The BMW K1300S as Hypersport Motorcycle

You could argue that the BMW K1300S doesn't quite belong alongside the Suzuki Hayabusa and the Kawasaki ZZR1400 instead it being more of a hyper-tourer, pitched against the Honda VFR1200, for example. But genuine 282km/h performance and tidings of comfort and joy suggest otherwise. The BMW K1200S was not one of our favorites. The BMW K1300S, however, is a considerable improvement and warrants its place against the Kamikaze brigade. Whereas the Japanese blend utter silkiness with warp speed performance, the BMW K1300S is a little rough around the edges.

The BMW K1300S is packed full of idiosyncratic engineering and plain bizarre features, some of which assist the ride, some of which hinder. The Duolever front-end and Paralever rear-end are an interesting approach to road holding. The theory should work – the BMW K1300S remains still as the 'levers' absorb whatever thrown under it. Often, it does function at touring speeds and silky surfaces, but when you've got 155 horsepower and a quickshifter at your disposal, the suspension never really work in harmony. The action feels harsh, whatever your choice in ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), especially the rear. The shaft drive and Paralever team-up to produce unwanted squat and movement. You don't get the same nurturing feedback through the handlebars like conventionally sprung rides, although the technology has massively improved over the old K1200S. The suspension experience just takes time to adjust to.
The tall, mid-heavy stance, combined with the silly suspension, isn't conductive for big lean heroics, and steering isn't as nimble as the average Japanese motorcycle. There's superbly neutral balance though, and when the bumps aren't ruining the ride, decent handling and oodles of mechanical grip can be exploited.

The BMW K1300S, as ridiculous as it sounds, feels very slow in the company of a Suzuki Hayabusa, especially as the roads open up. There's no replacement for displacement and the missing 100cc and 30 horsepower is perceptible, as is the abominable shove supplied by the torque. There's no turbine-like pull from the get-go but short gearing stiffens up a modest 155 horsepower. The delivery, in many ways, is more exciting than the Suzuki Hayabusa. There are more surges, rather than just a linear power train and the HP quickshifter just adds to the shindig.

In the real world, the K1300S can tail its peers with fine fueling and utter usability with a barrage of electronics on its side. Unfortunately, these rider aids are a bit outdated. I'm not sure who the electronics benefit, certainly not anyone with a reasonable riding ability. The ABS is far too intrusive sending pulsating accroaching committed riding ends in gusset bashing the tank. If electronics are fitted to the arsenal of a weapon like this they have to function. Saying that, the BMW K1300S can spot a highside well before it gets serious and save you from touching down on some engine oil. It's absolutely fool-proof, just not performance proof. As Hypersport the Suzuki Hayabusa and Kawasaki ZZR1400 are the better bikes, as a Hyper-tourer the BMW takes the candy
  • Currently 3.50/5
Rating: 3.50/5 (2 votes cast)

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