2017 BMW K1600GTL First Look Review From EICMA

Munich’s updated K1600GTL mega-tourer gets more luxury features for 2017.

2017 BMW K1600GTL at EICMA
BMW’s updated 2017 K1600GTL in Light White Non-Metallic. If there’s a more luxurious mode of two-wheel travel, we haven’t heard of it.Photo: BMW

When it comes to two-wheel travel, there really is nothing as comfortable, smooth, or freakishly fast as a K1600. Nothing. And for 2017 BMW has bestowed its mega-yacht of a touring rig with a few features aimed at improving the bike's comfort and performance even further.

Most noticeable is the revised bodywork, with reshaped side panels that are said to improve airflow around the rider and passenger. The handlebar was also moved back and the footpegs lowered slightly for a more comfortable posture. Aesthetically, the new creased and layered panels give the bike a more modern look and distinguish it from earlier models. After all, if you just dropped upwards of $30k on your new K16, you want people to know you’re riding the latest hotness.

2017 K1600GTL in gray
The K1600GTL in what we assume is Thunder Grey Metallic. Top and side cases come standard on the GTL, and they're big enough to hold two helmets each.Photo: BMW

The GTL's 1,649cc, straight-six engine is now Euro-4 compliant, but still cranks out the same 160 hp just as smooth as can be. There's something special about a straight-six engine. Honda's CBX had one, and developed a cult following as a result. BMW's K1600 mega-tourer has one, and it dominates the machine's personality. To help riders squeeze even more enjoyment from that amazing motor BMW now offers an optional bi-directional Shift-Assist Pro quickshifter, and to make moving that 700-ish-pound motorcycle a bit easier there's now an optional Reverse Assist feature. Laugh if you want to. We did.

Beyond that, it’s more of the same for the K1600GTL. Side cases and a top case come as standard equipment, as do ABS, TC, heated everything, and cruise control. BMW’s fantastic D-ESA—which adjusts damping up to 100 times per second while you ride—is now a standard feature, ensuring the best in ride quality.

Availability hasn’t yet been announced, nor has price. But when it comes to product this high up in BMW’s lineup, if you have ask, it’s too much! As mentioned a few paragraphs up, this bike will likely cost close to $30,000.