Saturday, October 30, 2010

BMW Unveils K1600GT at INTERMOT

BMW finally released images of its K1600GT and K1600GTL touring motorcycles when it pulled the cover of its new six-cylinder touring bikes at the INTERMOT Bike Show in Cologne, Germany. The Bavarian marque released introductory info on the Inline Six designs in July, but saved the full reveal for INTERMOT.

Stylistically the new Beemer sticks close to the concept drawings teased with its earlier announcement. A notable change from BMW’s previous touring models, the fairing shape doesn’t extend fully down the entire side of the bike. Instead the KT1600 leaves the engine sides exposed, revealing the 55-degree forward slant of the Inline Six.

The new powerplant claims peak power of 160 horsepower. The six-cylinder mill churns out 129 lb-ft of torque, with BMW touting 70% of the peak torque at 1500 rpm. The new mill weighs in at 226 pounds and is just 22 inches wide. Viewed from the front, the K1600GT looks no wider than its smaller-displacement K series kin.
The models unveiled at INTERMOT reveal a heavyweight touring platform. Integrated luggage and adjustable screen are obvious additions. The seating and passenger accomodations for the GTL tourer look downright Gold Wing-esque – the Flat Six-powered Honda its seeming head-to-head rival.

Turn signal indicators look to be tucked under the middle fairing section, underneath the new “adaptive headlight” which makes its debut on the touring platform. The new headlight system uses sensors to detect banking angle, with stepper motors then turning the light on an axis to maintain level beam projection on the road ahead.

Other techno features on the K1600 touring bikes include ride-by-wire electronics and three engine mappings: Rain, Road and Dynamic. Standard ABS is supplemented by the Dynamic Traction Control developed by the German company’s first-ever Superbike – the BMW S1000RR. The two new rides also source proprietary BMW components like the Duolever front suspension and Paralever swingarm, the suspension settings changed on the fly via BMW’s ESA II (Electronic Suspension Adjustment).

Motorcycle USA will attend the K1600GT’s official U.S. reveal later today at gearhead Jay Leno’s garage. Stay tuned for more details.


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