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BMW K 1200 RS endurance test (interim result)

Heaven must wait

After the first endurance test machine passed away much too early, the second is to tackle the same distance again after 50,000 kilometers. Here is the interim balance.

"A Munich man in heaven" was the motto in issue 21/1997 when a major engine failure prematurely ended the MOTORRAD endurance test of the K 1200 RS.

The second copy has meanwhile survived 50,000 kilometers without major problems and will be left in the fleet until the 100,000-kilometer barrier has been reached. The fast Bayern bomber is thus the fifth machine that is set to break this mark at MOTORRAD. The decisive factor for the decision was that the K 1200 RS is often used as a comfortable sports tourer.
At MOTORRAD, too, the yellow was the first choice on its first 50,000 kilometers, especially for fast long-distance stages, as documented by entries in the logbook such as “a motorcycle like the S-Class” or “super touring motorcycle, especially for two ”. Especially after installing the comfort seat and the raised handlebar stub from the BMW accessories range, pilots, big and small, feel perfectly accommodated. Only the position of the footrests has met with criticism. Graphic artist Katrin Sdun-Heinlein sees herself "almost forced to drive with hanging toes because the rear part of the footrest is in the way when the foot is backed up". Tall drivers also find it difficult to choose between the two possible positions of the windshield: While the flat position offers little protection from the wind, turbulence and loud wind noise are annoying when the position is raised.
Opinions on the chassis with Telever and Paralever are divided: some like the space glider-like driving experience, others simply think it’s great. The tendency to slide over the front wheel in curves is particularly displeasing. Moni Schulz test complained: "I’ve never run out of road so often." Ex-racing driver Christian Aurnhammer is bothered by the heavy weight, the unwieldiness and the lack of feedback, which even leads him to the comment after a two-week tour over 6000 kilometers that you should give the thing to the colleagues from the auto newspaper, maybe they could do something with it. It is just astonishing that even sharp critics always fall back on the yellow giant when it comes to long distances. In addition to the good space and the range of around 300 kilometers, they also seem to appreciate the extremely powerful engine.
Even so, his vest wasn’t quite white either. The quintessence here is: top performance and torque, great noise and oil consumption. A wide range of mechanical noises and vibrations from the depths of the casing belly, metallic knocking in the drive train when driving over road surfaces and the need for lubricant of around 0.5 liters per 1000 kilometers have been annoying since the start of the long-distance test. Experiences that many readers made (see box). When checking the oil, it is important to wait a little after switching off the engine before checking the level in the sight glass.
On the subject of tires: Three pairings were tried, there were no serious points of criticism, but different effects on driving behavior. With the Metzeler ME Z4, the BMW becomes unstable and quite unwieldy, so that tire expert Mini Koch even imagined he was "on a 380 kilo motorcycle". However, there was praise for the durability and comfort of the Z4. The latter is the downside of the alternative Bridgestone BT 57 soles. The Japanese rubbers allowed hard bumps to penetrate more clearly to the driver, but in return made the K 1200 easier to handle. The third pairing, Dunlop D 205, turned out to be a good compromise. For all three types, the tire pressure should be 2.9 bar at the front for maximum ease of use.
A real annoyance is the very rotten cover of the muffler. Dirt that was thrown up and in some cases even plastic in the case literally burned itself to the ground – a fact that is also criticized by many readers. Some of them also criticized the excessive heating of the suitcase mounted on the exhaust side, one K 1200 owner even melted the rain suit stowed in it.
It must be mentioned, of course, that the endurance test BMW at 43,500 kilometers was given a partially new plastic dress after a relatively harmless fall during a tour of France, which could even be continued. For safety reasons, the front wheel, the rear frame, parts of the brake system, water cooler and some small parts have also been renewed. All in all, it made 13,900 marks. Small slip-ups with the K 1200 RS can have big consequences.
Let’s stay with the money: ICE-like travel costs an express surcharge, whereby the average gasoline consumption of seven liters per 100 kilometers is acceptable in view of the 285 kilos curb weight, 130 hp and frequent fast two-person operation. The same applies to the wear and tear on tires and brake pads, the former due approximately every 5000 kilometers. Really annoying is the high oil consumption, in addition to the regular changes during the inspections at 10,000-kilometer intervals, the twelve-hundred-n-a-hundred-thousand-kilometer car dropped 8.7 liters behind the bandage – no problem according to BMW. To make matters worse, refilling is also a messy affair.
UOn the whole, the endurance test BMW can be attested in a very good condition, it was spared from breakdowns. And the measured values ​​as well as the compression diagram allow the conclusion that motorcycle heaven will have to wait quite a while for the yellow Munich girl.

Reading experiences

Almost all of the responses have the same tenor: the engine, chassis and comfort are inspiring, but quality defects and breakdowns tarnish the picture. Only a few readers are completely satisfied with their K 1200 RS.

In 1998 we decided on the K 1200 RS, the super motorcycle for the sporty touring rider. In order to optimize our K even further, we have "tailor-made" it. Higher handlebar adapters and lower footrest holders from MV (phone 0 24 34/92 93 63) allow me and my wife to sit comfortably and actively. The mirrors of the R 1100 S, which offer a significantly larger field of vision, also come from MV. Our K ran absolutely without any problems with consumption values ​​of five to six liters per 100 kilometers in two-person operation. The high-torque engine and the playful handling with Bridgestone tires is impressive. In short, BMW has made a real quantum leap in motorcycle construction with some restrictions. Bernd RenneisenWiesbaden, My K had to go to the workshop six times within 7,300 kilometers, and twice it was left completely lying. The standpipes and the clutch master cylinder were leaking, and the fan, throttle valve switch and engine control unit had to be replaced several times. The BMW was in the workshop for a total of 25 working days. The rough engine running and the grinding gear noises could not be remedied. Conclusion: If BMW is back, then only after three years of maturing or a machine built before 1975. Karl-Heinz Schumann Wuppertal I have rebuilt my BMW a bit to increase the seating comfort: I use a high adapter piece on the handlebar, the footrests ?? from the R 1100 S ?? stand in the lower position. I replaced the shift lever with an adjustable self-made one. With the bench in the upper position, I can now ride comfortably. The oil consumption is about 0.6 liters per 1000 kilometers, the gasoline consumption between six and eight liters per 100 kilometers. Ing. Guntram KindGummersbach Although I was satisfied with the engine performance and handling of my RS, I returned it after six months with 16,000 kilometers. Despite six repairs, the loss of oil in the dip tubes could not be stopped. In addition to the high tire wear, the Bridgestone BT 56 only lasted 1,600 kilometers at the rear, the Metzeler ME Z4 2,800 kilometers, and the oil consumption of half a liter per 1,000 kilometers also bothered me. All in all, my K had to go to the workshop ten times.Thomas GreinwaldPolling So far I have driven my BMW over 30,000 kilometers across South Africa, mostly with a passenger. The K 1200 has proven to be a problem-free touring machine. It needs about 0.2 liters of oil per 1,000 kilometers, and tires had to be changed every 10,000 kilometers. The only damage so far has been air in the clutch system.Vincenz BenderRivonia / South Africa The chassis and engine power of the K 1200 are top-notch, I am also satisfied with the workmanship. Tea seating position is unsuccessful, however: Despite the ergonomics package, I get neck cramps on long journeys, and I can hardly overlook the factory tank bag when it is fully loaded.Hans AnzerDobelAfter I drove the K 100 RS for a few years, I went to sleep after a short one in 1997 Intermezzo with the K 1100 RS the K 1200 RS. After a short time, the control unit, both fan motors and the standpipes had to be replaced. When the mileage was 12,000, the K got a new engine after several attempts to eliminate the strong mechanical noises had failed. The tank also had to be changed due to a leak. Overall, the motorcycle was in the workshop for several months. BMW initially tried to present the problems described as "state of the art". Only after pressure from me and my dealer did they appear more accommodating. It’s actually a shame, because the power delivery and frame are really inspiring. Erhard Schweigerer Fate

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