BMW K1600GT (2011 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £280
Power: 160 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.9 in / 810 mm)
Weight: High (703 lbs / 319 kg)

Prices

New £14,965
Used £7,700 - £14,600

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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

Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

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...

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 (5/5)

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. 

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £280
New price £14,965
Used price £7,700 - £14,600
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

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

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 for the BMW K1600GT (2011 - on)

15 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: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Engine: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £280
5 out of 5 BMW K1600 gt
05 June 2020 by Steve

Year: 2011

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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Smooth to ride with stacks of power instantly available. Easy to ride 200 miles between breaks or 2 hours plus on twistier roads.

Engine 5 out of 5

All the power you ever need.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

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.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

18000 mile service is expensive.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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.

4 out of 5 Engine Replaced in less than 15000 miles
17 May 2020 by Jeff Royle

Year: 2011

The bike handles well and is pretty economical. I live that you can change direction mid corner if required.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Brakes are simply fantastic and you can brake mid corner.

Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 2 out of 5

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.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

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.

5 out of 5 Best bike I've ever owned
30 October 2018 by SKL

Version: K1600GT LE

Year: 2017

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.

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.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Perfect. It's a new BMW after-all.

Value vs rivals 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

Version: SE

Year: 2017

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

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

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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

Year: 2012

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
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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

Year: 2013

Annual servicing cost: £300

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

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Had it for a year and it has not missed a beat

Value vs rivals 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

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £300

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.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Version: sport

Year: 2017

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

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

only covered 3k miles in summer use no faults found to date.

Value vs rivals 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

Year: 2016

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 & 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

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Year: 2013

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.

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.

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Version: Sport

Year: 2014

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.

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.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Apart from a ball joint failure on the duo lever, fixed under warranty, it's been trouble free.

Value vs rivals 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

Version: se

Year: 2011

Annual servicing cost: £180

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

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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

Year: 2015

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.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

It's a BMW!

Value vs rivals 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

Year: 2011

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.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

No problems

Engine 5 out of 5

EXCELLENT, baby smooth with so much torque and power....

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

As above

Value vs rivals 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

Version: SE

Year: 2012

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!

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

Reliability & build quality 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 vs rivals 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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