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Topic: K1300GT vs K1600GT: Build Quality and Reliability  (Read 9108 times)

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Duc OT
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« on: June 11, 2012, 12:30:42 PM »

For those familiar with both bikes, I’d like to get general impressions on the comparative quality and reliability of the K1300GT vs the K1600GT.  I am familiar with the K1200S from my years of ownership and know all about the cam chain guard.

All things aside (performance, ergos, cost, etc), if you were to buy based soley on reliability...which one would you get?
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2012, 01:27:56 PM »

Based soley on reliability....I wouldn't buy a BMW.
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« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2012, 03:46:57 PM »

Really SLK50? I have been looking into BMW's lately and am amazed by the poor reliability reputation they have.  All bikes have issues, I get that,  but when you are advertising premium machinery at a premium price, you better be able to back that up. People ride these things across the country.  Is it really that bad?
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« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2012, 05:14:42 PM »


Based soley on reliability....I wouldn't buy a BMW.



 Lol


Truth.
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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2012, 08:20:05 PM »


  Is it really that bad?


no, its not
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2012, 09:22:38 PM »


Really SLK50? I have been looking into BMW's lately and am amazed by the poor reliability reputation they have.  All bikes have issues, I get that,  but when you are advertising premium machinery at a premium price, you better be able to back that up. People ride these things across the country.  Is it really that bad?


  Half of all BMWs ever made are still on the road, somewhere.
The rest made it home.

  BMW's reputation re reliability goes beyond Internet fantasy.
Given one criteria, and only one: reliability, BMW wouldn't
make the cut.
  But given other parameters: engineering, innovation ,
performance, handling, value, etc., I would ( and have )
certainly consider BMW. In fact, for my last bike purchase,
I only passed on a BMW because of the lack of a local
dealer ( less than 100 miles ) at the time.
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RBEmerson
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« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2012, 09:36:16 PM »

OK, so you never owned one, right?   Rolleyes
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2012, 09:54:50 PM »


OK, so you never owned one, right?   Rolleyes


No. But in respect to the OP I wouldn't expect any
difference in reliability between the 1300 & 1600.
A much bigger factor for me is that the 1300
has been discontinued. Disappointing because I
actually like it more than the 1600.
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 10:51:54 PM »




No. But in respect to the OP I wouldn't expect any
difference in reliability between the 1300 & 1600.
A much bigger factor for me is that the 1300
has been discontinued. Disappointing because I
actually like it more than the 1600.
Yeah, but in 'merica, bigger is better.  I'm holding out a few years for the bmw 3000 so i can rid it to burger king and bet my 1 lb burger with a 72 oz drink.

Alexi
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 11:07:05 PM »

I'd say that it's really too early to know the reliability of either model.  I'd say they're both equal.  I would buy the 1600 because they have more stock in making sure any wrongs are righted, because it's their most expensive/technologically advanced model.  That technology will trickle down to other models, so they need to make sure the 1600 is reliable in order to ensure future success.

The rumors of those models' death have been greatly exaggerated  Bigsmile
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2012, 12:05:04 AM »

I'm looking at the 1200RT.  Is their "questionable" reliability limited to certain bikes?
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« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2012, 10:19:25 AM »

IMHO, much (but not all - I want to be clear on that point) of this "unreliability" chatter is folks trying to be über-kool.  If BMW's failed in real life as much as they do on the Internet, they'd be long gone from the market.  

Yes, there are better years and worse years.  Yes, BMW has made some incredibly bone-headed choices (plastic fuel quick disconnects come to mind readily).  Yes, maintaining a BMW properly is almost "if you have to ask 'how much', you can't afford it."  But when it comes to fast, comfortable riding over long (or short) distances, there's a reason why BMW's are iconic.  And this wouldn't happen if the bikes either couldn't leave the garage or could leave a rider stuck in Lower South Patagonia.  

Silverbird, have a look at your RT.  Take it for a good and proper ride.  And, if it fits, plan on having it for quite a while.  Smile
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2012, 04:52:04 PM »

I love my K1300GT it just fits me and does everything I want in a sport tourer Inlove Inlove Inlove
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2012, 05:07:57 PM »

Never ridden a K1600, but I've been on the K1300S and it's close to my favorite bike.  I've ridden every Ducati you can think of - Diavel, 1098R (AWESOME bike), Street Fighter, Monsters galore.  I've ridden Yamahas, Benellis, other BMW's, Triumphs, Kawasaki C14's and others, Hayabusas, CBR XX's, and I'm sure I'm missing a lot.

The engine on that K1300S is one of the best engines ever (I like the Hayabusa better, I think).  Add the adjustable on the fly suspension and it's all over.  Don't see the need for the GT unless you are riding two up, but the K1300 series engine is an amazing piece of engineering.  Lots of cool doodads on the K1600 though...those gyro lights would be welcome on my Sprint that BLOWS and provides NO light at lean...

- Dan
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2012, 09:07:55 PM »


I'm looking at the 1200RT.  Is their "questionable" reliability limited to certain bikes?


The RT is on my list and if I didn't have the Aprilia, I probably would have purchased one by now.  It's one of my favorite motorcycle series of all times, and the current model is ridiculously comfortable.
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2012, 07:50:54 PM »

If by "quality and reliability" you mean a low number of defects per unit manufactured, then the Japanese bikes would - on whole - beat the European bikes.

Then again, if "quality and reliability" was the sole metric used by purchasers of MP3 players, the iPod would have failed. Except that it hasn't.

When choosing metric(s) to use for product selection, choose the one that delivers to you the highest level of satisfaction. Most of the rational "reasons" that we claim drive our choices are rationalizations for emotional decisions anyway.

Ride a number of bikes that approximate what you think you want, then buy the one that really moves you. Everyone is different - just like everyone else.

I hope you find what you are looking for.

PS - I think the K1600GT is a wonderful machine.
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2012, 01:26:01 AM »


Really SLK50? I have been looking into BMW's lately and am amazed by the poor reliability reputation they have.  All bikes have issues, I get that,  but when you are advertising premium machinery at a premium price, you better be able to back that up. People ride these things across the country.  Is it really that bad?


No it isn't -- just don't go to FJRForum for BMW advice.  Smile

I had a Ducati ST3, and despite dire warnings that I ought not stray 20 miles from a Ducati dealer, I rode it around the western US and never had a problem.  Same goes for my BMW K13S.  Meanwhile, I've chatted with a stranded VFR (rectifier) owner in the Oregon outback.  Someday I'm sure I'll have a mech failure on some random bike, but I don't want to miss out on decades of riding on great bikes because I was chasing the law of averages.
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2012, 11:32:47 PM »

What reliability issue, I got back into riding in 1980
30,000 miles on a 1981 Honda CB750F - no problems just tires, chain, sprockets, oil changes  
52,000 miles on a 1984 Yamaha FJ1100 - two problems, coils failed but didn't strand me far from home, welds in dual wall pipes broke nbd and tires, chain, sprockets, oil changes, brake pads
72,000 miles on a 1994 BMW R1100RS - no problems just tires, brake pads, oil changes
12,000 miles on a Ducati 900 Monster - ECU failure in first 6 months, it would drain battery overnight if not on a trickle charger and a new battery because of the deep discharges, its been reliable since,  but its still a one hour ride bike
21,000 miles on a 2003 Yamaha FZ1 - no problems just tires, chain, sprockets, oil changes
31,000 miles on a 2007 BMW K1200GT - several recalls, but it has never stranded me, who would have thought it was possible to get 56 mpg when you have 150 hp, the thing loves 9,000+ ft elevation and mountain passes
plus several other bikes that were short affairs
The only time I have been stranded was for a rear tire failure on the R1100RS, and ran the Duc out of gas, forgot I siphoned gas for the lawn mower and ignored the low fuel light.
The bikes, I had in the 50s and 60s required that you were a mechanic, and a MacGiver at times
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2012, 02:36:36 AM »

Why would there be any difference between the two models in the areas of build and reliability?  BMW's are interesting motorcycles, with a certain cache, but I have owned two Beemers and switched to a Yamaha without regret.

I offer the following.  If you live close enough to a shop that works on BMW's, go ahead.  Of the two you mentioned, either one would be a good ride, depending upon what you need.  AFAIK, the K1300 is still in production, but not in a touring model.  If I were going to change bikes, the 1600 appeals to me, being an old timer.  At the price, though, a Gold Wing fills the same bill better.  My current ride is the FJR 1300, more similar to the K1300 GT.

It's not the bike, it's the service.  Getting service and parts for my Beemers was frankly a PITA.  These days, nearest BMW dealer to me is 150 miles away.  There's an indie shop nearby, but such shops have a tendency to go out of business without warning.  While local guy was out of the fight, for two years or so, I had to search around to even get a tire mounted.  'Finally found a mechanic at the local Japanese bike dealer who used to be employed at the indie shop and still had the gear to work on his own R-bike.

Regarding the sophisticated tech stuff for which the Germans take pride, well, it's your call.  More tech can mean more stuff to fail, and German electrics are hincky (tech term) at best.  I have trouble believing that those gimballed headlights will last very long after many miles in the rain, but time will tell.  Besides, I get off the road at night, fearing those suicidal deer in my parts.  

Well, I ramble on, HTH, WBill  

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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2012, 05:23:53 PM »

Thanks WBill.  I had a BMW K1200S and know exactly what you speak of.  However, the BMW coolaid still has a grip on me and that is why i post such foolish questions.  The logical side of my brain says FJR, but the passionate side says K1300GT/K1600GT.  Oh the agony !
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