First K1600GT Ride - 4000+ Miles - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #1 of 50 Old 05-14-2017, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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First K1600GT Ride - 4000+ Miles

Day 1 - The Meeting -

The story of my K1600GT begins nearly four years ago in November 2013. I purchased my first BMW (K1200LT) from an individual in Michigan. I did a fly-and-ride and while I was picking up the K12LT, I noticed the owner also had a 2013 K1600GT in the garage. I was immediately struck by the K16GT’s “wow” factor. I made a passing comment to give me the first opportunity to purchase the K16GT if he ever sold it. I departed on my new-to-me 2000 K1200LT not expecting to hear from the owner again.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2016, I’m checking my emails and there is one from the K1600GT owner asking if I remained interested in his bike. My answer was a resounding “yes” and another fly-and-ride was scheduled. Unfortunately the bike was in Las Vegas and I wanted to ride the Sierra mountain roads. Not the best riding idea in the November or December. I contained my enthusiasm and reluctantly scheduled the fly-and-ride for May anticipating the mountain pass roads to be reopened from the winter snows. In the meantime, I registered on the K1600 forum and spent the next five months lurking on the forum reading most threads.

The months of anticipation are finally over. 13 May 2017 had arrived and it was time to board a plane from Pensacola, Florida to Las Vegas. My excitement grew as the distance-to-destination countdown on the inflight screen gets smaller. Not long after landing I am formally introduced to my new-to-me 2013 K1600GT. Once again I am awe struck with the bike. What an amazing piece of engineering! The owner and I spend the next three hours going over the details of the bike: wonder wheel, Clearwater lights, Valentine 1, aux fuel tank, removing/installing seats and side cases, checking oil, GPS, tire pressures, and other farkles he had added to the bike. I felt like I was participating in a television sales commercial with a “wait, there’s more” sales pitch. The owner included thousands of dollars of additional items I was not expecting: side, top, tank bags, multiple item tool kit, C4 bars, and a hydration system. I felt like I was sipping from a fire hydrant trying to remember the multitude of K1600GT intricacies.

The time had come for me to ride. It was a short five mile ride to the hotel, but I was immediately impressed! First, I felt more comfortable with the K1600GT then I did on the K1200LT. The seating height was slightly lower and the top heaviness was missing. Parking lot slow speed maneuvering was significantly improved over the K1200LT. Secondly, the power! I was aware from the forum threads the K16GT had a smooth transfer of power, but I had no idea how much more it was then the K1200LT. Finally, I was impressed with the transmission. Working through the gears was like a warm knife through butter. The only initial negative I had was the throttle, but I’m confident it is something I will adjust to with miles in the seat. I have not used a fly-by-wire throttle and it surprised me a couple times during shifting with an unintentional tendency rev the RPMs.

Today will be my first true experience with the K1600GT. I have planned an afternoon ride to the Hoover Dam to familiarize myself with the bike before I begin a non-direct 4000+ mile return trip to Pensacola. I’ll let you know how the bike and I get along.

Rob, K1600GT
Pensacola, FL

PS
If anyone knows how to have photo display in correct orientation, let me know. Its oriented properly when I upload the photo, but is rotated 90 degrees on the post.
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post #2 of 50 Old 05-14-2017, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fun Bobby View Post
Day 1 - The Meeting -

The story of my K1600GT begins nearly four years ago in November 2013. I purchased my first BMW (K1200LT) from an individual in Michigan. I did a fly-and-ride and while I was picking up the K12LT, I noticed the owner also had a 2013 K1600GT in the garage. I was immediately struck by the K16GT’s “wow” factor. I made a passing comment to give me the first opportunity to purchase the K16GT if he ever sold it. I departed on my new-to-me 2000 K1200LT not expecting to hear from the owner again.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2016, I’m checking my emails and there is one from the K1600GT owner asking if I remained interested in his bike. My answer was a resounding “yes” and another fly-and-ride was scheduled. Unfortunately the bike was in Las Vegas and I wanted to ride the Sierra mountain roads. Not the best riding idea in the November or December. I contained my enthusiasm and reluctantly scheduled the fly-and-ride for May anticipating the mountain pass roads to be reopened from the winter snows. In the meantime, I registered on the K1600 forum and spent the next five months lurking on the forum reading most threads.

The months of anticipation are finally over. 13 May 2017 had arrived and it was time to board a plane from Pensacola, Florida to Las Vegas. My excitement grew as the distance-to-destination countdown on the inflight screen gets smaller. Not long after landing I am formally introduced to my new-to-me 2013 K1600GT. Once again I am awe struck with the bike. What an amazing piece of engineering! The owner and I spend the next three hours going over the details of the bike: wonder wheel, Clearwater lights, Valentine 1, aux fuel tank, removing/installing seats and side cases, checking oil, GPS, tire pressures, and other farkles he had added to the bike. I felt like I was participating in a television sales commercial with a “wait, there’s more” sales pitch. The owner included thousands of dollars of additional items I was not expecting: side, top, tank bags, multiple item tool kit, C4 bars, and a hydration system. I felt like I was sipping from a fire hydrant trying to remember the multitude of K1600GT intricacies.

The time had come for me to ride. It was a short five mile ride to the hotel, but I was immediately impressed! First, I felt more comfortable with the K1600GT then I did on the K1200LT. The seating height was slightly lower and the top heaviness was missing. Parking lot slow speed maneuvering was significantly improved over the K1200LT. Secondly, the power! I was aware from the forum threads the K16GT had a smooth transfer of power, but I had no idea how much more it was then the K1200LT. Finally, I was impressed with the transmission. Working through the gears was like a warm knife through butter. The only initial negative I had was the throttle, but I’m confident it is something I will adjust to with miles in the seat. I have not used a fly-by-wire throttle and it surprised me a couple times during shifting with an unintentional tendency rev the RPMs.

Today will be my first true experience with the K1600GT. I have planned an afternoon ride to the Hoover Dam to familiarize myself with the bike before I begin a non-direct 4000+ mile return trip to Pensacola. I’ll let you know how the bike and I get along.

Rob, K1600GT
Pensacola, FL

PS
If anyone knows how to have photo display in correct orientation, let me know. Its oriented properly when I upload the photo, but is rotated 90 degrees on the post.
Great story. Enjoy the beast.
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post #3 of 50 Old 05-14-2017, 10:10 PM
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Have a safe and fun trip home! And, congratulations on the new ride.

Roland
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post #4 of 50 Old 05-14-2017, 11:14 PM
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Awesome story! Enjoy every second of your ride home and stay safe!


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post #5 of 50 Old 05-15-2017, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Day 2 – Hoover Dam

I spent a couple hours in the hotel parking garage manipulating the wonder wheel attempting to solidify the instruction I had the day prior. I had many strange looks as folks drove by with me standing next to K16GT with my helmet on. It took me a good thirty minutes to figure out how to adjust the volume. I finally felt comfortable with the menu selections and decided it was time to get to know my new girl better.

It was a 25 mile one way ride to the Hoover Dam; a good distance to build my confidence with the K16GT. The Hoover Dam is on the border of Nevada and Arizona on the Colorado River and is near Boulder City, Nevada. I remember visiting the dam as a child. It is a behemoth structure that left a lifetime impression with me.

Traffic was light, the roads were good, and the day was sunny. I was enjoying my first ride until I experienced the first crosswind gust. Winds were gusting up to 25 knots and remained that way for the afternoon. The winds wouldn’t deter me though. I continued around the curves until I saw my childhood memory. I had heard the public was no longer allowed to drive over the dam after September 11 2001, but that must have been a rumor as traffic was allowed into the Arizona side of the dam. I found a rock star parking spot for a photo, but I wasn’t there two minutes before I was approached by a newly married German couple that had rented a Harley Davidson. They were pleased to see a beautiful Deutschland BMW at a U.S monument. They even gave me a piece of concrete from the historic Berlin Wall that separated West from East Germany until 1989. Not long after that conversation, a group of Asians were snapping photos of the K16GT. She was definitely the visitors’ favorite bike amongst the Harleys, Indians, and Victorys.

The K16GT performed flawlessly. She was solid in the gusting winds and pulled nicely around semi trucks and cars on uphill grades. The K1200LT I previously owned was like a main sail in the wind, and I would normally have to gear down to pass. The Wonder Wheel remains a mystery, but I am slowly deciphering it. I have a long day of riding tomorrow, so I will have lots of time to sort out anything unexpected the K16GT may have for me.
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Last edited by Fun Bobby; 05-15-2017 at 01:28 AM. Reason: Upload Photo
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post #6 of 50 Old 05-15-2017, 10:01 AM
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Nice! Last time I was there was back in 06, the bridge overhead was still under construction and a long way from completion.

Just a heads up, those Angel GT tires are only going to be good for about 6000 or so miles.. FYI. You might need new shoes before you make it home. I don't know the mileage on them but be sure to keep an eye on them.

If your coming through western Colorado send me a message. If I'm free we could meet up for a cold beverage.
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post #7 of 50 Old 05-15-2017, 10:59 AM
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Awesome! Please keep sharing and be safe!
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post #8 of 50 Old 05-15-2017, 04:03 PM
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Welcome to the club. Safe ride home with your girl.

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post #9 of 50 Old 05-15-2017, 10:19 PM
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You may have figured out how to get a photo turned right side up. When that happens to me I go to my photo file and with the edit tool I turn it 180 degrees and save it. I then go back and edit turn the picture another 180 degrees (back to the original orientation) and save it again. "Most of the time" when I repost it on this forum it will show right side up. This problem seems to happen more often when I post using my Apple iPhone or iPad.

Oh and enjoy your trip home on your new "to you" bike. I did a shorter but similar ride when I got my bike way back in 2012.
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post #10 of 50 Old 05-15-2017, 10:36 PM
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Congratulations.
Welcome neighbor. I rode mine all the way from P'cola to Crestview the day I bought it. A whole 40 minute ride.
Have a safe and fun trip home.
Best.

Thanks for all you do,
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