October 9, 2008 Whatever else could be said about the K1200 series BMWs, they could never have been accused of lacking power. The 168hp K1200R naked, for example, was the most powerful production naked going around, and by a considerable margin, until yesterday's announcement that BMW were re-building the S, R, and GT models with an extra 136cc, upping the power and particularly the torque to 175hp and 103 ft-lbs for 2009. Incremental improvements are found all over the bikes as well - including (finally) a standard single indicator switch, ironing out an annoyance that has plagued BMW buyers for decades.
The K1300S sports-tourer, K1300R naked and K1300GT look reasonably similar to their 2008, 1200cc counterparts, but in reality they're a major model upgrade for 2009. While the basics remain unchanged - 55-degree horizontally tilted 4cyl engine, duolever front suspension, shaft-driven rear wheel on a paralever single-sided swingarm - and the design looks very similar, the new bikes are slimmer, lighter, more economical and environmentally friendly than their predecessors.
Suspension at both ends has been firmed up in response to customer feedback, and the optional Electronic Suspension Adjustment system is now able to alter not only damping and preload but spring rate. There's also an optional traction control package to help deal with the 1300cc donk's prodigious torque (switchable on and off for the sportier gentleman), plus even an HP quickshifter option to get power to the ground almost uninterrupted on upshifts.
Despite the monstrous power, the K1300 series bikes are unlikely to be hooligan tools, with their long wheelbase and 250kg wet weight putting paid to uncontrollable wheelie and stoppie action. But they're likely to be among the fastest and most comfortable ways to get from A to B - the true definition of a gentleman's express.
More details and photos over at TheBikerGene.