Church of MO: 2012 BMW K1600GT Assessment


It solely appeared becoming, after posting a 2022 BMW K1600 B overview final week, to revisit Herr Duke’s overview of the unique six-cylinder Bavarian butt missile ten yeas in the past. The essential constructing blocks actually haven’t modified; solely the digital controls and options have stepped up through the years. The largest shock is what hasn’t modified a lot. The 2012 GT with Premium Package deal bought for $24,540; the 2022 bike with PP is listed at $28,285.

Sportier than you suppose

One of the crucial thrilling new bikes this yr is BMW’s K1600 platform, boasting the primary inline six-cylinder bike engine because the Eighties. The ultra-smooth and sporty mill alone is extremely newsworthy, but it surely’s only one part of a surprisingly well-engineered touring bike.The K16 is offered in two related however distinct variations. The lavish GTL competes with Honda’s Gold Wing within the luxury-touring class, however its excessive stage of sporting efficiency and record of obtainable options (Bluetooth connectivity, electrically adjustable windshield, traction management and extra) makes the redoubtable (however 100-pounds-heavier) Wing seem a bit anachronistic, even with its 2012 updates reviewed right here.

Common readers will keep in mind our glowing overview of the GTL during which we wrote: “The venerable Gold Wing nonetheless holds a transparent superiority in passenger lodging and a slight benefit in ultra-low-speed dealing with, however the K1600 GTL in any other case considerably advances the super-touring class in each different approach attainable.”

The brand new BMW K1600 platform may be essentially the most spectacular new bike this yr. Don’t let its 700-pound weight idiot you, as this touring ship can tear up a twisty highway.

However the GTL isn’t the one taste of the horny and techie K1600 obtainable. Sporty riders might be extra within the GT model, which is essentially the identical machine however with extra aggressive ergonomics and with out the GTL’s massive high field on again. The K1600s are, in line with BMW Motorrad Director Hendrik von Kuenheim, “Core components of our market offensive.”

The GT’s ergonomics are quite a bit sportier than the GTL’s, but it’s still a roomy and comfortable tourer. The GT’s ergonomics are fairly a bit sportier than the GTL’s, but it surely’s nonetheless a roomy and comfy tourer.

Three outlets in each muffler indicate you’re following a six-cylinder K1600. You’ll want to stay close to hear the orchestral racket, but you might not be able to keep up!Three shops in every muffler point out you’re following a six-cylinder K1600. You’ll need to keep shut to listen to the orchestral racket, however you won’t have the ability to sustain!

Whereas the GTL pampers with a broader and decrease seat and better stowage capability, the GT falls into the massive sport-touring class. Its using place is sportier than the GTL but nonetheless very comfy

Footpegs are positioned 50mm (about 2 inches) diagonally rearward and up, whereas its hand grips are 50mm farther from the rider.

Two inches right here and there don’t sound like a lot, however the GT’s ergos are clearly preferable for sport using, giving a rider a sense of better reference to the Duolever entrance finish and offering superior floor clearance when leaned over. Suspension damping charges are barely firmer for tighter management when ridden briskly.

The GT has an an identical rake, path and wheelbase because the GTL, however a number of different variations make themselves obvious. A 6.3-gallon gasoline tank received’t take you fairly so far as the GTL’s 7.0 gallons, and the absence of the GTL’s trunk mounted excessive and to the rear offers the GT a livelier roll charge when pitched into corners.

One other small however useful distinction is a barely louder exhaust system {that a} BMW engineer says is pushing sound-limit restrictions. He used a German phrase to explain it, kerniger, which means strong, or “a bit of bit extra.” Its resonance is barely however poignantly burlier, permitting a rider higher entry to one of the crucial tuneful exhaust notes in all of motorcycledom. For a scrumptious earful, take a look at the 55-second mark of our GTL overview video during which a GT’s 1649cc Six screams all the best way to its 8400-rpm rev limiter.

A sport-touring rider is coddled by many luxury and technology features, yet it’s surprisingly competent when presented with a twisty road. This vermillion red metallic version is joined by a light grey metallic option.A sport-touring rider is coddled by many luxurious and know-how options, but it’s surprisingly competent when offered with a twisty highway. This vermillion purple metallic model is joined by a light-weight gray metallic choice.

We lately had a GTL on a dyno to provide us an concept of how a lot of the K1600’s claimed 160 crankshaft hp is misplaced by way of its six-speed transmission and shaft drive, and we have been a bit of underwhelmed by the 121.6 pones at 6800 rpm we recorded. That’s a 24% energy loss, considerably greater than the 15-20% loss typical of shaft-driven bikes. The 132.7 hp Cycle World recorded on its dyno 1000 rpm increased is nearer to what’s anticipated. We registered a torque peak of 105.1 ft-lb at 4900 rpm, additionally decrease than the CW bike.The GT’s swimsuit appears prefer it got here from the Massive & Tall retailer, however some built-in customized tailoring is offered by way of seat top. The usual saddle sits at 31.9 inches, however it may be adjusted upward to 32.7 inches for enhanced legroom. Brief riders may need to go for the low-seat choice, which brings its top right down to 30.7 inches or 31.5 inches. A GTL seat may be fitted to the GT if extra consolation is desired.

The usual seat on its decrease setting happy my rump, though our testing through the press launch didn’t last more than about an hour at a time.

As soon as a rider will get distracted from the luscious engine, it’s the GT’s amazingly competent chassis that deserves a rider’s consideration. Flip-in effort is way lighter than anticipated, responding in a short time regardless of the GT’s absolutely fueled (however with out saddlebags) 703-lb curb weight.

Underestimate the GT’s sporting capabilities at your peril. Its stout chassis and brakes inspire confidence, and its stellar engine thrills. Underestimate the GT’s sporting capabilities at your peril. Its stout chassis and brakes encourage confidence, and its stellar engine thrills.

The GT’s electrically adjustable windshield, shown here in a raised position, offers a setting to suit riders of all sizes. The GT’s electrically adjustable windshield, proven right here in a raised place, provides a setting to swimsuit riders of all sizes.

More clever air management can be found in the K1600’s flip-out deflectors, un-chromed on the GT. This simple method of redirecting air drastically enhances its flow to a rider to deliver cooling relief in hot weather. Extra intelligent air administration may be discovered within the K1600’s flip-out deflectors, un-chromed on the GT. This straightforward technique of redirecting air drastically enhances its stream to a rider to ship cooling reduction in sizzling climate.

Some credit score should go to the brand new Metzeler Z8 rear tire, a 190/55-17 donut relatively than the squatter and extra typical 190/50 which makes for heavier steering. The Z8s, reviewed right here, additionally proved to be fairly grippy for a sport-touring tire, permitting deeper lean angles than anticipated for a ship of this dimension. A post-ride perusal of footpegs confirmed about half the bikes on the press launch had but to have their pegs scuffed.

The GT has a considerable $20,900 beginning value, however even the bottom mannequin may be very properly appointed. Heated grips are all the time good, as is the bun-warming seat, whereas cruise management alleviates boredom when traversing Nebraska on the best way to the Rockies. A central multifunction 5.7-inch TFT (Skinny Movie Transistor) coloration show panel incorporates an on-board pc operated by a slick and handy Multi-Controller, a knurled wheel that rotates across the left handlebar and may be toggled in two instructions to pick totally different settings.

An influence adjustable windshield, narrower and shorter than the GTL’s, gives a variety that suited all kinds of riders. It was noisy in its low place for my 5-foot-8 physique, but it surely received quiet not a lot increased. Tall riders, just like the 6-foot-4 Roland Brown, stated he may be absolutely ensconced with the protect close to its highest place. With the display in its higher ranges, the airflow was quiet sufficient at 100 mph to require no earplugs.

The bottom GT can also be geared up with BMW’s Integral ABS which relies round a stout triple-320mm-disc setup and twin 4-piston calipers up entrance. This bundle has no bother quickly slowing the K16, performing seamlessly even underneath duress with a agency really feel from the lever. Extra normal niceties embrace BMW’s E-Fuel throttle with three energy modes, a Xenon headlight with dynamic leveling, and LED turnsignals that use an efficient self-canceling program.

An elective improve is the misleadingly named Commonplace Package deal, stickering at an MSRP of $23,045. It provides the extremely fascinating ESA II digital suspension adjustment that allows prompt adaptability to finest swimsuit specific hundreds and roads. Additionally included within the $2145 bundle is traction management, an revolutionary Xenon adaptive headlight that may peer round corners, a tire-pressure monitor and pre-wiring for BMW’s Garmin-built Navigator IV, obtainable solely individually out of your seller for round $850.

ESA is an excellent function, providing on-the-fly changes that may remodel the GT from a sofa to a sportbike on the push of a button. Set to the Sport mode whereas railing a two-lane highway at speeds sometimes upward of 100 mph, the suspension supplied exemplary management for such a giant woman. And the adaptive headlight, which makes use of a mirror to direct its beam round corners, is a godsend for night time using.

A self-leveling Xenon headlight is augmented by dual high-beam headlights ringed by distinctive fiber-optic lamps. Optional is BMW’s innovative adaptive headlight that transforms the experience of riding after dark.A self-leveling Xenon headlight is augmented by twin high-beam headlights ringed by distinctive fiber-optic lamps. Optionally available is BMW’s revolutionary adaptive headlight that transforms the expertise of using after darkish.

In case your funds permits and also you want tunes while you roll, your K1600 GT must be spec’d with the Premium Package deal that lists for $24,540. It provides an honest audio system with a tuner, satellite tv for pc radio, and iPod/USB integration, all of which may be wirelessly transmitted by way of Bluetooth to helmet audio system. The high-end bundle additionally features a central-locking system and alarm.

The Verdict

If you look closely, you can see a grin on Duke’s face. You’d have one, too, if you rode the K1600GT. If you happen to look carefully, you possibly can see a smile on Duke’s face. You’d have one, too, should you rode the K1600GT.

BMW’s K1600 platform is nothing in need of outstanding. The GTL rivals the venerable Gold Wing by way of luxurious whereas providing better sporting functionality and lots of further options. Search for a comparo of this duo subsequent week.The GT, in the meantime, is imbued with sufficient sporting functionality to compete with smaller displacement sport-tourers like Yamaha’s FJR1300 and Kawasaki’s Concours 14. In actual fact, we’ll be using the Kawi and K1600GT to the USGP at Laguna Seca this week so we are able to learn how they examine. The departed K1300GT took high honors in our 2009 Sport-Touring Shootout, so it’ll be attention-grabbing to see how the brand new GT matches up with the C-14.

To have a single platform that may compete with each a Gold Wing and a Concours 14 is a sensational accomplishment. The K1600 sequence is nothing lower than astounding, providing a full array of options, up-to-date electronics, and an enviable six-cylinder mill that may go down in historical past as one of many best bike engines.

Price range-minded riders will scoff on the GT’s $20K-plus MSRP. However to those that can afford the entry charge, BMW’s large-and-in-charge sport-tourer will each pamper and thrill.

Associated Studying
2012 BMW K1600GTL Assessment
2012 Honda Gold Wing Assessment
INTERMOT 2010: BMW K1600GT / GTL Unveiled
2009 Sport-Touring Shootout
BMW Unveils New 6-Cylinder K1600GT and GTL
BMW K1600GT / K1600GTL Preview
EICMA 2009: BMW Idea 6

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