BMW has announced that the newest RXXXXGS will be unveiled at the INTERMOT show on 2 October. The reason for all the X’s in the bike’s name is…we don’t know what the engine will be. 1200? 1250? 1300? Air-cooled (Probably not)? Rumors have been of a 1250cc water-cooled boxer.
But whatever it is, when we first see it, we will also know what the future of the R1200RT, and the rest of the R-models will be. The GS is the iconic bike in the BMW line-up and the Boxer engine is the heart of BMW’s motorcycle. So, in about a month, BMW will not only be unveiling a new GS model, but also the future of BMW’s motorcycles.
It may be that we will see the end of nearly a century of air-cooled boxers.
Back in 2007, Kawasaki took the sport-touring world by storm with the introduction of the Concours 14. Ever since, it’s been the darling of the motorcycling press, and generally regarded as the king-hell sport-tourer. This year, though, BMW strikes back with the new bikes based on the 1600cc I-6 engine, and they’ve received rave reviews.
The thing is, when you ride a bike by itself, it often seems more impressive than it would by riding it side by side with something else with which to compare it. So, what would happen, and who would win, if some testers rode the Concours 14 and the K1600GT side by side? Well, thanks to Motorcycle.Com, we now know. They spent a couple of days riding the two machines side by side, and have written up their impressions, as well as providing some video.
We’ll get to the video down below. In the meantime, the key takeaway from this comparo is probably this:
Compared to the Kawasaki Concours 14, the K16 simply blows the doors off its Japanese counterpart from the word “go.” It’s astounding to say that the ZX-14 engine is weak by any means, but when stacked against this competition, the Kawasaki simply feels, well, slow.
The K1600GT is the motorcycle that made the Concours 14 seem slow. That says a lot right there. But there’s more. Apparently the K1600GT blew away the Kawi in several other areas, too.
Once above 5 mph, the GT changes direction with absolute fluidity and grace, though the K16 won’t be mistaken for an S1000RR in the weight department. That said, its linear steering and sporty chassis were a hit among both our testers, especially compared to the heavy-steering Kawasaki…
BMW claims the K16 (in both GT and GTL form) makes 70% of its available torque at just 1500 rpm. That’s quite a lot of power with the engine barely spinning. What that means in the real world is that no matter if you’re just leaving a stop or cruising on the highway in sixth gear at 80 mph, when the throttle is twisted, the Beemer moves…
Yes, only 123.4 horsepower. Dyno chart junkies might scoff at that number (especially compared to the Kawasaki’s 131.8 peak horsepower), but from the saddle the abundant amount of torque makes it easy to forget any horsepower disadvantage. What we didn’t expect, and what may be even more surprising, is just how smooth and well balanced the K16 engine really is. Propped up on the center stand and with the engine running, full-throttle blips produced no visual movement from the bike whatsoever. None….
ABS intervention from the BMW felt much less intrusive than the Kawi, to the point where you almost forget it’s working. It’s truly a step above where ABS technology was just a few years ago…Simply put, BMW has nailed the ABS on the K16…
We’ll just say it right now: we’re in love with the K1600GT as it does everything a sport-touring motorcycle should do, and it does it incredibly well.
Looks like BMW has a winner with their K1600-series bikes.
And now, video!
Motorcycle.Com has a head-to-head comparo between the two hottest mid-sized adventure bikes in the world right now. It looks like it was tough choice between these two, too. Just take a look at the dyno graphs.
It’s a fascinating comparo, because the two bikes are just so close together in features. Triumph even replicated the layout of controls and accessory power ports on the BMW. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I guess.
At the end of the day, it seems the only difference between these two machines is their relative street/trail performance. Which one is best really depends on how you’re going to use it, but, as a practical matter, both are great.
There’s still something about that Triumph triple powerplant, though…
Where would we be without new model rumors, and the photoshops that make them seem true, or, at least, plausible.
In this case, the rumor is of a coming roadster version of BMW’s new flagship sports-tourer, the K1600GT, which would be called the K1600R. It would look something like the photoshop image here. Or not.
It sounds attractive. Still, there are some questions that would have to be answered:
But… The K1600GT starts at £15,300, a full £1800 more than the old K1300GT (which it effectively replaces, as well as superseding the mammoth K1200LT). Would it be possible to make a six-cylinder machine that could match, or even come close to, the K1300R’s £10,450 price? And would the bigger engine offer a significant advantage over the existing four? Finally, could a six-cylinder BMW out-pose and out-muscle the Ducati Diavel that’s scrambled the “big naked” market this year?
Having said that, BMW doesn’t really compete on price, much. and if they can pump up the power of the K16, the same way they did with the K13 for the S model, I can foresee a 180HP+ version making its way into the lineup as an S or R model.
I can dream, anyway.
If I was to tell you how packed my schedule has been this week, you’d be so bored you’d want to slit your own throat. So I won’t. But I do have time to take note of a few things.
The ATK/Hyosung GT650R I’ve been evaluating for ATK is doing fine. I’m convinced that, given some ergos more forgiving to my 46 year-old frame, it’d be a fine commuter/city bike. It’s easy to ride, with predictable performance, and has a surprisingly comfy seat.
The Honda CBR1000RR is about the deadliest racing weapon imaginable in the hands of Casey Stoner.
Is the new Kawasaki ZX-10R good enough to beat the BMWS1000RR in a head-on comparo? No. Seems like a close call, though.
I got my FJR back from the shop on Saturday. Embarrasingly, I had managed to hang my good luck bell in the perfect place…to cut the main wiring harness with the edge of the bell in a full-lock left turn. I’m glad I was backing out of a parking space, instead of trying to do a U-Turn, when the engine went dead.
Instead of spending money on a second bike, I’ve begun wondering if I shouldn’t just get an exhaust system, PowerCommander, and K&N Air Filter.
The American love affair with motorcycles, such as it is, has not extended to the naked bikes in recent years. They sell like hotcakes to our cousins across the pond, but in the US…not so much. We like our cruisers and repli-racers and sport-tourers.
For the 2010 and 2011 model years, that has changed drastically, with a whole slew of naked standards, big and small, coming back to the US in a big way, and from nearly every manufacturer. Kawi completely redesigned the big Z1000 for 2010, Triumph has been pushing the Street Triple, and now Yamaha weighs in with the new FZ8, while BMW is trying to recapture the magic of the F800ST with the new F800R.
Motorcycle USA has stacked up some of these bikes against each other in a new comparo. What makes this one interesting is that the three bikes chosen, other than being middleweight standards, are powered by completely different powerplants. The F800R is a twin, the Street Triple is–as the name implies–a triple, and the FZ8 is an I-4.
So who wins? Is it the thumpy Twin of the BMW, the silky smoothness of the Yamaha I-4, or does the Street Triple offer a sporty compromise between the two that makes is a superior bike to ride?
Apparently, there are a lot of things about the Street Triple that catches the testers’ hearts.
Motorcycle Daily joins the list of motojournalists who’ve tested the BMW K1600GT/GTL. They like it.
The Icon waterproof Patrol jacket seems very nice, if a bit pricey.
The Hyosung GT650 seems like a decent naked standard, considering its price.
Another decent photoshop rendering of the upcoming MV Agusta Brutale B3 675 triple.
Talk about electric vehicles all you want, but they aren’t ready for prime time, if the sales figures are any clue.
Wes Siler thinks the 200-ish horsepower BMW S1000RR would be a great first bike. For beginners. Who just started riding.
For 2011, Suzuki gave the Gixxer 600–one of the most popular sportbikes ever produced– a complete overhaul. How good an overhaul is it? Motorcycle.Com’s Pete Brissette took it out on the track to see.
Since I didn’t get invited to South Africa for the launch of BMW’s new Inline-6 touring bikes–and couldn’t afford to go if I did–I have to wait for another 2 months or so before I can even get a chance to look at one, much less ride one. Motorcycle.Com, on the other hand, suffers from no such limitation, so they have a review of the the big K1600GTL touring model.
They seem impressed. Indeed, judging by the picture, too much so.
They rave on and on about its Gold-Wing-ass-kicking power, the cool electronics, and just about everything else they can think of to indicate how much better it is than the Gold Wing.
Things they loved:
- Rider comfort
- Air management]
Things they hated:
- Smaller passenger accommodations than the Gold Wing
Other than that, though, they think it’s a home run.
Its six-cylinder engine is sex on wheels with power to spare. Its agility and athleticism is positively shocking for such a big girl, and its suspension and brakes are best in class. What’s more, its array of standard and optional equipment put it in a league of its own.
Brit motorcycle journolist Kevin Ash has come up with another little niggle about the GT version, however, which is that, despite the higher torque of the I-6 powerplant, it actually doesn’t pull as hard in lower RPM ranges as the bike it replaces, the K1300GT, with its I-4.
For me, the 703 lb wet weight already made it a far less desirable bike, so I doubt if the new BMW is anywhere in my future. Great concept though. Shave 200 lbs off it, and call it the K1600S, though, and I might be willing to take a second look.
Asphalt & Rubber has an image of what appears to be a new BMW RXX00GS in the wild. Sure it looks like a R1200GS, but the thing is…the shaft drive is on the wrong side.
BMW’s boxer engines are air/oil-cooled, but the end of the road is surely in sight for air-cooled engines, due to both emissions compliance issues and the consumer demand for a bit more power. So, the best guess here is that this is a GS testing a new liquid-cooled boxer engine. we don’t know the displacement, or anything else. We don’t even know if this engine is liquid-cooled, based on the picture.
Still, the rumor is the BMW is water-cooling the boxer, and if this GS with what is obviously a different motor is already testing on the road, the chances are pretty good that it is the water-cooled boxer, and if its in this advanced stage of testing, i.e., running around on a bike in the wild, then we can look forward to a brand new RXX00GS for 2012.
We might know more, but this picture appears to have been taken by a 1930s Kodak box camera, using film that’s over its expiration date.
Since BMW announced the new straight-6 K1600GT and K1600GTL models, they’ve become one of the most hotly-anticipated motorcycles of 2011. So much so, that BMW has announced that they will take pre-sale orders for them, starting today. All you have to do is go to the BMW web site and fill out this pre-sale form. Just so we’re clear, you’re entering the pre-sales program for a motorcycle that isn’t actually in production yet. They also have another form to fill out if you just want to receive updates about the bikes from BMW.
It takes quite a lot of confidence to start taking pre-sale orders for a bike you haven’t actually built yet, but it seems that BMW’s confidence is warranted. BMW Motorrad USA announced their 2010 sales results today. Somehow, in a year of economic recession, plunging motorcycle sales, and despite making about the highest-priced motorcycles one can buy, BMW did…good.
BMW Motorrad reported a 12.3% increase in motorcycle sales in 2010.
The German manufacturer shipped 98,047 units in 2010 compared to 87,306 motorcycles in 2009. BMW reported growth in almost every market including a 4% increase in the U.S. despite a double-digit downturn for the industry.
Leading the sales charge for BMW was the S1000RR, their new–and conventional–literbike, which sold 10209 units to become BMW’s highest-selling model.
While many motorcycle companies have been struggling since the worldwide economic recession started in 2008, BMW has been fairing pretty well. Part of BMW’s success has been coming out with bikes that don’t fit the mold of “stodgy tourers for fantastically wealthy oldsters”, and appeal to younger, less affluent riders. One of those bikes is the S1000RR sportbike that pretty much everybody has fallen in love with.
BMW seems to be getting it, marketing-wise. As Pieter De Waal, VP of BMW Motorrad USA, says, “When selling something nobody needs, you’d better give them a very good reason to buy.”
Following along in that vein, BMW has dropped the F800S from the 2011 lineup, replacing it with the urban, naked, standard F800R. That bike has been available to Europeans for 18 months, but is now becoming available in North America.
Motorcycle.com has a full test report on the F800S, and they seem to like it a lot.
BMW has unveiled their new 6-cylinder touring motorcycles at INTERMOT, and also came up with a dedicated micro-site. The site is chock full of details on the new bikes, as well as the first official photographs, shown in the thumbnails below.
The BMW K1600GT will replace the current K1300GT, while the K1600GTL will replace the current K1200LT. The new model seems like a huge step up for both bikes. Interestingly, the GT model now integrates a stereo system, something which was only available on the R1200RT and K1200LT, but was not available for the GT model at all.
The rather irritating flash site presents lots of information about the bikes, in frustratingly tiny pieces. Among the available information is the following:
Engine output 160 HP at approx. 7500 rpm and a maximum torque of approx 129 ft-lbs at approx. 5000 rpm. Over 70% of maximum torque available from 1500 rpm.
Three drive modes to choose from (“Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic”).
Traction control DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) for maximum safety when accelerating (optional extra).
Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA II for optimum adaptation to all uses and load states (optional extra).
World premiere for a motorcycle: Adaptive Headlight (optional extra) in conjunction with standard xenon headlamp and lighting rings for increased safety at night.
Integrated operating concept for the first time with Multi-Controller, TFT color screen and menu guidance.
The instrument panel based on digital technology comprises a speedometer and tachometer as well as an information display which takes the form of a powerfully lit 5.7-inch colour monitor. This display enables user-friendly presentation of text and graphics over several lines.The information unit is operated using the Multi-Controller. As a component of the integrated operating concept it is placed ergonomically favourably on the left handlebar grip. Unlike individual operating keys, this set-up means that the rider does not have to take his eyes off the road.
Audio system with preparation for navigation device and controllable interface for iPod, MP3, USB, Bluetooth and satellite radio (only USA and Canada) (standard in the K 1600 GTL). BMW Motorrad Navigator IV available as a special accessory is also integrated in the vehicle electrical system directly ex works. This means that the most important functions such as zoom or voice command repetition can be operated conveniently from the handlebars using the Multi-Controller.
Innovative design with outstanding wind and weather protection.
K 1600 GTL with very comfortable, relaxed ergonomics set-up for long trips with pillion passenger as well as luxury touring features.
With a total width of just 22″, the engine is only slightly wider than a current large-volume 4-cylinder in-line engine. In order to keep the width as low as possible, the electrical ancillary units and their drive units were moved behind the crankshaft into the free space above the gearbox. The ideal concentration of masses at the center of the vehicle makes for an optimum center of gravity and outstanding handling. The engine of the K 1600 models is about 3.9″ narrower than all 6-cylinder in-line engines previously used in serial motorcycle production. This makes the engine not only the most compact but also the lightest 6-cylinder in-line engine for a serial production motorcycle, weighing just 226 lbs.
When the rider activates the free-moving clutch lever, torque is transmitted from the crankshaft to a self-energising 10-disc wet clutch with anti-hopping function via a straight-toothed primary drive – so as to ensure that the high level of force is delivered gently.
Obviously, there’s much more there, but you get the idea. If you’re like me, your only question now is, “When can I ride it?”
The first–grainy, low-res images of the 2011 BMW K1600GTL have been leaked.
Being the flagship BMW tourers, it will have all sorts of goodies on it. Over and above the I-6 engine with 160HP and 129 ft-lbs of torque. One thing it will have is adaptive headlights that sense when the bike is leaning into a turn, and pints the headlights into the turn. Another fancy bit is the motorcycle version of the iDrive system in BMW cars: a full-color screen that incorporates the integrated GPS, audio display, and probably the setup screen, showing what you’ve set the suspension settings to, tire pressure, etc.
No real specs on the bike as to dimensions and whatnot are available yet.
But really, what I’m waiting to see are the specs for is the sister GT model, which is replacing the K1300GT. It should be a lot lighter than the GTL, and a lot faster than the current GT.
129 ft-lbs of torque. I bet it’ll have arm-wrenching acceleration. I can’t wait to test ride it.
UPDATE: More info and official pics can be found at this entry that offers a rundown from the official unveiling at INTERMOT.
Motorcycle USA runs a head-to-head adventurer tourer test between the BMX R1200GS, the new Ducati Multistrada 1200S, and the Triumph Tiger 1050, a bike that looks to be making an exit from the Triumph line-up this next year, with the advent of two brand new Triumph adventure bikes. Read the full review for the details, but the Triumph, as always, gives you full value for the money you spend on it. Does it beat the Panzerkampfwagen that is the GS or the hyperdrive-powered MTS? Tough question. It beats the GS on the street, and the Multistrada off-road, so it’s probably a better all-rounder.
But, though I’ve never ridden the Tiger 1050, I’d throw my personal lot with the MTS1200. It’s an unbeatable streetbike in this category. Occasional forays on well-maintained dirt or gravel roads won’t rouble it, but I’m not really likely to do much of that.
I’d pick the MTS, for the lighter weight and amazing quickness and maneuverability on the street.
But, I have to say, for the price, Triumph is about the hardest brand of bike to beat. They really do make value-priced bikes that do what they’re advertised to do. And, with the money you save, you can always farkle them up.