Fred Harmon’s Review of the GTL — BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums

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BMW K-Series Naked

Fred Harmon’s Review of the GTL

BMW GTL – My first ride impressions

bike appears to be placed between the Sport Touring and the motorcycle market. So owning a Kawasaki Concours and Gold it seemed like it was right up my I remember thinking on the way over to the that it might actually be for me to sell both my bikes and them with the new BMW.

on that later….

The first I noticed when I start over the bike is that is rear drive oil splattered the rear rim. Not sure if is left over oil from it being filled up or a more sign of problems already Given the amount of problems BMW has had in the with rear drives, doesn’t look good.

I mounted the bike, I noticed away that it has a very seat height, and I can flat it. It felt better in this than does my Concours, has a significantly higher seat The seat also felt though I really didn’t in it long enough to form an on how would hold up over the of a 800+ mile day.

one for the BMW.

In the parking lot I tried to myself with the electronic The dial ring on the left seems to work well, and BMW was to greatly reduce the amount of in the cockpit by incorporating many into it. However, this at a cost, since now you have to through menu levels and down at the meter panel to try to the item you are interested in. While it declutter the cockpit, it also it harder to use the controls.

The throttle by wire mode has it’s own separate buttons on the grip and some of the audio are on the left side, so not all the controls are with the control ring, However, there are enough of that do use it that it will take some getting to.

I suspect after a few hundred you would master it and it wouldn’t be a big but given the option, I think I’d have dedicated buttons for function that are easier to and use without taking my eyes off the Score one for the Gold Wing.

away from the parking the first thing I notice is the bike was lurching a little in 1st as I pulled out into traffic, I was still trying to get the feel of the but it did give me pause wondering was going on. It almost felt the clutch was slipping. I never it do it again the rest of the ride.

I did however feel the clutch position moving as I got on and off the gas with a fingers covering the clutch I’ve felt other do this some too, but this much. I also the typical cluncky BMW transmission as as an alarming amount of driveline that upset the suspension on-off throttle transitions.

For a of this caliber, I really better. Strike one BMW.

up to speed I started playing the setting for the throttle adjustment “Road” to “Dynamic” and “Rain”. I the differences it gave the way the throttle was to basically “dull” the responsiveness of the It seemed like the “Dynamic” gave it the best response.

playing with a bit, I to the distinct conclusion that was a useless gimmick and provided no value at all. Once you get to the way a throttle responds on a motorcycle, you adapt to it. I also noticed times when in the “road” I had a disconnected feeling between the and engine that I didn’t for.

I’ll give the system a basic “pass”, but if I had my just give me a good old throttle cable that the bike respond in a way I can predict at all I see absolutely no value added in the modes either.

The ergos of the were somewhat similar to the with regards to the riding though my knees were more bent. I don’t I’d have any problem doing mile days on this The bike does feel more narrow than the which also helped it a more nimble feeling. As a it had less wind protection the Wing, but I would say it was about with the Concours 14 and FJR.

The bike also felt tall once underway, and I’m not why. It may just be the high of the gas tank and meter panel, the seat height itself wasn’t much taller my Wing.

The suspension and brakes and of the new BMW were the high points. I found the “standard” mode of the system far too soft for my tastes. It much taughter in the “sport” and if I owned one of these bikes, is where I would leave it 99% of the

BMW K-Series Naked

The brakes were outstanding and with the tele-lever front end the was really easy to stop I also engaged the ABS on the rear one quick stop, and it worked I didn’t get a chance to sample the control though.

One thing surprised me was that the bike actually felt “flickable”, and I say that it would hold own with most any sport bike out there on a twisty road. It had a light feel to it, and felt top heavy in slow maneuvers and was quite responsive to steering inputs. Score two points for BMW for brakes and suspension.

The engine has it’s own unique output a little unlike else I’ve ridden. It have the low end grunt of the GoldWing, but it had more mid range “punch” as as an easier revving feel a higher red line than the though well below the limit of the Concours. The response from it (when the throttle was in the Dynamic mode) felt it was well placed in-between the two for both high end HP and low end torque.

I’d to say that the engine is very suited to the bike, and it’s easy to ride this quickly. It accelerates very and you can really feel the power on stronger quickly as the rpms While I don’t think bike is as fast as my Concours, not far off.

I didn’t mess the radio control much my ride and the bike had no where to a headset into. You had to have sort of BlueTooth set up in your to listen to music unless you to use the external speakers. While the speakers sounded “OK” in the lot, to me they didn’t as good as the OEM Gold Wing

And while everyone oohs and over the fancy headlight on bike, I noticed it didn’t self canceling turn or a horn that was any good. I like the idea of the rotating in corners, I’d trade it for a good horn and self canceling (like the Wing has) any day of the The BMW did have tire pressure that would read out the tire pressure data on the panel, much like my does.

The Wing also has pressure sensors, but Honda display the actual pressure, they just give you a … light. So take two points from BMW for the horns and signals and add one point for displaying the pressure on the dash.

I tried out the control and found it to work well, and I also enjoyed the 6th out on the highway, which allowed a comfortable cruising RPM, I can’t honestly tell it was at 70mph, I had too much traffic me and other things I was trying to pay to. The electrically adjustable windshield, now has become pretty much on this class of bike, worked well.

Interestingly the GoldWing still lacks feature (strike one Honda). I that if I wanted to look the windshield I had to have it down the bottom of it’s adjustment to do so.

So back to my earlier thought using this bike to both my Wing and my Concours. At the end of the I came to the conclusion that BMW did place the bike squarely the two market segments of the GoldWing and 14, but I also came to the conclusion in reality, it would not be able to either of my bikes.

It had no where the level of creature comforts and two-up touring ability my Wing does, and while it was sporty, it simply didn’t the “fun factor” that my gives me. I guess it’s like the El-Camino in that half car half truck, but it really excel in either

BMW K-Series Naked
BMW K-Series Naked

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