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"

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 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

15 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.

Review your BMW K1300S (2009-on)
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 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
5 out of 5

My K1300S

02 August 2016 by K1300SRider

Great Handling bike that goes and goes. I think whoever stated a 155 top speed must have not used the last 2 gears! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Mine has ESA
Engine
5 out of 5
More ability than me!
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Other than a blown bulb had not a single propblem
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
1 out of 5
-
Buying experience

Allan Jefferies in Shipley are a fantastic dealership to use

5 out of 5

The Gentle Giant

01 March 2016 by Top Gun

Only 1000 miles done so far but loving everything about it - moved up from a number of 600 super sport bikes and enjoying every ride. Wanted a bike that can excite on a Sunday blast plus has the ability to tour in Europe. Best bits, the effortless... Read more power, the quick shifter and the "pop" from the exhaust as you bang up the gearbox. Worst bit, it's heavy to push it in and out of the garage and will change the stock Metzelers as other owners reviews are not complimentary.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Very comfortable with a slight forward sporty riding position. Not done any long runs but compared to 600s it's like an arm chair. Definitely a great sports tourer.
Engine
5 out of 5
Power is so smooth - effortless to ride fast or slow. Don't notice any vibrations. Acceleration is simply stunning.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Everything exudes quality - new from Oct 15, mostly dry use and garaged so not expecting corrosion. The HP foot pegs are a work of art.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Dealer was due to fit luggage rack at the service but as BMW sent the wrong part they covered the cost.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Love the quick shifter - works really well when accelerating. Don't bother with it at lower revs / speeds. Will change tyres to Angel GTs.
Buying experience

Bought from Vines in Guildford. Lovely team, not pushy. Added alarm and luggage rack FOC so not a huge discount but I wasn't expecting much.

5 out of 5

K1300S Motorsport Edition

25 October 2015 by Andrew Jago

Recently took delivery of my second K1300S before the model is finally discontinued. With no direct replacement planned, there will be a big gap in the market. Would love to see a replacement with some weight taken out, keyless ignition, cruise... Read more control, LED lights & Pro gear shift assist. Even without these features I've yet to ride a bike that comes remotely close. A peerless and unique machine.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Exceptional stability and braking performance. No problem demolishing 500 miles in a day (if your mates can keep up). 200 mile fuel range is fair too.
Engine
5 out of 5
Ballistic performance when needed but also relaxing and easy to ride. Only niggle is clutch judder in stop/start traffic which is a known issue on this model.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Too new for any significant faults to emerge. PDI quality wasn't great and Akrapovic exhaust heat shield was faulty (replaced under warranty). Clutch judders in stop/start traffic, as it did on my last K1300S.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Initial 600 mile check should be included on a bike of this price. Always have to negotiate service price but generally competitive.
Equipment
4 out of 5
At this price, cruise control and Pro gear shift assist (up and down) should be available. Gear shift assist (up only) is brilliant though.
Buying experience

Pushed for an exceptional deal and happy with the result. 2.9% PCP with deposit paid and early swap out of my previous K1300S was an easy decision.

5 out of 5

If Carlsberg made Motorcyles...

15 October 2015 by colin hoare

I bought one of these when my K1300s HP was inappropriately Cat D'd by the 3rd Parties Insurers. The lightweight wheels further improve the steering response. Yes this is a big bike but its only heavy when its stationery. You don't so much sit on a K... Read more but in it, particularly if your only 5'5" like me, but that means its gives you great protection. Its important not to be fooled here, this is not an old mans sports tourer, this is an all out hyper sports bike, faster than a 'Busa and just behind the 14R but with the peace of mind of shaft drive and relative comfort to cover 700 miles in a day (traffic willing). They dropped the carbon trim from the HP for this which was a shame given the price premium but you do get all the toys. This may be the last incarnation of this mighty beast, but then aside from niggles like the smallish tank, lack of a USB socket up near the bars and the keyless start from the R1200RS there isn't much more to add to it. Its pretty much perfect.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Realistically its 150 miles between fuel stops which is frustrating compared to say a VFR where i was getting close to 250. There's a slight resonant vibe at around 4K (80-90mph) which obviously is irrelevant in the UK... Its happiest rolling on from around 60 in 4th... that's a bit of a wheeze! It has a way of making things in front of you get very big very quickly! The brakes, particularly the ABS are phenomenal. You either like or hate the front end, me i think its brilliant but it takes a couple of days riding to get used to it.
Engine
5 out of 5
Sadly there is no 6 out of 5! Mine has the Akro exhaust and i run a Booster plug to smooth out the very low rev around town delivery. In this format its probably very close to the 200 bhp of the current crop of 1000cc sports bike but the delivery is very different in that it just comes on so linearly. Maybe its boring for that but with this much go on tap I'm liking boring!
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
BMW build quality...
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
The 6000 mile service interval is a bit a bind, but that's common to all Beemers and even Honda aren't so very different. I cover 18,000 miles a year so that's a lot of loan bike days.
Equipment
5 out of 5
The ESA and Traction Control are brilliant. The ABS is essential. GSA is ok but slightly irrelevant the gearbox is good enough for clutchless up and down if you get the revs right anyway. Stock Metzelers are ok but I'd say she prefers the PR4's.
Buying experience

Service from my local dealer and indeed the two others i contacted before signing on the line was second to none. As with all new bike purchases its all about timing. BMW do not generally discount so its about the overall package the dealership can offer you.

5 out of 5

BIG 'K' Wins

02 September 2015 by 90NINE

Been a sports bike and Sports Touring rider for most of my 35yrs riding and just love the power and refinement on this big K. I find the layout of the bike and overall riding position fits my frame and style of riding. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Fantastic ride, made all the better with ESAII, read about some people having brake fade, not seen anything like it myself and will of course push hard again in the Alps this September to see if anything happens...
Engine
5 out of 5
AWSOME, had blackbirds and big Zeds but this thing just fly's, find it hard to get to the stop as even on partial throttle it goes forward at some pronominal speed, but in the interest of fairness, to my other bikes, I will keep trying...
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
I have had no issues on my 19k miles and find the bike cleans up great even after long Europe trips. Just well built.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Ok as its a BMW bike and needs that BMW stamp costs for running are not cheap, but the resale value is always great so spend a little more each year to keep the final price good.
Equipment
5 out of 5
I was lucky to get all my chosen options on the bike so have no issues, I like to ride without external influences (Radio's Sat Nav, etc.) so do not need to have them on a bike (yet that is).
Buying experience

Bought from BMW North Oxford who made the experience so easy and all the staff show knowledge of the BMW range and talked with me about the options and possible bikes, then just let me get out and ride them FANTASTIC :-). unlike a certain UK manufacturer who did not have a demonstrator for me to try... and also no sale...

4 out of 5

K1300S Sport

12 August 2015 by Simon

More power, torque and ability than the majority of non-pro bike riders need but handles it well and never misbehaves. Great commuter and filters with ease and then when the road opens up the grin just gets bigger and bigger. Taken me a while to get... Read more the screen right - finally changed to a slightly different profile to reduce uneven buffeting at motorway speeds and above and the slightly forward position can be a bit tiresome on the wrists. Luggage also needed a bit of playing around for long trips (4-5 days or more) When the sport panniers are full they stick out a lot and with no pannier option the sport bags by BMW are either too small or enormous! Have considered and tried both K1600GT and R1200RS but prefer this. Only complaints are relatively small fuel tank - I am always the one to stop first when riding with friends and the clunk when engaging first.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Comfortably ride between fuel stops and could go on. Same for pillions but do not ride two up very often. Braking is stunning. Whilst it sits on motorways at ridiculous speeds very comfortably it feels much happier when on fast flowing A roads. Can feel a bit heavy when going round the Alpine hairpins.
Engine
4 out of 5
Can be a bit vibey at 4500rpm which is around 70-75 in 6th which is frustrating but as previously mentioned there are limits to this engine I fear I will never explore.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
The swing arm final drive seems to corrode (did the same on my K1300GT) and this is despite keeping it garaged. Other than this has been very reliable - I do about 12k a year.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
I have yet to have a service that cost me less than £300. I can make a set of Road Pilot 3's or 4's last about 10k with a mixture of daily commute up the M3 to London or several longer trips a year.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Quick shifter is now an essential piece of my life - tried the R1200RS and whilst this shifts up and down the K felt much smoother. Used both Road Pilot's 3 and 4 - both are exceptional all weather/use tyres for this bike.
Buying experience

Bought new from dealer (P/X my GT) - so any deal was in the price to exchange. Found the experience a bit flat - felt as if I was doing them a favour rather than other way around and recently discussed changing my bike for a new one or something else and 10 days on they have not even had the courtesy to call me back with a price - unfortunately I think their success has made BMW dealers very complacent.

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.

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.

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

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.

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
-
Read all 15 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £12,375
Used price £5,500 to £13,500
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 17 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £1,220
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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