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BMW K1600GTL Touring Motorbike Review

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BMW K1600GTL
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The K1600GTL is now BMW’s premier sports tourer and puts the big machine right in the firing line of bikes like the Honda Pan-European, and the Honda GoldWing. Over the GT it comes with a massive top case big enough to swallow two full size helmets, the same panniers as the GT, plus it gets lower and further back handlebars, lower footrests, lower pillion footrests and a more luxurious pillion seat. Yet despite those small changes the extra weight and riding position of the GTL makes it feel very different.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The six-cylinder engine is so smooth a baby could sleep on it. Zero vibration, tons of torque, a soundtrack unlike any other bike and the ability to chug along at any revs in top gear. Put simply, it's the most amazing bike engine anyone has ever built. Five stars aren't enough. But where the GT is all about that engine, revs building high, going fast and slicing through the countryside, the GTL is more about taking a relaxed pace.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

This bike is still incredible, just not quite so accomplished as the GT when it comes to covering ground fast. The extra weight over the standard GT means it suffers slightly on bumpy roads but for its sheer size this bike is an amazingly accomplished mile muncher. Sit back, take in the touring way of life and there are few things you’d rather be sat on top. Except for maybe the K1600GT.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

With more kit than your average high specification 5-series car, there are more extras on this bike than anyone will ever need. Over the GT, it comes with a massive top case big enough to swallow two full size helmets, the same panniers as the GT, plus it gets lower and further back handlebars, lower footrests, lower pillion footrests and a more luxurious pillion seat. There’s riding modes and options on adjustable electronic suspension, stereo, heated seats, Sat. nav.... you name it.

BMW K1600GTL (2011-current)

Detail Value
New price £17,550
Dealer used prices
£13,700 (2012) - £14,460 (2012)
Private used prices
£12,330 (2012) - £13,010 (2012)
  View full used price info
Engine size 1649 cc
Power 160 bhp
Top speed 140 mph
Insurance group 17 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 0 rating is 4
Value rating is 5 rating is 3.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 0
Owners' rating rating is 4

Too early to say

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

£17,000 is an awful lot of money, but when you think that essentially you’re buying a bike with the performance of a sports car but the comfort of an estate car, then it’s not too bad, all considered.

Insurance

Insurance group: 17 of 17

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Model History

New for 2011

Other Versions

Model name: K1600GT. Comes with sportier riding position, higher pegs, and no top box

Specifications

Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 160 bhp
Max torque ft-lb
Weight 348 kg
Seat height 750 mm
Fuel capacity 26.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 17 of 17
Engine size 1649 cc
Engine specification Liquid-cooled inline six cylinder, 6 gears
Frame Cast front frame with aluminium extruded sections, engine as a stressed member
Front suspension adjustment Fully adjustable with option for electronic adjustment
Rear suspension adjustment Fully adjustable with option for electronic adjustment
Front brakes 2 x 320mm discs, BMW four-piston callipers
Rear brake Single 320mm disc, BMW two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

See all BMW K1600GTL motorcycles for sale

BMW
K1600GTL

3101 miles

£17,995

BMW
K1600GTL

10 miles

£18,850

BMW
K1600GTL

9000 miles

£12,495

BMW
K1600GTL

3599 miles

£14,495

BMW
K1600GTL

8125 miles

£15,395

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(7 reviews)

  • 12 months on

    busterrabbit

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    2 European tours and 10,000+ miles later the bike still impresses every time out. stewartswan there is certainly some backlash in the drivetrain, especially the pre-2013 models, but I find it's not so bad with a few more revs. Being a 6 it's easy to ride at l,000-1,500 rpm, which is great on a steady throttle but can be less smooth on/off the throttle. The gear change also improves a lot with a few more revs. Off to the alps again later this year, the bike is just wonderful, solo or two up with luggage it stops, goes and handles brilliantly. Not that it's significant once you've blown £19k on a bike but it averages around 50MPG and the original rear Z8 Interact was still well legal at 6,500 miles, looks like the PR3s will last longer. Probably 90% 2 up riding so I can't rag it too much, but we "make progress" as the Police might say.

    01 July 2014

  • Clunky with flaky paint

    stewartswan

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I own a 2011 K1600GT. The driveshaft lash is terrible and unsettling while driving. The bike is just 2 years old and the paint on the engine has blistered and is now falling off. As the engine is a major part of the bikes styling it makes a nearly new bike look older and with bad build quality! The centre stand has is completely covered in rust. BMW refusing to fix defects as I bought bike from a Kawasaki Dealership

    08 October 2013

  • K1600GT

    busterrabbit

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Done 1,500 miles on my new 1600GT, we're off to tour France next week. It's brilliant, engine chassis it's a superb package, very close to being a sports bike solo, and the best sport tourer 2 up. There are more differences between the GT and GTL than roadtests reveal although they are mechanically IDENTICAL except for the exhaust note. The GTL is only heavier because it has the top box and audio as standard, that's it, except slightly bigger footrests. The GT screen has a V shaped top edge to allow better visibility over the top than the rounded top GTL screen. Expensive, and I know I'm lucky to be able to afford one, but road test a GT to understand just how great they are.

    03 July 2013

  • GT1600

    rnrpbr1982

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Have had the GT1600 for 18 months now, the bike is fantastic, the engine is silky smooth and can pull from very low revs, handling is reassuring even at slow speeds, the equipment is fantastic and functional. I love the bike and its at home in the centre of London or cruising the country lanes. However reliability has been an issue for my bike, thankfully its under warranty! the problems to date, auto cruise failure, starter button failure (had to be recovered) engine warning light (faulty coil) and had to put bike in a further three times for a faulty starter motor clutch which is now resolved. Had to have the both remote controls replaced as well. Maybe I've been unfortunate, but regardless I'll keep the bike, best bike I've ever had, just hope the faults stop!

    12 January 2013

  • Not bad

    robespierre

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have a K1300GT SE and recently when it was in for a service, I thought I would try out the K1600GT (as I suppose this is the next bike). I had it for half a day and my initial impression is "wow" what a fantastic engine. Smooth and fast compared to my 1300. However the seat was awful. Higher and wider and harder than the 1300 and I'm 6ft tall. I couldn't get comfortable on it. Also it didn't go round bends as well. In the end I was glad to be back on my own bike. Although a rougher engine more pleasant to drive. So, in terms of upgrading, I'm not sure where to go. maybe I'll look at the new Trophy 1200 (although its a heavy beast).

    27 June 2012

  • Mega

    kbgains

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Very capable bike for the size. Engine is awesome and at an average of 50mpg (on a tight engine)is giving a range of high 200's. Have to agree with the other review that it could do with reverse as it can be a bit of a strain trying to back-pedal a third of a tonne. Its more than happy in 6th gear from 1500rpm without labouring so should make serious touring effortless - just need some decent weather to prove the point. Having just completed a return trip to Scotland (from the Midlands) happy to report that for the first time ever had absolutely no grumbles about the wife's sore ass!

    11 November 2011

  • got one

    gra271

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    could do with reverse, screen is just a bit high in the down position,miss the automatic stand, but... everything else is great. it holds a very steady line in the bends, even on rough tarmac. have not been above 5 thousand rpm as only 650 miles.70mph with cruise control is almost silent, but change the mode to dynamic and it changes the power delivery and sound. just need the sun to shine now ;}

    16 June 2011

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Zinfandel92

Zinfandel92says

Top speed

I think the top speed you mentioned is wrong.

As far is I know, the topspeed is restricted to 250 km/h (for the GT, might be different from GTL), which is about 155 miles per hour.

08 October 2013 07:36

jallen

User's Badge

jallensays

Had a look at one at the recent BMF show and was impressed that the engine is so compact. It is expensive but a bargain compared with the Goldwing which looks incredibly dated and inept next to it.

04 June 2011 09:58

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