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Old 06-30-2010, 01:34 AM   #1
baubas OP
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Advice needed BMW R1200S

Hi all


I am looking in to buying BMW R1200S and need advice from owners or someone knowing this bike pretty well..
its gonna be second hand bike so what i should be looking in to? what are the common problems? faults? or anything I should be aware of


thank you
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:06 AM   #2
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It's a BMW be prepared for the cost of ownership that comes with the turf. It is a very exclusive club you know....
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:19 AM   #3
Paulvt1
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Had one for about 6 months. Traded my RT in for a black sport with Ohlins. From what i remember it was fairly quick, light and fun.

Try these forums for more info..

http://www.boxertrix.com/phpBB2/index.php

http://forums.pelicanparts.com/bmw-r...0s-tech-forum/

It did look good...

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Old 06-30-2010, 06:42 AM   #4
JimVonBaden
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Nothing particularly unusual about the R1200S. It has the same basic platform as the other R1200 series bikes, and the same potential issues.

Maintenance is very simple and cheap if you do it yourself. There is a potential for leaks at the trans input and output seals, usually visable along the seam with the motor and trans. Otherwise they are pretty reliable.

Look for leaks, look for the usual abuse any bike could have.

Jim
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadscum
It's a BMW be prepared for the cost of ownership that comes with the turf. It is a very exclusive club you know....
Zzzz... Cycle World (I believe) was linked to on this site when they did a rider's poll of reliability issues. Honda, as I recall, came in first, then BMW or Harley in second. (the other third). And as I also recall, the three were pretty close. I have no idea what a Honda part costs compared with a comparable BMW part, but was told by my Honda rider pals, not cheap.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:12 AM   #6
Randodude371
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Pissed My BMW R1200S hasn't been reliable at all

I purchased my 2007 R1200S in 2008 with 3,000 Kms. It was mint, and have ridden 45,000 Kms on it here in Canada. I wish it's been trouble free, unfortunately it's had issues. The first was when at around 24,000 Kms it wouldn't start after refuelling. Then I pulled in my clutch and it did so rode it like that until I could have it serviced in Ottawa @ The Goodtime Centre. Under warranty was told it was my kick stand sensor. They charged me $90, to reset my sensor and sent me on my way after full service. It ran fine for about 5,000 Kim's then I moved. It began to idle rough, to the point it would only run on one cylinder. I trailered it to Budds BMW in Oakville. They replaced the kick stand sensor off warranty now. And was told it should of been done under warranty. Again ran well for around 5,000 Kms then trailered it back to Budds BMW. After spending over $2,000 for a service it seemed fine. However I know have 45,000 Kms on my R1200S. I've had speedometer sensor replaced, kick stand sensor, tank cleaned out, heated grip replaced, warped hub and rear rotor replaced. It runs rough, now taking it to different dealer and he's booked a 6 hr service to see if he can find mystery problem. I don't trust Budds BMW in Oakville because I had multiple failures arrive immediately after service like warped hub and rear rotor, heated grip failure and speedometer failure. I will not likely ever buy a BMW ever again after this. Waiting 3 weeks for a service every summer due to this reliability issue.. Rough idle leading to engine failure. Bikes never been redlined and always regular dealer service and oil changes at 3000 miles.
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Old 06-24-2014, 04:26 PM   #7
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Ive always wanted a 1200S...... dont like reading all this!



I put almost 90k miles on my 1150 this is until the cam chain rail failed. but nearly zero issues other than that

they are a sexy sportbike is kind a left-field kind of way

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Old 06-24-2014, 05:29 PM   #8
Randodude371
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Question R1200S rough idle

Regarding my 2007 R1200S, I once used WD-40 on my K&N air filter maybe 3 yrs ago. And I'm now wondering if this has caused the rough idle and right cylinder failure off and on over that time frame?
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Old 06-25-2014, 05:32 AM   #9
leafman60
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This is my baby-








I've had it for about 7 years now but I have only about 16k miles on it. I have a bunch of other bikes that divide my riding attention.

Riding impressions-

The R1200S is the finest performance bike I've owned. Prior to buying it, I had a Honda CBR1000RR. The BMW is much more my style and allows me to ride quicker on curvy roads than did the Honda.

The 1200 is relatively light weight, produces substantial horsepower and allows taller riders room to stretch out. It retains the visceral appeal of the boxer engine that has gradually been engineered away with the newer water-cooled bikes. You hear the motor and you can feel it.

I like the looks of the bike better than any sport BMW ever made. I've had more than one opportunity to buy one of the later HP2 bikes but I just didn't like the look of all the expensive plastic. The 1200S has minimal bodywork and the motor hangs out there in all its glory.

The factory saddlebags work very well and I've made at least one 2000-mile trip on the 1200S. It was comfortable (Corbin seat) and did fine on the road.

The biggest problem with the bike is its propensity for speed. Despite your best efforts to behave and be a law-abiding citizen, the S is prone to temp you into delinquency. It's hard to ride slow. Very hard. I mean extremely hard.

I've considered selling it several times when I was trying to thin the herd but, when I look at it in my garage, I just haven't been able to let it go.

Service and reliability-

I have a lot of bikes. I currently have 4 BMWs and I've been through 6 more since 2000.

BMW is the most problem-prone, unreliable brand being sold today.

In the old days they were known for simplicity and reliability but that is no longer the case and it hasn't been for about 15 years now.

BMWs are amazingly plagued with recalls, glitches, major mechanical breakdowns and other problems.

This riles many BMW devotees some of whom have become apologists who blindly ignore the issues and come to the defense of the marque.

We have a local group of BMW riders who meet regularly. Several years ago, we made a poll of the group and out of the 12 BMW riders questioned, 9 had experienced at least one final drive failure. One friend, was on his 4th final drive in 60,000 miles.

Over recent years, many other issues beset the BMW models- fuel pump controller failures, abs pump failures, switchgear failures, security system failures, transmission shaft failures, fuel plumbing breakages and leaks as well as other problems.

Even the current flagship water-cooled RT model just introduced has now been recalled with a Do Not Ride order for a life-threatening fault in the rear suspension. I have a good friend caught in that storm.

Two other friends bought the big 1600 GTL models and both bikes have been in the shop several times already for water pump leaks as well as faulty switches and electronics.

I'm not trying to beat up on BMW. And, they don't all break. Some people are lucky to ride long distances with few issues. I like BMW's when they are running and I have four of them still.

My 1200S has been pretty good. No final drive issues yet. It did have the security system issue with the recalled antenna ring. I am also scheduled to go in and have the tank fuel plumbing replaced, another recall that affected many, many of the BMWs.

Regular service on the 1200S is not bad. The 1200S has the traditional screw-adjustable valve train. A valve lash inspection/adjustment is simple and quick.

Engine oil and transmission oil is simple and easy to change as well although you may need the special wrench to fit the BMW oil filter.

The final drive oil change, however, is a bit of a chore. In response to the rash of final drive failures in the mid 2000's, BMW took the position that the problem was not with them but the problem was owner error in not properly changing the oil in the final drive.

They devised a way of stopping owners from screwing up so they came out with the "lifetime final drive oil" rear end. They eliminated the oil drain plug on the final drive and stated that the final drive no longer needed oil changes for the life of the bike. That didn't last long. They now have the drain plug back.

The 1200S has the "lifetime" final drive. To change the oil, you have to disconnect the chunk and pivot it back off the driveshaft to drain the oil out of the rear plug. You then reconnect the chunk and fill the new oil through the hole that takes the ABS sensor. Due to a propensity to squeeze oil out the side seal when the non-vented final drive heats up, BMW revised the specified oil quantity for the final drive to a lesser amount to provide greater air space for heat expansion inside. In spite of all this, the final drive oil service is not a huge problem or chore.

So, overall, that's my take on the 1200S.

I'd say get it. I hope you enjoy riding it as much as I do mine. If things don't work out, you can always hand it off to someone else.



.

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Old 06-25-2014, 06:36 AM   #10
leafman60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randodude371 View Post
Regarding my 2007 R1200S, I once used WD-40 on my K&N air filter maybe 3 yrs ago. And I'm now wondering if this has caused the rough idle and right cylinder failure off and on over that time frame?
I highly doubt that your filter or the WD40 had any affect on it.

The rough idle could be several things. If you do not do the work yourself, maybe you should take it to a reputable BMW shop and have them take a look.

I've never had idle problems or anything else and I'm running a UNI foam filter, aftermarket exhaust system and Power Commander.
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Old 06-25-2014, 07:09 AM   #11
atypical1
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I had one for five years and put 32,000 miles on it (I bought it second hand with just a couple thousand miles on the clock). I used it for everything from local canyon rides to riding cross country to track days. It never once missed a beat and the two times I was stranded was entirely my fault. Once was when I didn't torque down the spark plug enough and the plug launched. The other time was when I hit a rock going off road in Death Valley and knocked my oil drain plug off. But I simply replaced it, added oil, and kept going.

The bike is very simple to work on and everything is easy to get to. It's light enough to where the final drive won't be an issue. Throttle body synch is easy but if you don't get it right it will idle rough. Mine smoked at start up if it was on the side stand but it didn't really burn oil so I never worried about it. My bike had a hard life with me. I took it on all kinds of roads, it lived at just below redline, and I simply rode the piss out of it and it always came back for more.

The bike has a nice surge of power at the top and the boxer motor is a lot of fun. I'm sure I surprised a lot of folks at the track - well, until I moved up to the fast group and couldn't match the liter bikes.

It's all day comfortable but some people find the saddle hard. I'm 6'2" and the ergos were just about spot on for me. My bike was bone stock as I never felt the urge to make any changes to it.

The only real negative that I can think of is lack of fuel gauge. You get used to it though and quickly figure out what your limit is but it's an oversight for sure.

Overall I loved that bike and would not hesitate to buy another.

james
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atypical1 screwed with this post 06-26-2014 at 06:47 AM Reason: just realized I wrote two years instead of 5...d'oh!
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:26 PM   #12
Randodude371
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BMW R1200S problems

Thanks for the input about BMW R1200 motorcycles and later model stories. All I know is my bike has not been reliable the R1200S. It's going back to the dealer one more time. I'm going to stay away from the brand after this. Sadly because it is a beautiful bike to ride when it runs right. And the styling is second to none. I just need reliability, and it's rough idle has driven me off the deep end it's been going on more then 3 yrs. And always dealer serviced so its beyond me why it's happening. Goes in July 16 @ Wolf BMW London hopefully Ian McQueen can figure out where the problem is.

Cheers
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:22 PM   #13
leafman60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randodude371 View Post
Thanks for the input about BMW R1200 motorcycles and later model stories. All I know is my bike has not been reliable the R1200S. It's going back to the dealer one more time. I'm going to stay away from the brand after this. Sadly because it is a beautiful bike to ride when it runs right. And the styling is second to none. I just need reliability, and it's rough idle has driven me off the deep end it's been going on more then 3 yrs. And always dealer serviced so its beyond me why it's happening. Goes in July 16 @ Wolf BMW London hopefully Ian McQueen can figure out where the problem is.

Cheers

I think that is an increasing opinion about BMW motorcycles. They are not reliable. Just look at the latest debacle with the flagship R1200RT.
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Old 06-30-2014, 04:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leafman60;

Service and reliability-

I have a lot of bikes. I currently have 4 BMWs and I've been through 6 more since 2000.

BMW is the most problem-prone, unreliable brand being sold today.

In the old days they were known for simplicity and reliability but that is no longer the case and it hasn't been for about 15 years now.

BMWs are amazingly plagued with recalls, glitches, major mechanical breakdowns and other problems.

This riles many BMW devotees some of whom have become apologists who blindly ignore the issues and come to the defense of the marque.

We have a local group of BMW riders who meet regularly. Several years ago, we made a poll of the group and out of the 12 BMW riders questioned, 9 had experienced at least one final drive failure. One friend, was on his 4th final drive in 60,000 miles.

Over recent years, many other issues beset the BMW models- fuel pump controller failures, abs pump failures, switchgear failures, security system failures, transmission shaft failures, fuel plumbing breakages and leaks as well as other problems.

Even the current flagship water-cooled RT model just introduced has now been recalled with a Do Not Ride order for a life-threatening fault in the rear suspension. I have a good friend caught in that storm.

Two other friends bought the big 1600 GTL models and both bikes have been in the shop several times already for water pump leaks as well as faulty switches and electronics.

I'm not trying to beat up on BMW. And, they don't all break. Some people are lucky to ride long distances with few issues. I like BMW's when they are running and I have four of them still.

My 1200S has been pretty good. No final drive issues yet. It did have the security system issue with the recalled antenna ring. I am also scheduled to go in and have the tank fuel plumbing replaced, another recall that affected many, many of the BMWs...




.
Yep, they suck in the reliability department. Had 2 of them in the past (a 2005 1200GS with an awful/dangerous ABS, FD bearings failure and a 2006 GSA with a greatly improved ABS - felt I was their Guinea pig with the 2005 ABS version- but a shot piston and FD failure, both were under 20K miles).

A knowledgeable friend says that BMW, in an effort to reduce cost and maximize profits, has poor quality control (they're being cheap with their part manufacturers/contractors - a good example is their FD failures, an otherwise excellent design, also used by Moto Guzzi with no problems whatsoever). They have to clear their act big time to be trusted again. As a consumer I don't see myself trusting this brand for many years to come (if everybody researched BMW's motorcycles before buying one they would have been forced to improve, yet their market niche seems oblivious/insensitive to their lack of quality control, pity because otherwise they are great motorcycles)...
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Old 06-30-2014, 07:05 PM   #15
leafman60
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Amen to Deviant. I agree on all - except the Guzzi final drive.

The Guzzi CARC is a different design although it shares the same big bearing. And, yes, they don't have the trouble experienced by BMW.

Not only did BMW have terrible problems with the final drives on the 1100/1150 series, after they redesigned for the 1200 series, they had even more troubles.

On top of that, the belt drive system on the new 800's introduced in '07 also were plagued by rear hub assembly failures and they weren't even shaft drive!
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