BMW have upgraded their outrageously overpowered K1200S, R and GT models with an extra 136cc for 2009. The bored-and stroked-out K1300S and K1300R now shunt out an extra 8 horsepower and 10 ft-lbs at a claimed 175hp, and 103 ft-lbs of torque. But the real news is on the left hand switchblock… Look closely… That’s right! A NORMAL, SINGLE INDICATOR SWITCH instead of those wacky Bavarian 3-switch jobbies that have confused japanese bike riders for decades!
Otherwise, not an awful lot has changed - although there’s incremental improvements just about everywhere. While the bike is slimmer, and the engine has been revised for better economy as well as performance, the donk is still tilted forward at a jaunty angle, the front end features BMW’s well-sorted Duolever suspension, and the rear end is shaft drive with paralever, which does a great job of eliminating torque reactions through the shaft. The design is tweaked, but not so’s you’d notice really.
The bikes come with optional ABS, on-the-fly Electronic Suspension Adjustment (which now includes not only the ability to set damping and spring preload, but spring rate!), Stability/Traction Control, and even an optional HP quickshifter that cuts ignition and fuel for a fraction of a second for uninterrupted power during upshifts (although this isn’t available on the K1300GT grand tourer). The suspension has been set up firmer from the factory after costomer feedback, and the rear tyre’s gone from a 190/50/17 to a 190/55/17 which should make for nicer behaviour on its side.
The K1200S sports-tourer and K1200R naked (which until the 1300 dropped was the most powerful production naked available) were commonly accused of being incredibly sensible and even a little tame for the 165 horsepower monsters they were - and despite the extra power the 1300cc versions will offer, there’s little to suggest the 2009 models will be all that much more exciting.
The extra-long wheelbase makes the Beemers an unwilling wheelie bike, and the lack of dive on the front suspension makes them tough to stoppie - but as a ‘gentleman’s express’ they excel, giving riders very little reason to back off the throttle thanks to exceptional handling and suspension that delivers extreme confidence, even on the brakes in a corner.
As for the switchgear, well, in one way we’ll miss the constant horn-beeping the old system used to bring - and it’s also kind of sad when an iconoclastic design choice dies and reverts to the mainstream. But still, the three-switch system certainly had its chance and I think most riders will agree the standard single-switch system - which it seems will become the BMW standard as well - is a lot less confusing.
Pricing and availability when they come to hand… Meanwhile, enjoy a brazillion photos:leave a response, or trackback from your own site.