News 2011 BMW K1600GTL | First Ride

2011 BMW K1600GTL | First Ride

BMW Touring Motorcycle

After my recent test of the 2011 BMW K1600GT, the Bavarian manufacturer handed over the keys for the supreme ultimo luxury tourer, the K 1600 GTL.

I take a seat and it’s more comfortable than the sofa at home. The 1600 GTL is even better for the passenger with full back support from the top-box. The GTL differs from something like the Honda Gold Wing in the fact that it’s much narrower, more powerful and all the luggage boxes can be removed.

There’s a stereo incorporated that you can sync with your iPhone. I paired my BlackBerry with the GPS system on the 2011 BMW K1600GTL and it would have enabled me to take phone calls whilst on the move but not to play my tunes on the stereo.

Hopefully BlackBerrys can get as good support in this area as iPhones in the future. What did happen though was that the GTL changed my language settings to German and started tweeting "GTL is the best bike," hence now called the GTL virus.

No, my phone didn’t actually tweet by itself but the German’s did invade my language settings.

The BMW GTL handles pretty much as well as the 1600 GT despite the fact that the seat is lower and less forward biased than the GT. The GT is oh so close to also being a sport tourer, and the GTL isn’t far from that either.

The big 1.6 liter in-line six makes sure that you think you’re on a sportbike on full song whilst reverting back to being GoldWing class comfy and smooth when in sixth gear from as low as 1000rpm and up.

With the lower seat height and the electric windscreen fully up there was hardly any buffeting to my helmet. This will be very welcome in colder countries than South Africa along with the electrically heated seat and handlebars.

My pillion passenger for the day was Julia from South Africa. She reported that the pillion seat on the 2011 BMW K1600GTL was very comfortable and that this and the smooth engine response relaxed her straight away. It’s thumbs up for the big six!

It’s fair to say that us naughty bikers have something new to fear when the world’s police forces start using this for duty; the K 1600 GTL is a very fast and well handling motorcycle despite its majestic dimensions. Let’s hope they can’t afford it eh? A full review of the 2011 BMW K 1600 GTL will be featured on UltimateMotorcycling.com soon.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

2020 Indian Scout Bobber Twenty Review (10 Fast Facts)

Indian Motorcycle is definitely getting the most out of its Scout platform. For 2020, there are no less than five members of the Scout...

Inside the Given Redshift Custom Motorcycle: Exclusive Designer Interview

“At the age of 12, I completely disassembled my father’s moped engine to understand where was happening the miracle. I still haven’t found it.”...

2020 Glendale Supercross Results and Coverage: Roczen Sweeps

It was a clean sweep for Ken Roczen at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., as he won the first Triple Crown race in...

2020 Kawasaki Ninja 650 Review (14 Fast Facts)

The middleweight sport category is one of the most hotly contested segments in the motorcycle industry. Situated as motorcycles capable of doing a little...

25 of the Best Retro Motorcycles For Under $10k (2020 Models)

Although going retro can be expensive when buying a new motorcycle, there are plenty of excellent wallet- and credit-friendly choices in the visually appealing...

Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 131 Crate Engine Unveiled for Tourers

Harley-Davidson has unveiled its newest Screamin' Eagle crate engine - one that makes the popular 120R crate motor seem small in size. Meet the Screamin'...