BMW k1300r Long Term Motorcycle Review
Recently I was lucky enough to get my hands on a 2013 BMW k1300r and will be writing up a long term review of the beast.
The BMW k1300r - Living with this bike now for over a half a year I can genuinely say it is among the best all-round motorcycles’ I’ve ever ridden. Not just the fastest but as a package, it simply rocks.’ It’s easy to ride, brutal manageable power, comfortable, has a stack of gadgets, safety gear and the presence of a heavy-weight gorilla without the handling issues. This is a bike you could keep for quite a while and never get sick of it. Sure there are better-suited track bikes or touring machines as specialist tools, but the k1300r does a lot really well. That being said about the track, a friend of mine who rides an Aprilia RSV4 recently told me he got passed at the race track by a k1300r repeatedly - and’ he’s not slow!
The only area’ I’d say the stock bike was lacking was a bit of character in the sound department. New bikes with “legal” exhaust are notoriously quiet and lacking substance. Especially BMW. The K1300r is no exception. With such potent figures, you expect a thundering barrage of sound after firing up the beast.’ You’ll be disappointed. Engine sound is not as exciting as some - although at higher revs it does start to sound a little like and f-15 taking off.
We all know most bikes sounds like scooters fresh from the shop - even Harleys.’ It’s nothing a sound exhaust system’ won’t fix though. For the BMW k1300r, the ultimate pipe you can fit is the Akrapovic titanium silencer explicitly made for this bike, which is not only the biggest silencer on the market to date but also costs about as much as a new scooter. More about this below.
It is definitely a bike that grows on you. The post-apocalyptic looks are not to’ everyone’s taste, but they certainly are unique and you’ won’t be mistaking it for anything else. The looks are definitely polarising, some love it some hate it but hard to argue with the thundering presence performance it brings.
The BMW k1300r is an epic motorcycle with very few down-sides.’ It’s not exactly a commuter, but will pretty much do everything else with ease. You do feel’ it’s a big bike in tight corners but certainly not a handful and it never surprised my or ran wide. You can take it on a track and mix it with the fastest bikes out there, or ride across the country on it lazily and efficiently. Great for two up as well due to the large expansive seat which’ isn’t much higher than the’ drivers. For a naked bike, magically you’ don’t get blasted by the wind, perhaps because’ it’s so long and there is a lot of bike in front of you when compared to sitting on some other nakeds. Power is epic, both in Horsepower and torque, and while I gave it a decent flogging, I never came close to reaching limits. I basically shat my pants every time it went past 7,000 rpm.
A cruise missile of sort and the bad-ass looks to back it up. Not many rides out there with such a dominating presence. Nuclear-armed transformer on a hangover type demeanour.
Modifications made to date to the 2013 BMW k1300r:
- K& N High Flow Air filter
- Red Wheel Stripes
- Akrapovic Titanium Silencer K1300r
- Bi-Xenon Hid Headlight
- (coming soon) - HID headlight projector and Amber LED backlight. + Second Xenon for high-beam
Bought from Procycles St. Peters
Updated pic with an Akrapovic titanium silencer installed.
The Akrapovic pipe has a removable baffle via a screw. The baffle is very effective. Inserted, it really is only a tad louder than stock, albeit also has a bit of a better tone. Baffle out,’ it’s a whole new ball game. Most videos you see online show the startup and free revving. My experience is the k1300r sounds the best under load while riding. With the baffle out, the startup is still relatively quiet, though there is a now a deeper rumble revealing the animal within.’ It’s only on acceleration you really notice the difference, sounds like a proper race bike now with an appropriate bellow. A good dose of snarly overrun and a lot of crackle and pop. Shift via the quick shift at 5-6 thousand, and it will fire like artillery. Overall a lot of fun and adds a tonne of grin factor. This bike always looked like it was for hooligans, now it sounds like one. Unlike most after-market pipes this one’ doesn’t need earplugs on long rides only because’ it’s not loud unless you are caning it - in which case loud is what you want.
Wanna hear what it sounds like with the Titanium Akra pipe?
Performance-wise a mild boost as well. Not that it was slow before but now is outright scary. Power pulls from lower down and noticeably punchier. For a bike that’ isn’t that easy to wheelie due to the long wheelbase,’ it’s pretty easy now. So for those wondering if’ it’s worth it. I reckon so.’ It’s brutally expensive but by far the best-made silencer’ I’ve seen. Anything else’ I’ve seen put on a BMW k1300r’ didn’t match it. The finish on it is flawless and nicely detailed.’ I’ve had Remus before a few times, and they were great, but this is another step up. The carbon tip and matching heat shield look “the business”. Also, because of the materials used, even after a long cracking ride, the silencer’ doesn’t get stinking hot. You or your passengers are not going to burn clothes or legs on it.
’ I’ve read that the BMW k1300r does eat tyres and with a big sports bike with this sort of power and weight, it seems a fair statement.
Rubber for the K1300r
We’ve just changed the original tyres after around 6000kms which for the most part spent on bends at high speeds, so the mileage isn’t that bad. The rubber that came with the bike were Metzler M6 Supersports which were more or less for fast rides/track use and probably stickier and faster-wearing that needed. The new tyres are Pirelli Angel GTs, which claim 30% more life while maintaining excellent grip and wet-weather performance.’ I’ll provide an update on this later. The Angel GTs are highly recommended.
BMW k1300r Economy
What you spend on some extra rubber’ you’ll make up in fuel efficiency. Yep,’ that’s right. If someone told me that this bike was fuel efficient before I rode it, I would have had a good laugh. Truth is that real-world figures have this monster averaging 6.0l per 100kms, which is impressive considering most of the time riding’ I’m flogging it through bends. Most of my friends who ride 600cc Supersports use more fuel. This is typical BMW -’ they’ve always been good on the efficiency factor. Despite the appearance, the k1300r has got the goods in the range department so it’ won’t cost a bomb at the bowser. After a thrashing down the putty road at ungodly speeds, it recorded 6.5l per 100km, while my friend on his 600cc ninja drank 10! Go figure.
The Bad, and the Ugly:
Ok so despite this sub-header, there is nothing terrible about the BMW k1300r. Some niggles however listed in order of annoyance:
- Buzzing from the clutch at 3000-4000 rpm. That drove me bat-shit crazy until I bought the Akrapovic pipe to mask the sound. I did a bunch of research on this include a fix - if you want it to get in touch with me. For such a smooth bike and engine; otherwise, this buzzing was plenty annoying. After-market pipe does wonders for this.
- ’ I’ll admit this is subjective -’ I’m Not crazy about the bike front-on,’ it’s quite ugly. I mean directly front on. Brutish but certainly not handsome. Otherwise a beautiful machine
- Some engine vibration does creep in around 6000rpm, then smooths out as you go higher. Noticeable but nowhere near on the scale of annoying as the clutch buzz at 3500 rpm.
- The dash is a bit old school, like the steam gauge panels of a WWI soviet tank. Again subjective but’ couldn’t be called pretty by any stretch of the imagination.
Update to post: December 8, 2016
I owned the BMW k1300r for around 3 years and only sold (6 months back) it to get out of a bad finance deal. Subsequently bought an r1100s temporarily - sort of like getting into a VW beetle after owning an Audi RS6! You can read about that here.