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 and availability are TBD.

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

8 COMMENTS

  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.

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