Short trip to Rome

Short trip to Rome

BMW K 1300 GT test tour

The longing for the sun and the south just doesn’t go away. A BMW K 1300 GT is waiting in front of the door. Both have to be reconciled. And so the crazy idea to jet to Rome for ice cream turns into a test order. Key question: Can the new top-of-the-range tourer beat the extremely dynamic 1200 predecessor when it comes to touring competence? The MOTORRAD travel diary provides the answers.

Day one: It’s cold. Rain runs down the window panes in streaks. In a moment I’ll beam myself to Italy, come what may. It is sure to be spring by then, people chatter in the marketplaces, fishermen mend their nets, Signorinas stroll along the promenades. Ignoring the catastrophic weather forecast, I start the brand new BMW K 1300 GT. More luxury paired with driving dynamics is probably not possible. Isn’t this colossal tourer ideal for going to the Colosseum? We will see. Jessica is waiting in Munich, my half-Italian friend, who wants nothing more than to be beamed to Rome. Let’s go. Analogous to the reaching of the operating temperature of the transversely mounted four-cylinder, which has increased from 152 to 161 HP, I warm up with the machine. It instills confidence right from the start, is impressively balanced despite a 1572 millimeter wheelbase and fully equipped over 300 kilograms.

Kilometer 25: no speed limit on the motorway. In the distance, the lustful hiss of the engine penetrates the fairing shafts. In sixth gear at 130 the engine turns 5000 / min, at 180 the tachometer needle is on 7000. The machine accelerates further with tremendous force. Maybe a touch less aggressive, softer, less spectacular than its predecessor. Only with Tacho 250 is the conscious analysis of the situation possible: I sit upright and comfortably relaxed behind the electrically raised window, wild roar around me, complete calm in me.

Short trip to Rome

BMW K 1300 GT test tour

Arrival in Munich


Somewhere near Rosenheim: Travel comfort even in winter on the smallest connecting roads.

Kilometer 225: arrival in Munich. Jessica doesn’t need to restrict herself when it comes to luggage, the load space of the standard case system is neatly sized with 32 liters each. A good 49 liters fit in the top case, which is mounted far to the rear, and 20 liters in the practical and sturdy mounted tank bag, which thanks to the sidecut hardly disturbs even when turning. The 165 HP collected during the measurement are also not a problem, because the 1300 GT can be moved smoothly even if only 50 of them are called up on country roads.

Kilometer 300: We swing casually from Munich towards Innsbruck on roads of the second and third order. While the gearbox of the 1200s predecessor still acted rustic and gave passers-by with loud knocks the impression that the K-driver couldn’t shift, the gear changes on the 1300s are more harmonious. The same applies to the load change reactions. The "Kadatsch", which accompanied every light gas on, gas to from the final drive, has largely disappeared thanks to modified cardan shafts with two-stage cardan shafts and can only be felt at very low speeds. Cruise through small villages in sixth gear and pull up the gas at the exit ?? The K now does this exercise with dignity and without hesitation. We can already track down the first open ice cream parlor and a shimmer of spring behind Rosenheim. Must be three scoops with cream. Such breaks and road surfing cost time. Shortly before Innsbruck we therefore follow the signs to a country inn. It goes deeper and deeper into the forest, the path gets worse and worse. A case for ESA II, the revised electronic suspension adjustment that also adjusts the front damper rate. After I had already preselected the load status in Munich, the program is now from ?? Normal ?? we ?? comfort ?? and the GT glides over potholes and gravel passages. Like on clouds, says Jessica.

Second day, kilometer 430


Informative workplace: the instrument lighting in the tunnel automatically brightens up.

There is hoar frost on the machine. It starts up perfectly. The on-board computer shows zero degrees and flashes an ice crystal as a warning. The temperature rises slowly until Innsbruck. The black ice warning stops at 2.5 degrees and the previously set tire pressure control takes over the place on the display. It’s reassuring to be informed about the tires with such a hum. Now the only thing missing was a sensor for the running surface temperature…

Kilometer 523: There is snow on the Brenner. Next to us, skiers rush down to the valley, grip and seat heating are switched on. Level one is pleasantly warm, level two is almost grill quality. We encounter the first motorcycles between Trento and Lake Garda. In Gargagno, the next ice cream parlor is tempting, but rain spoils the desire. On the slippery surface, the optional ASC anti-slip control regulates quite harshly. I feel more and more secure on the handlebars of the BMW, you don’t really feel what the lighter Duolever front suspension with the new trailing arm is doing on the demanding and bumpy roads, but it has to be good, because the motorcycle behaves confidently and calmly, completely like a single-lane ICE.

Km 760: In Verona the toll booths are on strike, so we roll through without paying, which relieves the travel budget. The BMW also keeps costs low: it does not pull more than 6.3 liters per 100 kilometers from the 24-liter tank even when driving more quickly. In Tuscany we can even cover 460 kilometers on one tank of fuel, which corresponds to a consumption of 5.2 liters. The BMW is driven dry and we come three kilometers further than the remaining range indicator predicts. AT Reserve canister gives the GT its mobility back. Actually, she wants to be fed with 98-octane premium gasoline, but not run petrol stations in rural areas. So 95 octane. This juice is digested without any noticeable loss of performance.

Third day, kilometer 1390


Hole in the clouds at Monte Argentario.

Rome welcomes us with pouring rain, which does not detract from the pulsating life in the Eternal City. The ancient cobblestones offer little grip, a briskly driving Signorina slides on her scooter right in front of our front wheel. Pick up the scooter, check the make-up, drive we. In general, the scooters in Rome. They shoot towards the intersections like hornets. No consideration is given to fat BMW motorcycles, not even to their suitcases, which are 990 millimeters wide. Small bumps in the battle for pole position at the traffic lights result in delicate scratches on the vehicle-colored lids.

Sure, a Vespa would be a more suitable vehicle for Rome, but certainly not for traveling there. We find our gelateria, enjoy the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s Basilica and other cultural highlights. The otherwise quite safe BMW navigation device can be thrown out of step by the maze of one-way streets, which is not a problem in Rome, after all, every street here is an experience. Jessica liked the trip so much, despite the meteorological deficits, that she flatly rejects my suggestion to take the train for the return journey. You have almost unlimited space on the GT, the handles are ergonomically correct and the seat is very comfortable. The latter also applies to the driver’s seat. BMW has obviously made improvements, because the 1200 seat bench caused a popo alarm on longer journeys. We make our way back and look for spring on the coast.

Kilometer 1580: We only find sunny sections on Monte Argentario. Storm breaks out in the port of Porto Ercole, and a diver repairs a leak in a fishing trawler underwater. The roads across the beautiful peninsula are narrow and winding, and it becomes clear once again that the K 1300 GT is not a handling miracle. In addition to the chassis geometry and weight, this is due to the steering damper, which, in conjunction with the Duolever, ensures extremely stable straight-line stability, which not even a loaded topcase or crosswind can harm.

Fourth day, kilometer 1800


The policeman shows us the way at the Trevi Fountain.

After all, on dry roads the K shows that it is willing to follow the targeted line in the Tuscan bends, and masters even faster, tighter alternating curves with a bit of emphasis, albeit without exhibiting the ease of a GS. The Bridgestone BT 020 build confidence inspiring grip. Thank God they do not do badly on wet roads either. While the world is sinking into water again, the K arrows like a deep-sea tanker on the Autostrada in the direction of Pisa. Fortunately, the phenomenal rain and wind protection let us endure the lousy weather relaxed.


Rare guest: Sun at Porto San Stefano, country road surfing north of Rome.

Kilometer 2085: Change falls on the street at a motorway toll booth. Stand out and pick up. It is noticeable again how easily the side stand can be operated. The main stand is also practical, and you can jack up the colossal tourer yourself even when it is loaded. Another insight is solidified in Milan when we have the end of a traffic jam in our sights full of format after a curve. The GT’s braking stability is excellent. When we climb the San Bernardino, winter catches up with us again. The temperature drops rapidly to below zero, only to skyrocket to a tropical 18 degrees in the middle of the tunnel. We leave the tunnel at 80 km / h and find ourselves on a closed blanket of snow. Keep Calm! The BMW stays on course. Carefully we feel our way down the mountain, but sleet accompanies us mercilessly to Munich, where Jessica says goodbye with a cozy, warm bum.

Fifth day, 2995 kilometers:
I reach the bathtub at home. In terms of the weather, the tour was exhausting, but thanks to the GT’s impressive touring pampering program, it had no consequences in terms of cold. All that remains is the longing: for the sun and Rome.

Technical data – BMW K 1300 GT


Water-cooled four-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two balance shafts, two overhead, gear / chain-driven camshafts, four valves, rocker arms, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 945 W alternator, 12 V / 19 Ah battery, hydraulically operated multiple discs – Oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, cardan shaft, secondary ratio 2.947.

Bore x stroke 80.0 x 64.3 mm
Cubic capacity 1293 cm3
Compression ratio 13: 1
Rated output 118.0 kW (161 hp) at 9000 rpm
Max. Torque 135 Nm at 8000 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame made of aluminum, double longitudinal control arm made of aluminum, steering damper, two-joint single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 294 mm, double-piston floating caliper, partially integral with ABS.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires in the test Bridgestone BT 020 ?? UU ??

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1572 mm, steering head angle 60.6 degrees, caster 112 mm, spring travel f / r 115/135 mm, seat height * 820 – 840 mm, weight with a full tank * 291 kg, payload * 229 kg, tank capacity / reserve 24.0 / 4, 0 liters.

Warranty two years
Service intervals 10,000 km
Colors beige, red, blue metallic
Price 17,600 euros
Price test motorcycle 21,169 euros
Additional costs about 206 euros

Accessories subject to surcharge: Safety package for 400 euros (ASC stability program, RDC tire pressure control); Premium Touring Package for 1700 euros (xenon lights, electronic ESA chassis, heated seats, heated grips, cruise control, on-board computer with oil level sensor). Large top case (49 liters) 495 euros, protective support 6 euros, tank bag 220 euros, vario insert for tank bag 38 euros, navigation system 695 euros, navigation bracket 15 euros.

Top speed 260 km / h
0-100 km / h 3.1 sec
0-140 km / h 4.8 sec
0 200 km / h 9.0 sec

60-100 km / h 3.5 sec
100-140 km / h 3.5 sec
140-180 km / h 3.6 sec

Speedometer deviation
effective (display 50/100) 47/97 km / h

Country road 5.8 liters / 100 km
Fuel type Super Plus
Theor. Range of the country road 414 km

MOTORCYCLE conclusion

"Extreme touring" is the motto of the K 1300 GT.

The BMW K 1200 GT was the best machine ever tested in MOTORRAD. The K 1300 GT goes even further, because it has been significantly improved in the areas of seating comfort, operation, engine, transmission and final drive. Sometimes it cracks when engaging first gear, otherwise the top tourer has a high level of maturity. User-friendly switches and conventional indicator actuation also contribute to this.

BMW K 1300 GT touring suitability

Seating comfort
Ideal for long stages: upright, relaxed seating position in front and behind. The pillion passenger in particular has a lot of space. Upholstery and profiling of the bench are good, only after hours a slight buttock alarm. Thanks to handlebar and seat height adjustment, exemplary ergonomics are possible. Lower driver’s seat available.

Sight / light
The cladding allows a good view of the road, the xenon light illuminates the road pleasantly brightly and safely.

Handling / weight
Weight is noticeable when maneuvering / turning, increased attention is required. If you fall over, hidden protectors prevent the worst.

Suspension setup / comfort
ESA is extremely effective. On bad roads, the "comfort" setting shines with blatant swallowing pleasure and a high level of comfort; and above all "sport" programs with dynamic firmness.

Driving behavior
High directional stability, sovereign on the motorway, safe cornering, limited maneuverability on narrow country roads.

Appropriate basic equipment, the GT only becomes a luxury liner with additional accessories. BMW offers cost-reducing touring packages.

Luggage storage / loading
Perfect, easy to load and remove case system, travel-appropriate payload of 215 kilograms with a fully equipped machine.

Wind / weather protection
Highly effective protection, especially when the windshield is raised. Hardly any turbulence, good leg protection. 60 millimeter higher touring screen available.

Consumption / range
Ranges between 350 and 450 kilometers are possible depending on the driving style, remaining range display at least accurate to three kilometers.

Engine character / smoothness
Silky smooth, almost vibration-free run, linear power delivery, smooth, precise throttle response. Fascinating acoustics at higher speeds.

Transmission / load change
Sometimes a stroke when engaging first gear, otherwise thanks to a new roller-
storage much smoother gear changes. Greatly reduced load changes.

Lots of torque even at low speeds, even when fully loaded, superior top performance. Refueling with 95 instead of 98 octane is possible without any problems.

Brakes / ABS
Weight pushes, but strong, very stable deceleration system.
Pronounced braking stability. Semi-integral ABS controls precisely and safely.

The distance

Travel time: 4.5 days
Road test: 2995 kilometers

Stuttgart, Munich, Innsbruck, Verona, Modena, Florence, Terni, Rome, Grosetto, Livorno, Parma, Milan, Chur, Bregenz, Stuttgart.

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