At last month’s Intermot show in Germany, BMW Motorrad announced updates to its 6-cylinder sport tourer, the K 1600 GT. And at BMW’s Vision Next 100 event in Los Angeles, it unveiled a new spin-off model, the blacked-out K 1600 B bagger.
Read our 2017 BMW K 1600 GT first look review
Read our 2017 BMW K 1600 B first look review
Read about the BMW Motorrad Vision 100 Next
So it came as no surprise that, at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, this week, BMW unveiled an updated version of the K 1600 GTL luxury tourer. In 2012—the model year in which they were introduced—the K 1600 GT and GTL shared Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award by virtue of the new levels of performance and sophistication they brought to the sport touring and luxury touring segments. Differing mainly in terms of seating position, windscreen size/shape and the presence of a top trunk (on the GTL), they share an inline 6-cylinder engine that churns out a claimed 160 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque.
As on the GT and B, new catalytic converters and updated engine management allow the K 1600 GTL’s engine to be Euro4 compliant without any loss in claimed output. Three riding modes—Road, Dynamic and Rain—adapt throttle response to riding conditions and automatically adjust the Dynamic Traction Control setting accordingly. New for 2017 is Dynamic ESA, which automatically adjusts suspension damping and offers two modes, Road and Dynamic.
Standard equipment includes ABS Pro, xenon headlight, heated grips and seats, Multi-Controller, cruise control and removable saddlebags and top trunk. New options include Reverse Assist, a reverse gear that is engaged using a button on the left handlebar and controlled using the starter button, and Shift Assistant Pro, which allows clutchless upshifts and downshifts. Other options include the adaptive headlight, Keyless Ride, Hill Hold Control, central locks, forged wheels and a full line of accessories.
Read our 2012 BMW K 1600 GT / GTL review
Read our 2012 BMW K 1600 GT vs 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 comparison review
Styling updates for the K 1600 GTL include new side trim panels, larger slipstream deflectors, new wind deflectors to protect the rider’s hands, redesigned mirrors with larger faces and aspherical insets, and redesigned foot guards and lower storage compartments. New color schemes include Lightwhite non-metallic, Thundergrey metallic and K 1600 GTL Elegance (Ebony metallic/Blackstorm metallic).
Availability and pricing for the 2017 BMW K 1600 GTL are TBD.
Frankly, I’d rather have the R1200RT, which is a full 164 pounds lighter. Breaking down HP and torque by weight, the RT has .207 HP and .152 foot pounds of torque pet pound of body weight. The K1600GTL has .208 HP, and .168 fort pounds of torque per pound of body weight HP per pound is almost identical, the K does have an advantage in torque, but the 164 pound weight difference should allow the RT to spank it in the twisties, and should just be generally easier to handle. I acquired these specs from BMW’s own website, and then used a calculator to break down the numbers.
But two-up with full gear, there is no real comparison. The 1600 is the way to go.
Well the 2018 GTL is out and I’m thinking about a new bike. I’m almost 64 and my knees hurt a lot when bent to far so I compared the GTL to the Goldwing and the Harley Road Glide Ultra. Have I ridden any of the 3 bikes, no. So far my comparisons have been in the show rooms and reviewing the spec. sheets and reading reviews. My last motorcycle was a Harley by the way and before that a Kawasaki. Now I’m only 5′ 7″ tall but I found the GTL uncomfortable. It put my knees at too much of an angle and cause me pain in just 2 minutes of sitting on the bike. There was a Goldwing and a Harley at the same shop and both of them were comfortable and caused me no pain. Which one would be more comfortable on a long ride is yet to be decided. I was really hoping the BMW would be the bike for me as I like the looks and the reviews I have read about it but they need to move their foot pegs more foward and lower to be comfortable for me and the handlebars could be longer also as I am forced to slide foward in the seat to reach them. If I was 6 feet tall I imagine the handlebars would be just about right but then my legs would also be longer and cause more pain in my knees due to the increased angle. Damn, I really like the technology on the k1600 GTL. For those younger than me with better knees this may be a great bike for you but for an old far like me that enjoys long rides of 5000 miles or more I’ll have to look elsewhere.
Agree completely. As a touring rider, long distance rides with my feet tucked behind my knees would have me jumping out of bed at night with leg cramps. And if you do choose the Goldwing, I wouldn’t feel too bad about it, in Motorcycle Consumer News test between the Goldwing , and the K1600 GTL, the Goldwing dominated the test.
That’s one source. It depends on what you are seeking, but for the 2018 model year, I would take the K1600GTL every time. The new front end on the ‘18 GW is suspect, storage capacity is down, and the bike seems a bit car-like. Not a bad thing if that’s what you seek. Not for me however. I do like the more modern TFT on the GW, but that expansive shiny plastic dash cover is less than desirable. And for me, the riding position of the GTL is just fine. I’m 65, but I’m not dead yet.
Hi all, the last bike I owned for four years was an 1800 Gold wing and it was a great bike but heavy and showing its age (I am getting on for 60 and 6ft tall) so I traded it in for a BMW K1600GTL. My wife and I have just completed the ‘North coast 500’ around Scotland ( we actually rode 1560 miles) and yes my wife has problems with the back seat, so before we left she crafted a cushion for the back seat and we sat on a sheep skin (very good on a long ride). The bike was brilliant in the wet, dry and fuel consumption and never missed a beat. On the ‘500’ we noticed Harleys a load of BMW GS’s but only ONE Goldwing?
You can fit the higher seat as a option,it works and change your riding position.Your legs bend far less and make for a more comfortable ride!Problem sorted for me.
Ride the bike you like is all I can say. If you don’t go on a 1000 mile ride which most of don’t do then enjoy what you own. I have a BMW k1600gt and love it. Everyone thinks their bike is the best and respect that. I hope everyone can ride safe and enjoy it.
Good man, Bill…