Thursday, January 08, 2009

Naked Truth: BMW K1300R vs Buell 1125CR


The BMW is more powerful and looks more aggressive. But which, really, is the better bike?

This isn’t, perhaps, the most awaited sportsbike shootout ever. We doubt if too many BMW loyalists would ever leave their beloved Bavarian machines and switch over to Buell, while fans of the all-American Buell aren’t very likely to ever defect to the BMW camp. Still, Motociclismo recently had the opportunity to pit the K1300R against the 1125CR, and here’s what they have to say about how the two bikes stack up against each other:

The technology that’s gone into these two bikes is as unconventional as their styling. The 176bhp K1300R uses shaft drive, the 146bhp 1125CR uses belt drive. The BMW uses Duolever front suspension, which you won’t find on any other bike, while the Buell’s perimeter disc braking system at the front wheel entails the use of a single disc – unlike all other large-displacement sportsbikes, which use twin disc set-ups at the front.


Both bikes use unconventional chassis, suspension and braking systems...

The BMW is the better bike for riding in the city, thanks to its anti-lock brakes (ABS) and optional traction control – things which provide a lot of reassurance during hard braking and acceleration. The riding position is pretty comfortable too, though your shin will often hit the BMW’s engine casing on the right hand side, when you put your feet down while coming to a complete stop.

Riding the Buell in the city gets tiring within a few kilometres – the high footpegs, and the shape and the positioning of the handlebar sees to that. But while it affects low speed comfort, the 1125CR’s sports-oriented riding position is perfect for high speed cornering.

Another thing that goes against the Buell is its brakes, which work in a rather abrupt fashion. Initially, the brakes don’t seem powerful enough at all and then, when they suddenly bite, they can upset the bike somewhat.


What do you want - stable, or nimble? With these two bikes, you can't have both!

Developed by Rotax, the Buell’s v-twin is one of the most pleasant twin-cylinder engines current available in the market. Low-rpm torque delivery makes the bike very rideable at low speeds and the linear power delivery means the bike picks up speed smoothly and consistently.

The BMW’s four-cylinder engine is also much improved over its predecessor – it feels significantly more powerful, the roughness has disappeared and power delivery has been smoothened out very well. On the highway, the K1300R offers better wind protection than the 1125CR and feels more planted, more stable, while the Buell feels more nimble and responsive.


More than anything else, we suppose it's the 'image' you want that'll decide what bike you choose...

When it comes to high speed cornering, the Buell outshines the BMW. The K1300R isn’t bad – in fact it’s quite good considering it’s size and weight – but the Buell is in a different league. The Buell’s braking characteristics and suspension set-up are just more conducive to letting the rider push harder in the corners, and the bike is more supple and responsive in the bends than the BMW.

So there you are – most of the important questions regarding the two bikes’ behaviour have been answered. But, somehow, we doubt if too many BMW or Buell buyers were actually waiting for this shoot-out in order to decide which bike they want. No, they've made up their minds already...

For the full, original story, visit the Motociclismo website here

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BMW HP2 Sport vs KTM 1190 RC8...
2009 Yamaha R1 vs early-1990s Yamaha YZR500 GP racer...
1974 MV Agusta 500 GP racer vs Ducati's GP7 MotoGP bike...
MotoGP vs Professional Bullfighting...!
Ducati 1098 vs KTM 1190 RC8...
1992 Honda Fireblade vs 2008 Honda Fireblade...
Buell 1125R vs BMW HP2 Sport...

Elsewhere today:
After a day of hard riding, some of this is what we want...!
Faster and Faster: The fastest ladies on Flickr...!
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