring-biasedmachines, it puts the very best ininnovative engineering on a sports bike.

    But others werent quite so favourable:MCNs first test of a pre-productionmachine showed up problems including

    poorly set-up fuel injection and a veryclunky gearbox. And further problemshave emerged since then.

    To answer the question every riderneeds to know the answer to would Iever trade my bike for one? we testedthe K1200S against a range of bikes,using a range of riders, plus gave it theusual runs on the dyno, on a high-speedproving circuit and a variety of roads.

    Below youll find the answers to thebiggest questions about the machinethat not only breaks new ground forBMW, but for superbikes as a class.

    the K1200S should make 148.63bhp as theengine loosens up, but that exhaust is sorestrictive well have to wait and see.The R1s claimed power is 172bhp and theZX-12Rs is 175bhp. BMW SAYS: The 167bhp power figureis measured at the crankshaft.

    5HAS all that top end power come atthe cost of usability at lower revs?TOP GEAR ROLL-ON FROM

    40-120MPH (MCN TEST)SPEED TIME (seconds)(MPH) ZX-12R R1 Pan K1200S

    50 1.61 1.92 2.06 1.7060 3.15 3.67 4.21 3.2470 4.70 5.11 6.58 4.6480 6.27 6.36 9.10 6.1790 7.82 7.65 11.74 7.75

    100 9.42 9.19 14.50 9.56110 11.11 10.75 17.50 11.43120 12.90 12.30 21.85 13.70

    TREV SAYS: No, not that youd notice.From a rolling start of 40mph the K1200S isquicker than the R1 up to 80mph, it evengets away from the ZX-12R between 70-90mph.

    6WHAT aftermarket accessories will beavailable?TREV SAYS: As the bike is new,

    makers of aftermarket screens, exhausts,bodywork and luggage havent got to gripswith the bike yet. Exhaust specialists Remusare big into BMW and are reported to beworking on a stainless steel full race exhaust(with removable baffles!).BMW SAYS: Official accessories willinclude unique soft/hard expandable 50-litrepanniers, 431; a choice of two sizes of tankbags (large 20 litre for 150, a smaller 12litre 108.50 for when a Navigator unit is

    fitted); centrestand, 135; alarm, 145;heated grips, 175; and Navigator II GPSsystem, 1473.

    7 ARE rumours of a high-speed weavetrue?TREV SAYS: I never experienced ahigh-speed weave or that loose feeling whenone is about to happen before or after thedamper was fitted. Nor did any other riders I

    know to have ridden the bike. If the revisedK1200S were to weave now Id look for afault elsewhere on the bike.BMW SAYS: Not at all with productionbikes.

    9 ID never buy a BMW; should thisbike change my mind?TREV SAYS: Yes. Despite the

    Continues over

    THE GUEST TESTERSGARY GREGORYBike: Honda PanEuropeanAge: 40Facts: Gary also ownsa Honda Blackbird, andused to own a FireBlade

    STUART JAMESBike: 2004 YamahaYZF R1Age: 40Facts: Stuart owned aKawasaki ZXR750 L1prior to the R1

    RICHARD TAYLORBike: 2004 KawasakiZX-12RAge: 41Facts: A big Kawasakifan, owned a ZX-9Rbefore the 12R


    TREV SAYS: On this versionwithout the electronic suspensionadjustment (ESA) the front end feelsremarkably like a normal softly-damped telescopic fork shod bike you can feel the harshest of bumpsbut the smaller stuff is soaked up.There is a set amount of dive (notdrastic, definitely less than a stock R1)under braking, and this is fine, but Idprefer even less. The ESA, at an extra450, allows you to swap betweendifferent suspension set-ups (front andrear) for different types of riding at theflick of a switch and is a realimprovement over fiddly manualadjustment, even allowing you to

    adapt the set-up on the move to suitchanging road conditions. The steeringdamper (fitted at the last minute toproduction bikes) has knackered thesharp, quick steering feel felt on thelaunch bikes and needs more riderinput. On fast A-roads the bike nowfeels like a well set-up race bike butwith lazy steering geometry. Stiffeningup the rear shocks preload to stop therear from sitting so low improves thesteering without affecting thehandling.TAYLOR SAYS: Its a differentfeel maybe itll be even better thanforks. But based on limited experiencewith them, I prefer the telescopic forks

    of my ZX-12R. JAMES SAYS: Feels too vaguefor me Id probably shit myself inthe wet although its built like anaircraft carrier so it might be moresuited to running through water.GREGORY SAYS: I was a bitworried at first. Just pushing up anddown on the bike the front felt weirdas it went straight down and back up,not like normal bikes where the frontsinks down and forward. After a fewruns I got used to it, but thebike was hard to turninto corners. Its todo with the stiffsteering damper.

    ABS system is a great aid to road riders


    BETTER thanforks? The jurysout on that one

    TREVOR FRANKLINMCNs chief road tester, Trev has ridden everytype of bike going. He was also one of thefirst people to ride the K1200S back in July.


  • engine/fuelling problems, dowdy styling andstrange colour scheme its a spiritedweapon capable of taking on itscompetitors head on. It is a BMW but not inthe traditional (preconception) sense 144bhp and race-bike-like attitude on openroads is hardly pipe and slipper material.TAYLOR SAYS: No, unless you like amore upright ride.JAMES SAYS: Its certainly betterthan Id expected. A lot better. The enginesgot as much grunt as anyone needs andthe aerodynamics/protection are superb.But no, basically the Germans need to goback to the drawing board.GREGORY SAYS: Ive never likedBMWs styling, performance, image butthats me. Ive had the chance to abuse thisone to see what it can take and I can sayBMW has gone up in my estimations.

    11WHAT are the brakes like? Can theABS system beat a skilled rider on anon-ABS bike?

    BRAKING 70-0MPHR1 47.69m PAN 51.93mK1200S 45.20m ZX-12R 50.34m

    TREV SAYS: THE brakes are simplysuperb and the figures confirm it. It evenoutbrak