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Thread: Kill the K13GT? Only a marketing guy would do that...

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    Question Kill the K13GT? Only a marketing guy would do that...

    So I'm wondering what's going on in the mind of BMW management RE the decision to kill off the K13GT. Oh sure, I can see it being tough to support two uber-sport tourers in the market, and I can understand that it would be tough to justify the tooling and manufacturing setup just to produce one new engine and new model-- the K1600GTL--to compete against the Goldwing. But still, who asked for a new sport-touring model packing 65lbs more weight and a higher price tag? Does BMW think they are going to gain conquest sales away from the C14/ST13/FJR crowd with a bike that is bulkier on both the eye and the scale? Are the other manufacturers on the verge of releasing a new, bigger, heavier, more complex round of S-T machines? What's up? The K13S is shown as available in a 2011 model, so it's not like the K13 motor is NLA.

    Just not getting it, I guess. Put me in the "more is not always better" crowd. And that's not just old-timer's grousing, like the "yuppie K-bike scum" comments back in the 80s. It's more a questioning of why I'd want more weight, more complexity and maintenance expense, and more $$$ up front when the K13 is already doing the job so well.

    FWIW, I think the K1600GTL is overdue as a replacement for the K1200LT and expect to see it do very well in that market-- a real GW-smoker. I'm just glad I snagged my 2010GT a couple of months ago. Had I not acquired that bike, I'd probably be shopping for a C14 or FJR this spring instead of polishing the roundels on my new ride...

    So what are BMW riders thinking? Those who don't have $$ down on a new K16, that is....

    GTRider

  2. #2
    Honey Badger Semper_Fi's Avatar
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    I am disappointed that they killed the 13, but from a performance aspect, other than weight, the K16 will be very similar and because of the engine and gearing it will have more grunt, 6 cylinder grunt - that indeeed will be sweet.

    So it gets back to 2 similar platform economies.

    Keep the 13 it will be a classic
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    The BIG unknown question is will the K1600GTL be a replacement for the K1200LT? Lots of discussion on the LT site about this. Supposedly the ergo's for the passenger are not even close to the LT so if that is true the GTL will not replace the wing or the LT as a two-up touring machine.

    Time will tell but I am with GTrider in that I certainly don't want more complexity, I would like greater dependability though...

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    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
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    I have enough trouble understanding women let alone BMW management.

    Maybe they agree with you that “more is not always better.” The K1600 gives them a platform that can take them down the product development path of uber-tourer and or luxury tourer. The survival of the smaller K’s all be it with the snipping of GT from the line may mean
    - A new K sports tourer in the works for 2012. The GT grew on me but it still seems a bit ponderous for my tastes. It is a great platform but a bit less would make it much more of a sport tourer; at least for my tastes.
    - Continued development room for the R model touring bikes.

    Of course there is the school of thought among many posters that BMW is clueless.

    Like women I don’t always understand BMW but then again in both cases I do look forward with great anticipation to what is coming next from them.
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    "I have enough trouble understanding women let alone BMW management."


    Now that is well said.

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    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Notice the different cam chain arrangement on the 6 cyl. First seen on the S1000RR. I half suspected that if they continued the K1200/1300 it would be redesigned to be like the S1000RR.
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjack View Post
    Notice the different cam chain arrangement on the 6 cyl. First seen on the S1000RR. I half suspected that if they continued the K1200/1300 it would be redesigned to be like the S1000RR.
    OK, that's fine-- continued product development. Does that mean you're thinking the GT was killed off to make way for a new slant-4-engined sport-touring machine? And the S is being kept on as a placeholder until the bike(s) with the re-designed engine are ready? And would there be a GT version with the new engine? That would mean there would have to be room in the BMW segment of the marketplace for two sport-touring machines within an uncomfortably close range of price and performance. And given that choice, there are a lot of us who wouldn't want to pay extra$$ for extra weight. Hhmmm... I don't see that working. I also don't see the K13S with bags working as a sport touring mainstay--walk around a rally and check odo readings on the K13S models--I don't see nearly as many of those accumulating high miles like the GTs. Lotsa GTs as mainstay bikes, lotsa S machines as second or "short-touring" machines.

    I hope the new models are successful, I really do. But I can't help but have the feeling that once the initial flash of "wow" factor on the 6 has worn off, buyers are going to look at price vs performance and weight. And while the 6 has enough "wow" factor to avoid the same type of "Let 'em sit in the warehouse" reaction that was experienced when the cubist R12ST replaced the svelte R1150RS, for the long run I don't see it working. IMHO there will be conquest sales vis-a-vis the FJR, C14, and ST13--but not in BMW's favor. I hope I'm wrong, I really do--but then I wanted to see the R1200ST succeed too...

    Best,

    GTRider
    Last edited by GTRider; 01-22-2011 at 03:13 AM. Reason: spelling
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    1983 R80ST -- 1988 K100RS (r.i.p.) -- 1995 R1100RSL (gone, never forgotten) -- 2004 K1200GT w/Hannigan S/C -- 2010 K1300GT

  8. #8
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    I think the LT demonstrated a market for a BMW like the new 6. During the LT years, the RT was the light touring bike. A twin. The light touring bike was not the 4 cyl brick GT, it was really just an RS with a windshield. I kind of see the light touring bike being the RT again. Maybe do the water cooling to meet the emissions issues. And the 4 cyl transverse engine being the sport (touring) bike...and the racing.
    My other bike is a BMW.
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

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