K1600 GT - Which year has less issues? looking to buy - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #1 of 26 Old 12-26-2016, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Smile K1600 GT - Which year has less issues? looking to buy

Hi Guys, and thank you for taking the time to read my first post. I'm looking for advice on buying my first K1600 GT, and I wonder if anyone can tell me, out of the years it has been in production, which one is the one with the least issues.

I will admit that i come from a Japanese bike perspective (Honda VFR700, Yamaha VMAX1200 2003, and Yamaha VMAX 2007). After the last trip Toronto (canada) to Miami and back (roughly 3700 km - took the long way), i've decided i need to tour with a bit more comfort. The vmax has been a phenomenal machine, never an issue in 30000km, super easy to maintain, powerful and extremely reliable; some may argue that the handling is funky, but it was a solid machine throughout the years i'v had it. However, now there's a "missus" in the picture, and i'm looking to travel 2-up. Also the luggage on the VMAX was the "ol' bags + bungee cords"

I've been reading the internet forums and learning about the several issues with water pumps, switches, transmissions, pull to the left (????), oil leaks, starter clutches, etc., and i must confess it is starting to scare me quite a bit. I live in Toronto, Canada. I was planning to get a used 2012, but after reading about issues on it, being without a warranty scares me even more. I wouldn't have thought that Motorrad's BMW stands for the same thing as the auto division..."Brake My Wallet". I've seen friends owning BMW cars with a bucket load of issues, so i'm hoping there may be a better model year to get? Maybe a 2016?

Would love to get your advice on this. I have looked at Concours1400 (seems to be a brick with a rocket attached to it), the FJR (great bang for buck, but not my cup of tea), even the Goldwing F6B (underpowered IMHO).

Look forward to your input!

Thanks guys, and I hope I didn't offend anyone

Jeremy
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post #2 of 26 Old 12-26-2016, 06:42 PM
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I think you just need to find one in your price range that's been taken care of. I had my first GT for 4 years and had only one thing fail and was covered by the warinty. The handle bar switches were replaced on it because of the recall but they were working. My new one has had nothing wrong.
If you find one ride it to see if it pulls left. (don't get that one)
Look at the exhaust tips to see if one side is darker than the other (don't get that one)
Ask if the switches have been replaced and the last time the code was updated. (within the last year is important)
Ask how much oil it uses in 6k (less than 1/4 quart) and if the water pump has been replaced (no big deal)
And all the other normal stuff (tires, brakes, battery, has it been dropped..etc)
You might consider one that still has some of its 3 year warinty left and get an extended warinty for peace of mind.

Rick
2012 K1600GT (smashed)
2015 K1600GT

Last edited by Rick92040; 12-26-2016 at 06:52 PM.
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post #3 of 26 Old 12-26-2016, 06:50 PM
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Don't get flustered by the reports of faults. There are no more faults with the K16 than any other bike, it's just that social media now allows the biggest whiners to whinge louder than ever about minor issues. All you need to know is that the bike is essentially unchanged since it's release. There was been minor features added, but the only real physical change was the late '12 early '13 models got a different gearbox/slipper clutch assembly to the early models. They added extra features like hill hold, keyless ignition etc to the later '14,'15 & '16 models, but the bike is essentially unchanged until next year with the new 2017 models.

I notice that the guys riding the FYK1600's are for the most part still riding them. The guys on the later models seem to upgrade. Maybe because they can, maybe those of us with FYK16's are just a pack of tight wads and don't see the point in "if it ain't broke...".

Personally I'd buy the cheapest bike with the lowest mileage and best service records and wouldn't think twice about year model . Make sure it's been serviced yearly or mileage, whatever came first. Plenty of bikes put there with over 60,000 miles still as strong as ever.
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The ultimate outback tourer.
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post #4 of 26 Old 12-26-2016, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick92040 View Post
I think you just need to find one in your price range that's been taken care of. I had my first GT for 4 years and had only one thing fail and was covered by the warinty. The handle bar switches were replaced on it because of the recall but they were working. My new one has had nothing wrong.
If you find one ride it to see if it pulls left. (don't get that one)
Look at the exhaust tips to see if one side is darker than the other (don't get that one)
Ask if the switches have been replaced and the last time the code was updated. (within the last year is important)
Ask how much oil it uses in 6k (less than 1/4 quart) and if the water pump has been replaced (no big deal)
And all the other normal stuff (tires, brakes, battery, has it been dropped..etc)
Thank you Rick! I shall look for all of the above mentioned. It was my impression that 2012's have more issues than '14 or 16's...
Are prevalent issues still prevalent in this day and age? Water pumps, switches, etc...?
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post #5 of 26 Old 12-26-2016, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Brick View Post
Don't get flustered by the reports of faults. There are no more faults with the K16 than any other bike, it's just that social media now allows the biggest whiners to whinge louder than ever about minor issues. All you need to know is that the bike is essentially unchanged since it's release. There was been minor features added, but the only real physical change was the late '12 early '13 models got a different gearbox/slipper clutch assembly to the early models. They added extra features like hill hold, keyless ignition etc to the later '14,'15 & '16 models, but the bike is essentially unchanged until next year with the new 2017 models.

I notice that the guys riding the FYK1600's are for the most part still riding them. The guys on the later models seem to upgrade. Maybe because they can, maybe those of us with FYK16's are just a pack of tight wads and don't see the point in "if it ain't broke...".

Personally I'd buy the cheapest bike with the lowest mileage and best service records and wouldn't think twice about year model . Make sure it's been serviced yearly or mileage, whatever came first. Plenty of bikes put there with over 60,000 miles still as strong as ever.
Thanks Man! I appreciate you taking some time of your day to reply to my post. I respectfully digress with calling them "whiners"; to be honest, i wouldn't be a happy camper having to change the same handlebar switch five times in 15k miles, or 3 water pumps in a similar or even shorter period. Also, i'm not looking for a bike that will break my wallet, this is why i decided to start this thread.
But it is good to know that there's some other users that are super happy with their product. Gives me hope. Quite honestly, for what i want to do with it, there doesn't seem to be another bike available like the K1600GT.

Thanks again for your kind response!
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post #6 of 26 Old 12-26-2016, 08:22 PM
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Water pump issues seem to be unknown outside the USA. The guys that seem to have done one, seem to have done multiples. (I've always wondered how much climate plays with this?) the switch gear was upgraded about two years ago. The wires were imbedded into the plastic, which allowed for temperature extremes to break the wires. I've done two switch blocks in 80,000 miles. One at 5000 miles. The other at 18,000 miles. Allowing for what the problem is, again you've got to wonder about climate conditions. My regular wingman owned a K16GT for not quiet three years. He was forced to park at work and home out in the full tropical sun, and replaced switch gear about every six months. His just done the switch gear on his brand new R1200RS. Mine lives under cover at work and home. No issues. There is no one year better than any other. Just better cared for and looked after bikes, the same as you'd find with any vehicle. As for whingers, the old timers can tell you about the guy who got on to every forum he could under a different name, quoting himself telling us all we would all get new gearboxes if we complained enough back in 2012. No one did.

How you treat it is what it'll cost. Truely your biggest cost going forward will be tyres. There is so much power on tap that the K16 eats tyres like a fat kid on donuts if you let it.

Your right though. There's nothing like a K1600. Make sure the service records are there. Get a local dealer to run the VIN to tell you it's service/fault history. Buy it, ride it and work out how to get the stupid grin off your face.
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Last edited by Brick; 12-26-2016 at 08:25 PM.
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post #7 of 26 Old 12-27-2016, 04:48 PM
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I felt there was an advance (but not widely publicised) set of improvements from the 2014 GTL to the 2015 GTL model. I was forced to get the 2015 model due to an unfortunate accident totalling the 2014. The ride was smoother (same tire brand), the keyless ignition, the hill assist (especially here in the mountains). I loved the 2014 but really love the 2015. It seems BMW will continue to make improvements but I am happy where I am.
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post #8 of 26 Old 12-27-2016, 05:06 PM
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I had a 2013 that had the switch problem twice, and the water pump start dripping at 28,000 miles. That's it. The good news is that the common problems were fixed by BMW and they authorize their dealers to fix the switch problems even if they never have a problem. When you take it in for service they will tell you they are going to do it an no charge. I have a 2015 now that has been flawless in 11,000 miles.

I think the bottom line is that most any year is likely to be okay - as much as any used vehicle can be. The most concerning problem would be the piston "land" crack. That has happened on a few bikes, but VERY few. And it was on early bikes only as best as I can tell. I think it's one of those things that if it is going happen it would have by now.

The good news and bad news is that used 1600s are pretty cheap. As unbelievable as this sounds, when I traded my 2013 with 31,000 miles on it they gave me $14,000 for it and a great deal on my new bike. I thought that was a little low. Was I ever wrong. That was 15 months ago and they still have it. I just happened to look at their site this morning and they are advertising it for way below what they gave me for the bike - under $12,000. That is a steal and the bike was immaculately cared for and had every service done by the selling dealer. Anyone interested, its the dealer on the south side of Houston.

I forgot to mention, both of my bikes pulled to the left. The 15 is better but definitely does it. Between the two bikes I'm at 42,000 miles, and I did tell you I'm on my second one - right? So that tells you how much the pull bothers me.

2015 BMW K1600GT - Black Storm Metallic
2012 Ducati Panigale ABS
2016 BMW S1000r
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post #9 of 26 Old 12-27-2016, 05:14 PM
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My bike is almost 6 years old and I never had any issues other than the switch clusters which were replaced free of charge when the bike was 4.5 years old.

You don't give up riding when you get old ...
You get old when you give up riding.

Frank (NLD)
Moto Guzzi V7 850 California (1975)
BMW K1600 GT Red (2011; #7 registered GT in NLD); top case w/brake light, comfort package, safety package, F2P, black Wunderlich bars, PDM60, Autocom SPA-2
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post #10 of 26 Old 12-28-2016, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all guys!

However, the more I read and learn about it, the more I wonder; a pull to the left? How much would you say it pulls? Is it noticeable, and what's worse, is it incurable? I've never had a bike pull to one side or the other on new tires. Sounds like the frames may have a build defect?

Would love to hear more from you about this issues, since i love touring with very relaxed hands / arms.
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