As we prepared to roll off on a 1300-mile comparison tour with the Laguna Seca round of MotoGP as the apex, I had second thoughts about bringing the BMW into the fold. I assumed it was just an outlier, an oddball bike that would be bludgeoned by the Suzuki’s smoothness and competence, and by the Kawasaki’s sheer brute power. Yes, it might be more comfortable, but it would get slaughtered on the road. Or so I thought. By the end of the tour, each of us was eager to switch onto the BMW. Its smooth engine, more upright ergonomics (including the best seat of the three, at least for me), fruity pipe and surprisingly useful quick shifter made up for the fact that it didn’t steer as nicely as the Hayabusa or pack the mind-altering acceleration of the ZX-14R. I don’t think I’d pop for the HP special edition, but the $15,555 base K1300S is, with the benefit of real road miles in the saddle, suddenly on my shopping list.