BMW Announces K 1300 GT for 2009

bmwk1300gt-2009This month the big German motorbike maker announced they’re upgrading their BMW K 1200 GT to a K 1300 GT for 2009.

To note the obvious (at least for this website), the GT (Grand Touring) is BMW’s younger, high-performance, sport-tourer. (In contrast to the grand daddy of the sport-touring world, the BMW “RT” series).

Although the K series of BMW engines goes back to 1983, it wasn’t until 2003 that BMW launched its first GT motorcycle, the K 1200 GT, which was mostly a K 1200 RS (sport bike), with added hard bags, an electric windshield, and a larger fairing.

In 2006, the BMW K 1200 GT was re-released as a completely upgraded bike with automatic stability control (ASC), a heated and adjustable seat, heated hand grips (which I’ve used and are very nice) and adjustable handlebars, tire pressure monitoring (TPM), cruise control, adjustable seat, adjustable handlebars, integral ABS, and anti-theft alarm. And of course it kept the hard saddle bags and electronically adjustable screen.

A unique option is BMW’s electronic suspension adjustment (ESA) which allows easy variation of the suspension (I’ve used this feature, too, and it’s quite nice).

In July 2007, the GT was named one of the top ten motorcycles for 2006 by the editors of Cycle World magazine. It also received the magazine’s award for Best Sport-Touring Bike. So, the newest version has a high standard to maintain.

In addition to the larger displacement of the latest K 1300 GT, it also features an improved electronic suspension adjustment (optional ESA-II), a single indicator-switch, which is a departure from the dual, turn-signal switches that BMW is known for, as well as concealed crash bars.

This is a powerful motorcycle, and it appears that BMW is trying to dethrone the Kawasaki Concours 14 as the most powerful purpose-built, sport tourer. I’ll report on independent tests of the bike as they develop.

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