Motorcycles of the Year – 2012 BMW K 1600 GT and GTL

Nov 21, 2011 View Comments by

When we first set eyes on the new BMW K 1600 GTL and K 1600 GT motorcycles at Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage last December, we had a strong feeling that this dynamic duo was something special. When we finally got to test them (August 2011 issue) our suspicions were confirmed: BMW had hit a home run! The K 1600 series is perfectly suited to RoadRUNNER readers. They are smooth and powerful, capable touring machines with clean, good looks that are competitively priced.

A number of owners also took the time to write in about their experiences with the new K 1600 series, and they reported excellent results, apart from a few early production accessory glitches that have been cleared up. Mark Vetter of Apex, NC, said: “I can sum it up in one word, WOW! I purchased a red K 1600 GT from Capitol BMW in Raleigh, NC, with all the bells and whistles, including GPS and rear trunk. I traded in an H-D Deluxe and a BMW 1200 GS Adventure. The whole team at Capitol BMW is very professional and made the entire process fun. They let me witness the unveiling in the service department and the whole assembly process.

This is by far the best motorcycle I have owned in my 41 years of riding. The bike is not perfect. The stereo is pretty much useless at highway speeds; the iPod interface seems to lose its mind and just quit working every once in a while; and the GPS is difficult to see during the day (probably user error on my part). But when you start that incredible six and wind it out, there is nothing quite so intoxicating! I still own a 2009 H-D® Road Glide®, but it has not seen many miles since.”

Perry Linn of Burnsville, MN, said: “I purchased a 2012 K 1600 GTL and received it on July 6. I have enjoyed 6,500 miles on it so far with another 6,500 expected on it before the riding season ends this year. I owned a 1999 K 1200 LT before this that I bought new and sold it last year with 127,000 miles on it. I also have a 2008 H-D® Fatboy® that I use for short-mileage trips. I typically will put about 10,000 miles on the touring bike. I have been motorcycling since I was 17 and now I am 49. Most everything has been better than expected in the bike. I like that the bags are all easily removable; the wind baffles that direct air at you when temps are high; the removable GPS looks like it’s built in so you can plot your course on the computer; Sirius XM radio; the ease of changing the oil; the lighter and lower weight; the great fuel economy with a 7-gallon tank; and the great looks of the bike.”

With the results in we are pleased to announce BMW as the recipient of our Motorcycle of the Year award. Well done!

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