Bmw K1300S (2009 - current): GentlemanĒs hyper tourer

     Ôhis test was conducted without the optional hard luggage mounted on the bike.

     Engine: The four cylinder 1293 c.c engine delivers 175bhp/9250 rpm and 14.3 Kgm/8250 rpm torque, claimed values.
     Actually at least 2000 rpm will be required to get instant acceleration, applying the throttle. With sixth gear selected, 2300 rpm will be required, which corresponds to just 60 Km/h. Engine performance is very linear throughout the power band, up to 11500 rpm where the rev limiter intervenes.
     Although engine response is instant, its also kind of refined, itĒs a deceivingly fast bike. However the traction control operation is a bit abrupt compared to the latest systems on the market, eg of an S1000RR. Engine performance combined with traction control makes the power provided easily managed. From 2009 that the model was introduced, the K1300S rider may adopt an understanding smile towards rival bikesĒ riders under poor traction conditions. You see, the most sophisticated bike was equipped with a three mode power restriction map. Its also the bikeĒs steering geometry which makes accelerating from the off an easy task. There is no time wasted wheeling or skidding. Compared with the S1000RR, the K1300S feels easier and weaker under full throttle opening.
     The operation of the drive shaft is remarkable, rider may assume that itĒs a chain drive bike, except from some very rare occasions when downshifting. The sound of the exhaust at the fast pace is like a discreet war drum. The sound of the ventilator is kind of unrefined. Due to the excessive electronics equipped at the bike, Bmw could change the soundtrack produced! asks for the visitorsĒ patience, there will be another joke like this one, following.
     Riding position: The height of the saddle is normal, 820 mm. Average height riders or even higher will step a firm foot on the ground. There is an optional saddle with a lower height, 790 mm.
     The dimensions of the bike are average for the category standards. The length is increased, the width and height are normal.
     The K1300S feels relatively light, considered the 254 Kgs claimed curb weight. Centre of gravity feels relatively low. Consequently the feel of the bikeĒs weight is very good for the standards of the category.
     Rider is placed in and over the bike, riding position is slightly bowed to the front, that is a clearly sport-touring sensation. However itĒs a comfortable riding position even on town rides.
     On the road: Suspension may be electronically adjusted in three modes, comfort, normal and sport, even on the go. Because of the front suspension which is a BmwĒs Duolever system, rider cannot get a clear view concerning the stiffness of the front, when the bike is stationary. Duolever system equip a single Showa shock absorber at the front.
     The advantage of this system is that steering geometry is not altered, despite braking at the entrance or steering. In other words, absorbing imperfections and steering are two separate operations for the front end. Selecting the comfort suspension mode, the WP shock equipped from the Paralever suspension at the rear, provides average firmness.
     Tyres mounted at the bike were Dunlop Qualifier II, their dimensions are 120/70-17 at the front, 190/55-17 at the rear. These tyres suit with the character of the bike, they do not favor handling on low friction factor roads. They are an excellent choice on high friction factor roads, enhancing traction for the specific bike.
     On urban rides, comfort suspension mode selected, the K1300S is a neutral, big bike. On normal conditions, rider will not be puzzled, despite the bulk of the bike. Agility is really good considered the character of the bike, rides are neutral.
     At the process of filtering, the height of the handlebar is almost the same with the height of car mirrors. Sometimes, the mirrors of the bike are as high as SUVĒs mirrors. Due to the normal width of the bike, filtering will be ok.
     Steering lock is average, despite the two indents on either side of the fuel tank, serving this purpose. Manoeuvring around cars on downtown traffic, will require prior programming due to this steering lock.
     Comfort provided with the comfort suspension mode selected, is quite good actually. Small road imperfections will not be noticed by the rider, average road imperfections will be noticed although they are not bothering. Large road imperfections will find their way to the rider, less absorbed than expected.
     On B-roads, comfort suspension setting selected, the Bmw is comfortable, providing confidence. Feedback to the rider is relatively good, agility is quite good compared with what could be expected by the rider. Due to the front suspension system, entry braking diving is negligible. This is a very prominent characteristic of the bike, no matter the road and pace of the ride.
     At the fast pace on low-average friction factor roads, initially comfort suspension adjustment selected, feedback to the rider is diminished. Selecting normal mode, feedback remains considerably decreased. Especially the feedback coming from the rear shock absorber, is just average. Rider may oversteer at the exit, without the fun of it though.
     Generally speaking the Bmw will require quite some time for the rider to get adapted to the steering, thus providing fun. Additionally rider will be asked to trust the handling of the bike sometimes. Once more, rider will feel kind of isolated from the tarmac, underneath. Traction control takes some time to intervene, however when this is done, the operation of the system feels kind of abrupt compared with the latest and very sophisticated systems of the market.
     Agility will meet riderĒs expectations. Its even better than that. ItĒs a lot better than what rider may assume regarding a 1585 mm wheelbase.
     At the fast pace on high friction factor roads, suspension setting to sport, road imperfections are noticed, especially from the rear shock. Diving of the front is diminished, although feedback to the rider is good. Generally speaking, feedback provided from hyper tourer bikes cannot be compared with the feedback provided from superbikes under these circumstances. It could be perceived as a substitute however. Riding confidence is proportional to that.
     Generally speaking this Bmw is not manufactured for knee dragging quests on B-roads. This is absolutely normal, otherwise the 600 c.c. superports, would be out of the market. Rider will be rewarded if he steps back a little, lowering marginally the riding pace, leaning the body accordingly to the leaning of the bike. A magic carpet will be presented. A really fast one for sure. Agility is adequate for any riding pace, once more.
     On the highway, the K1300S feels right at home. With suspension setting to sport, speed builds up really fast and in a such a sweet way… Rider has to watch the speedo in order to get used to the pace that this bike can provide.
     Its like drinking  liqueurs to some point. Whenever someone thinks he may had enough, its already late, he is drunk. The K1300S is speeding deceivingly fast and smoothly, rider has to re-adjust his internal clock. About the same time would be required from a superbike to speed that fast, with an aftermarket air filter and exhaust to build up that speed, however the noise and the drama to do it, would be much greater.

     Whatever the case is, the actual travelling speed could be greater than 230 Km/h. Ultra fast journeys is what its all about on this bike. Rider is superbly protected bowing to the front. The after market double bubble MRA screen is a very good choice. RiderĒs feet take advantage of the fairingĒs curves.
     ABS brakes are equipped, consisting of 320 mm discs at the front, four piston calipers and a 265 mm disc at the rear, two pots caliper. Initially rider gets surprised by the next to zero diving of the front while braking.
     Front brake is powerful, providing good feedback and zero pulsing at the lever, when the ABS is activated. Many times the ABS will intervene after the front wheel seems to be locked. The front tyre will be heard to slide. ItĒs a braking advantage that the ABS intervenes whenever its necessary only, nothing to worry about for the rider. Additionally the front brake is linked with the rear. Applying the front, the rear caliper is also activated, not vice versa.
     The rear brake is relatively powerful, providing average feedback and little pulsing to the lever. The combination of the front and rear brake provides superb braking power.
     Reliability: The Bmw quality build is renowned for some decades now, however generally people spread the word that things are changing. The drive shaft is an advantage for limited maintenance fans.
     Model history: The K1200S was introduced in 2005. In 2009 engine capacity was increased to 1300 c.c., Duolever was made from aluminum, new handle bar switches and numerous, minor changes, resulted in a much better bike.
     There are two versions of the K1300S. The K1300R which is the naked version and the K1300GT which is a more touring biased, less powerful bike.
     Comments: The mirrors which may be adjusted by the lenses only, are standard. Lights are very powerful. Under the seat, there is only a tiny storage space, which will accommodate only the paperwork. There are only a few tools found at this space.
     However the bike tested is a very expensive version, including:
1) Quick shifter, enabling faster upshifts
2) Traction Control,ACS which may be deactivated
3) A three mode electronic suspension adjustment, ESA: comfort, normal, sport. There is a further adjustment in case of a pillion and another one in case of luggage together with the rider only, or carrying a pillion.
4) ABS which may is also be deactivated.
5) Board computer (info) providing data for ambient temperature, tyre pressure, remaining tank range, heated grip level, clock, average speed, average fuel consumption.
6) Heated grips, two levels
7) Tyre pressure system RDC. Measurements are displayed in Bars for each tyre, warning signal in case of low pressure, pointing out the specific tyre that should be inflated.
8) Hard luggage, which are secured at a discreet Bmw rack. The luggage were not mounted for this review.
9) Automatic activation of display lights, when poor luminous conditions are met. The colour of the dash lighs is red.
10) Bagster which was also not mounted due to the test.
11) Special factory paint.
12) ĖRA double bubble smoked screen
13) Schnitzer rear axe crash protector, R&G front axe crash protectors.
14) LED taillight and plate light.
15) White light bulbs at the headlamp
16) 10/2/2011 10:17 This is a deliberately blank space, in case that the reviewer forgot any optional equipment installed. If this is the case, he should be washing only all the bikes to be reviewed.    10/2/1011 10:18 ReviewerĒs note: An Acrapovic muffler and a heated saddle could have been also installed. Am I OK now?
     As a whole, the K1300S is a leading bike in the hyper touring class from 2009. Its not intending to set any performance record, however numerous horses are released, controlled by electronic components. This results in user friendly hyper rides. The leader of the manufacturers in this field Bmw, had almost run out of gimmicks after this bike, at least for 2009 that it was manufactured.
Price basic version K1300S: 17500 Euros.

+Comfortable, ultra fast

+Equipment-electronic systems which make rival bikes to be ashamed

- Feedback to the rider when cornering, requires familiarization to say the least


 More, specifications (U.K.)


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