BMW K1600GT (2011 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£350|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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...
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|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|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||45 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£350|
|Used price||£7,000 - £14,900|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||160 bhp|
|Max torque||129 ft-lb|
|Top speed||155 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||220 miles|
Model history & versions
Released in 2011 to replace the K1300GT
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 for the BMW K1600GT (2011 - on)
17 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£350|
Annual servicing cost: £1,200
A consummate tourer ruined by terrible reliability. Such a bad experience that when I get rid of it I may stop motorcycling completely.
The brakes haul up a big bike well. In normal mode the ESA suspension is firm while in Sport mode it is intolerable. Comfort mode improves the ride but then it handles like an old Cadillac.
By far the best bit of the bike. Uncannily smooth and revvy, endlessly powerful yet tractable and not even thirsty. The only trouble free part of the bike.
Electric issues and poor fit and finish. LED headlights stop working in the rain, the fuel filler flap jammed shut, left foot peg broke off, I could go on. It is not like it is proving especially durable either.
Requires posh oil, posh spark plugs and posh everything else. Mine usually needs something fixed on it as well.
You have to buy integrated navigation separately and slot it into the fascia which is both expensive and annoying as the basic navigation system is a 50-quid eBay item. Well equipped otherwise.
Buying experience: Dreadful. No support, no real back up and anything that breaks thanks to BMW quality is fixed at BMW prices.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Great bike, suspension is not so great, Im 14 stone and the bike can grind its centre stand on some corners, it also get unsettled if you go over rough terrain for more than a couple of minutes on the front end, its like it can't correct quick enough so ends up almost bottoming, making the front very hard and bouncy. Lastly the throttle, its like an on off switch, its very hard to control and hold 20/30mph downhill or in town unless you are in first or second with it revving, which makes everyone look at you. My old RT was much more forgiving and could be ridden in a higher gear and still hold speed.
Brakes are great, suspension lacking
Sounds glorious, however there is noise from the clutch almost Ducati esque, and lash in the drive shaft, also I changed the gear linkage from single to two piece with a pivot, transformed the gear change.
The centre stand is corroding, the driveline has too much lash, which also probably contributes to the on off feel of the throttle. The panniers easily get dirt into the locking mechanism and are now hard to lock back onto the bike. a poor design, again on the RT I had it for 10 years never lubed or had to mess with the panniers, more cost cutting which on a now £20k bike is unforgivable.
Costly to service, it is a BMW, and you have to take off all the front bodywork to change plugs and air filter. Oil change is a pain, due to dry sump and second drain plug being almost as big as the initial drain hole, you have to drain the oil hot, which means burns and potential to lose the drain plug in the second sump... Should have made the initial aperture larger in diameter.
Great equipment, although I am annoyed that BMW don't allow the sound system to pair with more than one aftermarket helmet, you can only pair 2 BMW helmets.
Buying experience: Bought second hand, great experience form Riders of Bridgwater.
Annual servicing cost: £120
Fantastic bike. Mine has most optional add-ons which make the bike even more enjoyable to ride. I would never have thought an audio system on a bike was a crucial thing but when touring long distances across Europe it does enhance the ride. The power, variable suspension and riding modes add to the comfort.
Smooth to ride with stacks of power instantly available. Easy to ride 200 miles between breaks or 2 hours plus on twistier roads.
All the power you ever need.
Numerous mechanical faults in the first 2 years were disappointing but all dealt with efficiently from local dealer. Bike is now approaching 9 years old and has no further issues in the last 6 years.
18000 mile service is expensive.
All equipment at your finger tips and scrolling through menu wheel makes selecting heated grips, seats, suspension set up easy.
Buying experience: Bought privately, £8000 depreciation experienced in 18 months by initial owner made this a great buy for me and he still got £2000 more than offered from selling dealership.
The bike handles well and is pretty economical. I live that you can change direction mid corner if required.
Brakes are simply fantastic and you can brake mid corner.
Since bought this bike I have had to replace the radiator £1000, both handlebar instruments, both front brake calipers, the drive shaft and had to get the gearbox rebuilt. Still, now that it is pretty much rebuilt it rides like a dream. The person who assembled my bike together must have had the mother of all hangovers.
The engine is brilliant and sounds fantastic. Unfortunately, BMW quality is not up to scratch. I have had my entire engine replaced in less than 15000 miles. My 1996 Honda VFR has 135000 miles and is still flawless.
Version: K1600GT LE
Annual servicing cost: £300
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.
Superb suspension, good turn in, well balanced and stable at speed.
Incredibly smooth with good low down torque for in city commuting and filtering.
Perfect. It's a new BMW after-all.
Good value for what it is, expensive though. However it's really a two wheeled up market car.
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
Annual servicing cost: £200
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
All things considered, out of this world..just miss comfort mode on 2016 Splrt
No better engine ever
Buying experience: Really easy, and hassle free, Reiten Motorrad...superb service
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.
Six cylinders drink a fair amount.
Buying experience: OK. Purchased from dealer on M1 (name escapes me - were OK but nothing that special).
Annual servicing cost: £300
Awesome bike all round
Amazing for such a big bike, I use it daily for work too
Smooth with power on tap
Had it for a year and it has not missed a beat
just had it serviced and had ACF50 included at blade in Brum
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
Annual servicing cost: £300
What can I say, the level of performance, comfort, safety features and even gas mileage is above any other motorcycle.
No bike has better array of safety features, brakes are amazing.
Smooth as silk. Inline 6 nothing like it.
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.
First year service 600 miles then every 6000 miles biggest one is 18,000 mile service just plan for it.
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.
original screen too low.sport model only. reverse is very useful..a superb cruiser and fast touring bike.slick shift and auto blip excellent.
linked brakes so has adjusted balance. ride electricly selected and adjusted between road (comfortable) and dynamic (sporty)
injector clatter only
only covered 3k miles in summer use no faults found to date.
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.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £150
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 when touring is outstanding, I live in London and it is a little heavy round town.
Best engine out there, main reason I'm on my second K1600
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.
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
Does everything, keyless, audio, traction control, ABS project etc etc
Annual servicing cost: £500
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £350
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.
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.
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.
Apart from a ball joint failure on the duo lever, fixed under warranty, it's been trouble free.
Interim service costs are reasonable but 18K service is £500 - valve checks & 6 plugs to replace push the bill up.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £180
only scored 4 out of 5 as the screen is not as good as the RT1200 I had..
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.
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
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
quoted £180 to change the oil an filter is a rip off ! and paid £230 just to change the spark plugs
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.
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.
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.
It's smooth, it's powerful yet frugal considering its size.
It's a BMW!
It's not cheap and the insurance premiums will reflect that but residual values are high.
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.
Annual servicing cost: £150
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.
EXCELLENT, baby smooth with so much torque and power....
£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!
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.
Annual servicing cost: £500
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!
Good all rounder...of five bike I own , its the one I'm most often on
Silky Smooth & Porsche sounds
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.
500 euro would cover tyres ,oil etc.... I service it myself now its out of warranty
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!)