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Staff bikes: BMW K1600GT SE - Rain? What rain?

Published: 12 August 2011

Updated: 20 November 2014

At long last the real British summer is upon us, and I finally get to ride the BMW K1600GT in the wet. Since I took delivery of the bike, it literally has not rained, or when it has I have been tethered to my desk in the MCN office.

I have played with the fly-by-wire throttle settings (dynamic, road and rain). I tend to use the dynamic setting as I really enjoy the super-fast response you get with the slightest movement - compare this to the rain setting and it feels like you have to turn the throttle 360 degrees just to pull off. This setting feels a little extreme, but it does give a sense of security.

I had to go over to Napton near Leamington Spa to take part in a sponsored cycle ride (I had my bicycle sent on ahead). I don't think it could have rained any harder, the conditions had even proved too much for a four-wheel-drive Audi S4, which was very neatly lodged between two trees on the side of the A43, the occupants looking somewhat puzzled whilst talking to a policeman. The roads had not seen rain like this for some time and were extremely slippery, I could feel the traction control keeping the K1600's massive amount of power to exactly what's needed at the back wheel, without spinning up.

The fairing has also proved to be superb, keeping the worst of the weather off. Only last week I got caught out in a sudden downpour on the way to work, with no waterproofs on I still managed to arrive at work completely dry (which is more than can be said for my colleague Marc Abbott, who on the same journey on his Ducati Monster needed wringing out when he pulled up alongside me in the car park).

The facts
BMW K1600GT SE £17,520
Value now
: £16,520
Mileage: 2987
Fuel economy: 43.4mpg
Power (claimed): 160.5bhp
Torque (claimed): 129ftlb
Weight: 319kg

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