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BMW K1600GT (2011-on) Review

Published: 06 May 2015

Updated: 06 May 2015

The K1600GT will take everything its stride - in fact, it’s a marvel

BMW K1600GT  (2011-on)

The K1600GT will take everything its stride - in fact, it’s a marvel

  • At a glance
  • 1649cc  -  160 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  220 miles range
  • Medium seat height (810mm)
  • New: £14,965
    Used: £7,000 to £24,100 See all BMW K1600GTs for sale

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

It’s fair to say that BMW has undoubtedly built the ultimate fast touring bike. The K1600GT will take everything in its stride from workmanlike motorway work, bumbling around town, and having more engaged riding on some of the world’s best roads. Something you'd never have thought possible on a bike that weighs 319kg when carrying 90 per cent of its fuel load. In fact, the K1600GT a marvel.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The BMS-X (CORRECT) fuel-injection system allows for Rain, Road and Dynamic modes which can be selected when on the move and gives different throttle response and torque, plus it automatically adjusts the level of traction control for each mode if the optional DTC is fitted. From the most compact six-cylinder motorcycle engine in production, to the traction control, adjustable fuel maps and the stability and comfort at high speed, the K1600 all adds up to one of 2011’s greatest bikes. Don’t get us wrong – this is no sports bike; it's physically massive with a huge presence but it can also be hustled along and leant over way further than its looks would have you believe.

Engine 5 out of 5

The noise, feel and sound of the 1600 six-cylinder motor will leave you with a soundtrack playing round in your brain that will stay with you for hours after each ride. The silky smooth inline six-cylinder 1600cc engine is one of the most intoxicating engines in motorcycling, let alone in touring, and offers new levels of thrust and smoothness not seen before on a bike. And the sound, oh yes, that sound...

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

As with most BMW's, build quality is generally top notch, and no major problems have been reported. 2012 models were recalled due to an intermittent stalling issue, so check this has been done if required.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Ranging from £14,965 to £17,315, the various K1600s are not cheap but they are amongst the most sophisticated motorcycles ever built and are positively dripping with technology. You know you can trust the name on the fuel tank and, being BMWs, they're likely to hold their value well too, so your initial hefty outlay could be viewed as an investment. 

Equipment 5 out of 5

The K1600 boasts an amazing array of equipment from central locking (for the luggage) to an electronically adjustable screen. The dash uses TFT technology – the same kind of stuff they use in mobile phones - and by using your left thumb on the i-drive system you can scroll through dozens of options including mpg, fuel range, heated seat, heated grips, suspension settings (which can be adjusted on the move), and, if you have the integrated sat nav, you can zoom in and out on the map. Overall, the equipment on these bikes is second to none. 

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2011
Year discontinued -
New price £14,965
Used price £7,000 to £24,100
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost £290
Performance
Max power 160 bhp
Max torque 129 ft-lb
Top speed 155 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 220 miles
Specification
Engine size 1649cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, four-stoke, in-line six-cylinder, 4v, fuel injection
Frame type Cast front frame with aluminium extruded sections, engine as a stressed member
Fuel capacity 24 litres
Seat height 810mm
Bike weight 319kg
Front suspension BMW Motorrad Duolever, central spring strut
Rear suspension BMW Motorrad Paralever
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston calipers and ABS
Rear brake Single 320mm disc with two-piston calipers and ABS
Front tyre size 120/70-17
Rear tyre size 190/55-17

History & Versions

Model history

Released in 2011 to replace the K1300GT

Other versions

Fully-dressed, higher-spec K1600GTL version available for £16,515 and GTLE version (with DTC, adaptive headlight and tyre pressure gauge) costs £17,315

Owners' Reviews

13 owners have reviewed their BMW K1600GT (2011-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW K1600GT (2011-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.8 out of 5
Engine 4.9 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.4 out of 5
Equipment 4.8 out of 5
5 out of 5

Best bike I've ever owned

30 October 2018 by SKL

The best bike i have ever owned; 19 to date over 44 years! Smooth, fast enough in the real world. Handles superbly on dynamic suspension setting. Economical 51.4 mpg over 10K miles.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Superb suspension, good turn in, well balanced and stable at speed.
Engine
5 out of 5
Incredibly smooth with good low down torque for in city commuting and filtering.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Perfect. It's a new BMW after-all.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Good value for what it is, expensive though. However it's really a two wheeled up market car.
Equipment
5 out of 5
All the toys: Bluetooth, sat-nav, music via i phone and radio. essential for year round riding heated grips and seat plus good wind reduction due to excellent fairing and good screen.
Buying experience

Vines fo Guildford, excellent as ever

5 out of 5

Best bike in the world

03 August 2018 by K1600 sporter

Brilliant, even for a small fat guy like me. This bike continues to impress, the eve before I do Lanc’s to Austria. Comfort, security, dependability and real special engine...best bike in the world

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
All things considered, out of this world..just miss comfort mode on 2016 Splrt
Engine
5 out of 5
No better engine ever
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Cheap
Equipment
5 out of 5
Has everything....
Buying experience

Really easy, and hassle free, Reiten Motorrad...superb service

4 out of 5

Great bike but a big old beast

22 May 2018 by RPT

Supreme motorcycle only downside is she's a big old beast and not easy to move around - later model reverse gear may help - also a little 'snatchy' and not as smooth as one would expect (at times) but this is still the best bike I've ever ridden.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Six cylinders drink a fair amount.
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
Buying experience

OK. Purchased from dealer on M1 (name escapes me - were OK but nothing that special).

5 out of 5

k1600gtes

30 January 2018 by alex

Awesome bike all round

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Amazing for such a big bike, I use it daily for work too
Engine
5 out of 5
Smooth with power on tap
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Had it for a year and it has not missed a beat
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
just had it serviced and had ACF50 included at blade in Brum
Equipment
5 out of 5
Bought mine with sat nav and everything already included
Buying experience

I got mine private, was advertised at £11000, only had £10000, so got it for that

5 out of 5

16 June 2017 by Jim Wiley

What can I say, the level of performance, comfort, safety features and even gas mileage is above any other motorcycle.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
No bike has better array of safety features, brakes are amazing.
Engine
5 out of 5
Smooth as silk. Inline 6 nothing like it.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Excellent build quality, no issues what so ever, rode my 2014 from Atlanta, GA to San Francisco few years ago not a hiccup, the bike can handle anything you throw at it and tell you give me more.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
First year service 600 miles then every 6000 miles biggest one is 18,000 mile service just plan for it.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Full list of options, even standard bike is equipped with what you need.
Buying experience

Bmw motorcycles of atlanta treat you so well, pleasant buying experience.

4 out of 5

well sorted k1600 gt.

07 June 2017 by peter yates

original screen too low.sport model only. reverse is very useful..a superb cruiser and fast touring bike.slick shift and auto blip excellent.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
linked brakes so has adjusted balance. ride electricly selected and adjusted between road (comfortable) and dynamic (sporty)
Engine
4 out of 5
injector clatter only
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
only covered 3k miles in summer use no faults found to date.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
the bike is slightly front heavy and front tyre replaced at 3k miles.4yrs free servicing and two years warranty included.only pay for tyres and fuel.
Equipment
4 out of 5
no favourite feature. everything fitted has a function. would recommend engine crash bars just in case,
Buying experience

bought from dealer p/ex previous model k1600.standard price with extras to suit my budget.

5 out of 5

19 February 2017 by Tarkus

This is my second K1600GT, the other lasting 5 years. It's the best bike I've ever ridden. No amount of writing will explain it, go down your BMW dealer and take one out on a test drive.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Ride quality when touring is outstanding, I live in London and it is a little heavy round town.
Engine
5 out of 5
Best engine out there, main reason I'm on my second K1600
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Reliability was an issue with the first bike, but BMW have sorted all the issues. No problems with current bike with 4000miles and 8 months old. Quality is top notch.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Do servicing myself, ensure you have a GS911wifi to reset the servicing light and read any fault codes. If job is to big then it goes to BMW
Equipment
5 out of 5
Does everything, keyless, audio, traction control, ABS project etc etc
5 out of 5

Best Touring Bike On The Market Period

16 November 2016 by J Pavolko

Got tired of dealing with heat and reliability issues with an '08 Harley Ultra and I haven't looked back! I have the GT with trunk and custom lighting added, as well as a custom military paint job and I intend to make this bike last until the wheels fall off.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
This is an all around performance machine, so singling out one piece of what I like is difficult. Probably the acceleration and handling are so much improved over the bikes I have rode over the past years. The ride position was certainly an adjustment, especially for my wife on the pillon, but all for positive reasons. I sit much more upright which is way better on the back on long hauls and my wife has a drastically improved line of sight.
Engine
5 out of 5
This is the part of the bike that can only be described as a piece of art! The sound (which I enjoy much more than what I was use to with the aftermarket pipes on the Harley) as well as the pull throughout the power band are truly awesome. The best (when able to safely do this and not get busted) is to drop from 6th to 5th gear at 85 mph and wind her out.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Like a few other commenters here, I had some initial issues covered under warranty (Gearbox replaced, water pump replaced) Has been running like a champ for the past year.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I purchased an extended warranty as well as a service package. I'm certainly not claiming to be a true long distance rider as of yet because I am still working for a living, but I do ride year round to work as well as trips when I can. I put on an average of 15,000 miles a year.
Equipment
5 out of 5
I absolutely enjoy the standard heated seats/grips. I did change out the windscreen early-on and intend to get an aftermarket seat as the OEM seat sucks! I'm hooked on the Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires as they have acceptable grip and I currently have 8.5 K on a set and I believe that I should be able to get a full 10K out of them.
Buying experience

I had an outstanding experience. The dealer in Scottsdale, AZ even gave me an additional 500$ when it took longer than expected to complete the painting of the saddlebags.

5 out of 5

Mighty, Massive & Magnificent

20 April 2016 by Long distance rider

Truly magnificent! The only downside is the weight. It's never a problem on the move but can be a handful at low speed and parking. Cope with that and you have a fantastic ride for long distance touring and fun when you've arrived.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
ESA suspension is superb offering quick responses to suit the mood. Same with power modes. Dynamic is fierce but fun. Otherwise it simply goes and goes and goes, makes a great sound too. Easy 250 plus miles in a day great ergonomics for rider & pillion.
Engine
5 out of 5
What can you say about a 6 cylinder masterpiece - it's magnificent. Pulls like a train from 1500rpm and howls with delight all the way to the red line.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Apart from a ball joint failure on the duo lever, fixed under warranty, it's been trouble free.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Interim service costs are reasonable but 18K service is £500 - valve checks & 6 plugs to replace push the bill up.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Full options give you everything a bike could need and some it doesn't. The only must change feature is the sport screen. It's is quite the worst screen ever, replace with the stand screen or an aftermarket option for a comfortable ride.
Buying experience

BMW dealers are well drilled in offering superior service - expensive but good.

4 out of 5

Mr

13 March 2016 by Andrew Bye

only scored 4 out of 5 as the screen is not as good as the RT1200 I had..

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
ride for hours only stop when we get board, a little bit heavy for around town but loaded up for a trip she's perfect ride quality 10 out of 10 same for the brakes.
Engine
5 out of 5
loads and loads of grunt even when fully loaded up for touring and plenty fast enough for us ..We cruised at 125 mph for nearly 40 mins on one tour and it felt like we were only doing 80 mph
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
The only fault I have had was a faulty sump seal fixed straight away by the shop the bike is now 5 years old and looks like it has just come out of the shop unlike my mate who's bike is same age as mine but looks like it has lived in a bath of salt water with the engine paint peeling off and rust on bolts and body parts all over his bike
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
quoted £180 to change the oil an filter is a rip off ! and paid £230 just to change the spark plugs
Equipment
5 out of 5
fav feature on the bike is the exhaust note followed by the suspension being able to change the setup depending how we using the bike really makes a difference to the ride, and the seat are bike has the seat off the GL fitted to it and it TOTALLY changes the way the bike feels and handles its the one thing any one getting the GT version should do! I wouldn't of bought the bike with the standard seat as is to tall for me I now sit in the bike instead of on top
Buying experience

This is the 3rd BMW I have bought from the same dealer Coppers of Sunderland ,the first two bikes I bought off them I got the deal I wanted no bother but on this bike I had to haggle a bit to get the deal I wanted. I still rate this dealer 110% and they helped me out big time when I broke the stem on the Tyre valve sensor the day I was going to France on my RT1200 fantastic after care we thought cannot praise them enough.

5 out of 5

08 September 2015 by Sho

A silky smooth engine, comfortable seats and riding position. The bike's responsiveness can be adjusted to suit your individual needs as well as for the riding conditions. This really is the ultimate riding machine.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I have ridden for hours and not felt the need to stop. Unfortunately I have to because of fuel and my disgusting habit. This is the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden.
Engine
5 out of 5
It's smooth, it's powerful yet frugal considering its size.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
It's a BMW!
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
It's not cheap and the insurance premiums will reflect that but residual values are high.
Equipment
5 out of 5
It has everything you'd ever want on a bike and things you will never use such as the fog lights that cannot be used when the main beam is on!
Buying experience

Bought new from a dealer and it was a dream. The dealer was highly recommended by other BMW riders and they were outstanding.

5 out of 5

Mr

11 July 2015 by tarkus

Excellent mile muncher, silky smooth engine and acceleration. Best bike I've ever owed, am considering purchasing another one as there's nothing that matches it. On the down side reliability has been an issue, been back on numerous occasions for various faults, starter motor x 3, engine fault light x 1, faulty left and right hand switch X 1, however BMW has covered these faults under warranty. In the last two years it has been great.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
No problems
Engine
5 out of 5
EXCELLENT, baby smooth with so much torque and power....
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
As above
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
£150 to service it yourself, including brake pads annually. The only problem is the service reminder light which can be sorted with a GS-911 wifi. The six cylinder is a little thirsty, but the cost is worth it!
Equipment
5 out of 5
Have all the bells and whistles... costs but again it worth it, make sure you get the audio package
Buying experience

Brought it new from BMW park lane, good price and very professional.

5 out of 5

Intercity Missile

13 May 2015 by Bladerunner

Intercity missile thats capable of sport riding too....hasn't really got a worst feature other than i tend to ride it seriously fast most of the time.....my licence would be long gone if i lived in the UK!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Good all rounder...of five bike I own , its the one I'm most often on
Engine
5 out of 5
Silky Smooth & Porsche sounds
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
It's top quality but (on my way to the dealer to get a service would you believe) the gearbox stuck in 6th when about a mile away!....it needed a whole new gearbox cassette which BMW did under warranty ...no other problems at all.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
500 euro would cover tyres ,oil etc.... I service it myself now its out of warranty
Equipment
5 out of 5
Pirelli GT Angels are my favourite tyres...Metzler Z8 a close second. Expect 5k miles
Buying experience

Imported from the UK at 8kMiles / 1 yr old (when the stg£ was affordable!)

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