Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 13 Old Jun 17th, 2014, 7:21 pm Thread Starter
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Post Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

Last week I flew out to the west coast for David Taylor's 'Ride to Cambria'. I rented a new K1600GT for the ride ... thought I would throw in my 2 cents about the bike.

As a side note: I currently own a 2010 Kawasaki Concours14 and a 1985 Honda V65 Magna. I'm no stranger to power and speed. I have previously owned a 2006 BMW K1200GT, a 2002 BMW K1200LT, and a 1998 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-11. So, again, I'm no stranger to power, BMW, and SPEED.

I'll keep this short and sweet, with a simple 'Pros' and 'Cons' list.

The Pros:
  • For this 6'3" rider, the ergos were spot-on ... just what I expected and would want in this sport-tourer.
  • The bike felt MUCH lighter than an LT, in all respects. Walking it backward out of a parking spot wasn't an issue without reverse. Low-speed parking lots were a breeze. And at speed, it handled quite well.
  • After all of the negative comments I heard about the transmission, I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked it. I wouldn't call it "clunky", but rather "purposefully notchy" in a good way. I only miss-shifted once, and it was totally my fault.
  • The brakes, excellent.
  • I found all of the controls to be very intuitive. I learned all of the functions in just minutes, well done.
  • Those flip-out wings that direct air toward the rider ... BRAVO!
  • The exhaust note, nice!
  • Lastly, the powerplant is really good. Lots of low-end torque, of course. And when you want to getty-up-and-go ... just turn the throttle. Down-shifting just enhances this experience.

The Cons:
  • While the bikes leans a little more to the tourer end of sport-touring, the passenger comfort isn't any better for my small wife. She thought it was about the same as my Concours14 ... and that sure isn't on par with the fabulous LT.
  • This "GT" model is still too heavy, for a GT in my opinion. While the weight is well-disguised, it's still there. Ride a Concours14 for a couple days, and you'll certainly feel the difference.
  • Here's an odd phenomenon to me. When I would reach about 85 mph on up, it felt like I was already well into triple digits. It was smooth, and well-planted, but it simply felt like I was going faster than what I really was. Even my wife noticed this. Very odd.
  • The OEM windshield ... really BMW? When will you learn to make a functional one?
  • Lastly, it just wasn't nice enough to have me wanting one over my current C14. Sorry BMW.

- Just Joe

(Current bikes)
  • 2001 BMW K1200LTC
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  • 2010 Kawasaki Concours14
  • 1985 Honda V65 Magna
  • 2005 Harley V-Rod Chrome Edition
  • 2003 Harley V-Rod Anniversary Edition
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post #2 of 13 Old Jun 17th, 2014, 9:17 pm
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

Thanks for the analysis Joe. At some point in the future I will most likely get forced down that path so I'm always interested in this kind of feedback.


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post #3 of 13 Old Jun 17th, 2014, 11:45 pm
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2 View Post
The Pros:
Yeah, we know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2 View Post
The Cons:
You're looking for LT-like comfort in a Sport-Tourer that weighs under 500 lbs? Let me know when you find that bike . . .

The GTL has better passenger comfort, and the GTL Exclusive is even better than that. But that trunk does add some weight . . .

The weight is way better than the LT, but yes, it could always be lighter. It's heavier than the K12/13GT, but is easier to ride due to better balance, a lower CoG, and so much torque that you can attack pretty much any road without all that random shifting nonsense. As you said, just roll on the throttle and you move, right now.

I still feel like I'm going slower than I actually am because the ride is so smooth and quiet. Then again, I have the wind management all sorted. The AeroFlow stuff just flat works, and has turned many an ex-LT owner from "This is a good bike" to "This is a great bike!"

To me, the K16 is as close to my perfect bike as I've found. It's equally adept at running local errands, strafing the twisty roads, or crossing states. It's not perfect (no bike is), but for my needs it's dämn close.

Whether that's the same for you, or anyone else, is your own call . . .

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #4 of 13 Old Jun 18th, 2014, 5:55 am
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruivis View Post
Thanks for the analysis Joe. At some point in the future I will most likely get forced down that path so I'm always interested in this kind of feedback.
+1. I've been looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this bike, Joe. Thanks.

Howard Schisler
2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
2005 Honda Shadow 650 (sold)
AMA, IBA, BMW MOA. CCRs: Braselton 2006, Osage Beach 2007, Duluth 2012


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post #5 of 13 Old Jun 18th, 2014, 6:24 am
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2 View Post
The Cons:
[*]Here's an odd phenomenon to me. When I would reach about 85 mph on up, it felt like I was already well into triple digits. It was smooth, and well-planted, but it simply felt like I was going faster than what I really was. Even my wife noticed this. Very odd.
I'm Not sure you can call this a Con, but that it just me. :roll eyes:

Stevie Shreeve
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post #6 of 13 Old Jun 18th, 2014, 6:45 am
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

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Originally Posted by katnapinn View Post
I'm Not sure you can call this a Con, but that it just me. :roll eyes:
Depends on whether you are a sizzle or steak person.

To me, a bike that makes speed seem slower than it really is, is magic. But if you only want to feel like you are going fast...

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post #7 of 13 Old Jun 21st, 2014, 11:06 am Thread Starter
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

I do enjoy the BMW fanboys loosing their minds at the thought that any BMW motorcycle can have one, single flaw.

- Just Joe

(Current bikes)
  • 2001 BMW K1200LTC
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  • 2010 Kawasaki Concours14
  • 1985 Honda V65 Magna
  • 2005 Harley V-Rod Chrome Edition
  • 2003 Harley V-Rod Anniversary Edition
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post #8 of 13 Old Jun 21st, 2014, 12:14 pm
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

It's spelled losing, with one o . . .

Besides, if you have to use the term "fanboy", then you've already lost the discussion . . .

The simple fact is that the "cons" that non-owners keep putting forth (usually as justification for "saving money" and keeping their old bike) simply aren't really an issue to those of us who do own and ride them.

Except for the windshield, as every BMW I've owned has needed a better windshield. Come to think of it, that goes for every bike I've ever owned . . .

The Connie is only ~50 lbs different than the K16GT, and that's with more than a full gallon of extra fuel onboard the GT. And as you said the K16 hides its weight very well. Besides, you still praise the LT, and it's got another 100 lbs on top of that . . .

And yes, I have ridden a C14. Nice motor, sure, but nothing else about the bike impressed me at all, no matter the price . . .

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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post #9 of 13 Old Jun 21st, 2014, 12:40 pm
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13_ver2 View Post
I do enjoy the BMW fanboys loosing their minds at the thought that any BMW motorcycle can have one, single flaw.
I agree. Most of the fanboys minds are WAY too tight!

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post #10 of 13 Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 7:38 pm
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

I bought a C14 a couple months ago and really enjoy it.

Things I miss?

Cruise control
HUGE still air pocket when the windshield is up
Stability in crosswinds
near perfect ergos and more legroom
smoothness going straight
not having a motorcycle payment


Things I like about the C14?

holy sh*t does this thing move
holy sh*t does this thing lean
the curves that used to make me really pucker on the LT are damn near boring now, even at 10-20 mph higher speeds
the thing rides on rails, even with the garbage OEM Bridgestones--can't wait to upgrade to Michelin PR4s
After upgrading the exhaust, it sounds like an F1 engine
10,500 rpm redline (grin)


I wish I had the opportunity to have both, I really loved that LT, and if I had $30k instead of $13k as a budget, I would have pulled the trigger on the KGT


The three are different enough that I'd never say "this is BETTER," just "for its intended purpose and audience, each of the three are near-perfect

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post #11 of 13 Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 8:02 pm
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by petevandyke View Post
I bought a C14 a couple months ago and really enjoy it.

Things I miss?

Cruise control
HUGE still air pocket when the windshield is up
Stability in crosswinds
near perfect ergos and more legroom
smoothness going straight
not having a motorcycle payment


Things I like about the C14?

holy sh*t does this thing move
holy sh*t does this thing lean
the curves that used to make me really pucker on the LT are damn near boring now, even at 10-20 mph higher speeds
the thing rides on rails, even with the garbage OEM Bridgestones--can't wait to upgrade to Michelin PR4s
After upgrading the exhaust, it sounds like an F1 engine
10,500 rpm redline (grin)


I wish I had the opportunity to have both, I really loved that LT, and if I had $30k instead of $13k as a budget, I would have pulled the trigger on the KGT


The three are different enough that I'd never say "this is BETTER," just "for its intended purpose and audience, each of the three are near-perfect
Yes, lack of cruise is a show stopper for me now after riding with cruise since 1987. I am amazed it has taken the Japanese so long to get with the program. I am hoping Yamaha has led the way with the FJR1300A. And the throttle on that was MUCH lighter than the LT, but even so I consider cruise mandatory on my bike with touting intent.

I would probably still favor the GTL over the C14 or FJR, mainly for passenger comfort. But the powertrain of the FJR was sweet compared to the GTL or even my LT. Light throttle, excellent FI - none of the part throttle jerkiness of every FI BMW I have ridden - and light crisp gearbox and much less drivetrain lash.

Alas, the FJR falls short in wind protection, luggage capacity and pax comfort. It sure was sweet to ride solo!

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #12 of 13 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 4:47 pm
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

Tried a Concours at the dealer. Nice motor, damn uncomfortable....ugh. I do a lot more than 15 minute rides around town and that was all I could stand.

In the last 2 years...
'08 R1200GS---Loved it!!!
'01 H-D Ultra Classic---Hated it!!! (aka. the infernal noise making machine)
'02 K1200LT(black)---Even my GF is jealous of this one.
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post #13 of 13 Old Jul 8th, 2014, 11:27 pm
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Re: Rented a K1600GT for a couple days ... first impressions

That was the impression I got from the C14 as well - great motor, but none of the rest of it impressed me much. I know that some guys love them though.

As long as we can all find something that we love to ride, then it's all good.

Ken
Pacific NorthWet
'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 63K miles
'03 Anthracite Metallic K12LTC, 66K miles
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#143, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032


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