review for 1200gs
Well after about 100 miles of IICE Air usage I feel compelled to write about my experience.
First off, I LOVE my GS.....but i'd be lying if I didn't say that owning it has been a bit of a paradox for me. What I mean is, i love the bike, love the engine HP and torque, suspension, ergos, etc. But I have always HATED the injection management on this bike. From my perspective, it is so bad, that after 6 months of ownership I seriously considered selling it and going back to an airhead or something entirely different. I've had many bikes over the years....airheads, /2s, Hondas, Yamahas, K bikes, etc.....and none have ever taken an inordinate amount of concentration to ride "properly" than this bike. It is so bad, I actually began to question weather age and/or reflexes had taken their toll on my ability to ride with the kind of finesse that I think I used to have. I just couldn't believe that for $17,000 plus, the Germans would let something roll off the assembly line with the kind of pathetic rideablity issues that these bikes have. Maybe I'm asking too much.
Well the IICE Air seems to have given me back some confidence in the bike, and overall it is a more enjoyable ride. My experience regarding the Air is maybe not as overly enthusiastic as some, but it seems to have delivered as advertised.
My bike admittedly needs a tune up. It is due for a throttle sync and valve adjust, etc. So that may have thrown off some of my evaluation, not knowing if it could be running better on its own, irrespective of the IICE Air.
Idle: Contrary to most users I haven't felt/heard hardly any change here. It still idles kindof burbly, tone or RPM's haven't changed, smoothness seems unchanged.
Starting off in first gear: Noticeable difference.....easier to ride away from standstill, feeling of stalling is reduced. As soon as RPMs get above idle it seems to be a more linear feel.
Slow speed riding, less than 2000RPMs in 1st gear: Improved, but not as much as I really hoped for. Still a bit snatchy if not perfectly controlled with throttle. Better, but definitely could still be improved. This was the one dimension of riding the bike that I was really hoping for a big change.
Shifting between gears: Improved, easier to produce smooth shifts, but still, not nearly what I would expect for this level of bike. Shifts are less dramatic. Snatchyness after shifting is less.
Torque (the feel of it anyway): I dont think the bike is more torquey, like others have noted, but it seems more "useable"....pulls nice and linearly from like 2500rpm out of corners, etc. Where as before it seemed a little like it would fall on its face a bit coming out of a corner.
Steady speed highway cruising: This is what impressed me the most, believe it or not. At 75 mph the bike was noticeably smoother and less frantic feeling. Truthfully I didnt expect any change here at all. I am really happy with this. As a sidenote, when the R1200 came out it was billed and reviewed as the smoothest boxer twin ever, with a balance shaft.....yada yada yada. Well I always wondered what the hell all these people were riding because my bike never felt anywhere near as smooth as most well tuned Airheads or other bikes I've ridden. But whatever.
Also.....another thing I did not expect to see was what appears to be a measureable drop in oil temp. On any given medium temperature day, my temp is always exactly pegged halfway. Now, it is pegged exactly one notch lower. Thats great, obviously due to the richer mixture, and a most welcome improvement in my 100 plus degree Houston summer riding.
Popping on deceleration: No change noted here at all. I did expect some reduction in the burbling while downshifting, but alas it's still there as always. Sucks, but oh well.
Lastly, I'm sure it was just a fluke, but with the enriched mixture the assumption is possibly a couple MPG lower, well I have no difinitive proof yet as I've only gone 100miles but my fuel light came on at 234 miles this time.....I've never seen it go that long before lighting. We'll see after a few tankfuls. Improved MPG? Possibly ;) Sweet.
I will say that all these changes were really subtle, some virtually undetectable.....it was hard to really objectively analyze without feeling too much like a lemming after reading so many previous posts.
So in the end, I am happy....some unexpected improvements, a couple expected but not delivered....I'm cool with that and a satisfied customer. I can only hope the IICE Cool will fill in some of those gaps that still could use some improvement....I'm in!!
I can now enjoy my ride more:)