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  #1  
Old 05-01-2012, 10:07 PM
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K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions


I just got back from a 350 mile arc of some of SoCal’s best motorcycle roads on my new 2011 K1300S. I bought this bike from Benjamin“Jordan” Liao, sales manager at New Century BMW Motorcycles in Alhambra, CA for $3000 off retail b/c the bike was a factory executive model with 604 miles, only 2yrs warranty left and had a frame defect (rub marks about boot high). I traded in my latest BMW, a 36,500 mile R1200S with a full titanium exhaust, a bunch of carbon fiber body panels and a custom Corbin seat with matching custom cowl. More details about my transaction can be found here:
http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=39222


New Century BMW

New Century is a rare bird in this economy: a brand new motorcycle dealership opening in the Los Angeles region where there are probably already 6 or 7 BMW dealerships within 50 miles. My buying experience was second to none, IMHO. I had already done nearly a year of research into the bike I wanted, what prices realistically were and what my trade was worth both as a trade and as a private party sale. I had seen the K1300S that I ended up buying on a web-only special for $2000 off retail. But it was only advertized on their website for $1000 off retail.



So I went in to look at it. The bike had a frame defect which was at and slightly above boot height as can be seen in the photo above. Given the smooth vertical striations it looks like something was leaning against the bike during shipping. Also since the bike had been put into service as an Exec bike by BMWNA already, there was only 2yrs left on the warranty.

Ben (the sales manager at NewCentury) immediately said that he was interested in getting a new customer for their dealership so “price would not be a problem if we have the bike you want”. He began by offering me the keys to the bike, pointing me to Angeles Crest Highway and telling me he was selling the bike for $3000 off retail. Wow.

So I took off for 20 minutes to check to see if everything was functioning well (it was) and returned the bike in one piece after tooling around town (no, I didn’t take their nearly brand new bike on ACH!). In the mean time, Ben had seen my bike and decided it was exactly the kind of bike the dealership was interested in. He offered me a fair price for the trade and when I said I would do it if I got to keep my expensive accessories, he threw in another $1000 to keep the pipes and the seat with the carbon bits.



Again, Wow. He had already hit all my meticulously researched price points and even bettered them without even haggling at all! And he offered me 10% off their catalog for as long as I had the bike. I actually felt bad that I had to tell him I needed to get it okayed before I purchased. Needless to say, after some strategic negotiation with the wife, I was back in the next day, money and title in hand, to purchase my new red K1300S. All the staff were nice and professional; many of them true BMW enthusiasts. All in all, I liked the dealership a lot. It is brand new inside and they have a full selection of new models including 4 1600s, 4 S100RRs, a bunch of GSs and even a K1300S HP limited edition (which was sold). The apparel department was well stocked with both BMW branded gear and a choice selection of other quality brands. Outside they had a small but interesting group of pre-owned bikes including another executive demo K1300S in tri-color blue with only 1500 miles on it with all the bells and whistles. If you know someone who would like one of these BMWNA bikes for a very nice discount then call Ben! I definitely recommend this dealership for their buying experience.

My Bike: 2011 Magma Red K1300S with Heated Grips, Trip Computer, ESAII, ABS, TPM, ASC with 644 miles at sale, 2yrs warranty - retail $18,500, purchase price $15,500


Riding Impressions



Monday dawned bright and clear in SoCal. The day had come to put the new bike through her paces. Beginning with a freeway commute through Los Angeles up to La Canada Flintridge we followed CA 2 (ACH) past MT Wilson all the way to Wrightwood. From there we dropped down the San Andreas Fault to catch CA138 up from the Cajon Summit past Lake Silverwood into Crestline. We hung a left at CA18 and drove Rim-of-the-World from Arrowhead to Big Bear Lake. Climbing CA38 out of Big Bear, we crossed the mountains and dropped back to the valley floor to jog up US Interstate 10 to Banning in order to catch CA243 to Idylwild and finish with CA74 down into Hemet. By the time I had arrived home a cool 350miles had clicked over and I had gone from 5ft above sea level to over 8000ft through three different mountain ranges with enough freeway travel to get a feel for high-speed lane splitting and rush hour traffic.

Even though I didn’t have my previous R1200S boxer in super-quick handling trim (stock height, no RT A-arm, no modified torque arm) it was always a bit head-twitchy on the freeway at extra-legal speeds. Crossing SoCal’sconcrete freeway transition bridge joints at speed often had the boxer slightly unstable. The K bike has none of those handling quirks. A longer wheelbase and more stable steering geometery makes the turning radius increase, notably when doing U turns and when dropping into a tight lean angle for turns at speed.

The K1300S is a heavier bike than my R1200S was. There is substantially more effort required to move this bike around the garage. The extra 100 lbs is surprisingly not evident once rolling. Where the bike’s extra heft and slow steering shows itself is in quick transitions on canyon bombs. Mostly this is not an issue at the speeds that I ride (spirited but smooth, no tire slide and no feet/pegs down ala “pace”). But particularly fast and frequent esses (such as on the banked but bumpy curves of CA74 between Hemet and Mountain Center)are a challenge – requiring a firm hand on the controls and a bit of preplanning.





Brakes were wonderful. I have missed the linked brakes on my R1200ST although the servos took a little getting used to. The R1200S did not have linked brakes and I have spent the last 2 years trying to master rear braking technique without constantly engaging the ABS or giving up too much stopping power. Ok, I admit defeat! The K1300S with its linked brakes out stops the 100lbs lighter R1200S without linked brakes in my layman’s hands. I’m sure more aggressive and competent riders could appreciate the separate brakes on my R1200S but I’m not one of them.

The K bike seems to prefer high tire pressures as well. Steering effort feels incredibly heavy on the stock M3s even 3 lbs under spec. My tire pressure monitor seems a bit glitch, sometimes always displaying the exact same pressure even from cold to warm, and then sometimes showing 2-3lbs high, especially after a short break in the action.

I really like the ESA convenience but I am a bit underwhelmed with the “one-size-fits-all” damping settings. I’d really like the ability to +/- damping without having to do all it does. I guess basically I have been spoiled by the sporty Ohlins that Racetec reworked to my specification on a bike that weighs a lot less than the K1300S. I’d like comfort to not pogo so much and Id like sport to be more aggressively damped. Ihave yet to try the one-up plus luggage or the two up settings. I weigh 185lbs no gear and my wife weighs 120lbs no gear so I feel like we should be right in the middle of the weight ranges BMW programmed this system for.

Speedometer is off by 5-10%, I think. Strange thing: When resetting the avg MPH while maintaining a steady speed, the avg speed clearly and repeatedly first registers 6-7% lower than the speedometer. But within a mile,the trip computer’s avg MPH has risen to agree with the speedometer! I will continue to monitor this phenomenon and try to get the bike clocked using a friend’s GPS in the next month or so.





Ergos are reasonable to good. The front bars are a little bit of a reach for my 6’0” height but not obnoxiously so. Leg room is ample for the style. The stock screen, while quite effective and attractive, sends bugs and whatnot directly at my exposed neck or into my helmet’s chin inlet. Just two more inches would solve this and to that effect I have ordered an MRA Vario screen to try. The seat is not as bad as the stock seat on the R1200S but the squishy showroom foam does get a fair amount of butt-numb going after about 200 miles. I am a huge fan of Corbin’s ride-in program so a trip to Hollister with the wife will definitely be in the works.

The engine feels amazing. I was a bit intimidated going froma 500lb bike with 125HP to a 600lb bike with 175HP but I shouldn’t have worried. The K bike accelerates smoothly with no drama. Quite frankly the R1200S’s hit at 6000+rpm is quite a bit more violent than the K bike – it’s just shorter. Also, the left side paralever has noticeably less driveline lash than the boxer did. Between the heavy torque, lighter weight, shorter wheelbase anda ¾ turn throttle, the R1200S could be a handful in the corners if the rider wasn’t very gentle with engine inputs. This K bike does on/off throttle and brakes mid-corner with very little instability. Nice!

Gearshift assist seemed a trifle gimmicky to me at first. But after a 350mile day of everything I am now a convert. Don’t buy a K1300S without it! First off it’s completely transparent so if the user doesn’t want to use it they don’t have to. But mid-corner steady throttle shifts are a thing of beauty and my passengers are amazed with how smooth a rider I’ve become based on the shifts. It’s just damn handy too when multi-tasking on surface streets (checking mirrors, changing lanes, hitting turn signals, toggling high-beams) ; clicking through gears without having to deal with the clutch. Thumb’s Up!




FINAL THOUGHTS

I was looking for a bike with better ergos for both rider and passenger, no chain maintenance, available hard bags, powerful engine and reasonable handling with as much safety gear as could be crammed in. The K1300S has so far hit all those buttons with a longer seat, higher windscreen, linked ABS, traction control all whilst maintaining BMW’s vaunted fit and finish. No, it’s not perfect: transition handling is pretty tiresome and the inline 4’s drone doesn’t stir the soul like a boxer. But the package is an incredible piece of purpose built machinery. So far I am ecstatic.

JT





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Old 05-01-2012, 10:22 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Yep, thanks to kneedragger, I have a set of pures waiting to replace the m3's...he thinks the turn in will be dramatically improved. He loves his. That's really about the only complaint I have with the bike.

You should check out the SGR rally set for Sept. Rooms are filling fast.

Congratulations, enjoy the bike.

600 miles is nothing, the scratch can be covered by the website's new sticker. Inquire within, see thread starter at top of home page.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:38 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaytee




Ergos are reasonable to good. The front bars are a littlebit of a reach for my 6’0” height but not obnoxiously so.

That's quite a write-up you did James! Thanks for such a thorough comparison of your two bikes. I had to laugh at a 6' man stating that the front bars are a little bit of a reach!! You have NO idea!!
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:18 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

I like the color
The TPM is temperature compensated, and most times the readout does not change as the tires heats up.
On both of our bikes the seepdo reads approx 2 MPH higher than the GPS readout in the 70 to 80 MPH range.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:30 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Pretty bike James... much prettier than Lee's!

Sounds like you got a pretty sweet deal too. And to have those sweet roads in CA as your playground, well that's pretty hard to beat!
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:44 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

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Pretty bike James... much prettier than Lee's!


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Old 05-02-2012, 05:01 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaytee
K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

I really like the ESA convenience but I am a bit underwhelmed with the “one-size-fits-all” damping settings. I’d really like the ability to +/- damping without having to do all it does. I guess basically I have been spoiled by the sporty Ohlins that Racetec reworked to my specification on a bike that weighs a lot less than the K1300S. I’d like comfort to not pogo so much and Id like sport to be more aggressively damped. Ihave yet to try the one-up plus luggage or the two up settings. I weigh 185lbs no gear and my wife weighs 120lbs no gear so I feel like we should be right in the middle of the weight ranges BMW programmed this system for.


James, nice write-up! You really should try the ESA in One Up with luggage mode whilst riding solo. This will raise the back end and makes the damping stiffer. In Normal and Sport mode it will speed up the steering a bit and make the rear suspension a tad firmer.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:19 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

That's an excellent write up.

As for the speedo don't forget that speedos are designed to overread, never underread. As you say get a GPS and work out the exact % overread.

The K bikes are sensitive to tyre pressures. Keep them at 36 front, 42 rear with an accurate gauge. The tyre pressure gauges are not spot on accurate. Their real purpose is to alert you to a slow leakage - the sort you might not necessarily notice at first.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:47 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Congrats on the new ride !!
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:10 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Thanks for the kind words, all! Yes, it was quite the writeup; I guess I had a lot to say!

Today I will reset the preload to one-plus and spend the week like that. Thanks for the tip, henkpenk.

Welshman, do you gave any recommendations for a quality air pressure gauge? All three of mine (four if you count the compressor) disagree with each other by quite a bit.

I'll have quite a few noob questions, I am sure, but so far I am enjoying the search function so I won't bore y'all with them just as yet.

JT
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Old 05-02-2012, 12:33 PM
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Old 05-02-2012, 01:58 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaytee
Welshman, do you gave any recommendations for a quality air pressure gauge? All three of mine (four if you count the compressor) disagree with each other by quite a bit.

I'll have quite a few noob questions, I am sure, but so far I am enjoying the search function so I won't bore y'all with them just as yet.

JT

I'm sure that Welchman will reply, but I thought I'd offer you this: Longacre Racing makes a series of air pressure gauges in varying features and levels of precision up to including a $300 temperature compensating model. I picked a mid-range model that is capable of indicating PSID and bar. Good luck.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:42 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

I'm afraid I don't have a recommendation for an air pressure gauge. I have a gauge which I believe is reasonably accurate, and use it consistently. I'll ask a mechanic friend of mine if he has any recommendations. If he does, then I'll pass them on.
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:15 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Thank you for the wonderful write up James!! I wish you & your K13S many happy miles together.

See you this afternoon!!

PS ... I love this site! I think I'm gonna hang out here and make some friends!!
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:13 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Great write up and that's a beautiful bike. I have to admit, I wasn't a fan of the red at first, but having seen a couple in person (and some accurate pics like yours), I really like it now.

Congrats!
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:54 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Beautiful bike!!! Congrats!!

BTW.. I'm not 100% sure, but I used to be able to get Carbon Fiber frame covers for that bike... Haven't sold any in a long time, but if you want me to check to see if they are still available.. let me know...
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:08 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Congratulations! Beautiful bike and it sounds like you got a smoking deal. Very nice photography as well.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:35 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Very nice! Thanks for taking the time to write this up. Here's to many happy miles and grand smiles!
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:07 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Congrats on the purchase. As you've found out, The K1300s gives up a degree of agility for a LOT of stability. But I once muscled a K1200S around Virginia International Raceway, so it can be done once you learn a few tricks.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:17 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate
Beautiful bike!!! Congrats!!

BTW.. I'm not 100% sure, but I used to be able to get Carbon Fiber frame covers for that bike... Haven't sold any in a long time, but if you want me to check to see if they are still available.. let me know...

Pirate,
Yes, I would be interested in some frame "protectors" - let me know!

JT
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:12 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

I did a check on tyre pressure gauges and found a number of UK reviews of different gauges. Broadly, an accurate gauge which wasn't affected by a 1 meter drop onto concrete seemed to be available for around £10-£15. I'd do a check on US sites. I'll bet you can find a comparison test to guide you in the right direction.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:05 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaytee
Pirate,
Yes, I would be interested in some frame "protectors" - let me know!

JT

Don't know if these will cover the scratches in the right spot or not but look here:

http://www.wunderlichamerica.com/mot...S/1250713.html (click on the "more views" tab to see pics of these covers on an actual bike)
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:24 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

VERY nice write up! Best of luck with the new K13s. She's a beauty and an exceptionally smooth and solid ride. After looking at your great photos, I painted my front fender black
Before



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Old 05-03-2012, 11:00 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Thanks for the compliments on my pix; honestly it was the awesome lighting at over 8000ft with crystal clear air.

Stick52,
I agree that less is more where color on the KS is concerned - nice job! BTW, how tall are you and how do you like that screen? It looks like an MRA touring?

I tried oneup+luggage yesterday and "normal" did seem to be an improvement in damping. I'll continue to leave my suspension setting there for a bit but I am encouraged!

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Old 05-03-2012, 11:43 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Jaytee...Im 5'10"....I bought the bike used with the MRA touring screen on it. It's an ok screen but not real great for me. THe way the very top of the MRA Tour screen flips up creates a nice quiet spot to tuck low behind at speed and especially in rain.....but when in normal riding position it creates more than average turbulence on my Arai Corsair helmet for my position.
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  #26  
Old 05-03-2012, 11:52 AM
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jaytee jaytee is offline
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Well, I've jsut ordered the MRA Vario to test out... I actualy like the stock screen: nice stable zone for helmet i nthe middle, most of head in clean air, shoulders mostly protected - but there is a constant stream of bugs that hits right at chin level. Depending on how I am sitting they either hit me in the neck or force-feed through my chin vent, ick!

I'm 6'0" w/33in inseam so we are probably pretty close to same height sitting on bike.

JT
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:07 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

I am 5'11" 180 lbs, 33" inseam. I ride reasonably agressively (as probably everyone here?) almost exclusively in twisties. I use solo w/ luggage on Normal. When I get really aggressive I will go to sport, rarely use comfort unless on the slab with noticable expansion joints. I used this setting at two days of Z2 track days and it worked, Tire expert advised to use manufacturer pressure settings PER TPM, and that really worked as well to my surprise. Less pressure and it would have been really greasey.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:14 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Conga Rats on the new bike....she is a beauty!
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  #29  
Old 07-16-2012, 09:03 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stick52
VERY nice write up! Best of luck with the new K13s. She's a beauty and an exceptionally smooth and solid ride. After looking at your great photos, I painted my front fender black
Before



After




Very nice. Is that a Corbin or Sargeant?
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  #30  
Old 07-17-2012, 07:38 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Looks like a Corbin to me. I have the Sargent and it looks nothing like that. Plus I think I can see the Corbin logo.
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  #31  
Old 07-17-2012, 09:05 AM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

You might consider Heli Bars for the reach issue, I recently put them on and am happy with the result.
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Previous Bikes:
2014 BMW S1000RR
2014 BMW R1200GSA
2011 BMW K1300S
2011 HD Road King
2008 Suzuki Hayabusa
2002 Honda Goldwing
2001 Suzuki Hayabusa
2000 Yamaha Vmax
1998 BMW K1200RS
1988 BMW K100RS
1985 Honda V65 Sabre
1982 Honda V45 Magma
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  #32  
Old 02-27-2013, 12:34 PM
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Re: K1300S Purchase and First Ride Impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Welshman
...As for the speedo don't forget that speedos are designed to overread, never underread. As you say get a GPS and work out the exact % overread.....
The K1300S is over by about 3 mph at 60.

The K1200S was perfect.
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