BMW K1300GT vs Yamaha FJR 1300 - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 2011, 8:51 pm Thread Starter
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BMW K1300GT vs Yamaha FJR 1300

2010 BMW K1300GT vs. 2009 Yamaha FJR1300A
I’m a medical professional in the Army. I’m 42, 5’10” and a casual rider; meaning I mostly ride in good weather. I “cruise” around and do not try to drag knees or anything like that. I’ve been riding consistently for the past four years. Like most, I compared the FJR, ST1300 and the K1300GT. I eliminated the ST1300 early because it seemed “dated” and it was very heavy. I bought my FJR, new, in Aug 09. I kept it stock. I love the bike but recently traded it in for a new, 2010, BMW K1300GT. I’m not sure why. Probably curiosity of what the premium bike might be like. I rode the FJR from Ft. Campbell, KY to Chattanooga, TN. And rode the K back to Ft. Campbell (~200 mi each way). I’ve only had the BMW for a few days but here are my observations so far.
The seating position on the FJR is superior. The seat is wider and more comfortable. And the foot pegs seem lower and slightly more forward. The seating position on the K felt more “sporty” which hurts my knees.I plan on getting a peg lowering kit for the K.
The FJR seemed to cruise at about 3k RPM. The K cruises at 4-4.5K RPM. No factor; just of note.
My MPG on the FJR was 44.5. On the K it was 42. This may improve once it gets broke-in.
The FJR felt more “sure-footed” when riding compared to the K. On the freeway, the K feels “squirrely”, like a bicycle that was running down hill and out of control. Or, like riding a bike with a very strong side wind. This is probably only my perception and may feel more natural after I get used to the K. Other than that I thought the ride felt about the same.
The FJR engine is silky smooth and was easy for DIY maintenance. You’ll need an engineering degree to change the oil on the K.
There are thousands of mechanics that can work on your FJR. There are fewer mechanics that have the ability to work on the K. There are way too many computers on the K. You pretty much HOPE there is a BMW shop nearby.
The FJR fairing is much smaller/shorter and does not protect near as well as the K. This was extremely evident on this ride because it was so cold out.
There is LOTS of plastic on the K. Almost everything except the frame is plastic. The FJR has plastic for the fairing but much of the rest is a metal alloy. The FJR feels more quality than the K.
The K comes with lots of factory-installed farkles. They don’t LOOK after market. This also eliminates the manufacture blaming you for anything that goes wrong on the bike. “ Well Mr. X of course your bike burned up. You altered the mirrors. Since you altered your bike your warranty is void”… Speaking of warranty. The FJR only came with one-year warranty and the K comes with three.
REAL Cruise control; not a throttle lock… WOW!!

Pros FJR:
Price!
Great engine
Easier for DIY maintenance
Better seating position
Jack-of-all-trades bike
I think the double headlight scheme looks nicer than the single on the K.
Reliability

Cons FJR:
Poor fairing/wind screen
Most options are after market
Needs bar risers to be more comfortable

Pros K:
Nice fairing/wind screen
Extras: heated grips, heated seats, real cruise control, ASC, ESA, Xenon headlight
Advanced technology???

Cons K:
Price
Lots of tech eliminating DIY
Expensive to service
Painful seat
Foot pegs are too high and kill my knees
Requires premium fuel
Lots of cheap feeling plastic

So far, I really like the K.
I think the perfect bike would be the FJR with a better fairing/wind screen and the option of factory installed farkles. = nice ride, easier servicing and less expensive.

I hope this helps someone trying to decide between the two.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 2011, 10:42 pm
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Interesting perspective, thanks for sharing.

It's funny, because the Feejer always looked cheap and simple to me. Kinda like the difference between a Camaro and a 5-series Bimmer.

Keep in mind that the Beemer is covered in plastic where you see it, but underneath it's all high-quality welded metal subframes and bracing.

You may see more metal on the Feejer, but most of it is cheap cast pot metal.

As an example, the Feejer's rear rack is rated at 10 lbs, and I've seen several crack and break at the exact same weak spot in the casting. Whereas I can literally lift my GT off the ground using only the rear rack.

There are other 'premium" differences of course, but it's up to each rider to decide whether those are worth the extra cost or not.

I do 90% of the maintenance on my GT myself. There are a few computer-related items, but most services can be done just fine by a competent mechanic with reasonable shop tools.

The adjustable bars are nice, but I wish they had adjustable pegs, too. I also run peg extenders, and I still have more cornering clearance than my FJR buddies.

As for the seat, well unfortunately, most stock BMW seats suck. Mine was rebuilt the same day I picked up the bike.

I put 138K on that GT, 12K on the next one, and just picked up my third.

Let us know what you think after you get a few thousand miles on it . . .

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles and counting...
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 60K miles miles and counting...
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 2011, 2:44 pm
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KGT seating position etc

Glad you got the 010 K1300GT! You can order a set of aluminum handlebar risers which will fit w/the OEM wiring harness and hydraulics. This set will not only raise the bars, and still has 3 different detent settings; but also brings them closer to you which will relieve much of that forward canted seating position and gets you in a much sweeter spot for your lower back and less weight on the family jewels. There is also a set that is yet again higher and set further back for that KLT type of bolt upright position , but requires a new set of longer wiring harnesses and longer hydraulics. This allows the KGT to be very user-friendly as we are all built very differently! The KGT is stiffer suspended than the FJR, the unusual suspension components unique to BMW does give one a more "riding on a rail" sense than conventional suspension components particularly on the highway. I think that the " broad side of a barn " fairing on the KGT bikes which allows for much better weather protection does in fact catch more eddy currents and side winds causing a bit more lateral motion on the highway than the FJR. But I have noticed that if you use Michelin PS 2's or Avon Storm II rear tires, then the extra siping and central treads tend to mitigate this effect. The Metzler tires were designed for the KGT and RT series bikes in every way. However, IMHO, the decision to use the same rubber/silica compound on the whole tire and rely soley on varying wire tension from center to sidewalls to stiffen them up in the center and soften them up on the sidewalls may make sense from an engineering point of view, but, from the practical "rubber meets the road" point of view, this causes too much wandering in cross winds and is especially prone to wander when raining out while on the highway. There is also no substitute for harder central rubber compound for better mileage. The hybrid tires do wear better than the Metzlers. Very subjective all this, but I am much happier w/the Avon Storm II or the Michelin PS 2 tires.
Hope you find this helpful! -Dr Ron

2009 KGT makes me SMILE
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 2011, 4:24 pm Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply's. I was not attacking either bike. I loved the FJR and I am certain I will love the K as well. They do have some differences. I only mentioned my initial views to help others make an educated choice. I do agree there are lots of little things in quality of the K that add up. I forgot to mention these earlier. Some things like braided lines are a nice, quality touch. I will give you my impressions after I have some miles in the saddle.
Two questions about the previous reply's.
1) What would you recommend as a good reference if I wanted to do some of my own maintenance?
2) Where do I find the bar backs that you mentioned in your reply? I've seem some on-line but I've read others comment that the lines are too short.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 2011, 4:58 pm
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I had the Suburban BB4's bar lifts on my '09 K1300GT and they installed easily and did not require longer cables, though you have to release some of the clips holding the cables. I found the position to be more upright and comfortable. I also had bought the Suburban peg lowers for rider and passenger which helped immensely. Here is a link to the site:

http://www.suburban-machinery.com/K1200GT6.html

You did well to buy a '10 KGT. The '09 being a first year model had some serious issues which plagued some of us.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 2011, 6:54 pm
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Many would agree with you that the seat sucks. By far, the best money I spent was buying a Russell seat. The stock seat sucks. I then tried a Corbin and although I still have it, I have not removed the Russell since I installed it. Frankly, I think the perfect setup would be a Russell front with a Corbin storage bin in the passenger position. Another consideration that's made big difference is an Aeroflow Screen.

Un-used mirror hole mounting posts AVAILABLE

Check it out here!
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 2011, 10:26 am
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I had an 08 FJR. Great looking bike mine was all black. I live in Texas and my main complaint was that this bike cooked me. The heat coming off that engine is tremendous. At anything above 70 degrees I could not ride comfortably due to excessive heat. On the K bike I notice heat only when stopped in traffic for a time.

Handling, the K is far superior in my opinion. The FJR feels heavy like a truck, I never felt it could be leaned over with confidence. The tranny on the FJR is smooth however, it shifts easily. My K is an 08 model and I noticed that on the highway at 60 MPH both the K and FJR are turning similar RPM.

The K does have more options and I feel it is setup with things needed for long distance cruising.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 2011, 10:59 am
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Hey Doc,

Thanks for the great comments and welcome to the group!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 7th, 2011, 11:57 pm
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If not a K13 I'd go with a Concours 14



IBA # 33267

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old Mar 8th, 2011, 12:36 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AttackPug
I'd go with a Concours 14
Rode one. Wasn't impressed.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles and counting...
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 60K miles miles and counting...
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

Some people see the gas tank as half empty. Some see it as half full. All I care is that I know where the next tankful is coming from...
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