Ad closing in seconds....

BMW K1600 GRAND AMERICA (2018-on) Review

Published: 25 July 2018

Luxury cruiser weaves at speed

BMW K1600 Grand America tackles a corner

Luxury cruiser weaves at speed

  • At a glance
  • 1649cc  -  158 bhp
  • 49.6 mpg  -  150 miles range
  • Medium seat height (780mm)
  • New: £22,150

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

MCN first rode the BMW K1600 B (for Bagger) in summer 2017, an overtly American offering that features the same super-smooth and powerful inline six-cylinder engine as the BMW K1600GT. The standard K1600 B has the ‘streamliner’ design with fixed side cases and integrated lights.

Now BMW have gone one step further with this, the K1600 Grand America. If you rarely ride with a pillion or don’t need litres of extra luggage capacity it’s hard to make a case for the Grand America over the standard K1600 B.

There's no escaping the fact the additional luggage upsets the bike's stability

There’s no escaping the fact the additional luggage upsets the bike’s high-speed stability, reducing its appeal dramatically. If you like to take it easy and spend more time two-up than solo, the Grand America makes a bit more sense, but otherwise it’s not worth the extra outlay.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

At low speed the ride is excellent but things start to go wrong at speed because the top case limits safe cruising speeds and affects stability. At 80mph you notice a slight weave and above that it becomes more apparent, as if there’s is a hinge in the middle of the bike.

With the top case loaded the BMW handbook suggests a self-governed speed of 80mph

Up at 90mph things become slightly alarming, never overly worrying but more than noticeable. The Grand America is limited to just over 100mph, but with the top case loaded the BMW handbook suggests a self-governed speed of 80mph.

I know the speed limit is 70mph, and you’re unlikely to buy the Grand America for high speed antics, but with so much power on tap from that inline six-cylinder engine, 80mph and above is easily achieved especially if you are venturing onto the autobahn.

Engine 4 out of 5

The BMW K1600 Grand America uses the same 1649cc, liquid-cooled inline six-cylinder engine as the GT model. It produces 158 bhp and 129 ftlb of torque.  

It’s a stunning experience, it’s not a wave of torque, more of a tsunami

There’s no feeling like a mighty six-cylinder bike, it’s a stunning experience, it’s not a wave of torque, more of a tsunami. It’s backed up by a cacophony of spine tingling noise. Nail the throttle on the BMW and the rider aids jump into panic mode, limiting the power to prevent the rear wheel from spinning. Deactivating the TC on the BMW is ludicrous.

In the cold and wet without TC it’s almost un-rideable. The big BMW doesn’t mind revving all six-cylinders, hold onto the throttle, tap on the quick-shifter and you’ll soon effortlessly blast past 100mph, and before you know it you’re doubling the national speed limit. It’s one of the smoothest engines on the market it’s sublime.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

There are very few bikes on the market which have the level of sophistication and quality of the Grand America. Re-sale prices should remain high, and reliability should be unquestionable.

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

Our test bike is priced at a wallet-emptying £22,150, which is £5,700 more than the standard £16,750 Bagger. If you spec the Bagger up to a similar level, it will still cost £580 less than than the Grand America.

Equipment 4 out of 5

This fully-dressed bagger is equipped with a large top case, complete with backrest, has integrated indicators and brake lights, while its electronic windscreen has also increased in size. The Grand America also now features footboards as standard.

The large top case looks impressive, especially at night

The large top case looks classy (especially at night) and has remote central locking, but some feel it spoils the flowing lines of the stock Bagger.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2018
Year discontinued -
New price £22,150
Used price -
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 158 bhp
Max torque 129 ft-lb
Top speed 100 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 49.6 mpg
Tank range 150 miles
Specification
Engine size 1649cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke in-line 6-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder
Frame type Bridge-type frame, cast aluminium, load-bearing engine
Fuel capacity 26.5 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 364kg
Front suspension BMW Motorrad Duolever; central spring strut
Rear suspension BMW Motorrad Paralever
Front brake Dual disc brake, diameter 320 mm, 4-piston fixed calipers
Rear brake Single disc brake, diameter 320 mm, double-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 ZR 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 ZR 17

History & Versions

Model history

This model follows on from the BMW K1600 B (Bagger).

Other versions

There are several other versions of the BMW K1600, including the B, GT and the GTL. The GT was launched in 2011 and was then revamped in 2017. The GTL is a premium version of the GT which was also launched in 2011.

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the BMW K1600 GRAND AMERICA (2018-on).

Review your BMW K1600 GRAND AMERICA (2018-on)

Photo Gallery

  • BMW K1600 Grand America tackles a corner
  • BMW K1600 Grand America
  • The BMW K1600 Grand America is great at lower speeds
  • The BMW K1600 Grand America features footboards as standard
  • The large top case looks impressive, especially at night
  • Pillion rider travels in style aboard the BMW K1600 Grand America
  • The BMW K1600 Grand America's dash would look at home in a car
All related reviews
Bauer Media

Bauer Media Group consists of: Bauer Consumer Media Ltd, Company number: 01176085, Bauer Radio Ltd, Company Number: 1394141
Registered Office: Media House, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6EA H Bauer Publishing,
Company Number: LP003328 Registered Office: Academic House, 24-28 Oval Road, London, NW1 7DT.
All registered in England and Wales. VAT no 918 5617 01
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd are authorised and regulated by the FCA(Ref No. 710067)