2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America | First Look Review

2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America
As its name implies, the 2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America is ready for the open roads of the good ole U.S. of A. Based on the K 1600 B bagger, it adds a trunk with passenger backrest, taller windscreen and a higher level of standard equipment.

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.

2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America
2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America with the Style Package (two-tone Austin Yellow metallic and Blackstorm metallic with a chrome accent on the front fender)

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.”

Read our 2018 BMW K 1600 B cross-country road test review

2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America
2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America in Blackstorm metallic

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.

2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America trunk and saddlebags
The 2018 BMW K 1600 Grand America’s trunk with passenger backrest increases luggage capacity and two-up comfort. Its built-in LED light matches the distinctive saddlebag lighting.

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 starts at $23,195, and we’re looking forward to riding one sometime in the first quarter of 2018.

Check out more new bikes in Rider’s guide to new/updated 2018 motorcycles



  1. I test rode the Regular K1600 last year and was disappointed overall. The motor is great, but I didn’t like the riding position. I am 6’1″ with 35 inch inseam. The seat was too low making me feel cramped. Yet reach to bars was too long and the big fairing felt too far away. Overall the machine just felt like it was not proportioned correctly at all. By contrast the R1200rt felt much better. The K1600 also felt very heavy at low speed. Overall I just did not like the ass down knees up position I was forced info by this bike.

  2. Paul,
    You can put GT bars on the GTL and the seat comes in low, standard and high. I personally felt the same as you, I plan on guying a GTL, putting GT bars (shorter than GTL) on it with a tall seat = perfect!

  3. Appropriate name for a new BMW.
    BMW can out do Americans at everything including unreliability.
    BMW as a brand are now officially less reliable than HD. BMW Australia average 3 warrantee issues or recalls per bike.

  4. It’s much lighter than my Victory Cross Country Tour, has almost as much power as my Diavel (which is all day comfortable and with shad bags on for a trip has enough luggage), has full integrated electronics, great brakes and suspension, and now they solved one of the issues I had with the bike, the integrated passenger backrest with top case. But exhaust is awful both in looks and sound, I just need a little noise. The windscreen is terrible as is the audio. Thankfully I think the Audio problem is solved by blue tooth the xm signal to my Sena Headset. And at the end of the day after 2 test rides I came away not liking the riding experience.

  5. k1600ga is 36kg heaver than B and with that back top box every turn and speed and feeling will make way differen than B!
    many of riders might gt or gtl or B!!! but don’t judge the GA ! because it will be very different kind of k1600!

  6. I owned a 2015 K1600GTL. I loved the bike. I think i would like the Grand America better because it feels smaller. However, with a top speed of only 101 mph, I am not interested.

    • Where did you get the idea that it has a 101 mph top speed? If you owned a K 1600 GTL, then you know that’s absurd.

  7. I rode a K1600GT last summer and I liked it so much better than my FJR1300. It was a bit heavy at parking lot speeds but not annoyingly so. However, at around 10mph, that weight just vanished. I was riding with a group and I had to keep looking at the tires on the other K1600 in the group to make sure that we weren’t riding on bicycle tires because the handling was so light. And it had power all day! I’m not overly thrilled about the governed 101MPH top speed but I’m sure that can be tweaked by a Power Commander, or other such device. I also like the lower passenger pillion.
    Bottom line, I think the Grand America is finally the K1600 for me!


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