BMW has entered the game.
In motorcycle parlance, ‘Bagger’ is a term used to describe a large touring motorcycle that is equipped with panniers or hard luggage, perhaps even a top box.
Typically, Baggers also have concessions to style and aesthetics, such as a ‘slammed’ rear end or enhanced bodywork and paint – it’s a significant market share and now BMW is getting in on the action with the latest K 1600 B – for Bagger.
The K 1600 GT and GTL models were released in Australia in 2011 and they set a benchmark for performance in luxury touring bikes, but they were ‘pure’ tourers, without the styling cues that sets the Bagger market apart.
Now, that’s all changed, and what a fabulous motorcycle the new model is.
At its heart is a four-stroke oil and water cooled, in-line six-cylinder engine with 4-valves per cylinder that displaces 1649cc.
It’s an exhilarating powerplant that produces 160 horsepower and 180Nm of torque at 5,250rpm.
That power is fed to the rear wheel via multi-disc oil bath clutch, a sure-shifting, crisp six-speed gearbox and very direct lash-free shaft drive.
Chassis To Match
It’s all slung in a chassis that is as equally well performed. The suspension is proprietary BMW, with a Duolever front end and central spring strut. The main advantage of this system is that ‘fork dive’ or compression of the front suspension under hard braking is virtually eliminated.
The rear suspension is BMW’s Paralever set up and it works in perfect harmony with the front. Both systems are electronically controlled, and their settings are switchable on the fly.
Tipping the scales at 344kg fuelled up and ready to ride means stopping this high-performance monster requires serious braking power too.
That’s handled by twin 320mm fixed rotors with 4-piston calipers up front and single 2-piston at the rear – all with lean angle optimised ABS.
Best of the rest
The rest of the raft of high-tech throughout the machine is equally impressive. From the high definition TFT display and the huge array of information and infotainment options it supports, to the 3 fly-by-wire riding modes that accommodate ‘Rain’, ‘Road’ and Dynamic’ settings. There’s a hill-hold option, Industry best cruise control, adaptive headlight, self-cancelling indicators, a slip control clutch and many more features to add to safety and comfort.
It also has an array of luxury inclusions like heated seats, heated grips, an adjustable power windscreen, an outstanding navigation system and impressive infotainment and phone integration.
Value for money.
With a base price of $41,125 the K 1600 B is at the upper end of the luxury motorcycle market. The test bike has optional Manhattan Metallic Paint ($350) and 719 Forged Wheels ($2,500) fitted as well, but it’s a bike that you get what you pay for.
A bike that stacks up well in Queensland conditions with fabulous performance, class leading technology, safety enhancements and great comfort throughout.
A real Bahnstormer.