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BMW K1200S
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This is a writeup that I took from several sources from the internet. The intent of this is solely for my personal keeping so I can keep reference and read about a technology marvel on a bike that was designed for a thrilling riding experience that combined features that were previously regarded as largely incompatible. Sports performance and dynamism are combined with comfort, agility and ease of handling; riding stability and high performance are coupled with everyday riding qualities; a slim-line sporting appearance is combined with efficient protection from wind and weather and great rider ergonomics.

Sport is about being number one - on the BMW K1200S. It's main aim is; never trail the pack. It was created for a thrilling riding experience, featuring a hitherto unknown combination of technology, performance and design. A slight turn of the throttle and the 123kW (167 bhp) of the new 4-cyclinder engine catapults the BMW K1200S to the front of the pack. With a torque of 130 Nm it does the 0-100 kph sprint in 2.8 seconds. The transverse installed motor offers everything a sports rider could wish for. The cylinder bank is tilted forward by 55°, the motorcycle’s center of gravity is low, and due to the engine's extremely narrow width, its leaning angle is excellent.

At the front the BMW K1200S features a world first in motorcycle production with the unique BMW Motorrad Duo-lever, as well as the newly designed and extremely light sports shaft drive, and BMW Motorrad EVO Para-lever at the rear. This sports suspension responds with extreme sensitivity and provides perfect feedback. The suspension of the 1200S is also extremely adaptable to ensure great road contact. An innovation which is unique in the motorcycling world is responsible for this: ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment - optional). The rider can adjust both the damping of the front and rear suspension while riding as well as the spring pre-load when stationary with the engine on. In this way the rider and machine can respond even more precisely to the road conditions.

The Duo-lever marks a quantum leap in technology in front-wheel suspension and makes a significant contribution to the motorcycle's riding characteristics. By introducing this all-new, front-wheel suspension system BMW has enhanced its suspension and running-gear technology and still ensures a sensitive response at all times, with clear feedback from the front wheel. In conjunction with the four-cylinder concept, it also offers the advantage of compact dimensions.

Conceived as a sports machine from the start, the K1200S is radically new and innovative in every respect. The K1200S has no predecessor in the current BMW model range and follows no role model. On the contrary, the BMW K1200S is BMW's concept of a sports motorcycle - great riding agility, high engine power output (specifically for road performance) and safe handling in all practical situations.

The K1200S does not compromise. Instead, it combines all the features previously regarded as largely incompatible. For example: sports performance and dynamism are combined with comfort, agility and ease of handling; riding stability and high performance are coupled with everyday riding qualities; a slim-line sporting appearance is combined with efficient protection from wind and weather and great rider ergonomics.

The 1200S has all the virtues typical of BMW motorcycles. The new machine is fully suited to riding with a passenger and covering long distances; it offers a long service life and maintenance is minimal; it complies fully with environmental requirements (thanks to highly advanced emission management and a fully controlled three-way catalytic converter); and it offers active safety of the highest standard when braking (assured by the most advanced braking system on the market - BMW Motorrad Integral ABS).

Blessed with the highest horsepower of any stock production BMW motorcycle ever, the K1200S offers a unique blend of sportbike character along with traditional BMW features such as heated grips, ABS and shaft drive.

Another tradition buster for BMW is to position the four cylinders and crankshaft transversely, turned 90 degrees from other K bikes-but the way other in-line sportbikes do it. Unlike conventional sportbike practice, however, the cylinder bank is canted forward at a steep 55-degree angle. This helps lower the center of gravity, but at the same time lengthens the bike, as can be noted in the 61.9-inch wheelbase spec. 

BMW has transferred some technology from its high-performance cars and its Formula One racing program to the K1200S. To avoid damaging detonation with the near-diesel 13:1 compression ratio, sensitive dual knock sensors retard spark timing if pinging is detected. Oil is also sprayed onto the bottom of the pistons to cool them.

Valve activation with the four-valves-per-cylinder layout is via an unusual low-mass “follower arm” setup that permits the relatively high 11,000-rpm redline. Rather than provide a fixed service recommendation based on mileage, BMW uses the computer to determine when it’s time for a valve adjustment. That requires a technician to connect a tester to the bike’s diagnostic connector. This, along with required special shims and tools, makes do-it-yourself valve adjustments rather difficult and costly.

A number of high-tech features are found on this new flagship model. CAN bus multiplex wiring drastically reduces the number of wires that it takes to connect everything, with only six wires going to the instrument cluster, for example. There are no fuses; if the computer detects a problem with a particular component, it will deactivate it only, instead of shutting down everything on a circuit as fuses do. Then, each time the engine is restarted, the system rechecks all circuits and will reactivate an item if a problem is no longer detected. The bike comes equipped with an electronic immobilizer that uses an integrated transponder chip in the ignition key. An alarm with a motion sensor is optional. There are also nifty light-out warnings, a clock, gear indicator, etc. not typically found on other sportbikes.

With a five-gallon tank and mileage in the mid-30s, fuel range was a bit of a nuisance. Generally, the low-fuel light comes on around 110 to 125 miles, depending on how hard you’re riding it. Our bike’s fuel economy varied from a low of 32.1 to a high of 41.4 mpg, with an average of 36.1 mpg.

BMW Motorrad has introduced another world-first in motorcycle production with the ESA Electronic Suspension Adjustment which has advantages not previously seen. Based on CAN-bus technology, the advanced on-board network provides a wide range of different functions and reduces the procedures required for diagnostics by intelligently combining the motorcycle's electrical and electronic systems.

The straight-four power unit of the BMW K 1200 S displaces 1157 cc. Maximum output is 123 kW (167 bhp) at 10 250 rpm; maximum torque of 130 Nm (96 lb-ft) is delivered at 8 250 rpm - with more than 70 per cent of the engine's maximum torque available from just 3 000 rpm. The engine power is easy to control at all times, which was BMW Motorrad's clear-cut objective when developing the new machine. Weighing just 81.3kg (179.3lb) including the clutch and gearbox, the engine is one of the lightest of its size in the market.

Shaft drive is absolutely indispensable on a large BMW motorcycle and was, therefore, the obvious drive system for the K1200S with its power unit fitted crosswise. Indeed, this not only reflects a BMW tradition but also (and in particular) offers well-known functional advantages: the truth is that a chain requiring careful service and maintenance is simply not appropriate on a top-end sports motorcycle for superior riding pleasure over long distances. The challenge in developing the BMW K1200S was to minimise the higher unsprung masses of a driveshaft and make sure the rider does not even feel the effect.

The ideal way to do this was with BMW Motorrad's new universal driveshaft unit complete with Para-lever swing arm (presented for the first time in early 2004 on the BMW R1200GS). Much stiffer and lighter than its predecessor, and slim and dynamic in appearance, this lightweight construction is a perfect complement for the concept of the new K1200S. In design and construction it has been modified to meet the needs of the four-cylinder power unit and is appropriately strengthened for the extra power of the engine.


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