Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Long Term Test: 2007 BMW K1200S post #5

Fifth update
Current mileage: 26,833

Southern California's mild weather continues to cooperate and that means I have the chance to put more miles on the big Beemer. My only constraint, of late, has been that two-wheeled transport is not a great way to travel with four-legged companions, especially one that is rather precocious and weighs about 40 pounds. Still, whenever I can, I try to make use of the opportunities to go out and ride, having added another 1,000+ miles since the last update. Most of those miles are highway miles, traveling back and forth between various corners of LA County to run errands or attend events. In the last six months, I even had occasion to use the bike to attend a dressier event, which required a bit of pre-planning since trying to keep my shirt from looking too wrinkled and my hair from being too disastrous.

Much of the riding has been putting the Beemer to use as a workhorse, hauling our biweekly veggie haul from a local garden or gathering less common Asian frozen goods that elude me in Long Beach from grocery stores in other neighboring areas. The BMW continues to prove its versatility as it carries plenty without feeling unbalanced and without a significant impact on the handling or the fuel economy. In fact, the overall fuel economy is not significantly different from my Ninja 650R, which sported a motor that was half the size and produced less than half the power.

One thing that I admittedly enjoy is just how much attention the K1200S gets. In the tri-color pattern, it is an eye-catching combination and people seem to notice it on the street. On more than a few occasions, I have caught a passerby doing a double-take or a driver or passenger in a car staring as the bike goes by. The bike is not obnoxiously loud and does not garner the same kind of attention as our long-term Jaguar, but it has its own admirers.

Finally, there is something to be said for smart design. Access to so many basic repairs for the K1200S are designed to be extremely easy to do. A perfect example is replacing a burnt out headlight bulb. On my old bike, the Ninja 650R, it would have required dis-assembly of much of the instrument cluster to make the switch, as is the case with many of the bikes on the market. On the BMW, they smartly designed caps that twist off the back of the headlight and it is possible to replace the bulb with nothing more than your hands. This comes in handy when you blow a bulb in the early evening and need to make a fast swap. At least on this front, I appreciate that this bike was notably more expensive than many of its peers.