BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,565 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I got a chance to to ride both the K1300GT and K1300S today. Figured I would share my thoughts/opinions on both.

K1300GT - Got to ride a brown one today (snuck a short ride on a blue one about a week ago) and the color is much nicer in person than in the pictures. The first thing I noticed is the motor sounds completely different from the 1200. At idle, as it revs up, pulling under load, winding it up into the higher revs, it doesn't sounds as frantic as the 1200, but it definitely lets you know it's working with a purpose and delivering power with little regard for political correctness. The on/off throttle transition is much smoother, and no hesitation! Torque delivery is much stronger on the new one; I dropped down to around 20 mph in 3rd gear (around 1800 rpms) and whacked the throttle and it just pulled with no complaints or hiccups all the way until I shifted at around 6 grand (I was on a surface street :) ). I played around all over the rev range and couldn't find a weak or troublesome spot anywhere. The transmission seems to shift more smoothly, although the clutch engagement point on this one was pretty far out in the lever throw (that can be addressed). Overall power delivery and working up and down through the gearbox were a sizeable improvement over the 1200. The ESA II suspension felt very good and switching between Comfort/Normal/Sport yielded a slightly more noticeable and more refined feeling. I always felt the change from Normal to Sport on the 1200 was too harsh; it didn't seem so here.

The new controls do not look as cheap in person as they do in the pictures that are around, they don't look cheap at all as a matter of fact. It does take some time to get used to them (I honked a few times trying to make a left turn), and it took a couple of minutes the figure out how to turn on the high beam (you flick the high beam flasher "move over!" trigger out with your index finger). As with most things like this, I think folks will adapt to the new layout quickly and it will be a non-issue for owners in short order. The brake and clutch reservoirs are much more substantial and blend in better than the pics allow as well. The pics give the impression of the flopping around reservoirs like you might find on a CBR 1000RR, but they are well mounted and integrated into the overall switchgear. I will say that I think they changed the bar placement a bit, as the riding position seems more upright than on the 1200. It would be interesting to sit on a stock 1200 and 1300 with the bars set in the same position (same bar adjustment setup) and compare. It also appears that seats and most other farkles are interchangeable from the 1200 to the 1300, with the exception things like the TechMount mirror hole mounts (as there are no mirror holes) and the AutoSwitch (as there's no BMW style turn signal cancel button).


K1200S - I got to ride a Pearl White one today, and they had a metallic Orange one as well. Both colors look great and really add to the aggressive style and attitude of the bike. The only thing I can say about the 1300 engine tuned to put out 175 HP is - OMFG...WOW!!!!! That thing delivers power in a way that will cement a big, stupid grin on your face all day long! And the sound from the engine and the redesigned exhaust on the S is absolutely motorhead heroin. The growl, the roar, the exhaust sound when you whack it open, the bark when you blip the throttle on downshifts; it's the stuff that will make you do silly things that men with blue lights will come looking for you over. All of the great stuff I felt on the GT I felt on the S as well, with a bit of extra grunt and fun thanks to the extra power. I think this bike may warrant two radar detectors to keep you out of trouble. :D

The bike I road has the BMW Shift Assist system on it, where you can do clutchless upshifts if you want (if you touch the clutch it disengages the Assist system and works normally). You still have to use the clutch on downshifts. It's a sweet setup once you get used to it. Below 5000 rpms I was able to produce smoother shift manually vs. the Assist, but it still shifted well. Above 5500 rpms it delivers relatively smooth and very predictable shifts that matched my riding style fairly well. The system can be tuned as well, which is good as I felt I could shift more quickly and smoothly than it could in most situations. One thing about this setup - you have to be fairly positive with your upshifts, especially from 1-2 and 2-3. I was whicking it up in the lower gears and kind of flicked the gearshift lever with my toe, expecting an upshift. What I got was a stutter from the engine cutout (for the upshift) yet it stayed in the same gear. I will admit I was playing with it a bit to see how it responded to a lighter touch (coupled with the fact I was wanting to bang through the gears as fast as I could while hauling ass down the road). Again, this system is tunable and I'm guessing the couple of nitpicks I have about it can be adjusted into a completely acceptable setup to meet most any needs. And it's just friggin' cool to have a quick shifter installed from the factory!


All in all I think BMW has done a great job of making a broad series of incremental changes in most all of the systems and sub-systems on the bike to deliver a couple of new machines that, while very much rooted and connected to the 1200 series, are much better bikes. It will be interesting to see how they do after some longer term ownership and usage.
 

·
IBR# 366
Joined
·
16,544 Posts
I also spent some time on a shiny new red K13GT today. David pretty much nails it here. The bike just flat works better and pulls harder than the K12.

The hesitation and flat spots are absolutely gone, and the bike pulls cleanly in any gear from pretty much any rpm. This bike had just finished its break-in oil change, so I was able to run through the full rev range with gusto. :D

Personally, I don't have any issue with the new controls, reservoirs, or side vents. All I really care about is what the next apex looks like as it hurtles towards me. And that it does, very quickly.

As you dive into the apex, the K13 leans in easily and stays rock solid until you rocket away with a growl. The changes to the trail and lighter weight suspension components do show when pushed hard and the bike simply responds without complaint. As it should do.

The brakes are the same excellent Brembo units fitted to the K12, and even full-on ABS stops from super-legal speeds weren't a problem. I didn't run that hard long enough to see if the brake fade problem is still there, but so far there wasn't any drama.

And I think they did something with the ergos (as others have mentioned) as I was pretty comfortable with the bars full up, even though I've been using bar risers on my GT for the past two years. Oh, and the stock windshield is only marginally effective for my 6' frame, but that's the same as before so no biggie there.

My two minor complaints (and they really are minor) are these:

There was excess play in the throttle cables that made 1st gear parking lot maneuvers jerky. That can be adjusted out though. And I don't like the new skinnier grips, but that's easily remedied with some slip-on foam covers (which also reduces any leftover traces of unwanted vibration).

Also, after a particularly hard full-ABS stop, I downshifted and let the clutch out while still rolling along a bit and I did get one loud, quick screech. No judder like before, but a bit of noise in an odd situation.

I was also able to review some secret BMW paperwork that described many of the changes in very great detail, with direct comparisons to the K12 and graphs, charts, and cut-away drawings regarding the new clutch, transmission gears, drive shaft, ESA II, suspension linkages, switches, etc. Basically, gearhead engineering porn. And it was very good. :D

I still have some concerns about overall reliability based on my past experiences, but I won't know for sure until I put 50-60K miles on one. :D But even now I can see that BMW has gone over the entire bike and tweaked most everything. From the outside it looks very similar to a K12 but under the bodywork it's a whole different package that really shines as you're attacking your favorite corners.

We also had a C14 and an FJR on the ride, and met up with an ST13 later in the day. The bottom line is that none of those compare directly to the new GT in terms of fit, finish, factory farkles, and fun.

From all the reviews and specs that I'd read so far, it looked like the K13 is what the K12 should have been in the first place. Having ridden it myself, I can now see that that's really true.

So David, when do you pick up your new wheels, and can I borrow them for a while? :D
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,565 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
XMagnaRider said:
David and Ken,

Do either of you have a comment about placement of the kill switch? Did you try it while riding?
I tend to avoid hitting the kill switch at speed, it seems, shall we say, counter-productive. :) I didn't have an issue with its placement or funtion, it seemed quite intuitive from the get-go (moreso than the high beam switch).


MEESE said:
So David, when do you pick up your new wheels, and can I borrow them for a while? :D
I've finalized the settlement agreement with BMW NA, and a new red one in the crate should be at San Jose BMW Tuesday or Wednesday. I'll post more once everything is said and done.
 

·
IBR# 366
Joined
·
16,544 Posts
XMagnaRider said:
Do either of you have a comment about placement of the kill switch? Did you try it while riding?
Didn't really notice anything weird, which is a good thing. Push down to start, push up to kill. It's pretty straightforward.

I did remember to try the turn signals a couple of times. ;)

Overall, all the switches are closer to your hand, and so a bit easier to reach.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
684 Posts
DavidTaylor said:
I tend to avoid hitting the kill switch at speed, it seems, shall we say, counter-productive. :) I didn't have an issue with its placement or funtion, it seemed quite intuitive from the get-go (moreso than the high beam switch). ...
meese said:
Didn't really notice anything weird, which is a good thing. Push down to start, push up to kill. It's pretty straightforward.

I did remember to try the turn signals a couple of times. ;)

Overall, all the switches are closer to your hand, and so a bit easier to reach.
The point was to ask if you think a rider might accidentally press the kill switch while riding, due to its prominent placement. I'll assume that the kill switch will stop the engine, even at speed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,565 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I think it's prominent more for being bright red than closer to your hands. I don't think I went near the thing unless I was starting or shutting off the bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
845 Posts
David and Ken, after reading your considerable prose describing the new GT I am impressed with the new level of discourse from each of you - it appears that this bike actually raises the intellect of the rider! I guess I'd better get two! Nicely done, gentlemen! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
807 Posts
David & Ken..........thank you for the comments. Well written and appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
223 Posts
I canceled my K1300S test ride after sitting on one. I'm 5'7.5" but unfortunately for the K1300S, my arms are too short and gut too big. I could not get comfortable on it. Plus I couldn’t get comfortable with the Insurance costs of 4 times the K13GT and the agent's response of, "Most Superbikes in this class or totaled or make a substantial claim within the first 2 years".

I didn't ask what substantial meant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,451 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,565 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Knee or Hip waders? :D
 

·
IBR# 366
Joined
·
16,544 Posts
grifscoots said:
Chest waders in this case:D
Great. Now I've got an image of Deb in chest waders stuck in my head. Or was that Grif? :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
meese said:
I also spent some time on a shiny new red K13GT today. <snip>
Hey Ken, it didn't connect until now that you are "Meese".
After that big breakfast last weekend, any room later for a Jalama burger? :rotf:

Jeff
 

·
IBR# 366
Joined
·
16,544 Posts
Effjay said:
Hey Ken, it didn't connect until now that you are "Meese".
After that big breakfast last weekend, any room later for a Jalama burger? :rotf:
I'm always up for a Jalama run. But only in small groups. Marc and I didn't have any trouble at all with that damn white SUV, unlike the rest of you poor sods stuck back there. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,986 Posts
meese said:
I'm always up for a Jalama run. But only in small groups. Marc and I didn't have any trouble at all with that damn white SUV, unlike the rest of you poor sods stuck back there. :D

Exactly what I HATE about "Group" rides. One is constantly "stuck".... :crybaby:

So Ken...when are you gettin' that new 1300???? :stir:
 

·
IBR# 366
Joined
·
16,544 Posts
cccpastorjack said:
So Ken...when are you gettin' that new 1300???? :stir:
C'mon now, my K12 is just barely broken in with only 77K on it so far . . .
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,565 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
meese said:
C'mon now, my K12 is just barely broken in with only 77K on it so far . . .
But it's dirty, so you really need to get a new one.
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top