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BMW Six-Cylinder Tourer: Official Pics and Specs (Updated)

They’re here!  Here is the first official look at the BMW six-cylinder touring models, the K1600 GT and GTL.  Here is what BMW has to say about the features offered by these new luxury tourers:

ENGINE: Weighing 102.6 kilograms, the engine is by far the lightest serially produced 6-cylinder in-line engine for motorcycles in the class. 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 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.

26 Comments

  1. Denny says:

    I bought a new K1200 LT in 2001 and ran 40,000 miles onto it with nary a problem. As far as the plastic is concerned, if you have ever spent a day or few in a toad strangling rain, then you already know that BMW builds em so you will be out of the flow if you are moving. This mega horse power cross continent screamer is what the touring world has been waiting for, IMO. I traded my K 12 LT for a new Wing in 2005 and then traded that one for a new 2008 and now I may have to think about returning to the MOA fold? :)
    Denny

  2. Paul says:

    I think the bike looks bloody great except for the top box. Six cyliners sounds exciting and the ergonomics of the bike appear to be good. Now let’s wait a year or two for a continuing list of service bulletins and pissed off customers! I own three Beemers and purchaced them after a few years of improvements. They still have their own little niggles but I can honestly say they suit me well and have this timeless feel about riding them. Let’s just hope we don’t have middle cylinders overheating and the electronic crap breaking to often.

  3. Foster says:

    Absolutely no tip over protection provided and you just KNOW a bike this size will go over at least once. In keeping with the name though – Bunch o’ Money Wasted!

  4. bfa says:

    ……….waiting for the dual-clutch transmission

  5. Montana says:

    Just what America needs, another overweight, over-powered, over-priced, over-complicated and therefore problem-prone touring barge. What will a tow from Death Valley cost, or a parking lot tip-over? I’ve been told it’s manufactured primarily by Kymco (Kwang Yang Motor Co.) in Taiwan and is merely assembled in Germany.
    Like the Can Am Spyder, this is a product for people who don’t like motorcycles; better they should buy a loaded SUV.

  6. Tom B says:

    Can’t wait to hear prices!

  7. Kjazz says:

    So there’s three ride modes to choose from:

    1) Rain
    2) Road
    and
    3) Dagnabbit!!!!

    sorry, dont know what that means, just thot it was funny…..

  8. Don Neilson says:

    With rare exception BMW has always made ugly motorcycles. It is their tradition. It is, apparently, a core value. This bike is no exception.

  9. Justin says:

    yeah, it’s ugly.

    but the real problem with BMW is that the bikes are expensive and marketed toward old men. which means it’s going to be difficult to find one that’s been wrecked and abandoned so that I can salvage the motor and put it in something interesting.

  10. Gary says:

    I love it. Freakin awsome performance on a full boat luxo tourer Nobody has a bike like it. BMW is leading the m/c industry in with new designs and technology. Over the last 10 yrs, they have completely transformed themselves into a leader in almost every catagory. WOW. It looks a bit like a R/T and a GT, I love the looks.

  11. mikedard says:

    Wow! and UgLyy! I thought I’d buy one because of the stats, but I didn’t think 703 lbs is all that great for a sport touring bike. Now after seeing the pictures it’s plain ugly. Looks like somebody added a old Vickers 3/4 fairing onto a naked bike and pronounced it a sport touring bike. Why not a full fairing? I’ll have to look at it at the Dealer. I won’t pre-order just from the pictures it doesn’t look right.

  12. Paul says:

    This looks like a hell of a bike for two up to go around the continent.
    Hope it doesn’t feel heavy and has a reasonable price.

  13. Cannot decide which is uglier: the BMW 1600 or Honda’s Goldwing. The bike’s aesthetics are disappointing. Too big and bulky.

  14. David M says:

    Visually, it looks like someone installed a Ferrari engine in an overstuffed couch.

  15. Irv H says:

    I am reminded of Jared Diamond’s book. “Collapse.” In it he discusses the collapse of the Easter Island society, the one with the sloping head statues. While the statues were made of stone, the levers, scaffolding, and trackways were made of wood. In their efforts to outdo each other, they deforested the island. This led to soil erosion and loss of crops. Also, the inshore fishing at Easter is very poor. Towards the end, when everyone was starving to death, the monuments got bigger!

  16. smokey says:

    Very interesting bike but will BMW solve their final drive problems with it? Motorcycle Consumer News has reported on the substantial problems BMW has had in this area.

  17. Jett A says:

    I’m looking forward to demo-riding both.

  18. Artem says:

    Nice. The only problem – that compact and six cylinders: overheating – wearing out: what is the resource. But I think it is unprofessional question.
    But very cool. Sorry, I wouldn’t save my salary for it. It is too much for my value of materials, that means – too expensive for me.

  19. Robbo says:

    Bring on the K1600R!

  20. Mark says:

    The bikes has some nice features if your a techno geek but that that box they put on the back of the GT to make the GTL looks like an after thought. Looks like they were making a sport touring bike and then thought “Oh, hey let’s drop the handle bars back and add box and make a full tourer bike”. The box does not integrate well into the egonomics of the bike.

  21. Mark says:

    The engine sounds incredible. Be nice to see in a more sport oriented/street standard type of bike.
    BMW makes great mechanicals, but they really need to turf their design department reponsible for the plastics, they are uniformly hideous across their entire line up of bikes…just butt ugly bad!

  22. Tony Gatts says:

    BMW should fire the dyslexic plumber that designs their motorcycles!