I’ve recently returned my much-loved, long-term BMW R 1200 GS Adventure, to replace it I’ve been kindly given a new BMW K 1600 GT to test ride over the next few months. While the K 1600 GT is undoubtedly an accomplished motorcycle, for my part, it has a lot to live up too in terms of the sheer riding pleasure and proficiency that the GS Adventure excels in.
There are two variants of BMW’s flagship tourer, the GT and GTL. The GT is a slightly sportier bike, while the GTL has a more relaxed seating position with lower foot rests and a lower seat height. Both models are powered by the same silky-smooth 1,649cc six-cylinder engine, an engine capacity that’s more common in a car then on two wheels. It’s a powerful unit, producing 160hp and 175Nm of torque. Under acceleration there’s a healthy rasp emitted from the two hefty rear silencers. With three riding modes available (Rain, Road & Dynamic), you can set the GT up to your own individual riding style. The GT I’m riding has the optional Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) fitted. This intelligent piece of technology allows you to alter the suspension performance whilst on the move. You can choose from three settings, Comfort, Normal and Sport. So far for the vast majority of my riding I’ve had the GT set in Normal mode with the engine set to Dynamic mode, this provides me with instant response from the accelerator.
The GT resembles a car in more than engine alone, its on board computer has a multitude of functions. Navigating your way through the various menus is aided by the use of a twist wheel on the left handlebar, it’s not unlike BMW’s iDrive system that you’d use in one of their cars. There’s a regular trip computer for displaying temperature, tyre pressures, fuel economy and average speed etc. You can also use the twist wheel to tune in to your favourite radio station and select tracks from your ipod or USB stick that can be plugged in.
For a motorcycle of this size and weight (332kgs) the GT can execute fast sweeping bends with the precision and poise of a small sports bike. There’s plenty of front-end grip on turn in with a stable chassis beneath you offering a reassuring ride in all conditions.
To give the GT a proper test I’m heading off on a scenic tour of the Cotswolds in the UK shortly, along with my partner and no doubt copious amounts of luggage. All we need now is some decent sunshine along the way.
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