The BMW K1300GT SE has been a motorcycle of personal interest for some time. When I returned to riding in 2006, I promised myself I would buy a BMW Motorcycle.
Being tall, I have a problem with my hip to knee distance on most motorcycles and what I can fit on. When it came to the BMW models I was interested in, the RT and RS1100 and K1200GT 2003 were in my budget. I was disappointed when I found out I couldn’t fit comfortably on my chosen models.
So six years ago I settled for a Honda ST1100 and have loved every minute of the 73,000km of riding. It’s been an incredible motorcycle and still is.
Back in 2007 I went to the Sydney Motorcycle show and sat on the BMW K1200GT SE. I fitted on it, however it was out of my price range. In between that visit to the Motorcycle show in 2007 the K1300GT SE was released with a few more refinements.
I figured with the release of the BMW K1600GT a couple of years ago that the price of BMW K1300GT SE would drop along with the change from 2012 to 2013. So 2013 would be the target year to start looking again.
Time to kick some tyres
In Australia, we have two major online motorcycle sites (run by the same company) bikepoint.com.au and bikesales.com.au. I seem to gravitate more to the later.
It’s a great online site for finding and comparing motorcycles. Around October in 2012, I started testing the market place for a BMW K1300GT SE, doing some analysis and having a conversation with the local BMW guru.
We had one major life event to get over by January 2013 being our youngest daughter’s wedding. So I kicked a couple of tyres between October 2012 and January 2013 and watched bikesale.com.au.
Time to go shopping
With the wedding out of the way, it was time to go shopping. Living in the Canberra, the capital city of Australia, you just can’t go down to the local motorcycle shop and stumble upon a BMW K1300GT SE. This was going to be an online purchase.
Going back to bikesales, there were five BMW K1300GT SE for sale across Australia. I had my preferences from one to three.
- Preference one was in Brisbane
- The second in Sydney
- The third, north of Sydney
A few telephone calls and some inspections were now required. Number one motorcycle was in Brisbane and would require a local inspection. Thankfully my brother-in-law who lived in Brisbane, also a rider would be the inspector on hand.
For number two and three it was a weekend trip to Sydney.
On paper, preference number one was streets ahead of number two and three preferences.
My planned trip to Sydney didn’t happen. A call to my local Sydney weather contact and some views on the Road Transport Authority cameras indicated a ride to Sydney was a no show. So it was over to David my brother-in-law to check out the BMW.
Saturday 9 February 2013, mid-saturday morning, I’m at morning tea checking out the Tech news on my iPad and David rings me with the inspection report; “nice” was the reply.
I spoke to sales guy and confirmed I was interested, now for my remote test ride by Dave, pity I couldn’t be there.
David returned from the test ride with the two word comment, “buy-it”. If David was impressed, he knew I would be. So after some negotiation on the phone with the dealership from Morgan and Wacker for some extras and transport from Brisbane to Canberra, it was sold!
Friday 22 February was the planned arrival date for the “Beemer. As for the time, it was hit and miss, something you couldn’t nail down due to the motorcycle road transport timetable. I finally received the call around lunchtime to be ready for the delivery at 4.30pm.
So at 5.20pm, the “Eagle had landed”, the 2009 BMW K1300GT SE, with a little over 14,000kms on the clock. Check out the initial pictures below.
A new chapter now starts for motorcycleridingcentral.com
Not jealous at all, not at all!
Hi Chris, I got my K1300GT SE in August 2012 and it has been a real revelation. More stomp than I know what to do with and I can not believe how well it handles for such a big bike. Great brakes and the ESA makes life easy.
But I do wonder sometimes how a company that made its name building touring bikes managers to make such an average seat ! Having said that I did do my first 1,000 klms day in about 15 years over Easter so it can’t be all that bad. The cruise control proved its worth.
Other things that could be better are the center stand which is impossible to use with the bike fully loaded and I can’t for the life me figure out why they have a 90 degree valve on the front but not the back.
But if they are the only issues I have it just shows how good the rest of the bike is !
I’m sure you are enjoying your K1300 as much as I am mine.
Might see you on the road sometime.
Chris Mundy says
I understand what you say about the seat, however it is much better since I’ve raised it up. My next trick is to put a lambswool seat cover, if that doesn’t work there is seat guy in Goulburn NSW (MJM Custom Seats) who re-worked the seat on a friend’s K1200GT SE. Bruce loves the seat and said it was worth the coin getting it done.
As for the grunt on the bike, my goodness; it’s certainly got the goods when you need it. I just pumped the tyres and its a pain the the butt pumping up the rear tyre. I’ve got one of those 90 deg valves you put on prior to pumping up the tyres, not perfect but exploring options to improve this. I had 90 deg valves on the ST1100, nice.
I have a lambswool seat cover and it does help but I think I will get the seat looked at when the funds are available. I have read about MJM let me know how you go, some pics would good too if possible. I use a 90 deg valve, very handy. I also put an after market foot on the side stand. The stock one is pathetically small. Again how do BMW get something as basic as this wrong ?
But despite all those things I have no regrets buying it. I have done more Klms on it in the time I have had than I did on my old BMW K100rs in the last 3 years I had it.
Its a great bike and think it will be along time before even think about replacing it.
Hi Chris, Hope your still having a good time on the K1300. Hasn’t been the best bike weather in my part of the world but still get the odd trip in.
Just a bit of an update on the ergo’s, I’m on the short side, 5″‘ 8’ in the old money and short in the legs as well. So I need the seat in the low position but I also had the bars at about 1/3 of the way up in their adjustment. this put me right on the nose of the seat, not that comfortable. The sales rep told me that with the bars a bit lower it would load up the front and it would be much better in the twisties. I’m sure he is right and the bike does feel fantastic in the front end. When I figured out that I’m not Cassey Stoner and am all most 53 yrs old, I took the bars up to about 3/4. This pushes me back in to the meat of the seat, opens up that knee/hip angle and is maybe 50% more comfortable.
I still think that I will do something seat and maybe a bigger screen for winter riding.
Chris Mundy says
Yes the K1300 is going like a charm, I have raised the seat on the bike and it has made a big difference to my riding. Far more comfortable as my thighs are more horizontal to the knee line. When I get a spare moment I’ll go back and see about some adjustment on the handlebars, probably higher for me. It’s been cold riding in Canberra this winter, but nothing the seat warmer, handlebar heaters cant fix!
All the best
Hi Chris, Not sure if your still doing this site.
But I was wondering how your going with the Big K ? Have you looked at redoing the seat and if so how has it gone ? I am keen to hear as I am looking at doing something with mine, it’s still the major failing of the bike I think.
Actually on a more important note. Check with your local BMW dealer on some recall issues. One of which is a jump-guard on the cam chain, if not fixed it can lead to one very big blow up of the valve gear. Also a fuel pump flange.
The reason I mention that you may need to chase it up is that my local Dealer, Southbank BMW, Melbourne don’t bother letting owners know until you happen to cal them for some other reason !Not really good enough.
Chris Mundy says
Hi Ray, Long time no reply. Apologies.
Big K is going OK, have had some niggly little BMW issues such as a leaky oil flow reservoir issue now resolved.
Recalls, all done, thanks.
Seat, sometime early summer I will go back and look at it. I have quote for it to be done.
I was heading out to QLD on it however there was a small issue with my riding partner for the trip. Check out the site.