I test rode the S1000 this morning, while my 2004 K1200S was having it's annual service at the dealer.
I'm 6'3 and 230lbs so a big lad like me fits nicely on the K.
I've previously had 3 Honda CBR600's - and I tried a couple of fireblades when I was thinking of a change. I found the blade too small - very cramped, so I stuck with the last honda until I tried a K1200S and fell in love with the combination of massive power in a comfy bike. OK the K is a big bike, so it's not as flickable as the blade or the CBR600's, but you don't have to change gear much on the K, and the extra performance was what I was after.
I had a test ride on a K1300S last September, and although it was improved in all areas over the K1200S, it wasn't a ground-breaking change. I haven't got the cash to change bike anyway at the moment, but if I did, the K1300S would be top of the shortlist. Or it was yesterday...
So today the opportunity arose to take the S1000RR out for an hour, so of course I jumped at the chance. It's a bright sunny day in southern england today, but at 9AM it was 1 degrees C, and I had the usual combination of 2 T shirts and a jumper under my jacket. I'm usually a fair weather rider, so a 45 minute ride in the cold to the nearest BMW dealer was a bit of an adventure. Usually it's 10 mins to work, since the kids came along. I expected the S1000 to be like the blade : uncomfortable, and especially so today, as I had multiple layers of tight T-shirts on, and thick gloves that don't instill confidence. How wrong was I.
The S1000 is a joy to ride. It's more comfy than the Suzuki GSXR 750 (which I rode recently) - but obvioulsy not as comfy as the CBR600F. The bike is stable and boy is it fast. I went straight to SPORT mode and below 7K it is slightly down on power from the K, but above 7K it is a monster.
The gearshift is excellent, and the quickshifter makes it even easier. The brakes are very very sharp : almost too sharp for the road really. The finish is a little cheap in places - the plastic tank cover is thin and begs to be replaced by the carbon HP option. The shift light is neat too, but you can tell by the noise it makes where it is in the rev range.
Some cons now though, to balance out the praise that I (and everyone else) is dishing out.
First, being a short bike, it wants to wheelie. I have never intentionally pulled a wheelie in my life, and I know that the K won't wheelie unless I really wring it's neck, and then it is only an inch off the ground. The S1000 feels much shorter, and so a couple of times it tapped back down, and at that point I knew it had been up an inch or so. This is a bit unnerving - but I guess it's my fault for wringing it's neck!
Second, there are no heated grips. Having had them on the K, I have found that it does tempt you to use the bike on dry cold winters days, especially if I'm just hopping 15 mins to work. This is not an option on the S1000 - and it will be sorely missed.
Third, it's £13000 for the bike, and so I'll reallistically be in the market for one in a couple of years, hopefully I can spot one for sale outside the dealer network (as I did last time).
Fourth - no panniers. I was lucky enough to buy a K that came with the expensive but fantastic panniers, and when I toured spain they were brilliant. They are occasionally handy in the UK for weekends away, and the only way you could do it on the S1000 is to buy some aftermarket panniers, which would be crap by comparison.
So personally I'd find myself using the S1000 less than I use my K1200S, which (if I was ready to change bikes) I would find a worry.
So would I buy one ? Heck yes, before I get too old! I can always get another K when I'm done with the S1000.
But I'll miss the warm hands and I'll have to get a whopper rucksack for weekends away.
Last edited by robertbentley
on Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.
2009 K1300S in Grey - All factory options & Titanium Akrapovic exhaust
Previous bikes :- 2004 K1200S (RIP), 2002 CBR600F1, 2000 CBR600