Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Paso Robles, Ca, USA
K1300GT First Impressions
I was at Santa Cruz BMW yesterday having the fuel strip on my GT replaced, and I asked the sales guy Shawn Thomas if he had taken delivery on the '09 yet. Why yes we have, would you like to demo it! So off I went to see if this new bike is worth thinking about in the future.
What a thrill to be the first guy on the bike (4 mi on the odom) but with new rubber and wet roads from the California monsoons, I had to take it easy. First, the transmission is smoother right out of the gate. The clunkiness is reduced and its not so sensitive to little shifting "errors". The extra power is noticeable. The extra weight is not. Throttle response is quicker than the '08 and low speed operation is fine (although so is my '08 with the new airbox, software, yada yada yada). It must have more torque than the previous model because the power delivery was instantaneous at lower revs. The handling and braking are very similiar to the '08. With the fresh motor I kept it below 7K and I can only imagine that the higher revs would be as equally impressive as the lower ones.
OK, about the reservoirs and controls. The reservoirs are definitely a step backward as has previously been chronicled. They just look cheap. The new controls will take some getting used to but in time I am sure the brain can adapt to the locations. The biggest problem is that most of the switches (especially turn signal and cruise control) have been reduced in size and are difficult to operate with winter gloves on. I rationalize away these drawbacks by virtue of the fact that when you are getting it on in the twisties, you are not operating these controls or looking down at the reservoirs!
Overall I rate the bike high. Will I buy one? Well I know that I will not keep my '08 after the warranty expires, based on its pathetic repair/recall history. I will keep my eye on the succuess of the 1300 and if it has shed the previous gremlins, I will definitely consider it in a year or two.
Thank you Shawn!
Paso Robles, Ca