The BMW K1600 GT & GTL, Very Grand Tourers

BMW has finally taken the wraps off its new 6-cylinder grand tourers, the K1600 GT and the K1600 GTL, and grand is the right word to describe them.

The huge bikes bristling with technology, the hallmark of every BMW bike, have raised the bar once again for the tourer market.  The innovative engine delivering huge pulses of power to carry along bike, luggage, and passengers is another factor to set this bike apart from other luxury machines.  The specs and a few more images are below.


Technical Specs

ENGINE: Weighing 102.6 kilograms, the engine is by far the lightest serially produced 6-cylinder in-line engine for motorcycles in the class > 1000 cc. What is more, the engine is significantly narrower in construction width than all other 6-cylinder in-line motorcycles in serial production to date. This extremely compact construction and reduced width was achieved in particular by means of a cylinder bore of 72 millimetres in conjunction with a spacing of just 5 millimetres between the cylinder the cylinder sleeves.

Both the low engine weight and the consistent lightweight construction of the vehicle as a whole contribute to the low weight of the vehicle. At 319 kg (K 1600 GT without panniers) and 348 kg (K 1600 GTL with panniers and topcase) the new touring bikes are in the lower range of the segment.

TRACTION CONTROL: Three modes to choose from and DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) for maximum safety when accelerating.

The rider of the K 1600 models has three different engine characteristics directly available at the press of a button at the right-hand end of the handlebars so as to be able to adapt to different uses such as touring on the road, riding on wet surfaces and sporty, dynamic motorcycling – the modes “Rain”, “Road” and “Dynamic”. Available as an option ex works, the traction control function DTC is combined individually with the different modes, fully harmonised with them so as to provide maximum riding safety.

RIDE BY WIRE: The control of the central throttle valve with a diameter of 52 millimetres is effected via an e-gas, also known as a ride-by-wire system. The rider’s wishes are registered by means of a sensor in the accelerator twist grip. The engine control then adjusts the position of the throttle valve accordingly.

CHASSIS: The essential chassis elements of the BMW K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL are the light alloy bridge-type frame, and the Duolever and Paralever for wheel control at front and rear. Because of the special requirements of a touring bike with a 6-cylinder engine, particular attention was paid to balancing the masses.

All in all, the interplay of chassis and engine position, together with the seating position of the rider, not only makes for a low overall centre of gravity with a very favourable concentration of masses, it also provides an ideally balanced wheel load distribution for excellent riding properties. The combination of ride stability, riding dynamics and lightness of handling in all riding and load conditions sets a new benchmark in the touring bike segment.

ELECTRONIC SUSPENSION ESA II: The new 6-cylinder touring bikes also benefit from the innovative Electronic Suspension Adjustment II (ESA II), which is offered as a special equipment feature ex works.

With this system, globally unique on the motorcycle market, the rider can conveniently press a button to electronically adapt not only the rebound damping properties of the front and rear spring strut but also the spring rest (“spring preload”) of the rear spring strut as well as the latter’s spring rate and therefore the “hardness” of the suspension. This makes for outstanding stability and impressive responsiveness in all load states.

The additional adaptation of the spring rate allows the damping settings “Sport, Normal, Comfort” to be spread widely in ESA II, giving them clearly perceptible characteristics during riding. So in “Sport” mode, the K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL are even more dynamic and precise and in “Comfort” mode they are more comfortable – while still retaining excellent stability.

HEADLIGHT: With the new BMW Motorrad touring bikes, the first ever “Adaptive Headlight” option is available ex works in the motorcycle sector as a supplement to the standard xenon headlamp. In addition to standard pitch compensation, the light of the main headlamp is also balanced in relation to banking angle. This produces significantly improved illumination of the road when cornering and therefore an enormous increase in active riding safety.

HIGHLIGHTS: BMW K 1600 GT/ K 1600 GTL:

* Supreme in-line 6-cylinder engine with a high level of pulling power, especially in the lower and medium engine speed range.

* Engine output 118 kW (160 bhp) at 7 750 rpm and maximum torque 175 Nm at 5 250 rpm.

* Over 70 per cent of the maximum torque is already available from 1 500 rpm.

* The lightest and most compact 6-cylinder in-line engine in serial motorcycle production > 1000 cc weighing just 102.6 kg and measuring 555 mm in width.

* Consistent lightweight construction throughout the entire vehicle (magnesium front panel carrier, aluminium rear frame, crankshaft etc.).

* E-Gas..

* Three modes to choose from (“Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic”)

* High active safety due to standard BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part integral).

* Dynamic traction control DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) for maximum safety when accelerating (optional extra).

* Chassis with Duolever and Paralever and ideal mass concentration for dynamic riding properties combined with optimum comfort.

* Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA II for optimum adaptation to all uses and load states (optional extra).

* World premiere in a motorcycle: Adaptive Headlight (optional extra) for increased safety at night in conjunction with standard xenon headlamp and fibre optic rings.

* Integrated operating concept with Multi-Controller, TFT colour display and menu guidance for the first time.

* Audio system with preparation for navigation device and controllable interface for iPod, MP3, USB, Bluetooth and satellite radio (USA and Canada only) (standard in the K 1600 GTL).

* Innovative design with outstanding wind and weather protection.

* K 1600 GT with active riding ergonomics for proactive touring.

* K 1600 GTL with a very comfortable, relaxed ergonomics set-up for long trips with pillion passenger as well as luxurious touring equipment.

* Central locking for storage compartments, panniers and topcase (optional extra).

* Extensive fittings and individually tailored accessories at the familiar high level of BMW Motorrad.

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2 Comments

  1. This sets the bar pretty high for the touring world with some really well thought out features.
    I would wait for the new wing before I pulled the trigger on this baby, but these upgrades sure do make it worth a second look. Nice job BMW! You are back in the game, for the moment.

    Waiting for the new Wing, but will then compare……

    • Agreed Randy, with the gadgetry and overall excellent design of the K1600’s Honda will have to produce something awesome. The potential for innovation is there in the VFR1200 and upcoming Pan European replacement, hopefully the Wing will get some love 🙂 Thanks for the comment!


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