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Which 1200? Please help me OMG it's painful!

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by therock, Sep 22, 2007.

  1. Hi Everyone.
    I managed to test ride today back to back the two bikes that I really like, the Buell XB12ss and the BMW K1200r.
    I also test rode a FZ1N a couple of weeks ago to try and cover a few more bases. (btw, i'm new to the forum so please forgive my formatting).

    Let me explain:
    I'm after a naked bike to commute mainly, no real touring except once in a blue moon a quick trip up to brissie, some trips up to the blue mountains and some general fanging around on weekends, the Royal National Park is great.
    I'm 5.11' and weigh around 110kgs.

    I've settled on K1200r as choice 1, XB12ss as choice 2, and am open to suggestions for choice 3. Now for the reviews.

    Buell XB12ss.
    Everything you've read about them is true, the good the bad and the ugly.
    The vibrations at idle will make any bike feel smooth as glass, hope you're into alien abductions, cos all you'll see is UFOs (unidentifiable funny objects) in your rearview mirrors. Once on the move it's fine though and you can start to make out shapes.
    You know you're riding a motorcycle. The engine sounds great, the bike feels alive, you feel alive, the fun factor is very high.
    On the down side, for a machine that's supposed to own the corners, I see a major problem; when braking into a corner which is near impossible not to do since there is almost no engine braking and the rear brake is a token one, the bike does stand up under medium to heavy pressure. One can avoid this by entering the corner at the perfect entry/exit speed but sometimes you just have to. Unless I'm alone on this one.
    What this means is you have to muscle the machine into the turn which surprisingly feels very stable, however it also feels like you have to lay down the rails as well, a lot of hard work. Not very flickable at all. As a commuter, the pipe breathing on your left leg is just great...not.
    But overall it's hard not to grin, the torque is delicious, it just begs to go, and despite all the contradictions, the XB12ss has the X factor.
    You're not sure what it is, but it feels wrong to pass it up. it needs an owner. Ah yeah, comfortable as too.

    Everything you've read about them is also true.
    It's powerful, almost too powerful. The bike is machined down to the atomic level. It feels perfect. Except for the clunky gearbox.(turn a blind eye), the weird turning signals (look the other way), the shaft drive (why all that noise?), and the softly spoken super polite exhaust noise.
    Unlike the Buell which is a party animal and will forgive you forever no matter what, the K1200r demands discipline.
    Make sure you shave, shower, put on some deodorant, cut your nails, study clutchology, shaftdriveology, and master the art of Zen throttleology before riding it because this motorbike will not forgive you. If you don't get up to its level of perfection well you're in for a wild ride. However if you comply and don't resist (it's futile) you will be rewarded in the end by becoming the borg you know you were meant to be. Man and machine as one, blood and fuel pumping at the same rate. Emotions disappear for cold hearted nanotech clutch feeds.
    When you get off the cube.. i mean motorcycle, you know what astronauts are going through at take off. No X factor here. Just pure mathematics.

    It had to be done, so I did it. I tried the "normal" version of the R1 aka the FZ1N. N is meant to mean Naked, however in my opinion it means Normal. Like the sun going up in the morning or setting at night, yeah, that's normal.
    Water has no taste, that's normal too. They certainly know how to make great bikes in Japan. Maybe not great, but very very good ones. Normal ones. Kinda like they are now the benchmark for normality.
    Well it became clear they were indeed while riding it in town.
    Unlike the Buell or the BMW, riding the Yamaha FZ1N was effortless. Except for the oddly shaped tank which is definitely on the bizarro side, the bike felt just right. Like walking, totally and absolutely normal. Perfect gearbox, perfect engine sound, perfect engine braking, perfect braking, perfect front feel, perfect fueling and throttle feel blah blah blah.
    Now replace the word perfect with the word normal and that's how it felt after riding for half an hour.
    It's almost bland. I returned it early.

    Now to the meaning behind the reason I started the post.
    I don't know what to do, both the XB12ss and the K1200r appeal to me greatly. It's so hard to decide.
    While worlds apart it almost feels like getting one over the other would do the other an injustice. Their personalities are certainly unique.

    I am open to any suggestions and to be honest, there are so many bikes out there that I would love to try. If money was no object I'd own a few however I have to settle on the one and hope it serves me well for a few years.
    Btw, I'm over 30 so I think R1s are out for commuting unless some of you do just that and can relay to me your experiences.
    I've been commuting for over 2 years now on bikes and it has become the highlight of any workweek day, the ride to and from work.

    Looking forward to hearing from you all.

  2. depends on how old you feel :LOL:

    me? i'd go for the new ugly mofo buell with the rotax engine innit!
    have ridden the xb12r and it was a pleasure to ride (although acknowledging every negative point you made) and had a sort of attitude that i couldnt swap for that of a beemer.
    from those two, call me young and foolish, but i would go the buell.
  3. Thanks Joel
    I totally forgot about that new Buell coming out. The salesguy didn't mention it, I'm guessing they probably need to move some floor stock first.
    Ugly mofo it is indeed. I do like the look of the Lightning models though less ugly kinda...
  4. Have you looked at the Suzuki Bandit 1200s.. :?
  5. to be honest i haven't, but i will now.
  6. I reckon you will like them. They are a great price and Suzuki is doing a $1500 luggage deal with them as well at the moment..
  7. My opinion probably means jack sh*t to you, but i love that bmw. Its the ugliest baddest meanest most brutish mofo around. Its like a german assassin turned bare knuckle fighter with a pug nose and cauliflower ears. I love it. But hey man, you're the one buying it, whatever u get i know you will enjoy it
  8. zxr1200? Ugly as hell headlight and colour scheme, but thats all changeable if the ride is worth it?
  9. i am with phizog on this one (well i would be i own one) easy to ride, more torque than you can shake quite a large stick at and because its carbied there are no silly electrics to go wrong.

    had mine for 2 years now with no dramas, bloody great bike to ride and cheap as chips to buy (i paid $12000 for mine brand new from 1300 kawasaki)

    if you want to know more pm me
  10. Yeah, try the ZRX1200. If you after somthing that is really comfortable with a heap of torque, the ZRX is it. Personally I think they are better than the Bandit, but others would beg to differ. The green even looks pretty cool. But they have soooo much grunt down low!! I think I would own one but they're not quite chuckable enough for me.

  11. Davesta reinforced the view I've been holding since December 2005, the first time I laid eyes on the K1200r, the look of the beast is matched by its performance. Not only does it look like a hardcore assassin, you get assasin service, according to the dealer there's 24 hour free road side assistance for all bmw bikes.
    I've never owned a beamer but that kinda sounds attractive.
    I've read a lot of threads here on the ZRX1200 and most have said that the range on it is not that great.
    I know the Buell and the BMW will do about 300kms or more if you take it easy, for commuting that could be good.
    Paul_b you brought up a good point, chuckability...
    Hmm.... the k12 was a handful, surprisingly so was the XB12, we don't get the short one here is Oz so I can't say for it but the long is not super flickable as they claim.
    I'm reading up about the Suzuki now.
  12. Hey rock, where abouts do you reside.. :) :?
  13. Superduke? Speed triple? Tuono?

    I rode the 1200cc Moto Morini Corsaro and the 9 1/2 yesterday, both of which were very entertaining motorcycles with loads of power and excellent handling, each in their own way. The corsaro's one of the prettiest stockers I've seen, and while its town manners aren't so hot, it goes like a motherf*cker and responds well when pushed. The 9 1/2 is a softer, friendlier version that a lot of riders immediately bonded with. Both have the mental 1200cc engine.
  14. For the Japanese bikes who are possible candidates.


    CB900 Hornet
    VTR1000 Firestorm






  15. sorry guys, cant agree on the grounds that the k1200r is mutton dressed up as lamb.
    as you approach the bike, it looks very appealing to the young at heart. walking around it makes you question whether it is a beemer at all, it looks far too.....too cool for a BMW. but then you see the logo, and you just know, that riding this bike will make you a beemer rider. you will have no choice whatsoever. the next step after becoming a beemer rider is to get 17 starcoms, 4 gps' and an built in microwave to use whilst you commute to the local shops for your incontinence protection.
    footballers dont wear pink skirtss, and sub-over-the-hill people dont ride beemers.

    :p :p :p :p :rofl: :bolt:
  16. I'd like to ride the K1200R to see what the front suspension and para-tele-whateverlever on the shaft drive feels like. Same with the R1200R.

    BMW is the only company using anything but the standard fork design, and by all accounts on road bikes where weight isn't such a factor, the stuff they're doing is more effective.

    Still, for a 160hp naked, the Beemer doesn't excite me in a "wow what a hoolie bike!" sort of way so it wouldn;t be on my list.
  17. I just bought a Yamaha XJR1300. I did a bunch of test rides too on similar bikes (though I'd never go near a BMW - I'm not 60 yet!) and the XJR far outshone the lot of 'em. I can't recommend it highly enough.
  18. You have picked one of the broadest range of motorbikes you can think of.

    Already been said that there are a few bikes for you to try yet, but i reckon the speed triple is sex on wheels.
  19. Thanks heaps guys, it's great to get feedback.
    To answer a few questions,
    - Blue14 I live in Sydney in the city.
    - Loz, the lever thingy front on the K12 is weird, it doesn't dive as much, makes you feel like you can stop and break a lot harder, also it absorbs bumps quite well and corners on rails.
    On the extended list, there is also Superduke, Speed triple, Tuono is out, haven't tried it but I have a feeling it would be too much.

    Looks wise I like retro thing a lot or the "has a personality" look.

    The GSX 1400 looks really good but haven't tried it yet.
    Don't mind the ZRX1200 either but I think it's off due to fuel range.
  20. Forgot to say.