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Thread: K1600GT vs a GS

  1. #1
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    K1600GT vs a GS

    I was wiling away some time in Williams Motorrad in M'cr recently and as I finished my free coffee and biccies my eye fell on a K1600GT. I was surprised that it was not as big as I imagined.

    I currently have a R1200GS LC.

    Anyone had both and care to reveal their thoughts as to the pluses and minuses of ownership.

    BTW, I do not go off-road. Riding is 50% single, and 50% with pillion. Do like to "press on a bit" and we enjoy one day and weekend ride-outs. Also planning to do more touring (off to the Picos in Sept)

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    I've just changed from a single cam GSA to the K1600GT. The K is everything the GSA is not and vice versa. But I was enticed by the sound of the engine, all that torque and the smoothness. It's something else.

    My riding is entirely on the road - and I've started doing longer trips across Europe and plan to use it for work so I've swapped and don't regret it at all.

    Book a test ride - only you will know what's best for you....

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    Topical for me - just had a decent test ride on a K1600GT. I can't compare it directly to a GSA, but my word it was nice...

    It's been a few years since I had my 1200GS, which I absolutely loved for it's versatility - anything from country lanes to autobahns - but for two-up touring or any long distance work, I'd take the K1600 every time. It's brilliant on the motorway, as you'd imagine, but it's also suprisingly handy on twisty roads. And that engine is just so smooth and creamy and flexible.

    (As an intermediate step, you can buy my K1200GT-SE. To you, sir, £4,000!)
    I'm tired of giving a reason when the future is what we believe in.

  4. #4
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    I've had the K16. Great engine. Its only downfall, for me, is that its a heavy beast.

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    Try a late K1300GT you'll be very surprised
    Fake friends are no different than shadows, they stick around during your brightest moments, but disappear during your darkest hours

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    Interesting thread

    I guess a few of us have pondered the same question

    However the K1600 has been about a little while now, does anyone know when it will get replaced?

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    I have owned two GS's and now two 1600 GT's, the first from when the model was first released.

    Trying to compare the two is pointless, beyond saying that they both have two wheels. Ride one and see what you think. That being said, I would take the 1600 over the 1200 GS (paricularly the WC variant, which is quite horrible) any day of the week.

    Downsides: Eats tyres, front and rear. Some of the early models pulled to the left, mine did, right up to the day I sold it 60,000 miles later. Do not park it facing down a significant slope and expect to pull / push it easily uphill; if you do, you will only do it once, trust me. BMW's own tank bag. They can and will overheat if you do not keep the very large radiator cleaned out. Early models had the 'egg beater' transmission noise, mine did.

    Upsides: Fanatstic engine. All day long comfortable, rider and pillion. First class handling, as good in the wet as it is in the dry, belying it's 320 kg weight. Excellent hand controls and GPS integration. Good choice of third party tank bags and soft luggage. No need to buy any extra bling. Good discount on pre-owned models.

    Anything worth buying for it or get fitted as a part of a deal? New tyres. A set will not last over 4,500 miles, sometimes less, trust me. BMW's own and very neat engine bars. That's about it.



    When will it get replaced? When they stop making it. When will that be? Who knows? What might they replace it with, if at all? Who knows?

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    Quote Originally Posted by degsey View Post
    Try a late K1300GT you'll be very surprised
    No no no! A 2008 K1200GT is what he wants. Trust me. £3,800, and I'm cutting my own throat.
    I'm tired of giving a reason when the future is what we believe in.

  9. #9
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    Totally different machines. The GSA is the easier to ride, the K1600 requires you to be more alert so to say. On the bumpy roads the GSA is better. The K1600 is a beast but a well behaved beast. A bit more thought has to go into riding it. In the end I chose the GSA because it suits the roads and the way I ride. However if there was space and the budget allowed for it the K1600 would be on the short list. There is a thread I started about the K1600 with some valid comments from members.

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    I came oh so close to buying one after my brief affair with an S1000XR didn't work out; the reality of commuting into London was the only thing that stopped me. For any kind of open road riding the K is fantastic and the ride quality beats the GS into a cocked hat. Handling is good but the gearbox can be a bit funny (probably a factor of the weight when pulling away). The Hill Hold Control is great when stopped at lights or parked on an uphill.

    As Wapping says the later (I think late 2014) upgrade model probably edges it - it's easy to spot as it comes with the aforementioned HHC and keyless. If you go for the full luggage keyless works very well with central locking (much better than the GS too). I found the egg beater phenomenon on the 2011 bike I tried but not the later 2015 model. If buying used watch out for corrosion on the engine casings - a K not looked after can get tatty.

    The only downside I encountered was that I couldn't get the screen into a position where the airflow was smooth - too high and a surprisingly chilly vortex around the back of the neck appeared, too low and lots of helmet buffeting. Probably easily fixed with something atop the screen.

    I also looked at a K1300GT last winter as the dealer had two - a similar bike but feels like 20 years old compared to the 1600 and there's a reason why there aren't many for sale - reliability. Mine conked out due to duff battery during the test ride. Google alpine biker for a good set of reviews on his 1300. Having said that it had more urgency at the low end and I believe makes more torque, probably due to 50Kg less weight. Still, even extended warranty options will run out soon as you can only get one on a BMW up to 10 years old.

  11. #11
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    Just gone back to a GSA after 3.5 years and 23,500 miles on a K1600GT. Love them both. That engine on the GT is extraordinary. I didn't change because I didn't like the GT any more, just felt like time for a change - and I'm not sure I really need to drive at 120mph any more (through France of course). Both very different - both fantastic bikes...

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    As has been said, it's entirely down to what you want to use the bike for. I have a TC GSA and a K16 GT. I love both bikes but for different reasons.

    On rougher roads I prefer the GSA but the K16 is still pretty good. That's one up; with a pillion the balance between bikes changes. I notice pillion presence significantly on the GSA especially at low speeds and in traffic. The impact of having a passenger on the K16 is very small and it's great for that reason. However my wife hates he K16 on bumpy roads and loves it on smooth roads. On bad surfaces she feels the suspension doesn't absorb the bumps and she gets jarred badly.

    In May we toured the complete coastline of Ireland and on the Wild Atlantic Way I would have hated to have been on the K16 and probably she would have flown home; as we were on the GSA it was great. Tomorrow we head for Italy via Dutch and German motorways, Romantische Strasse, alpine passes, etc and it's the K16 all the way. In early Aug I took the K16 to Karnten in Austria to hare around with some Austrian mates and it was fantastic on the smooth twisting roads there; handling and power were great> and enjoyed it probably more than the GSA on a previous visit.

    So, horses for courses. Hope that's confused you enough

  13. #13
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    Had a brief test ride of a K1600GT SE today. Only 48 miles on the clock though.

    Engine: immense. Very impressive. But I got to sixth gear and the engine was still pulling: it felt like it needed at least two more gears!

    Bike felt very stable and comfy. And, given how few miles the tires had done, I thought the roadholding was excellent.

    Probably the only 'disappointing' thing, for me, was the gearbox. Light years better than that on my GS. Gears selected easily. But there was a definite metallic click/clunk when moving through the ratios. I can live with that. But the iffy bit was that I got the same metallic clunk from the drivetrain when coming off or on the throttle. No shunting as such, just the metallic clunk. Talking to the service manager, he suggested that this will improve after the first service when a "thicker oil" will be in the gearbox.

    Interestingly, I also learnt that the construction of the current version of the bike has halted. A new one is due soon, possibly being announced at the bike show. They could not confirm the changes coming, but a reverse gear is their hot tip! Plus slightly more power and torque, although it hardly needs that. Gearshift assist is also expected.

  14. #14
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    A reverse gear would be good.

    Gear shift assist, less so.

  15. #15
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    I had one for a few days. Brought out the hooligan in me such a lovely engine. Just loves to go. I would of thought a RT would be a more valid comparison. Still totally different bikes but the GS is so far away from the big K that it's hard to imagine someone in the market for one or the other. JJH

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wapping View Post
    A reverse gear would be good.

    Gear shift assist, less so.
    Reverse gear next year apparently.

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