‘It’s a typ­i­cally accomplished boxer’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

‘Keep an eye on the oil and don’t as­sume it won’t need a top up’

“The R1200S is a re­ally good bike, very solid and a typ­i­cally accomplished boxer-en­gined BMW. How­ever, there are a few things to look out for when buy­ing a used one that will en­sure you get the best pos­si­ble ex­am­ple.

“When new you could have opted for a Sport pack­age when buy­ing the bike. This con­sisted of an Öh­lins shock, heated grips and wider six-inch rear wheel, and it only cost about £500 more, so most buy­ers took up this op­tion.

“But there is a catch. The Öh­lins shock needs to be re­freshed ev­ery year and re­built ev­ery few years as it is a gen­uine over- the-counter Öh­lins and not a cheaper mass-pro­duced item. Few own­ers re­alise this as it is not some­thing you usu­ally have to do to an OE shock and if left un­ser­viced for longer the seals tend to go. The shock ser­vice isn’t too ex­pen­sive, around £150, but it is a con­sid­er­a­tion when buy­ing a used bike.

“The front of older boxer BMWS of­ten sees cor­ro­sion is­sues as be­hind the plas­tic cover is a bit of sound­dead­en­ing foam, which ab­sorbs water and then causes cor­ro­sion to form around it. We just re­move this foam to stop it hap­pen­ing. The cor­ro­sion doesn’t af­fect the en­gine’s per­for­mance or phys­i­cal struc­ture, but it can look very tatty and the only real fix is to strip and pow­der­coat the whole mo­tor, which is very ex­pen­sive. “Very oc­ca­sion­ally the rear drive bear­ing needs to be changed, but most times this is down to over-en­thu­si­as­tic clean­ing. It’s an ex­posed wheel bear­ing and pres­sure wash­ing blows the grease out, caus­ing it to wear pre­ma­turely. Swap­ping it takes a few hours and you need to change both bear­ings, so it’s a good £400 bill.

“The boxer en­gine it­self is very solid but it will burn oil if you thrash it, that’s just what they do and is noth­ing to be con­cerned about. Al­ways keep an eye on the oil-level win­dow and don’t just as­sume it will go to its next 6000mile ser­vice with­out need­ing a top up. If you run it low on oil you can wreck the main bear­ing and that means a com­plete en­gine re­build and a mas­sive bill.

“Over­all, the R1200S is pretty much bul­let-proof and if it has a good Bmw-ap­proved ser­vice his­tory is a very safe used buy.”

Jet wash­ing can blow grease out of the rear bear­ing. Watch the oil level, too

OL­LIE NEWBY-ROB­SON, tech­ni­cian at Balder­ston Mo­tor­cy­cles, Peter­bor­ough

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