Top test BMW K 1200 S
Sporty, strong, fast. With the 167 hp K 1200 S, BMW dares to do the balancing act between daredevil corner sweep and luxurious touring athlete. Whether the trick succeeds?
The league in which BMW’s new four-cylinder is playing became clear in MOTORRAD 18/2004, when Hayabusa, Doppel-X and the like K 1200 S on
official test machine ready to be squeezed out in the top test according to all the rules of the art.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004, mileage 2835. Cleaned and re-soled, the K is ready for the first test after a meticulous technical check and filled to the brim: the road consumption at a good middle-class pace and with enough leeway for the first scanning Familiarization with which the testers work their way up to the incorruptible 1000-point rating.
With a slim tank and a car-
The BMW shows a wrinkled waist
K 1200 S, how to make corpulent big bikes look like a petite 600. In addition, the impeccably cranked handlebar stubs within a decent reach, form-fitting body contact with the motorcycle and a balanced triangle made up of handlebars, seats and pegs that satisfy riders from 1.65 to 1.95 meters tall ?? fits, wobbles and has air. Trusting in its first-class ergonomics, BMW rightly does without any adjustment options for the handlebar position and notches in the new K.
Once the digital control center in the cockpit (engine check and ABS control) has calmed down, the cold four-cylinder starts cultivated after half pressing a button and without annoying revving up.
Klonk ?? not to be missed, that was the first course. All other gear changes are relatively easy and precise, but at higher engine speeds a short, dry blow sometimes accompanies the gear change.
Small discrepancies also in the engine tuning with very little load. The state-of-the-art engine electronics bridged the little hitch with slight dropouts and a red-puckered exhaust sound of up to 3000 rpm, in order to fling the 254 kilogram heavy man into orbit in the blink of an eye. Lord, this is marching ahead, hanging on the gas like a pointed cat. But watch out when the K catapults itself out of the corners in first gear ?? the transition to sheer violence happens with force, the Metzeler tire erases black lines in the asphalt.
On the other hand, speed and fun regulate themselves easily with the throttle as needed. The brilliant start out of nowhere and the maneuverability leave nothing to be desired. The performance diagram with the tiny dent at 6000 rpm is pretty much the same
felt power. If you squeeze the four-cylinder into the red area, you will experience previously unimaginable performance for BMW drivers, which is underlined by a skilfully staged, throaty, growling intake sound.
With the vibrations, however, the Munich would have been a bit more economical-
can go. Despite the double balance shafts, depending on the load and speed, especially in the range between 5000 and 7000 rpm, it sometimes chirps in the handlebars and footrests.
The drive, too, from the clutch to the Paralever cardan, grumbles and grinds in a wide variety of pitches and reacts to load changes that hit violently above 5000 rpm with a metallic jolt.
The bottom line is a rough transmission, which, however, quickly changes during a brisk flight with frequent changes in speed and engine speed over the exquisite country roads of Allgäu and Upper Swabia-
is eaten. Here the package of muscular engine, finely balanced chassis and the comfortable, but extremely active driving seat position is right. Curves and hairpin bends in all variants come with a
amazing handiness stable and mastered with accurate steering. Especially since the K 1200 S has a homogeneous spring balance even on heavily undulating asphalt-
keeps going crazy on track. Only at
hard edges and frost cracks surrender to the sensitive spring systems and rumble over rough patches. In the case of the rear suspension with a heavy cardan drive, this is due to the high unsprung masses.
The new Duolever system also seems heavier than a conventional telescopic fork due to the unsprung components such as the wheel carrier, trailing arm and suspension strut. Perhaps the wheel elevation curve of the suspension system also plays a role, which is more towards the rear. Even the softest “comfort” level of the ESA suspension, which is offered as an extra and costs EUR 650 and can be electronically adjusted in nine positions, does not help.
Slopes in supersport format are no problem with the K 1200 S, especially since ground clearance and grip are of the highest level. Nevertheless, when riding on the very last groove, ?? we are now talking about absolute tire grip limit and dragging footrests ?? a queasy feeling. All three test drivers are critical-
The insufficient feedback from the front wheel at the limit of racing and a wobbling of the machine, which leads to the loss of the ideal line aimed at. Extensive tests with tire air pressure and chassis settings on a closed route did not show any success? nothing changed in the phenomenon.
Was there still pendulum phenomena at maximum speed during the first driving report-
speed, that’s at least 280 km / h,
complained, the current test machine darts flawlessly over the track, parried
Bridge heels and bumpy concrete slabs thanks to the hydraulic steering damper, which is now installed as standard, without kickback and instability.
Amazing that the revolutionary chassis technology of the K 1200 S with Duo-
lever front suspension requires minimal familiarization. Get on, leave? finished. That the steering force is not direct, but via a scissor joint
is introduced into the extremely stiff wheel carrier, the steering feel in no way disturbs. It’s also good that BMW is part of the duo-
lever designed the brake pitch compensation differently than with the Telelever: With it, the front dips slightly when braking. A signal that has often been missed so far.
There is no question that the ABS in Ver-
The connection with the brake force assistance provides the necessary security when driving at high speed, and sometimes even conjures up a kind of arrogance. When delaying
in an inclined position, however, the electro-hydraulic brake aid sometimes interferes more violently than one would like, and the question arises once again whether one should not simply do without the controversial servo assistance given the enormous braking performance of modern four-piston calipers.
After the topic of sport, let’s turn to the everyday and touring qualities of the K 1200 S, because they should
the majority of the BMW clientele
more dear to the heart. The good thing is
To be announced before the start: The new K ensures a solid stance with a seat height of 825 millimeters and a slim seat cushion in the thigh area and, compared to the old K models, an almost playful maneuvering behavior. Certainly a merit of the deeply installed four-cylinder. Even if the
Passenger seat the demands of the designer
had to bend and backwards
dynamically tapered, the seating comfort remains typical BMW, especially since the knee angle is extremely relaxed. With a chassis setting adapted to the payload, you can experience the same impressive driving and cornering properties as in solo operation.
When designing the front of the fairing, the aerodynamicists achieved an almost vortex-free and accordingly quiet and efficient wind protection that does not cause neck pain even at a constant speed of over 200 km / h. Which is why Bayern are here too
waived an adjustment option. In conjunction with the first-class
Ergonomics and the powerful engine belong to the new BMW K 1200 S.
thus one of the few motorcycles that
Are prepared for real marathon stages in a way that is easy on your condition and your nerves.
The low beam is sufficiently good, the brightness in high beam position is formidable, so the exit can take longer. However, the driver should bunker his fuel in good time when driving at night. The consumption of the test machine with 6.3 liters of Super Plus at country road speed did not exactly correspond to that of a modern one with highly sensitive electronics
Including cylinder-selective knock control equipped internal combustion engine. For comparison: The Yamaha FJR 1300 A, which BMW accompanied throughout the top test as a reference machine, was satisfied with 5.2 liters, i.e. exactly 1.1 liters less. With the current “bargain prices” there is a surcharge of 1.30 euros per 100 kilometers.
Mileage 4815: tire almost bare, a thousand dead flies on the window, test in the can. It has done splendidly, the new noble planer from Bavaria. Instantly collected more points than any motorcycle before. The future owners of the K will surely forgive the small weaknesses.
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Top test BMW K 1200 S
What else caught my eye – BMW K 1200 S.
Crash pads under the fairing protect the engine case and frame
Uniform torx screws on all
Relatively low heat radiation in the
Leg area at high temperatures
Automatic control of the lighting-
Motorcycle rolls on a slightly sloping slope
Road from the side stand (too low
If the rearview mirror is locked too weakly, this can result in rough vibrations
Relatively high tire wear on the rear wheel
The engine sometimes cuts out when braking with the clutch pulled in city traffic
Solo: Standard cushioning, preload
“A helmet plus luggage”
Passenger: Standard or Sport cushioning,
Preload »two helmets ??
MOTORCYCLE measurements – BMW K 1200 S.
Top speed * 280 km / h
0 100 km / h 3.0 sec
0 ?? 140 km / h 4.6 sec
0 200 km / h 8.4 sec
60 ?? 100 km / h 3.6 sec
100 ?? 140 km / h 3.5 sec
140 180 km / h 3.9 sec
Effective (display 50/100) 48/96 km / h
Display red area 11000 / min
Effective 10500 rpm
Consumption in the test
at 100 km / h 6.2 l / 100 km
at 130 km / h 6.8 l / 100 km
Country road 6.3 l / 100 km
Theor. Range 302 km
Fuel type Super Plus
mass and weight
L / W / H 2215/925/1210 mm
Seat height 825 mm
Handlebar height 955 mm
Turning circle 6700 mm
Weight with a full tank 254 kg
Payload 196 kg
Wheel load distribution v / h 50/50%
Driving dynamics 1
Braking distance from 100 km / h 40.3 meters
Average deceleration 9.6 m / s2
Comments: Good stability. In ABS-
Control range only slightly rocking. The rear brake requires a lot of foot force.
Handling course I (fast slalom)
Best lap time 20.6 sec
vmax at the measuring point 102.5 km / h
Comments: good handiness for this class and a noticeably direct, stiff steering force transmission. At the tight turning point, the engine’s aggressive use of power creates noticeable slip.
Handling course II (slow slalom)
Best lap time 28.5 sec
vmax at the measuring point 54.3 km / h
Comments: With easy handling and an impeccable lean angle, the BMW dashes through the pylons.
Circular path, Ø 46 meters
Best lap time 11.0 sec
vmax at the measuring point 51.5 km / h
Comments: Safe cornering behavior up to approx. 50 km / h, even when driving over the separating joints. The BMW loses stability and feedback a little faster, which is why lap times and speed are worse than with real sports machines.
Performance diagram – BMW K 1200 S.
Except for the tiny dent at 6000 rpm, the BMW engine puts a clean performance curve on paper. With measured 165 HP on the clutch he achieved
the factory specifications pretty exactly
(Crankshaft power). In practice, the four-cylinder impresses with its spontaneous acceleration and aggressive power delivery. When it comes to the translation, BMW made no compromises and dispensed with a kind of overdrive. So the top speed and the red area are congruent.
Technical data – BMW K 1200 S.
Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two balance shafts, two overhead camshafts each driven by gear wheels and chain, four valves per cylinder, rocker arm, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, ge-
regulated catalytic converter, alternator 580 W, battery 12 V / 14 Ah, hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan shaft.
Bore x stroke 79.0 x 59.0 mm
Cubic capacity 1157 cm3
Compression ratio 13.0: 1
123 kW (167 hp) at 10250 rpm
Max. Torque 130 Nm at 8250 rpm
Pollutant values (homologation) in g / km
CO 0.313 / HC 0.078 / NOx 0.092
Bridge frame made of aluminum, double longitudinal control arm made of steel (with ESA: adjustable–
bare rebound damping), two-joint single-sided swing arm made of aluminum tubes, central-
Suspension strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping (with ESA: adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping), double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 265 mm, double-piston floating caliper composite brake, ABS.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/50 ZR 17
Tires in the test: Metzeler Sportec M-1 »B«
mass and weight
Wheelbase 1571 mm, steering head angle 60.6 degrees, caster 112 mm, spring travel f / h 115/135 mm, permissible total weight 450 kg, tank capacity 19 liters.
Service intervals every 10000 km
Oil and filter change every 10000 km / 3.5 l
Engine oil SAE 15 W 40
Oil tank volume 4.2 liters
Spark plugs Bosch YR5DDE
Idle speed 1150 ± 50 / min
Tire pressure Solo (with pillion passenger)
front / rear 2.5 / 2.9 (2.5 / 2.9) bar
Two year guarantee
Colors blue, gray, yellow / gray, blue / white
Price 14850 euros
Price test motorcycle ** 15,680 euros
Additional costs 262 euros
Scoring: Drive – BMW K 1200 S
Distinctive strengths: With impressive driving performance, the
powerful BMW K 1200 S a lot of points. The power delivery of the four-cylinder engine is also impressive. An optimally designed sixth gear even helps to achieve the top grade. Noticeable weaknesses: gearshift and rough load change behavior, that
earned only 9 out of 20 points.
Scoring: Chassis – BMW K 1200 S.
A harmonious chassis set-up and the amazing curve characteristics for this weight class-
The new K 1200 S moves ahead, even if it doesn’t look quite as brilliant at super sporty cornering speed.
Scoring: Safety – BMW K 1200 S
Thanks to the ABS, she collects
K 1200 S looks good here.
Unfortunately, the electronic braking assistance in the
One criterion for dosability
Part of the booty frivolously. The K 1200 S deserves great praise
with the enormous slopes-
freedom, and use
a steering damper ensures you top marks in matters
Scoring: Everyday Life – BMW K 1200 S
A moderate result in terms of range, due to the high consumption, and only 196 kilograms of payload are for a sport-
tourer with all-round demands not exactly befitting.
Scoring: Comfort – BMW K 1200 S.
COMFORT-ORIENTED bikers feel right at home on the BMW, because the wind protection and seating position pamper discerning tourists and their passengers. Disturbing:
the edgy engine vibrations.
Scoring: costs / environment – BMW K 1200 S
Low inspection costs,
pleasing emission values and
there are steep maintenance costs and a high fuel consumption-
need opposite. Due to the high base price of almost 15,000 euros, that breaks too
Value for money a.
Conclusion – BMW K 1200 S.
The balancing act was almost a success, the BMW
With 746 points, the K 1200 S is at the top of the MOTORRAD best list. The extremely strong, comfortable machine is fascinating on winding country roads as well as on marathon tours. Only the drinking habits of the K 1200 S need to be improved.
Delay diagram – BMW K 1200 S
The steep increase in braking power (1) is the result of the servo support, the drop (2) shows the control of the anti-lock braking system. 40.3 meters of braking distance are the level of modern super athletes.
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