Motorcycles

Featured gallery: BMW's new six cylinder motorcycles

Featured gallery: BMW's new si...
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Specs: BMW K 1600 GT and GTL
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Specs: BMW K 1600 GT and GTL
Specs: BMW K 1600 GT and GTL
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Specs: BMW K 1600 GT and GTL
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When BMW dropped its stunning Concept 6 out of the blue last year, the intention to revive the inline six was clear… and here it is. The new K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL touring motorcycles are being offered with the company's 6-cylinder in-line engine – a 118 kW (160 bhp) unit producing maximum torque of 175 Nm which, at 102.6 kg, is billed as the lightest and most compact serial production 6-cylinder in-line engine in a motorcycle over 1000 cc to date.

The engine size is a result of using a 72 mm cylinder bore with just 5 mm between the cylinder the cylinder sleeves, a design that squeezes the 6 cylinders into a 555 mm wide block. Peak power of 118 kW (160 bhp) is achieved at 7,750 rpm and maximum torque 175 Nm at 5,250 rpm, but being a six, over 70 per cent of the maximum torque is already available from 1,500 rpm... which suggests some very comfy touring is in order when you throw a leg over one of these.

As per the 4-cylinder in-line K 1300 series, the cylinder axis is tilted forwards by 55 degrees to achieve a low center of gravity and balanced weight distribution, as well as allow for better cooling intake directly above the engine.engine position

Overall, the K 1600 GT weighs in at 319 kg (without panniers) and the GTL tips the scales at 348 kg – still hefty, but we are talking touring bikes here, and it's in the lower range of the segment.

The new tourers also pack some top-shelf tech. Aside from the adaptive headlight control option which significantly enhances safety while cornering at night (see our previous article for more detail), the bikes are fitted with a ride-by-wire system (or e-gas as BMW calls it) and feature three engine modes – "Rain", "Road" and "Dynamic" – which combine with Dynamic Traction Control to suit riding conditions.

An Electronic Suspension Adjustment II (ESA II) option gives riders push button control over the rebound damping properties of the front and rear spring strut and the preload of the rear spring strut.

The bikes feature an electrically adjustable windshield with a memory function, USB/MP3 and iPod compatibility, a 5.7-inch TFT color display as part of the instrument panel (which automatically adapts to environmental brightness) and BWM's handlebar mounted Multi-Controller for accessing all these systems without taking your eyes off the road.

There's also an option of central locking for storage compartments, panniers and topcase and the topcase on the K 1600 GTL has interior lighting and two gas-filled dampers which support opening.

Specs: BMW K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL

Specs: BMW K 1600 GT and GTL
Specs: BMW K 1600 GT and GTL

Specs: BMW K 1600 GT and GTL
Specs: BMW K 1600 GT and GTL

6 comments
VoiceofReason
Long live the Slant Six! Lol. Sounds like a nice bike to ride. Normal for BMW.
mrhuckfin
Love that engine! I hope they plan on putting it in something a little more sporty at some point? :-)
Bobby Strickland
The BMW Rocks Bigtime...
Paul Friedrich
Gotta love those Bavarians; So meticulous. IMO the relatively small displacement makes 2(or4) extra cylinders ballast.
jhl385
Well, BMW has a ton of reliability problems and always understate the true curb weight so this will be a very heavy bike. No doubt it will be sweet on the road when all is 100%. A lot of the engine design look like a Yamaha copy. The cylinder slant is true to BMW\'s recent design but other elements very closely look to be inspired elsewhere. Now to the cost................time to refinance the house.
liam_toha
Why not give it a V8 engine and 6 cup holders. All the resources used to build this overweight SUV wannabe could have been used to build a truly innovative touring motorcycle.