2014 BMW K 1600 GTL Exclusive – First Look Review

BMW K1600GT Exclusive
Special paint on the Exclusive blends four coats of Mineral white metallic high-gloss with Magnesium silver matte.

One complaint you almost never hear about BMW’s top-line K 1600 GTL touring bike is that it’s not luxurious enough. With cushy heated seating for the rider and passenger, an electric windscreen, central locking luggage, Bluetooth audio and electronic suspension, riding the GTL is like a play day at the spa, and that’s before you twist the handle on its silky-smooth and snarling 160-horsepower in-line six.

BMW K1600GTL Exclusive Ignition
Pushbutton ignition, the fuel filler flap, central locking and steering lock are all enabled by the Keyless Ride transponder.

Some riders can never get enough though, so to that end BMW has just introduced the K 1600 GTL Exclusive. It takes the bike’s convenience and luxury to the extreme with standard features such as Keyless Ride, which enables the new pushbutton ignition, steering lock, fuel filler flap and central locking when the transponder/key in your pocket is within six feet of the bike. There’s no need to use a key for any of those things, though one is hidden within the transponder for when the need arises. As the transponder moves out of range, the Exclusive’s anti-theft system is armed automatically and the steering locked.

2014 BMW K1600GTL Exclusive Passenger Seat
Exclusive’s passenger seat is larger, and has a heated backrest and armrests.

More GTL Exclusive-model features include Hill Start Control, which holds the bike in position on hills until you pull away, without having to keep the brakes applied. The passenger seat is larger, and armrests and a heated backrest are standard. For appearance’s sake a film antenna embedded in the trunk lid eliminates the need for an antenna rod, and the bike is finished in four coats of special Mineral white metallic high-gloss paint blended with Magnesium metallic matte. There’s color-coordinated upholstery for the seats, backrest and armrests, new instrumentation has indirect illumination for more clarity, and chrome edging has been added to the four speakers in the fairing. Aluminum molding sets off the fuel tank, and the exhaust system is completely chromed.

Many optional features for the regular K 1600 GTL are standard on the Exclusive, including traction control, Electronic Suspension Adjustment II (ESA II), embroidered liners for the luggage and an adaptive xenon headlight. New LED daytime running lights switch on automatically in the daytime, and a pair of LED auxiliary lights help illuminate the road ahead.

Options for the K 1600GTL Exclusive include the BMW Navigator V GPS, higher seats and an Akrapovič muffler. Pricing is TBD; it’s due in dealerships this spring.

2014 BMW K1600GTL Exclusive Right Side
Gobs of torque and power from the K 1600 GTL’s in-line six propel this luxury cruise missile.
2014 BMW K1600GTL Exclusive Auxiliary Lights
LED auxiliary lights are standard on the Exclusive.
2014 BMW K1600GTL Rear View
Luggage features central locking, and the film radio antenna is embedded in the trunk lid.
2014 BMW K1600GTL Exclusive instruments
New gauges have indirect illumination for more clarity, and speakers get chrome edging.


    • Hey Dan, New to the Beemer scene, kicking tires on the 1600. Now this Exclusive to debut this spring,,,, holy molely batman what a unit. Price??? they are saying 30,s Whatever, how has your ’13 been treating you? I can’t test drive yet as winter has hit my area, ( Col) but will soon. So in the meantime , will just drool,,,, happy holiday!!

    • Had an LT with reverse, used it once in a while. Got a GTL, don’t really need it (yet anyway). It is lighter and feels even lighter than it is. No electric center stand either if you want another reason not to like it. I love my GTL and have no complaints.

  1. Having had the pleasure to ride the K 1600, it is a luxury bike with all the little amenities but it is a big beast! It is a bike to be reckoned with practice no matter how much you’ve risen. I have ridden BMWs for over 20 years (I’m 55). and it is a bike for EXPERIENCED riders only!
    Given all its features, I would cross compare it to the 1200RT. I vote 1200RT.
    More affordable repairs, easier controls and maneuvering the bike with more ease. You still have to put in the key in to the ignition but, hey, come on guys, it’s over $30,000 for the K1600 or $21,000 for the 1200RT (New Bike Price Tags)? No question, K1600 is much more luxurious and beautiful but as a stunt driver, I found the 1200RT much easier to handle for the average rider. Also, did I tell you I had a recent conversation with my wallet and the voice of reason prevailed (not to mention my loving wife liked the 1200RT as a passenger better because the wind was not as much in her face as was the K1600). Both are great bikes for different types of riders.. However, this husband and wife team vote 1200RT!

    • This is the final destination on that search for the ultimate ride! I can’t say I’ve rode one but knowing BMW there is no doubt this is a well built machine. Unfortunately my small stature won’t allow me to straddle this bad boy without safety issues. Certainly can’t blame anyone for wanting to own this gem!

      • I have a 2000 RT and its’ height is a bit much for me until I get rolling. Talking with my dealer yesterday, I was told the seat height is two inches shorter than my RT plus I will be able to sit upright. Leaning forward was really aggravating the disc in my neck. Tuesday I will look at getting my current handlebars set back more and or getting a 1600.

        • Don’t mess with the sitting position on the RT it has repercussions. I have had 4 RTs and have tried lifting the bars etc. it all interferes with the mirrors
          I’m not the tallest either and I’m definitely keen on the GTL or The Exclusive
          Good Riding

    • I have had two 160gtls love the bike hated the clunky gearbox ,Ihave just taken delivery of the GTL Exclusive,the gearbox is so smooth ,something has been done about it. Itoo have had the LT with electric centre stand, and reverse gear, i am 66 years of age ,and yes ,i too would like reverse . But all in all i love this Exclusive. my wife likesthe larger seat and heated backrest,just on our way to Croatia can,t wait to put it through its paces.

  2. Always enjoyed Harley Davidson Ultra Classics until I rode the BMW 1600GTL. The way to best describe it is that when you ride a Harley Ultra Classic you sit back and enjoy the ride. When riding the BMW 1600GTL you become part of the ride. I currently own both, but have learned to love my new BMW. Awesome performance, comfort, and handling.

    • Thanks for your input. I’m on the fence trying to decide between the 2014 Harley (Rushmore) Ultra Limited or the BMW K1600 gtl
      Currently ride an 07′ Kawasaski Vulcan 900 and want to purchase a touring bike as a retirement present foe myself
      Love the Harley look and sound but the bmw offers that 6 pack engine and many safety and convenience features

      Need to go on a test ride soon…….

  3. I have ridden many bikes, big and small. This is an absolute dream and I cannot imagine leaving the GTL Exclusive for anything else. Someone mentioned the reverse due to weight, not needed. As for the center stand, it goes up easier than I expected. All in all a great ride, plenty of power and very comfortable. Looking forward to my first long road trip in June.

  4. To All Interested ~
    Just purchased the GTL Exclusive from BMW Motorcycles of Las Vegas. Wife and I took a trip to Zion this last weekend.
    Great first trip as we had the pleasure of experiencing several weather conditions right off the bat. Beautiful sunny morning as we departed Lake Las Vegas. Encountered high winds at the top of North Shore Road near Valley of Fire, bike did well with windshield lowered. Then came rain as we entered Mesquite. The RAIN setting provided piece of mind and performed as marketed. Hills up to and down into Zion really showcased the power as I don’t think I downshifted from 6th going up any and only downshifted to 4th to descent.
    We stopped by Veyo, Utah on the way home for the Best Pies in Utah and came down through Gunsmith Reservoir. I cannot articulate well enough the comfort, power, sporty feel, luxurious feel of this motorcycle.
    Simply put… the machine is unmatched.
    I hope to see you out there.
    Safe riding and happy trails!

    • Hi Trevor, I currently own and enjoy a Harley CVO Ultra which is tops. I am hoping to purchase in the near future the addition of a 1600 GTL Exclusive.
      Thankyou for your post, it answers many of my questions. I have never owned a BMW but it sounds like it is splendid on so many aspects of riding.
      Kind regards, Grant

      • Grant, I just traded my Road Glide Ultra CVO for the Exclusive. I loved my Harley, but I’ll never go back. The HD is a bit more comfortable for a tall guy like me, but the handling and performance is unmatched. I thought I would miss the Harley sound, but one twist of the throttle and you soon forget. Nothing like it! Rich A

  5. Just bought my K1600GTL Exclusive on Memorial day for just under $31K. Traded in my 2012 R1200RT because me and the wife found it a bit cramped on long hauls. The RT seats aren’t the most comfortable either. This is quite a bike! Unbelievably smooth at any speed. Zero vibration at 80+. Need to use the cruise control because this will get you some tickets. Fast, smooth and comfortable and handles very easy. I do notice the longer wheel base compared to the RT, but that makes for a much more stable ride. If you cmplain about costs, then get a Honda. My only observation is the shifting is a bit more clunkier then I’d expect but should losen up after a while. And the drive-by-wire throttle takes a little practice. It’s extremely sensitive to input. Will be heading out on a long haul in September.

  6. This is the bike I will get when I’m able to afford to take a year off to do a complete tour of the US. Though I’d probably get the GT version rather than the GTL; don’t need the back seat. Sweet bike though!

  7. I live in Botswana, great road network and wonderful scenery, I’ve always fantasized about taking a country wide tour (with my son) on a tourer and this sounds like the bike to do this with. Can a relatively inexperienced rider become competent enough on the 1600 gtl within a reasonable period.

    • You’ll be fine, just take it easy, don’t try anything fancy on a big cruiser. Go to as many courses as possible.
      I wish you safe riding and many happy miles
      John/ South Africa

  8. I’ve had two 1600gtl bikes ,but now I’ve taken delivery of the exclusive. Best one of the three ,no clunky gearbox,does as it says on the tin ,well pleased

  9. Traded my 05 K1200lt in last fall for the Exclusive. The only complaint is from my wife, as the passenger seat is a little slick & angled a little forward. She slides forward when I brake. Looking for a solution either for the seat or her riding pants. Anyone know of a invisible fix for this, I would be grateful. Covering the beautiful seat on this bike would not be an option.
    This thing really is a Luxury cruise missile as stated above.
    Ride safe.

  10. Had a older BMW CK1200, loved it, everyone always thought is was a brand new bike when she was 10 years old. Then I saw the BMW 1600 GTL.
    OMG. I waited a year and a half to make sure I was in love with it, before upgrading due to the cost. I will tell you it has been a year already and I don’t love it as much as I thought I would, I love it more! My favorite is the easy start quiet powerful sound. I Love how it tells you the gear your in on the dash. I ride most of the time with the side bags off. I have added many accesories. A year later and today I ordered the chrome brake reservoir lids. I added the leg extensions so I can extend my legs out and relax…..I love how the windshield goes up to keep the cold wind off and the rain away from me… Its the best purchase I have ever made….

  11. I’ve had ,1 R11R, 2 R12C’s, 3 RT’s, 2 LT’s and today I’m taking delivery of my 2nd GTL. This bike handles like no other of it’s size, and it has an engine that’s breathtaking and addictive! I have been very satisfied with all of my BMW’s and they progress nicely as time goes by. So consequently, the GTL is the pinnacle so far in BMW’s evolution. I’ve rode most makes and models over the years (having diverse friends certainly helps), and this will be my 20th street bike. But for me and the female unit, the GTL is a joy to own and ride. I strongly considered the all-new RT this time; great bike, but I kept getting pulled towards the GTL’s swanky feel – and that motor! The LT was a wonderful bike for its time had nice features, but it needed more power and to go on a diet (goodbye electric center stand, reverse, CD player…). BMW wanted to build a shark, not a whale (Goldwing/HD/Victory…), they wanted it to be an exciting bike as an extension of the rider, and I feel that they’ve accomplished their mission…and then some.

  12. I bought one of the first 1600 GLT s in Scotland and although I like the bike the problems have been many. Three left multi hand controls and one throttle right side replaced . Think they were made in China then back to Germany, the good ones. The bike has also had a squeek from the suspension from new and after several trips to the dealer still occurs when on tour . It starts after about half an hour. In France at the moment and it’s driving me mad. I hope the joints are going to be replaced on my return and hope this cures the problem . Look up 1600 GLT squeek on U Tube. Wind screen has had to be reset at least twice due to failure now I have an overheating problem in traffic. The bike is great when working properly but getting fed up now.


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