BMW K1300GT (2009-2013) Review

Published: 02 February 2009

"A Grand Tourer in the true sense of the words"

BMW K1300GT - continent crusher

"A Grand Tourer in the true sense of the words"

  • At a glance
  • 1293cc  -  160 bhp
  • 38 mpg  -  190 miles range
  • Medium seat height (800mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The BMW K1300GT is a Grand Tourer in the true sense of the words. It manages to combine massive performance with supreme practicality and comfort. There’s no getting away from the sheer size of the BMW K1300GT - it’s a massive chunk of engineering that looks and feels imposing at a standstill. Get it moving, however and that bulk just evaporates and it becomes a truly wieldy bike. Add in heated grips and seat as well a massive panniers and an electrically-adjustable screen and hundreds of miles in a day are easy meat. And don’t forget the new K-series range now has proper indicators rather than the confusing triple switches of old.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

There are so many bikes out there that don’t handle and ride as well as the BMW K1300GT that are supposed to be ‘sports-focussed’ bikes it’s simply astounding how easy the BMW K1300GT is to chuck around. Most of the thanks to this can go to the wonderfully easy to use ESA II electrically adjustable suspension which can be tweaked from ultra-soft Comfort through to the much tauter Sport setting.

Engine 5 out of 5

With 160bhp on tap from a slightly detuned version of the K1300 inline four-cylinder motor the performance of the big BMW K1300GT is a bit startling. You just don’t expect something so large to move with such a sense of urgency. The motor has huge torque reserves and almost any gear acceleration gives the ability of blitzing past lines of traffic in an instant.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

Few bikes shrug off winter better than a BMW motorcycle but it will still need regular attention to keep it looking shiny. The uprated shaft drive means less maintenance and expense than a chain.  A few of the BMW K1200GT previous models seemed to have suffered from vibration and quite high oil consumption but the new engine should stop that happening.

Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5

It may cost a fair pile of cash at £12,240 but the BMW K1300GT does come fairly well stacked with comforts as standard. The options list is pretty comprehensive and it just depends on how deep your pockets are as to how many you fancy. If you opt ofr the £13,340 SE model then a fair amount of kit gets chucked in for a bit of a discount over choosing them individually. The list includes heated seat, grips, high screen, cruise control and ESA II. Find a BMW K1300GT for sale

Insurance group: 17 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The BMW K1300GT has got the lot – either standard or as options. Hard panniers are standard and massive, the front screen is electrically adjustable, there are heated grips and heated seats which are independently adjustable for rider and pillion and get almost too hot. It’s easily possible to cover some seriously big miles of the GT at an almost ludicrous pace and in perfect comfort. Compare and buy parts for the BMW K1300GT in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

17 owners have reviewed their BMW K1300GT (2009-2013) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.6 out of 5
Equipment 4.8 out of 5
5 out of 5

Awesome

17 July 2013 by slparry

The slant engined K's are awesome .... the comment in MCN's review "rather than the confusing triple switches of old" is in my view pointless as it only appears to be journalists who hop from bike to bike that found them confusing, the rest of us... Read more soon adapt and I actually prefer the three switch set up

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Probably Best Bike, Ever

06 March 2013 by Anonymous

After over 30 years of riding with last 2 bikes being Blackbirds, the K1300GT is amazing, so easy to ride really fast everywhere and in comfort, so easy to just pile on the miles and never lacking in reserves of power but still avg >48mpg with range... Read more >250 miles. Not quite as smooth as the K1600 but easier to move around and much less costly. Equally happy at low speeds with super flexible engine making light of u-turns, hairpins or traffic filtering. Suspension, especially with the ESA, and handling excellent and can surprise many sports bikes, brakes outstanding in any weather and confidence inspiring. Not 100% but damn close, all minor problems very quickly fixed and BMW service 1st class. It's getting rarer and with great residuals this is a bike to keep for ever!

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Excellent bike

02 December 2012 by robespierre

I have owned this bike for the last 9 months after deciding that i was getting too old for my Blackbird. I wanted a more upright position. Read lost of reviews and decided this was the bike for me. However I also read about a lot of problems so was... Read more slightly apprehensive. On the test ride, it had trouble starting after having running it for a bit, which didnt bode well. I reported it to the shop and they said they would get BMW to check it out. It required the hot starting mod which I had read about. I got it at 12000 on the clock. I have now put another few thousand on it without any problems. It is perfect for motorway cruising which I do alot but also fun when you twist the wrist and I mean alot of fun. There's no question its not as sexy as the Blackbird, but for a workhorse it really hits the spot (and its fun playing with the gadgets when riding, keeps the boredom away).

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

All the bike you'll ever need

18 September 2012 by haythornem

Changed to sports tourers after half a dozen sports bikes due to problems with wrists...1150 RT first (not bad but slow), then 1200 RT (much better but very heavy when fully laden plus pillion and still not fast enough) then this...the bike... Read more equivalent of the Millennium Falcon. Utterly brilliant. Fast, comfortable, good fuel consumption, great handling and close enough to my Blackbird as to make not too much difference. Commiserations to biker mates who have had problems but maybe I'm just lucky. Had it now since May 2010, done 12000 miles on it and not missed a beat. Can't see me ever selling it, despite the excellent residual value....it just does the lot....love it to bits.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Lovely Bike

18 November 2011 by Anonymous

My old Fazer 1000 was very tired (after 70K miles of year round use) so I treated myself to an ex demo 1300 GT at the start of the year and have since covered 15k miles. I love the engine (far more flexible than the Fazer), yet it delivers... Read more comparable economy (47-55 mpg, depending on weather and mood!). Being 6'1 and 15 stone, the bike fits me very well, but 100 miles is as much as I want to do before I need to stretch my legs. Handles amazing and is beautifully balanced at low speeds. Love the toys (Cruise Control & ESA are my favourite). Indicator Switch and rear oil seal recently replaced under warranty. No other problems. I wanted a comfy bike that went like a b@st@rd and delivered 250 miles to a tank ...job done (and I still enjoy riding it every day) Very impressed so far...expensive I know, but by far the best bike I have owned.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
1 out of 5

It fails on reliability

04 October 2011 by shumifan50

Having been stranded twice at night, in the first 1000 miles, with a broken high beam switch, I do not rate this bike at all. Having high beam is not a luxury, it is essentail on A roads. However good the rest of the bike is, this is an overriding 1... Read more overall.

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

it's not a bike it's a time machine

25 September 2011 by Anonymous

It's not the mph that it can do, it's the acceleration. Simply stunning for a GT. I'll quote my friend on his Pan. He was in front with 4 cars between us. He glanced in his mirror and saw me back there "Then I glanced again and you were right behind... Read more me. I can't believe it. How did you do that?" The technology on the bike gives me such confidence. I know it'll look after me. It says, you're a twat for trying that and here's a yellow light to let you know I just saved your life. I've been riding different bmw's for 20 years and this is by far the best one. There are so many best things about this bike IE, The Xenon head light is like riding in daylight, The fuel range indicator is totally accurate, 51.9 mpg, All the heated bits, brakes that could stop a small planet revolving and agility that's like flicking a playing card down the high street. Ride it for pleasure, it's impossible not to.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A moveable beast

08 September 2011 by nicksloane

I love my K1300GT. I think the only reason to upgrade to the K1600GT (which I did have the pleasure of test riding recently) is if you do a lot of two up riding. I think the suspension on the K16 is better however; with a tad more low end torque. ... Read more Other than going through tires quickly, the bike has ridden like a champ

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

amazing

25 June 2011 by rp500

Simply fabulous bike, very confused about people's comments on this bike it just simply surpasses everything out there in the same category. Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

You won’t be disappointed

27 November 2009 by davidobrian

My trusty 1986 R80RT was just about on its last legs having served me well since new and had taken my wife and me all over Europe in its life. And although we hadn’t been on two wheels for a few years the yearning was building. So, last year we... Read more had decided to buy another touring bike and I spent a great deal of time testing all of the machines currently on the market. The FJ was ….OK. The Pan was predictable. And the Kawasaki frightened the pants off of me and I was sure that I would lose my licence within weeks of owning it. And the Moto Guzzi? – don’t go there! I knew that BMW were about the launch a new tourer, the K1300GT, and hopefully they would put right the short falls of the above, so I held off. It was launched and in my local dealership in late February and if looks were to go by I would have married it there and then. As it had just been launched it was “look only and do not touch” but I was able to book a test ride the following weekend. The day could not come quickly enough. A friend and I turned up early at Balderstone’s of Peterborough and after the usual formalities set of for the afternoon. I was convinced. It was smooth, comfortable and powerful. Without trying I was getting 50 mpg, according to the computer, and everything about the machine was what I wanted. Sadly the cost was prohibitive and the waiting list was quoted as 8 weeks and so after an afternoon of great riding I had to give it back. A week later whilst browsing though the internet I came across the exact bike for sale. I rang the dealer who told be that BMW had given him 2 test bikes and as he only needed 1 he was selling the other. It was the SE model, and in the blue that I wanted. After some negotiation on the price for this second hand bike, it had 800 miles on it, in order not to miss out; my credit card was hit – hard. I arranged to collect the machine the following weekend from Bath Street Motors in Bristol and, as promised, the guys there had it waiting for me as described. I now have 8000 miles on the clock and still I smile each time I open the garage door. It still looks great, the engine is loosing up now and so smooth and although initially no matter how I drove, around town, cross country or on the motorways I always returned 47.5 mpg, at 1500 miles just as though someone had flicked a switch it loosen up I easily achieve in excess of 55+ mpg, 2 up with luggage. The engine is smooth and vibration free and the power delivery does not jerk your head off but is in full force when needed. The luggage is a little smaller than I am used to but a cavernous top box makes up for it. (Although expensive, £400.00 plus £100 to spray it the same colour the rest of the bike and panniers). One negative point is the fact that it is very top heavy and whilst turning around on my drive at less than walking pace the front wheel tucked in and I laid it down, scratching the fairing and the right pannier. Normally I am strong enough to stop it going down, but not this time, it’s weight got the better of me. I had to raise the seat to get a more comfortable position, but still find the pegs a little too high for me, (I am 6’ 0” tall), and on a recent long haul to Cornwall it became apparent that although the seat was firm, it is a little too narrow and I found myself having to stop regularly to get feeling back into my bum after the first 150 miles. I am now investing in an Air Hawk cushion for out next trip. Wife had no such problem. I don’t know if that was as a result of the width of the seat or the width of her ……… :-)! The handle bar lay out is very good with everything easily to hand although I question how long the indicator and cruise control selector switches will last as they are very small on equally small stalks and do get abuse from my thick gloved fingers. And on que following a recent hot spell when I had motored the screen to its lowest position for more air relief I was unable to get it back up again when the rain started. The following day the indicators gave up also and so did the suspension adjustment facility. BMW Northampton quickly identified a faulty left hand switch cluster and changed it straight away, although it took over an hour as the new switch gear had to be programmed on their computer before it worked. No DIY job then! I have purchased the Garmin Sat Nav mounting bracket and power feed for by Zumo 550 and via my Nolan blue tooth helmet both my phone and the Garmin talk to my helmet. Giving me an office on 2 wheels. Not every body’s choice, but in my line of work a must. BMW have gone back to the traditional indicator lay out opting for a one switch does all rather than a switch on each side. I am sure BMW traditionalists will take some time to switch back to this lay out but I prefer it. I wish the screen was taller and a little wider, my wife especially complains about being buffeted above 75 mph, but I think that is combination of age and her being used to the bucket fairing of the R80 RT. The cruise control is the best and a god sent on long trips and works very well. Another negative point is that I have the high current Xenon headlamp fitted that is the best at night, but if you stall the bike at traffic lights and don’t hit the starter button within 5 seconds, the battery goes flat. In summary this model is expensive, compared with the deals that the other big three are doing during the credit crunch, but if you want a powerful, comfortable, economic, smooth, good looking touring machine then my advice is bite the bullet – you won’t be disappointed.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
Read all 17 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued 2013
Original price £13,500
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 160 bhp
Max torque 99 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12 secs
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 190 miles
Specification
Engine size 1293cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, twin-cam, 4v four-stroke inline four. Six gears
Frame type Cast aluminium bridge frame
Fuel capacity 25 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 255kg
Front suspension Electronically adjustable with ESA
Rear suspension Electronically adjustable with ESA
Front brake 2 x 320 discs with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 294mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

K1300GT introduced in 2009 to replace the K1200GT introduced in 2004.

Other versions

BMW K1300R - naked version.
BMW K1330S - fully-faired version.

Photo Gallery

  • BMW K1300GT - continent crusher
  • BMW K1300GT - standard panniers are massive
  • BMW K1300GT - screen is electronically adjustable
  • BMW K1300GT - front end
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - ludicrous pace and perfect comfort
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - get it moving and the bulk evaporates
  • BMW K1300GT - shaft drive
  • BMW K1300GT - easier to chuck around than you'd think
  • BMW K1300GT - rear
  • BMW K1300GT - front
  • BMW K1300GT - side on
  • BMW K1300GT - 255kg of german engineering
  • BMW K1300GT - big panniers
  • BMW K1300GT - logo
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - adjustable screen
  • BMW K1300GT - imposing
  • BMW K1300GT - top down
  • BMW K1300GT - cockpit
  • BMW K1300GT - front end
  • BMW K1300GT - continent crusher
  • BMW K1300GT - standard panniers are massive
  • BMW K1300GT - screen is electronically adjustable
  • BMW K1300GT - front end
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - ludicrous pace and perfect comfort
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - get it moving and the bulk evaporates
  • BMW K1300GT - shaft drive
  • BMW K1300GT - easier to chuck around than you'd think
  • BMW K1300GT - rear
  • BMW K1300GT - front
  • BMW K1300GT - side on
  • BMW K1300GT - 255kg of german engineering
  • BMW K1300GT - big panniers
  • BMW K1300GT - logo
  • BMW K1300GT - side view
  • BMW K1300GT - adjustable screen
  • BMW K1300GT - imposing
  • BMW K1300GT - top down
  • BMW K1300GT - cockpit
  • BMW K1300GT - front end
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