2012 BMW K1600GT vs. 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS [Video]
Sport-Touring taken to the next level
While it sounds like we’ve been bashing the Concours 14, it really is a fine sport-touring motorcycle, at least until you encounter its unusual heavy-steering handling issue. The Kawasaki is powerful, comfortable, and now with the addition of traction control, a rather high-tech motorcycle. When you consider other machines in its price range, its significance is then better understood. And it’s hard to ignore the cost savings between the Bavarian marque and the Kawasaki.
At the end of the day it would be easy to name the BMW the winner and call it a day — there’s no hiding the fact that it outguns the Kawasaki in many respects, and it’s our favorite sporty tourer by a long shot. But to say that is to overlook the point we’ve repeated in this test: even the base K1600GT is more than $5000 more expensive than a fully kitted Concours 14 ABS, yet the latter is a sufficiently adept sport-tourer.
While at Laguna, we had a number of race fans come up to us wanting to get a closer look at the K1600GT, which was parked next to the Concours. Among those were two riders proudly wearing their Iron Butt Association pins and associated paraphernalia. As we talked to them and answered their questions, they seemed interested... until they heard the price tag. Then their eyes wandered toward the Concours.
And that basically sums it up. If money is no object, then the BMW is the hands-down winner and should be in your garage. Its six-cylinder engine, competent handling package and array of desirable amenities make it the preferred sport-touring package.
Then again, if you’re considering the K16 in the first place, the Concours might not even be on your radar, and vice versa for Connie shoppers due to the price discrepancy.
“The Concours 14 delivers 90% of the BMW’s qualities at a 25% discount, which makes it a worthy choice for a supersport-tourer,” Kevin notes. “But its less-impressive engine and clumsy handling relegate it to runner-up status in this comparo, all things but price considered.”
That said, BMW has delivered a winner in its first attempt with the K1600GT. Now it’s up to Japan to respond.
|By the Numbers|
|BMW K1600GT||Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS|
|Bore & Stroke||72 x 67.5mm||84 x 61mm|
|HP (BHP or Rear Wheel)||123.4 (rear wheel)||131.8 (rear wheel)|
|Torque||107.7 (rear wheel)||88.1 (rear wheel)|
|Frame||Bridge-type cast aluminum||Cast aluminum|
|Wheelbase||66.1 in||59.8 in|
|Rake/Trail||27.8 degrees/4.26 inches||26.1 degrees/4.4 inches|
|Front Suspension||Duolever||43mm inverted, telescopic fork with adjustable rebound damping and spring preload / 4.4 in.|
|Rear Suspension||Paralever||Tetra-Lever with stepless rebound damping adjustment and remote spring preload adjuster / 5.4 in.|
|Front/Rear Wheels||Cast aluminum (3.5 x 17 in. front; 6.0 x 17 in. rear)||Cast aluminum (17 in. front and rear)|
|Front/Rear Tires||120/70 x 17, 190/55 x 17||120/70 x 17, 190/50 x 17|
|Front Brakes||Dual 4-piston w/320mm rotors, partial integral, ABS||Dual floating 310mm petal discs with four-piston calipers, ABS|
|Rear Brakes||Single caliper dual-piston w/single 320mm rotor, partial integral, ABS||Single 270mm petal disc, ABS|
|Seat Height||31.8/32.6 in. standard adjustable, 30.7/31.4 in. optional low adjustable||32.1 in.|
|Curb Weight||751 lbs||688 lbs|
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2012 BMW K1600GT Review
2012 BMW K1600GTL Review
2010 Kawasaki Concours 14 Review
2009 Sport-Touring Shootout: BMW K1300GT vs. Honda ST1300 vs. Kawasaki Concours 14 vs. Yamaha FJR1300A
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