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"K13GT" Technical Q&A K1300GT- Technical Questions/Answers

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  #1  
Old 07-01-2016, 04:07 AM
min min is offline
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All K1300GT known issues

Hello everyone,

I am Cosmin from Romania and as a future K1300GT owner, I started doing my homeworks, reading tens of pages about issues and solutions/workarounds. I like to know in advance what I might face in my trips and what solutions to apply but especially to take some preventive actions in order to avoid the unexpected when I am far away from home. Unfortunately I haven't found a page with all the K1300GT widely known issues and solutions, so I tried to centralize them in a list:

1) Hot start issue - faced by most owner after a gas stop - workaround is wait at least 15mins for bike to cool down a little. Possible causes and solutions:
a) under-dimensioned battery to starter wire which after heating changes its resistance and prevents the start. Solution: retrofit kit/supplemental harness code 16148549916 or 12418532735; sometimes a new improved starter relay is installed also
b) in some cases a new battery solves the issue (mainly a specific Odissey model)
c) some say latest ECU software solves or helps in solving it
d) others claim it's related to fuel quality; better fuel and cleaning (in the service) the throttle bodies/flaps

2) cam chain issues:
a) possible jump of chain could destroy the engine; a plastic jump-guard needs to be installed PLUS the re-designed tensioner;
b) another issue related to the 'gear which begins to come off the end of the cam and the cam mechanism falls apart due to a broken flange that the gear bolts onto' - is this so common, any workaround?!

3) Idle stall or during gear down-shift - solutions:
a) ECU software update - unfortunatelly this affects severely the engine braking
b) better fuel and cleaning (in the service) the throttle bodies/flaps
c) throttle sensor recalibration

4) Fuel leakage:
a) install new fuel pump flange (in some cases even new pump)
b) reinforce the old model fuel flange (DIY work)

5) Rear wheel aluminium flange cracks due to bolts over-tighten:
a) install new steel flange
b) keep using the aluminium one if it's in good state but carefully tighten bolts with dialed wrench and use locking compounds (although I think I read somewhere that Loctite does not get along well with aluminium)

6) Famous handlebar switches: failed left one won't allow using the indicators, winshield adjustment, cruise-control etc; when the right one fails the engine won't start.
a) apparently the issues are caused by some resin (which seals/isolates the 2 overlapped PCBs inside the switch) which melts after bike stayed too much in direct sun on a hot day - in some cases it helped to take the bike away from direct sun for some time. This also sounds similar to issue 1) - don't know if in case 1) the starter is activated but too 'weak' and in case 5) the starter is not engaged at all?! On-the-spot workaround is push-start the bike. Permanent solution - switches replacement.

7) sidecases - retaining straps on the pannier cover get weak and allow the cover to touch the ground after opening. A cable tie in the hole where the plastic tab goes will help in preventing the issue.

8) Final drive bearings failure:
a) final drive assembly replacement (very expensive)
b) final drive rebuild (some did it DIY successfully)

8) Brake fluid foaming issues (don't have too many details) - there is a recall for this also

9) clutch issues 'expensive to solve' - details here would be welcome

10) Stuck fuel gauge - fuel strip installation solves it?!

11) throttle on-off jerkiness (general issue faced by most modern fuel-injected bikes) - easily solved by installing booster-plug or similar devices.


I'm kindly asking the more experienced forum member to correct whatever was misundertood and wrongly written above or if in some cases new solutions were identified meanwhile and also add new issues which might have been identified as common K1300GT model issues. I'm currently riding a Yamah FJR1300 which served me flawlessly in the past 64.000 miles (all maintenance was DIY) but I would love the GT for improved performance, handling, wind/weather protection etc. Though I want to know in advance what I'm getting myself into, that's why I'm a little bit cautious about these issues.

Many thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2016, 05:37 AM
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Re: All K1300GT known issues

Hey Cosmin. Welcome to the best forum on the planet, great info. Do you currently have a bike - pictures are always apppreciated. We look forward to your participation. I can't help you much with the K1300 as I don't have one but most of the items you have listed are BMW recalls and should cost you nothing. If you buy a bike make sure that the recalls have been done.
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Old 07-01-2016, 07:56 AM
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Re: All K1300GT known issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Howdy
Hey Cosmin. Welcome to the best forum on the planet, great info. Do you currently have a bike - pictures are always apppreciated. We look forward to your participation. I can't help you much with the K1300 as I don't have one but most of the items you have listed are BMW recalls and should cost you nothing. If you buy a bike make sure that the recalls have been done.

Hi,

Yes, I currently have a Yamaha FJR1300 (picture attached) with 64.000 miles, very satisfied with it so far but I was thinking about purchasing a K1300GT for the sportier engine, improved handling and better wind/weather protection.

DSC_3982.JPG

I suppose for the recalls the previous owner should have all the relevant papers; or by searching the VIN in BMW database should reveal also the recalls performed?
Now regarding the mentioned issues, any additional details would be welcome.

Thanks,
Cosmin.
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Old 07-01-2016, 03:35 PM
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Re: All K1300GT known issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by min
Hi,

Yes, I currently have a Yamaha FJR1300 (picture attached) with 64.000 miles, very satisfied with it so far but I was thinking about purchasing a K1300GT for the sportier engine, improved handling and better wind/weather protection.

Interesting! I just bought two 2015 FJR1300's to replace our K1200GT's. The BMW's had persistent problems, the ones you noted above, plus quite a few more. Even though all the recalls were done, plus a few fixes that were not recalls, but were on Service Bulletins. Many of the fuelling and driveability issues would reappear after 10,000 miles or less. When we were on a tour, we were always wondering what would fail next. The Yamaha's are rated tops in reliability, the BMW's are next to the worst.

As for handling, I find the FJR superior. It feels more like a sport bike. The BMW feels much heavier. Both bikes needed aftermarket windshields for good wind/weather protection.

Just my experience.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:41 PM
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Re: All K1300GT known issues

Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Flyer
Interesting! I just bought two 2015 FJR1300's to replace our K1200GT's. The BMW's had persistent problems, the ones you noted above, plus quite a few more. Even though all the recalls were done, plus a few fixes that were not recalls, but were on Service Bulletins. Many of the fuelling and driveability issues would reappear after 10,000 miles or less. When we were on a tour, we were always wondering what would fail next. The Yamaha's are rated tops in reliability, the BMW's are next to the worst.

As for handling, I find the FJR superior. It feels more like a sport bike. The BMW feels much heavier. Both bikes needed aftermarket windshields for good wind/weather protection.

Just my experience.


Thanks for the input. To be honest I was expecting to find in the K1300GT the main thing I miss at the FJR - some additional power/sportier behaviour. Unfortunately the newer FJR versions have the engine almost unchanged (except for passing from cable-driven throttle flaps on my generation to the ride-by-wire on 2013 and newer models) but in terms of power/torque no improvements

I haven't riden the latest FJR generation (the one you bought) with updated suspension/upside-down forks etc - but I can say that my FJR (second generation - 2006) behaves worse in terms of handling at least compared to GT1600. I hope to have soon a chance to test a GT1300 for a one to one comparison.

As a conclusion regarding my plan to pass from FJR to GT1300 I will quote a friend of mine (co-rider in some of the trips): 'why do you want to scratch your a$$ is it doen't itch you?' Anyway I'll try first to find a K1300GT to check if in real life I feel it's a "wow" between it and my current FJR - I'm referring to power/torque/sportiness behaviour and handling (I'm not so impressed about additional features the BMW has like heated saddle, grips etc - anyway meanwhile I installed those on the FJR also). After that I'll decide if it's worth taking the risk of so many technical issues.

Meanwhile if anyone has additional feedback/advice on the topic of issues it would be welcome.
Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:21 PM
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Re: All K1300GT known issues

Hi Cosmin, welcome

You did a great research !

I think may be you must to consider another points like...

- Not all the bikes have the same problems, in fact most problems are solved from factory in latest models. (i.e. software, brake foam, final drive)
- All recalls are fixed by BMW without costs, even out of warranty, is not common in other brands, at least in far countries like mine.
- The bike you like is no longer available, if you search for an used bike, perhaps you must to check if that bike has all of recalls done.

All bikes have problems, sometimes is a matter of probabilities ( or luck ), but you can check there are many members with zero problems and others like Murray (K_flyer) with too many issues.

Don't trust in all you read, as example I don't know the FJR1300 in details, but if I google information my first thought is a bike with clutch problems, but... is that real?
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Old 07-02-2016, 07:47 PM
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Re: All K1300GT known issues

Google "Motorcycle reliability by brand."

"According to the survey, that means buying Japanese. Yamaha is the top-scoring brand for reliability, followed by Suzuki, Honda, and Kawasaki. Buying American isn't a bad decision, though, with Victory edging out Harley-Davidson. The least reliable brands were Triumph, Ducati, BMW, and Can-Am.Apr 26, 2015."

If you plan to travel a lot, especially more than 100 miles from a dealer, reliability is very important.

BTW, my wife had her first ride on her FJR. "It handles really well." In a local twisty uphill, she was going faster than on her BMW.

Yes, apparently some BMW's have few failures. My '99 K1200RS was bulletproof for over 67,000 miles. The newer ones do not seem to do as well.

Good luck with your choice.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:19 PM
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Re: All K1300GT known issues

Hello Cosmin,

I am a former owner of a 2009 K1300GT. I experienced most of the issues you listed. Hot start only a few times at most. Stalling, during hot weather and not too often. I installed a Booster Plug. I cannot say it helped with the stalling but did smooth out the throttle on / off. Ride Mode on later bikes addressed this very well.

Another missed from your list is the ESA II leaking.Forum has seen this as early as 30k miles. I thought I had a leak starting. I looked for solutions. New OEM 3500.00 without labor to install. No aftermarket exists for the GT if you want ESA still.

I really liked that bike. It was hot. But because of the expensive parts cost to repair I chose to trade it in on a 2016 R1200RT,.vshedding a few pounds make handling the RT so much nicer.

Hope you do most of your own wrenching as it will save you a bundle.

BBQ time.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:38 PM
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Re: All K1300GT known issues

Hey min, you really have asked the question,..how long is a piece of string?

Few years ago, caught up with a mate who had sold his 660 Tenere, & bought a KTM 690. I asked, why did you quit the 66o? He motioned towards the 690. Not an answer I stated. He said, "every time I ride the 690, it makes me grin". There lies the answer.

Take a K13 for a ride. You'll know within half an hour.

BTW, the mechanical/electrical problems you mention, thats called character,.& soul. Some BMW's can have an abundance of it.
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:00 PM
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Re: All K1300GT known issues

Many thanks everyone for the replies. Below a few additional comments:

I know not all the (similar) bikes have the same problems, not even the issues from the recalls are faced by all models from a specific series. When I bought the FJR I did some research (many unslept nights ) ) and I had to choose at that time between Pan-European, Kawasaki GTR1400/Concours, BMW K1200GT, Yamaha FJR1300 - all 2008-2009 generation. I gave up Honda because it was the least sporty from all and least suitable for sport twisties riding in mountains etc. Kawasaki had a few reported issues but was also very complicated for DIY maintenance and no official service in my country. The final fight was between 1200GT and FJR but, although I preferred GT (both from estethically but also from performance point of view), I got scared of too many issues reported at that time without an apparent solution. The FJR also had some reported issues (mainly electrical which could cause, in worst cases, engine stall during riding) but these were quite simple to solve/bypass with some basic preventive maintenance work (improved ground connections, ignition switch relay installation etc) which didn't require advanced mechanics skills or tools etc. I installed those on the first week of ownership and no issues since then.
Although my motorcycle trips across Europe pass through countries with plenty of BMW service/workshops, spending valuable vacation days next to the dealer waiting to solve an un-expected issue is not quite desired. I was counting on the fact that if I buy the latest 1300GT (2011) it should have some of the issues solved before leaving the factory plus the recalls for which I would insist to a dealer before taking the bike for long rides.
Regarding ESA - yes, I know if can fail and is awfully expensive. A friend of mine with a 2009 RT1200 had it failed - not leaking but loosing damping capacity (some pumping effect can be felt during high load even on sport/hard setting) - mileage 28.000miles. He is evaluating an Ohlins suspension (giving up ESA adjustments ).

And finally - on Saturday I hope to be able to test-ride the first 1300 GT from my list of 3 candidates (for sell not too far away from me), I'll see if it feels 'wow' compared to my current FJR1300 . But, as I mentioned, in my case the 'wow' consists in a significant performance difference compared to the current FJR and ideally some handling and weather protection improvements. We'll see
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