2017 BMW K 1600 Image: BMW Motorrad
motorcycles, Motoring News, new models

BMW’s big cruiser: Even better for 2017

  • 118kW at 7750rpm, 175Nm at 5250rpm.
  • Extra weather protection, emergency call
  • New features, topbox, better riding position
2017 BMW K 1600 Image: BMW Motorrad
2017 BMW K1600 GLT:  More power than many cars, and way faster, but the very best of long-distance cruising. It’s been updated for 2017. Image: BMW Motorrad

MUNICH, Germany – Some will call it the ultimate touring bike; Harley-Davidson fans will disagree; and car drivers, bless ’em, will continue to wonder why anybody rides a motorcycle anyway.

BMW fans, however, will be solidly behind the smoothness, unique sound and supreme power of the BMW K1600 GLT, revised for 2017 but still with 118kW from its six-cylinder engine, extensive equipment and “incomparable dynamic travel pleasure”.

2017 BMW K 1600 Image: BMW Motorrad
2017 BMW K1600: More weather protection, better seating and new paint colours. Image: BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad has optimised comfort and performance for the latest bike, so here’s an overview of the highlights of the latest BMW K1600 GTL…

The continued engine has new catalytic converters to meet EU4 requirements but is still capable of 118kW at 7750rpm and 175Nm at 5250rpm.

Wind and weather protection has been improved with new slipstream deflectors and side trim-sections moved further to the rear.

READ MORE motorcycling features on Carman’s Corner

The driver’s already relaxed and upright seating posture has been improved by the handlebars being shifted backwards, too, (compared to the K1600 GT) and lower footrests.

2017 BMW K 1600 Image: BMW Motorrad
2017 BMW K1600: New features explained for 2017 GLT models. Image: BMW Motorrad

Electronic suspension with continuous automatic shock-absorber adjustment is standard but reversing assistance is an ex-works option. Few will order the bike without…

Automatic emergency call is another option – but only for European markets covered by BMW ConnectedDrive.

There’s a long list of other standard safe-riding assistance and other goodies: anti-lock brakes and traction control, a xenon headlight, handgrip and seat heating, multi-controller, three riding modes, cruise control and a topcase/backrest.

Frequently welcome options include an adaptive turning and daytime riding light, keyless and hill-start controls (remember, this is a big motorcycle!), central locking and forget alloy wheel rims.

2017 BMW K 1600 Image: BMW Motorrad
2017 BMW K1600: Packaged luggage and new and improved silencers – but the same iconic sound. Image: BMW Motorrad

Available accessories include pillion footboards, a second brake light for the topcase, sports silencer, chromed parts and a crash bar.

Motorrad says the appearance of the latest K1600 GTL is “especially striking, due to its more elegant and dynamic lines”. Side trim sections have been redesigned downwards from the enlarged and more-efficient slipstream deflectors and moved backwards for better wind and weather protection.

2017 BMW K 1600 Image: BMW Motorrad
2017 BMW K1600: Classy paint finish, chromed BMW badge. Image: BMW Motorrad

There are also obvious slipstream deflectors to shield the driver’s hands (only bikers will appreciate how important they can be! – Ed). The mirrors are larger and carry a wide-angle rear view.

The electronic suspension system includes two riding modes, Road and Dynamic, which, Motorrad says, “opens up a whole new dimension of ride comfort, stability and dynamics to provide an incomparable riding experience”.

The Road setting leaves the bike in control of adjusting the shocks to its self-identified riding surface for “the very highest level of comfort and traction over virtually every surface”.

Depending on customer preference, the spring preload can be adapted to the bike’s load with a button, independent of the shocks.

The Dynamic setting, invoked by another button on a handlebar even when moving, selects a harder damping set-up.

2017 BMW K 1600 Image: BMW Motorrad
2017 BMW K1600: Why many bike fans will buy it – the 118kW straight-six  engine for relaxed long-distance cruising – ideal for the long and beautiful roads of South Africa. Image: BMW Motorrad

If chosen in the purchase specs, the new reversing assistant can be called on by yet another button, on the left ‘bar, and operated simply by pressing the starter button, calling the starter motor to help move the bike.

The new emergency-call system – another option – will be introduced in 2018 but only in countries with BMW ConnectedDrive capability.

Three new colours come with the latest K1600 GTL: white non-metallic, grey metallic and black metallic.

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