Test of the BMW K 1600 GT: 6 cylinders, electro-assisted gearbox, semi-active suspension, 160 horsepower reverse and an engine that makes you enjoy.
The first stops of our tour were the Oltrepò and then the Valtellina and Bormio, in order to first try the use in the city (Milan) then the very smooth state roads and highways and then go chop the bike on the alpine passes of the Stelvio and Gavia.
At the beginning, although used to driving heavy American cruisers, I was a bit afraid to get on this huge motorcycle for travel. They are 1,70 by 75 kilos and when you get on, you realize that you are a little under size for the bike which instead weighs 320 kg.
Ma there is a but ... just start the engine and put the first. After just a few meters, the BMW factor comes into play: this huge bike also looks like a bicycle. We slip into a couple of streets to get carried away and do a reversal as if you were on a GS for more in a very confined space without even resorting to the back (essential!).
The motorcycle in the city its weight is felt, but the chassis and ergonomics really put everyone in a position to drive without tension and in maximum ease. We go through traffic, queues, tight turns even at low speeds without any hesitation.
The engine, with its 6 cylinders and 160hp, always responds smoothly without making jokes, always present and responsive even with the longest gears and at the lowest revs, sometimes you don't even notice you're in sixth at 50 km / h.
Let's move on to state and freeway: comfortable, protective, with all the instruments and controls at hand. Even with a fair amount of rain for a few minutes, we practically came out dry. The adjustable windshield and fairing really make you feel on board an SUV. Perhaps this is what is lacking a little while driving: the feeling of a real motorcycle, leaning more towards the comfort of a car.
We pull the engine which turns perfect and responds immediately, but finding ourselves at speeds beyond the limit without realizing it, we slow down. Horses feel, kilos don't. The bike travels like on a track, never breaking down and never showing signs of instability, even in the fastest corners on uneven surfaces.
Having overcome the most boring traits, let's move on to the most bastard test, that of passivated alpine with hairpin bends and challenging passages: first it Stelvio, then the Topsail. Between engine and chassis we try to find flaws without success, BMW's design was truly flawless.
The climb to the Stelvio is pure fun, with this fat German woman who bends and climbs, sowing much leaner and more agile bikes. On the descent towards Merano we put the brakes and ABS to the test, which together with the suspensions, do not make us overstretch one millimeter. I'm almost getting nervous… but we're getting to Gavia, will something come up?
Nothing! Obviously on the worst hairpin bends of the Gavia climb, I have to stay in second and in some cases even in first (when someone arrives), but the bike is there. The weight obviously does not disappear, and in the tightest passages you feel it, but again the winning engine / chassis pair does its impeccable duty, taking us to the top as if we were a medium-sized tourer.
It is useless to dwell on the well-known technical data. The real luxury of this bike is ride comfort.
- A huge saddle, heated for the rider and passenger along with the grips.
- Electric windscreen really effective even at high speeds without creating annoying turbulence.
- Hull designed to protect the rider without sacrificing aerodynamic qualities. Radio, navigator, instrumentation electronics equal to that of a car.
- Ergonomics at the highest levels: in the hottest passages of July we even started driving standing to get some air, with the control of a maxi enduro.
- Absence of vibrations and engine that delivers smoothly but without hesitating all its power over the entire rev range.
- Electro-assisted gearbox that makes you forget the use of the clutch and is even more immediate in the most demanding passages when you suddenly have to downshift.
- Adjustable suspension, frame, Dynamic Esa make the bike a prosthesis of your legs and arms, giving you the safety you want in every riding and riding condition.
- Reverse, essential, a little abrupt at the beginning but you immediately learn how to dose it.
- Roomy and well-designed bags like the whole bike, which in my opinion proved to be much more elegant and aerodynamic than the R 1200 Gt.
Here are the two problems: the bike is so comfortable and well designed that it feels like driving a car (with two wheels less), the price is not for everyone, 26.400 Euros.
But if you can afford this expense, then you are buying the definitive road travel bike, because the temptation to load up what you need and go around the world is very high.
Photo by Fabio Casuccio