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BMW K1300S HP first ride

By Phil West -

First rides & tests

 29 March 2012 15:28

With the new K1300S HP (for High Performance), BMW has taken one of its established, but aging standards, and sought to both extend its shelf-life and broaden its appeal by producing a limited edition, 'blinged-up' incarnation.

The recipe is simple: tweak the cosmetics with a sprinkling of carbon fibre, tinted screen and model-specific paint job; add some substance by way of BMW's on-the-move suspension adjustment system, on-board computer, quick-shifter and more. And, finally, round it all off with a limited edition numbered plaque at the front of the tank.

As a bread and butter bike the K1300S has long been an impresively slick, stable and supersonic fast motorway devourer. Point me at Dusseldorf and I'll see you there by lunch, unruffled, unflustered, under the clock tower.

The 175bhp, four-cylinder, shaftie bulges with sheer urge; its fat midrange so twist 'n' go instant the upper reaches of the rev range need never be explored, and cruising just the wrong side of the legal limit is about as relaxing as two wheels get.

The semi-sports riding position is sublimely comfortable and yet with enough purposefulness and aggression to imbibe its pilot with the cool arrogance expected of a Teutonic powerhouse-owner.

Its stability and steadfastness is awesome (at the slight cost, ineveitably, of flickability negotiating traffic or through tight bends).

The downside to all that, though, is that the K1300S is also now over three years old and, frankly, is starting to show it - something compounded by the arrival of Kawasaki's updated and electronics-laden ZZR1400 this year.

Read the full test in the March 28 issue of MCN.