BMW made a mild splash at the huge INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany, this past October with restyled and reengineered K-series motorcycles. The three new models—the K1300S, K1300R and K1300GT—build on the old models’ strengths while minimizing many of their shortcomings.
The über-powerful K1300S, touted as the lightest (503 pounds dry) and most-powerful bike in a class that includes Suzuki’s legendary 2008 Hayabusa and Kawasaki’s 2008 ZX-14, gets improvements to make it better-handling, faster and lighter than the 2008 K1200S it replaces. The lower A-arm in the Hossack-type front suspension is now aluminum alloy, reducing unsprung weight, while the chassis has slightly revised steering geometry and a .6-inch longer, 62.4-inch wheelbase. The new bodywork is slimmer and more aggressive-looking. BMW’s motorcycle designer, David Robb, said that the styling changes had to be noticeable but logical: “It shouldn’t look like you just put a costume nose on the bikes.”
More air flows to the engine through a revised intake, where it is put to good use in the bored-and-stroked, 1293cc inline-Four. The engine yields a claimed 175 hp, 7 more than the K1200S, and peak power is reached 1000 rpm sooner, at 9250 rpm, with more torque all through the rev range. The clutch and gearbox also have been reworked for better shifting, and the optional speed-shift system (allowing clutchless shifts) from the HP2 is available.
Another interesting option is the new electronically adjustable suspension that allows the rider to change the rear spring’s actual rate in addition to preload and damping. But the icing on the strudelis that BMW has finally put the turn signal switch on a traditional button on the left handlebar pod to “avoid any confusion.” What will they think of next?
Most of these changes have also been applied to the naked R1300R. It now boasts a claimed output of 173 hp, just 2 less than the R1300S (due to a different intake system). Add in a shorter final-drive ratio and the R will be an even nuttier tool for urban commando raids. Reshaped bodywork emphasizes the bike’s hulking, aggressive looks.
The K1300GT gets the K1300S’ drivetrain, optimized for its sport-touring mission. Power is 160 hp—up 8 hp over the K1200GT—with more torque on tap above 3500 rpm than before. The bike’s appearance remains the same. All three of these new models are coming to USA dealers, though pricing is still unannounced.