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K1600GT ride report
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offroadfx4 Offline
Running Like a Top

Indiana
Posts: 564
Joined: Apr 2014
Post: #1
K1600GT ride report
K1600GT Ride Report:

I know this is off subject, but rather than trying to turn my CB1100 into a sport touring motorcycle I thought I’d just leave as it was intended and complement it with a dedicated sport touring machine. There is nothing wrong with having 2 to choose from right? ;-)

I had the opportunity (well actually I made the opportunity to celebrate my 62nd birthday) to ride a 2014 K1600GT today for 120 miles Interstate and 120 miles curvy back roads. They have a 2018 (not a demo) but they didn’t want to run up the miles on it. As for the interstate, I have to sum it up with 2 words….cruise control! I know there are cheaper ways to get cruise control than to spend 20-30K but what a relief it was not have to hold pressure 100% of the time. Having automobile like features like bumping it up or down in speed with a toggle and automatic kick out if the brakes are touched was impressive.

On purpose, I held 75-80mph for the entire 120 miles….testing to see if I could maintain that for several hours if need be for cross country touring. Despite having 20+ mph crosswinds with gust to 40mph, it’s quite doable. Between the adjustable windshield and the totally necessary Bose Quiet Comfort 30’s, it’s as close to be in a car as you can get while still on a motorcycle. You could really go up to 90mph and not tell much difference.

I found out later that one of the on the fly suspension settings “comfort” mode is not available on the 2017-2018 models….but this setting really smoothed out any bumps in the road for rough transitions like poor pavement repairs or uneven entrances to bridges, etc. I haven’t fully tested the new 2018 for the solution to this roughness, but more about that later.

On the way back, 120 miles on curvy roads, the “sport” suspension setting was needed. While the K1600GT might not be as “flickable” as our CB1100, it was fast enough in the twisties for me and more than made up for it accelerating out of the turn.

The 160 hp was totally impressive! Talk about passing on a 2 lane with minimal time in the left lane….it was fast and effortless….truly a joy!

I only rode a 2018 a few blocks as it only had 14 miles on it and they were trying to keep the miles down. I plan on going back next week to further test the new suspension mode on the new 2018 and how they compensate for not having that “comfort” mode.

I thought about getting a pre-2017-18 to get the comfort mode, but two features on the 2018 are so impressive I think it would just be dumb not to invest in the most advanced features available. I’m thinking these features could affect the resale value and expand the pool of buyers to those less comfortable in manually shifting.

1. Shift assist: For someone who has spent 45 years working to master the art of manually shifting gears, RPM matching, all while braking I was doubtful I would be impressed by this “weakening” of the motorcycle skill set required to ride. However, as I have learned smoother shifting is on the edge of clutch less shifting anyway, this system is literally just that plus one unexpected advance. Not only do you not have to clutch to shift, you don’t even have to de-throttle! The computer kills the engine for 1/50 of a second to take the pressure off the transmission gears to allow the shift to take place. Very similar to the paddle shifter that was on the Ferrari 430 Scuderia I drove in Las Vegas at a Speedway a few years ago. It was totally impressive and no human could ever match the speed and precision of this “speed shift.”

2. Reverse: I was expecting a noisy clumsy starter engaged reverse, but on contrary it is a transmission engine controlled reverse that reaches a max of 1mph that could come in handy in a pinch.

There other advances on this BMW that is not new for 2018 that our CB1100 doesn’t have like traction control, adaptive headlight, stereo speakers that could be heard at interstate speeds but the two above were the new most impressive features for 2017-2018.

I do plan on keeping my 2014 CB1100 Std. With it’s modified enhanced exhaust, any time I want to make noise (not that the K1600 doesn’t sound good too) and keep it under 60 mph, little to no interstate miles, it will be the ride of choice!

2014 Honda CB1100 STD
1984 Kawasaki GPZ750
1978 Yamaha YZ125
1976 Honda CB750 (cost $1776 new)
1973 Honda CB350
1970 Honda 50 Mini Trail
(This post was last modified: 04-14-2018 02:29 PM by offroadfx4.)
04-14-2018 02:15 PM
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TwoBrothersBusa Offline
1st Service Completed

TN
Posts: 74
Joined: Jun 2017
Post: #2
RE: K1600GT ride report
I had an R1200RT that BMW bought back when they had their suspension Stop Ride over a summer. The dealer sent me out on a K1600GT. It is a monster bike in all departments. Sounds like they've solved one of my issues with it too! (Reverse) That's a big heavy bike to have a 5'8" guy trying to move it backwards. The GTL I could flat foot, but much preferred the GTs looks over the GTL. In the end I ended up on a Triumph Trophy for a while...so many bikes, so little time.

2014 CBR1100
2008 Hayabusa - Gone but not forgotten
2007 / 2012 GSXR 1000...done with track days
04-14-2018 02:26 PM
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offroadfx4 Offline
Running Like a Top

Indiana
Posts: 564
Joined: Apr 2014
Post: #3
RE: K1600GT ride report
(04-14-2018 02:26 PM)TwoBrothersBusa Wrote:  The GTL I could flat foot, but much preferred the GTs looks over the GTL.

I'm 5'9", I used to be 5' 10" but gravity takes it toll ;-)

I actually went with the intention of riding both the GT and GTL so I could decide which one I would prefer. I could totally flat foot the GTL but almost could the GT.

People have told me you sit "in" a GTL and "on" a GT.

The game changer for me was with the GTL you have to look "through" the windshield all the time. With the GT you can adjust it to look over it or slightly through the top of it in its highest position.

This windshield position is more similar to the small fairing I have on my CB1100. The foot pegs and handle bars are also more similar to my CB1100.

I'm hoping the GT will be more like my CB on steroids while I consider the GTL more like the Gold Wing.

2014 Honda CB1100 STD
1984 Kawasaki GPZ750
1978 Yamaha YZ125
1976 Honda CB750 (cost $1776 new)
1973 Honda CB350
1970 Honda 50 Mini Trail
04-14-2018 06:21 PM
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LongRanger Offline
Road Warrior

Evergreen, CO
Posts: 2,006
Joined: Aug 2015
Post: #4
RE: K1600GT ride report
My '15 RT has the "comfort" mode (actually, on the RT, it's called "soft".) It's nice on the the freeway but I usually use "normal" for everyday riding. The bike also has the quick shifter which can be used for both upshifs and downshifts. I don't know -- it doesn't seem to shift very smoothly for me. I prefer to use the clutch. But yes, the cruise control and power windscreen are ace!

'14 Honda CB1100 DLX #000094
'15 BMW R1200RT
'13 BMW F800GT
'98 BMW K1200RS
'06 Ducati Monster 620
04-14-2018 08:42 PM
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