2013 BMW K 1600 GT

Road Test Review

Tremors and aftershocks are still being felt two years after the Big One, when BMW’s dynamic duo—the K 1600 GT and GTL—reconfigured touring’s tectonic plates (Rider, May 2011, and on ridermagazine.com). After impressing us in their respective solo and comparison tests, both models shared Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year honors for 2012: “History will look back upon both the BMW K 1600 GTL and GT as ground-breaking machines in the luxury and sport-touring segments.”

The GT and GTL are more alike than different, with the same powerful and silky smooth liquid-cooled, 1,649cc in-line 6-cylinder engine, the same stout chassis and high-end components, the same sophisticated electronics, and the same sleek, futuristic bodywork. For sport-touring duty, the GT foregoes the top trunk and has a smaller windshield, firmer suspension, sharper exhaust note and a more aggressive riding position, with less handlebar pullback, higher footpegs set farther back and a narrower, less cushy seat, than the GTL. With just a few tweaks distinguishing it from a full-blown luxury tourer, the K 1600 GT is almost in a class by itself.

Of course, all of that performance and sophistication comes at a price. MSRP for 2013 is $21,200, which includes ABS, a Xenon self-leveling headlight, heated seats and grips, cruise control, an onboard computer, a luggage rack, LED rear light and a power accessory socket as standard equipment. Our test bike (a 2012 model since that’s all that BMW had in its test fleet) is equipped with the optional Premium Package ($3,695), which adds Bluetooth, an audio system, radio software, Adaptive Headlight, Dynamic Traction Control, ESA II, tire pressure monitor, a central locking system for the saddlebags and an anti-theft alarm, raising the as-tested price to $24,895. The only change for 2013 will be the addition of LED fog lights to the option list and new colors.