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2005 BMW K 1200 S "Second Time Around"

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Hey Orange Land

I've had this dilemma for about a year now. Which one of these two great motorbikes is the winner in my test contest: K1200S or the new K8 Hayabusa?

Your test highlighted exactly the same drawbacks of the BMW that I experienced during my 30 mile testride. When returning to the dealership and discussing my experience with the - no doubt very friendly and truly interested - BMW dealer, he strongly disputed my claims that the front suspension has a funny feel especially at low speeds or in junctions. So I was left with the notion that I really need to take lessons from a pro instructor in riding.

The brakes were OK, in fact very good, the testbike was without the brake-servo though. BMW never admitted this system failure but simply eliminated it without much publicity. Rumour has it, the servo caused one fatal rider accident. The brakes are still far better than those of the Hayabusa.

The clutch also felt like a precision component however the gearshift was a very new experience. After riding so many Jappo bikes with easy-to-get-used-to and smooth shifts my experience with the German master was also perfect job though with stunning, harsh metal-on-metal collisions. Very strange but probably something you get accustomed to and miss it when riding other makes or models.

I find the Hayabusa has better wind protection - subjective -, slightly more comfy seat position, a more powerful and equally a genius engine as the K1200S.

The K1200S has the unquestionable ease of low maintence shaft drive versus the good old chain spray rituale of the Nippon Hawk.

Goodies such as heated grips, 12V socket, ESA, tyre-pressure sensors on later models, factory designed bags, and ABS justify the superiority of BMW as a 1000mile+ tourer versus the sheer power and great looks and non-existing add-on equipment list of the Hayabusa.

A quick look at price tags brings me back to where I began, a seemingly never ending empirical comparison of these bikes.

Another thing to consider is the resell value of these bikes. While the Hayabusa prices plummet the Bavarian retains a very high price, higher new price considered.

The new BMW K1300S has apparently combated all the weaknesses of the predecessor but remains in the very high end segment of road legal motorbikes with the price of an ordinary well-equipped saloon/family car at least in this part of the world. Argh.

Thanks for the extremely useful, informative and humourous reports.

Regards from Hungary, Europe.
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