MV Agusta F4 1000 S And BMW K1200S - Staffers' Rides - Doin' Time

MV Agusta F4 1000 S
* Ringleader: Cat
* MSRP: $21,495
* Miles: 4198-4651
* Average fuel milage: 34 MPG

"Fark!" The single word echoed across the Las Vegas Motor Speedway paddock as Catterson's long-term F4 1000 S crashed to the ground. It seemed like a slick idea to lube the chain with the bike idling in gear, and in fact it had worked before. But this time the single-sided swingarm walked off the trick factory stand-with predictable results.

The good news is a couple of other Fastrack attendees happened to be walking past and lunged at the bike, softening the blow. So the sum total of damages was a tweaked clip-on, a broken front brake lever and a tiny spider's web of a crack in the fairing. A new lever from Pro Italia Motors was expensive at $75, but with a replacement fairing panel retailing for $850, we'll live with the damage as a reminder of our stupidity.

Because the tip of the brake lever was relieved to snap off, it remained functional for the remainder of the day. Not so the brake pads; a set of Galfer greens will be installed before our next outing. MVs use the same Nissin six-piston front calipers as a Honda CB1300, incidentally, so if owners can't find a listing for one, they should be able to find one for the other.

We finally burned through our stack of Michelin Pilot Power radials, too, so we'll be exploring our tire options. Maybe some of those red Tomahawks we saw on that stuntah's Gixxer?Nah, probably not.

BMW K1200S
* Ringleader: Carrithers
* MSRP: $16,995
* Miles: 4711-5688
* Average fuel milage: 40 MPG

Contrary to popular mythology, it does rain in Southern California. Sometimes, it snows. That's when the magic Gerbing's electric vest ($139 from www.gerbing.com) comes out. Plug it into the K1200S accessory socket and ... nothing. That's funny, it worked fine before we slid new software into the BMS omnipotent engine-management computer last month.

Said accessory outlet is limited to electrical accessories that draw 5 amps or less. With its thermostat ($69) on high, the vest delivered an abundance of glorious heat with the original BMS K software in residence. But BMW's latest programming pulls the plug with the 55-watt vest on its lowest setting. What gives?

With a three-phase AC generator capable of pumping out 580 watts @ 13.5 volts-13.5 amps of current at idle-there's no shortage of juice. The battery tests fine. Still, the accessory socket gags on anything but BMW's brand of electrically heated clothing. A call to Gerbing's helpful technical types revealed I'm not the first to notice the problem, as well as a relatively easy fix. The K1200S's battery lives under a plastic cover just behind the steering head. Spin off two Torx bolts, hard-wire Gerbing's accessory plug kit ($25) to the battery and we're back in business. Even if you're plenty warm right now, listen up. A few months from now you'll thank me.

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