Author Topic: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question  (Read 1171 times)

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Offline Lotus26R

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K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« on: November 20, 2018, 02:03:26 pm »
I've now put 600 miles on my 2005 K1200S and have loved every minute of those miles so far. The bike is absolutely spotless - even with all of the plastics removed.

I've spoken to the nice people at BMW Warranty and they've agreed to take £355 of my pounds in exchange for 12 months peace of mind (after a 30 day grace period). I'm happy to go back to Allan Jefferies for the next service which is the big one - they do discounted rates for bikes over 5 years old.

I think that the K12 with raised bars is more suited to my touring aspirations than the brand new and fully spammed XR occupying the next spot in my garage.

So why the question?

Just how unreliable is the K12 likely to be? I've read any number of horror stories but can't get a feel for how common they are. Is it a) just possible, b) likely or c) almost certain that I'll end up with servo, radiator, ESA, clutch or gearbox problems in the next 12 months.

Am I better off bailing out of the warranty during the cooling off period, taking a hit on the K12 and buying the nicest K13 that I can find instead?

I can see there is a view that they're better but were all/most of the K12 issues ironed out by (say) 2010-12? Do they get better than 40mpg when ridden sympathetically?

Have many folk owned K12's through the 18 to 25K mileage band without significant problems?

Any observations would be appreciated.


Online raesewell

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2018, 02:11:22 pm »
The general opinion is that the K13 is better than the K12, and as I tell everyone DO NOT RUN THESE BIKES WITHOUT THE WARRANTY,
the warranty is worth it's weight in gold. I had my K1200 GT for about four and a half years and was about £1300 pounds up on the deal with the warranty.

Offline Lotus26R

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2018, 02:41:18 pm »
That was good advice Rae - I would never have thought about it otherwise so thank you.

Offline fjtwelve

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2018, 07:41:39 pm »

Have many folk owned K12's through the 18 to 25K mileage band without significant problems?

Any observations would be appreciated.
[/quote]

Search for fjtwelve, ridden it from 18k to 86k

Offline Lotus26R

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2018, 08:49:09 pm »
Thanks FJ - I'd read that with interest previously - it did give me hope although your periodic spreadsheet work does make you think.

Offline Phmode

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2018, 10:57:11 am »
Hmm!

I loved my 2004 K12S and had spent a small fortune on it. New ball joints (twice, second time paid for by BMW and that included a new set of 'forks'), new airbox and ICV, Power Commander (fitted at the same time as the airbox but never needed as the airbox fixed most of the fuelling issues, new throttle bodies when the idle wouldn't drop below 11,000rpm (and there really were three '0' in that figure, not two  :o ), rebuilt shocks (didn't make any perceivable difference), repaired front shock loom (which made a huge difference), new radiator.

All of the above were at or about the 18,000 mile point apart from the throttle bodies which were slightly later.

When I rode David's K13S (he who was a previous K12S owner) in Spain for the day I came straight home and started shopping for a K13S. Chalk and cheese as they say. You will find my comparison  in here somewhere.

Your fuel consumption, if it is being measured by how far you go between fills divided by how much you put in (rather than taking any notice of the computer) is pants and I would set fire to mine if it were that bad. There is a poll showing other members' results.

Fast cruising should get you into the 50's (imperial miles per gallon) whilst flogging the knickers off it should get you no less than mid-forties. Of course, Mick, who rarely gets out of second will be along shortly to give us the results of his red-line mania...

My K12S returned an average of 47 mpg over 22,000 miles and my K13S is doing about the same.

A sample of my returns taken from my fuel receipts was a trip from my then home in Newbury, up to Banbury to meet Richard and then a thrash up to Cadwell Park for the BSB round last year. Round trip returned 47.9mpg and I don't recall sticking to too many speed limits or following much other traffic   8)

As far as the warranty is concerned you need to consider what is NOT covered, it's all in here somewhere, although dealer goodwill may also be in your favour. I would say the rad is your biggest risk, check it and keep it clean.

In summary, I will say what I have told many prospective and actual K12 owners...

The K13 is a MUCH better bike and has fewer inherent faults lurking in the depths. It doesn't have the servo (nor the 'brick wall' feel to the brakes which I loved), has better and much improved ESA and the fuelling is not far off spot on with no glitches or snatchiness at low revs. I can't recall a sticking throttles issue with a K13. It also has, to my mind, more sensible switchgear although there are many faults with that switchgear.

However, it still has radiator issues (same part) and clutch issues and the paint still suffers the same, bubbling and flaking. It also has the hot-start issue lurking deep down.

For my money, if the K is going to be a keeper, I would bail out of the warranty (or sell it with the bike as a great add-on) and trade the bike for the best and latest K13S you can find, even if you can't afford it in the short term. But you will still need the warranty or a great set of tools and a copy of the RepROM.

On the other hand if it came at the right price then keep it and flog it to death as Martin (fjtwelve) is doing with his. Of course his is being used all the time so the ravages of time is not an issue with his bike as it willbe with some.

Other opinions will be along in a moment  8)

Offline Lotus26R

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2018, 03:10:44 pm »
Thanks Martin - that's a very comprehensive answer. Fuel consumption is calculated properly - I've not beaten 40 which means about 150 miles to a tank and that's riding relatively gently at this time of year. My S1000XR does 47 whatever I do to it.

My rad is squeaky clean and the engine paintwork looks like new. The bodywork is faultless and none of the hardware anywhere shows any signs of corrosion. It apparently had the whole ABS system replaced at 3 years old (10 years ago now) and has a Power Commander fitted (whatever that is). It drives and rides perfectly.

I'm close to thinking it's the best bike I've ever had 

Considering it was bought on a bit of a whim as a "Winter Bike" that really is some achievement.

I think I need to follow your lead and get my leg across a 13S - if it is any sort of improvement over what I have then I suspect I'll be an easy sell.

Thanks again and I'll see what I can find in the frozen north.

I expect this isn't the place to ask if anyone wants a mint, low mileage K1200S.....


Offline fjtwelve

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2018, 08:44:18 pm »
I do not have a warranty
You have a problem with your fuelling at 40mpg
Get a remap
Ride it every day
My bike is probably worth buttons now so keeping it till it dies because buying anything worth having will cost me £7k then looking for a k13s probably . Or maybe a ktm. Or a zzr. Or fjr. Sorry this Amsterdam bar atmos is affecting my typing

Offline Lotus26R

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2018, 09:10:55 pm »
Funnily enough, I had the same problem last time I was in Amsterdam. It was a long walk back to my hotel (the way I went anyway)

K13 ride scheduled for the 28th.

Offline Phmode

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2018, 10:52:01 pm »
OK, you asked for it...

A Power Commander (PC) is a 'black box' that sits between the cable connections to the fuel injectors (I hope you know what a fuel injector is  8) ) and the injectors themselves.

It intercepts the timing signals from the ECU which tell the injectors when to open and when to close and thereby determine how much fuel is injected into the cylinders and when during the engine cycle. This varies with engine speed, load, engine temperature, ambient temperature, throttle position etc. etc.

The 'black box' has a memory into which is loaded 'standard' maps for various modifications such as silencer, camshaft etc. These Power Commander maps alter the fuelling either up or down by certain amounts in 500 rmp increments.

This Power Commander mapping over-rides the stock ECU mapping and can overcome lots, if not all, of the peculiar fuelling issues on the stock bike set up.

By putting your bike on a dyno (with a dyno operator who knows their arse from their elbow) they can produce a custom map for your bike with your mods and to suit your riding style.

A Power Commander does NOT increase the power of the motor appreciably (perhaps the odd bhp or two) but does iron out all the glitches inherent in any given bike set up.

Someone fitted the Power Commander to your bike in an attempt to 'fix' the extremely bad and erratic fuelling of the stock bike.

However, unless you know what the map is in the PC, you have no idea what your fuelling (timing and fuel volume) is. I would wager my remaining testicle that this is the source of your dreadful fuel economy.

Somewhere on your bike, under the seat, behind the fairing or wherever, is a fag-packet-sized box with 'Power Commander' printed on it. It has a mini USB port into which you can plug your computer. You need to download the Power Commander program and install it on your computer. This will allow you to see what the map is that is installed and whether it is a standard Power Commander supplied map or a Custom map created specifically for your bike by a dyno run, or, heaven forfend, a 'bodged' map created by a previous owner by hitting the '+' or '-' buttons in 500 rpm increments.

Any fool can create and save a map in this way and the results, without a dyno run, are ALWAYS A DISASTER!

Your first step is to find the PC. Start at the throttle position sensor (to which the Power Commander is connected for its power supply) which is on the right side of the bike, behind the fairing and inside the top frame member. With experience you can spot this easily. Without it, you are better off taking off the right side fairing panel and tank panel. Once you find it, you can follow the 'non-standard' cable from there and that will lead you to the Power Commander.

You can contact Power Commander (at Dynojet) on this link...

http://www.powercommander.com/powercommander_ex/

... and they are extremely helpful.

So, find the Power Commander, install the Program on your computer and interrogate the module to see which map is installed.

To figure what to do next you will need  to know which silencer you have installed. PC have 'stock' maps for all sorts of bikes with any number of silencer combinations. You should 'save' the current map so you can reinstall it if need be.

Then, replace that map with a 'Zero' map. A Zero map means that the Power Commander neither adds nor deducts any value from the ECU mapping and the bike is then running as BMW intended. Having 'saved' the original map, you can re-install it at any time.

All this sounds very techie and complicated but in reality it is all well documented on the Dynojet website and the program is very user-friendly and intuitive.

Having done this, I predict that your fuelling will be less than perfect at low to medium rpm and road speed but your fuel economy should return to the normal high forties range.

From there, the world is your oyster and you can arse around with the fuelling until you are blue in the face and the bike implodes...or you can leave it as is or spend £100 on a dyno run at a place that understands Power Commanders (almost all dyno facilities) and have a custom map produced for you and your bike.

Here endeth the lesson.

PS Don't think about simply 'disconnecting' the Power Commander (the bike will not start or run) or 'removing' it unless you are into open-heart surgery.

If you need more help, just shout.

Offline Lotus26R

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2018, 08:51:55 am »
Wow - got that in Spades - thank you!

I believe it's under one of the plastics at the back - the only ones I've not had off.

I now have a project for the day (I was going to test a 1250GS for my sins)

I have MAC laptops - maybe a WinXP clunker lying around somewhere.

I'll let you know how I get on (the PC was installed by a "garage", not the previous owner. Bike has a Lazer DuoTech can.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 09:13:51 am by Lotus26R »

Offline MadMountainbike

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2018, 10:46:50 am »
Run my 2006 K12 for just over a year now, bought as a cheap bit of fun project bike, good nick, servicing on mileage not age so some gaps.

Done about 4K this year, no warranty, no issues other than the fuel guage... which was under warranty and was replaced 3 times (twice at Pidcocks and once at Jeffries)... it went on the blink again so I just use the trip.

Anything else has just been general wear and tear. Fuelling is fine, brakes are fine, ESA is fine, bar the fiddly radiator refilling process (you have to remove it to get anywhere near anything at the front) it's not that bad to work on.

I really like it, I expect it to be high maintenance in the same way I expected my previous Ducatis and Aprilias to be, but it's been very easy to live with and I still love the styling over a decade on from its launch... and I don't believe it's doooooooomed and will explode at any second 😂

Enjoy it and if it's fine, warrantied and unless you're minted and can burn cash, keep it as your runabout.

« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 10:48:49 am by MadMountainbike »
Sometime XC racer, zero bike skills. Keen skier, no technique. Ex President & hopeless optimist... Especially at high speed or high altitude.

Offline Lotus26R

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2018, 11:30:01 am »
Thanks to MMb as well - I'm in North Yorkshire - will probably be on the road again this afternoon to test the results of this mornings endeavours:

1) Found the Power Commander.
2) Found and fired up my old Dell laptop.
3) Installed the DynoJet software.
4) Established that the installed map had indeed been "modified"
5) Saved the modified map in case of future dire need.
6) Uploaded 937-002 map onto the bike.
7) Unplugged the laptop (not sure if that's necessary)
8) Crossed fingers and hit the starter

B*gger me, it started on the button, idled perfectly and reminded me to start breathing again! Brian, your testicle is looking very secure at this point.

Time to see if it runs properly on the road  - I'm sure it would have been fiddled with for a reason..

I'm with you BTW on styling - it still looks the dogs and I can't see anything on the market that I'd sooner be riding.

Offline MadMountainbike

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2018, 12:12:32 pm »
Great place to run a K12, Ripon is where I learned and passed my Bike licence, way back when, fab part of the world.

Further over in West Yorks now, but use the 12 (in nice weather 😊) to commute over to York and Sunderland when I visit a couple of my teams.

If you've got the big service due is that the 28k one including valve clearances? Just curious about the Jeffries 'old banger' reduced rate quoted.

Cheers
Gary
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Offline Lotus26R

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Re: K12 or not K12 - it's certainly a question
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2018, 03:45:24 pm »
Hi Gary - It'll be the 18K service which is the valve clearance check. They came in at £383 I recall - to include all fluids being changed. I really wanted to button down the Service status for the warranty.

Just done 50 miles on the new map. Runs fine, there was a harshness on acceleration from 2800-3200 which has now smoothed out and I didn't find any downside on the ride. Filled up again after 48 miles - 5.30 litres/1.166g = 41.2mpg. Not the complete answer then.

I hosed the salt off when I got back and ended up with a very lumpy idle that disappeared after I'd blown the water off and let it stand for a while.