With the Intermot motorcycle show under way, embargoes have been lifted and information on new models is finally accessible.
BMW has two new touring bikes, the K1600GT and K1600GTL. These aren’t lightweight commuters; these are 160-horsepower, inline six-cylinder luxury liners, loaded with high-tech electronics and comfort features.
The K1200GT has a slightly more aggressive riding position than the GTL, the latter of which is designed “with very relaxed, comfortable ergonomics for long trips with pillion passenger”. These bikes (the GTL especially) replace the discontinued aging K1200LT, and their current direct competitor is the Honda Gold Wing.
These machines are lightweights compared to the Gold Wing. The 319 kg (703 lb) GT undercuts the Wing by 93 kg, and the heavier, 348 kg (767 lb) GTL by 64 kg, all weights measured wet, though the BMWs are weighed without the saddlebags.
The 1,649 cc, long-stroke engine (67.5 x 72 mm bore and stroke) produces a very flat torque curve that peaks at 121 lb-ft, and makes more than 70 percent of its maximum from 1,500 rpm.
Part of the massive low-end torque output can be attributed to the single, 52 mm throttle body, which is controlled via ride-by-wire electronics. Both bikes will have optional three-mode traction control (Rain, Road, Dynamic), the system based on the current DTC used on the S1000RR
Remarkably, the GT and GTL claim small-bike fuel consumption at approximately 5.1L and 5.3L/100 km (55 and 53 mpg) respectively. Fuel capacity is 24 litres for the GT and 26.5 for the GTL, giving the machines close to 500 km of touring range.
In the chassis department, an aluminum bridge-type frame ties the Duolever front and Paralever rear suspension together. Wheel sizes are 17-inch with supersport-sized 170/70ZR17 front and 190/55ZR17 rear tires. The rear tire has been specially developed for touring.
The K1600s feature standard-equipment xenon low beams that are fitted with a movable reflector mirrors and are self-levelling by using data gathered through ride-height sensors.
A new and unique feature in motorcycling is the K1600’s optional adaptive headlight. This system uses the machine’s bank-angle sensors in addition to the ride-height sensors to aim the headlight while leaning through turns via a servo motor.
The instrument panel incorporates a 5.7-inch TFT colour screen to relay information to the rider from the on-board computer, optional ESA II suspension settings, as well as the display for the optional navigation system.
Of course, no luxury liner is complete without on-board entertainment, and the K1600GTL sound systems will be iPod and MP3 compatible, as well as including a USB port and an AUX jack for plugging in other types of electronic media.
Also, North American models will include Sirius XM satellite radio. Sound system functions are also displayed on the TFT screen. The sound system will be optional on the GT.
Standard features include an electrically adjustable windscreen, xenon headlight bulbs, heated grips and seat, cruise control, on-board computer and integrated ABS.
Both variations will be coming to Canada (in dealers in the Spring of 2011), with pricing released and a preview model shown at the December Toronto show.