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Thread: BMW K1300S as a Track Bike

  1. #1
    One Man Wolfpack Kent Niederhofer's Avatar
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    BMW K1300S as a Track Bike

    So I took my 1300S to a track day again -- the fifth such event for me -- and I spent the better part of the day wrestling the bike through the turns, wandering off the race line regularly and fighting to get it back on line. Is it me or does this bike not like to get tossed around at a track? I suspect that either way there's a good percentage that I'm responsible for and I know the bike is more of a "giant slalom" machine but can't it be ridden aggressively at the track?

    Despite my performance, I did have fun and it certainly howls on the straights -- I got it to 133 mph (GPS-verified) before having to stomp on the brakes before a 120 degree right-hander. Lot's of fun but I wish I was doing better and I'd like to hear from some of you K1300S track stars (especially those that have ridden other liter bikes who have something to compare to).

    Kent

  2. #2
    X-Troller hexst's Avatar
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    Long wheelbase quite heavy for track bike fun but a lot of work! Does great on the Autobahn that's more what it was built for. Watch someone ride a gixr1000 then a hyabusa that's the difference.
    Knick
    F800GS
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    Vespa ET4

  3. #3
    One Man Wolfpack Kent Niederhofer's Avatar
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    BMW K1300S as a Track Bike

    Well, I did a little snooping around and found this on another site: http://wn.com/bmw_motorcycles_k1200r...ace_at_mugello. It's the 2005 Power Cup in Germany which featured K1200Rs at the time (prior to the arrival of the S1000RR). Very entertaining and while not ideal it appears if you know what your doing you can ride this whale. I had a similar experience to the rider whose bike "hiccups" at 2:15 into the video. The electronic wizardry saved my tush on three different occasions as my tire transitioned from high to low to high grip surface (water running across the track) in a corner! Yikes that was fun and scary at the same time.

    Kent

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kent Niederhofer View Post
    Well, I did a little snooping around and found this on another site: http://wn.com/bmw_motorcycles_k1200r...ace_at_mugello. It's the 2005 Power Cup in Germany which featured K1200Rs at the time (prior to the arrival of the S1000RR). Very entertaining and while not ideal it appears if you know what your doing you can ride this whale. I had a similar experience to the rider whose bike "hiccups" at 2:15 into the video. The electronic wizardry saved my tush on three different occasions as my tire transitioned from high to low to high grip surface (water running across the track) in a corner! Yikes that was fun and scary at the same time.

    Kent
    I got behind some spirited riders on 90 in Missouri. I will say the young man (in full ATGATT) knew how to make that bike work. They were stopped at the old Slims store, I pulled in to discuss routes with my riding friend. While I did not talk to the guy on the 1300S, I did see that his rear tire was edge to edge with lots of melted rubber, so he was working it HARD. And the plastic was not trashed. I would say the bike is track capable, of course this is only one data point.

    Rod

  5. #5
    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    I loved mine on the track - for a sport-touring bike. It really did well all things considered. I ran BT-003 race tires on it at the track and had a blast. I did, however, feel I got as fast as I could go on that bike without tossing it down the road. I needed/wanted to become a better rider. So, I sold mine and got a little Kaw650 race bike. I know I could have continued to improve on the 1300S, but not at the rate I wanted to improve and still not risk totaling my daily ride. I don't recall having the running wide issues you describe. It certainly is not really 'flickable', too long a wheelbase and too heavy. The GSXR1000/Hyabusa comparison is very apt. It certainly requires a LOT of body positioning, and I mean getting your tush completely off the seat and over to the other side. For sure look at any photos or run a GoPro from the rear cowl and see what your true body position is. On my Kawi, I feel like I am full tush to one side or the other and like I am laying on the tank on the straights. A video from my 1-1 instructor last month shows that just aint the case, and the body position is even more important for the heavy K13. There are aftermarket rear shock linkages you can get to raise your ride height and make it much more nimble in the twisties and especially on the track. Not expensive and very easy to install. If I had not opted for the track bike, I would have done this. Just a couple of top grade aluminum plates properly coated, takes about 30 minutes and you are good to go. I think I saw someone over at the I-BMW forum making them. And you HAVE to have gripsters on your tank so your knees can grab the bike. I was amazed at the difference they made, just even riding in the twisties on my commute to Sac. A must for the track.

    Just an update....The best lap I ever did by several seconds on the K13S at Thunderhill was a 2:27, I was consistently in the 2:33 range. My first day on the little Ninja 650 twin I hit 2:27, and was likely several seconds slower on the straight. By the end of the season, I was consistently at 2:19 pace. It is just so much easier to handle in the corners than the bigger liter+ bikes. And like EMSimon says in his post below, it takes a bike dedicated to the track to really shine there, or a natural racer that can ride anything at speed....(surely not me).
    Last edited by 58058D; 11-20-2013 at 08:23 PM.
    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/

  6. #6
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    Doing a - better multiple - track day(s) is a perfect way to build and hone your skills and learn how your bike reacts in more extreme situations. Unless you have a bike that has race bike heritage, do not expect to set new lap records.
    Any BMW, except the RR is not really a track bike. Even a GS (while they do surprisingly well at track events) has its downsides when moved around on fast circuits.

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