Concept bikes created by BMW in recent years have provided a clear view to future production models. The Concept Path 22 from 2015 laid the groundwork for the 2017 R nineT Scrambler, and the Concept Ninety from 2013 paved the way for the just-announced 2017 R nineT Racer. Now, from the Concept 101, a bagger based on the six-cylinder K 1600 platform unveiled in 2015, comes a production version called the K 1600 B.
Just as the K 1600 GTL sought to inject a healthy dose of performance and technology into the luxury touring segment and compete head-to-head with the Honda GL1800 Gold Wing, BMW’s new K 1600 B seeks to outperform Honda’s Gold Wing-based F6B bagger. The K 1600 B’s 1,632cc in-line six-cylinder engine makes a claimed 160 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque.
Befitting the bagger scene, the K 1600 B’s bodywork is finished in Blackstorm metallic paint, the chassis, drivetrain and wheels are blacked out and the massive dual exhausts are chrome plated. Based on the K 1600 GT sport tourer, the B has a stretched out silhouette that drops from the front fairing to a low tail section. Up front, the K 1600 B has an aerodynamic fairing with wind deflectors like its GT and GTL stablemates, but its electrically adjustable windscreen is much shorter. The seating position is the same as the K 1600 GT, but accessory footpegs allow the rider to sit in a feet-forward riding position. A new rear subframe carries a low-profile passenger seat and streamlined hard saddlebags with integrated LED taillights, and the rear fender has been designed to fold up for easier removal of the rear wheel.
Riding modes (Dynamic, Road and Rain), Dynamic Traction Control and Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) are standard equipment. Dynamic ESA comes with two modes—in the standard “Road” setting, damping adaptation is fully automated and adjusts to all speeds and road surfaces, while a new “Cruise” damping mode is optimized for comfort at low speeds. Other standard features include xenon headlights, ABS Pro, heated grips and seat, cruise control and the Multi-Controller dial on the left hand grip. Like the 2017 K 1600 GT, available options on the B include a new reverse assist feature that is activated by a button on the left handlebar and controlled by pressing the starter button, as well as Shift Assistant Pro for clutchless shifting up and down. Optional Safety, Comfort and Touring accessory packages add features such as the adaptive headlight, Keyless Ride, TPMS, audio and navigation preparation, and more.
Pricing and availability for the 2018 BMW K 1600 B are TBD.