My how things change. When the BMW K1200R was introduced in 2004, it was billed as the “most powerful naked bike of all times.” Now, thanks to the Suzuki B-King, the K1300R is being called “the most powerful naked bike BMW has ever built.” That must smart. In addition to a little more power and torque thanks to the slightly larger engine, the K1300R also receives identical suspension to the K1300S sports tourer. It’s actually the add-ons that have us most excited: both traction control and a quickshifter have become optional extras.
We liked the old K1200R, but found its low center of gravity and long
wheelbase contributed to slow handling and, while riding in town, were
constantly annoyed by its jerky fuel injection. Bizarrely, BMW claims
to have made that wheelbase longer, which surely contributes to slower
Power is now up to 173bhp (from 163), torque stands at 103lb/ft (from
94), but more importantly the final drive ratio has been reduced to
2.91 (compared to 2.82 on the K1300S) for increased acceleration at the
expense of top speed. The only fly in the ointment is the weight: 243kg
(536lb) with a full tank of fuel. In comparison the portly B-King
weighs just 235kg (518lb).
In addition to the additional 135cc, BMW harps on about the ESA II
electronically adjustable suspension (which we’ll be explaining in its
own article shortly), the enhanced handling thanks to firmer springs
and dampers, and the decreased emissions thanks to the big, heavy
three-way catalyst. The big change that we’re not seeing (especially in
the dyno graph) is the addition of smoother fueling or an increase in
ability over, say, a bike like a Honda 919, which seems to be capable
of everything the K1300R is, but with better handling, less weight and
a lower price tag.