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Old 08-11-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default 2012 BMW K1600GT vs. 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS [Video]


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2012 BMW K1600GT vs. 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS [Video]

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article 2012 BMW K1600GT vs. 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS [Video] in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
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Old 08-11-2011, 08:39 PM   #2
briangorrell
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I'm in love with the idea of this K1600GT - but wow what a price difference over the Connie! I bought a 2010 BMW R1200GSA last year, not so much because I wanted to do any big 'adventure' touring, but because the bike fits my 6' 4" frame better than any other I'd checked out in recent times... Love that boxer grunt...

Any feedback from tall riders like me on the new K1600GT? My local dealer still doesn't even have one on the floor... Great article by the way!!
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:56 AM   #3
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Smile Kawasaki C-14 vs. BMW K1600GT

Gentlemen, nice writeup on these two fine motorcycles. As an owner of an 09 C-14 with ABS I may be able to offer some insight to why the steering feels heavy on the C-14. Basically, it is all about tires. The bike does handle a bit heavy depending on the tires selected (the original stock tires were terrible!). After reading other magazines comments about how easily the BMW handles I also noticed that the rear tire profile of the BMW was a 55 series and not a 50 series like the C-14 and that will help how quickly it moves from side to side. Other C-14 owners I know on the ZZRBIKES.COM site where I hang have also tried using 55 series with some success.

Personally, after hearing that Metzler developed the Z8 specifically for the 6 cylinder BMW's I decided to try that brand on my bike for many reasons. I have been disappointed in every tire I've tried on my C-14 from a mileage and handling standpoint. Given the BMW is about 60+ lbs. heavier than my C-14 I felt it may offer better mileage and handling potential than the Dunlops and Continentals that I have been using. Much to my surprise, once I mounted the Z8 on my C-14 (in 50 series) it feels like it shed at least a 100 lbs. or more. The bike is more nimble and tracks like it is on rails. I have not had them on long enought to see if my mileage theory is correct, but I'm hoping to get more than the 4-7K miles out of a set of tires.

Although, it wouldn't have been an apples to apples test between these two bikes I wonder how the handling comparison would have stacked up between the two bikes with those tires mounted on the C-14? Just food for thought...

p.s. - concerning a lack of power of the C-14 at lower RPM's...removal of the secondary butterflies and a power commander will remedy that for sure. Additional food for thought...

Last edited by GS1100GK : 08-12-2011 at 05:55 AM. Reason: Additonal thoughts...
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:56 AM   #4
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Interesting GS11000GK. I have also heard that removal of the secondaries and tuning the mixture with a power commander really wakes up the big Kaw engines. This type of therapy and an exhaust swap made a huge difference on my 2006 FZ1.

The BMW, in it's as tested form, looks like a police bike to me. I bet well funded departments will be using these for law enforcement. We have a few Beemer cop bikes around here.

The BMW has such an amazing exhaust note. Hard to believe that is coming from a stock can. I bet a Staintune slip on would make the rider's hair stand on end!
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:26 AM   #5
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This is an excellent comparison, and your conclusions are spot on. There's a sensible price for a bike, and there's a "look at me...I'm rich" price for a bike. The Kawi not only kicks BMW's ass up front in the purchase price, but if anyone adds up average owner expenses over 20, 50, or 100k miles, it will obliterate it. Cost of ownership is critical for a high-mileage touring machine.

So the BMW is faster...how fast is fast enough?
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:44 AM   #6
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Default Tires and Price

Originally from the North East cost is a matter of principle. It is hard for any pragmatic rider to justify paying so much more for a bike when one performs almost the same as the other. Performance meaning all things considered. Amen to the right tires make or break the handling qualities of the bike. Some folks never seem to understand that dynamic. Nice comparo.
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Old 08-12-2011, 07:50 AM   #7
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I don't understand how the review states this bike has an undersquare engine. This implies the stroke is longer than the bore. It may not be hugely oversquare, but it's still an oversquare engine if the specs are accurately presented. "With a 72 x 67.5mm bore and stroke, the 1649cc mill is rather undersquare, though this helps keep overall dimensions narrow..."

A square engine would be 72x72, and the stroke is less than the bore so it's oversquare.

But I belabor the point. Please clarify.
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:26 AM   #8
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Jeezus, Kids these days... BMW and Kawasaki have been going at it since '86, not '96 with the original K100RT/ Concours match-up...

These types of bikes are usually right up my alley and except for my GS would be my bike of choice. For the money though, much as I love Beemers I think I'd buy the Connie this time around. My recent experience with the K1200 GT showed just how practical this style of bike is but for the money I paid for a used GT I could have bought a new leftover C14. Whether or not that would have made a difference in my decision to keep it is a tough call given how much I like the GS, but to me $25k is a lot to pay for a bike when I could get a leftover Connie for $10k or a current year for under $15K

If Triumph ever gets their act together with the rumored Trophy then that's another one to consider but for now I'd take the Connie and be happy without all the gee-whizz electronics on the BMW. I just can't see the Beemer being $10k "better"....
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:10 AM   #9
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If the steering is a bit hard maybe a few hours at the gym......
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theevolone View Post
I don't understand how the review states this bike has an undersquare engine. This implies the stroke is longer than the bore. It may not be hugely oversquare, but it's still an oversquare engine if the specs are accurately presented. "With a 72 x 67.5mm bore and stroke, the 1649cc mill is rather undersquare, though this helps keep overall dimensions narrow..."

A square engine would be 72x72, and the stroke is less than the bore so it's oversquare.

But I belabor the point. Please clarify.
You are correct. The K16 engine is indeed oversquare. An edit is forthcoming.
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