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lkchris
11-28-2009, 09:00 PM
Although I'm not familiar enough with either bike to know whether it's a valid comparison, I think the author gets it as regards BMWs. It's rather different from most articles for sure.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574561931225519624.html

JAMESDUNN
11-28-2009, 11:35 PM
Nice write up. The big Bandit is well reviewed by the motorcycle press garnering many accolades. It is a nice bike. I have not ridden either, but I would like to. That the author chooses the BMW over the Bandit speaks to the quality of the Beemer, both in looks, fit & finish and ride. Or, at least the writer thought so.

Semper_Fi
11-29-2009, 01:39 AM
Kent - great article.

I found this comment very applicable and true:

the BMW is the bike of choice. It feels more like a precision instrument

fracture
11-30-2009, 01:44 PM
Just wondering if this is a valid comparison. That is, are both of these bikes in the same class? The Bandit looks to be an "almost naked standard" (small fairing) and the BMW is, to me anyway, a sport tourer with the emphasis on sport.

Instead of the Bandit, maybe something like a Triumph Sprint would be a more valid comparison.

XTrooper
11-30-2009, 02:02 PM
Just wondering if this is a valid comparison. That is, are both of these bikes in the same class? The Bandit looks to be an "almost naked standard" (small fairing) and the BMW is, to me anyway, a sport tourer with the emphasis on sport.



The K1300GT is a sport touring bike with the emphasis on sport. The K1300S is a sport bike with a larger fairing and nicer amenities than the Bandit, but it's a sport bike nonetheless. I don't think it should be faulted for the very things that make it a better. ;)

texanrt
11-30-2009, 02:28 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574561931225519624.html

Even thought the road is familiar to me, I struggle to get this turn just right ÔÇô to navigate it smoothly. I did so on the BMW and experienced one of those moments that make motorcyclists tingle. Entering the turn faster than usual, I tightened my turn until I feared I might go off the road. But by the middle of the bend I was perfectly positioned ÔÇô no adjustments needed. The BMW seems to encourage the rider to take the most twisty road and ride it a little faster than usual -- not recklessly, but in a way that tests one's skill.

:thumb I can totally relate.

JAMESDUNN
11-30-2009, 02:29 PM
The K1300GT is a sport touring bike with the emphasis on sport. The K1300S is a sport bike with a larger fairing and nicer amenities than the Bandit, but it's a sport bike nonetheless. I don't think it should be faulted for the very things that make it a better. ;)

Agree. It is a valid comparison.

GREGFUESS
12-01-2009, 05:11 AM
The K1300GT is a sport touring bike with the emphasis on sport. The K1300S is a sport bike with a larger fairing and nicer amenities than the Bandit, but it's a sport bike nonetheless. I don't think it should be faulted for the very things that make it a better. ;)

Interesting thought, though I agree, after 54 weeks and 24,000 miles on my '08 K12S that this is a sport touring bike with an emphasis on sport. With the weight that the K12S has, it is difficult to take seriously as a pure sport bike. A Ducati is a sport bike, but I couldn't have that kind of mileage on one of those in a little over a year.

A K13GT seems more like an SUV with lots of power... :o)

Greg

mika
12-01-2009, 06:12 AM
I have had a chance to ride both a K1200S and several current version Bandits for extended periods. I like them both.

There is no doubt that K is a precision instrument in comparison to the Bandit. It exudes sophistication and build quality as it hauls you down the road screaming in your helmet at speeds you donÔÇÖt want to be caught at or taking curves like you didnÔÇÖt think you could.

Yet the build quality of the Bandit is good also but with a solid blue collar feel to it by comparison. The suspension is not as sophisticated as the Durolever that I love but it is definitely up to the job. The body work can be added to with lowers to make it more comparable in the touring protection to the BMW.

The engine is a detuned GSX that is as strong as you legally need and more. Aftermarket parts are plentiful if you want to breathe fire into the mill.

The 2010 Bandit (http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/639/4583/Motorcycle-Article/2010-Suzuki-GSX1250FA-and-Bandit-First-Look.aspx) will be upgraded from the one reviewed in the WSJ article. The price was not projected to increase but unfortunately Suzuki just announced it is not importing 2010s (any model) to the NA market until inventories are cleared.

BMW buyers/riders tend to own their bikes for longer periods (either in terms of years or miles or often both). Bandit riders will churn a bikes owning them for shorter periods but working them just as hard by comparison. For the longer haul take the BMW. If you are churning bikes the Bandit is some $6k+ cheaper allowing you the Bandit and a second bike. Heck the MSRP on a G650 Xcountry is $7,500. I could have the Bandit for the long haul and almost pay for the Xcountry as my in town daily rider.

XTrooper
12-01-2009, 06:31 PM
Interesting thought, though I agree, after 54 weeks and 24,000 miles on my '08 K12S that this is a sport touring bike with an emphasis on sport. With the weight that the K12S has, it is difficult to take seriously as a pure sport bike. A Ducati is a sport bike, but I couldn't have that kind of mileage on one of those in a little over a year.

A K13GT seems more like an SUV with lots of power... :o)

Greg

I guess it's a matter of perspective, Greg. Having come from Harley-Davidson touring bikes, the K1300GT (and the R1200RT I currently ride) is a true lightweight. ;)

JAMESDUNN
12-03-2009, 03:23 AM
Mika, as usual a thoughtful well considered post. Thanks for your perspective!

Motorcyclist
12-04-2009, 03:58 AM
The article compares a motorcycle that is universally regarded as a great budget bike (ie. built to a price point), with a premium priced machine.

The comparison would be more appropriate if they used a Hyabusa instead of the Bandit. In fact, I recall one of the more memorable ads when the new style K was launched proclaimed, "you don't need a hibachi to cook Japanese." Dunno what the ad agency was smoking when they wrote that, but it was memorable!

What's next for this guy, V-Strom vs. GSA?

lkchris
12-05-2009, 06:42 PM
The article compares a motorcycle that is universally regarded as a great budget bike (ie. built to a price point), with a premium priced machine.

Author states the bikes fit the same riding niche, i.e. commuting.

You erroneously assume the comparison is at price points, which it obviously isn't.

Author concludes that in the described riding niche, you get what you pay for. Surprise!

Motorcyclist
12-06-2009, 09:20 AM
Author states the bikes fit the same riding niche, i.e. commuting.

Wow, that's pretty broad. A lot of bikes fit that niche, donchathink?


You erroneously assume the comparison is at price points, which it obviously isn't.

Author concludes that in the described riding niche, you get what you pay for. Surprise!

So what is the purpose of the comparison? You get better suspension for $6K more? Surprise, surprise! Maybe it makes more sense if you test bikes that are a little closer in price, so that you get similar quality components. If the guy has got to state that the BMW costs substantially more, then the comparison is most likely invalid. Up next, K1300S vs. Honda Nighthawk 250. Guess which one has better components?

darrylri
12-06-2009, 01:49 PM
So what is the purpose of the comparison?

Obviously, the purpose is to entertain the sort of people who get their motorcycle buying advice from the Wall St. Journal. Might as well read the Robb Report while you're at it.

mika
12-06-2009, 01:55 PM
Around here the comparison may not seem reasonable to some but in the real world of buyers the Bandit has stolen more than a few buyers from BMW. Do you think a BMW Motorrad publicist may have had something to do with the placement of the article and the outcome?
:ha

108625
12-06-2009, 03:23 PM
I wouldn't be surprised.

Regardless, I would give the Wall Street Journal's opinion on motorcycles the same consideration as I would Sport rider's advice on investing.:nono

Which brings to mind another comparison:

http://www.sportrider.com/bikes/146_0707_naked_motorcycle_comparison/index.html

dwestly
12-08-2009, 01:46 AM
You're correct on that. The demographics of the WSJ and Robb Report for that matter do not include the dedicated riding community. However, their audience has a higher (much higher in the case of the Robb Report) average disposable income, so anytime BMW can get favorable write-ups in these magazines/newspapers, its a good thing. Obviously the articles aren't technical in nature, but this one was well-written and did display the S model's obvious attributes. I've dealt professionally with more than a few individuals in the Robb Report social scene (dealt with..not part of...) and they take these write-ups/comparisons very seriously. They are very likely to be influenced by them, so a good write-up like this one is important.