BMW's K 1300 R, is mean and brutish and can go almost anywhere
There is a certain aura that outlandish naked bikes flaunt with such non-chalance that their raw and untamed energy is something that you just cannot avoid. They have a very attractive persona around them that invites enthusiasts with the disposition of just riding its heart out like no other, and BMW's K 1300 R squarely slots into that category, daring its rider to push harder and faster.
One look at the K 1300 R makes you feel like the motorcycle is tempting you into riding it, with its demeanour suggesting a functional, industrial design and intense strength. The tank stretches forward from the rider seat like a muscled chest, with extensions jutting all the way up to the front headlights. The oil cooler nestles just under the headlights, while the radiators sit fore of the engine. The industrial look is emphasised further by BMW's Duolever front suspension. There are no telescopic forks, the system instead uses a car-like double wishbone set-up that's mounted up, near the steering column. All you see on either side of the wheel is a smart, rigid fork that looks like an outstretched leg. Suspended in between is 120/70 x 17-inch size rubber, sandwiched between 320mm double discs.
There's no shortage of design detail to help the K 1300 R's brutish looks. Stealth fighter-like creases and lines on the small engine fairing, the exposed engine leaning forward by 55 degrees, a purposeful and solid looking shaft drive and that Paralever rear set-up are all stunning. The hollowed out hub for the 190/55- section rear tyre and rim look a treat too. Another nifty touch is an exposed frame rear section that's also covered by the pillion seat. The gently contoured seat is wide and soft, providing a cushy experience.
A small screen up ahead affords the rider marginal wind deflection while also protecting the instrument cluster. The speedometer readout is analogue, while the digital display shows gear position, time and odometer, above which is a small tachometer. Palm grips, control levers and switchgear feel top notch in terms of quality.
The 1293cc four-cylinder motor packs 173bhp with 14.27kgm of torque, equating to a frightening amount of power on tap that rises all the way up to the redline. Pushing the bike to the limit is easy, and for the over-enthusiastic riders, the Anti-Spin Control system cuts in if required, to keep you in check.
Versatility remains the K 1300 R's trump card. The fact that you can ride this inclined, in-line four in traffic in fourth or even fifth gear goes to show the unruffled manner in which it delivers the goods. It pulls from as low as 2500rpm without as much as a blink. The hydraulic clutch draw is smooth and has a nice, meaty feel. It's easy to modulate this big motor to putter around town. The gearbox is itself one of the smoothest around, but finding neutral occasionally takes a bit too much effort. Of particular note is how the bike doesn't show any jerkiness even when suddenly snapping open the throttle.
Refinement on this bike is of a high order overall. The big engine emits no vibrations — even at the redline — and its relaxed demeanour gives it the image of a mile-muncher through and through.
The K 1300 R's handlebars are wide and offer a relaxed seating position. There's little load on your wrists and the riding position is spot-on, sporty while also comfortable. At 243kg, this is no lightweight boxer. However, the separation of steering and suspension via the Duolever results in an incredibly crisp steering that is difficult to get your head around, especially when you factor in the size and the 1585mm wheelbase. Combined with the soft saddle, the suspension set-up never lets the road intrude into your ride.
The light steering and impressive steering lock make this bike an absolute breeze through city traffic. Quicken the pace, though, and you will need to recalibrate your steering inputs owing to the fact that the bike's steering responds to rider inputs with alacrity and it turns-in lightning-quick. Dropping the pace completely is also a task completed with confidence thanks to the ABS cutting-in and letting you stop without a worry.
This is a motorcycle that can be put to good everyday use. The K 1300 R is an immensely likeable bike that can take up pride of place in many a rider's garage. Outlandish form, ease of use and copious power are enjoyable, every time out. However, what fosters a deeper relationship with the rider is the K 1300 R's ability to transcend the world of motorcycles. Such fluid handling, that butter-smooth motor and an impeccable air of quality simply make you feel like this is all from another world. The fly in the ointment then is the heavy price tag, which means only riders with truly deep pockets (the bike is priced at Rs.16.87 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai) will ever be able to revel in K 1300 R brilliance.
Keywords: BMW K 1300R