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BMW K1600B (2016-on) Review

Published: 13 November 2019

Updated: 14 November 2019

A true luxury cruiser

BMW K1600B  (2016-on)

A true luxury cruiser

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

To create the BMW K1600B, the Bavarian firm have taken their K1600GT and lowered it at the rear with a traditional curved mudguard and panniers (sorry, saddlebags). Wheel travel is reduced by 10mm, seat height by 60mm, with a more pulled-back handlebar. The screen’s smaller than on the regular K1600, too. The big Beemer is not that frugal, returning 45mpg, but due to its 26.5-litre tank it will cover 262 miles before needing a fuel stop.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The K1600B has two suspension setting: Cruise and Road. The former is too soft for anything other than smooth arrow-straight routes (clue’s in the name), and though the latter has more control the BMW tries to wallow and becomes unsettled on fast, bumpy roads.

This bike's lower at the back than a stock K1600GT and has a shock with reduced wheel travel. It’s reasonable rather than great. There’s not much legroom and even with the seat in the highest position (780mm), my knees are higher than my hips. This is a bike that weighs 336kg – that’s 87 bags of Tate & Lyle heavier than an R1250GS – yet on the move the steering is light and accurate.

Engine 4 out of 5

The engine has so much in-hand that half the time it’s barely awake. With 160bhp on tap the K1600B may be a big beast but it can shift when asked to. The 1649cc across-the-frame six-cylinder motor overflows with character and tractable torque. With perhaps the smoothest throttle feel of any bike, it pulls like a John Deere from low revs, uses huge midrange thrust to surge past traffic and, if you let it, streak to the top of its revs.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The finish and reliability is what you’d expect on a £20k BMW… faultless. It feels robust and able to tackle any riding conditions.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

While the base-model K1600B is £19,140, the SE model comes with up-and-down quickshifter, an electric screen, cruise control, self-cancelling indicators, heated grips and seats is a fairly substantial £22,165.

Insurance group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

BMW’s asymmetric dash is unique to the K1600. A colour digital panel between the dials for speed and revs is controlled from the switchgear. Info is logically laid out and there’s every bit of bike and trip data you could wish for, though in this age of widescreen displays it feels a bit previous-generation. The BMW’s pannier also have central locking. And it has a reverse gear!

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2016
Year discontinued -
New price £19,140
Used price £14,500 to £16,300
Warranty term Three years
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 160 bhp
Max torque 129 ft-lb
Top speed 160 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 262 miles
Specification
Engine size 1649cc
Engine type DOHC 24v inline six
Frame type Cast ali twin-spar
Fuel capacity 26.5 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 336kg
Front suspension Double wishbone, semi-active damping
Rear suspension Semi-active mono shock, adjustable for damoing and electronic preload adjustment
Front brake Two 320mm discs, four-piston callipers
Rear brake 320mm disc, two-piston calliper
Front tyre size 120/70 ZR17
Rear tyre size 190/55 ZR17

History & Versions

Model history

  • 2011: BMW unveil the K1600 and K1600GT and the K1600GTL. The GTL is a full-dress luxury tourer while the GT is more of a sports-tourer. The K1600B appears in 2016.

Other versions

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  • BMW K1600B  (2016-on)
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