Well, I just happened to take a test ride of a K1600B, thinking my riding days were done due to my bad back and just not enough suspension travel on my Ohlins modified CVO Ultra, to overcome these bad California roads. Well, Hallelujah!
The ride, seating position, and appearance on the Grand America won me over! Unfortunately, I could not find the bike I wanted, in the bay area & Riverside BMW had the very bike I wanted ('18 GA loaded to the max with forged bars and wheels) at a great discount.
I flew down there Wednesday morning, was picked up by staff and taken to my waiting beauty. First thing I did, was put grip puppies on, while Jeff Nugent (Salesman extraordinaire) placed my Airhawk on the seat. All tanked up, risers installed, detailed, reserved & adorned with my name on it, and ready to hit the road. After a briefing on features and functions of this awesome machine, off I went.
I took a leisurely ride back up to Concord, putting approximately 4 hours in the saddle, then stopping at a hotel for the night, with glee in my mind and looking forward to taking off again in the morning for a few back road stops along the way home.
I'm very excited that I bought this beauty. Absolutely no regrets. I was not beaten up, which I would have been on my CVO. The CVO is 100 lbs heavier, 2" longer, and lower to the ground, which would seem to give it a slight advantage against some of the stiff cross winds coming over the grapevine or 99 north of Tulare. The sleek aerodynamics of the GA, excellent wind screen, and superb suspension, overcame a 100lb deficit, and higher stance. The GA held it's line in the sweeping turns against some ferocious wind gusts. Braking is absolutely predictable, measured (linked front), and just outstanding. Acceleration was thrilling, and a great advantage to get yourself in proper road placement, and avoid dangerous situations.
The things I did not particularly embrace, are: The highway boards seem angle too step for comfort, and I spent 95% of the time on the pegs. The hesitation in first gear, not that annoying but I plan to have that (Brent) tuned out. The turn signals did not seem to self cancel, but I got into the habit of canceling them, so not a big deal. Did not really try the shift pro, but if for some crazy reason I don't like it, I just ignore that feature.
I absolutely love this bike!
I love the baggeresque style, which won me over, as a Harley aficionado for 40 plus years. I love the gold (Austin Yellow) paint with black, love the new seating position and comfortable reach to the (riser) forged bars!
And great performance without having to spend so much money with performance add ons. There's plenty of carry storage, love the removable Garmin (like the CVO), and can't rave enough about the suspension settings, & reverse (are they crazy, giving me all this) too!
Music and GPS via my Cardo Freedom 2 is outstanding! I made an appointment for a ride in to Russell seats, so I can ditch my Airhawk for longer rides, might add a Wonderlich tour pack rack, perhaps some bag guards (always a good idea!), and if I get tired of the exhaust note (which thus far I love), add some Remus cans.
I've got my first service lined up (less than 3 bills, so not going to sweat it), and I'm looking for many more years of fun rides, on my beautiful Grand America, in Grand America!