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K 1600 “B” By Bob Maples

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I took a recent trip down to our local Gateway BMW Motorcycle Dealer to get a look at the newest offering in the K 1600 line, the K 1600 B.

I know that everyone I talk to who rides the K 1600 series has one word they all say… Power.

The six cylinder motor has been referred to as a miniature car engine straight from the best designs that BMW offers. One rider told me it was like riding on an F1 race car engine. At 160 horse power it is extremely powerful.

Power, refined chassis, traditional BMW engineering and modern technology, looks to me a combination to make a motorcycle without equal in today’s market.

Just as the R 1000RR has redefined racing, the K 1600 B looks to redefine street riding and long distance touring.

So why is this bike different? I found several reasons!

A picture does not give the sense of what this bike really is like in person. It is big but still smaller than a GT or GTL, and has a stance and clean lines I like.

The lower rear bag position which is different from the GT model means I will not be hitting them with my foot getting on and off. My BMW R1100S bags are high-mounted and terribly scratched up for exactly that reason.

It looks lowered, but up close I noticed the seat position is still upright with good access to the controls and a comfortable reach to the handlebars and pegs and the saddle has a nice dip to make reaching the ground easy with a good rear bolster for secure seating.

Mounted up forward there are two wide highway peg foot rests with a forward control look but BMW smartly kept the good ergonomics and safety of mid controls, so while you can stretch out and relax on a long trip you are not forced into a bad position to work the shifter and brake nor forced into enduring wind and rain up your pants and a sore tail bone as you will on a Harley Davidson and many other cruiser bikes

The GT and GTL bikes are very capable long distance touring designs while the “B” version seems more personal with a focus on giving the rider a lighter, more nimble bike with all the features of the K 1600 series. It has plenty of clearance for good lean angle as well.

To me, when I look at this bike I sense a sport touring concept where performance comes first with just enough comfort and touring details to make long trips easy and fast. While I have heard some folks say it looks more like a cruiser I disagree. I see it as more of a sport touring bike with the subtle lines of a classic boa tail roadster.

The optional foot forward rider position is a jaunty rake instead of an uncomfortable cruiser slouch. And the attitude of the bike is one of refined power and capability with a new style that everyone will instantly recognize.

Big, powerful, focused on giving me the most performance available while still being comfortable and easy to ride is my perfect bike!

I encourage anyone who wants a motorcycle with a new spin on style to look at the K 1600 B for themselves as I know I will when time to replace my current ride.

BMW may have built a new legend in motorcycling.