News 2010 BMW K 1300 GT | Review

2010 BMW K 1300 GT | Review

Technology, Luxury, and Performance

In the multidimensional world of motorcycling, the 2010 BMW K 1300 GT exists precisely at the intersection of performance and comfort. These seemingly diametrically opposed functions are elegantly delivered in a sophisticated cocktail of luxury creature comforts and endorphin-inducing power. And it is the latter that really makes the BMW K 1300 GT the perfect sport-touring motorcycle for my tastes.

A quick twist of the BMW throttle rewards the rider with the torque of a big inline-four engine-80-percent of which is delivered at 3500 rpm, quickly emancipating both rider and passenger from average mortals. With that kind of low-end torque, aggressively clicking through the K 1300 GT gears is not a silky smooth experience, but one that absolutely quenches the thirst for unbridled excitement.

The BMW Anti-Slip Control assures that grabbing a handful of excitement is a safe experience, although it can be deactivated as well if lofting the front end or spinning up the rear is your desired motorcycling outcome.

The BMW’s best-of-show ABS instills confidence in late braking situations. In the corners, the BMW Duolever front suspension has an odd feel for those familiar with traditional forks. But, once accustomed to the front end’s behavior, aggressive riding is easily obtainable.

The updated BMW ESA II adjustable suspension system allows the rider to stiffen the rear spring rate and adjust the rebound damping both front and rear with the touch of a finger. I preferred the stiff Sport mode for spirited K 1300 GT riding, the Comfort setting for commuting, and the Normal setting for two-up situations.

Despite the claimed curb weight of 635 pounds, the BMW K 1300 GT knifes and handles like a much lighter motorcycle, which is partially attributable to the ability to instantly personalize the suspension.

Once out of the canyons, the BMW K 1300 GT cruises comfortably for both rider and passenger, with fully adjustable accoutrements, heated seats and grips, and the all-important motorized windscreen for on the fly fine-tuning.

Die-hard BMW aficionados love the classic European styling of the GT, but they may be a bit miffed that the new version adopts standard turn-indicator controls rather than the separate right-left switches on past BMWs. For the conscientious objectors, aftermarket kits provide a quick retrofit option.

The 2010 BMW K 1300 GT leaves the indelible impression of power and precision, comfort and control. The sheer volume of power and its precise delivery, in combination with electronically controlled suspension and braking, make the K 1300 GT my sport-touring choice for the visceral experience of compressing time and distance.


Type Water-cooled 4-stroke in-line four-cylinder, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication
Bore x stroke 80 mm x 64.3 mm
Capacity 1.293 cc
Rated output 160 hp (118 kW) at 9,000 rpm
Max. torque 99 lb/ft (135 Nm) at 8,000 rpm
Compression ratio 13.0 : 1
Mixture control / engine management Electronic intake pipe injection/digital engine management including knock sensor (BMS-K)
Emission control Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-3

Performance / fuel consumption

Maximum speed Over 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h)
Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 90 km/h 5,0 l
Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 120 km/h 5,9 l
Fuel type Unleaded Premium

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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