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Thread: K1300S Long Distance Touring

  1. #1
    One Man Wolfpack Kent Niederhofer's Avatar
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    K1300S Long Distance Touring

    BMW MOAers,

    I am thinking of taking some long distance trips this summer on my K1300S. For those of you that own this bike or the K1200S, can you tell me what the longest single leg distance is that you've covered (i.e., distance covered without lengthy breaks at refueling intervals)?

    I've heard stories of folks covering 2,200 miles over a long (4-day) weekend but am curious if that's realistic. I'm 50 years old and in reasonably good shape (no laughing from you youngsters please). Thanks.

    Kent

  2. #2
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Kent.

    It doesn't have to do with the bike: mechanically, the bike will run far longer than you can.

    It does have to do with you, and how the bike fits you (it'll fit different riders in different ways), and your experience. If you're a new rider, a 200 mile day could be a real long one, even on the interstate. If you've been at it awhile, maybe a 600 mile day is easy. If you're practiced, 1000 mile days are not unheard of...but there's not a lot of sleep involved. Riding four days in a row will be harder than riding one or two.

    To ask some rhetorical questions: What's your experience? What seems like a day you'd like to ride? Or what four days in a row would you like to ride? Just because you *can* do four 600-mile days in a row doesn't mean that's a trip you'd enjoy.

    But...you might. It's your trip!
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  3. #3
    GREGFUESS
    Guest

    Thumbs up Ultimate Sport Tourer - K1200S

    Kent, I have a 2008 K1200S, and have used it primarily as a sport touring bike (who ever heard of a sport bike with a shaft drive?). I have done a few 800+ mile days on it, and while they were tiring they were pleasant. I have toured for up to several weeks, camping and moteling for as long as 4 weeks at a time.

    Few thoughts, though:
    1) The bike is a ticket magnet. The bike is attracted to triple digit speeds like white to rice. Heck, 2nd gear doesn't rap out until 90 mph. And if your in 6th gear, triple digit speeds come around at about 5~6k rpm.

    2) Use backpackers camping gear. If it will fit on a backpacking person, it will fit in the BMW saddle bags or a dry bag. Attached is a picture of my K12 all packed up for a 4 week jaunt to Havasu, AZ.
    Arizona 2009.jpg
    3) The K12S is only good for 5 gallons, and if you can keep the speeds under 70, well mine has gone as far as 235 miles without running out of gas - but that is an extreme and I generally am looking seriously for fuel at 200 miles per tank.

    But yes, the K13S would be a fine sport tourer. In my mind that is what it is, and old geezers sport bike, or a regular guys sport tourer. And an excellent one, at that. 2nd gear doesn't rap out until 90 mph, and that 190 metric rear tire is full of traction once it is warmed up properly.

    Just beware of the tickets.

    Greg

  4. #4
    Rally Rat
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    I have an '05 K1200S and enjoy sport touring with overnight rides to WV, NY and VT. Mostly two lane roads so don't get the super high mile days but 500-700 mile days seem ok. Took it to Johnson City for the National which was mostly highway on the way there and back, forget what the daily mileage was, didn't have any issues. I switched the top triple out for the K12R one, which raised and flattened the bars, also went with a Corbin seat which is more scooped out, lowering the seat height, which also makes for a more relaxed riding position. I added an MRA touring shield and side panel extenders for better wind protection and it is a great ride. For storage I went with First Gear soft bags with matching tank bag and a Bestam 50L hard trunk (Givi look alike), also a roll top bag for the rear seat, so I have plenty of room for tent, sleeping bag, cooking utensils, air mattress, etc.). Don't do any 2 up long distance as my wife has hip problems so most 2 up riding is local. Looking forward to this year's National, a trip to Deals Gap, a weekend in WV and possibly upstate NY this coming summer. Never thought I would motocamp, but am enjoying it more and more.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Registered User 119240's Avatar
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    I'm with Greg & dbrick on his thoughts, in my case - I have '06 K12S - I don't run or like BMW small pannier bags - 17-25 Lt. size too small & $$$ - plus I like my bike naked - no fat ass on her. I like the bikes look as she is. If I wanted bags on a bike go got a GT. On long tours - Nationals - I uses a Bag Connection Speed Pack wide 85-100 Lt size- used it over rear seat but now uses it off the K13 luggage rack. Gas tank wise - drill out the neck of the filler to the tank - squeezes in more gas & quicker fill ups & on the road quicker - no shaking the bike to get the upper air out of tank. Coming home from Johnson City upper 240+ miles on a tank of gas 46 to 47 mpg. traveling at 85-90 - my longest day was 10 hrs. 840 miles in a day -BUT it comes down to the weather & what YOU can do - gear,seat, windshield, traffic,& police - the bike LOVES the open road.
    Kent breaks were at gassing up time 4 to 5 min. to gas & to stretch quads & calfs,used a camelback for water, no seat down lunch ate quick while gassing up & on the road. Go at your own pace, your touring on a motorcycle your not a over the road trucker with food in the back that needs to get to the store by a certain time !
    and enjoy the ride
    '91 K75S, '06 K1200S
    BMWMOA #119240
    YB # 1463
    NRA #154764753

  6. #6
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    Yes

    Kent,
    While I have yet to do it with this bike, I know I would enjoy longer distance sport touring on it. I do weekly trips to Sacramento and back, and that puts on 200 miles each way in the twisties, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours averaging around 50 mph with about 30 miles of freeway in there. I ride in early, work a while, ride home. So that is 7-8 hours, depending on the variations I do. I feel comfortable that I would enjoy many more hours in a day with several days in a row of this type of riding. I am 6', 190 lbs, 33" inseam, and am in 'decent' shape (better than most my age), 56 yrs old. I find the knee position on my S preferable to that of my RS, though for freeway distances, I would choose the RS due to the Aeroflow screen I have on it (see your other thread on screens). As 119240 says, ride your pace, take breaks as needed. I injured my sacrum 18 months ago (fell flat from 4'), aint been the same, so ciatica kicks by the end of a tank if I have not been moving around in the seat much. If I feel good, I gas and go, otherwise a 5-10 minute walk around is perfect and down the road...
    Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >135,000 miles my primary bike again,
    Gone: '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi
    '06 Kaw 650R track bike sold
    http://www.seagullbb.com/

  7. #7
    One Man Wolfpack Kent Niederhofer's Avatar
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    Groundhog Day

    The feedback has been very good and I'm encouraged that this is more than a one tankful per trip bike. I'm starting to plan my trip to the BMW MOA International Rally in Bloomsburg, PA this July and am thinking that a quick stop in Punxsutawney, PA might be an appropriate stop. From the looks of it, I may have to get a bit more bike luggage as all I have are the BMW acorn-sized panniers hanging off either side.

  8. #8
    Gravity
    Guest
    I rode 1,067 miles in one day and I was as comfy as one can be on such a bike. I might add it was chilly, I think my arrival temp in tucson was 38 degrees.

    The bike is built for all types of riding and I find her comfy for a spin to the store or a jaunt across the nation.

    The question, my friend, is are YOU suited to long distance touring on this fire breathing dragon?

    Well?

    Gravity

  9. #9
    One Man Wolfpack Kent Niederhofer's Avatar
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    Gravity,

    That really is the question, isn't it?

    I haven't tested the body on a 1,000+ ride but am hopeful that I can do just that this summer when I head to the BMW MOA International Rally. I'll let you know after that!

    Kent

  10. #10
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    I have ridden a few 700 mile days without fatigue. However, I don't think I would have been comfortable going that many miles in one day when I first rode the K1200S. When I first rode a K1200S there was some discomfort after a long ride. After riding almost daily, riding the K1200S seems relaxing and natural for hours at a time. I think a persons muscles and tendons get used to being in the riding position of the bike they commonly use. I test rode a K1300GT last year, and the riding position on that bike seemed less comfortable than my K1200S. I am 6' and frequently ride in size 13 army combat boots. I have not adjusted or modified the pegs or bars. I think riders sometimes look for ergonomic changes before they give their body a chance to get used to the stock setup. I do use a sargent seat. Before using that seat I used an airhawk seat cushion over the stock seat. I've piled a lot of junk on top of the passenger seat. However, someone should not sell the factory bags on the K1200S short. I find it is handy to have some lockable storage, and my bags have gone about 40k and look about like new.

  11. #11
    Rally Rat
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    Reguarding luggage/storage space, SW Motech now sells pannier brackets for the K12S, similar to the Givi ones for the K13S. You can then get a mounting plate to mount Krouser/Givi hard bags, depending on what you want. I only do a couple overnighters a year, so just use soft saddle bags with a hard trunk and roll top bag on the pillian for tent gear. I got waterproof roll top bags (Walmart) for in the saddlebags as bag liners so I don't have to worry about the goofy rain covers that came with them. At some point I might go with hard luggage, for the look as well as added space, but for the few times I'd use it, it seems like overkill.

    Looking forward to seeing how others have farkeled their K bikes when we all get to Bloomsburg!

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