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ManyBut the B just looks better.
Ding Ding Ding…. We have a winner. 👍

BMW created the B/GA to capture market share from the “it just looks better” crowd. Mostly riders from the HD/Indian and Japanese Cruiser world. BMW hasn’t been shy about advertising that.

It was an easy way to bring more riders into the BMW fold. So it makes sense. But nothing is free. The B/GA versions aren’t simply “prettier” versions of the GT/GTL. There are handling compromises that aren’t up for debate. But the reality for most riders is that they won’t approach the conditions where you’d notice the difference.

When picking which K16 to go with, the thing is to pick the model that best matches your riding style. Pretending there are no performance differences between the B/GA and GT/GTL can possibly lead to major frustrations.
 

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The GT is for guys who imagine themselves to be knee scraping 20 year olds. These people typically also have tucks and lifts throughout their bodies, and have several different hair pieces they wear under their helmets. They typically also have full Power Ranger leathers hanging in the closet, but don't wear them as not to give away their fantasies.

The GTL attracts the old dude with spindly legs that can hardly hold himself up, let alone a motorcycle. These guys should be on three wheels. But really, they need to have a motorcycle test every year by the DMV to ensure their continued safety.

The typical B/GA rider is here looking for other former 1%s (not the real ones, the weekend warriors) They hope to create a 5% nickname for themselves and are amazed the bike can take them past the nearest watering hole. They dream of being a badass, of people moving to the other side of the street as they walk down the sidewalk. But they also wish Ferragamo made motorcycle boots, and Zegna made jackets. These people are typical professionals who fancy themselves to be tough (or once did), and wish BMW had a clothing and accessories outlets like HD.

None of these guys want to invest further in leather and kitty litter.

And if you got offended instead of laughing along. Well . . . :p
 

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When picking which K16 to go with, the thing is to pick the model that best matches your riding style. Pretending there are no performance differences between the B/GA and GT/GTL can possibly lead to major frustrations.
Maybe, most riders will never get anywhere near the zone where these potential performance differences matter, and if it's this last few degrees of lean angle or license burning top speed that matter above all else to someone, BMW dealers will happily show you an S1000R/RR/XR that will more than take care of that.

Some purists will just never like the B/GA models because they bought in so many of us former Harley riders.

Without the extra sales volumes the B and GA delivered the K1600 would have been discontinued by now.
 

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@Troy1690 I’m sure my local dealer would be happy to show me BMW models that better handle the extremes. 😊

But you don’t have to go that far to experience differences with the B/GA models. I live in the foothills of the SoCal Santa Monica Mountains. I guarantee I can take you on canyon roads that are high gradient / high sloping that will scrape out your floor boards by the end of the day. Roads that GT/GTL models have fun carving through — without interference. This is just one example. That’s why it’s important to pick the variant that best fits your riding style.

There is no shame in understanding and accepting the model differences.
 

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I have been riding sixty years this year. I " tested" many models and brands to get to this motorcycle. I think I will not be buying many more in the future. I sold a beautiful road-king, a near perfect r-nine t classic brushed aluminum/black and a K1200LT that I restored myself. All great riders but the dam "B" sucked me in. The sales man had one years back when I picked up the nine a 2017. It was the first one I had seen and I instantly wanted one. Fast forward five yrs. I'm one happy old guy. The forward boards are fine with no pedals Imo. the thing has so much torque you rarely have to down shift anyway. the brakes are integrated so front lever does real good without moving foot to rear pedal. The thing out handles all the other tour models from any brand other than another BMW. I personally don't care for the tour pac look, I had a 85 FLHT king of the highway that I removed tour pac from and also the big K1200LT looks way better when I took tour pac off.
 

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I have been riding sixty years this year. I " tested" many models and brands to get to this motorcycle. I think I will not be buying many more in the future. I sold a beautiful road-king, a near perfect r-nine t classic brushed aluminum/black and a K1200LT that I restored myself. All great riders but the dam "B" sucked me in. The sales man had one years back when I picked up the nine a 2017. It was the first one I had seen and I instantly wanted one. Fast forward five yrs. I'm one happy old guy. The forward boards are fine with no pedals Imo. the thing has so much torque you rarely have to down shift anyway. the brakes are integrated so front lever does real good without moving foot to rear pedal. The thing out handles all the other tour models from any brand other than another BMW. I personally don't care for the tour pac look, I had a 85 FLHT king of the highway that I removed tour pac from and also the big K1200LT looks way better when I took tour pac off.
Yep I was at the BMW dealership getting my new tires and the service manager said to me as we walked to get my bike "their is nothing better looking than a B in black". Now since I already own a black B I'm sure he wasn't trying to sell me any thing. Not only is the B the best 1600 Black is the best color. Ride what you like! :{)
 

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There was one thing I did forget to mention in my last post, some folks have discussed handing issues at speed/dirty air with the B/GA (GA being worse of the two). After riding H-Ds and new GW on highway (cross country on Harleys several times) I did find the GA to be a bit nervous (twitch I called it) at 70 mph or above. I read a lot on this forum about it and talked to service guy at dealership and once I got rid of stock Bridgestones and put Michelin PS6s on along with JRock windshield it has all but disappeared. I chalked it up to tires as I tried it with my old windshield as well. Different shoes made bike a whole new animal. I can ride around tractor-trailers/cross winds/heavy traffic without issue now. Something to consider if you get the GA out on test ride and don’t like that part of it, or it concerns you. It is fixable, not sure why BMW doesn’t change set up out the gate with such an easy fix. Now it’s not as stable as GW/Ultra by any means but also doesn’t have that huge flat spot in center of back tire like they do that requires one fall off of to get into a curve. But I can one hand it for miles on I-295 or I-276 in morning traffic with cruise at 74, couldn’t when I bought it. Grand America is still best riding/handling bike I’ve owned, can tour on it for a week or go out an burn up twisty Mtn roads in TN, not many out there than can do that with comfort of K bikes. Kinda of in their own class
 

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Almost forgot, also bought a Sargent World Performance seat with a back rest, best money I ever spent on a motorcycle. Had them do piping around edge in color of the bike to add a little pop. Stock seat on the GA was horrible for #230 5”11 guy, with the seat and handlebar risers it’s like sitting in your favorite chair watching cars go by
Wheel Tire Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive design
 

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There was one thing I did forget to mention in my last post, some folks have discussed handing issues at speed/dirty air with the B/GA (GA being worse of the two). After riding H-Ds and new GW on highway (cross country on Harleys several times) I did find the GA to be a bit nervous (twitch I called it) at 70 mph or above. I read a lot on this forum about it and talked to service guy at dealership and once I got rid of stock Bridgestones and put Michelin PS6s on along with JRock windshield it has all but disappeared. I chalked it up to tires as I tried it with my old windshield as well. Different shoes made bike a whole new animal. I can ride around tractor-trailers/cross winds/heavy traffic without issue now. Something to consider if you get the GA out on test ride and don’t like that part of it, or it concerns you. It is fixable, not sure why BMW doesn’t change set up out the gate with such an easy fix. Now it’s not as stable as GW/Ultra by any means but also doesn’t have that huge flat spot in center of back tire like they do that requires one fall off of to get into a curve. But I can one hand it for miles on I-295 or I-276 in morning traffic with cruise at 74, couldn’t when I bought it. Grand America is still best riding/handling bike I’ve owned, can tour on it for a week or go out an burn up twisty Mtn roads in TN, not many out there than can do that with comfort of K bikes. Kinda of in their own class
I haven't ridden a B or GA, but I've sat on them. I really do like the forward board to relieve the pressure on my knees. But if 100 MPH is the top speed and it's unstable over 70, it is a total deal breaker for me. While I mostly ride TN and NC mountains we always end up riding some slab, and in 70 MPH zones I'm usually tooling along above that. I'm floored that BMW would build a bike that wasn't autobahn-ready.
I need to find a GTL with highway peg on it to see if I can live with that...but I'm still disappointed with the GA. ...it just fit so right..

Joe
 

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I haven't ridden a B or GA, but I've sat on them. I really do like the forward board to relieve the pressure on my knees. But if 100 MPH is the top speed and it's unstable over 70, it is a total deal breaker for me. While I mostly ride TN and NC mountains we always end up riding some slab, and in 70 MPH zones I'm usually tooling along above that. I'm floored that BMW would build a bike that wasn't autobahn-ready.
I need to find a GTL with highway peg on it to see if I can live with that...but I'm still disappointed with the GA. ...it just fit so right..

Joe
Did you see part where I said about swapping out tires that came on it and problem going away and it’s a one handed ride now?? Just about all fairing bikes have issues around TT/RV/cross winds. Both my Electras got a little shaky around big vehicles at speed and this one is no different now. As far as 100mph goes, got well over 100k miles riding around US and can count on one hand amount of times I’ve cruised above 100 for any distance so it wasn’t a deal breaker for me. But everyone is different, why there are so many options. GA is still best handling motorcycle I’ve ever owned, all 3 H-D offerings (Dyna/ST/and touring) and a GW.
 

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I think the engineering tradeoff was made when choosing between stability and agility. The K bikes are surprisingly agile in the corners. They could have engineered them for straight line stability like the Goldwing, but I think they had to choose the areas to dominate, and that was power and agility. Stability took a back seat on this one. When you zoom out and look at the big picture, it was a good decision, I think we all love how the K bike turns, and how it powers out. Yeah, it buffets, but it can cruise at higher speed just fine. The Grand America is not unstable above 70mph, it's perfectly fine in my opinion, but it is electronically limited to 110mph which is BS for me.

You can add highway pegs to the GT and GTL if high speed cruising is your jam. I completely understand your viewpoint, coming from a Ducati ST4s it was nice to just lock it in at 120mph for fuel economy and have a smooth supersonic cruise. The Ducati was never really affected by 18 wheelers, cross winds, or any of that. My K16GT can't do that, the aerodynamics aren't there, but overall I like it better.

I think that's the engineering tradeoff in play here between the B and GT, you gain something and lose something and we all need to decide what the balance is. Some people never go over 100, others really prefer the look of one vs the other, some drive on the Autobahn, it's all relative.
 

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I haven't ridden a B or GA, but I've sat on them. I really do like the forward board to relieve the pressure on my knees. But if 100 MPH is the top speed and it's unstable over 70, it is a total deal breaker for me. While I mostly ride TN and NC mountains we always end up riding some slab, and in 70 MPH zones I'm usually tooling along above that. I'm floored that BMW would build a bike that wasn't autobahn-ready.
I need to find a GTL with highway peg on it to see if I can live with that...but I'm still disappointed with the GA. ...it just fit so right..

Joe
I'm going to echo @Rat_Trap in post #75 and say that whoever told you the GA is unstable above 70 told you a falsehood. I have a number of miles on mine over that speed. If following a tall vehicle like a class A RV or an eighteen wheel rig at speed then yes there is some twitchiness in that dirty air. Also twitchy in high crosswinds or gusty winds. But this GA goes wherever I point my nose. My Street Glide Special was considerably less twitchy but at the same time it did not really matter where I pointed my nose with that horse, it would continue on it's present vector until I yanked the reins one direction or the other. (Clearly I exaggerate for effect but you get my point I hope.) I was also never tempted to exceed 70 with the HD or, heaven forbid, ride pavement that was, uh, "seasoned" shall we say. I just hit some ill maintained county roads with this GA last week and while I had to reduce speed for safety none of my organs were relocated internally.

Get your point about riding slabs at 100+. I avoid slabs like the plague. Without a GS I also avoid dirt roads. I see both slabs and dirt as equally undesirable. For me personally I ride a motorcycle to experience "texture" that I don't get in a cage. Unless of course the cage can go topless. Riding at excess speed just robs me of that texture because I pass by too quickly. Doing so on an open road as opposed to a closed track is just an invitation for trouble IMHO. YMMV. That 100 mph limiter is unlikely to ever impact my life. I can't even say for certain that it is in fact implemented on mine.

I'm about 3k miles in now to this GA experience and it took a good chunk of it to adjust to the twitchy. But I'm there now. We are starting to feel like one together and it's a ride.
 

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A bunch of us talked about the B this past week in WV, we all agreed that the B/GA variant saved the K1600 from being discontinued. It's pretty obvious that BMW stole a bunch of HD riders with the B/GA variant and those sales allowed BMW to continue the GT/GTL.
I wouldn't own a B/GA if it was given to me but that's just me, there are plenty of guys coming from HD that keep buying them
 

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A bunch of us talked about the B this past week in WV, we all agreed that the B/GA variant saved the K1600 from being discontinued. It's pretty obvious that BMW stole a bunch of HD riders with the B/GA variant and those sales allowed BMW to continue the GT/GTL.
I wouldn't own a B/GTL is it was given to me but that's just me, there are plenty of guys coming from HD that keep buying them
Count me as one, rode Harleys for 20 years but just couldn’t pull trigger again when it was time to jump back into motorcycle game. Been in and out of H-D dealers since I was a kid in late 70s with my dad and uncle (both still ride Electra-Glides and give me crap) but I can’t see me going back to the MoCo
 

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You guys are killing me! LOL. I keep boomeranging (is that a word?) back to this bike. I see the brentune can get me past the speed limiter. My local BMW dealer has a used Grand America in stock. Maybe I can convince him to let me take it for a spin.
JonesTN, I did see your post on the tires. I've got an FJR that I ride when I go solo. When I'm gone for a whole work wee I throw my top box on, and there's no shortage of guys that complain about the same buffeting on that bike if you put a top case and ride solo. I've never noticed it. Maybe it'll be the same with the GA.
Joe
 

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You guys are killing me! LOL. I keep boomeranging (is that a word?) back to this bike. I see the brentune can get me past the speed limiter. My local BMW dealer has a used Grand America in stock. Maybe I can convince him to let me take it for a spin.
JonesTN, I did see your post on the tires. I've got an FJR that I ride when I go solo. When I'm gone for a whole work wee I throw my top box on, and there's no shortage of guys that complain about the same buffeting on that bike if you put a top case and ride solo. I've never noticed it. Maybe it'll be the same with the GA.
Joe
Ride all three versions if you can. But bring a form of payment. You'll likely need it.
 
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