Outlandish naked bikes which flaunt their massive exposed engines ooze a raw and untamed energy. They dare riders to hop on and tame them and make a popular choice to pop about town astride, or blast around on a weekend. The K1300R from BMW stretches the envelope a fair margin to make the statement bolder, faster and a lot more addictive.
The K1300R’s demeanor suggests functional, industrial design and intense strength. The tank stretches forward from the rider seat like a muscled chest, with extensions jutting all the way up to the front headlights. The industrial look is emphasized by BMW's Duolever front suspension.
There's no shortage of design detail to help the K1300R’s brutish look. Up ahead, a small screen offers the rider marginal wind deflection, though it does manage to protect the instruments. A big analogue unit displays speed while a digital display displays gear position, time and the odometer. Above these sits a small analogue tachometer. Palm grips, control levers and the switches are solidly built.
Stealth-fighter like creases and lines on the small engine fairing, the exposed engine leaning forward by 55 degrees, a purposeful and solid looking shaft-drive and that Paralever rear setup are all stunning. The hollowed out hub for the 180/55 section rear tyre and rim look a treat too. Another nifty touch is an exposed frame rear section, that’s also covered by the pillions seat.
The 1293cc four cyclinder motor packs 173bhp of raw punch, as well as solid pulling power, with 14.2kgm of torque. The K1300R certainly feels quick, with sharp throttle response. There’s a relentless surge of power like a freight-train, surging all the way up unto redline. Optional Anti-Spin Control system helps keep you in control. Push the K1300R hard and it sounds nice, especially at redline where it emits a shriek.
The big Beemer’s trump card is the unruffled manner with which it delivers performance. The inclined, in-line four feels tractable, and you can ride this bike in traffic in fourth, even fifth gear. The gearbox is one of the smoothest, but finding neutral occasionally takes a bit of effort.
Overall refinement is of a high standard, and you could even compare this motorcycle with BMW's far more expensive luxury cars. Its relaxed and effortless air means this bruiser bike can zap distances in a manner to make the rider think he is being teleported.
The K1300R's handlebars are wide, offering a relaxed seating position. The gently contoured seat is wide, soft and cushy. There’s little load on your wrists and the riding position is spot-on, sporty, also comfortable. This is no light weight boxer, however, the separation of steering and suspension via Duolever results in an incredibly crisp steering. Combined with the soft saddle, the suspension never allows the road to intrude on your riding pleasure.
A light steering makes it easy to weave through traffic. However, up the pace and attack corners and you need to re-calibrate cornering inputs. The K1300R turns in lightning quick, responding to rider inputs with alacrity. Once figured, the Beemer instills confidence, happy to slice through and power out of corners. This naked bike also sheds pace with confidence, the ABS safety net letting you haul in the levers without much worry.
The K1300R offers outlandish form, ease of use and copious power, every time out. It also has the ability to transcend the world of motorcycles, with fluid handling, a butter smooth engine and an impeccable air of quality. Grab your copy of Autocar India’s July 2011 issue to learn more about this outstanding motorcycle.