Author Topic: K1600GT, a guy's honest thoughts (from ADV forum)  (Read 2210 times)

Offline stevewfl

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K1600GT, a guy's honest thoughts (from ADV forum)
« on: July 26, 2011, 03:57:10 pm »
Was having the alternator belt on my R1150R replaced at the dealer (Diablo BMW in Walnut Creek CA) in prep for a long ride. Had an hour to kill as they did it while I waited. (BTW, I was impressed with their service. The did a bunch of work the day before and the mechanic told me I might need to adjust the belt. I could hear it whining so brought it back in prep for a 4 day ride with my son. The belt fell apart in the mechanics hands!)

Anyway, there was a K1600GT tester on the showroom floor so I rode it for about 45 minutes or so. No luggage on the bike. I am sure the dealer is worried about heel scrapes. I was told the price was $25k plus tax and license. Fully loaded including side cases but no top case.

Sitting on the bike the ergos were pretty good. I am 5'9" with 29' inseam and was a a couple inches off one heel. The seat was very comfortable. Lean forward was not too aggressive, perfect for longer rides.

Started so fast that it kinda shocked me. Then no vibration ... at all. Laid my hand on the throttle and turned it ever so slightly. Instantly up to 4K and sounded nice.

The throttle is twitchy with a very light spring but you get used to it. I was concerned about my first real turn, down a short fairly steep driveway with a quick right onto a busy street. But bike handled well.

Instrument screen was easy to read even in direct sunlight. Large clear numerals and graphics.

I did some freeway riding and played with the settings. I did not work the stereo as I was interested in the sound of the engine. Left my ear plugs out for this ride. Noted the grip and seat heaters had a nice range of settings, but did not turn them on as it was in the mid 90s F on that day.

Played a lot with the ride settings..Comfort, Normal, Sport. The salesguy said you could not do this while riding, but it worked for me. I loved the wheel for adjusting the settings. As expected the ride got bumpier as you went from Comfort to Sport. I am not enough of an expert to report on the affect on handling. I ended up leaving it on Comfort after a whle as it was...well..comfortable. Bumps were way down...nice. Noted that in Comfort there is a curious damped rebound after a good size bump. But no control issues.

The logic of the menu button and the wheel is good. I had to press the menu button a few times for it to change. Was I doing something wrong?

Tons of power from 3k on up, but really comes on at 5k. I loved the sound of the engine as I maxxed out the throttle.

Windshield was great. At the fully raised position was very solid up to 100 mph, very little flexing or vibration. Has a larger V notch in it, so it is possible to raise it for minimal buffeting but keep some breeze flowing over my head. Helmet vents then could work but still fairly quiet without the wind flowing under the helmet.

Cruise control worked perfect.

Fun stuff>> I was toodling along at about 70 fooling around with the settings, when a black BMW car passed me on the left probably at 90 or so. Dropped a gear, and passed him at over a 100 in what seemed like a second or two. I immediately slowed down and he came up and matched my speed and I could see him wonder wtf wazzat? After 15 seconds, gave me the thumbs up and took off.

I then got on a tight turn road (hwy 4 to the saloon at the end of road in Port Costa.) Road is 5 miles long, one and half lanes, bumpy at times, with turns down to 10 mph. Bike rode very well. Not heavy at all. If you haven't been there, the road ends in a dirt parking lot full of rolling, bumpy potholes that hasn't been graded in 10 years. I stopped and considered a three point turn. But decided to go off road for a hundred yards or so. Bike did fine..bumps no problemo. Clearance OK and I have grounded my R1150R there before.

Port Costa is a lot cooler than Walnut Creek, so on the way back, the temps climbed quickly back into the high 90s. So here is one area of concern. I was wearing my ankle high boots and I could feel the heat coming off the engine on my feet and slightly above my ankle. Not blazing, not too uncomfortable, but definitely there. On a long ride, you might feel it a bit more than you like. For comparison. I have ridden my friend's Honda ST1300 in Central CA heat and it was much worse with the heat cooking your entire leg to damn near fork tender. So I would rate the heat coming off the bike as acceptable.


Seat comfort
Sound of the engine
Auto off turn signals
Comfort setting


Engine heat on feet
Twitchy throttle
Grips are too small and too hard.
“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” St. Augustine