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BMW K 1600 GT and GTL: BMW Previews Six-Cylinder Tourers


There is nothing smoother than an inline six-cylinder engine.  BMW knows this better than anyone, and has specialized in inline sixes in its automobile division for decades.  BMW has now announced two touring motorcycles headed for production with thier own inline six-cylinder powerplant, the K 1600 GT and the K 1600 GTL.

With a long stroke and extremely narrow cylinder spacing, BMW was able to achieve a 1649cc displacement in a package nearly four inches narrower than any inline six featured in a production motorcycle up to this point.  With 160 peak horsepower at 7500 rpm, and 70% of maximum torque available from 1500 rpm, this bike will pull hard across an extremely broad powerband.  Read the details below, but highlights include not only the engine, but available adaptive headlights and extremely advanced electronic controls, including adjustable suspension.  You can visit the microsite for these new models here.  What follows is the press release received from BMW.

Since BMW Motorrad presented the concept study Concept 6 in autumn 2009, the six-cylinder in-line engine featured in it has captured the imagination of many motorcycle fans. With BMW, six-cylinder in-line engines have stood for fascinating engine technology in automobiles for over seven decades, in a way which is unique among brands. In the near future, BMW motorcycles will also be available with an internally developed six-cylinder in-line engine.
With the BMW K 1600 GT and the BMW K 1600 GTL, BMW Motorrad is penetrating a whole new dimension in the Touring world of experience . Both motorcycles stand for a supreme, impressive and equally distinctive appearance, arousing a desire to travel at first sight.
This press release contains a range of information on all aspects of BMW Motorrad’s new touring bikes. Additional data and background information will be added for the world premiere.
Riding dynamics, long-distance suitability and comfort.

For decades, six-cylinder in-line engines have offered a special fascination. In addition to their perfect running smoothness they also offer supreme output and torque, giving the rider powerful emotional impressions, too. And of course the sound of a six-cylinder engine is beyond compare.

In addition to safety, equipment and prestige, the key criteria for a supreme touring bike are comfort and dynamics. With the most compact in-line six-cylinder engine in serial motorcycle production to date, the K 1600 GT and the K 1600 GTL penetrate a whole new dimension in terms of riding properties, long-distance suitability and comfort. They combine maximum agility and riding dynamics with a luxurious overall package. With an engine output of 118 kW (160 bhp) and a maximum torque of approx. 175 newton metres, their six-cylinder engine provides superb propulsion in all conditions.

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

The dynamic touring bike BMW K 1600 GT is characterised by an active seating position which nonetheless offers a high level of long-distance comfort. The reason for this is the favourable set-up of the ergonomics triangle made up of footrests, seat and handlebars. The K 1600 GT has a very extensive range of standard features ex works consisting of xenon (HID) headlight, heated grips and seat, cruise control and on-board computer. These features in conjunction with the supreme riding qualities of the new BMW Motorrad six-cylinder engine leave nothing to be desired for the proactive tour rider.

BMW K 1600 GTL with very comfortable, relaxed ergonomics set-up for long trips with pillion passenger.

The luxurious touring bike BMW K 1600 GTL meets the highest demands. Rider and pillion passenger benefit from the relaxed, upright seating position as is especially appreciated over long distances. The ergonomics design is geared towards even further enhanced comfort and derives from a two-level seat in conjunction with rider footrests which are positioned further forward and lower down, as well as handlebars which reach further back. The standard topcase rounds off the range of comfort features for the pillion passenger. Like the K 1600 GT, the K 1600 GTL has a very extensive range of standard features consisting of xenon headlight, heated grips and seat, cruise control and on-board computer. The overall impression of this fascinating six-cylinder motorcycle with a carefully conceived storage concept, audio system as standard and numerous design elements make the BMW K 1600 GTL the flagship among BMW touring bikes.

An overview of highlights of the BMW K 1600 GT/GTL.

  • Supreme in-line six-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 approx 7 500 rpm and maximum torque approx. 175 Nm at approx. 5 000 rpm.
  • Over 70% of maximum torque available from 1 500 rpm.
  • Lightest and most compact six-cylinder in-line engine in serial motorcycle production, weighing just 102.6 kg and measuring 560 mm in width.
  • Consistent lightweight construction throughout the entire vehicle (magnesium front panel carrier, aluminium rear frame, crankshaft etc.).
  • E-Gas (ride-by-wire).
  • Three modes to choose from (“Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic”)
  • High active safety due to standard BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part integral).
  • Traction control DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) for maximum safety when accelerating (optional extra).
  • Chassis with Duolever and Paralever and ideal concentration of masses 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 motorcycles: Adaptive Headlight (optional extra) in conjunction with standard xenon headlight and lighting rings for increased safety at night.
  • Integrated operating concept for the first time with Multi-Controller, TFT colour screen and menu guidance.
  • Audio system with preparation for navigation device and controllable interface for iPod, MP3, USB, Bluetooth and satellite radio (only USA and Canada) (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 very comfortable, relaxed ergonomics set-up for long trips with pillion passenger, as well as luxury touring features.
  • Extensive fittings and individually tailored accessories at the familiar high level of BMW Motorrad.


  1. gary says:

    how on earth do some of you guys think this thing is going to be lighter than a current K1300GT? A gassed up GT is closer to 670lbs. It would be doing well to come in 50lbs heavier. 720-750 real weight with gas. Thats 85lbs lighter than the current bike it replaces. This thing is going in the right direction for what it is intended to replace. Lighter faster better handling. I cant wait to test ride one. As for the price I’ll have to wait 3-5 years and buy a used one for 1/2, still probably 12K.

    • mikeard says:

      I’m looking at the fact going cross the county (US), Canada, I’ve probably saved $2000 to $2500 dollars each trip compared to what I would spend on a full blown vacation ( airfare, rent car, hotel, etc.). Do that easily 5-6 times in the time you’d own the bike you’ve covered half the price of the bike (that is if you can avoid tickets). Especially if you purchased a used bike. It’s been worth it to me. But you are right… let’s see what they do to the price. The adaptive lights are way over due. I’ve always added HIDs and even Hella Micro DE HID Driving Lights to punch out further and flood the sides to help the night driving on twisties, you can see for miles on the straights, but on coming cages hate me. My Audi has adaptive headlights and they are unbelievable you can see around the corners.

  2. donmarco says:

    I’ve a K12GT and have taken it X-country three times. Performed with excellence. Same with two older RT’s, 1150 and 1200. Enjoyed an 84 R100rs as well, but so far the best was my 02 K12rs. Complete wow factor.

    This new six could do the trick, but I’m concerned about the pricing. But a high price tag is also a risk for BMW, just as it has been for the M6 auto. I’ve a 650i convertible and it’s still a pleasure + to drive after 4 years.

    The headlights on the K16 do hold interest. My K12gt has the xenon lamp which fries the eyeballs out of the oncoming, but having them active like my car would be extremely positive especially during those dark hours going through the mountains.

    I wanna see this thing now.

  3. mikeard says:

    I was to young with no money so I missed Honda’s inline 6, I’ve given up on their V5, still have a BMW 03 K1200GT. I’m sure there’s a lot of us who fit this profile out there. Ready to buy, but not ready for a Goldwing, or want something different. I will buy the new BMW 6

  4. Vroooom says:

    The info is missing the one thing I was curious about, the wet weight. I’m guessing at least 600 lbs. No matter how cool this thing is, the $25K price tag (WAG) is going to be out of my range. Don’t get me wrong, they’ll advertise 540 lbs and a $18K price, but with options that the dealer actually stocks and an actual scale my guess stands.

  5. Wingman says:

    I hope they get the seat height down to 29 inches or lower and get the center of gravity down. The current K1200LT and the twins are too tall and too top heavy for me. I am 5 foot 6 inches and wear a 29 or 30 inch inseam. My 2003 Gold Wing GL1800 fits me fine. I’ve been riding Gold Wings for almost 35 years and have had one of every generation beginning with the GL1000. The Wing’s flat six is a masterpiece.

  6. ryan says:

    This thing will run 25k plus BUT IT LOOKS AMAZIN..

  7. sliphorn says:

    BMW hi-tech, for sure. But these are the guys that are, in my view, on to something:

    • Ruefus says:

      So…..they’re on to what amounts to a steel-framed, American-made VFR or ST1300 depending on your point of view. Except a 1650, direct-injected pushrod engine.

      Sounds great. Truly – it does. I’d love a solid entry from America in something other than an aging cruiser maker. Hopefully the motor is the real focal point. But their competition is SO highly developed, SO heavily refined and SO heavily entrenched that no matter who they’re financed by, it’s going to take nothing short of a Cinderella/Rocky Balboa story to get it done.

  8. Tom Barber says:

    Hurrah for the arrival of adaptive headlights!!!! This is something that motorcycles have needed for a long, long time.

    The two previous motorcycles that I owned both used the standard H4 headlight bulbs. These bulbs were designed for use in cars, and on the low beam, they had an abrupt cutoff point, beyond which there was virtually no light. Whenever you braked hard and the front of the bike pitched down, that abrupt cutoff point swept abruptly back toward you, such that you could not see anything beyond a point twenty or thirty feet ahead of you. This was a preposterous situation, that should never have been tolerated on motorcycles. My solution was to rig a parallel circuit for the high-beam filament, in parallel with its regular circuit but using a PWM controller to reduce the brightness, and connect this parallel circuit so that it would come on when the switch was set to the low-beam position. It actually worked very well, and was an effective solution to a very real problem. But all the while I wished that someone would make an adaptive headlight for motorcycles, using inertial sensors to detect the pitch and lean angle of the chassis and then use servo motors or stepper motors to keep the headlight properly oriented and pitched. This sort of technology is common nowadays, so it made no sense to me that we did not see it in motorcycle headlights. Finally, one of the major manufacturers has “seen the light” (pun very much intended)!!! It is no surprise that BMW was the first to do this. I can only hope that the other major manufacturers follow suit and that adaptive headlights quickly become standard fare for most street motorcycles!

  9. Artem says:

    Yes, this is for Emirates.
    Kurt Tank probably rolled over twice in his coffin.

  10. Charlie says:

    I’d rather have a Horex or an old Benelli Sei! :->

  11. Goose says:

    While not a bike I could afford or would want even if I could afford it (OK, if I had a Jay Leno sized bike budget I’m sure I’d buy one 😉 I can’t help admiring BMW’s audacity. No inline 6 has been a commercial success, BMW seems to betting big that this will be a strong seller. I’ve owned a K1200LT, if this bike is a decade better then that one it should be amazing.

    I’ve owned over a dozen BMWs, 2, 3 and 4 cylinders but BMW went in a direction I didn’t choose to follow (the K1200LT, fun to ride but a nightmare to do even simple work*) around the turn of the century. I sold my last one years ago. BMW’s sales have been going up since I sold my last one. That may mean me not liking a bike is an indication it will be a success, this bike could be a top seller. Anyway, I wish them well.

    Goose (three bikes, all V-twins, all air cooled, all OHV and only half as many valves between them as one K1600)

    * There is post above about BMW’s highly trained service personal. Before I sold the K1200LT I admitted I couldn’t do the service on the the bike. I took it to a BMW dealership for service, once. Several hundred dollars later I got a bike that had coolant spilled on the engine (I was in a cloud of what I thought was smoke three blocks from the dealership). The brakes had been so badly bled I could pull the front brake lever to the bar, other then old fluid they were fine when I took it in. The oil was so low it was barely visible in the sight glass. The owner and the shop manager both (with a strait face) claimed they didn’t understand why I was unhappy with their work. I shudder to think what those clowns would do with the K1600. I corrected the errors and sold the LT. I’m back to servicing my own bikes now. I also have personal horror stories about “factory service” on my cars. GFL if you depend on a dealership to service anything.

  12. Mark Flanagan says:

    Am I the only one that wants a 100hp, 500 lb bike with a 6 gal. fuel tank that gets almost 50 mpg?

    • jimbo says:

      Well, you’re in the ballpark. I’d like it slightly lighter (maybe mid-450 lbs curb weight). Also, your almost 300 mi range seems rather excessive…about 200 seems reasonable. But I sympathize with your general philosophy.

      But “listen up” (pun intended): once you hear six teensy weeny cylinders (1650cc is about 1/2 the size of the average automotive six) in a super ultra-refined high-output motorcycle package, especially one produced by BMW (go drive a BMW 6-cylinder car ASAP, rev it up near redline and listen to the music…these rides do NOT need a music system), you will find other motorcycle sounds quite boring.

      These new BMW bikes will shake the motorcycle world IMO. Even my next door neighbor’s 1.8L Gold Wing flat six sounds awesome when revved.

    • Tim says:

      So, what’s wrong with a Suzuki DL1000? Okay, it’s missing a quart of fuel but, otherwise it’s exactly what you’ve asked for.

      • Bowtiedaddyo says:

        A working man’s BMW. Picked mine up for $4500, added bags and a tall screen. Great tourer for the buck.

    • Christopher says:

      No you are not, but it seems that some motorcycle companies just don’t get it. Maybe it is my age or the Been there Done That syndrome. I keep looking at the new offerings from the various manufacturers and try to figure out who is buying these technological monsters with horse power figures that are out of sight and electronic engine, chassis and braking controls that you need a PhD. to use. I guess it is like Rock’n’Roll, if it is too loud you are too old.

  13. Jerry says:

    BMW is finally moving their bikes and cars closer together in brand image. For decades boxer twins were known for reliability, easy maintenace and stamina of miles. BMW cars in the early days had a similar reputation but for more than a decade have moved toward performance, luxury and exclusivity of ownership sacrificing low maintenace and some long range reliability. The latest K1300 started BMW heading in the same direction with bikes as their cars.

    The new 6 looks to be the final step in aligning the BMW brand into a single concept and similar concept. I hope it is a gamble of enough youthful, executive motorcyclists to support their efforts. The new 6 is not for everyone but neither is the 700 series M cars.

    • jimbo says:

      I’m guessing BMW’s least costly 1-Series starts in the low-$30k range…going up to close to about $95k for a fully loaded 7 Series.

      It’s interesting that I think I read BMW will soon release 4-cylinder cars (with forced air induction), for lower fuel consumption. The same technology could probably work for bikes, but without the silky smoothness and unique sound effects.

  14. jimbo says:

    “..And of course the sound of a six-cylinder engine is beyond compare…” How true! Anyone not aroused by the sound of BMW inline-6 on song, or better yet, a finely tuned Honda CBX with 6-1 header should see a doctor right away!

    The concept should shake the GT and touring fans. If it can come in close to 600 lbs I may be interested…maybe a naked version later…..hmmmmmm. Because of lighter weight, I might still prefer the flat twin convertible cruiser/cafe concept floated at the shows a couple years ago.

  15. Jerry says:

    Just what the motorcycle world needs, another over wieght, over powered, over priced and increadably over complicated “touring” bike. Can’t we get real. How about bikes that offer affordable fun riding. This monster will only offer a perceived larger penis.

  16. Tim says:

    I hope they’ve addressed the reliability issues with their final drive units on this new model. I guess it doesn’t matter. I have to assume pricing well north of K13GT numbers which are already beyond my means. Really intriguing features, though.

  17. Denny says:

    This has part of two wheels nothing to do with motorcycle. Get the money and buy yourself a ragtop; much better choice.

    • jimbo says:

      How much brains must one not have to recommend against something known only by a few paragraphs and one abstract non-detailed artist rendering.

      • Denny says:

        My objection is against concept, not conduct jimbo. All I say is this does not resemble, in my mind motorcycle by its conception.

  18. Steve says:

    should be great bikes for long hauls…. touring… I’ve been waiting for these… the old 1200 LT is outdated…
    If BMW is bringing this to market… what will the new Gold Wing be??

  19. Old town hick says:

    An interesting to consider: How will Honda rsspond? There’s probably a two-litre version of the flat six motor waiting to be put into production, but what else is in store? Will they just try to (predictably) copy some of BMWs features, or do they have a surprise up their corporate sleeve?

  20. Knowing what a 12K service costs on a bone-simple HP2e, I can’t imagine who can afford this space ship…….

    • jimbo says:

      C’mon, you have a better imagination than that, don’t you? Think of a highly overpaid government bureaucrat, or a California prison guard, for instance.

    • jimbo says:

      I’m guessing the HP2e is about as highly stressed as a modern air/oil cooled production twin can be, and this is reflected in the service cost and BMW’s extremely thorough/state of the art service facilities and highly trained personnel.

      IMO this here six may be stressed only about 40% as much as the HP2e motor. For instance, Honda’s 2-seat roadster (cage) motor was a 2.0-four, normally aspirated, with 250 hp and released many years ago. It seems reasonable to expect the above described 1650cc six would be snoring at 160bhp.

  21. simon says:

    Are those lights copy of the predator (the movie)?

  22. Jett A says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing them in the flesh, and taking them for a spin. I’ve been thinking of getting an RT in a year or so, and I’ll consider these as an alternative.

  23. rapier says:

    I always applaud striving for engendering excellence and putting in place a culture which is devoted to working towards it. Not just that but finding the people to work together to accomplish it.

    I will now list the American companies of the last 50 years making consumer products with similar goals.

  24. Dave E. says:

    “Active seating position” in the GT? Does this mean the ergo triangle points move about on the road?

    It’s interesting that this engine has the same displacement as the engine BMW makes for the Mini; probably similar in dimensions too.

    • Tim says:

      Errr, isn’t the MINI’s engine a 4 cylinder?

    • jimbo says:

      “…probably similar in dimension…”? Probably? Now THERE’s someone with an imagination! Dave E, meet “bruce armstrong” above…bruce might have use for some of your imagination…

  25. harry says:

    WARNING microsite was issued a warning status by zonealarm checkpoint on my computer.