Test Drive - BMW K1300 GT
Just for fun I took a K1300GT for a one-hour demo drive at a local BMW dealer. I’m 6-2, 190 lbs. My impressions (coming from a DL1000):
• Riding position was very “sporty” i.e. relatively high pegs and low bars = leaned forward position. The bars appeared to be adjusted all the way up. Not sure if the pegs can be moved. I felt a bit like a squid, without the flipflops.
• Analog instruments were easy to read, LCD not so much (in bright sunlight with a tinted visor).
• Ferocious engine, with addictive power surge. Pulls hard from 2,000 rpm upward. Things start happening fast at 6,000 rpm.
• No drivetrain slop or funny fuel injection. Easy to drive smoothly around town.
• Excellent brakes (I suppose this is a must-have with an engine like this!)
• Solid handling; no wobbles or weaving. Very impressive.
• I could not raise the windshield high enough to keep wind blast off my helmet. Otherwise, good weather protection from all that bodywork.
• High frequency vibes in bars at some RPM ranges.
• A tipover would probably result in expensive damage to bags and bodywork; no fall protection evident (a la ST1300).
• Heated grips and seat: nice touches.
• Fit and finish: outstanding.
• Oh yeah: the final drive did not fail.
Overall a very nice package. Would I buy one? No, here’s why:
1. Sporty riding positions aggravate my carpal tunnel problem.
2. High frequency vibes = numb hands.
3. I prefer to do my own maintenance. Looks like lots of specialized fasteners and fittings on the BMW. All that bodywork must complicate things too.
4. So far I’ve tipped-over my Vee once on both sides, with repair costs totaling $200. I’m guessing the Beemer would be much more costly to repair.
5. I like to explore dirt roads now and then, which is probably not a good idea with the GT.
Next time I’ll take the R1200RT out. I think it might “fit” me much better.