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RBEmerson
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« on: June 19, 2015, 12:23:40 am »

I got sent home with a K1600GT loaner (OK, I had to grovel a bit to get it) while my K1200RS was tied up with state inspection and minor brake issues. To date, I've got about 120 miles on the trip. When the bike goes back, I'll be up around 200 or more, if I can think of a way to stretch it.

This bike is a fast touring bike. Put this rascal on curvy country roads or on the slabs and it shines. Put it in tight twisties or local go-ferring and it's a handful. This is not a light bike (well, duh) and it shows up in tight turning at any speed. Twist the throttle and the bike goes very fast very soon. While it's doing that, the suspension earns its keep by avoiding funny dips and swerves. What's not to like?

The ergos are set up for upright touring posture, which is OK. The bars, then, follow that scheme. Getting the front tire from lock to lock, though, means a lot of bar-swinging. Not so OK.

Otherwise, I don't have a problem with most of the ergos. The shifter, though, is an exception. Wearing Combat Lite boots, there just isn't enough room to get my foot in between the shifter and the peg with a serious, and ...um... unnatural bend in my ankle. If there's an adjustment to change this, I don't see it. The saddle is comfy, and having the electric windscreen is nice. It's too warm to test the hand and seat warmers but if past performance holds, I'm good with that.

The display and switches... good news, bad news. First off, forget the clocks. The speedo markings are too small to read readily. The tach is marked only in 1000's. At least the speedo is backed up with a digital version in the middle of the display. The tach... enjoy the clock, it's all there is. Fuel and engine temperature are given as bar graphs, curved to match the arc of the speedo. I like to see moving needles, but I guess I could learn to accept this. The clock, odo, and trip odo are across the bottom of the display. The right side of the display has a graphic display for "one rider", "one rider and luggage", "two riders". Meh - eye candy. But...

The control for setting suspension behavior (comfort, normal, sport) is on the left grip. The button for changing throttle behavior (rain, road, dynamic) is on the right grip. So whyinhell is the throttle status in the upper left of the display and the suspension status in the upper right? Why, why, why not put them next to their controls? Whatever became of "intuitive" in design? While I'm on this rant, the trip odo reset is not to be found among all the spiffy menu entries controlled by the ring "knob" on the left grip. Instead, it's a dark little hunk of "looks like a cover over a screw". OK, I get that resetting the odo, particularly if you're a "drive 4.7 miles to the corner, turn left and drive 2.1 miles before crossing the bridge" navigator. But at least mark the thing with something more than tiny, barely raised letters in black on black. Sheesh!

OK, I'll calm down. Sorta. BMW's with four wheels are cursed with what was (and may still be) called the I-Control, one knob to control radio, nav, climate, and general vehicle settings. It is about the worst idea since suicide doors were introduced in Lincolns. Two wheel BMW's have the ring control (O-Control??? O-Ring??? O say can you see???) which makes sense for a bike. Twist it to get to some menu entry, push it towards the display to indicate "make it so" or "next menu level, pls". Tilt it away from the display to indicate "not wanted" or "go back". The number of menu options is a bit inflated (lots of stuff equals more impressive?) but, over time, it should be something to be accepted. Sorta.

The right grip switches handle the starter/kill switch, the throttle mode selector (oddly, a PITA to reach while you're twisting the throttle), and, I think, a master lock-it button for the bags. Um, golly, just what I need when I'm riding in the wrong part of town. Won't no darn bad guys open my bags as I ride by... Whatever.

On the left side, things go down hill in a hurry. The turn signal switch is diabolically placed to make covering (or using) the clutch and signalling a turn a bit of thumb contortion. I know some people hate them, but the left signal, left paddle, right signal, right paddle on older BMW's really are more intuitive. Better still, older turn signals turned themselves off fairly soon after the time needed to make the signaled turn. The K1600's signals at least turn off on the same day they're turn on. Except on or after 11:30 at night...

The horn button... there is one. It's hard to find, and harder to see to help finding it. The horn sound? Rather like the sound of a mouse trying to command attention in Cat Town. IIRC, the Dodge Road Runner had much the same sound. But at least it had the excuse of being a tie-in to WB's Road Runner. BMW has no such excuse. Given the cost of this bike, is it too much to ask for a Fiamm air horn?

On top of the switch housing, there's the standard cruise control switch thing. Meh. it works and I don't have to sprain my thumb to use it. Also on the housing is the "wake up the menu" rocker. I think pushing on the top calls up the suspension options. Pushing on the bottom of the rocker moves down through the choices. Or it may bring up the suspension menu, too. I still don't understand how a simple up / down rocker controls the menus. At least the rocker for the windscreen is easy to understand. Push the top, the windscreen rises. Push the bottom... you get the idea. And there's the previously discussed O-Ring or O-Control or whatever. Have I left anything out...? Hmmm... oh yes. The death ray trigger. There's a mysterious trigger thing on the back of the left switch housing. Pull the trigger and you can squeeze off bursts of photons or whatever come out of the front of the bike. If you pull the trigger back far enough, you sweep all before you with a continuous rain of death. Or photons. Or whatever. Since the rest of the housing is booked solid with other buttons, the high/low switch had to go somewhere. IMHO it sux. (Sorry - make that IMNSHO it sux).

The saddle bags are big enough to stow most helmets. 'Course, won't nothing else fit while your lid's in there, but "ya pays yer money, ya takes yer choice". The "open the bag" process and the "remove the bag" process are simple enough. Re-fitting the bags takes a little practice to get the front mounting thingie mated to the whatsis sticking out from the bike, but it's no biggie. My bike doesn't have a "trunk", so I can't comment one way or the other. If it's like some I've seen on RT's, works for me.

Stands... the side stand is, to my eye, short and lets the bike stand a little too close to upright. It looks like a garage dump waiting to sneak up on you some dark and rushed-for-time night. OTOH, let this bike lean over too far and  some dark, etc. could happen sooner. Ya pays yer money, etc. The center stand? I tried it once. I didn't want to see things go horribly wrong, even though it was broad daylight and I wasn't feeling rushed for time. So I stopped before I broke something - like the bike or my leg. I guess this thing may work if you have someone to help keep the bike from going over if the stand doesn't take hold. But on a day to day basis? Nah.

Looks... Some people are driven insane with lust for redheads, while some people can't get enough of (male or female) hair cut Marine Corps short. Everybody has their own taste. The front-on view looks like an angry bird. For the money involved, I don't want a dumb cartoon look. The side view... so many visual elements, so little space. At least it's not as bad as the front end. The back end? It's there. The lights light - yea. The pipes... three holes per muffler - gee, must be a six cylinder bike. Whatever.

Speaking of mufflers, there's how the bike sounds. There's the straight-cut gear whine. Try though you might, you'll never sell that it's the sound of a good ol' Roots-type blower huffing into the engine. And, guess what, the whine doesn't go away when you're motivating down the road. It's just higher pitched (but not "so high pitched only dogs can hear you and will fear you"). Get those six pistons moving and... there's a bunch of new noises. Usually I wear ear plugs to control wind noises. Add "to control engine noise" for this bike. And, sorry "fart can - I'm proud when it's loud" folks, the exhaust noise wears out fast. Sitting well in front of where the noise comes out, it's a continuous drone. I can see whoever's on the b**** seat being willing to get off the bike at speed - anything to get away from that drone.

OK, 1600 cc divided by 6 cylinders doesn't equal a 1600 cc twin rumbling at a light. But, gee whiz, BMW, couldn't you have added a little more gravitas to the exhaust note?

I can't say much about the lights - I don't want to run a bike that isn't mine at "Bambi hour". NTL, a good HID is good news. Add the "lights follow the turn" trick and (for extra bucks) the gyro-stabilized headlight, and you can pretty much own the night. If Bambi lets you.

The LED fog lights are at least good running lights. I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of light splashing back from fog droplets, though. Maybe not.

The front turn signals... you'd think that BMW could do a better job of hiding them than they have. Goodness knows, the row of bright yellow LED's is a good idea. But tucking them along the edge of the fairing, over the front tire? After the wreck, when the soccer mom says "but I didn't see any turn signal or anything", she won't be lying.

Two final gripes. 1) The brake lever takes way, way, way too much travel to start braking and way too little travel to go from scrubbing off a bit of speed to "drop anchor NOW!!!". The ergo for the lever can be dialed in with a knob on a threaded shaft. No "pick position 1, 2, 3, or 4 - no in between for you!" But it doesn't change the amount of travel needed to get braking done as desired.

2) Saving the best for last: The throttle feel and range of motion SUCK! No nice, friendly "sux" here. Regardless of the throttle setting (rain, road, dynamic), look at the handle funny and the engine starts to wind up. Wanna get into the brakes so you can stop before hitting the mindless soccer mom smacking her kid, yakking on the IPhone with her BFF, and putting on her mascara all at the same time? Get your hand off the throttle altogether, 'cause you ain't gonna hit idle no other way. And if you're downshifting as well as braking, keeping your hand on the throttle guarantees the engine will be working at making your stopping distance longer. BTDT. But that's not all! No! If you act now, you'll receive a throttle that needs to be twisted far enough, at speed, you'll somehow have to rearrange your grip or leave your wrist bent in a way that will get old in ...oh... about two miles.

On balance, this bike will eat up highway and good secondary roads like Taz on a binge. I suspect that some of those secret roads nobody will tell even their significant other about, those roads aren't going to be as much fun. And a dash to the nearest Publix for a quart of milk... take the car. Unless you live in Maine and want to hit a Publix somewhere near South Beach in Miami.

Sitting on this puppy while eating the miles is a pleasure. Using the controls isn't so much. All the buttons, knobs, displays, and cylinders don't go cheap off the showroom floor. And you'll continue to contribute to your dealer's P&L with handsome amounts of black ink from almost any reason the bike needs to visit the shop. But if you (and your SO) are willing to accept that, you'll have a serious road eater. How you deal with all of the stuff I've whined about is something only a good long test ride repeated over a couple rides will begin to hint at.

Would I buy one? When my K1200RS can no longer fire up, or I can't ride it in comfort, I'll revisit the question. But as things stand now? Pass. But then, I said that about the K1200RS on the first demo ride. The second ride? Not so much.  Bigsmile
« Last Edit: June 19, 2015, 12:30:05 am by RBEmerson » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2015, 09:48:25 am »

You had me chuckling on this read. Heck, I almost spilled my coffee a couple of times. Before I got to the end I sort of figured you didn't like it!!

I test rode one a couple of years ago. Thought it was OK. You are right about the sound. I wanted to hear something different. Anyway, at the time there was no way I would pay $10,000 more than I could buy an FJR for. In fact, for road burning I didn't see a difference between this new BMW techno show off and my FJR. My FJR was a bit faster too.
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« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2015, 01:08:49 am »

I honestly didn't start out with humor in mind but the devil took over and... sorry 'bout the spills...

- - - -

Day 2 (well, really day 3 but day 2 was a total rain-out) went in ways that I suspected or hoped for. I started out with about 40 miles of slabs (PA Turnpike NE Extension) and 20 miles of "not slabs". In general, the bike felt a little more familiar. It was raining lightly when I headed out and the bike felt comfortable in the setting. The rain ended fairly quickly and fog showed up in patches instead. Still no worries. A couple of times the traffic became a little nuts-o; time to do a roll-on and get out of the mess. The K1600GT does top gear roll-ons very handily. Very handily indeed.

The next leg of the day was a 20 mile round-trip go-fer. The mall is a big one, it was early in the day, parking was a simple pull-through to nose out. Leaving the mall was ...um... memorable. A mindless idiot pulled out of a side street and turned right in front of me. The horn... effin' pathetic. Quick squirt of throttle to pull along side for very pointed eye contact? Mission accomplished. Point made? F*** no - no brain to make contact with.

Next leg... something like 45 miles of mostly back country state routes. This is one of the places where the bike excels. I don't follow Iron Butt closely, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that K1600GT's (GTL's) show up often and do very well.

And, at that point, I gave the bike back.

The throttle travel is still not a favorite, and the brake travel and feel are poor for a bike of this sort. The switchology issues faded some. The O-Ring got in the way of reaching the turn signal thumb control. The one time I wanted to use the death ray trigger, nothing happened. No photon beam coming from the front, and no blue "death rays being fired" light on the panel. Feh.

The gear whine, I finally figured out, is a motor speed (not road speed) noise. The exhaust drone faded from my immediate awareness. I doubt any passenger would say the same thing unless they were profoundly hearing impaired. The rest of the motor noise? Still there, still annoying or at least intrusive.

Would I buy one of these bikes? The answer's still "pass" but with less enthusiasm.

OK, that's about 250 miles of K1600GT. Time for 100+ miles of K1200RS.

After the K1600GT ("GT"), the K1200RS ("RS") seemed small and almost light. Funny, it didn't feel light during a garage drop late last summer...

The RS' ergos call for a modified tuck-in position. It's possible ride sitting almost upright, but it's not fun and the hips to feet section is still going to be folded up. I try to keep the balls of my feet on the pegs, my knees tucked into and gripping the tank, and my upper body leaning into the wind. It's a surprisingly stable position that works for extended periods. Or as extended as is possible when going only about 150-180 miles on a full gas tank. Anyway, all of this felt quite familiar and, frankly, welcome. And then things got weird.

IMHO the RS isn't a slow bike. It will acquit itself well in the twisties. However, after the ride(s) with the GT, I started wondering what was very, very wrong with the RS. If the RS had a hand parking brake, I'd be looking to be sure it wasn't left on. The throttle felt dull and took more torque to move than I remembered from only two days before. My RS has a nice set of Öhlen shocks, front and back. The PO got them pretty well dialed in. NTL, the RS' suspension felt dead. Where the GT had felt maybe too loosey goosey, the RS was stiff and not ready to run out and play in the street. I was astounded by the difference between the two bikes.

100+ miles later, on many of the same roads, the RS doesn't feel as stiff and dead as it did initially, but it's going to be a while before it feels close to right.

Now would I take a GT? The answer is still "pass". I'm not sure what the RS' successor will be. Maybe it will be a GT. Until I have a chance to run a FJR or C14 through the same sort of extended test ride, they're probably not going to near the top of my list of choices. Happily, the RS is still healthy and, at 37K, likely to stay that way for a while. When it comes time for a change, the choice won't be easy.
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2015, 10:21:48 am »

Thanks for the review  Thumbsup
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2015, 10:59:38 am »

You're welcome.

I missed something on the GT report: Service. The bike was due for some check up. It's a loaner and doesn't get the love a customer's bike gets. That said, if I owned the bike, I'd be on the scheduled service like white on rice. Preventive maintenance is all in this thing. DIY maintenance appears to be almost impossible; catch small surprises, with good PM, before they become big surprises. None of it is cheap.

The tire pressure system was not happy. When I picked up the bike, the front end felt unresponsive and even felt as though it was resisting steering inputs. In the RS, this means an under-inflated front tire. Ten miles out the "low tire pressure" light came on and the display reported the front tires was down 10 PSI (!!!) from the 42 PSI spec. 'Course, by that time the tire was well warmed up when the dealer put more air in the tires, goodness knows what the actual pressure would be. NTL the tire pressure display reported somewhat under 42 PSI. How is this possible, I wondered.  For sure, pumping the tires up got rid of the input resistance (surprise, surprise). On day 2, with rain drowning everything, I pumped the tires up to 42 PSI. I know that my gauge tells the truth. The tire pressure display? Not so much. Even after running up the slabs for a while... yep, it claimed both tires were under-inflated again. Since the handling said the tires were at least close to the right amount of pressure, I think it's the pressure reporting that's the culprit, not the tires. I reported the issue when I turned the bike in and was told the issue can be investigated. (More bucks needed were I the owner)

The "low oil level" idiot light/display also started to make itself know towards the end of the loan. It came on at some point after pushing the GT rather hard and then it went away. Later on, after stopping with a bit of enthusiasm, it decided to stay on.

We had an '88 325 iS (or was it sI or Si or...?) that was never able to completely seal its rings after ~100K. BMW made the rings too hard, and ditto for the cylinder walls. They just polished each other (the service manager said he'd taken off cylinder heads and still found the factory hone marks); oil snuck by in the micro-gaps. The car didn't visibly burn oil, it just lost it. So it's possible that's happening with the GT. The RS rarely needs attention between oil changes.

Given all the "systems" (read "aggregation of things with lots of parts - each with their own MTBF"), keeping the GT happy isn't going to come cheap. It should be a factor in the "buy or buy not. There no long borrow is" decision.
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2015, 12:02:55 pm »

I put 14,000 miles in 2 years on my '12 GT before I came to grips that I absolutely hated it. It made me rethink the whole I love motorcycles attitude. We found ourselves wanting to take the car, Speed Triple, Daytona 955 or the Duc over the GT. It handled long road trips where luggage was needed pretty good. I liked most everything about it... all the gadgetry, doodads, bells & whistles and what not, and especially the sound, or lack there of.

The only thing that we hated about it and really made our decision to offload it while we could still get something out of it w/o giving it away was its lack of soul. It had no soul whatsoever. It was like driving a car, convertible, w/ 2 wheels instead of 4.

We will never buy another one or probably no other BMW for that matter. The only thing that I personally miss about it that my Triumphs & Ducatis don't have, is the shaft drive.

Thanks for your review, it was enjoyable and nice to hear an honest opinion about it.
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2015, 10:19:07 pm »

You're welcome.

The GT and soul... I dunno... the GT had a distinct vibe. "I'm here to get down the road well and fast. Don't waste my time with going for a quart of milk." It took a while to find that voice, but that's pretty much what I heard. It's the RS going silent that surprised me.  Headscratch
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2015, 08:56:54 am »

OT but here goes...

The RS and I are back on speaking terms. Well, OK, I never shut up (some, SWMBO included, say is the usual state of affairs). After letting the bike alone over the weekend, I rode off to see my dentist on Monday. The ride to his office was pretty much "get me there by noon". I cleverly managed to get "lost" on the way back to the house. We live somewhat on the edge of "the sticks", which means there are some roads that don't go in straight lines, and often don't have much traffic. Total distance: 40-50 miles. Enough scene setting...

The RS now feels "normal". The gripe about the throttle grip has receded (although I may still have a word with the return spring). The acceleration is as remembered but it's certainly not what the GT produced. Otherwise, things are much as I remembered from before riding the GT. I still prefer the RS' behavior in tighter turns. I still prefer the ergos. And I still prefer the reduced engine noise.

The bottom line is "spend enough time on a bike, move to another bike, and all the differences seem bigger than they really are".
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2015, 02:00:58 pm »

I agree that at first, the big GT is a bit disconcerting. I had the opportunity to ride a GTL last year and had the same reaction. This year I rode a '15 RT on the same roads. It lacks the low end power of the GT but is much easier to handle. The roads varied from tight tornenti to high speed autostradas.

They both share the same controls. I found that I'd got used to it. I also agree that the GT isn't the best for around town. It's sort of a big boat better suited for high speed touring. I think I see an RT in my future...

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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2015, 03:58:12 pm »

I've also ridden the RT. A friend has an '07. It's buzzy, high enough to be a GS, and IMHO not a lot of fun. The new RT is the RT after BMW pushed the RESET button. Reasonable ride height (my friend can only flat-foot his '07 when the Mrs. is on board), "enthusiastic", and still a bit buzzy but nowhere nearly as IMHO objectionable as earlier RT's.

After jumping back on my RS... no way I'd spend cash money for an RT. There is a lot to be said for not being a boxer.

The GT is smoother than at least my RS. Not by a whole lot, but I can tell the difference. There's a very slight buzz in the RS that I can't make go away. But it's still vastly better than the "sewing machine" (it's the first simile I came up with after an RT demo - it felt like I was sitting on a sewing machine).

The RS does fairly well in "road eating" mode. There isn't as much wind and rain protection, of course, and the RS has shorter legs (by about 100 miles) but seems to have better mileage than the GT (well, HP doesn't come without it price...). That said, the GT is indeed a consummate road eater. If I lived further west... ah, well, and if pigs flew, too...
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015, 08:45:56 pm »

The K16 is the new Goldwing, more than anything else.  To me, it has as much character and soul as a GL, and I don't mean that in a bad way.  While Honda was sitting on its laurels, BMW came up with their interpretation of a modern Grand  Tourer, which instantly puts the Goldwing out of date.

These aren't for guys looking for a canyon carving machine with an engine that sings to the rider's soul.  If I'm retired and can afford to go tour around the country, withe the mrs, whenever and however long I like, I would  pick none other.  No vibration and power that make any road in any gear effortless is exactly what these things are meant to serve.  I don't ever hear a GL rider complain their machine is too bland or the flat 6 has no character.  Likewise with the K16.

How you feel about your RS is, in many ways, how my VFR1200 feels to me.  Now that I got myself a Trophy SE, am I gonna get rid of my supersport tourers?  HECK NO!  But occasionally, I will get on that big beautiful girl, pretend I'm retire, and ride out of town like I'm headed to Nova Scotia.

Even if I do turn around after eating my BBQ lunch at Llano, TX... it's the spirit of Grand Touring that I'll savor.
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2015, 09:00:47 pm »

I've only ridden a GTL for about 75 miles and never ridden a Goldwing but... the GTL is probably a fair fit to the Goldwing. The GT? Not so much. Remember, I said the GT was a handful in the twisties. Which is to say, it'll go there and do well enough. Canyon carver? Hardly. But it wouldn't be a waste of time to run up one of those roads on a GT. You'll just have to work at it. I'm not so sure the Goldwing or GTL would be as comfortable in that setting.
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2015, 06:55:09 pm »

Just like the F6B is just a Goldwing with no top trunk, shorter screen and no reverse... the K16GT really is not that different from the GTL.  It isn't any more sporting just because of the slightly taller seat and slightly less pulled back bars.  Both GT and GTL can be cranked over smartly through the twisties, but then again, so can a Goldwing in the hands of a competent rider.  They are both Grand Tourers.  One just has a little more Luxury than the other.  I'm glad BMW, for once, have gotten the monikers exactly right.
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2015, 09:27:45 pm »

I'd call it a Grand Sports Tourer but like all production bikes, they could have made it lighter, faster, easier to operate and more at ease in the corners.  The pipes may have three openings but that's only for looks.  Without removing the side bags they didn't have room for a real six pipe model which would have been very nice, albeit heavier.  The size of the cans on newer big displacement bikes is ridiculous the way they are.  I have a 79 Honda six but it's certainly old school tech compared to this one.  Carbed, all six of them, air/oil cooled, and a tad small in ccs actually, just 1,047.  It's a tad heavy too but it matches this new one in the quarter while giving up nearly 600 ccs.  I also had their last model, an 82, the faired and bagger model with a mono shock rear and slightly different rake and trail and another hundred pounds.  Was a great Sports Tourer.  Sold it at 102,000 miles and it's still on the road with never a breakdown.  My 79 has 60K on it and the head has never been off.  A six is a good choice but may not be a better choice than a good four.  I also have a Hayabusa and it too is very satisfying. Cool
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2015, 04:47:00 pm »

Grand Sport Tourer is actually a great descriptor, except... GST sounds like bureaucratic BS from the guvmint most people would rather avoid.  Lol

Then again, plucking down$30k for a K1600GST does feel appropriately like paying a hefty Goods and Services Tax.   Bigsmile

As for making them lighterweight... I'm sure they could've, but the target demographic wants all that techy bits and touring amenities.  They aren't in the business of making bare bones budget bikes.

The 6cyl?  That's paying homage to BMW's straight 6 tradition, albeit on their automotive side... and it's a premium brand identity thing.  At the high end of luxury tourers, something that stands out from all the run-of-the-mill inline4 is a big plus.
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2015, 11:41:27 am »

UPDATE:
After an extended run the other day, all is forgiven, according to the RS.  Wink However, I still miss the almost "hold on tight" rush from twisting the GT's "loud handle". What I don't miss is the noise from the engine, including that damn whine from the gears. I am still puzzled about BMW Motorrad letting that into the showroom and onto the road. Distinctive exhaust note, maybe, but motor noise?  Headscratch Admittedly, the RS has that "rattling box of rocks" noise from the tranny (never heard exactly why or where, in the tranny, it comes from), but at least it stops as soon oas the bike starts rolling.
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2015, 11:53:01 am »

The day I spent onboard a K16GT, I found I liked the engine noise.  Then again, I liked the engine noise from my K12R, and it isn't much different.  The exhaust note when wound up was sweet to my ears, too- and my wife never complained about it being too loud.

My take on the GT was that it was big, all right, but did stunningly well on tight and twisty roads (I took it up and down Mt Palomar, a famous sport-bike road).  No, it'll never be as fast on a road like that as a true sport bike, but I didn't feel I had to muscle it to make do what I wanted, either.

I'm not a huge fan of all the bells and whistles but on the exceptionally hot day I rode it I sure wished I could figure out how to turn the AC on.   Shrug
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2016, 06:52:15 pm »

Another follow-up.

I've spent more time on this bike and... I won't kill to get one, but I might just shoot to injure. After getting another ride, I'm finally getting in sync with the bike. Some of the ergo things (e.g., shifter) remain. I still hate the ring thing, although I've begun to figure out how little I need to use it. It's still going to take a couple of months to really understand it.

I need to take one more ride (thank goodness for a very understanding dealer!) to nail down the "steering effort" issue. After my trip in the Alps, I've been working on what I learned about bike handling. At the moment I'm on a loaner '08(??) RT. This is another "too heavy and too much effort!" bike. There are some near-alpine hairpins in the same area as the dealer. I tried them on with the RT and came away with what I expected: it's all about setting up the turn. I'll take the K1600 to the same roads. If things go as I expect, I'll try very hard to be on a K1600 for my next Alps trip.
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« Reply #18 on: December 05, 2016, 07:27:41 pm »

I'd try riding a different K16 before I paid out that kind of money.  There might just be a difference.
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« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2016, 08:37:27 pm »

Er, the bottom line - at least now - is I wouldn't mind owning one. SWMBO won't even talk about it. [/LOL]
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2017, 01:43:26 pm »

For anyone still reading this... I checked whether my Garmin 660 is "plug&play" in a K1600. It is. Installing any GPS in the panel mount is... so... what? BMW. Raise the windscreen, push a button on the dash next to the [=6=] thingie, watch a "cartridge carrier" rise majestically (not just pop! up) from behind the dash, and remove the [=6=] panel. The 660 goes in the plug/carrier bit, push the 660 back into the carrier, and voila!. Sooooo BMW...  

The BMW warehouse inventory of '16's is thinning out, but the '17's aren't available yet. "Sometime next month"... heard that before, elsewhere...  Rolleyes
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« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2017, 09:55:17 am »

I bought a new 2016 GT a month ago. 6K off msrp
I have 3500 miles from all types of riding
Big sweepers : good luck catching me!
tight twisties:  Its long and this is not its thing fjr was better for this
Covering lots of miles quick with great range ( gas mileage ) its better than my FJR or RT
All the gadgets work as advertised ( I had an 2015 RT and controls are the same )
Mine ate a tire (Metzler) in the first 3200 miles Replaced with PR4GT ( I ride hard)
For 19000.00us I am very happy so far
even two up it is stable at all speeds
very easy to ride
comfort is top notch
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« Reply #22 on: December 11, 2017, 10:40:35 am »

I'm amazed for the weight and HP of the old K1200LT and the new K1600GT how good fuel mileage they get.
All my HD friends get horrible fuel mileage and much less HP!
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« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2017, 08:11:30 pm »


I'm amazed for the weight and HP of the old K1200LT and the new K1600GT how good fuel mileage they get.
All my HD friends get horrible fuel mileage and much less HP!

I believe that's because the HD's are designed to turn a good portion of their fuel into vibrations and rumbleage.
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