BMW hasn’t slated a ton of changes for the 2017 K1600GT, but then it didn’t need to. The K16’s inline Six engine delivers power, sound, and smoothness that other touring bikes can only dream of. In 2015, the GT and the GTL gained traction control for the claimed 160 hp and 129 lb-ft cranked out by the six cylinders. For 2017, the engine stays functionally the same as last year with the exception of meeting Euro 4 emission requirements. If that were the only change for the GT, it’d still be on the short list of bikes we’d want to take on a cross-country tour. Fortunately, BMW added a few changes that make the GT even more desirable.
The big news for the 2017 K1600GT is the addition of Dynamic ESA with its automatic suspension adaptation to road conditions is now a standard feature. When combined with the big six’s ride modes, BMW claims the K1600GT will provide “the very highest level of comfort and traction over virtually all surfaces.” That’s a mouthful – especially when one considers how well-sorted previous versions of the GT were. Down in the nitty-gritty of travel, the suspension allows the rider to adjust the suspension’s damping character on the road. Additionally, the electronic preload can be adjusted independently of the damping.
Maneuvers in parking lots will be much easier thanks to the new reverse assist. Pressing a button on the left handlebar and the starter simultaneously starts the bike moving backwards, giving easing the rider’s effort in backing up. Those short in the inseam should love this feature.
Finally, the weather protection offered to both the rider and passenger has been optimized. Redesigned portions of the side trim combine with larger slipstream deflectors keep the elements away from the cockpit for more comfortable riding.
Since BMW always has a raft of upgrades available for their bikes, the popular Shift Assistant Pro is an option for those who don’t want to use the clutch for up- and down-shifts. For quick response in an emergency, an optional Intelligent Emergency Call system can be activated either manually or automatically, sending the bike’s GPS coordinated to a BMW Call Center to be routed to first responders.
The BMW K1600GT will have three color selections: Mars Red metallic, Blackstorm metallic and Lupine Blue metallic / Blackstorm metallic.