It was 8.30 pm on a Sunday, I was almost sad at weekend being over. Out of blue, unexpectedly my good friend Kiran Gogri calls and the first thing I hear is “would you like to check out a BMW K1300r?”, a short pause later I said, “yes, why not?”
BMW K1300r – I was left wondering about this bike for about 10 minutes till he arrived. This bike never really crossed my readings, video surfing or never had I ever heard of one. How did I manage to not know about it? As an avid Motorcycle enthusiast, I felt ashamed, angry and confused about not knowing this so-called BMW K1300r.
Then he arrived.
My quiet neighbourhood was engulfed in that harmonic (for me) music of the Akrapovic exhaust and in the solid darkness, I could see two eyes stabbing through the darkness of the night. As he came closer, all I could look at was the brutish motorcycle standing in front of me. It’s a bit hard to like it at first glance, but it’s hard-edged Germanic take on nakedness eventually won me over the next few hours.
After spending several hours with this German brute, I was impressed. Why? You ask the answer is because this German monster ticks’ boxes in all departments’ whether we are talking about design, ergonomics or performances.
The BMW K1300R is built around a water-cooled, 4-stroke, in-line four-cylinder engine with two overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. The engine’s power is rated at an impressive 127 kW (173 hp) at 9,250 rpm and 140 Nm of torque at 8,250 rpm. Fire up this strong 4-stroke unit and it will propel you to a maximum speed of over 200 km/h. Obviously, on busy Mumbai roads, I will never get the opportunity to touch those speeds.
The stopping power is assured by front 320 mm dual disc brakes, with 4-piston fixed calipers and rear 265 mm single discs with double-piston floating calipers. Weighing about 232kg, it’s that weight and the resistance to a squat of the rear suspension that helps the rider to keep the front wheel down to a manageable level and achieve that previously mentioned 200kmph.
The colour of the bike I rode was Black satin gloss/Granite grey metallic, which was discontinued along with the last model of this bike in 2015. This K 1300 R was fitted with sport wheels, heated grips, on-board computer, LED turn indicators, the Sport windshield, Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA II and the shift assistant.
This specific motorcycle also had a special Akrapovic titanium silencer fitted for that sweet melodious sound. This is the ultimate pipe you can fit on it and is explicitly made for this bike, might not only be the biggest silencer on the market to date but also costs about as much as a new moped.
My Riding time
At first go, coming from riding a Royal Enfield Himalayan – this is an absolute heavyweight. During the few hours, I enjoyed the K1300R on the road, I became quite attached to this big brute and have to list it as one of my all-time favourite rides. Even two-up on a small road with heavy potholes that I sternly avoid except when riding a Himalayan, was still enjoyable on the K1300R.
I rode in city traffic with absolute ease, the K1300 R can be as crazy as you want it to be. On a steady commute through traffic, the engine is smooth, with clean throttle control and easy low-down power. The forward-canted engine keeps the weight down low, and it’s much more manageable through Mumbai roads than you might think.
If you are riding the K1300r on tight terrain or bumper to bumper slow-moving traffic, the engine braking characteristics of the four-cylinder mill must be complimented. The brakes of K1300R remain composed and surefooted at all times. Particularly so with the optional ABS that in this latest incarnation is barely perceptible in the way it goes about its business.
Even when performing maximum effort stops, plenty of power and feel is available at the lever and there is never any shortage of stopping power from the 320mm discs and four-piston calipers. The EVO brake system on this K1300R also calls on the 265mm rear disc when the front brake is applied but still offers independent control of the rear brake when using the rear brake pedal separately. The engine braking is spot on and combines with the lack of backlash through the shaft drive system and negligible dive from the Duo-lever front end, to make for a wonderful riding partner through your favourite set of tight bends or in the city traffic.
Those traits actually made me feel so comfortable that I found myself pushing the K1300r. The stability and lack of fore and aft pitch change when riding aggressively lure you into faster and faster entry speeds. Aiding that sense of invincibility is the light and precise steering that when aided with a bit of peg pressure makes the K1300R far more agile than a 232kg (dry) machine has any right to be.
Though the ASC system comes in handy on slippery surfaces, it is also quite abrupt and is clearly devised as a safety feature rather than a variable assistance to improve lap-times on track. Of course, the ASC can give you the confidence to simply whack the throttle wide open on the open roads and rely on the system to save you if things go bad. Just make sure your there isn’t a car or a bike close behind you when the system starts cutting the power…
To top it off Akrapovic works its magic at higher rpms with such fluid ease – Every ear and eye on the road were drawn towards the brute that K1300r is. Not that the factory exhaust might have been low, but this sound is outright scary. Power pulls from lower down and is noticeably punchier. For a bike that’ isn’t that easy to wheelie due to the long wheelbase,’ it’s pretty easy now. So, for those wondering if’ it’s worth it. I reckon so.’ It’s brutally expensive but by far the best-made silencer’ I’ve seen. Anything else’ put on a BMW k1300r’ wouldn’t match it. The finish on it is flawless and nicely detailed, The carbon tip and matching heat shield look class apart. Also, because of the titanium, even after a long cracking ride, the silencer’ doesn’t get stinking hot. You or your passengers are not going to burn clothes or legs on it.
My Take on BMW K1300r
The K1300R is one of the easiest to launch bikes I have ever ridden, which is quite amazing considering the 173hp (127Kw) and 140Nm of torque with a weight of about 232 kgs. I can easily say it is among the best all-round motorcycles’ I’ve ever ridden. Not just the fastest but as a package, it simply rocks.’ It’s easy to ride, brutal but manageable power, comfortable with a stack of gadgets, safety gear and the presence of a heavy-weight gorilla without any handling issues. This is a bike you could keep for ages and never get bored of it. Sure, there are better-suited track bikes or touring machines as special tools, but the k1300r does a lot – really well.
After a lot of research and riding, Now I know that this is not only the fastest accelerating motorcycle BMW has ever made, but also one of the quickest accelerating standard roadworthy vehicles ever produced.
German magazine Motorrad has one of the most thorough and scientific testing procedures in the automotive testing field. They have recorded a consistent 0-100km/h times of 2.9 seconds for the K1300R, 0-140km/h in 4.3 seconds and 0-200km/h in 7.9 seconds. BMW themselves claimed a 0-100km/h figure in 2.8 seconds for this specific model.
The BMW k1300r is an amazing motorcycle with a very few down-sides.’ It’s not exactly a commuter, but will pretty much do everything else with ease. You get the feeling of a big bike in tight corners but certainly never surprised me or ran wild. You can take it on a track and mix it with the fastest bikes out there, or ride across the country on it lazily and efficiently. Great for two up as well due to the large expansive seat which’ isn’t much higher than the’ riders. For a naked bike, magically you’ don’t get blasted by the wind, because’ it’s so long and heavy, also there is a lot of bike in front of you when compared to sitting on some other nakeds. Power is epic, both in Horsepower and torque, and while I gave it a decent riding time, I never came close to reaching its limits in the city of Mumbai.
It is definitely a bike that wins you over slowly. The ‘Armageddon rider’ looks are not to’ everyone’s taste, but there is no uncertainty about its uniqueness. The looks are polarizing, some love it some hate it but hard to argue with the thundering presence performance it brings.
And that really is the crux of the matter. Though K1300R is probably the best all-round naked-bike I might have ridden, it’s just very unfortunate that it is no longer in production today. When in its last years of production, the top variant with all extras came at around USD 30000 + taxes, at those prices it is hard to get more bang for your buck even today.