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Thursday, August 16, 2012

BMW K1300 S - Ride Review

Men, from time eternal have liked horses, they have been attracted towards saddle, they still love horse, they still love a glorious stable at their backyard, a stable which has exquisite and fine horses, and when it comes to horses, the Bavarian stable has some fine collection of galloping prowess. Now throw into this a blissful Sunday morning, and if you are biker, you won't waste the opportunity. It's time to gallop into ecstasy on nothing less than the mighty BMW K1300 S.

The BMW K1300 S

The BMW K1300 S is BMW's answer to the Hyper Sports class of motorcycles which are again dominated  in the market by Japanese marvels like the Suzuki Hayabusa and Kawasaki Ninja ZX14 R. But BMW has it's own way of engineering vehicles and the K1300 S is no different in that respect. BMW injected the current iteration of BMW K1300 S, with a total capacity boost of 150cc and 10Nm of torque over it's predecessors, and placed it as a formidable opponent to it's competitors. Already getting excited about the K1300 S?

Well read on...


Engine - Liquid cooled, four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Capacity - 1298
Bore x Stroke - 80 x 64.3 mm / 3.15 x 2.53"
Compression Ratio - 13.0;1
Induction - Electronic fuel injection, Digital Motor Electronics with integrated knock control (BMS-K)
Ignition - electric
Exhaust management - Fully controlled three-way catalyst
Clutch - Multiple-plate clutch in oil bath, hydraulically operated
Max Power - 127 KW  173 hp @ 9250 rpm
Max Torque - 140 Nm 103 lb-ft @ 8250 rpm
Transmission / Drive - 6 Speed  /  shaft
Gear Ratio - 1st 2,398  2nd 1,871  3rd 1,525  4th 1,296  5th 1,143  6th 1,015

The engine was the prime focus area for the BMW engineers when they decided to revamp this potent hyper sport. They not only upped the cubic capacity by 150cc and the peak torque by 10Nm, they also wanted to make sure that these number translate into real world performance that would remain unmatched in it's category. Just to give a perspective of this, BMW handed the spanner to Ricardo, the firm that designed the gear box for the Bugatti Veyron. The resultant is an engine that churns such a perfect mix of power output and torque that you would get addicted to the cocktail almost instantly.

Needless to say that it's blisteringly fast, but at the same time, it's so smooth at all rev ranges that you almost get fooled to be riding at much lower speeds than you actually are. I've no qualms in saying that I'm yet to ride a smoother big capacity engine than this, even from BMW.

The torque distribution is linear and brutal at the same time. The immense torque coupled with the shaft drive, results in such an immense rush right from down low that every time I released the clutch, the motorcycle just thrusted forward, making the word neck jerking an understatement.

Ride and Handling

Frame - Bridge frame, aluminium, load-bearing engine
Front Suspension - BMW Motorrad Duolever; central spring strut, Paralever; central spring strut with lever system, 115mm wheel travel.
Rear Suspension - Cast aluminium single swing arm with BMW Motorrad, spring pre-tension with infinite hydraulic adjustment, 135mm wheel travel.
Front Brakes - 2x 320mm discs 4 piston calipers
Rear Brakes - Single 265mm disc 2 piston caliper
Front Tyre - 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tyre - 190/55 ZR17
Seat Height - 820 mm  / 32.3 in (low seat 790 mm/31.1in)
Wet Weight - 243 kg
Fuel Capacity - 19 litres

The BMW K1300 S is a hyper sports motorcycle, and needless to say it's a very focused motorcycle towards the hyper sports genre. At the same time, the think tank at BMW didn't just intended the K1300 S to be a fast hyper sports, the BMW K1300 S is more of a really fast Sport Tourer and it carries the Tourer genes to it's core.

With a wet weight of 243 kg, no doubt the BMW K1300 S is a heavy motorcycle and coupled with it's very low and stable CG, one does get intimated with the feel of the weight while getting astride the motorcycle. Another aspect of riding where the weight of the motorcycle makes it's presence felt is the handling. Being a sports tourer hyper sports motorcycle, the BMW K1300 S was never meant to handle like a full blown sports motorcycle and it doesn't tries to be like one either, specially at speeds of less than 80 kmph.

Taking the motorcycle past the triple digit brings out a whole different realm altogether. The BMW ESA II, Electronic Suspension Adjustment II system, does an amazing job of first, hiding the weight of the motorcycle, and second providing a very refined and unparalleled ride experience. The BMW Motorrad proprietary Duolever front suspension is nothing short of a revelation. It not only provides amazing stability and feedback, but also provides amazing front end stability. To add to this already amazing jingle of electronics, comes the Dynamic Traction Control System and ABS and what you have is the most secure, safe and stable hyper sports riding. During the test ride, I did get an opportunity to ride on some wet tarmac and believe me I never felt so confident riding on wet. The boundary between riding in wet and dry conditions seemed to vanish and what remained was just confidence.

If one is not looking for a full blown super sport handling and is looking for a plush, refined and premium hyper sports touring riding, then the BMW K1300 S is the motorcycle to check out.

Equipment and Quality

The BMW K1300 S is a BMW work horse and needless to say, quality is top notch. The electronics package on this motorcycle takes the love affair miles ahead. Not only this, BMW also provides optional bits for ones who can spare the buck.

Value for Money

The BMW K1300 S is a motorcycle that even the hardcore four wheels lover would die to have in the garage. Not only it's a fast tourer, but also the premium feel and ride that this motorcycle generates in something to cherish for in the long run. The only down side to the BMW K1300 S (I mean if that can be considered as a down side) is that it's not everyone's motorcycle, else otherwise, even a hardcore sport bike lover like wouldn't looked any further than this mighty beast, which so easily learns to understand the rider that the rider instantly forgets what a beast hides within.

It would be blasphemy to end this ride review without expressing my gratitude towards the people without whom this ride review wouldn't have been possible. My special thanks to BMW Motorrad, Munich, BMW Motorrad @ Deutsche Motoren and Krishnendu Kes (KEN) and really hoping for more fun times ahead together.

Ergo illustration courtesy - Cycle-Ergo.com

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  1. Great stuff bro. Would have liked to read from a more personal point of view.. like your feelings etc.

    Expecting to read more BMW stuff

    1. Thanks man...your words are always a boost man. Well I've tried to express my feelings to the best of my efforts but I've tried to come more from the end user's stand point and therefore resorted to specifc verbiage :)

  2. Excellent! This is an excellent. I am really impressed to see this bike. I like bike riding very much. I like this bike very much. I wish I will buy this bike. Thanks for posting & keep it up friend :)

  3. BMW magnificent legacy continues for bike too..
    Sad, I have to wait for sometime to feel it.. :)


    1. @Saurabh,
      Well, I only wish BMW one day gets as serious for bikes in India as it's for cars :)

      ... some day... really.. some day!!


Item Reviewed: BMW K1300 S - Ride Review Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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