INTERMOT 2008. A new K family.

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K1300R-thumbTwenty-five years ago BMW Motorrad stunned the motorcycle world with the K 100 and K 100 RS. BMW, for the first time, had stepped away from the air-cooled Boxer and single-cylinder world and into the high power four-cylinder fuel-injected era.

It was perhaps fitting at this year's INTERMOT in Cologne the second generation of the (newer) high-performance 55° across the fame four was introduced.

The K 1300 S, K 1300 R and K 1300 GT were the featured models on the BMW Motorrad stand in the huge Koelnmesse exhibition centre. Updated models on the previous across the fame 1200 versions, with subtle changes in bodywork, that give the bikes a more dynamic and purposeful look.

There is a big change at the controls of the bike with completely redesigned switchgear. The new design is more compact, lighter weight and will enable new functions to be added in the coming years. The indicator functions are now operated by a single toggle switch on the left-hand block, as is high beam, hazard lights, ASC and other options.

On the right hand side there is the starter button and engine kill switch, in a single unit and, above that, the heated grip activator.These changes will, I am sure, if for no-one else, please those journalists who could never quiet master BMW Motorrad's current easy to use system. This new system is on all the new K models and will be introduced in all models that currently use the BMW style switchgear.

K1300S

The K 1300 S takes up from where the K 1200 S took BMW into the world of Face The Power. The architecture is similar, but the S has been developed to produce an even more dynamic motorcycle. The top fairing section has been narrowed, visually removing some excess bulk, without a reduction in rider comfort. The air intakes are now an aggressive feature of the face of the motorcycle.

Sitting on the bike, riders will notice a new lightweight instrument panel and there is now also the option of fitting the HP Instruments Cluster as used on the HP2 Sport. These instrument panels can not only be used in a normal road riding mode, but can also be switched between additional modes and functions that are designed for track days.

According to the figures, the S will not only be more stable at speed, but also be easily manoeuvred in tight and twisty terrain. To achieve this, the Doulever front end has been updated, with the lower longitudinal arm now being made of forged aluminium, giving the rider more feel, with greater stability and dynamic performance at both low and high speed.

Meanwhile, the Paralever rear end has been modified to take in the new ESA II. This new optional package for suspension adjustment gives even more control of settings, which now include spring rate adjustment, along with dampening and preload as seen on the original ESA. The new version is also one kilogram lighter than its predecessor.

In addition to the above changes, internal mechanical modifications have been made that not only produce more power, but also deliver enhanced performance and ridability too.

At the heart of the new K is the 1293 cc motor which now produces 129 kW /175 hp at a reduced 9,250 rpm with an even greater spread of torque; 70% is available at 3,000 rpm with a maximum of 140 Nm at 8,250 rpm. To increase capacity, there has been an increase in both bore and stroke (80 x 64.3), but the effect of the increase has been compensated by many internal improvements; New lightweight, short apron pistons, with underside oil-spray cooling, lighter and stronger conrods and frictionless bearings all contribute to high performance and smooth operation. The head has been further developed for even greater thermo dynamic performance than on the K 1200 S.

There is a raft of changes to the BMS-K engine management package, all designed to increase performance at all speeds, improve fuel economy and lower emissions. New throttle butterflies with desmodromic operation and the variable pressure fuel injection give perfect air / fuel mix in all situations and should result in a more even ride especially when riding in stop-start city traffic as well as when on the go on the open road.

Getting rid of the exhaust is taken care of with a new lighter stainless steel muffler. The hexagonal shape is visually less confronting than the current unit and the exhaust is now fitted with an electrically operated butterfly flap, which opens at speed, for optimum performance as well as a nice (legal) note.

The gearbox has also been given a makeover with new shift levers and a repositioned pivot point running with anti-friction bearings. Along with other internal changes, designed to increase dynamic performance, there has been improvements to the clutch. Gear changes will be smooth and fast with short lever movement.

As an option, HP Gear Assistant is available. As introduced on the HP2 Sport, the system allows clutch less gear changes without hesitation or interruption to traction. No need to come off the throttle, the fuel is cut as gear lever is activated and instantly returns as the gear is engaged. This option comes together with sports footrests. This is the first time this feature has been available on a large-scale production model.

The brakes are carried over from the previous model and are equipped with ABS that has been improved for more feel and performance even when used aggressively. ASC can be added to the package.

The colour options are Light Grey Metallic, Lava Orange Metallic and for those who prefer multi colours, Granite Grey Metallic/Light Grey Metallic with Magma Red highlights. On all colours, the frame is Asphalt Metallic and the engine black. Of course there is a full book of options for comfort, travel and just to personalise the bike.

At 254 kg it is not a lightweight sports bike, more a (very, if you want it) high performance motorcycle that is at home in all conditions from riding to work or attacking the race track.

K1300R

If you like your K naked and aggressive, the new K 1300 R fits the bill. The R has been given an even more aggressive stance, with a new front 'guard, chunky radiator trim and intake panels emblazoned with K 1300 R. As well as helping the bike stand out in the crowd these features also give the rider extra protection from the elements. With 127 kW / 173 hp on tap, the elements can pack a mighty punch! There is also new headlight cowling to finish off the front end.

The engine has all the changes as on the K 1300 S but, as with its predecessor, the power is slightly lower. But the torque and subsequent acceleration is still eye popping. The gearbox is available with HP2 Gear Assistant as an option and the HP Instrument Cluster is also available for those with more sporting pretence.

The suspension, like on the S has been modified to give a more sporting and dynamic feel without compromising rider comfort and ESA II is an option.

The colour options Silk Metallic or Lava Orange Matallic with black motor and Asphalt Metallic frame again give the 243 kg (wet) K 1300 R a visual presence like no other BMW motorcycle. Of course some might like to share the naked experience and to make it a bit more comfortable there is the option of a comfort seat, panniers and a heap of other goodies.

The K 1200 R was a heap of fun; the K 1300 R takes it a step further.

K1300GT

The K 1300 GT is the gentleman's (or woman's) express; all the comfort and performance that was not found in a tourer of the past. The K 1200 GT was a success and the new model will further enhance BMW Motorrad in the performance sector.

At 288 kg, with the 24 lt tank topped-up, the 118 kW / 160 hp GT has performance to burn. The motor has different airflow a mapping to the K 1300 S an R and, although down on power, it is all relative, because the GT produces massive torque throughout the range. Just what is needed when two-up with gear. Due to its different power delivery it does not have the power flap in the exhaust system as does the K 1300 S and K 1300 R.

All the other refinements in the gearbox and suspension are included in the GT, as is the new switchgear that even has a BMW name; MID, Moulded Interconnect Devices. The instrument console also gets an upgrade from the previous K 1200 GT and all the fruit-salad of comfort is there on the bike. It will probably disappoint a few that there is no sound system.

New colours of, Red Apple Metallic with dark contrast trim, Royal Blue Metallic with White Alluminium contrast and Magnesium Beige Metallic highlighted with Dark Slate Metallic give the GT three distinct personalities, the choice is yours.GT is Gran Turismo and this new model is it to a T.

INTERMOT was the first big show of the year and BMW Motorrad did not disappoint the huge crowd that flocked to Cologne. As well as these new models, there were all the current models on show, as well as fashion parades with the new seasons rider wear. The new K family of bikes will continue the success that began twenty-five years ago when the K 100 and K 100 RS burst on to the scene.