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Engineer
18-07-07, 13:12
Have been thinking about getting a K1200S to sit alongside the 12GS - done lots of web research of all the K1200S sites that I can find and there appears to be quite a number of commonly occurring issues, including gearbox fails, final drives, fuelling, vibes etc.

I have had couple of test rides and love the bike - BUT will also take a look at all the alternatives before making a final decision; one possibility is the Honda Blackbird. Anyone here have any experience of the Blackbird? I have done the normal web research and there seems to be no serious issues whatsoever with the Honda - so it's looking favourite at the moment (haven't ridden one yet).

Comments please

Droopy Dick
18-07-07, 13:58
Have been thinking about getting a K1200S to sit alongside the 12GS - done lots of web research of all the K1200S sites that I can find and there appears to be quite a number of commonly occurring issues, including gearbox fails, final drives, fuelling, vibes etc.

I have had couple of test rides and love the bike - BUT will also take a look at all the alternatives before making a final decision; one possibility is the Honda Blackbird. Anyone here have any experience of the Blackbird? I have done the normal web research and there seems to be no serious issues whatsoever with the Honda - so it's looking favourite at the moment (haven't ridden one yet).

Comments please

I ran a Blackbird for 7 years. Apart from routine servicing and tyres nothing went wrong.

The finish was superb and no corrosion developed.

It was as smooth as a smooth thing.

Having had a K12S for an afternoon, I felt it was less comfortable than the 'bird, but this will be a very individual thing depending on your shape.

Why not try your local Honda dealer. They usually have a 'bird on their demo fleet.

On balance, I thought the K12S was marginally better in handling terms, not least because it wouldn't be knocked offline on bends and corners. It's a slower steer than the 'bird, but not horrendous.

Greg Masters
18-07-07, 14:28
The Blackbird is a cracking bike - pretty much faultless if you want a bike of that type.

It is unbelievably brisk and, even though it's a sports-tourer, it's rather more sports than tourer (one of the reasons I got rid of it). If you add hard luggage (I had Givis), it gets VERY wide.

Brakes are linked. It's a VERY clever system - as you apply the front harder, it increases the rear to a point then starts to slacken off the rear to avoid locking under dive. If you apply rear, it feathers in the front so that you don't get too much instant dive. But the brakes are not to everyone's taste.

Mine was carbs - never missed a beat. Can't comment on the EFI model.

Greg

Fitzy
18-07-07, 14:39
I currently run a 'Bird' and really love riding it. So smooth, limitless power, great handling and with panniers practical enough for long distance touring and as the others here have said, the build quality and finish are second to none. Buy a Blackbird and save yourself a small fortune over a K1200S.

turbine_2
19-07-07, 11:33
I had a 99 Blackbird before the GS and used it daily for about 5 years, covering about 70k miles. In all that time the only problems I had were the ignition barrel breaking (probably due to a slightly bent key), and the rectifier failing (got too hot).
Absolutely stunning bikes, wonderful on long journeys and capable in town although a little on the heavy side. Good with pillions as well.
Pre 99 ones were carbs and suffered a little from a dead spot in the rev range but that was easily taken care of with a K&N set. After 99 they got the EFI which was good and the linked brakes which are generally fine but I found to be irritating in traffic. Later ones (2002 I think, may have been 2003) have a speed limiter.
Using the wrong tyres can cause a slight weaving of the front wheel, make sure you get the Blackbird specific ones and be aware that if you're a careful rider you'll probably get about 8k out of a set. Brakes will wear as well due to the combined breaks (especially if the pads are dragging), make sure the brake bolts are correctly torqued. Service interval is every 4k miles but not too difficult.
I did find toward the end of my ownership that the cooling in traffic started to be insufficient however that was probably more down to the cooling system needing a clear out than a fault with the bike in general as it was fine originally.
Throttle / gear / smoothness / power will take you in to licence shredding territory without you realising if you don't pay avid attention to the speedo enough.
I saw that Jaws has moved to a GS from a BB and registered here; he will know chapter and verse on Blackbirds being the Steptoe equilivent for them.

(RIP) MOTÖRHEAD
19-07-07, 12:31
Blackbird - A very good machine-Had a 97 carbed one. Also owned one for 7 years.
Standard rectifiers can fry but you can get a better after market one with better cooling fins for about £65.
You can give them a good grilling and they'll come back for more, time & time again.
If you get one, you shouldn't be dissapointed.

Clicky:D (http://www.modernmedia.co.uk/psychobikerben/aliveandburningrubber/SatisfactionWeb.mov)

http://www.modernmedia.co.uk/psychobikerben/FE1_6325.jpg

Aurelius
19-07-07, 15:51
Have been thinking about getting a K1200S to sit alongside the 12GS - done lots of web research of all the K1200S sites that I can find and there appears to be quite a number of commonly occurring issues, including gearbox fails, final drives, fuelling, vibes etc.

I have had couple of test rides and love the bike - BUT will also take a look at all the alternatives before making a final decision; one possibility is the Honda Blackbird. Anyone here have any experience of the Blackbird? I have done the normal web research and there seems to be no serious issues whatsoever with the Honda - so it's looking favourite at the moment (haven't ridden one yet).

Comments please

My only experience with the Blackbird was a test ride. Loved the engine: very smooth compared to my K1200S, but it generates a LOT of heat which can be bothersome while sitting in traffic. Considering the price difference and superior reliability, buying the Blackbird would have been a much better purchase decision than buying the K1200S. :thumb2

Engineer
20-07-07, 13:11
Thanks for the comments - off to test ride one on Sunday, weather permitting.

V2 TRV
20-07-07, 13:31
I test rode a K1200S around Misano when they first came out as I reckoned it'd be the bizz - in reality I was unimpressed - it felt gutless and slow compared to the Honda.

Blackbird every time :thumb

RichieS
20-07-07, 15:07
Ditto all of the above comments.
I am on my second 'Bird, on '07 model. I was sorely tempted with the K12S, but the difference in price was HUGE and IMHO the 'Bird does it better.
The only downside is the cats in the exhaust pipes get fookin' hot, so i am looking to change to aftermarket cans to get rid of the cats. Stick a scotoiler on it and an HID light and BINGO, you're away.
Does exactly what it says on the tin!

Richie

(RIP) Shenzi
20-07-07, 15:58
A really great bike, I loved mine but invariably ended up going too fast on it!

EDIT. Just looking again at the above post I did get change the cans.

glenn g
20-07-07, 17:35
My previous bike was a 2001 bird bought new in 2001,we parted company in 2006 when i sold it to get the GS. I had no problems during that time and loved it to bits.I fitted a few add ons and used it for touring, but a mate had a big off and was in a coma for ages, thankfully he has made a good recovery.I thought time to slow down and more comfort required.
I hav'nt ridden a bike that gives as good a buzz as the bird, highly recommended:thumb2

minkyhead
20-07-07, 21:54
ditto above two birds over 100.000 miles o problems
fork legs do pit as the miles rack up ... strangly the injected was thirstier than the carby

Ash
20-07-07, 23:21
an awesome bike.far too fast.i had a 1999 xxy in red,it did everything first class.tour,scratch,sunday jaunt.frill factor 10.
and with a build quality second to none.:bow

Aurelius
20-07-07, 23:41
Looks like its unanimous then. Engineer will buy the Blackbird. :thumb

alimey4u2
20-07-07, 23:52
Looks like its unanimous then. Engineer will buy the Blackbird. :thumb

F*ck me, I think I will buy one & wasn't in the market before I read this thread....:blast

Wapping
21-07-07, 19:42
Had two of them.

First was a P reg, when they first came out, carbed.

No problems in three years of ownsership and 36,000 miles.

The sexcond was the FI version. Kept until two years ago, sold and bought a 1200GS. Only one problem when the sender unit under the tank packed up. Relaced with a completely new loom within five days under warranty. Can't quible about that at all. Did over 55k on the thing. Never missed a beat. Scott Oiler and Ventura luggage, perfect. Only ever used for touring but could ride through London traffic, no problem.

Had the suspension done twice at 25k and about 55k.

Probably the best motorcycle engine I have ever used.

Why did I sell it?

Didn't want to go at 180mph anymore.

Liked the GS riding position. I have a b******d up knee.

Liked the ease of the GS luggage, albeit Ventura is good.

Wapping
21-07-07, 19:50
PS I know of one Blackbird, EFI version (I think) that has sat in a garage in Essex on an Optimate for at least two and a half years. I don't think it has done much over 5k miles. It's black, possibly an S or T reg?

Would be a fantastic second hand buy and not a million miles away from Cambridge.

It is sitting in the garage of one ChasMill of this parish, albeit it isn't his bike. Suggest you ping him a PM, he may well put you in touch with the bike's owner.

Engineer
23-07-07, 21:11
Had a 3 hour test ride on Sunday morning - I WANT A BRAND NEW SHINY SILVER ONE NOW!

Beano
23-07-07, 21:47
Buy the Blue one its faster just like the blue GS:thumb

20,000 miles on mine and she never missed a beat, only comment is for touring its not the best with luggage tent and pillion unless you travel light..

If Honda made the GS it would be the best bike in the world.:beerjug:

Aurelius
23-07-07, 23:38
Had a 3 hour test ride on Sunday morning - I WANT A BRAND NEW SHINY SILVER ONE NOW!

:clap :clap :clap

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RichieS
24-07-07, 02:51
Buy the Blue one its faster just like the blue GS:thumb

20,000 miles on mine and she never missed a beat, only comment is for touring its not the best with luggage tent and pillion unless you travel light..

If Honda made the GS it would be the best bike in the world.:beerjug:

They only come in 2 tone silver/Grey or Black now.They realised that the Blue was far too slow. The Black one was released before and is common as muck:rob

Jaws
24-07-07, 09:32
Nooo !! You want one that has at least 8000 miles on the clock.. Up to that point they are slow ( well compaired to after that point ) and drink squirt.
I have 6 on the books that come here for servicing which have all clocked up more than a million miles ( they are all dispatch bikes with three riders, they are on the road 24-7 )
Mileage is unimportant and if possible do not buy one that has been Honda dealer serviced.. They are a bunch of arseholes who cannot find a spanner if it was up their nose !

If you want to chat about the Bird or want to know anything about it gimme a ring.. I am only over in Thetford .. ( 01842 754415 or 07818822887 from 10am to 10pm daily )
Oh and for my sins, Jaws Motorcycles is the biggest supplier/manufacturer of Bird Bling in the world ! :)

(RIP) MOTÖRHEAD
24-07-07, 09:39
They are a bunch of arseholes who cannot find a spanner if it was up their nose !


Bwahahahaha... You should hear what he says about his bad customers:augie

Engineer
24-07-07, 12:00
Nooo !! You want one that has at least 8000 miles on the clock.. Up to that point they are slow ( well compaired to after that point ) and drink squirt.
I have 6 on the books that come here for servicing which have all clocked up more than a million miles ( they are all dispatch bikes with three riders, they are on the road 24-7 )
Mileage is unimportant and if possible do not buy one that has been Honda dealer serviced.. They are a bunch of arseholes who cannot find a spanner if it was up their nose !

If you want to chat about the Bird or want to know anything about it gimme a ring.. I am only over in Thetford .. ( 01842 754415 or 07818822887 from 10am to 10pm daily )
Oh and for my sins, Jaws Motorcycles is the biggest supplier/manufacturer of Bird Bling in the world ! :)

I'll think about it :)

Engineer
24-07-07, 12:06
:clap :clap :clap

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Je ne comprend pas?
Ich verstehe nicht?
Yer wot?

turbine_2
24-07-07, 12:07
Actually, it appears that they have stopped making the really fast RED ones. Must have been too much for most mere mortals :-)

PhilM
24-07-07, 12:17
:clap :clap :clap

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:jes very subtle, I think

Jaws
25-07-07, 17:17
LOL !! Sorry if I come across a bit gungho but after 9 years of XX ownership I still get a massive buzz out of it.. More or less wrapped my life up in the XX scene since 1999..
A lot like many GS owners in fact, ( just massively faster :D )

(RIP) MOTÖRHEAD
26-07-07, 07:44
LOL !! Sorry if I come across a bit gungho but after 9 years of XX ownership I still get a massive buzz out of it.. More or less wrapped my life up in the XX scene since 1999..
A lot like many GS owners in fact, ( just massively faster :D )

And for the seven years I owned a Blackbird, you've always given me a top service supplying parts when I've needed them.:thumb2
It's not an insult when folk call you a Blackbird anorak - It's a compliment.;)

Jaws
26-07-07, 09:05
Cheers Ben :)
I do feel like a big kid sometimes though.. I mean, anyone able to tell the model of a bike by the footrest rubbers is pretty sad ! LOL !!

(RIP) Proff
26-07-07, 09:22
Bugger me !!!
I never knew there was that much interest in 'Birds
Just had a Call from my mate with Z1300.
he's NOT using his Burgundy Bird and is going to sell it.:D
VERY VERY Low mileage and I think it's a T reg, going to ring him now.
anyone interested ???

Butler
26-07-07, 14:16
F*ck me, I think I will buy one & wasn't in the market before I read this thread....:blast

me too!