New BMW K1600GT revealed

By Marc Potter
marcpotter Tested every new bike since 1994, loves anything on two wheels, runs Potski Media, ex-BikeSocial boss. Recently discovered elbow-down riding - likely to end in tears.
2017 BMW K1600GT

BMW’S K1600GT, in my opinion the world’s smoothest and possibly the most capable touring bike yet, has been made even better for 2017.

Featuring a makeover to get it ready for stricter Euro 4 regulations on noise and emissions, the K1600GT features new electronic suspension, a reverse gear, shift assist gear change system, new instruments and even better wind protection.

Plus, you get that same 160bhp, glorious six-cylinder, 160bhp motor with a massive 129ft-lb of torque, but now suitable for Euro 4 regulations.

What that means is a new set of side deflectors which push wind away from the rider and pillion, there are other detail changes to storage compartments, engine skid protectors, and a new gearbox cover.


Like the Honda Goldwing, a reverse is also available as standard, to help the 319+ kg (90% fuelled) K1600GT be a little easier to move around. I hear you saying ‘surely that makes the BMW K1600GT one step away from a car, if it has reverse?’ Well, you’d be wrong. The K1600GT is an incredibly entertaining, stupidly rapid, comfortable tourer that tackles fast roads better then you’d ever believe.

For 2017, the bike gets a suspension upgrade too, in the form of BMW’s excellent electronic suspension system with uprated damping across the range and to give the optimum amount of damping in each of two settings – road or dynamic.

Like many of the other bikes in BMW’s range with electronic suspension, riders can now adjust spring preload at the touch of a button depending on load, and switch to Dynamic damping settings for a sportier feel even when on the move. Adding to the sportier feel of the dynamic suspension is a gear shift pro system which acts as a quickshifter on upshifts and means you don’t need to use the clutch on downshifts. The BMW R1200RT was the first tourer to get the system.

New instruments on a 5.7-inch TFT colour screen round out the updates to the K1600GT.

An intelligent emergency call system which calls BMW’s assistance call centre in the event of an accident, is also available, a system developed from BMW’s car range.

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