BMW K1300S (2009 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£730|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
It may look largely the same as the outgoing model but the latest version of BMW’s 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.
BMW K1300S HP ridden
First published 29 March 2012 by Trevor Franklin
With the BMW K1300S HP (for High Performance), BMW had 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 was 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.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
Surprisingly, the BMW K1300S once beat a car in an ABS test.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
There was a major recall involving the BMW K1300S among many other models that you can read about here.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, twin-cam, 4v four-stroke inline four. Six gears|
|Frame type||Cast aluminium bridge frame|
|Fuel capacity||19 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||38 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£730|
|Used price||£4,500 - £9,500|
17 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||175 bhp|
|Max torque||103 ft-lb|
|Top speed||155 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||10.46 secs|
|Tank range||190 miles|
Model history & versions
K1300S introduced in 2009 to replace the K1200S introduced in 2004.
Owners' reviews for the BMW K1300S (2009 - on)
32 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£730|
No mistaking this is a big bike but once rolling no issue but I'm biased this is the 13th, bought with only 1500 miles.....Why? All checked and genuine all paperwork and serviced every year?
Most happy on the open road especially the twisties but will do the Motorway easily enough to crunch the miles if needed. It's also friendly enough to be able to commute two up.
Enough has already been said about the lump, definite improvement over the K12s
Not used enough by the previous owner to be worried by it.
Nearly £16k new, paid less than half price for virtually new bike.
Typical BMW, all the toys came on this one and do the job, ABS is a must with this.
Buying experience: This one came via a dealer in Alton, Hampshire. Who took my 16 plate Motorsport in P/Ex which was sold before I rode away on the new one.
Annual servicing cost: £251
I have had over 100 bikes and by far this one i picked up for £3500 is amazing, for those who say it doesnt handle well i would say to check what tyres you use and also tyre pressures. The esa settings play a huge part too mostly Preload settings. put helibars on mine also MRA flip vario screen. Delkevic slip on which required a fuel controller to elimenate the low down Hesitation but now growls especially when using the quickshifter. fuel economy is great too. More than happy in 6th Gear doing 20mph or open the throttle and engage warp speed, Hyper tourer it is and does everything with ease and comfort, i am 6 foot 3 and 20 stone and have no problems at all. Should anything catastrophic happen to this bike i will be looking for another as there is absolutely nothing out there for me to replace it.
Phenominal brakes both front and rear.
Stonker of an Engine, even at insane speeds it feels like it is just waking up!
Drive shaft and engine paint typical K1300 woes but liveable and doesnt effect the bike at all.
Do my own spannering, bit daunting to work on if inexperienced but DIY Home mechanic after watching a few well documented Videos will be able to do most jobs.
Mine came with everything on it and i do enjoy and use the xtras.
Annual servicing cost: £1,200
This is a bike that you grow into. The more hours you spend on this machine the greater the appreciation of what you can do with it - or more what it can do for you. I ride this bike every day all weathers as i travel around the city for my work with 70 kg of work gear on back. It tracks like its on rails with the long wheelbase which is great in windy weather - wet roads. Filtering is a dream and the mirrors are easily retracted if you need to step it up. Very stable platform and such a smooth powertrain and drivetrain, once you have become one with this machine. I have had young Germans come up to me and say "Back in Germany we call this -The Rider's Bike!" Can't disagree.
ESA Suspension can be dialed in to suit and yes it does make a difference with gear on the back. Don't do multi-hour rides but is comfortable and firm with standard seat. I do a fair bit of Road Cycling so I think the comfort level is luxe by comparison...Butt others may feel differently ;-)
This engine is really something else. I test Ferraris, Porsches and you-name-it for my work and each engine has its own characteristics but this 4 cylinder in-line does everything so well. It can purr and be smooth down low and it simply roars into another beast when the engine mass air flow volume curves upward. Right through the range it is spot on. The engineers at Ricardo Engineering certainly got it right with this powertrain. The perfect blend of torque and endless horsepower. Very impressed.
As a mechanic I do all the servicing and after 36,000 km there have been no reliability issues. The engine oil and filter gets changed at 5000km and use MOTUL over Castrol as the engine has significantly less harmonic vibration and the transmission is both quieter especially on the overrun and slips through the gears with so much more silkiness.
Self-serviced. 25-30,000km per year. Easy to work on - Well engineered.
I think my favourite feature is the GSA Gear Shift Assistant. It was a bit notchy and haphazard with the Castrol oil but since using the MOTUL it is a joy to use. A joy that has yet to wear off. The oil bath clutch action and performance is very good too. The spring-back mirrors are a feature that I really like when filtering in heavy traffic and were one of the many features that helped me choose this bike over others. Fitted a MadStad windshield which has been superb and the GPS NAV unit can be perfectly mounted to the metal insert they provide. Also fitted AC Schnitzer bars and adjustable levers and this has made the bike more dialed for quicker and more responsive city work.
Buying experience: Dealer $17,500NZD
Version: Lava Orange K13S
Annual servicing cost: £250
This bike does it all, and then some.
Fantastic brakes, ride quality is excellent although even on 'Comfort' setting on the ESA if you are on a rough surfaced road it can be a bit jittery - but that is the same for any bike really. 'Normal' mode is the one I use most, 'Sport' mode is a bit hard for road use. All day comfort but still a sporty riding position. 2 up with a pillion and luggage this bike could blast across entire continents with ease. 200 mile range and you feel fresh as a daisy once you need to stop to fuel up. I preferred the standard height seat but a lowered one is available. Helibars help with wrist comfort too. Handling surprises sports bike riders in the bends, despite its size and bulk, it can hustle, but this ain't no Panigale.
Ridiculously fast, sublime engine. Power everywhere from a standstill. It's quite a linear delivery but oh so turbine smooth. Makes a nice snarl as the revs climb and as said earlier, put an Akra can on it and grin like an idiot. This thing is warp factor 9 quick. With a skilled rider onboard, very little on two or four wheels will stay with a well ridden K13 from A to B.
Typical Teutonic build quality. I've only owned mine since March 2021 so can't really comment on long term reliability but it has a good reputation. Very well bolted together, majority of fasteners are star/torx type. Lava Orange paint is lush. Paint on the final drive shaft is poor, this seems to affect a lot of K13's. Mine is bubbling underneath and looks rather unattractive. I shall be rectifying this in the winter season by rubbing it down and repainting. Radiators can clog up on UK roads due to crud being flung up from the road surface, blocking the fins and causing the bike to run a bit hot and the fan to kick in regularly at the slightest whiff of slow traffic. You can clean the fins and backflush them with a hose but eventually you will need a new rad at around £800 fitted.
Used examples are utterly stonking value for money. This is a lot of bike for the cash. Choose a well specced version and try and get as many options added to it from new rather than settle for a lower spec bike. Good on fuel, regularly tells me its doing over 40 mpg. Servicing reasonable if you want it done right. Doesn't really seem to eat rear tyres despite the bhp.
Mine came fully specced with everything. ESA and Quickshifter are probably my favourite parts. Look for used examples with ESA, ASC, ABS and heated grips. Some models were missing these but buy one with the extras or you are missing out. The ESA is great and the suspension can be adjusted 'on the fly' whilst moving. Quickshifter a 'must have' IMHO, it makes the 175bhp a complete hoot to use. Oh and I added a BMW Akrapovic titanium end can, the sound is amazing, popping and banging on the upshifts makes for a massive grin factor. Some bikes don't come with the BMW panniers/soft cases which although are quite small are cleverly designed and a nice bonus on a used example.Michelin PR5's work well and are a popular choice.
Buying experience: Bought online from a dealer hundreds of miles away, I hadn't even seen it in the flesh or sat on it. Delivered quickly in a few days and it was every bit as good as the dealer described it. I paid £4999 for a 2010 example with 26k miles. Full spec with nothing missing equipment wise and came with the BMW panniers and an rear luggage rack. Full service history with a huge pile of invoices and receipts. 2 keys (both coded to the pannier locks - ask if this has been done) and the plastic key. Outstanding service from the dealer (Via Moto in Sheffield)
Annual servicing cost: £500
Already recommended, currently own three 1x 2010 Tri-colour and 2x Motorsport (2014 & 2016) having had nine previous to these. The best all-rounder for crunching the long miles and getting along at a brisk pace, (not all on motorways). Also an ideal bike for people who have pillion passengers who are 5'10" + with a need to carry panniers.
The bike usually needs feeding before we do average 180 per tank.
the build quality is typically German, none have serious corrosion considering all are used all year round.
Keep away from the Conti's, they are next to useless in the wet, I prefer Pilot Road 4/5. The rear rack is a welcome addition albeit a bit pricey. Also the Akra exhaust is fun in the Swiss twisties!
Best bike ever owned. Used as a daily commute in all weather. Superb in traffic and don’t notice size. Very stable, fast and comfortable
Annual servicing cost: £200
Love the bike if it had cruise control it would be brilliant
Loads of power and buttery smooth perfect for town twisty roads and motorway miles
Annual servicing cost: £300
Heavy to move and wide for short legs but excellent on the move and eats the miles.
The bike loves the open road and sweeping bends and only takes a little bit more effort on the tighter bends. The seat , for me isn't as comfortable as it looks but an airhawk cushion sorted that and you only need to stop for fuel, around 200 miles.
Unlike my previous ZZR 1100 it will pull from walking pace to top end in any gear with no complaints from the drive train
Bigger service due this year so more expensive. I don't think BMW dealer prices are much more than other manufacturers and although owners complain about prices for parts I've seen the same part for a Honda two hundred pounds more. The main difference coming from a Japanese bike is the lack of places for spares especially for the K series.
As an older bike the equipment level is less than newer models but I quite like that. A decent set of tyres when the factory fitted ones wore out improved things greatly. Sport panniers are enough for a few days away but if like me you include everything just in case, then the tail bag is a must.
Buying experience: Bought new from a main dealer and you cannot beat a BMW dealership for being looked after whether new or 20 years old.
Annual servicing cost: £250
They don't make them like this anymore so no idea what to replace with it when it finally dies. Just awesome.
It just pulls, hard. Then you're already well above illegal. Then change into 3rd and do it again.
50k miles now and still going strong.
When bits wear out they are expensive but definitely still worth it.
ABS, Traction, Quick Shift, heated grips and tyre pressure monitor. Never felt the need for the electronic suspension.
Buying experience: Second hand from a dealer. Really good experience, still get it serviced there.
Annual servicing cost: £150
A great long distance sport's tourer lot's of power and great brakes. Takes plenty of luggage without you even knowing it's there. I have been all over Europe and mainly without touching a motorway greet handling. Mine has a quick shift up the gears which makes light work in the town's and heavy traffic, but makes it good fun on the mountain roads. A really good all round bike if a little heavy for the smaller roads.
Best on long European riding I can do a full tank of fuel between stops about 160 miles
This is the bikes best attribute it's a rocket ship.
The paint finnish is not that of a Honda or Triumph. The wheels get marked every time the tires are changed. I have had no issues with anything else it has proved to be a very well put together bike.
I do all mý own work I bought a reader for the bike so I can fault find and reset any warning lights and service intervals etc. It's easy to work on once you have got all the plastic off.
Mine is the anniversary addition and is well kitted out. Newer bike's have more kit but I am very happy with this one
Buying experience: Bought new in 2013 good experience with my local BMW dealer at the time
Version: HP + 2D Clocks
Annual servicing cost: £2,000
A superb fast touring or flowing A- road machine, but not that keen on going round corners... has a vague front end. In 2020 I would recommend people try a K1600GT instead or a ZZR/H2. If you do get one you will have some expensive maintenance bills and it’s not the most contemporary looking piece of kit now. But it’s a great all round bike.
Hmm for comfort I would say 5, but if you want a bike with feedback and involvement choose something with a conventional fork. Brakes are good.
Strong enough - not ZZR strong, but quick enough. On the HP the quick shifter if superb and makes the bike feel way quicker. It’s not meant to be an out and out missile like the Japanese bikes.
The crown rings can fail in the shaft drive and hossacks front end requires a regular, expensive service. Most K1200 issues are resolved, motor is strong and reliable. Got me back and forth along the M4 at speed for a year and never really let me down.
Insurance is good as they’re not crashed and suit a sensible riding style. But servicing and maintenance is expensive.
Everything you need, I found ESA a bit perplexing, but with the 2D clocks this bike is amazing. Heated grips etc all good.
100% recommend, don’t even think about it, just buy it
I’ve read other reviews and totally disagree regarding handling, it goes around corners like it’s on rails and feels very well balanced and planted compared to a lot of the litre sports bikes I’ve had in the past. It’s big, comfortable, loads of power which is non aggressive compared to other sports bikes, it’s a pleasure to ride. I purchased it yesterday and clocked up 470 miles on it from Newcastle to South Wales, I liked it that much I took took to the mountains instead of going home the quick way, I then woke up this morning aching a little bit couldn’t resist taking it back up to the beakons for round 2 and clocked up another 150 miles today. I really want to pull a sickie this week and play all week, I’m like a kid with a new toy and it’s by far the best bike I’ve ever owned out of 35 bikes.
175hp, nothing else needs to be said
It lookes amazingly well made and quality looks second to none. I’ve only just bought the bike but I think it’s going to be fine after all it’s German.
I don’t care how much it costs it’s worth every penny
Annual servicing cost: £200
Extremely powerful and fast on flowing A roads. TC is primative, bike does not like tight bends and doesnt turn well at slow speed. Practical to live with as mine has integrated sat nav, heated grips and luggage. No cruise control
Buying experience: Price differnce between basic and sport model are vast and insurance companies and dealers on trade in value may refuse to accept your bikes value
Annual servicing cost: £300
Best sports touring bike
They could do better with oil consumption
Excellent brand covers with recalls on any issues
For what it deliverers it’s acceptable
All that needed are there for the riders pleasure
Buying experience: From an excellent dealer
Version: K1300S 30th Anniversary
Annual servicing cost: £175
This was without question the best bike I have ever owned, fast, handled well, great two up and once I'd managed to get hold of an SW Motech frame for the back - great with luggage too. Let's be blunt if you buy one of these new (which I did) then you expect it to plummet in value and cost the earth to run... well it lost value but no worse than my GSXR (the only other bike I've bought new) and no where near as badly as my colleagues VFR1200 - which he has subsequently replaced with a 'Motorsport' edition of one of these.
Brembo Brakes, shaft drive, Akro slip on can and whilst it wasn't a track day bike... regularly didn't get dropped by some of the Sportsbike owners in our bike club whilst out on the road. The Duo-lever suspension really does soak up a lot and then there's the wind on power... just tons of it.
It just keeps going and going
I had one issue with the shaft drive, it had a small vibration after it's 6000 mile service, which BMW in Peterborough rectified for free and gave the bike a complementary check over. In 18,000 that was really it. Started first time every time and always delivered. No expensive bills, paintwork looked as good as the day I bought it and unlike my Versys it shared the garage with - there have been no issues with panniers or the centre stand.
Not as much as I thought, okay it's a BMW and you are paying for that badge but in comparison to my Kwak and my previous Yamaha's and Honda's the costs weren't too bad. Most importantly it needs less attention, the parts are pricey and I would highly recommend the extended warranty scheme to keep things in check. However, when checking costs and not even factoring in inflation - only my TDM900 cost less to run and maintain - and it wasn't a nice as this thing.
Integrated heated grips: cooking and nuclear. They're great, the panniers are a little small but well made unlike some other BMW efforts I'd read about. Honestly no complaints, HP pegs were extremely useful.
Buying experience: Bought from dealer in Norwich (Lind) - no complaints, a bit of a haggle as I really wanted a 30th Anniversary one (Thundercat owner previously and a sucker for a three piece paint job!)
+Bags of power, great handling and brakes. Good luggage system. - Engine vibration, poor lights and very heavy.
Does everything very well - weekend blasts and European trips. Quickshifter, ESA, handling and endless grunt are the best bits and the horrible "clunk" into 1st gear is the worst bit. Definitely recommended - can't think of what I would change it for.
Sublime. So easy to ride fast or slow. Handling is sure footed and happy with it in the twisted. It's best on flowing and sweeping roads at a reasonable pace. Brakes are very strong and very comfortable for all day riding with the usual fuel and comfort stops.
So smooth and endless power. Engine does sound a bit weedy at standstill for a 1300.
Had final drive replaced after only 5 months due to corrosion. Otherwise no issues.
Annual service due in 3 months. MPG is 48 over 3500 miles of mostly Sunday morning blasts and a couple of trips to Europe. Best range from a tank has been 195 miles. Happy so far.
Always checking the Info button for range and tyre pressures. Quick shifter is great fun. Panniers and soft top bag fitted which do the job (plus take an extra 40 litre hold-all across the panniers for a weeks trip). Running Angel GTs which are perfect in all conditions.
Buying experience: Friendly support from Vines Guildford
Annual servicing cost: £300
Great Handling bike that goes and goes. I think whoever stated a 155 top speed must have not used the last 2 gears!
Mine has ESA
More ability than me!
Other than a blown bulb had not a single propblem
Buying experience: Allan Jefferies in Shipley are a fantastic dealership to use
Annual servicing cost: £144
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 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.
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.
Power is so smooth - effortless to ride fast or slow. Don't notice any vibrations. Acceleration is simply stunning.
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.
Dealer was due to fit luggage rack at the service but as BMW sent the wrong part they covered the cost.
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.
Version: Motorsport Edition
Annual servicing cost: £6,000
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Initial 600 mile check should be included on a bike of this price. Always have to negotiate service price but generally competitive.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £250
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 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.
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.
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!
BMW build quality...
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.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £250
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.
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...
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...
I have had no issues on my 19k miles and find the bike cleans up great even after long Europe trips. Just well built.
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.
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...
Annual servicing cost: £350
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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
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 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.
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 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.
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 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 .
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 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.
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 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!
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 you're used to standard BMW arrangement. Well, you just can't make everyone happy.