Used Bike

Buyer Guide: BMW K1200 & K1300

BMW’s big bastid K1200/1300 bikes reviewed and rated by the people who actually own them. If you want the lowdown, here it is...

Click to view: BMW K1300 owners reviews, specs and image galleries.

Click to view: BMW K1200 owners reviews, specs and image galleries.

BMW don’t make brand new engines for their bikes very often. The last one was the original K-series flat four in the early ‘80s. So when they released the first of a series of new bikes in 2005 with an all-new 1200cc parallel-four powerplant, it was a big deal. And it was a belter. BMW released three bikes with this engine – the super sports touring K1200S, the naked K1200R with distinctive, aggressive styling and finally the luxurious but rapid K1200GT tourer.

Like so many new BMWs, they’re great machines which either plough their own furrow or have class leading potential. The S is the only bike offering so much sport and tour in one package. The R is a crazy cocktail that’s hard to justify but easy to love and with neat looking optional screens and lower bars than most nakeds, it’s practical too. The GT’s got all the refinement and comfort of an ocean going tourer but it’s more powerful and handles better than most.

Then, in 2008, BMW increased the capacity by 100cc. This small change had a huge impact on performance. From being merely rapid, they turned into rocketships. The K1300R has gained notoriety for its outrageous straightline performance while the S turned into an Autobahn-basher and the GT became the fastest way to swish your way in total comfort from A to B.

When the bikes were launched there were rumours of heavy oil consumption and vibration. More recently, internet forums mention fast idle and stalling issues. Some of these are easily fixable with a quick ECU tweak, other problems are less easy to pin down.

A whopping 119 owners of these bikes filled in our online survey telling us all about what they’re really like to live with. They’ve covered about one and a quarter million miles on these bikes so believe what you read here. If they’re great or greasy to live with in the longterm, this is where you’ll find out the real truth.

Continue the BMW K12/1300 Guide

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