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Newbie looking at a k type


Reverb

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Hello,

New to riding tour bikes and the forum. Thanks for having me!

 

Looking at a 2003 K1200RS with 53K miles for $2500. Has it reached its end of life, or does it have more miles to give?

 

It looks, runs, and rides good. Doesn’t appear to have any mechanical issues. Just wanted to check in with some experts to see if they know of any red flags for this year/model/mileage. I know any bike that is older and has miles on it is always a risk. I just wanted to make sure there isn’t anything glaring or obvious that I should watch out for.

 

Thanks in advance for your time and comments!!!

 

RC

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Any bike out of warranty is a risk in that sense. As with most things service and care are big factors. That’s not a large number of miles for a BMW of that age, so if it’s been well cared for it should have lots of miles left. 
 

Any service history? You could be getting close to a clutch depending on how It has been ridden, and it would be good to know how the brake system has been maintained over its life. 

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Reverb,

 

They are great bikes as long as they have been maintained.  I do not know if they came with factory SS brake lines or have rubber, but if rubber, you will need to change them out for stainless steel.  Both Galfer and Spiegler make kits for BMW motorcycles. This is a one-shot job.  You will never have to do it again.

 

I have a 92 K75S with 58k that is a gas to ride.  Neither quick nor powerful, but fun, smooth and it looks great.  I do my own maintenance and have changed my stock rubber brake lines to Spiegler lines.  Huge difference in braking feel and stopping power.  

 

Other than maintenance and rubber (tires and brakes, maybe coolant/fuel/vent hoses), there's not much to go wrong with these machines.  Numerous riders on this forum have over 100k on these bikes without any problems.  If you buy, get Haynes or Chilton's manual.

 

Cheers,

Mark

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I “think” what it means is they had an expensive repair that they didn’t want to shell out the coin for. (Don’t blame them) But, (and this is only a guess) no ABS pump, no ABS. :dontknow: Which if you like the bike is not the end of the world. My concern would be a brake failure light on the instrument panel being a constant annoyance.

 

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Reverb,

 

Yup, ABS on the early models are a little hinky.  My K76S has two (yes two) ABS modules mounted on either side of the rear wheel.  The left side is for the front wheel, right for the rear.  My ABS didn't work when I got it.  Never really worried about it.  I've thought about removing the hardware and running master cylinder -> caliper but haven't gotten there yet.  I tried to diagnose/repair last year but it turned out to be a bad ABS controller (yer toast if that is the case).  

 

My dash always had a piece of tape across the ABS light.  Last year, I just removed the bulb, cleaned up the tape stickum residual so now it looks completely stock.  Just the ABS light never comes on (yay!).

 

Cheers,

Mark 

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21 hours ago, Reverb said:

Hello all, 

One more thing, the owner said they have removed the ABS pump. What does that mean exactly, any concern?

Your bike came from the factory with BMW’s iABS (or integral ABS), which means it had servo assisted power brakes as part of the system. The module at the heart of this system is a pump that responds to hydraulic input from the brake lever circuits and creates pressure in the caliper circuits. It ONLY works when powered, and when it fails to work you have only residual/limited braking. It’s not uncommon for this unit to fail - it’s complex and does NOT like it when brake fluid gets old, or it’s not run regularly. It’s expensive to replace, so it is common to remove the whole pump system. This will leave you regular brakes - as if the bike had come from the factory without ABS or power assist. I have a 2004 BMW that has had this done - I ride it regularly and the brakes are very good. 
 

 

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48 minutes ago, MontanaMark said:

Reverb,

 

Yup, ABS on the early models are a little hinky.  My K76S has two (yes two) ABS modules mounted on either side of the rear wheel.  The left side is for the front wheel, right for the rear.  My ABS didn't work when I got it.  Never really worried about it.  I've thought about removing the hardware and running master cylinder -> caliper but haven't gotten there yet.  I tried to diagnose/repair last year but it turned out to be a bad ABS controller (yer toast if that is the case).  

 

My dash always had a piece of tape across the ABS light.  Last year, I just removed the bulb, cleaned up the tape stickum residual so now it looks completely stock.  Just the ABS light never comes on (yay!).

 

Cheers,

Mark 


 

Your bike has a totally different ABS system - BMW’s first bike ABS - and will still have normal brake function when the ABS stops working. The OP has BMW’s third ABS bike system where the brakes only work properly if the system is functioning correctly OR is removed/modified. 
 

Here’s the internet gospel on BMW bike brakes of that era:

 

http://largiader.com/abs/absfault.html

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On 11/3/2020 at 8:49 AM, szurszewski said:


 

Your bike has a totally different ABS system - BMW’s first bike ABS - and will still have normal brake function when the ABS stops working. The OP has BMW’s third ABS bike system where the brakes only work properly if the system is functioning correctly OR is removed/modified. 
 

Here’s the internet gospel on BMW bike brakes of that era:

 

http://largiader.com/abs/absfault.html

 

Thanks for the correction.  I don't want to cause any confusion.  My bad...

 

Cheers,

Mark

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  • 3 months later...

Hey, Reverb!!

 

Just noticed your post.  CONGRATS on the bike!!  You have A LOT of GREAT miles left in the old girl!!  And one of the most beautiful sport tourers EVER.  But I'm prejudiced.  

 

IF it has not been done yet, there are several items that should and need to be looked after on 1) any bike of this age VINTAGE,  and 2) this BMW.

 

OEM brake lines changed to Spiegler or Galfer type PTFE and braided SS brake lines (a very well known problem at this age)

 

The "shocks" should be either serviced or if OEM, replaced.  Wilber units (Ted Porter's Beemer Shop) are excellent and less expensive than Ohlins.

 

Check the valve clearances at 60K. 

 

The crank case breather tube on top of the engine (between the 4 TB's and CC) will be cracked and making a mess.

 

Steering Damper serviced.

 

Replace the bulbs with LED's, if only the headlight bulbs.

 

If you butt hurts after 45 min you'll need a Corbin, Russell, or other aftermarket saddle.  

 

Doing the maintenance yourself??

 

 

 

My 2000 K1200RS:

 

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Rinkydink
On 11/9/2020 at 5:41 AM, TEWKS said:

Nice looking, I see it’s done the 311 in 11. :thumbsup:

I see what you did there you dragon lover. 

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