The BMW K1300R is lighter than the K1300S, the K1300R is similar in style but actually quite different. That's probably why the people a BMW promote the K1300R as 'controlled but never tame'.
It has that muscular 'Don't mess with me' air about it. Like its S stablemate, the BMW K1300R has more power and torque than its predecessor.
Unlike the K1300S, the radiator is exposed but snug up under the headlights. The small screen has a prominent speedometer neatly tucked behind it and just up to its right, the tacho with its red line at 11,000rpm. As with the K1300S, the levers and switches are simple and there is no need for an engineering or science degree to work out the variety of functions the electronics and instrumentation system can deliver.
The impression is of a high-mounted fuel tank, tiered rider/pillion seat, dual headlights and a forward tank and engine molding giving the impression of a mini fairing. The torque curve of the BMW K1300R is beefy and, as with the S, it seems to take on a second surge of get up and go on the track at about 8,000rpm.
The quick shift system is exhilarating, particularly from second up through the gears when powering away. Whether it was around the track or out on the highways heading to the north of Thailand, the BMW K1300R corners brilliantly, grips the road and with the electronic traction control system, is forgiving for the odd loss of traction – the engine briefly cutting power as the motorcycle regains its grip. I confess to one brief lapse on the BMW K1300R.
Personally, although the BMW K1300R is lighter and cheaper than the K1300S, BMW buyers in the range should try and squeeze a little bit more money to go for the K1300S. Both motorcycles are undoubtedly versatile, could lend themselves to both touring and sports use, but for my money the BMW K1300S is brilliant.