2009 BMW K Series Goes to 1300

October 7, 2008
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

2009 BMW K1300S
The K1300S benefits from 136cc more power, with BMW’s other superbike cranking out 175 horsepower.

BMW celebrates 25 years of its four-cylinder K series by giving the lineup a complete redesign. No longer the K1200s, BMW has upped displacement from 1157cc to 1293cc, making these Fours the BMW K1300s. The Bavarian marque introduced three new designs Oct. 7th at the 2008 INTERMOT Cologne bike show, the K1300S, K1300R and K1300GT.

BMW K1300S

The extra 136cc of displacement is put to good use by the new K1300S, as it improves claimed performance to 175 hp at 9250 rpm and 103 lb-ft of torque at 8250 rpm. Not only are the peak numbers higher than its predecessor, they also are reached 1000 rpm sooner in the rev range. To get that extra power engineers increased both bore and stroke to 80 x 64.3mm.

Still a shaft-driven design, the K1200S takes advantage of new Digital Motor Electronics and optimized cylinder charge for improved performance and fuel economy. Also new is the exhaust, with a three-way catalytic converter.

The motor isn’t the only thing changed, as steering geometry is also altered for “more neutral behavior in bends and an even higher standard of agility.” A 0.6-inch wider, 62.4-inch wheelbase comes via a modified wheel carrier and a lower longitudinal arm on the Duolever suspension. That’s right, the BMW Duolever and Paralever units are back, with new spring rates. The ESA is also altered, with the next generation ESA II offering on-the-fly spring rate adjustment.

Other technical electronic features are the standard EVO braking system and Semi-Integral ABS (front lever activates both front and rear, while rear lever does not affect front brake). ASC (Anti-Spin Control) and the aforementioned ESA II are available as options, as is the HP2 Sport-sourced instrument cluster, offering up track specific display goodies like lap times and programmable shift lights. Riders can also opt to get the HP gearshift Assistant for quick, seamless upshifts on the track or street.

2009 BMW K1300R
The distinctive front end of the K1300R defines the naked version of BMW’s revamped K series.

Visual changes include a slimmer appearance with a more slender fairing and improved aerodynamics. New wheel designs feature an improved construction method for better stability and absorbing high wheel load. Another change is the rear tire, with a 190/50-ZR17 replaced by 190/55.

Also, those three oddball BMW toggle switch turn signal controls have been ditched on the new Ks for a more conventional system.

BMW K1300R

The boldest look from the K series, the naked R is defined by its distinctive front end. Similar in performance to its S sibling, power claims are 173 hp and 103 lb-ft of torque. Further engine changes are identical to the S model. EVO braking is standard, with ABS optional, along with the new ESA II and ASC.


The improved engine capability of the K motor figures to enhance the already solid GT touring platform. Tuned for power output on the lower end, the K1300GT taps out at 160 hp at 9000 rpm and 99 lb-ft of torque at 8000 rpm. Again, engine changes carry over with the other K models. ABS comes standard, with ESA II and ASC optional. Also changed is a new adjustable windscreen.

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