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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there K-Bike community,

I have a 2008 K12S that I've been really enjoying. I perform all my own maintenance and repairs and I've put a ton of work into this bike, having bought it in a somewhat neglected state. It's now a very fine motorcycle that has been a blast to ride. A sort of Gentleman's sport bike. In fact, I've been enjoying it so much I'm starting to think more about longevity of the species. Given the current economy, there are some excellent deals out there on the newer K1300S and I'm wondering if I should be looking for a clean specimen before they start to disappear.

My questions to you all is this. What are the main differences between the K12S and the K13S beyond the obvious. I've not yet found a K13S in a position where I can ride it and do a comparison. I'm thinking mainly in terms of ride quality and performance. It seems like the two bikes are very similar technically so trying to gauge if it's worth spending up for the K13S.

As I mentioned, my K12S is from 2008 and only has about 30K miles on it. After all the work I've done to it, it's in excellent condition and performs very well. I've done a number of upgrades to it that close the gap with some features on the K13S. Would I really experience an appreciable difference in ride quality / performance to make the K13S a worthy investment?

I really appreciate any thoughts you all can share.

Thanks!
 

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I wonder if more than one or two folks have owned both.

I had the pleasure of an extended drive on a 2015 K1300S Motorsport Edition before settling on a 2007 K12. Full disclosure, I have owned a LT for the last 4 years and have taken it on several extended and cross country trips)

I wanted to expand my riding options, and so, through a friend, angled the ride on the K1300s.

Now I have owner the K12S for about 2 months and I am settling into it. I am not a particularly aggressive operator.

From my perspective, the K1300 offers quick shift (up shits only) - pretty cool and definitely cuts down your quarter mile time. K12S doesn't

K1300s has more refined fairings. I like the rough edginess of the K12

K1300S has about 8 more HP. FWIW, not material unless you are jonesing to loose you license faster than with the K12S

Oh, and the K13S Motorsport Edition has the very expensive adjustable foot pegs. For me, no added value other than they look cool.

And it has the forged wheels, which I believe reduce the unsprung weight by about 2 lbs per wheel. If you are really into competition, this could be material. Not so much for everyday.

Thats my $ .02

Really enjoying my K1200S !!!
 

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A bird in the hand might in fact be worth two in the bush.

You have a bike you're familiar with, that you worked the bugs out of (I'm being perhaps overconfident here) and then why change it? We've all missed opportunities at one time or another, but if you subscribe to "Like what you have, not have what you like" you may find more happiness in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A bird in the hand might in fact be worth two in the bush.

You have a bike you're familiar with, that you worked the bugs out of (I'm being perhaps overconfident here) and then why change it? We've all missed opportunities at one time or another, but if you subscribe to "Like what you have, not have what you like" you may find more happiness in the long run.
Completely agree, and I really do love my K12S. What's got me thinking about it is my desire to upgrade the suspension and add tire pressure monitoring. I've calculated the costs of these two upgrades at $2500 which would be a big chunk of a newer K13S that would have these features along with additional features like shift assist, updated controls, and (maybe) improved engine power delivery (peak torque vs. peak power). It's hard to spend that kind of money on the K12S, when it's only worth about $6K on a good day.
 

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I have a 2008 k12R and had the opportunity to mind my mate’s K1300R. When one was ridden after the other there was a reasonable difference in refinement noticed but the k13 had done 30k miles and the k12 65k miles. This could’ve been the difference. BUT when I rode my k12R exclusively nothing made me want to swap it for a k13 or any other bike for that matter. This is the first bike I’ve owned where I haven’t traded up to the next model.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a 2008 k12R and had the opportunity to mind my mate’s K1300R. When one was ridden after the other there was a reasonable difference in refinement noticed but the k13 had done 30k miles and the k12 65k miles. This could’ve been the difference. BUT when I rode my k12R exclusively nothing made me want to swap it for a k13 or any other bike for that matter. This is the first bike I’ve owned where I haven’t traded up to the next model.
You might be on to something here. I really struggle to ask for more than what I'm getting out of the K12S beyond than the suspension upgrade and tire pressure monitoring. There's a point where the economics are the issue any more and I might be there.
 

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I’ve owned a K1200R and a K1200 R Sport. Neither had ESA and neither had any mechanical issues when I sold them. I bought the K1300S because I was concerned about having to possibly deal with the really difficult and expensive faults and foibles down the road that had been addressed and dealt with by the K1300. It seems that you have reached a familiar emotional dilemma. The “I really don’t want this, but deep down I really do.” From my experience, this dilemma won’t go away until you will eventually cave in and get what you really want. As far as a riding experience comparison between a K12 and K13 I can’t really see that much difference. However, the K1300S seems a bit more refined. Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

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I have owned both. Long story short, I am 6’3 and 289 lbs and the 1300S just felt better to me. It ran smoother, shifter smoother and was just more comfortable on long rides. I did a 3800 mile ride on the K1300S and had no issues, wasn’t in pain and could have kept riding for days on end. For me, the 1300 was a superior machine but there is nothing wrong with the 1200S either.

That’s my .02. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies, especially those of you who have owned both bikes. In terms of comfort, the geometry between the K12S and the K13S are identical so not sure why one would be more comfortable per se, but can appreciate that the engine / trans would be smoother on the K13S.

I think I'll hold out for an opportunity to drive one myself. Again, my K12S is very well sorted and has few issues so maybe I'm looking to solve a problem I don't have.

Stay tuned.
 

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Thanks for all the replies, especially those of you who have owned both bikes. In terms of comfort, the geometry between the K12S and the K13S are identical so not sure why one would be more comfortable per se, but can appreciate that the engine / trans would be smoother on the K13S.

I think I'll hold out for an opportunity to drive one myself. Again, my K12S is very well sorted and has few issues so maybe I'm looking to solve a problem I don't have.

Stay tuned.
Not sure why the 13S felt better but I had 2 1200’s and I just bought my 2nd 1300S tonight and I would recommend the 1300 every time :)
 

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Thanks for all the replies, especially those of you who have owned both bikes. In terms of comfort, the geometry between the K12S and the K13S are identical so not sure why one would be more comfortable per se, but can appreciate that the engine / trans would be smoother on the K13S.

I think I'll hold out for an opportunity to drive one myself. Again, my K12S is very well sorted and has few issues so maybe I'm looking to solve a problem I don't have.

Stay tuned.
Well, in my case, I went to a K1300S to hopefully avoid a problem I don’t have, yet.
 

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12 v 13

Having owned both, I reckon that the 1300 is superior in the following ways -

1 Engine. Ricardo did a great job on the engine. Smooth as silk -even pulling away from 30 mph in 6th - with no more ‘hunting’ or hesitating.

2 Front end feel. Much more direct, no more jumping off the bike convinced I had a front puncture as I did many times on the 12.

3 Gear change. The Motorsport has the improved and high quality linkage, much more precise.

4 ESA II - feels a bit more refined than first version.

5 Brakes. Plenty of power and feel and no more worrying about the (now absent) electric servo going pop.

Hope this helps, David Mc.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well problem solved. A bone stock 2013 K1300S "30 Years" Edition with 6800 miles.

I'm sure I over paid at $9200 but it was local and unmolested with very low miles. The bad news, very little has ever been done to the bike (still has original tires). The good news, very little has ever been done to it and has avoided all the stupid things people sometimes do to their bikes. After removing all the body work and inspecting the bike, it's clear the bike lived a garage it's whole life on a battery tender. It was rarely if ever driven in the rain (which is saying something in Seattle) and the heated grips were never used (they're like new). I'm certain I'm the first person to remove a lot of the bolts I just turned to service the bike.

So far I've:
Changed the oil
Serviced the final drive (including splines)
Flushed the brake fluid
Checked the air filters (still like new)
Replaced the tires (Road 5s)

I picked up a GS-911 and will reset the learned values and service minder etc. and check for codes. There is an open campaign for the handlebar switches so will get that done soon as well. Aside from a few stupid garage induced issues (some white over spray from something, now all cleaned off) the bike is amazingly clean. Body work and headlight are near new condition. Adding the Seargent seat from my K12S once the pin strip has been changed to racing red.

My first impressions are that the bike rides very different than the K12S. Yes, it's much smoother but the low end torque on this thing is in another category. The quick shifter and smoother transmission are a joy relative to the K12S. I was surprised by what I perceive to be a slightly elevated handlebar position. I haven't verified this with measurements but on my first ride, had to double check there weren't bar risers on the bike. I'm told that the front end geometry is different between the K12 & K13 so maybe that's what's happening.

I'll write up more once I have the bike back on the road and can log some miles.
K1300S.jpg


27322
 

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I think your 1300 has a set of helibars on it ,I might be wrong. but I think a see a step in your pics
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Nope, they're stock. I think my mind was playing tricks on me. That said, there might be some geometry differences.
 

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I put this file in another thread about K13's but it fits here too in case you want details or someone searching finds this thread.
 

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I recently had my old 2007 K1200s develop a major fault with the fuel system while 900km from home in Victoria BC Canada. Given the repair cost, parts delay, need for new tires and need for a major service I traded my bike in at Island Motorsports for a mint 2015 K1300S with only 2600km on it. It is now at 4500km and since I did 30,000Km on the Old K1200S I feel qualified to comment. Of the two the 1300 is a much improved bike. The biggest differences are the handling and throttle response. The K1200 was always very low in feedback from the tires which makes it a difficult bike to ride fast in tight bends (it is fine in fast sweepers so long as it is dry). The new bike has much lighter handling (a lot less effort to get the bike over into a corner) and a lot more feedback. Still not as good as a good conventional fork but still very good. This allows you to tackle twisty roads much better and starts to feel a lot more sporty (I own a few superbikes including v4S Ducati so I have a good base of comparison). For me this change alone is worth the extra cash and in very tight bends I can run 90km/h vs 75-80 km/h on the old bike. The lighter front end means that you can get the bike over from one turn to the next much faster and the feedback means you can push the tires much harder. This is despite the fact that my old K1200s had slightly sportier tires (Avon Spirit ST) than my new k1300S (Metzler Sportec M3). The other major change is the power delivery. The 1300 is much more linear hand has more low end power. You generally ride these bikes at 4000-5000 rpm and the 1300 has much better throttle response at these revs. The 1200 feels like it has 3 sections to its delivery. Below 4000 rpm the bike takes a while to accelerate between 4000 and 7000 is pulls much better but for a really fast overtake you need 7000 revs. The k1300 is much more linear in its delivery and suffers less vibration. In general the k1300 feels like a much smoother and more premium vehicle. The decision comes down to price and where you use it. Highways and straight roads the k1300 does not add a lot beyond being newer. For twisty roads the k1300 is a significantly better bike. Of course you will pay around twice as much
 
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