Author Topic: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)  (Read 407 times)

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Offline TurboBevy

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Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« on: April 27, 2018, 10:12:45 am »
Enjoyed reading this, thought I'd share.

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/motorcycle-news-uk/20161109/281500750821204

(Ed. Nice one John. I've pinched it and posted it below.)
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 10:57:19 am by Phmode »
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Offline Phmode

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2018, 10:56:09 am »
Motorcycle News 9 Nov 2016
By Simon Hargreaves
MCN CONTRIBUTOR

Goodbye to the K1300S

BMW’S eternally popular K1300S gets the axe for 2017 – so we go for one last glorious blast to say goodbye to the 175bhp oddball.
 
Highly rated for its storming engine and inter-continental comfort, the big BMW also benefits from one of the oddest front ends in any mass-production machine. Now, however, the Germans have decided to call time on the big K as their S1000XR steals the sports-touring limelight. We hack over to the Nürburgring and back as a fitting tribute to best sports-tourer ever.

Velocity is relative to the observer. To the trucker grinding gears in his slate-grey 12-wheeler at 55mph on the Autobahn, the Bmw-shaped streak of howling metal and plastic spears past him close enough to spin his wheel nuts, is warping Germany’s space/time continuum at 161 feet per second. Yet if the pair of Bundespolizei in the parked patrol car cared to get their radar detector warmed up at the same moment, the same blur of two-wheeled hysteria would register around 164mph – or 241 feet per second – as it screams blue and white murder past the lay-by

But to the rider, crouched, head down, chin bobbling gently on the plastic battery cover and isolated from the Sturm und Drang happening all about in a pocket of calm, the big, lairy K1300S might as well be standing still. Its snow-white speedo points nor’east of 160mph, the tacho dances around 10,500rpm and the 1293cc inline four – canted forward to 55 degrees to lie down beneath the frame spars – is gulping pressurised air through pair of long intake snouts and funnelling it into the airbox at the scarcely believable rate of around 90 litres – the volume of a decent fish tank – every second.

From there it plummets down all four throttle bodies and past a quartet of 46mm butterfly valves pinned flat open and where it meets petrol, squirted into the airstream under constantly variable load-based pressure. The mixture races past eight intake valves battered by tiny finger rockers, tumbling and swirling for a fraction of a second before being slammed against the combustion chamber ceiling, ignited, burned and then fired out into the exhaust ports and the wide blue yonder. At 165mph, the whole process takes 0.0057s.

All this and the K’s fuel consumption is apparently only 30mpg – clearly an average figure; after all, we haven’t been doing 165mph all day. They don’t appreciate that kind of thing in Belgium.

But the traffic has cleared momentarily on the A1 heading south from Cologne towards the Nürburgring. And this is a K1300S for goodness sake – arguably the fastest long-distance bike BMW have ever built. If you can’t open it up and stretch its legs here, in its homeland, legally, you might as well be riding a moped.

Except BMW aren’t building it any more. From next year the once-mighty 175bhp K1300S is being deleted. Sales have slowed to trickle as the younger, more adventure-fashionable and Euro 4-friendly S1000XR usurps the K’s high-speed mileage crown. Now, the XR is an indisputably excellent motorbike – but when it comes to burying your head behind a screen, gripping a wide set of clip-ons, sticking it in top and unzipping the motor’s flies to unleash its astonishing midrange bulge, few bikes can match the meaty swagger of a K1300S.

The Autobahn slows to crawl, the A1 funnelling from a full-bore motorway up to a trunk-road T-junction. As the K13 prowls along an outside line of traffic, snorting like a bison through its Akrapovic when I blip the throttle, it’s worth ruminating on the bike’s history.

Big K’s difficult birth

Launched in 2004 as the smaller-engined K1200S, it wasn’t an auspicious debut. On paper the K was a nerd’s dream: with a standard BMW Paralever shaft-drive rear end, at the front the Telelever arrangement of the R-series flat twins was swapped for a unique double wishbone system called Duolever. But so far, so typically funny front-end BMW. But the engine spec was something else: at 167bhp, the K1200S was the most powerful BMW ever made and put it up alongside Suzuki’s Hayabusa and Kawasaki’s ZX-12R.

Yet the bike was panned for lotterystyle fuelling, suspect high speed stability and poor vibration. BMW cancelled the planned on sale date and spent the best part of a year fixing issues such as cam wear (not for the last time), adding a steering damper and re-mapping the fuelling. The result was a bike that worked – and BMW sold 65,000 K1200-series bikes between 2005 and 2008.

In 2009, it grew in capacity to become the 175bhp K1300S, gained ASC
(rudimentary traction control), threeway electronically adjustable damping called ESA II and an optional quickshifter as well as numerous minor refinements – although the engine still felt gritty on a neutral throttle, as if it was running too lean. And the switchgear routinely failed if left in the sun too long.

On the road to the Ring

Back in Germany, the road to the Ring opens out into typically sinewy, clinically smooth Eifel forest tarmac, passing around tree-lined hills with a relentless cornering rhythm that suits the K1300S’ long wheelbase and its reliable, flowing steering. Its suspension is firm and positive, engine rippling like a flexed bicep as it guns from apex to apex, quickshifter triggering the next gearbox ratio like a revolver (it’s not actually quick; BMW call it ‘shift assist’, but it’s still good fun).

The riding position is classic sportstourer – not the upright pseudo adventure bike which flatters to deceive after eight hours, but semi-sports, canted forward and purposeful. Rewind a few years and you’d say the BMW was surprisingly narrow and agile for a hyper sports bike – today, it feels like a big bike; not cumbersome, but definitely deliberate. The K1300S doesn’t just go somewhere, it gets there like it means it.

We’re heading to the Nürburgring for an evening session – three laps before it gets dark (and, at 28 euros a lap, it’s not the timing so much as the cost). And then the BMW is going to take me straight back home again – another 500 miles and another ten or so hours. It’s a long day.

The Ring is crowded with all sorts of cars, as it often is, and a few bikes. I haven’t been here for many years and can’t remember where I’m going – with the low sun directly in my eyeline around the back of the circuit, I can’t see where I’m going either. I also made the mistake – or not – of watching a few Nürburgring crash compilations on Youtube before I left. It focuses the mind somewhat. As a result, the three laps are pitifully slow in the corners and painfully fast in between.

More than once I’m grateful for the K1300S’ unshakeable steering letting me haul the bike out of a corner having turned into it many yards too early. The motor’s a belter too, with such a flexible power curve that it makes almost any gear the right gear.

Distance destroyer

Three laps complete without leaving anything on the track but my pride, and it’s time to reverse the journey. Back up along the A1, powering silently across into Belgium and fleecing the Brussels ring road in record time, the BMW minimises distance like clicking in the bottom righthand corner of the box and dragging upwards. It’s desktop easy. Fuel stops come and go with 160-mile regularity, but caffeine breaks are for refuelling the brain only; the K’s high speed comfort is absolute. Heated grips warm my hands and a heated jacket gently boils my torso (wired into the battery; the BMW’S 12v socket only has enough grunt to run a sat nav); when sodium lights overhead give way to an inky blackness, the BMW’S astonishingly potent main beam illuminates the immediate future. By the time we get to Calais in the small hours, suffering a few police diversions presumably to avoid refugee roadblocks, the K feels as fresh as it did at the start of the trip.

By the time the scent of home is tantalisingly close, the K is ready for a rest and so am I. But one last push up the back roads is interrupted by a flashing blue light – at this time of the morning? I think the copper is bored and just checking the BM’S not nicked. It’s not. And the speed? Which speed, officer? It’s relative to the observer, and it wasn’t fast where I was sitting.

Offline black-k1

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2018, 11:15:10 am »
It’s such a tragedy that BMW killed it off. I don’t think I’ve EVER read a bad review of the K1300S. There have been a number of issues and some justifiable criticism of some of the “questionable quality” of components, but the fundamentals of the bike appear to get nothing but praise. Even in comparative tests with the likes of the ZZR1400 and the Hayabusa, where, on paper, the K1300S is completely out gunned, it appears to win the hearts of those testing it.

For me, BMW attempting to “replace” the K1300S with the S1000XR is a bit like when someone in the marketing department of Coca-Cola decided to change the recipe for Coke. The new drink was OK, but it wasn’t Coke!
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Offline Phmode

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2018, 11:35:24 am »
If you want to read a really scathing review (of the K12S) go to 'Ash on Bikes' and read what Kevin thought of it when he tested it in 2004 prior to the launch. As a direct result of his words the launch was pulled and all the UK bikes (apart from mine) were shipped back to Germany for re-work.

But that was the K12S. His review of the K13S was a lot better 😎

As he said, BMW built the bike for no other reason than that they could. And they did.

And now they dont' 😔

And they are going to lose customers. Those who bought the bike as a commuter can find other bikes as good, long-range commuters like you and Martin aside. Those who bought it for its stunning performance, continent crushing abilty with sublime comfort, good economy and very good scratching ability when they get to the other side will find it a difficult choice.

Offline richtea

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2018, 12:31:51 pm »
> unzipping the motor’s flies to unleash its astonishing midrange bulge
Bit of a dick?

The writer, that is...  ;D


The overall sentiment of the piece is about right, though.

Offline TomL

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2018, 12:51:01 pm »
I wonder sometimes especially when you hear such sad stories as Costas's tale of woe.
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Offline TurboBevy

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2018, 05:47:30 pm »
I wonder sometimes especially when you hear such sad stories as Costas's tale of woe.

When asked to comment, BMW replied - nothing to do with us Herr. Speak to Ricardo freund, they designed the internals....  ;)

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Offline gibbo

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2018, 08:36:27 am »
At the end of the day it's all down to sales volume. If the K sold as well as the GS then no doubt it would still be in production. That's a shame.  :(

Offline sudolea

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2018, 10:11:54 am »
...
As he said, BMW built the bike for no other reason than that they could. And they did.

And now they dont' 😔

And they are going to lose customers.
...

You bet they will. In fact, they already have. Because let's be honest, the sports-touring segment nowadays looks quite a lot poorer than it did some good 5 years ago. Manufacturers in general (not only BMW) nowadays tend to force customers (my feeling) into adventure-like bikes with a marketing message as if these bikes are now the "next-generation" of sports-touring motorbikes. Well, to me, they aren't. To start (and end) with : they lack a sports-touring riding position. Everything nowadays tends towards more upwards riding positions, and to make it even worse : they also tend towards higher seat positions. Hell, why ?

And let's face it, in such a setting, the S1000XR is only a poor replacement. Not poor as a motorbike, but poor as a sports-touring motorbike. Touring ? Most probably. Sporty ? Most probably. Sports-touring ? Hell no. Riding position, remember... Doesn't cut it (for me).

So facing this manufacturers-imposed more upward riding position, there then are a lot of (non-BMW) alternatives. For me, it has been the Suzuki GSX-S1000, a bike I'm calling a (very) poor replacement of the K1300S myself. Even if it has 40 BHP of "sports" more than my (power-limited 106 BHP) K1300S...

Offline richtea

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2018, 02:08:48 pm »
What he said!

Offline Matt

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2018, 06:49:03 pm »
Hah I'd say the Suzuki GSX-S1000 is indeed a very poor replacement, well, not a replacement at all. It's a super naked gsxr1000 thing with less power than the original. :P

Or some other words. My friend bought one and so finally we had a reason to swap bikes. It felt so tiny, what with it being in a gsxr sized package, and not as much nice wind protection meant I had to hold on. And obviously it's far more agile. And tiny.

Did I mention it's tiny? I rode the GSXR1000 a few weeks later and that's probably a closer replacement than the GSXS. But if we go down that road then the S1000RR is the replacement! Which it obviously isn't.

Anyway I'm just annoyed i've got no replacement lined up before my rear drive pisses oil everywhere again and kills me.


Offline Phmode

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2018, 07:06:40 pm »
Look on the bright side Matt, if it kills you it saves you the bother of trying to find a replacement 😇

Offline gibbo

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2018, 09:12:23 am »
In my humble opinion, there are only two other sports touring bikes that come anywhere near the K1300S and that's the Busa and the ZZR1400. The rest fail dismally short of real sports tourer enjoyment. As for the GSXR thingy, you may as well buy yourself a Blade and go full sporty.

Offline Phmode

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2018, 10:02:13 am »
...it's the Arthur Eyteys innit...

Offline TomL

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Re: Goodbye to the K1300s (MCN Article 2016)
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2018, 10:48:44 am »
In my humble opinion, there are only two other sports touring bikes that come anywhere near the K1300S and that's the Busa and the ZZR1400. The rest fail dismally short of real sports tourer enjoyment. As for the GSXR thingy, you may as well buy yourself a Blade and go full sporty.
Not tried either but I agree with you.

Somehow I think that my next bike might be a big GS.
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