In late 2017, BWM unveiled a new model that embraced the popularity of baggers. Called the K 1600 B, it was based on the K 1600 GT sport-touring platform, with a 160-horsepower, 1,649cc in-line 6-cylinder engine, state-of-the-art electronics and a responsive chassis. To transform the GT into the B, BMW lowered the rear subframe and passenger seat by nearly 3 inches, gave it a shorter windscreen, tubular handlebars, narrower saddlebags and huge chrome mufflers.
As part of my road test of the K 1600 B, I rode it 3,500 miles through 14 states in 7 days. Smooth, fast and impressive in so many ways, my review concluded that “if you want a bagger that will ride circles around every other bagger, has class-leading performance and technology, and has all the comfort and convenience you need for the long haul, then your stallion awaits.”
As cool as baggers are, many touring riders want the additional luggage capacity and passenger accommodations that come with a trunk, which was not available as an accessory on the K 1600 B. For these folks, there’s the new K 1600 Grand America, which BMW announced at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy.
Based on the K 1600 B, the Grand America adds a top case with an integrated passenger backrest. And several optional accessories on the B are standard equipment on the Grand America, including Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA), Dynamic Traction Control, cornering ABS Pro, footboards for a feet-forward riding position and an audio system with navigation preparation. Standard items on the K 1600 B, such as engine protection bars, heated grips, seat heating and cruise control, are also on the list of included equipment on the Grand America. Since its aimed at long-haul, two-up touring, the GA also gets a taller windscreen, which is electrically adjustable for height like on the K 1600 B.
Like the bagger, the 2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America is available in Blackstorm metallic with special chrome finishes. The Style Package provides a two-tone Austin Yellow metallic and Blackstorm metallic paint job with an extra chrome accent on the front fender. Pricing and availability are TBD.