Motorcycle.Com has the results of their shootout between the BMW K1300S and the Honda VFR1200F. On paper the bikes are a really close match with the Beemer putting out 146.8HP and the Honda throwing out 146.4 HP. BMW has the edge in torque, though, with higher torque all along the rev line, except at the tippy top, and maxing out at 89.6 ft-lb compared to the VFR’s 82 ft-lb. The BMW hit max torque 700RPM shorter, too.
On the other hand, they write that the Honda is easier to ride, more maneuverable, more comfortable, and carries its weight better than the BMW. Both bikes sport about 5-gallon tanks, so neither one is all that impressive when it comes to touring range.
So, what’s the bottom line?
“Although the BMW may not have the utter refinement of the Honda, I wouldn’t be ashamed or regretful of having a K1300S in my garage if I’d purchased one and then later had the chance to ride a VFR1200F,” says Pete. “Furthermore, the practical techy options like anti-spin control, ESA II, etc, that have real-world application raise the K13’s’s price by only $1,800 more than the Honda’s, making a case for the BMW being the better value. Frankly, the BMW’s Premium Package option is simply worth the added cost over base MSRP, especially so if you amortize that $1,800 across the term of a loan.”
The price on the Honda is the kicker. For what you get for the money, I’d agree that the BMW is probably a better deal. You really do have to ride a BMW to really get how good the ESA is. And the BMW cruise control really is excellent.
I really wanted to like the new VFR a lot, but this 1st-gen model doesn’t seem to quite have “it” at the price Honda’s asking you to shell out.