Yesterday I took a 250 mile jaunt on my new K1300GT. Mostly backroads with some freeway to connect the fun bits. It was a beautiful day here; mostly sunny with temps from 56 - 68 throughout the route. For those that know this part of California, the route was Uvas Canyon to Day Rd, then down through Hollister, Cienega Rd to 25, 25 to Bitterwater then over to King City (tacos, anyone?) short shot down 101 to 198, back onto 25 and the entire length of 25 back to Gilroy and then home to San Jose. Here's the short version of my take on the new red beast -
- Handling - Awesome! It love corners, and the ESA II setup and settings are much better than the original ESA. The steering does feel a bit lighter than before.
- Comfort with the new taller factory bars - Excellent, watch for a set of bar risers going up for sale soon
- Hesitation - Haa! Fooled you, there is none! It was weird, for a time while carving up canyons when I was transitioning on the throttle I kept expecting the hesitation from the 08 GT to be there and I kept screwing up my lines. Not until now did I realize how prevalent that issue was on my 08GT. Oh, I did get over it rather quickly
- Tranny - smooth shifting through all the gears, all the time. The clutch pull feels lighter than on the 1200, but the 1200 was far from heavy.
- Motor - DUDE, IT IS SWEET!! Power all over the place, torque from way down low and just grunty pull everywhere. Linear, immediate, and fast delivery of GO when, where and how you want it, all the time.
Here's a good example of what I mean. A guy on a new R1200RT who could really ride (this guy was fast and handled that thing practically like a sportbike) caught up with us approaching an accident scene on the return trip on 25 and blew past us before he saw the CHP and slowed down. We got past the incident and he opened it up, and I decided to see how long I could keep up with him. I forgot how nice it is to have a skilled rider in front of you so you can follow his lines and have some early warning for braking, lean angles, debris, etc. Well, after about 20 miles of canyons where I don't think we dropped below 70 for more than a few corners, the chicken strips on the new tires are virtually gone. And after the canyon the road opens up into a couple of very long straights. So RT guy opens it up and gets rolling about 120, and I'm staying with him, he pulls to about 130 and I decide, "what the hell", and give the GT the full stick. He nodded as I went past at around 145, and I backed off as a hill approached pulling 154. Nothing about the bike cared it was going that fast, and it was still spooling up more power to go faster. Truly sick.
So all in all a very fun day on a great new bike, and I got a new high speed mark for myself! Woo hoo!