The BMW K1300GT puts the sport in sport-tourer, with the added engine performance enhancing the already impressive BMW sport touring platform.
Where the ‘S’ model may be made for Europe or those areas where speed limits are merely a suggestion, the 2009 BMW 1300GT works just about everywhere.
These ‘K’ machines are extremely similar, sharing the same chassis and, for the most part, the same engine. Just add more amenities, sport-touring fairing with adjustable high windscreen and standard hard bags, plus a slightly different muffler and retuned motor, and you have yourself the 1300S’s sibling.
Because they are so close, I’ll save you all the details and focus on the key changes for this year which are different from the ‘S’. Those consist of an engine that is tuned for more rideability with a different exhaust, making it slightly down on power compared to that of the ‘S’ model. The fairing gets stylish side vents to break up the large flat panel on each side mid-section, as well as coming standard with the tall windscreen option, as they claim the majority of US buyers opted for it anyway.
As for the good stuff – the riding, we came away more impressed with the GT than the S. Fun-factor was higher on the S, as we are always looking for that exhilaration of speed, but when it comes to practicality and how the machine will stack up to its competition, the K1300GT really shines.
Extremely smooth and very comfortable, the BMW street bike still handles quite well. The GT is planted and stable, capable of way more lean than one would expect from a touring mount. Not to mention the Duolever suspension makes for a very compliant ride, and the three adjustable ESA II modes allow the rider to tailor the bike to their specific riding conditions. Adjustability in the ergonomics via the available different seats and moveable handlebars make the bike comfortable for all shapes and sizes of people.
The BMW K Series GT is no stranger to Motorcycle USA, as a two-time competitor in our Super Sport-Touring Shootouts. See how the K1300 forebear fared:
2008 Super Sport-Touring Comparo
2006 Super Sport-Touring Comparo
Add the heated grips, heated seat, cruise control and adjustable windscreen, and riding the GT for days on end would be no problem. It loves the freeway just as much as it loves the twisties; I only wish it had a radio. I know that would be very anti-sport of me, but when cruising down the 101 for mile upon mile it sure would be nice to hear some tunes. Though I’m certain this could easily be retrofitted. After all, this is a BMW motorcycle…
But the real shining point? Once again it’s that torque-laden 1300cc monster of a motor, which makes for a sport-touring bike that could give most pure-bred sportbikes a run for their money. Twist the grip and point the wheel in the right direction and you will get where you want to go in a hurry. No matter paying attention to what gear you are in either, as the bike hardly cares, producing seamless and strong acceleration across the entire rev range. From 1000rpm and up, this K-bike engine really is a thing of beauty, especially in sport-touring form.
Like its smaller brother, several colors and different packages are available. Available in Royal Blue Metallic, Red Apple Metallic and Magnesium Beige Metallic, retail prices start at $18,000 for the base model. A premium package is also an option, including Xenon headlight, ESA II, heated seat and grips, TPM sensors, onboard computer and ASC, with an MSRP of $22,295.