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Summer Fun II


The BMW K1300S is only homologated to Euro 3 standards which means you can't buy a new one and get it on the road next year anymore. At least in Europe. Thus BMW has already removed it from its home page and sells off the remaining stock. Probably until the end of the year (they could license it and sell into 2017 but stock seems to be quite low).

I had the bike since 2009 as a company bike and when I returned to Germany that was the thing I found to have missed abroad the most. This is a bike from the time when the company strived to built the best motorbike technically possible. A time that has since passed in most of the automotive industry. Sad but true. Lifestyle products anyone?

So ... I've already bought mine last year.

Daniel's "new" K1300S

It hasn't changed much from 2009 so there is no reason to buy a 2016 model year, buy any in good condition.

Double check that the handlebar switch units have been replaced with the improved versions (both sides). The stock ones don't like heat and stop working when it gets really hot. I got stuck at a friend's house after going for a long swim in the warm summer of 2015. BMW had a free replace-if-customer-complains (silent) recall until the end of last year. Prod your dealer to get some good will out of BMW Motorrad. Esp. before you buy. Also check the cardan drive for excess degrees of freedom. It doesn't take "binary" road racers too well. So make sure you get to know the previous owner.

As Motorrad 17/2016 put it:

In last years' sportstourer concept comparison the K 1300 S [..] still blew the competition away.
Brutal while well honed, that's the lasting impression. [..] Extra-ordinary stable, tight and still comfortable.
And still today the K 1300 [S] is the reference in breaking, because of the wide wheel base and because she stays up when breaking.
[The K-BMWs of the last generation] are cold perfection, executed into each detail. Just different.

BMW K1300S candle

That light we see is burning in my hall. How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world. William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

MINI key chrome ring


The key on my girlfriend's MINI had to be replaced as the remote control parts of it decided to cease functioning.

The key is an interesting piece of engineering as it communicates with the car wirelessly, charges via electromagnetic induction and has a standard key quite elegantly hidden inside.

When the replacement key arrived it was already bruised on the chrome ring. So I went "duh, another two weeks wait on the next key" but the dealer just smiled, removed the chrome ring and replaced it with a new one.

Playing around with the key it had not occurred to me that the (quite easily scratched and bruised) chrome ring can simply be replaced.

So I figured, I'd document it: Using (strong enough) fingernails or a plastic or wooden spatula you can carefully remove the chrome ring from you MINI key and replace / refurbish / re-paint it. Work from one side. Push up as the chrome ring is open only on one side. There are four 8mm wide notches at 55° measured from the longitudinal axes of the key below the chrome ring. If you get your spatula locked in there you can easily leverage the chrome ring off the black plastic body of the key. Before you break things ask somebody with more manual skill to help you or pay a visit to your car dealer's spare parts desk.

The chrome ring as a spare part should be somewhat affordable as well. But I think being able to grind the ring and paint it matching the color of your MINI is a much cooler option. Please leave a comment / send a picture if you do this.

The engineer in me demanded to take the broken key apart. The inner shell is quite sturdy and the halves are tightly molded into each other, so removing the electronics will quite likely break the thing. Don't do it. But my girlfriend's was broken already, so this is what it looks inside.

Summer Fun


In case you wondered about the lack of activity here over the summer...

I've been working with the motorbikes unit of the company quite a bit as of late. They are great people and thus got me a bit enticed to try out their products. So I ordered myself a BMW K1300S.

And wow. This is simply the best bike I've ever ridden. It's extremely powerful while still agile and easy to maneuver. It's comfortable enough for a day ride and fun enough to take to the track.

The German newspaper FAZ found it flawless except for the price. I'd second that. It's nearly perfect. The small improvement I'd like on the 2010 model: make the windshield a little higher. The air flow basically ends up right on the helmet if you're above 6 ft. (1.82 m) tall. But that's really a minor issue, I'm sure accessory developers will take care of it if BMW doesn't.

I got the bike with all the electronic gadgetry available so it has ESA II (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), Quickshift (so one can switch gears up without using the clutch), on-board computer, tire pressure monitor and (...yes I know...) handle bar heating (to save me: the bike was pre-configured when I ordered), ASC, ABS, whatever. Being a geek that's fine: lotsa knobs to play with. After 7 months I have to say none of these are really needed but none are completely useless either.

Daniel's BMW K1300S
My K1300S: 1,293cc, water-cooled four-stroke straight-four engine, DOHC, four valves per cylinder; 175bhp at 9,250rpm; 140Nm at 8,250rpm; 228kg dry.

Remote keyless entry system Keeloq broken by security researchers


The remote keyless entry system KeeLoq is being used by Chrysler, Daewoo, Fiat, General Motors, Honda/Infiniti, Jaguar, Toyota/Lexus, Volvo and Volkswagen. A number of garage door opening systems and the like also use this technology. It is based on a secret cipher that has now been compromised by an international IT security research team. Two intercepted messages are deemed sufficient to clone a KeeLoq RFID tag as there are general keys inserted by the manufacterer and the key structure is partially determined by make and model. A stronger KeeLoq implementation (still) needs physical access to the key but only for a few minutes. It's also possible to permanently lock the legitimate owner out of his car or building and render his KeeLoq RFID useless. Details can be found at the researchers site and the folks at Wikipedia have also amended their KeeLoq article.