Saturday, December 12, 2009

SW 13.2 makes the bike rock! But MPG dropped for some reason...

In science, they tell you never to change two variables at the same time so you can verify cause and effect.
During my 18K service on the K1200S, North County BMW updated my software to 13.1 to address a hesitation issue I'd been seeing when the bike was cold. Right after the service, my mpg dropped by a consistean 3mpg (almost 10%) or more. It's been consistently low since. Like, in the same range any other sport bike delivers (the K1300S has impressed magazines with it's high mpg considering the performance). Yuck!

So... was it something that was part of the 18K service (valves were checked but did not need adjusting I'm told), or was it the software load?

I got upgraded to 13.2, and wow is that nice. Power delivery is better, and it sure seems to run harder when asked.

With the reduced MPG, I've asked myself more than a few times if the new powerband just isn't begging to get used more, and it's me that's the problem. Over the last week, I've ruled that out since my work commute is pretty consistent what with all the traffic. I saw 34mpg on the way home yesterday from work, shockingly low considering I was going with the flow of traffic. Then I realized I had been in 5th since resetting the MPG. LOL

Before the 18K service, 39 was my low commuting, and 36 was my all-time low. And I had to work really hard to get down to 36. Enjoyably hard, actually.

The new mpg gives me an effective range of 140 miles between fillups (vs 170+), which is just too low. With the previous SW version, I had to work the bike hard to get down to 140 miles/tank. I'm filling up every 2 days now, instead of twice a week.

On the upside, the new software seems to have woken up the bike. I can't put my finger on it, but "better" is the best I can describe it - just not how. Just better!

The K1300S they loaned me for the day (2500 miles on it) would hit a certain speed from a rolling launch between 2 markers, and that was using the shift-assist WOT shifting feature (cool!).

With 13.2 loaded, my K1200S actually ran about 3-4mph faster (so, close enough to the same). Considering the new bike has "more power" than mine (8hp, 10 ft/lbs), that's impressive.

So, overall, I'm happy with the upgrade in most ways, but the lost 3mpg rankles. Guess I'll take 'er back in and see what they say. Bummer for them, I feel bad using their time chasing a tough problem like this.

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