BMW’s HP – High Performance – machines distinguish themselves from the rest of BMW Motorrad’s offerings as an elite class of machines, though the HP label has been slapped onto some Beemer scoots that – in my opinion – arguably don’t deserve to wear the prestigious extra to letters. The K1300S HP earns its HP moniker, and then some. HP-models typically consist of a standard BMW machine that has been decked out with some trick components, a couple performance upgrades, a handful of carbon fiber doodads, and a sleek limited edition livery. The K1300S HP variant boasts 14 distinct upgrades and accessories over the base model.
One of the biggest differences between the HP and base model is the slip-on Akrapovic Sports Silencer. Not only does the elite tourer come with machined billet three-way adjustable HP rearsets, but its passenger foot pegs are also machined billet units. The HP K1300S also wears a lot of carbon fiber in the form of its front-fender, air-box cover, clutch-cover, and pillion seat-cover. It also comes with a fairly large, tinted, touring-friendly windscreen and multi-setting heated grips. BMW also offered a shorter seat at no extra charge, but that ship sailed five-years ago, though I’m sure they’re still available. Only 750 HP spec K1300S units were produced, with each bike sporting an aluminum serial-number plate on the tank.
The K1300S HP is powered by a 16-valve, DOHC, 1293cc inline-four (Bore x stroke: 80.0 x 64.2mm) with EFI fuel system that is the same powerplant found on the previous model-year. The large German engine makes 142.9hp at 9,500rpm, and 87.2ft-lbs of torque at 6,800rpm – 16 more ft-lbs than the S1000RR – though some sources claim the real figure is 72.3ft-lbs at 6,800rpm. Married to the inline-four is six-speed transmission with a wet multi-plate clutch. The electronics are said to be pretty conservative – the ABS and TC in particular – though reviews claim it’s nonetheless one of the sportier sport tourers on the market today.
The electronics package on the K1300S HP is also a pretty noteworthy area worth mentioning. ABS, ASC (Anti-Spin Control which is what BMW called its TC), GSA (Gear Shift Assist which enables clutchless upshifting), TPM (Tire Pressure Monitor) and ESA II (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) are all standard on the HP tourer. The ABS and TC aren’t adjustable beyond being turned on or off and the TC not only makes wheelies impossible but reportedly can be felt upon corner exit. When compared to the Busa and Zed-Ex, the BMW reportedly featured the best shifting and throttle response of the three. The K1300S HP is the only bike of the trio with shaft drive, which is a big deal for some touring aficionados.
The trick suspension on this HP model does an incredible job of managing the bike’s 565lb (wet) weight. BMW’s trailing-link Duolever fork provides just the right amount of front-end dive to give riders good feel, though according to one source it can take some getting used to. The bike’sspring preload and damping is altered by its ESA via the push of a button. The bike has three settings: Comfort, Sport, and Normal which is the middle-ground between the more aggressive and more leisurely modes. The rear suspension on the single-sided unit also boasts BMW’s Paralever with ESA II. The K1300S’s Aluminum twin-spar chassis undeniably makes cornering easier than on other large models.
The stopping power on this K bike is made up of top-of-the-line Brembo units, Dual Brembo four-piston calipers biting 320mm discs up front and two-piston caliper with 265mm disc in back. BMW’s Semi-Integral ABS II activates all three Brembo with the lever to help keep the chassis settled. The result is said to offer ample stopping power albeit with a less-than confidence inspiring feel. Good brakes are vital to a machine like this that is not only on the heavy-side, but it also goes like a bat out of hell. One thing I was struck by when riding a Busa was how quickly it can accelerate when already well into triple-digits. The Beemer is said to be similarly capable with a top-gear roll-on (60-80 mph) of 2.60 seconds and a reported ¼-mile time of 10.26 seconds at 135.57mph. Not bad.
In addition to all the trick hardware and knickknacks adorning the German scoot, it also has all the comfort and modern amenities one would expect on any BMW vehicle such as a full-function digital dash that displays average mpg, projected fuel range, ambient air temp and more useful data. A button on the left switch cluster lets its pilot scroll through the settings and options with ease. The saddle is said to be pretty damn comfy, made only more comfortable by the K1300S’s fantastic ergonomics. All of which of course come at a price, however if you can wing it – or settle for buying used – why not?
Though the HP came from the factory sitting on Metzeler Sportec M3, this example wears Metzler M5 that the seller says were recently replaced. In addition to the 14 accessories that already come on the HP K1300S, this example also boats the BMW handbags, and Techspec tank pads and for whatever reason the owner threw on a MRA tinted windshield despite the HP already coming with a tinted windscreen. The HP also comes with a paddock stand which is included in the sale of this machine. Another fact worth mentioning about this half-decade-old example is that it’s only had 12,000-miles put on it which is relatively low, especially for a bonafide touring machine.
With big engine sport touring models like the K1300S, Hayabusa, and ZX-14R, the drag test has been done to death so it was cool when Motorcyclist did a cool story comparing the three models on a road trip from SoCal to Laguna Seca that thoroughly explored the differences between the behemoth scoots. Their findings were essentially – aside from raw speed and/or power – the BMW was easily King of the class. I’m also a total sucker for single sided swing-arms and the Beemer is the only one of the three with a single sided unit, though obviously this, as well as its superior performance and electronics suite come at a premium.
I’ve never personally piloted a K1300S, but I was surprised to hear several trustworthy sources claimed the ST Beemer is not only a remarkably flickable bike (for its size), but it also is said to handle pretty competently at low speeds, making urban riding and lane splitting a decently pleasant experience. A quick Youtube search yielded a pretty fun – and impressive – video of someone canyon carving on the K1.3KS like it was an S1KRR.
The base K1300S starts at $15,555. The HP package cost an additional $4,700, adding up to $20,255. Though this is obviously a premium machine that comes with the typical lofty price associated with European luxury vehicles, buyers still saved 40% over what it would cost if they were to purchase all of the accessories and upgraded parts individually.
You can find this limited edition “Alpine White” 2012 BMW K1300S HP example (VIN: WB1050908CZV94354) for sale here on Craigslist in Palos Verdes, California with a price of $13,000.