Mine’s Bigger Than Yours – New BMW K 1600GT Stomps Into LifeArmani Moffatt
And it really, really does try and stomp its way over the competition with its six-cylinder, touring-focussed, beating monster of a motor punting out a remarkable 180Nm of torque. Sheesh! Yeah, yeah, there’s rather a lot more to this cruising behemoth than an astonishing torque figure, but with a fully laden weight of, drumroll, over 350kg for the GTL version, it’s going to need it…
At least that’s what you’d think, but let’s be honest here, the six-pot 1,649cc inline engine is, for want of a better explanation, more akin to a car motor than a traditional high-revving motorcycle lump. It makes its modest (for the capacity) upper power figure of 160bhp at a mere 6,750rpm, and maxes out torque at just over 5,000rpm, so it’s all about shove and consistent drive. Even the first version of this giant had enough oompf to retain the thrills of it actually being a motorbike and not just a motorbike/RV equivalent, so this updated power plant with even more than before will doubtless remain a cracker.
It’s also a fabulous USP, those six pots, a bit like Triumph with their overblown triple in the Rocket. And the feeling of the engine is remarkable, just so ludicrously smooth with interesting under-tones of aggression when pinned hard. We should probably have a look at the rest of the super tourer built around that monstrosity, and there are a few versions to look at.
The all singing and dancing choice is the K 1600 Grand America, which is fully fitted for long distance jaunts with stacks of mod-cons, while the 1600 B has a rather low bottom, the ‘B’ being a nod the the ‘Bagger’ style of arse-dragging machines. In fact, the GA is based upon the bones of the B, in the same way the GTL is based upon the GT. The former features more comfortable ergonomics and comes with an included topbox, aimed more at two-up shenanigans, while the GT is the sporty option, apparently. Stop giggling at the back!
The GT is the ‘dynamic, particularly agile’ version of the K 1600 – and people say the Germans don’t have a sense of humour! By agile they likely mean it’s the lightest on offer, with all the benefits of not having lots of bits stuck on, though the term is always at least partially relative when you’re talking about something weight a third of a tonne. Despite the weight they’ll handle just fine for the job they’ve been purposed with, and with aplomb via the latest ESA electronic suspension system which automatically adapts to conditions and riding inputs. Meanwhile, four-piston ABS equipped calipers take care of front stopping duties biting on fat 320mm discs.
All benefit from a new 10.25inch flashy screen, which as you may expect comes with full connectivity and control over everything bike-wise, plus navigation and all the other bells and whistles. The GA and GTL arrive with a new audio system, a 2.0 no less, with DAB radio antennas and the option to make an emergency call if needs be.
It’s BMW, so of course there are lots of different packs and accessories to add at the time of purchase should you so wish. But even the base GT and B bikes are armed to the gills with superb equipment, and that’s even before you start going nuts with the catalogue.
The K 1600 range is now a solid option of the BMW line after many years, so we don’t expect prices to change too wildly when they’re confirmed, but as far as upgrades go this is an impressive one, and should more than justify any increase, if any. Bravo, BMW, onwards and upwards!
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