BMW K1600GT | Doin' Time

Staffers' Rides

Wrist: Jamie Elvidge
MSRP: $20,900
Miles: 2984
MPG: 42
Mods: Coat of bugs

You know you’ve got the right motorcycle when all you can think about is riding it. Such is the case with the long-term BMW K1600GT I just picked up. On my first day I logged 700 miles. Before the end of the first week I’d traded the U.S. for Canada, where I’m currently romping around the Rockies with no clear plan to return.

Husky, yet sleek; significant, yet thoroughly sporty, I’m enjoying BMW’s latest supersport-tourer just as much as I did when I first sampled it last winter during its introduction in South Africa. Well, except for the seat: I’ve never had a dentist’s drill applied to my butt cheeks, but I imagine it feels similar to sitting on the GT’s seat halfway into a second tankful. This bike came with the standard low seat, and although I’ve requested the optional high version in hopes it has a little more padding, I’m thinking a full-on custom replacement may be in order. I’m also shopping for the perfect top case so I can toss in the trailer-trash duffle—along with a bike cover, because this is one motorcycle that’s going to spend a lot of time on the road.

At press time, U.S. test units had yet to be equipped with the navigation/audio unit we sampled in South Africa. This system enables communication between the bike’s electronics and the rider’s Bluetooth-equipped helmet, all controlled by the nifty thumbwheel “Multi-Controller” on the left handlebar. It’s a very civilized way to travel. Get low on gas and the bike not only alerts you in a complete sentence, it asks you if you’d like it to direct you to a fueling station!

So far, fuel consumption is averaging an acceptable 42 mpg—not bad considering the bike’s been mostly pointed straight and pinned. I expect even better fuel economy once I’m meandering more than making time—an especially happy circumstance considering the straight-six’s taste for high-test.

And because the tank holds a juicy 6.3 gallons, I won’t have to spend extra time hanging out at the pump. You’d be surprised how long gas stops take on the K1600GT. Seems everyone and their uncle wants the details on this flashy new starship—particularly when production units might hit dealers’ floors. Most recent word is January 2012. Until then, I’ll keep teasing you, er, I mean testing it for you.