BMW K Bikes Coming

I’ve spoken to the guys down at the ‘Ol BMW motorcycle dealership about the arrival dates for the new K-series bikes, The K130GT, K1300s, and K1300R.  They say that they are expecting to begin getting them in in late February or early March.  They still don’t have any firm word on what the MSRP will be, but considering that they’re getting close to delivering the the bikes, presumably they’ll have a price up very soon.  Looking over the bikes, I think BMW has a hit with two out of the three, in terms of looks and styling.

BMW K1300R
BMW K1300R

I’ll be the first to admit that I just can’t get past the looks of the K1300R.  I’m sure it’s sporty and fun, and whatnot–all the things the naked bike enthusiast really wants in a motorcycle–but it just looks goofy.

The flyscreen is literally that; just a tiny windshield to keep the bug guts out of the cables and wiring that sprout off the top of the triple tree (if that is indeed what it’s called on a BMW).  The two headlights, with their odd shape and mismatched sizes between the low- and hi-beams look goofy.  And what is that little grille-like thing below the headlights?  Does it even have a purpose?  And the styling of the front forks looks like someone stuck a dog’s leg on backwards.

I understand that there is a loyal customer base for this Frankenstein’s monster of a bike.  So, I’m sure you’ll like it, if this is the sort of thing you like.

BMW K1300S
BMW K1300S

Ah, the K1300S.  I can never own this bike, of course.  Just like I can’t own a Hayabusa, a ZX-14 Ninja, A CBR, or, really, any liter bike.  If I ever own a bike like this, I will go to jail.

Yes, I like to think I’m a grown-up, and I’m too mature for any of that bad-boy silliness.  I also know that’s a load of crap.  I’d flog this 180 horsepower monster worse than Captain Bligh would flog an insubordinate seaman, right up until the CHP grabbed me, and tossed me in the clink.

Either that, or I’d just kill myself on it, doing something outrageously stupid.

In any event, It looks great, and this factory paint job is one of the best out of Bavaria in a few years.


My personal choice between these three is, as I’ve mentioned before, the K1300GT.  It’s more powerful than most bikes, but not as shockingly bad as the S model.  The engine has been detuned a bit to provide lower horsepower, but greater torque, which is what you want in a touring bike.

I especially like how they’ve shanged the tank insert on the side from dark gray to silver, which matches up much better with the steel blue color.

My only quibble is that BMW has designed the fairing in such a way as to make installing frame sliders difficult.  As I learned from my accident, the frame sliders are worth far more than their weight in gold in keeping damage to the fairing at a minimum.  The bike does have frame sliders, but BMW has installed them under the fairing.  They protect the engine, but not much else.  So, a bad foot slip in oil or gravel in a parking lot or at a stoplight will be about $1,0o0.

If I got the GT, I’d want to have the Automatic Stability Control, Electronic Suspension control, and the whole deal.

All I need is about $25,000, including tax, title, and license, to pull that off.

The one down side is that for 2009, BMW is ditching the traditional BMW turn signal switches for the standard, UJM-style switch on the left handlebar.  I dislike that a lot.  Indeed, one of the things I really liked about my Harley was having the separate switches on each handlebar.

Still, that’s the only thing I don’t like about this bike.

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.