BMW K1600GTL Review
✓Smooth power, comfort, handling, suspension, perfect for two up touring, reverse gear
×Screen, seat, really large, really heavy
What Is It?
The 2017 BMW K1600GTL is a premium touring bike powered by an exceptional six cylinder engine. It builds on the K1600GT with a top box, taller screen and a few mods to make it more suitable for two up riding.
Engine: 1,649 cc Inline Six, 160 bhp
Economy: 40 mpg
Range: 230 miles
Seat Height: 750 mm
What Is It Like?
The 2018 BMW K1600GTL Exclusive is my third one, the first being a 2011 model. The motorcycle is no lightweight and experience is needed at slow speeds but once moving it is awesome.
It's a superb touring machine that can take two people effortlessly on long distance trips, it has tremendous road holding and handles easily.
The engine and gearbox are smooth plus it has very good pulling power in all gears. The addition to this model of a reverse gear is a boon as it is easy to get stuck on a slight slope with a bike this heavy.
It is fully equipped with panniers and top box with central locking, keyless ignition and lights that will take some beating. Suspension is electronically controlled.
Comfort is excellent and in rain the fairing offers good protection although the screen is not too good and I have invested in a Calci extra wide screen which is much quieter and significantly reduces buffeting.
The seat likewise needs some tweaking but once these two items are sorted long distances are easy. We have toured extensively on these motorcycles throughout Europe and at present have 14,500 miles on the latest model in thirteen months.
The 2011 model had problems with switch gear and water pumps but the last two have been problem free.
Added equipment is a sat nav which is excellent but although it worked well with the BMW system 6 helmets the system 7 has been plagued with issues for over twelve months.
BMW have been very slow to resolve the issues but at the time of writing seem to be close. When they work they are excellent but getting them to work is the issue.
With two up touring we are averaging 7,500 miles but some experimenting is needed to get the right make. Michelin Pilot Road 4s and Metzler 01 Roadtec are both heavy duty, proving to be the best of the bunch in both wet and dry.
To Sum Up
All in all this motorcycle does what it says on the tin in every respect it is a long distance tourer built for two up touring in comfort and safety. The brakes stop this machine without fuss in all situations.
In conclusion this motorcycle is a joy and anyone like ourselves who enjoys two up travel with luggage will not find better.
- Owen S, 2019
BMW K1600GT - Essentially the same but without the top box, a different seat, shorter screen and the bars further forward.
BMW K1600B - A more stylised version of the K1600GT.
Check out this video review from TheMissendenFlyer.