The return of the Cruise missile. BMW K1300s motorsport
As a platform almost a decade in production, one could say that the K1300 is an ageing man of war. True, it is not the newest platform or does it feature the latest tech. Being ahead of it’s the time when it was launched means that a decade later, the k1300s motorsport is still a rather impressive bike with some features that are not available on many of today’s models.
Not to mention that it’s still one of the most powerful bikes out there on the road today. Sure, the horsepower alone still blows most bikes off the list, but its the staggering torque from low-down that make this machine a true two-wheel terminator. And just like the T-600, it may be a cut discontinued model but devastating nonetheless.
To put this in perspective, the k1300s produces as much torque at 4,000 rpm as the BMW s1000rr makes at 11,000rpm. And for real-world riding, that makes a big difference when the power comes on like a hammer. Unless you are squeezing the life out of most litre class bikes, they feel a bit anaemic lower down compared to the k1300.
For a royal military-salute send-off, the big Bavarian bruiser is equipped with all the goodies in the sweets drawer.
In addition to being a fully optioned k1300, the motorsport edition adds plenty more for the big K fan club. A fantastic (BMW motorsport) colour scheme which looks superb with a finish that’s second to none. The big-ticket item on this bike are the forged HP wheels, that not only look the business but also weigh a good deal less.
The weight saving is genuinely noticeable as you tip this big beast into a bend. That’s not to say it magically feels like a 600 supersport but the once portly k1300, feels a good deal nimbler and far less intimidating in the corners. In fact its one of the only bikes I’ve ridden to the edge of the rubber on the road, within a week of getting on it.
Third on the list of added goodies is the legendary titanium clad Akrapovic slip-on. Co-branded by BMW, means you get a classy laser etched logo instead of a ghastly red-yellow sticker on your hardware.
Other neat add ones include the finely-crafted adjustable HP rider and passenger footpegs, which by themselves cost about as much a small car.
What’s not to like?
For a top-spec bike that is as well-built as this, it’s hard to pick faults.
No bike is going to be perfect for all situations, and the same goes for the k1300s motorsport. The K platform is highly versatile, taking you from comfortable touring two-up with luggage, through to blasting through the twisties on your own with massive confidence. While it’s relative nimbleness belies its weight very well, this is still a 250kg machine on two wheels and at the times you will feel it.
Pushing this thing around in a parking sport or slow tight manoeuvring are not enjoyable with this beast. However, unless you are in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you can commute on the K no problem. It’s not made for Bankok-style traffic due to its weight an engine that heats up very quickly.
K1300s Natural habitat
This is a bike that’s happiest in open spaces and letting loose a bit…or a lot. In the city, you get used to the character of the bike at low RPMs which pulls nicely. And then on occasion, you have a chance to let her go a bit, and it is always shocking when it pulls your arms from your body and eyes into their sockets!
The BMW k1300s motorsport is a remarkable machine, but it’s also a serious bike. By that I mean it’s not something you want to go dicking-about on without knowing what you’re getting into. The size, weight and mind-bending power need to be respected.
Akin to strapping into an f16 fighter jet, which you don’t do just for shits-and-giggles. Exciting, yes, but also frightening if you know what comes next.
Once you get twisting that throttle you’ll be passing bikes and other bikes at warp speed which could easily be you in a tree you didn’t anticipate would arrive so quickly.
Not that the k1300s is a hard bike to ride, but not an easy one either. Definitely recommended for experienced riders who know how to manage the weight and speed.
It’s easy to see that the k1300s, which is designed and built in Germany, would feel at home in the motherland storming the ‘Bahns and smooth mountain roads. Our shithouse roads here in and around Sydney don’t do it much justice for speed or quality.
BMW k1300s niggles
One irritation I’ve always had with the k1300 series of bikes is the buzzy clutch and various frequencies of vibrations depending on engine speed. This is especially apparent because some part of the rev range and throttle-positions are butter smooth. There are two set of buzz/vibes I’ve noticed.
The first set comes in at 3-4k rpm when on the overrun, decelerating with engine braking – the clutch basket will buzz like crazy. The second set, which I don’t mind as much will come on about 7-8k rpm and then smooth out as you climb higher. The high range vibes are probably good to remind you that you’re about to exit the stratosphere. It’s the low buzz that irritates me.
On the flip-side, if it was any smoother, getting into trouble would be even easier.
The quickshifter can be sensitive to the correct technique.
To be continued….
- Topics will include:
- So what’s it like?
- Engine Character
- Who should buy one
- Who shouldn’t buy one
- Closing thoughts