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Offline Nox

My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« on: February 27, 2014, 02:04:20 pm »
This was intended to be my first review on any motorcycle as usually I am not in the position to own a new ‘model’ motorcycle. Unfortunately this is the second attempt as I somehow pressed the incorrect buttons upon submitting yesterday and the entire report vanished on me!

I am a 30 years old guy, weighing in at about 88 kg’s and have about five years of adventure riding experience. I have been riding motorcycles, mainly scramblers, offroads and street bikes, for close to 23 years now, after my Dad decided to buy me a Suzuki JR 50 when I was about 7 or 8 years old.

Last year, I sold my 2008 model bike (60 000 happy km’s) and in August 2013 I upgraded to a Triple Black, DOHC bike, which was basically my first new GS.

[Refer to Picture 1 below]

I really liked the DOHC bike and lay awake many nights contemplating on whether the LC would be a suitable bike for me, reading articles on tank slappers, recalls here and there as well as one single engine failure.

In order to ensure that I buy the correct bike, for my application, I drove both the 1190 and 1200 LC bikes.

My first ride was on a KTM 1190 (19 inch version) and I was very excited about the bike, I loved it! The suspension worked, it had loads of power and it looked okay cosmetically for me, although I really think the BMW is more appealing in looks. You may disagree if you like.

I drove the 1200 GS shortly afterwards and was also impressed with the bike. It had enough power, very nice looks and the suspension worked really well. Compared to the preceding DOHC model, the suspension was light years ahead. You can drive over corrugated (‘sinkplaat’) turns without the bike swaying left or right and there are minimal vibrations on the handlebars. 

Fast forward to 2014 and I was sitting in a position to choose between a 19 inch version KTM 1190 and a 1200 LC. I like to use my bike for commuting, adventure riding and a long haul once in a while, hence the 19 inch models have always been more appealing to me.

I decided that it would be the BMW, but why?

In Bloemfontein BMW has a very active motorcycle club with lots of nice people whom I have become accustomed with.  The dealership is also a lot larger compared to the KTM dealership and I personally like the free coffee, juice etc. when I visit. It’s the customer experience thing for me, in short, together with the accessories, clothing and all of that. The entire package and culture behind the boxer, the brand and all is what I like.

That does however not make the KTM a bad bike. I own a KTM 300 and am very happy with it. It just means that there are certain things that I find attractive in a brand, which may not even be important to other riders. (If I could, I would have both the 1190 and the 1200 LC, but I only know one such lucky person personally!)

Anyway, so early this year I convinced myself to buy the BMW and after discussing it with my better half,  I had the opportunity to order a 2014 BMW 1200 LC (black) from Sovereign Bloemfontein and before long; I was advised that my crate has arrived at the shop.

[Refer to Picture 2 below]

Very excited for the next two evenings, I got a call on Friday, 31 January 2014 and was advised that my LC was complete and that I could collect it when I had time available. Being a true biker, I left work before the boss and rushed home. This was required as my wife had to drop me off at the dealership and collect my accessories while I did the paperwork on my LC.

[Refer to Picture 3 below]

I am a bit of a pain in the @ss customer and requested Sovereign that I would be the person installing my extras on the motorcycle, as I wanted to inspect every inch of this machine. Understanding my ridiculous demands, they agreed and wife was on her way home with the accessories, while I took a 20km detour home.

I worked on the bike from about 18h00 that evening until 01h30 to have all the accessories installed on the bike. Most of the time I was just admiring the lines of the bike, as the aggressive look is very appealing to me. (I could not install the crash bars as I only received the Uppers on the day of collection and the bottom bars arrived on the following Monday.)

I believe that accessories should have purpose and should not just be installed for cosmetic appearance, that is why we can drive funny cars like Evogue’s and the new Mazda BT50. Accessories add weight and a mate of mine advised me that usually extras are the first items to snap off in a tumble, therefore you need to install the parts that will help you reduce damage and not cause additional damage.

Below is a list of the accessories I chose and why:

1.   BMW Navigator V GPS unit (This unit works of the handles and I did not want any buttons not working on my motorcycle. It also is a bit more than a normal GPS and piggy backs of the PC to report faults and give engine statistics.)
2.   BMW Lower Crash bars – to protect the cylinder head covers
3.   Touratech Upper Crash bars – with my plastic bike mindset, I felt that with the uncertainty of the radiators, these bars would work as an external radiator brace.
4.    Touratech Radiator Guards – protect the radiators from stones
5.   Wide foot pegs – offroad riding is more comfortable
6.   Headlight Protector – It protects that R15 000 LED headlight
7.   Enduro Bash plate – protects the headers
8.   Touratech Frame guards – It protects the frame against the scuffing of offroad boots
9.   Final drive vent extension – Allows deeper water crossings, like in the Baviaans
10.   Large foot for sidestand – obvious reasons

And perhaps one or two other items I may have forgotten about.

You don’t necessarily need all the accessories above, but I intend to ride this bike a while and wanted all of it at once. What is nice about the LC is that you require a bit less accessories to make it a really nice bike. You basically need the bash plate, foot pegs and bottom crash bars.

So the next morning, i.e. 1 Feb 2014 SGB arrived at my house at 05h00 sharp and we waited for two more troupes. Hennie and his son Tiaan. (Hennie is now the proud owner of my DOHC Triple Black and his son has taken over his 1150 when he bought my DOHC.)
We did a gravel loop of about 350 kms that day, mainly good gravel roads and a little bit of tar. It rained the previous evening and we had one or two patches of mud on the roads, but nothing too major.

On the first ride I had the bike in Enduro mode, set to Soft and had Anakee III tyres on the machine. I was advised only to use Enduro Pro mode if I had knobbies installed on the bike. I don’t understand the logic, but enduro mode worked very well with the tyres Anakee III tyres on.

During the ride I also noted that if I really lean forward on the bike, the frontend tends to move a little more, but with the weight in a more neutral and comfortable position the bike was as solid as my old bike, if not better. We need to consider here that a bike that goes very well in a straight line, will not turn easily and vice versa, as the rake of the steering is adjusted.

The bikes suspension in corrugated turns impressed me most on the ride and before long I was power sliding through corrugated turns, not something I would usually do. There is a definite increase in power, but the old bike had sufficient power and the new bikes additional horses are just like opening a KFC parcel only to find they have given you extra pieces of chicken. (A finger licking good feeling.)

The windscreen works very well and the clocks are very stable, you can actually read on the clocks while driving on gravel. (Not that this is recommended.)

The seat of the bike gives the same comfort, however I felt that it is shaped a bit narrower, which makes the handling of the bike easier and better. The bike wants to be ridden aggressively and intends to bring out the best (or worst) out of me, dependant on the crowd reading this.

[Refer to Picture 4]

I commuted to work for a week on the bike which was fun as always and the following week had Karroo 3 tyres installed on the bike.

The weekend of 14 - 16 February 2014 was the Country Trax Intermediate Course just outside Bloemfontein. I invited myself to SGBs training session and he welcomed me as always to ride along in a paparazzi capacity, taking pictures of the troupes building up new skills.

I arrived late the Friday afternoon, just in time to see the troupes packing up. Charl (the owner of the venue), his son, SGB and I took off on the bikes and followed a portion of Charl’s 4X4 route in an attempt to get a track for the next day.

Riding the bike in single or double track areas was a lot of fun and I could immediately feel that the weight distribution on the bike worked, the suspension worked and I was instantly a faster rider in the more technical stuff.

The next morning at 08h00 we met to do the second day of County Trax training and this was a lot of fun. SGB also taught us a smart party trick, which you can view in Picture 5 below. The only downfall is that you will need to drag a see-saw to all your parties!

The Sunday morning I missed out on the first sand session as Hannes, one of the troupes, had a flat tyre just outside Bloemfontein on his 800. Myself and Bees Boshoff (SGBs brother and Country Trax instructor) was sent back to fetch our lost companion and assist with the tyre change.

Hannes is a bit of a perfectionist and in the 3500 kms he has had his bike, it seems like he has had his crashbars powder coated a couple of times. It was one of the longest tyre changes I have ever experienced and Hannes was complaining a bit every time the tyre lever slipped and scratched his front rim. He took it in good spirit and before long we were off to meet the pack.

We were just in time for the Elephant turns and after that did a wide loop through the sand.

The LC loves the rider in a neutral position, which is also the perfect position for riding sand, if you have some sand experience. The bike handles very well in the sand and I was able to get through the sand sections without any problem.

We picked up a bike here and there and almost lost one rider as he went off the sandy trail into the Mielies and was pinned underneath his motorcycle.

 Johan, FM at Sovereign BMW Bloemfontein spotted the incident and rushed to help the rider who only had his ego bruzed a bit in the entire process. (That must have been the quickest response by BMW on Call I have ever seen!)

I did another couple of short trips and yesterday took in my bike for its first service on 1123 very enjoyable kilometres. The best I have ever experienced on a GS.

[Refer to Picture 6 below]

With any new models there may be pros and cons to the bike, so let me break down the cons, as there are really minimal:

1.   At start-up the LC motor has a little timing chain noise, which lasts about two seconds, not something serious, but it takes some getting used to.
2.   Shifting gears without getting that “clank” sound takes some time to achieve. I still get that sound from time to time and was able to shift my old bike without hearing that sound. It’s also not a big deal.
What are the pros to my new LC?
1.   The bike looks 112 years newer than the outgoing model and really turns heads where ever you ride.
2.   They have changed the 1200 from a forty something motorcycle to be appealing to younger riders like myself as well.
3.   The suspension works really well. I have not been able to bottom out my suspension and ride the offroad routes on Enduro Pro (soft and hard) dependant on the application.
4.   Corrugated turns are a breeze now.
5.   It rides really well in Sand.
6.   The ground clearance seems better when compared to my old bike; I have not bashed the bash plate against anything as yet.
7.   The electronics and interaction between the GPS and onboard computer is a nice feature, and I believe that electronically it is one of the more advanced motorcycles out there.
8.   Cruze Control – I thought this may not be a usable feature, but riding down the freeway standing on your seat is a bit of fun! (I suggest you use sneakers for the tank does not like the steel points installed on offroad boots.)
9.   The air intake is very high, which means that you don’t need to worry about water being sucked in by the air filter like on the old model.
10.   The screen works well and is very easy to adjust. I would not install a larger screen for my length. (I am about 1.8 meters tall.)
11.   The riding modes can be changed on the fly, just by pulling in the clutch, which makes transition between tar and gravel effortless.
12.   It definitely has more power, but the old bike also had enough.
13.   The LED lights work really well has an auto function and is efficient when riding in darker circumstances.
14.   I still appreciated the BMW buying experience and apparel I can purchase.
15.   At start-up the bike is smooth and there are no vibrations like on the old bike.
16.   The Enduro Pro Chip allows the rider to customize his settings, i.e. remove traction control and ABS. If the bike is switched off, and switched on again the settings are retained and you do not need to deactivate the items again. (This is my favourite improvement on the bike.)

 In the end I do not believe that you get a bad brand of bikes. I love all bikes, regardless of the brand.

How I approach purchasing a bike is by determining the application I want to use the bike for and buy the right equipment for the right job.
You will get sceptics on all brands of bikes, but if you would like to take my advice, go out and ride the bikes yourself, get your own perceptions on each bike, brand, etc. and choose the bike you like best.

One of my adventure riding buddies asked me last night at homecell how much better the LC was for me, when compared to my previous bike and I answered by stating that you cannot really compare the two bikes; it would be a sin in my opinion.

The base of the previous bike comes from late 2004 and the LC was launched in 2013, which is almost a decade apart. (I know there were changes between 2004 and 2012, but the basic bike remained the same.)

I have never seen developers of any manufacturer developing new technology that was weaker or worse than the previous technology. The human race has a way of moving forward and I feel that the new 1200 LC is a leap forward.

 
To Live is Christ - To die is Gain... Fil: 1:21

2013 1200 GS - 2011 KTM 300 - current
2008 1200 GS 2007 XMoto
2006 Kawasaki KDX 200 - current bike 2012 Kawasaki KX 250 2008 Kawasaki ZX 14 2008 Kawasaki ZX 6 2004 BMW 1200 GS Suzuki GSXR 1000 K4 - stuntbike 1994 Honda Fireblade 900 rr - stuntbike 2006 ER6F - stuntbike 2006 Honda TRX 400 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 Green 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 Blue - written off 2006 Kawasaki Z 750 S 1984 BMW R100RS 1992 Yamaha DT 180 1988 Honda MTX 50 1985 Kawasaki
 

Offline BMWPE

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 02:28:05 pm »
You've  got me so excited now
I will have to go and buy one ;D

Great review  :thumleft:

Thanks
Rallye
 

Offline Scenic Ride

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 02:44:07 pm »
Love the job you did with the review,   twice ...
Freedom's just another word for nothing left to loose.
 

Offline White Rhino

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 03:27:55 pm »
Objective write up ... nice one Nox :thumleft:
I'd rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy
Nothing clears the head like a throttle twisted and the fresh air on the tip of the nose

Beta 300RR, WR450 Rallye, KTM990 Adv, HP2, HPN635, 1200GS LC
 

Offline edgy

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 03:30:31 pm »
Very well written :thumleft:
www.astonesthrow.co.za

 BEER..."I drink it when I`m happy or when I`m sad. I drink it when I`m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. Trifle with it if I`m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it - unless I`m thirsty"
 

Offline Lord Knormoer

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 04:58:34 pm »
Very comprehensive and echoes my experience :thumleft:
 

Offline SGB

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 05:30:09 pm »
It is a pleasure riding with someone with infectious passion like Nox.  Always fun to have around, although his personal perception of being an introvert is somewhat skewed. 
Looking forward to sharing some more miles.....
www.countrytrax.co.za

Riding a bike is not just about riding the bike....
Do not believe everything you think....
 

Offline BLK

Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 05:33:37 pm »
A nicely written balanced review to get an overview,sense/feeling of the bike for a person who maybe interested in buying one.

Appreciated

bruce
 

Offline 1190

Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 07:43:07 pm »
Getting a white one from Sovereign on Sat. Then 600km back home very impressed with service.  Hope there are no thunderstorms on Saturday.  I did 8500km on my 1190 Adv. ill post a comparison once ive done some milage :)

p.s. are there any shops that sell headlight protectors in bloem?
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 07:48:11 pm by 1190 »
Smith & Wesson the original point and click interface
 

Offline zacapa

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 09:05:31 pm »
Cool bike, glad you are enjoying it. I'm a timewarp misfit - BMW stopped making proper bikes for me in 1996 :biggrin:
 

Offline Nox

Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2014, 09:59:47 pm »
Getting a white one from Sovereign on Sat. Then 600km back home very impressed with service.  Hope there are no thunderstorms on Saturday.  I did 8500km on my 1190 Adv. ill post a comparison once ive done some milage :)

p.s. are there any shops that sell headlight protectors in bloem?

Yes, Sovereign might have stock or if you are looking for something else, just up the road you'll find Safari 4 x 4, whom sells the motoradical and other types?

You can buzz them on 051 four three zero 3831.

The have a workshop and will sort you easy!

Njoy your new bike, I hope you are as impressed as I am!
To Live is Christ - To die is Gain... Fil: 1:21

2013 1200 GS - 2011 KTM 300 - current
2008 1200 GS 2007 XMoto
2006 Kawasaki KDX 200 - current bike 2012 Kawasaki KX 250 2008 Kawasaki ZX 14 2008 Kawasaki ZX 6 2004 BMW 1200 GS Suzuki GSXR 1000 K4 - stuntbike 1994 Honda Fireblade 900 rr - stuntbike 2006 ER6F - stuntbike 2006 Honda TRX 400 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 Green 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 Blue - written off 2006 Kawasaki Z 750 S 1984 BMW R100RS 1992 Yamaha DT 180 1988 Honda MTX 50 1985 Kawasaki
 

Offline spoedvark

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 11:55:48 pm »
Thanks for that Nox!

Now after the service get off your butt and ride this baby to East London and come and show it to me in all it's glory!

Jy weet Waar ek Bly!
Go Big!
or
Go Home!!!!
Previous bikes:
Yamaha XS 400 Special Kawasaki ZX 10 Yamaha XT 550 BMW 650 GS BMW 1200 GS KEEP THE RUBBER DUSTY!!!!
 

Offline Nox

Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2014, 07:24:15 am »
Thanks for that Nox!

Now after the service get off your butt and ride this baby to East London and come and show it to me in all it's glory!

Jy weet Waar ek Bly!

Soon..... Studies just high priority for now!
To Live is Christ - To die is Gain... Fil: 1:21

2013 1200 GS - 2011 KTM 300 - current
2008 1200 GS 2007 XMoto
2006 Kawasaki KDX 200 - current bike 2012 Kawasaki KX 250 2008 Kawasaki ZX 14 2008 Kawasaki ZX 6 2004 BMW 1200 GS Suzuki GSXR 1000 K4 - stuntbike 1994 Honda Fireblade 900 rr - stuntbike 2006 ER6F - stuntbike 2006 Honda TRX 400 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 Green 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 Blue - written off 2006 Kawasaki Z 750 S 1984 BMW R100RS 1992 Yamaha DT 180 1988 Honda MTX 50 1985 Kawasaki
 

Offline COLES

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 11:35:16 am »

very well put yes the LC is by far just so much more bike
 

Offline Draadwerk

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2014, 11:38:24 am »

very well put yes the LC is by far just so much more bike
+ 100000000000000
 

Offline Royce

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2014, 06:15:51 pm »
Well written my boy. Now we must still arrange another trip together so that our good ladies can also enjoy our "other" loves.
Lekker leer en dan maak ons so.
Cheers Dad
Grow old disgracefully
BMW 1200 GS
Triumph Trophy 1200 (Sold 2012)
Kawasaki 650 KLR
BMW R100RS - Since sold Yamaha DT 180 - Given to kidds Yamaha RD 400 - Since sold Yamaha 125 - Traded in on above Yamaha 50 - written off
 

Offline Warrenzxr

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2014, 08:27:53 pm »
I share you thoughts, loved my triple black but the new LC is just streets ahead.
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: My perceptions after 1123 KMs on a 1200 LC
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2014, 08:49:53 pm »
Het jou persoonlike opsomming van jou ondervinding met jou nuwe fiets baie geniet. Mooi uitgele.

Hou van die biker in n boks. :imaposer: