2011 BMW K 1600 GTL | Video

2011 K 1600 GTL

BMW has been building six-cylinder motors for over seven decades, and now it is bring that skill to the motorcycle world with the new 2011 BMW K 1600 GTL luxury touring motorcycle. A video produced by BMW Motorrad shows this quiet, elegant motorcycle in action, including peeks at the dashboard of this technology-laden inline-6.

BMW claims that the new K 1600 motor is the lightest and narrowest liter-plus six-cylinder motorcycle powerplant in history. The claimed weight of the 1600 motor is 226 pounds, with a cylinder bore of 72mm and only 5mm between the cylinder sleeves.

The tight construction doesn’t come at the expense of power. According to BMW, the K 1600 powerplant puts out 160 horsepower and 129 ft/lbs of torque, and it will be powering a motorcycle that weights between 703 pounds (K 1600 GT without panniers) and 767 pounds (K 1600 GTL with panniers and top case).

The K 1600 models have three different engine modes, directly accessible at the press of a thumb button on the right handlebar. The modes are "Rain", "Road" and "Dynamic".

Available as an option, the traction control function DTC is combined individually with the different modes, fully integrated for maximum motorcycle riding safety. The control of the central throttle valve with a diameter of 52 millimeters is via a ride-by-wire system, using a sensor in the twist grip.

Both the BMW K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL have a light alloy bridge-type frame, and the Duolever and Paralever for wheel control at front and rear.

According to the motorcycle people at BMW, "The interplay of chassis and engine position, together with the seating position of the rider, not only makes for a low overall center of gravity with a very favorable concentration of masses, it also provides an ideally balanced wheel load distribution for excellent riding properties. The combination of ride stability, riding dynamics and lightness of handling in all riding and load conditions sets a new benchmark in the touring bike segment."

The suspension on the K 1600 GTL is equally sophisticated, thanks to the Electronic Suspension Adjustment II (ESA II) (optional extra), system. The rider pushes a button to electronically adapt the rebound damping properties of the front and rear spring strut, as well as the spring preload of the rear spring strut, plus the rear shocks’ spring rate.

According to BMW, "The additional adaptation of the spring rate allows the damping settings–Sport, Normal, Comfort–to be spread widely in ESA II, giving them clearly perceptible characteristics during riding. So in "Sport" mode, the K 1600 GTL are even more dynamic and precise and in Comfort mode they are more comfortable – while still retaining excellent stability."

The instrument panels of the K 1600s are two classic circular instruments for the speedometer and tachometer, plus a 5.7-inch TFT color display. The design of the information display is also completely new in the motorcycle field, BMW tells us. Among other things, it enables the attractive presentation of text and graphics over several lines.

Another world-first is BMW Adaptive Headlight (optional extra), which is stated to add increased safety at night in conjunction with standard xenon headlamp and fiber optic rings, along with the Multi-Controller, as part of an integrated operating concept, which we first saw on the 2010 BMW R 1200 RT motorcycle.

While watching the video, take note of the fairing. BMW says "particular attention was paid during development to the combination of innovative design, optimum wind and weather protection and the very highest level of functionality.

The 2011 BMW K1600GTL motorcycle has aerodynamic qualities in terms of reduced air swirl–especially in the pillion passenger area–were developed in sophisticated wind tunnel tests."

In summary, the 2011 BMW K 1600 GTL has a very comfortable, relaxed ergonomics set-up for long trips with pillion passenger as well as additional luxury motorcycle touring equipment when compared to the BMW K 1600 GT that has more lively riding ergonomics for proactive motorcycle touring.