We tested the flagship model of BMW, the K1600 GT – with a 6-cylinder in-line engine and a 1649 cc displacement – which is considered to be the best touring motorcycle around by many.
The Bavarian maxi tourer must be admired first: beautiful, imposing, unequivocally dedicated to long-distance touring, even if we will appreciate it in city traffic too. After admiring it we were in awe, elated and curious, the mixture of emotions that fill you when you realize that you are going to ride it!
All the devices and equipment cannot be discovered only by looking at this motorcycle, it must be ridden to fully understand the philosophy and rationality that created it. Furthermore, the model we are testing is full optional, i.e. packed with accessories and devices.
The Dynamic ESA controls the electronic suspensions constantly adjusting the vertical movement of the wheel alignment to automatically adapt to the detected conditions while guaranteeing the ideal combination in all circumstances.
ABS Pro takes care of braking, ensuring safe braking even when leaning. The adaptive xenon headlight illuminates the road following the angle of the bend; the integrated cases and storage compartments can carry everything you need for a long trip. At first, we thought the radio on the motorcycle was a show-off but later, travelling at 130 km/h along the highway with the cruise control on, we found that it keeps you company as you happily ride on.
The Keyless Ride is the electronic key that centrally locks everything including cases and storage compartments; by simply carrying it in your jacket pocket you can unlock and start up your motorcycle or activate the steering wheel lock by pressing a button on the handlebars.
BMW is the first motorcycle manufacturer to offer the advanced safety system “Intelligent emergency call”, a GPS-supported locating device that in case of accident calls the emergency services sending out the position data. The system can be automatically or manually triggered even in case the motorcycle breaks down.
The leather seat is wide and comfortable and can be heated when needed. Its height is only 810 mm from the ground which, in our opinion, is an advantage when departing or stopping at a light because you can easily reach the ground with your feet. While riding the almost 350 kg of the motorcycle can hardly be felt.
The smoothness and dynamics of the engine allow a very wide use, the pickup from any gear is effortless and the unexpected maneuverability underlines the efforts made to optimize weight distribution.
By riding smoothly, long distance trips can be easily dealt with. On hairpin turns, as soon as the throttle is opened the engine rpm increase, even if in 4th gear, offering a strong and linear power output, there are almost no vibrations, the electrically adjustable windshield excellently protects against the wind and with all the other comforts allow for a relaxed and pleasant ride. Unexpected is the fun experienced in riding this tourer in a sporty way, the 3.2 seconds it takes to reach100 km/h offer the satisfaction of passing other vehicles even on short straight stretches of road. The sound of the six-cylinder engine when accelerating, recalls that of an aspirated turbo engine making the ride even more pleasant. With these brakes you can take the liberty of late braking on occasion because you can still have the full control of your machine.
The BMW K1600GT would have inspired Ian Flemming for one of his books. James Bond, agent 007, racing through London on this luxurious tourer equipped with the most ingenious gadgets, to save the world from a chemical war wearing the ever-present smoking, would have been the leitmotiv of a new story! There we go, this exactly expresses the emotions felt while testing this two-wheeler.
You can use it anywhere, in city traffic, in a sporty manner in the mountains or to ride relaxedly around the world for months, and every time you get off it you will look as if you just came out of the office!
Price from: 23.250 €
Text and tester: Pietro Bartolomei
Photos and video: MB Fotopress