The BMW GS and GS adventure bikes get all of the attention. But BMW has a few other tricks up its sleeve. In my younger days, BMW was pretty famous for fast cars and slow bikes. The BMW K series being a technological revolution, but also for the grey, bearded, and slow high milers of us.
Enter the new K1600 GT and it is a tour de force. All saddlebags with central locking, keyless wonder. An infotainment system that hooks to your phone for mapping, heard grips, heated seats, Hill hold blah blah. Essentially everything one needs on a tourer. In Dynamic mode, the suspension can be a tad firm on the less well kept of roads, but road mode sorts that out. What didn’t I like? Well, I’m being fussy here, but the cruise control isn’t adaptive. Im getting fussy, but only because the BMW adaptive cruise system when present is a game changer and a must if you can afford it. The electrically raisable screen and push button reverse gear are also a big highlight for me.
Now to performance. It is a bruiser of a 1600. Pulling away like the proverbial freight train. Just like any big BMW. Fast, predictable, and adequate. Changing up naturally at around 4250 revs. Feels like a surprisingly lithe GS really. Then you accidentally try spinning the engine a bit further up the rev band, and you hit 4500rpm, and all hell breaks loose, the bike instantly getting up to the rev limit at around 9500RPM when invariably you short shift or hit the soft rev limiter. In only a week of testing, I didn’t get to the point of nailing the upshift. But I did find the horizon hurtling rapidly to my face. Interestingly, that 9500rpm means you hit the ton in 1st. Amazing and near-instant. 118 kW (160 hp) at 6,750 rpm
Max. torque an immense q180 Nm at 5,250 rpm
From R356,200, it is a relative bargain in the BMW lineup. It is a flawless machine.