BMW K1600GT Sport "Not Fit for Purpose" - BMW K1600 Forum : BMW K1600 GT and GTL Forums
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post #1 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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BMW K1600GT Sport "Not Fit for Purpose"

Sorry Mr BMW, but the K1600 is "Not Fit For Purpose" I can confirm this statement is 100% true.

The K16 is marketed as "Gran Turismo" or GT (meaning Grand Tourer). The problem is it can't tour. I downloaded the brochure for it today and there is a nice photo of the bike in the Dolomite's, Italy. I recognize the mountain range as I was there last week. Perhaps, I should explain a little more.

I have been riding K16's for 7 years, covering around 45,000 miles (so I know a bit about the bike). I have had 3 versions, a 2012GT, a 2015GT Sport and today I have a 2017GT Sport. I live in Northern Ireland and tour around Scotland, Wales and Ireland. I also do a European tour each year lasting 1-2 weeks. The bike is fine in the the UK and Ireland, but when you take it to Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland etc. it suffers with overheating.

Of three bikes I have owned the only one that dd not overheat was the 2015 bike, I put a Rad Guard on that one (perhaps you should recruit the people at Rad Guard into your R&D team), they had the wonderful idea of throwing away the solid lump of plastic (you insist is necessary) and replacing the your plastic radiator grill with a nice aluminium one.

I have never seen another bike with a solid lump of plastic covering a third of a radiator, who thought that one up?.

Just in case you are wondering, I fuss and clean around the radiator every time I wash it, I have been on my knees with my garden hose. The only thing left I can do is to pull off the radiator cover (and your solid lump of plastic) and attack the radiator directly with my garden hose. I am not prepared to go that far, why should I ?

Anyway, the 2012 bike overheated twice on me going up Stelvio in 2013 and the following year overheated every day during my European tour, I had to take it to a BMW dealer in Milan, who washed out the radiator, just so I could get home. It was sold on my return to Northern Ireland.

My 2017 bike overheated in Nancy last year (going up a hill following a bus, the air temp was 39 degrees C (105 F) so it was a bit warm).

This year my 2017 bike overheated three times. Once during slow maneuvers getting into a hotel car park, once going up Stelvio and the third time following a camper van up some slow hairpins. All of the other bikes in the group had no issues, this included a R1200RT and a 1250GS. BTW you can try and run it on a high gear and low rev's but that is not easy when for example you have 48 consecutive hair pins, as in the Stelvio and a constant gradient and camper vans, cars, buses to pass. The outside air temp was only 19 degrees C (66 F) when it overheated following the camper van.

Just a thought, the bike testers that you use have came back from their testing and told you "Da bike vill tour" and you have believe them. Perhaps, they are spending too much time polishing their toe nails and driving up and down the B500 or some toll road. They must not have the b***s to take the bike up mountain passes. If you feel you need a proper "real life" bike tester, who is not a wimp and is prepared to give up a week each year then I am available, we just need to sort out the expenses and beer allowance.

So, I simply can't and won't trust my K1600 anymore, I will have to change to a reliable bike that can go where I want to go. Its probably going to be a R1250RT (I had 3 RT's before the K16's, have you fixed the headlight problem with them? I left skin on each of the bikes that I had fitting light bulbs, anyway, I digress).

I seriously think you should put a warning sticker on K1600, something like:

"Warning this bike is liable to overheating when in warm climates and trans-versing mountain passes, it can cause severe embarrassment to rider/owner. You will be required to develop a "Pained Grin and slow wave" which you can give to every other make of bike/scooter/moped in the planet as you sit on the side of the road, on one of the most expensive kettles ever made."

Signed

A really Pissed Off, David


BTW, two other things to note, the radiator fan on another bike (a Triumph speed triple) broke two days before we returned home, the rider made it home without the fan working on his bike, hows that for cooling working?

Second thing, another member of the group also had a 2012 K16, his overheated on the M25 (London) on the way to the Euro tunnel. He never made the tour and he tells me his engine is knackered and he is in a row with his dealer, he had the bike less than 3 months.

Last edited by DavidMcK; 08-14-2019 at 05:40 AM.
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post #2 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 06:22 AM
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Sorry to hear of your displeasure. I've had a '12 GT for about 7 years and nearing 80,000 miles. Bike has seen endured every type of road/trip imaginable from 30 mile dirt road rides to 100+ mph cruises for miles on end. And most of the riding is/was 2-up. I can count the times the bike has over heated (gone in the red) on one hand and have fingers left over.

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post #3 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 06:25 AM
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wow - interesting write up from someone I know is a K16 fan!

David, when you say it overheated, what does that actually mean? Did the the fan just come on for an extended time or did bike breakdown? Is it still working?

I have just got back from a similar journey and mine got very hot with the fan almost continuously running, but no real drama. And like you I have had several other K16s, but all of mine have done this but its not really affected the bike.
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post #4 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 06:57 AM
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I think you will find what you are looking for in the R1250RT. I tried to like the K1600B but had to switch back and do not have a single regret. I love the many things about the k1600’s and respect the bike and those who ride them, but it’s just not the bike for me.


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post #5 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 07:34 AM
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R2K I figured you switched back based on selling those items. I recently rode the R1250RT it's a nice bike no doubt and for smaller framed riders a lot less weight to handle.
On the highway I find the K1600 to be superior in the twistiest u might be right about the R1250RT.


David why buy the same Bike 3 times? If you replace the stock Radiator guard with Rad Guard would that fix the issue?
I'm typically in 92F or 33C this time of year not much variance in both city stop and go and highway. I don't get the overheat light on dash my Fan certainly turns on when in stop and go traffic.
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post #6 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 08:19 AM
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+ 1 on the Rad-Guard.

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The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'
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post #7 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1600Belco View Post
wow - interesting write up from someone I know is a K16 fan!

David, when you say it overheated, what does that actually mean? Did the the fan just come on for an extended time or did bike breakdown? Is it still working?

I have just got back from a similar journey and mine got very hot with the fan almost continuously running, but no real drama. And like you I have had several other K16s, but all of mine have done this but its not really affected the bike.
Overheating for me is when the RED warning triangle lights up on the dash and the temp gauge is at its maximum (all bars filled), the gauge also lights up RED, so its quite dramatic and not easily missed.

The fan coming on is a normal operation that will occur when the gauge gets to within 3 bars of the maximum. Under normal circumstances that blows cool air into the radiator and cools things, however, when you get to somewhere warm e.g. Italy the air temp can be 30+ degrees C (85+F), the maximum we encountered was 39 degrees in Basel, that causes problems as the air is no longer cool. Add the stress of moving through slow traffic and/or climbing a mountain in low gears then the bike will get warm and not cool down.

As I mentioned, the bike overheated following a camper van with only 19 degrees shown as the outside air temperature. I had to follow the van for a few hairpins before I could get past it.

When "All the lights light up" the sensible thing to do is park it and let it cool, I did that constantly with the 2012 bike. However, last week I drove on. In the two instances that occurred when I was moving I managed to get the bike in as high a gear I could and maintain speed, that put air through the radiator and cooled it. The most the red lights were on was about a minute (ok, maybe two), But no way was I stopping and letting a camper van overtake me again.

The bottom line is that the bike cannot be trusted, it will not go reliably where I want to go. I was constantly monitoring the temperature gauge.
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post #8 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 09:52 AM
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OverHeating!!

Every ride may require modifications to fit/ accommodate the rider. I have agree with Dave. The cooling system on the K1600 is less than optimal/ S- - KS!!. Living in the southern USA where it is hot & humid ( i.e. 97 degrees/ 80% humidity today) the first thing I recommend to all K1600 riders is a front FENDER EXTENDER & a RADGUARD. Even with these modifications yearly cleaning of the bikes radiator with SIMPLY GREEN & a PRESSURE WASHER is usually required to prevent overheating . Yes, I have other bikes but, YOU CAN PULL MY K1600 OFF MY COLD DEAD HANDS!! I love this ride & will only be replacing it with another BMW K1600. Best,

Doc
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post #9 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyjets View Post
R2K

David why buy the same Bike 3 times? If you replace the stock Radiator guard with Rad Guard would that fix the issue?
I'm typically in 92F or 33C this time of year not much variance in both city stop and go and highway. I don't get the overheat light on dash my Fan certainly turns on when in stop and go traffic.
Bike 1, I really wanted a K16

Bike 2, I really wanted a K16 that would work, so I put the Rad Guard on, it worked.

Bike 3, I sold Bike 2 with the Rad Guard, by this stage I figured BMW would have fixed the problem, its now 2017 and the bike had been in production for what? 7 years. On my trip with it last year it overheated once in Nancy, it was 39 C, so I forgave it, although no other bikes overheated. This year we had a tougher test.

"Stelvio pass is one of the highest paved mountain passes in European Alps, and the highest of eastern Alps. It is listed on every ‘Top ten’ list about riding in the Alps; and often in ‘Top Ten’ lists of best motorcycling roads in the world.

Country: Italy
Elevation: 2.758m/9.049ft
Length: 49km/31mi
Hairpins: 87"


It was not just the Stelvio, I got caught on a lower pass behind a camper, I couldn't pass it for a few hairpins and she went "RED" all over the dash.
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post #10 of 146 Old 08-14-2019, 10:14 AM
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I wonder if the type of gasoline used might have an effect on the higher temps. If the fan is working and the radiator is not blocked and the coolant is flowing through the radiator as designed, what else is there? Thermostat? Defective sensor reading an overheat when there is not one?



Current Bike: '18 K1600B

Most recent former bikes:
'14 R1200RT
'13 F800GT
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