Red 2009 K1300GT Loaner from Bobs BMW

Wow! BMW certainly made a huge update to the K1300GT. The 2008 K1200GT is not that easy to improve upon, but BMW stepped up to the challenge with this new motorcycle. Shortly after the debut of the K1300GT in the United States, I took this bike out for a test ride at Bob's BMW in March of 2009. I liked the way it looks and the long list of features is quite impressive. After the test ride, the most impressive part of this motorcycle is the bike itself. The motor is awesome and always seems to have more power.

Red 2009 K1300GT in Biltmore

When I took the K1300GT out for a test ride, I was riding another BMW motorcycle, the R1200GS. I was happy with the R1200GS, but after the test ride I had to get the K1300GT. I picked up a red K1300GT near the end of March, and I have been happy with this motorcycle ever since my purchase. Charlie at Bob's BMW took care of me and did a great job. The suspension can be adjusted while sitting on the bike. The damping can be adjusted while the bike is moving and the spring rate can be changed when the motorcycle is stationary. Raising the damping and spring rate results in a sporty ride and backing off on these adjustments make the bumps and the miles melt away.

Red 2009 K1300GT

The adjustable suspension with the cruise control and adjustable windscreen make this motorcycle an amazing pavement eater. I have had several rides of more than 400 miles and the K1300GT is both comfortable and exciting. By being able to use this motorcycle for both long and short trips, I have been able to enjoy this machine under many circumstances.

Red 2009 K1300GT on top of Mount Mitchell

I have taken the K1300GT to Ashville, North Carolina and planned to participate in the BMW rally. We had a great ride down to North Carolina, and the K1300GT was a great ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It confidently climbed to the top of Grandfather Mountain, Chimney Rock, and Mount Mitchell. Getting to the top of these required many steep switchbacks especially Grandfather Mountain. The K1300GT was able to smoothly climb at low speeds and confidently zipped along the back roads and Blue Ridge Parkway.

Red 2009 K1300GT and F650GS at Craggy Gardens

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to ride the Tail of the Dragon. We decided to end our trip a couple days early because of the heavy rain that was forecast. The rains came and we avoided over an inch and a half of rain on the first day of the rally. The rain continued for several days, so the rally was pretty wet. We stayed north of the heavy rains and enjoyed the back roads of Virginia on our way home.

Swinging Bridge on top of Grandfather Mountain

We did get a little rain, and the K1300GT was easy to handle. The brakes of the K1300GT have great feel and bring the bike to a stop with predictable performance. With braking on the wet surfaces, I tested the anti-lock on the rear brake and the feedback was clear and not distracting. I have not tested the front anti-lock feature and hope I never need it. Getting used to the acceleration of the K1300GT reminds me of this fantastic new engine. Once when accelerating from a start, I ran across something slippery or a little gravel and the traction control prevented any instability. I suspect that it works by skipping a spark on one of the cylinders. The acceleration backed off ever so slightly and immediately continued without causing the motorcycle to unload the suspension. This is another great safety feature that makes this powerful engine easier to control.

Swinging Bridge Sign on Grandfather Mountain

When I dropped off the K13000GT for its 600 mile service, I borrowed an R1200R loaner bike. I left Bob's BMW and for a moment I thought something was wrong. The engine felt rough and there was limited acceleration. It is amazing how quickly I have become accustomed to the engine of the K1300GT. I have ridden the R1200GS that has the same engine as the R1200R for over 12,000 miles, so the change to the K1300GT was quite dramatic.

Top of Mount Mitchell with Elevation

I have used this motorcycle for touring, day trips, commuting, and trips around town. Some morning and evenings have been cold, so the heated grips and seat make the ride more comfortable. Overall, I am extremely impressed with the K1300GT. There are very few drawbacks on this motorcycle. At first, I did not like the new turn signal combo switch. BMW is now using the three-way switch that is common to most other motorcycles. I think the former turn signals are superior since they are easier to reach and do not require adjusting grip position. With more time, I suspect that they will become equally easy to use. Another item that I have changed on the K1300GT is the exhaust. The stock exhaust gets really hot. When I switched to the Remus at the 600 mile service, I got a cooler exhaust with a great sound. The motorcycle is not wicked loud like some motorcycles, but it is at the right level for riding around the neighborhood and zipping along the highways.

Chimney Rock with Lake Lure

I also picked up a BMW cover for the K1300GT. I really liked the way the BMW cover fit over my R1200GS. It was formed to fit over both the top case and the side cases on the R1200GS. I was a bit surprised to find out that the BMW cover does not fit over the top or side cases on the K1300GT. This is even more surprising since the side cases come with the K1300GT and are not optional equipment. Fortunately, the K1200LT cover from BMW fits quite well and allows me to leave the cases on the bike when it is covered. I have been impressed with the K1300GT and enjoy riding this motorcycle.