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2009 BMW K1300R Review


by Marc Cantin ,

We just had an opportunity to test ride the new BMW K1300R, the naked version of the trio of yummy K1300 models launched in 2009. The German maker has been firing from all guns recently to not only widen its product line, but also improve existing models to put them right at the forefront of their respective categories. The K line had a somewhat difficult birth in 2004, with the early models suffering from various ills, all of which got corrected over the last few years.

The K family represents a growing part of the BMW product line, with exceptional models such as the R we rode.

For 2009, BMW decided the Ks were ready to step up to, or even pass their big-inch competition, with a set of killer triplets, the K1300GT fully dressed sport tourer, the sporting S and the naked aggressor, the R.

For my money, the R is in fact a Café Racer, an extreme one to be sure, in the best tradition of Triumph, Norton and BSA-based bikes from the 60s and 70s in England. With foot peg and hand positions very close to the S model, you end up leaning forward on the bike, with legs folded and feet high, with the no-nonsense power train out in the clear for all to admire. One look at the bike, with asymmetrical headlights, a high nose and impressive looking front suspension, and the competition from Kawasaki (ZX-14), Suzuki (BKing), Buell 1125CF and Yamaha (FZ1) will know that a very serious competitor has just hit town.

The 1300 engine features an extra 136cc of displacement over the older K1200, a significant 12% jump that gave engineers room to improve torque, power and fuel economy in one intelligent fell-swoop. Let me assure you that 173 hp at 9250 rpm (163 hp at 10,250 rpm for the 1200) and 103.3 lb-ft at 8,250 rpm (95.9 lb-ft at 8250 rpm for the older model) make for instant response whenever you just think about twisting the throttle.

The 1300 engine features an extra 136cc of displacement over the older K1200.
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