The big six-cylinder bagger segment was started by Honda with their Gold Wing F6B. The company simply knocked some weight off its flagship tourer and pared down the bodywork to make it look meaner. Others son followed and no one has put forward a stronger product to compete with the Honda as BMW.
The K1600 series, introduced by BMW in 2010 was aimed squarely at challenging the dominance of the Honda Gold Wing in the luxury sport touring segment. Even though BMW took almost six years to launch the bagger, the K1600GT and the K1600GTL won a lot of hearts in its primary market, the United States.
The K1600B has the familiar buttery smooth 6-cylinder in-line engine which develops 160hp and generous amounts of torque for effortless highway cruising. It sports the characteristic properties of a bagger with its drop-shaped silhouette, whose highest point is the front fairing. It’s fully chrome-plated silencers break the all black monotony and add a visual appeal to the bagger.
Largely based on the technology used in the BMW 6-cylinder tourer K 1600 GT, the new K 1600 B implements its spectacular backward sloping linear design with a completely reconstructed rear section. This not only makes the bagger look particularly low-lying and slender, but also, thanks to the new rear frame, significantly reduces the height of the passenger seat.
The fairing of the new K 1600 B with its closely tailored dynamic windscreen makes the motorcycle look particularly powerful and impressive. For especially effective wind and weather protection, the side sections of the wind deflectors are stretched further back. A re-design of the compartments in the side cases with slimmer covers and deeper body allows for particularly comfortable and effective loading of luggage. The rear mudguard has been designed to fold upward to make it easier to remove the rear wheel.
With the electronically controlled Dynamic ESA chassis and its “Road” and “Cruise” modes, the new K 1600 B combines riding comfort, stability and dynamic performance ensuring an incomparable riding experience. In the standard “Road” setting, damping adaptation is fully automated, offering the very highest level of comfort and ultimate traction on virtually all surfaces. In contrast, the new K1600B offers very gentle damping in “Cruise” damping mode, ensuing a very high level of comfort at low speeds. The K1600B also comes with a reverse assist feature. This is activated conveniently at the press of a button on the left-hand handlebar panel.
Even though the motorcycle looks big and intimidating, it’s so easy to ride. The weight is well balanced and it somehow feels nimble and quick, thanks to that powerful engine. The test motorcycle provided by AGMC BMW Motorrad in Dubai was very new so I didn’t push it but I could imagine the K1600B will have no problems keeping up with most sport tourers on the highways.
The K1600B is priced at AED 110,000 and at that price, it offers a good competition to the Honda Gold Wing and is priced well below the full-dress luxury tourers from Harley-Davidson and Indian.