As I circulate the fast, long sweeping turns of the Blue Ridge Parkway at speeds that shall not be named for risk of incriminating myself, I smirk as I realize that I’m on a bagger not a sport bike. Simply put, you can corner with confidence at the same speed as most other baggers top out.
With 160 horsepower, a great chassis and suspension the BMW K 1600 B allows incredible feats — after all it is a 336 kg (741 lb) motorcycle fully fuelled. On even tighter back roads the effect is the same with sport bike like handling, but eventually there is a limit with both the floorboards and the foot pegs grounding out. However, most riders are not going to (and shouldn’t!) ride this bike that aggressively. Passing slower vehicles is a cinch with six cylinders pushing out 129 ft-lb of torque.
The BMW K 1600 B is all-day comfortable. I know that’s an overused description, but it really is. New buyers have the option of extra cargo space similar to the GT/L or floor boards (the floor boards can also be added after) Choosing the floor boards in addition to the pegs allow for a variety of positions. Feet forward, feet back and my favourite: left foot back, right foot forward.
The handlebar is in an ideal position. Personally I like the straight tubular bar, rather than a pair of deer antlers pouring out of the steering stem. I feel more connected to the front-end of the bike.
Unfortunately the single-sided swing arm is hidden by the saddlebags and the large straight pipes, but the low slung looks are admired by almost all casual viewers. The “Black Storm Metallic” paint looks sleek with the blacked out engine, wheels, frame and handle bars. The line from front to back flows smoothly, integrating the stop, tail and turn signals into the saddlebags keeps things clean and stealthy.
The usual tech from BMW is included: dynamic traction control, three ride modes, adjustable on the fly suspension changes, ABS Pro (cornering ABS), Dynamic levelling Xenon headlight, cruise control, ride by wire, hill start control and heated seats and grips.
Optional tech includes reverse assist, adaptive Xenon headlight, gear shift assist pro (clutchless up and down shifts), keyless rid and other cosmetic and stylish features.
Fast, incredible handling, comfortable and stylish. Seems like a great recipe for motorcycle sales success. The question is North America ready and willing to accept this two-wheeled genius from Bavaria?
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