Rad­i­cal tourer de force

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Bike News -

NOTH­ING has come close to match­ing the Honda Gold Wing lux­ury tourer for agility, power and fea­tures. Un­til now.

BMW’s new six-cylin­der 1600 GTL has more power and torque, more fea­tures, less weight, bet­ter econ­omy and a cheaper price tag.

The K 1600 comes in GT form with a higher seat and more ag­gres­sive er­gonomics and the GTL with a lower seat, fog lights and top box.

The tour­ers ar­rive at $34,990 for the GT and $36,990 for the GTL with the lot. The GT is about $10,000 more than the Honda ST1300, Kawasaki GTR1400 and Yamaha FJR1300 A, but with more kit. The GTL is $1000 less than the stan­dard Gold Wing and $7000 less than the more com­par­a­tive lux­ury model, al­though Honda is do­ing deals.

The heart of theBMWis the ex­tremely com­pact in-line six­cylin­der, just 62mm wider than the K1300 en­gine. It is a pow­er­house with 170Nm of torque, 70 per cent of that from just 1500rpm, plus 118kW of top-end, scalp-tin­gling power.

These are the first bikes with car tech­nol­ogy such as cen­tral re­mote lock­ing for the five lug­gage com­part­ments, day­time run­ning light ‘‘ Corona’’ rings fromBMW cars, adap­tive head­lights and an in­fo­tain­ment con­troller.

The K 1600 is a tour de force of pri­mary safety tech­nol­ogy such as ABS, trac­tion con­trol, tyre pres­sure con­trol mon­i­tor, elec­tronic sus­pen­sion ad­just­ment, adap­tive head­lights and rider modes.

The GT has a higher seat and slightly fur­ther lean to the bars with a slightly lower but just as ef­fec­tive wind­screen. A top box and low seat are op­tions. It is up to 100kg lighter than the Wing so it is easy to ma­noeu­vre with your feet in carparks.

Ninety min­utes of night rid­ing con­vinced me to never ride again in the dark with­out adap­tive lights.

The smooth and pow­er­ful en­gine is the real win­ner with in­stant power, smooth and lin­ear de­liv­ery, and even a grainy char­ac­ter com­pared with the Gold Wing’s vel­vety smooth but soul­less flat six.

This is the best tourer I have rid­den.

Mark Hinchliffe

Grand­est tourer: BMW’s K 1600 GTL

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.