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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I introduced myself in the new member forum, but I’m a former 2012 K1600GT owner along with S1000RR’s and many other bikes. I’m seriously considering a new Grand America. As with many, my final two contenders are the GA and a new Goldwing DCT Tour. I have ridden a K1600B and really liked it, but it was during a BMW demo day so not a perfect read. Between the two, the BMW always appeals to me more but that GW was a really nice bike! And it looks pretty sexy these days. That said the only thing that’s pushing me to consider the Wing vs the GA is the alleged high instability of the Grand America. It almost seems impossible that a bike as gorgeous and well thought out as the GA suffers from instability but it has been discussed more than a little. Can any owners weigh in and give me the straight? It would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I introduced myself in the new member forum, but I’m a former 2012 K1600GT owner along with S1000RR’s and many other bikes. I’m seriously considering a new Grand America. As with many, my final two contenders are the GA and a new Goldwing DCT Tour. I have ridden a K1600B and really liked it, but it was during a BMW demo day so not a perfect read. Between the two, the BMW always appeals to me more but that GW was a really nice bike! And it looks pretty sexy these days. That said the only thing that’s pushing me to consider the Wing vs the GA is the alleged high instability of the Grand America. It almost seems impossible that a bike as gorgeous and well thought out as the GA outdoor suffer from instability but it has been discussed more than a little. Can any owners weigh in and give menthe straight? It would be greatly appreciated!
I previously owner a 2019 GW Tour DCT and traded it for a 2018 GA. Your right about the instability, especially behind big trucks. On the other hand, the Wing is rock solid. The main reason I went back to a K1600, had a 2013 GTL before the Wing, was the fun factor. I cannot say anything bad about the Wing. If the K1600 was more stable, it would be about as perfect for me as can be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I previously owner a 2019 GW Tour DCT and traded it for a 2018 GA. Your right about the instability, especially behind big trucks. On the other hand, the Wing is rock solid. The main reason I went back to a K1600, had a 2013 GTL before the Wing, was the fun factor. I cannot say anything bad about the Wing. If the K1600 was more stable, it would be about as perfect for me as can be.
Thats really a shame. When I tested the 1600B I was taken by how much better the newer model 1600s transmission, quick shifter and overall smoothness of the inline 6 was. Much more refined than my 12 GT. Im really disappointed that a bike of the caliber and type of the GA would suffer from instability..that’s the very thing it should excel at. And I understand your fun factor comment..my 16GT was a really fun bike. Thanks so much for your input.
 

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Might want to check prior posts here. Went through similar dilemma that lasted just a few days, and several test rides. Goldwing hands down. The K16's, and especially the GA, enjoys high speed instability, costly + frequent factory required maintenance, lack of dealership infrastructure, myriad recalls, high cost + poor availability of parts, component failures (think coils, and keep going from there) all to enjoy marginally better speed, performance, and handling. For that money, were one so inclined, just get some testosterone cream, and apply once a day. Problem solved, and you can pocket tens of thousands. Oh, reminds me. Forgot to mention the precipitous depreciation to say nothing of difficulty in re-sale unless uber low miles, or covered by warranty.

My 2015 Goldwing has just crossed into six digits on the odo, and the only expenses have been gas, oil changes, brake pads, and fresh Dunlop E4's every 12,000 - 15,000 miles or so. No recalls. No failures. No problems. Nothing. Purrs like a kitten, and rock solid well past 105. But not much fun one supposes. This from someone who was a Beemer guy going back to the '70's. Love those airheads!
 

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It does have that problem intermittently, but has not caused me concern, where I deemed the bike unsafe. It is an issue to consider, but for me the G.A. is overall very desirable, still after it 3 years of ownership. I do not tour but have driven through many high wind alleys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Might want to check prior posts here. Went through similar dilemma that lasted just a few days, and several test rides. Goldwing hands down. The K16's, and especially the GA, enjoys high speed instability, costly + frequent factory required maintenance, lack of dealership infrastructure, myriad recalls, high cost + poor availability of parts, component failures (think coils, and keep going from there) all to enjoy marginally better speed, performance, and handling. For that money, were one so inclined, just get some testosterone cream, and apply once a day. Problem solved, and you can pocket tens of thousands. Oh, reminds me. Forgot to mention the precipitous depreciation to say nothing of difficulty in re-sale unless uber low miles, or covered by warranty.

My 2015 Goldwing has just crossed into six digits on the odo, and the only expenses have been gas, oil changes, brake pads, and fresh Dunlop E4's every 12,000 - 15,000 miles or so. No recalls. No failures. No problems. Nothing. Purrs like a kitten, and rock solid well past 105. But not much fun one supposes. This from someone who was a Beemer guy going back to the '70's. Love those airheads!
Thank you for the feedback. So did you own a Grand America?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It does have that problem intermittently, but has not caused me concern, where I deemed the bike unsafe. It is an issue to consider, but for me the G.A. is overall very desirable, still after it 3 years of ownership. I do not tour but have driven through many high wind alleys.
Thanks for the feedback. I wish I could ride one and see for myself.
 

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I've posted about this on several threads. I came from the GL world. I've owned pretty much every model with the exception of the last one. When it came time to get into a big bike again, I naturally went to look and test ride a GL but I'd always liked the way the B looked so I went to try them out. In short, yes they have a bit of a weave on occasion. It's a "quirk" the B and the GA have in dirty air. It's never really bad enough for you to lose control, but it can be an annoyance during windy days. High traffic exacerbates the problem. You'll read quite a few comments that mention trailers as being the culprit. In reality, any heavy traffic combined with unstable air will cause the issue. It's not only at high speeds either, it can happen anywhere from 50 to 150 MPH. Once you get used to it's a non-issue. The decision is going to be on your type of riding. If you're a mile muncher doing long days on the interstate, the GL is your bike. HOWEVER, if you like venturing out on curvy roads, mountainous or flat, the K is a way superior bike. I was surprised by how beautifully the bike maneuvered and how fast I could ride during my first curvy mountain ride on a road that I was very familiar with and have been on countless times on my wings and Valkyries. The B just left me speechless at how good it corners and comes out of corners and .... It's just an amazing bike is all I can say. I've been a convert for going on 2 years now and have not regretted it one bit. But again, it's going to depend on your style of riding. I have a need for speed as well as long-distance comfort. The K1600 satisfies that need. Good luck with your quest.
 

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I've posted about this on several threads. I came from the GL world. I've owned pretty much every model with the exception of the last one. When it came time to get into a big bike again, I naturally went to look and test ride a GL but I'd always liked the way the B looked so I went to try them out. In short, yes they have a bit of a weave on occasion. It's a "quirk" the B and the GA have in dirty air. It's never really bad enough for you to lose control, but it can be an annoyance during windy days. High traffic exacerbates the problem. You'll read quite a few comments that mention trailers as being the culprit. In reality, any heavy traffic combined with unstable air will cause the issue. It's not only at high speeds either, it can happen anywhere from 50 to 150 MPH. Once you get used to it's a non-issue. The decision is going to be on your type of riding. If you're a mile muncher doing long days on the interstate, the GL is your bike. HOWEVER, if you like venturing out on curvy roads, mountainous or flat, the K is a way superior bike. I was surprised by how beautifully the bike maneuvered and how fast I could ride during my first curvy mountain ride on a road that I was very familiar with and have been on countless times on my wings and Valkyries. The B just left me speechless at how good it corners and comes out of corners and .... It's just an amazing bike is all I can say. I've been a convert for going on 2 years now and have not regretted it one bit. But again, it's going to depend on your style of riding. I have a need for speed as well as long-distance comfort. The K1600 satisfies that need. Good luck with your quest.
X 2 on all of it above, I ride with a few guys different bikes ( like we all do ) they cant believe how the bike handles, you need to set it up right and they are great fun. I rode a GW 2 weeks ago (yawn) couldn't wait to get off the thing, to boring for me.
Dirty Air can be annoying sometimes, but never a issue to ever worry me. It seems dirty air from Trucks and Vans is the cause, never a issue in just car traffic. Windy days its like most bikes.
 

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I have been riding my B and my GA for 4+ years with more than 70,000km and I have no idea what this "high speed instability" is ??...
It is the reason BMW put a 105mph speed limiter on the GA. They don't want to get sued. They know the bike has high speed stability problems. Call it dirty air, or justify it as a handling quirk. Many blame the top case. Others say it's the floorboards. Maybe let's ask BMW since corporations do things only for a compelling reason.
 

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I've never ridden the GA or B but my 2014 GT and 2016 GTLE was rock solid and stable at any speed. On windy days the top case does have a tendency to catch wind but that's also true on my GSA and any other bike with a top case and every bike I've ridden acted a bit unstable when I came up behind a large vehicle so the solution is easy to whip around and it and continue on your journey. Between both of my K16's I didn't experience any mechanical issues, maintenance costs weren't any worse than any other bike and all bikes have recalls. The Honda without a doubt is a fine machine but doesn't come close to the K16 in terms of handling and performance. Dealer network can be an issue depending on where you live and I'd be hesitant to buy a bike if I didn't have a dependable dealership within easy riding distance. One thing we always have to consider is you always hear folks complaining and they have a right to complain but you don't hear from the 1000's of guys who don't have anything to complain about because they're out riding. Whatever you decide I don't believe you can go wrong with either the GW or BMW so you're in a win win situation.
 

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I've written on this before: In early 2020 I was considering a 18'+GW a 16'+GTL and an 18'+GA ... we chose the Grand America, a 19'. It was the best balance of features, functions, power, handling, comfort, etc. The GW is more stable but has less personality. The GA is a bit 'twitchy' on the highway, but this makes it easier to turn quickly in the twisties. My wife also felt it was more connected to the road, like on rails, vs. the Goldwing. I've never felt unsafe on the bike (even with the recently built Dog Trailer - see other posting). I've had the bike up to 100 (I'm not admitting to any illegal activity), and up to 80 with the trailer.

My advice, drive both, with and without passenger (if that's how you ride) and the winner will rise to the top. Good luck and enjoy.
 
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Might want to check prior posts here. Went through similar dilemma that lasted just a few days, and several test rides. Goldwing hands down. The K16's, and especially the GA, enjoys high speed instability, costly + frequent factory required maintenance, lack of dealership infrastructure, myriad recalls, high cost + poor availability of parts, component failures (think coils, and keep going from there) all to enjoy marginally better speed, performance, and handling. For that money, were one so inclined, just get some testosterone cream, and apply once a day. Problem solved, and you can pocket tens of thousands. Oh, reminds me. Forgot to mention the precipitous depreciation to say nothing of difficulty in re-sale unless uber low miles, or covered by warranty.

My 2015 Goldwing has just crossed into six digits on the odo, and the only expenses have been gas, oil changes, brake pads, and fresh Dunlop E4's every 12,000 - 15,000 miles or so. No recalls. No failures. No problems. Nothing. Purrs like a kitten, and rock solid well past 105. But not much fun one supposes. This from someone who was a Beemer guy going back to the '70's. Love those airheads!
If you believe the difference is only "marginally better speed, performance, and handling", you haven't ridden a GT/GTL enough to know the difference. I had the pleasure of riding balls out with a friend on his 2018 GW for the 100 mile length of the Coronado Trail (Devil's Highway) :


It's one of the best tests of machine and rider I've had the pleasure of riding. The GW made a good appearance, but it's limitations became clear early. He was forced to do continuous scraping in tight corners to keep a spirited pace. Even there, I wasn't pushing my GTL to it's comfortable cornering limits. When we hit the one straight where you could open the throttle to the max, I blew by him when he hit 105 and I didn't look back. At that point I kept a pace more appropriate to the GTL, and took a rest break 50 miles later to let him catch up. BTW, this rider is no slouch. He was only limited by his GW's lesser capabilities.

You (or anyone) might argue that this is extreme riding that most riders will not do. And I would agree. But if this kind of riding is your thing (it's certainly mine), then the difference is everything. As far as the laundry list of K16 negatives you listed, remember that this is the Internet. Many who feel wronged are going to scream to the heavens to let you know about it. The forum is their megaphone. The problems you referenced do exist, but in far fewer numbers than the screaming would suggest. I needed an engine replacement, so I'm no homer. But my experience is that most problems are ironed out during warranty, and it's mostly trouble free riding from there.

Regardless, the GW is a fine touring bike, and if it's your thing, enjoy. Choice is good.
 

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Brand new member here as I've just put deposit on a new GA (w/ 719) and faced the same dilemma as the OP.
IMVHO, there is no wrong choice between the two -- only a less-perfect choice for any individual based on that person's true preference.

I cannot wait for the new bike. And if I'd ordered the GW, I'd be excited as well. Coming from an old Yamaha Venture, either bike would be a very dramatic upgrade but I think the very real challenge in today's environment is that we're needing to decide without actually being able to ride the bike, given inventory & supply chain delays. Pre-covid this would be heresy. I even thought of finding people with used bikes for sale and test riding theirs under guise of buying, but that just feels slimy. I test rode a used RT at the dealer just to get a feel for the BMW motor itself and was thrilled with that so I took the leap. Maybe I'll regret it but I seriously doubt it. Every time I looked at the Wing I'd think "Nice, but..." and every time I looked at the GA I thought "Oh, yes indeed..." and in the end that was what made me order.

I'm 57 and FWIW I decided I just wanted this sport/fun/performance factor on the GA offering over the quiet stability and maybe the DCT on the Wing (which I find interesting someday but not sure I'd love right now). My dad has always ridden a Wing and truthfully that was a factor too in choosing the K instead, lol - but maybe 10-15 years down the road a Wing will be my 'final bike' when I am ready to accept my own limitations and choose differently for different reasons. In the meantime, I want the max performance that I believe the K delivers over any lux tourer out there - but everyone has to really heed the advice I've seen so many times about looking inward and deciding what is right for you, not anyone else's opinion. Especially since test rides are unavailable, because that really would be the best way to settle it for oneself.

Yet with all the chatter about 'instability' which is what the OP asked about, yes it gave me hesitation. That said, I also have very little intent of riding behind tractor trailers on any bike, and certainly not at 85+mph. Now to John's point, it IS the internet so a grain of salt may be warranted BUT even the most avid GA riders seem to acknowledge some flutter in dirty air, and there IS the limiter. So there's one input to a decision. So is look, feel, room, options, handling, motor performance, DCT, and a myriad of other factors even including color options that will sway us one way or the other. To each their own but in the end I guess I'll always wonder what I'd choose if I could just ride one and then the other for an hour.
 
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If you believe the difference is only "marginally better speed, performance, and handling", you haven't ridden a GT/GTL enough to know the difference. I had the pleasure of riding balls out with a friend on his 2018 GW for the 100 mile length of the Coronado Trail (Devil's Highway) :


It's one of the best tests of machine and rider I've had the pleasure of riding. The GW made a good appearance, but it's limitations became clear early. He was forced to do continuous scraping in tight corners to keep a spirited pace. Even there, I wasn't pushing my GTL to it's comfortable cornering limits. When we hit the one straight where you could open the throttle to the max, I blew by him when he hit 105 and I didn't look back. At that point I kept a pace more appropriate to the GTL, and took a rest break 50 miles later to let him catch up. BTW, this rider is no slouch. He was only limited by his GW's lesser capabilities.

You (or anyone) might argue that this is extreme riding that most riders will not do. And I would agree. But if this kind of riding is your thing (it's certainly mine), then the difference is everything. As far as the laundry list of K16 negatives you listed, remember that this is the Internet. Many who feel wronged are going to scream to the heavens to let you know about it. The forum is their megaphone. The problems you referenced do exist, but in far fewer numbers than the screaming would suggest. I needed an engine replacement, so I'm no homer. But my experience is that most problems are ironed out during warranty, and it's mostly trouble free riding from there.

Regardless, the GW is a fine touring bike, and if it's your thing, enjoy. Choice is good.
I do not take umbrage with anything you have written. Thoughtful, informative, intelligent, and nicely balanced. However, OP was asking about the B (specifically GA) iterations of the K1600 where ergonomics (and other features) were distorted from the core bike to accommodate the US touring market. Apples and oranges to the GT/GTL. Even apparent with a limited scope of K bike experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments. I should reiterate that I owned a K1600GT for 4 years and 35000 miles. It was never the most stable bike on poor roads, busy freeways, or windy days. It didn’t track as well as my Concours 14 or Harley Roadglide but I DID get used to it and never felt unsafe. What it did better than any touring bike I have ridden was handle through the twisties. I did have a detachable BMW top case on it and I “think” it was less squirrelly with it removed. So my point is that I’m aware of the inherent characteristics of the modern K bikes and accepting of them. I’m also used to the thrilling and intoxicating performance of the motor and unreal handling as opposed to the new experience new owners are having. If one has never ridden a motorcycle of this caliber it might be easy to accept any flaws while being so infatuated with its performance.
That is why I’m so interested to understand if the Grand America has handling and stability characteristics significantly different from my former K1600GT. On the surface evidence seems to support that it does. However if it’s the same light front end feel of the K1600GT that for me is not a worry.
 

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Fortunately I found a GA with 20k mikes on it to test ride tomorrow. It’s an 18 but should still give me plenty of the feedback I need.
The 2022s have a very different suspension - much better quality compared to the previous gen. And 20k miles the OEM suspension on your test bike may be even worse.
In my case, a suspension upgrade (Wilbers), on my 17+ GT, has made the most difference in terms of high speed stability.
Just thought I would throw in a different angle on the whole stability issue - you might want to take the test results from tomorrow with a grain of salt.
 
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