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. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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