BMW K1300S (2009-on) Review

Published: 02 February 2009

"BMW has built a bike that can handle almost everything"

BMW K1300S - looks like previous model, but it's better

"BMW has built a bike that can handle almost everything"

  • At a glance
  • 1293cc  -  175 bhp
  • 38 mpg  -  190 miles range
  • Medium seat height (820mm)
  • £12,375

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

It may look largely the same as the outgoing model but the latest version of BMW’s rocketship K1300S has had a host of small changes that add up to a much better bike all round. With a claimed 175bhp and some seriously clever electronically-adjustable suspension, traction control and a long list of options to choose from, BMW has built a bike that can handle almost everything. And don’t forget the new K-series range now has proper indicators rather than the confusing triple switches of old.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

There is no getting away from the fact that the BMW K1300S is a big bike – with a 228kg dry weight, it is never going to be a race-designed lightweight. However, the clever Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA II) system does a great job of hiding that weight. The suspension has nine potential settings to cover solo riding, pillion and both settings with luggage. It works brilliantly. The slightly numb front end is better than it was previously thanks to lighter Duolever components. Just be sure to avoid the Continental Sport Attack tyres fitted to some – they are not up to the best rubber. 

Engine 5 out of 5

The motor is the biggest single area of improvement. Engineering development was handed over to the spanner magicians at Ricardo – the same firm that designed the gearbox for the 1000bhp Bugatti Veyron hypercar. This is the first time BMW has worked with Ricardo on one of its bikes. The result is a claimed 175bhp from an increased 1293cc four-cylinder motor that is much smoother with bundles of power and torque. It’s one of the best big-capacity motors on the road today combining lovely refinement with a racing engine snarl when pushed. And yes, it’s very, very, very fast.

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 owners of the BMW K1200S previous model seemed to have suffered from vibration and quite high oil consumption but the new engine should stop that happening.

Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5

At £10,165 for the stock model without ABS there is no getting away from the fact that the BMW K1300S is not a cheap bike…add in the essential ABS and the price hits £11,060. From there on in adding options obviously just adds more and more to the costs. ESA II must be on the list as it transforms the bike. BMW do a Dynamic Pack which puts ABS and ASC traction control together for £377 and saves £45. So to get ABS, ASC and ESA II adds almost £1000 to the £10,165 cost. You do get a lot of bike for the money however but it’s still a lot of cash compared to the likes of a Suzuki Hayabusa. Find a BMW K1300S for sale.

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

Equipment 5 out of 5

Spec up a BMW K1300S with all of the options BMW has to offer and it’s going to be an expensive machine. There are some must-haves though and the ESA II at £617 is one of them as it offers a great deal of adjustment and takes the guesswork out of suspension adjustment. ABS is another one. After that there are some lovely choices. Heated grips, hard luggage, Akrapovic exhaust, onboard computer and a quickshifter. Most are worth a look although we would give the quickshifter a miss as although it works just fine, it seems out of place on a bike like this. Compare and buy producys for the BMW K1300S in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

9 owners have reviewed their BMW K1300S (2009-on) 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 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.9 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.1 out of 5
Equipment 4.7 out of 5
5 out of 5

What a Machine!!!!

02 October 2014 by Ianmac1

I also traded up from the F800ST two years ago. Blown away by the masses of torque and, here in RSA, the 285km/h (tested at Verneukpan Speed Week) top speed. Handles way better than a Triumph ST1050 and with BMW doing all the lowering in factory... Read more for me at no cost what value it is. I've had one glitch when the L/H hadlebar switches went south. The dealer promptly replaced it again at no cost. Would I buy another oh HELL yes.

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
5 out of 5

Outstanding

29 April 2014 by Graphitan

Traded up to K1300S Sport from F800ST (itself a great all-rounder and my first proper bike). After 6 months of ownership the K13S is a hard bike to fault. Effortless performance, loads of kit and remarkably cheap to run considering the power. Great... Read more riding position for continent crossing and low seat option for the vertically challenged. Optional expandable panniers are brilliant too. Future areas for improvement: lose some weight, add cruise control and up the quality (hot starting & corrosion issues fixed under warranty). In my opinion there's currently no better bike on the market.

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

Better than a K12s

06 June 2013 by roboduck

Having owned a K12s, I was looking to see if they improved things with the K13s, I'm now on my second, other than the minor recalls from BM, I can't find fault when you compare it to its Japaneses rivals all of which have had recalls on them. The... Read more only thing I recommend is to avoid the Conti tyres, they are useless in the wet and there is no longevity 5k being the best I've heard about. The Michelin PR2's (even better than the PR3's) are the tyre to have due to price, road holding in the wet two-up and longevity 8k front 10.5k rear. The handling for a big bike is sublime, Alpine passes two-up you're leaving one-up sports machinery behind, the riding ergonomics allow 700-800 mile days stress free for both rider & pillion (1 year old bike 23k). My only complaint is that the SatNav mounting point supplied by BM themselves doesn't allow the use of a larger Tankbag. Would I have another, Yes hopefully in March '14

Overall Rating 4 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 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

great bike

07 January 2013 by ammarkadi

I've got the 2013 black K1300s and I am very happy with it, still, I would love to see more HP torque (don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against the current power and torque but you will always love more power ;-) ) and another down point for... Read more me is how it holds its value resale ( I live in dubai and most people here love Jap bikes more espically in this class (busa-zx14)). I run over 3000 km so far and very happy with it, hope it will last for long as flawless as it is now.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 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

The ultimate road bike

15 August 2011 by AJW168

I have owned my K1300s for nearly a year now. It is amazing. It has the power to give the 1000cc sports bikes a scare down the straights and the handling isnt that far behind them either, I have been held up behind more than one blade when the road... Read more got twisty. The bike is comfortable if you fancy doing a bit of touring and will return 57mpg if you stick below 80 on the motorway. Mine came fully loaded with all the toys and i have to say the quickshifter is well worth the money, even for use on the road. Forget about the Jap sports bike. Get one of these and you will wonder why you even looked at anything else.

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 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

esay rider

03 August 2010 by Anonymous

I don't own one of these bikes but I have had the pleasure of plenty of riding hours under my belt through hireing one as and when required . Its taken a while but i'm finally getting to grips with this awesome machine and I have ridden the basic... Read more model(thats an understatement ) and the more expensive version with the comfy normal and sport mode with the quick shift and to be honest for every day riding there's not much difference , its still the same bike . The ride is totaly brilliant , stable ,secure at all speeds , hit a pot hole and the bike just soaks it up and says 'so what ' its all so stable , the power delivery is all controlable and you'd be pushed to find an A road where you'd use it all , this bike just powers on and on and on and 3 figure speeds are seconds away when you just slightly turn the throttle . I love the shaft drive and the duo leaver front end and two things I would never miss are a chain and standard forks , if you have the money test ride the competion first and this bike last , you will choose the BMW .

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 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Expensive?

21 April 2010 by jeffers

The K1300S is quite an expensive bike, but beginning to look much better value when compared to many current Japanese bike prices. I've ridden many bikes, of all different types over the last 30 years and can honestly say that the big BMW is the... Read more best bike I've ever ridden. Sure the S1000RR is quicker, as are several other bikes (but not that many!), but none combine this with the effortless poise of this bike. I was impressed by it's 1200 predecessor and was blown away when I tested this. I couldn't wait to get one and having owned it for a few weeks, I couldn't be more impressed. I've noticed that the fuel tank is supposed to be 19 litres. Mine is always full after about 16, even when the fuel warning says I only have less than 10 miles to go. This is a pity, as it limits the range to only about 160 miles - unless I take a chance that the fuel gauge is too cautious? Also, can I ask someone at MCN to have a sort through your specs on these pages. I think you have the top speed from the K1300GT on here! I've noticed many other such oversights.

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 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Better Still

08 May 2009 by barter

After 4 years with a K1200S, this is a definite, but not huge, improvement. Sweeter steering and greater torque are the first things obvious. I disagree with the MCN test on 2 points. The quickshifter is brilliant and well worth the money. Also, I... Read more expected problems after those adverse tyre comments by the MCN tester, but in reality the Sport Attack tyres are fine: they turn in well and grip tenaciously in wet or dry, just as good as any of the many tyre brands I tried on the K1200S, and I do push them hard. On the minus side, the handlebar switchgear has failed already. A seriously quick but ever so civilised express. And, good grief, what brakes!

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
5 out of 5

Great successor to K12S

26 March 2009 by ostrye

As usual, terribly expensive but a great sport touring bike. Don't agree with remarks about quickshifter being out of place on a bike like this... try one and you will never want a K13S without it. New single indicator switch is a nuisance if... Read more you're used to standard BMW arrangement. Well, you just can't make everyone happy.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 9 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £12,375
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 175 bhp
Max torque 103 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 10.46 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 19 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 228kg
Front suspension Electronically adjustable with ESA
Rear suspension Electronically adjustable with ESA
Front brake 2 x 320 discs with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 265mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

K1300S introduced in 2009 to replace the K1200S introduced in 2004.

Other versions

BMW K1300 R - naked version.
BMW K1300 GT - touring version.

Photo Gallery

  • BMW K1300S - looks like previous model, but it's better
  • BMW K1300S - big bike at 228kg
  • BMW K1300S - combined refinement with a racing snarl
  • BMW K1300S - smooth 1293cc motor
  • BMW K1300S - ESA does a good job of hiding weight
  • BMW K1300S - lighter duolever parts make for a better front end
  • BMW K1300S - luggage options
  • BMW K1300S - front end
  • BMW K1300S - suspension has 9 settings
  • BMW K1300S - view for the rider
  • BMW K1300S - a bike that can handle anything
  • BMW K1300S - front
  • BMW K1300S - back
  • BMW K1300S - big bike
  • BMW K1300S - logo
  • BMW K1300S - capable of lean
  • BMW K1300S - does handle, despite weight
  • BMW K1300S - single-sided swingarm adds class
  • BMW K1300S - tail unit
  • BMW K1300S - comfortable
  • BMW K1300S - silver
  • BMW K1300S - white
  • BMW K1300S - orange
  • BMW K1300S - Duolever frotn end is less vague than old model
  • BMW K1300S - logo
  • BMW K1300S - side view
  • BMW K1300S - top down
  • BMW K1300S - side view
  • BMW K1300S - action
  • BMW K1300S - powerplant
  • BMW K1300S - side on
  • BMW K1300S - looks like previous model, but it's better
  • BMW K1300S - big bike at 228kg
  • BMW K1300S - combined refinement with a racing snarl
  • BMW K1300S - smooth 1293cc motor
  • BMW K1300S - ESA does a good job of hiding weight
  • BMW K1300S - lighter duolever parts make for a better front end
  • BMW K1300S - luggage options
  • BMW K1300S - front end
  • BMW K1300S - suspension has 9 settings
  • BMW K1300S - view for the rider
  • BMW K1300S - a bike that can handle anything
  • BMW K1300S - front
  • BMW K1300S - back
  • BMW K1300S - big bike
  • BMW K1300S - logo
  • BMW K1300S - capable of lean
  • BMW K1300S - does handle, despite weight
  • BMW K1300S - single-sided swingarm adds class
  • BMW K1300S - tail unit
  • BMW K1300S - comfortable
  • BMW K1300S - silver
  • BMW K1300S - white
  • BMW K1300S - orange
  • BMW K1300S - Duolever frotn end is less vague than old model
  • BMW K1300S - logo
  • BMW K1300S - side view
  • BMW K1300S - top down
  • BMW K1300S - side view
  • BMW K1300S - action
  • BMW K1300S - powerplant
  • BMW K1300S - side on
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