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Is your Grand America Unstable and Hard to Ride at High Speed?

  • Solid at 80 mph+, What's the Problem?

    Votes: 13 46.4%
  • A little less Stable at 80+mph, still not Hard to ride or Dangerous

    Votes: 13 46.4%
  • Scares the Heck Out of Me at 80+ mph, Downright Dangerous

    Votes: 3 10.7%

  • Total voters
    28
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Discussion Starter #1
I’m ready to trade my HD Ultra for a K-1600-B/GA. I've only been on 1 GA, short ride on wet roads. Got up to 90 mph, smooth and stable, although traffic wouldn't allow me to cruise, brought it up, then back down to 45. Test rides are almost impossible where I live.

I read so much about the high speed instability, some saying it's downright dangerous. My test was great, not much of a test though.

I'd like poll answers, only from riders that have at least 1k miles experience. Is the GA unstable or am I reading more from a vocal minority? I'll consider answers just up to 80+ mph or up maybe to the 101 mph limit (this group surely wouldn't go any faster, lol).
 

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Mine was definitely not as stable as my big Harley’s and Indians at 70-80. Didn’t make me regret buying it (4500 miles ago). I just was aware of it and slightly surprised. I recently added new Michelin tires and Aerowings. Don’t know exactly which helped the most, but bike seems considerably better now. Love this bike more each time I ride it.
 

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I’m ready to trade my HD Ultra for a K-1600-B/GA. I've only been on 1 GA, short ride on wet roads. Got up to 90 mph, smooth and stable, although traffic wouldn't allow me to cruise, brought it up, then back down to 45. Test rides are almost impossible where I live.

I read so much about the high speed instability, some saying it's downright dangerous. My test was great, not much of a test though.

I'd like poll answers, only from riders that have at least 1k miles experience. Is the GA unstable or am I reading more from a vocal minority? I'll consider answers just up to 80+ mph or up maybe to the 101 mph limit (this group surely wouldn't go any faster, lol).
The very reason the GA was speed limited to 160 kmph. or 100 mph it could be the addition of the application of the fixed luggage and top case. Don't ask me why when the GTL and GT are not limited?. I am so glad that they are not. I own the GTL and bought it because I loved it after experiencing and owning one a few years back But it could be something to do with the lower frame, most of the K1600`s if not all of them are light in the front end and tend to get tossed around slightly from dirty air if you're behind a truck/semi, etc. If you are aware of that or experience it, you adjust your riding, back off, or get past the truck or semi in a safe way of course. These are great bikes. I have had 2 x Indian Roadmasters. To be honest the BMW bikes are great, by no means, a Harley or Indian but then they are much heavier and slower than a K1600 the advantage of the BMW is handing less of a problem than the HD or Indian even though they are great bikes they are built for completely different riding experiences. If you wanted both a faster bike that handles go with the K1600`s but the GTL and GTL are a little more stable in my opinion. Having said that I love the looks of both the B and GA and if I was happy with that go for it. Try to test ride each one or if that is not possible do as your doing here and research look at reviews on youtube and read some of the better bike books that give an honest review based on the true experience other than being paid to give the opinion of the manufacture. Last of all the Downright Instability you mentioned is only an issue with riders that go beyond and push the bikes past the safe boundaries. Common sense goes a long way. It's like pushing a Harley or Indian past what you would admit is the danger section of the bike's capability. Yes, both of those bikes Handel well to a point the same goes with the BMW, you will find the BMW`s far superior. There are a lot of members here that have had or still own a Harley or Indian on this forum that still own one of them as well as a BMW then some would not go back to one of them. I personally would go back to an Indian without a second thought, but I love the BMW and have owned over 5 of them including many other brands over my long years of riding. Good luck,I hope you get what you need out of this and sorry for my long-winded reply.
 

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As a former Harley Guy myself, your first impulses may be "this doesn't feel/drive like my Harley" and you would be correct. The BMW is thankfully a different animal (different frame geometry, COG, tires, tune-able characteristics, etc).
In my transition experience, there is a learning curve associated with tweaking the K1600 B/GA for best driving satisfaction. A proper combination of wind screen, suspension base setting and load setting (avoid the "soft" setting), proper tire inflation .... down to the correct lb to name a few, and simply getting to know the bike and how to manage it has provided the good results I expect in several instances past 80 mph.
6,000 miles on a 2018 GA, and 1,500 miles now on a 2019 B series purchased this spring and I have no regrets. I was ready for a change. I'm confident you'll find the same.
 

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The very reason the GA was speed limited to 160 kmph. or 100 mph it could be the addition of the application of the fixed luggage and top case. Don't ask me why when the GTL and GT are not limited?.
The top box on the GA is mounted further back than on the GTL. The GA also has the running boards. IMHO that leads to a front end lift problem at speed which is why BMW limited the GA to 100 mph. This opinion is reinforced by the number in the survey who say they feel some instability at speeds over 80 mph.

I have often run my 2015 GT (which has an OEM Top Box) on the Texas freeways with the cruise set at 90 mph. Even at speeds over 135 mph :rolleyes: ,KBiK has always felt rock solid.
 

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Funny posting this. Last weekend, hwy was empty, wind was at 5 - 8, PSI at 42 both, I managed to do 108 and she cuts down. As long as no large trucks around, my GA is wonderful and now with the Road 5GT, super drooper. She is so happy on those high RPM. So clean and stable, Vibes are comfortable and I love the feel, she is so smooth due to the inline. I always use Cruise Mode on long stretch of hwy. City, it goes to Road.BTW, no issues so far with any tire rubbing. I check after each ride. Happy and safe rocket ship riding....!!!!!
 

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My 2018 GA has 33092 miles and I've been up to the limiter (105 mph on the bike; 103 on the GPS) more than 15 times with no stability issues ever........It's rock solid in every and all conditions.
 

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H-D and the K bikes are very different beasts. They are designed and built for very different riders. Coming from a H-D the bike will feel very nervous and move around a bit in dirty air. Coming from a Sport Tourning bike, the K bike will feel normal. I can and will live with the K bikes wondering because it shines when we find the twisty parts. If your primarily ride is Interstates, then I not sure you will be happy with a K bike.
 

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@Geoff_3 , the GTL is speed limit. Only the GT is not...

Duane
:unsure::cool:Duane, that's interesting as I was not aware of the GTL being speed limited, I thought the GA was the only one that was limited. I can tell you mine has been well about the ....... let's say speed limited numbers for the GA so now, using your massive Knowledge that you generously share with all of us. Along with the amount of help you contribute to the forum. Can you tell me what seed the GTL is limited at and is it just in America? Not being a smart ass just was not aware of this and mine does not show signs of that being speed limited. Not that I ever go over the speed limit being a responsible citizen and comply with all the laws of our country without question.:unsure::censored:
 

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As a former Harley Guy myself, your first impulses may be "this doesn't feel/drive like my Harley" and you would be correct. The BMW is thankfully a different animal (different frame geometry, COG, tires, tune-able characteristics, etc).
In my transition experience, there is a learning curve associated with tweaking the K1600 B/GA for best driving satisfaction. A proper combination of wind screen, suspension base setting and load setting (avoid the "soft" setting), proper tire inflation .... down to the correct lb to name a few, and simply getting to know the bike and how to manage it has provided the good results I expect in several instances past 80 mph.
6,000 miles on a 2018 GA, and 1,500 miles now on a 2019 B series purchased this spring and I have no regrets. I was ready for a change. I'm confident you'll find the same.
Great feedback and I think our man looking to have the answers on the bikes will be happy with what you shared.
 

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Another 20 year HD rider here.....still have one plus the GA. Since I have the Bren tune, I've had the GA up to 145 indicated with no issues. It's not as rock solid as the HD in turbulent air, but that seems to have gone away....not sure if it is the windshield, the tires wearing or an adaptation of my riding skills.
 

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Mine was definitely not as stable as my big Harley’s and Indians at 70-80. Didn’t make me regret buying it (4500 miles ago). I just was aware of it and slightly surprised. I recently added new Michelin tires and Aerowings. Don’t know exactly which helped the most, but bike seems considerably better now. Love this bike more each time I ride it.
I just put Michelin Road Pilot 5GTs on my 2018gtl.... they stick you to the road better than any tire I have ridden on.... Highly recommend...
 

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My K16GT is horrible at speed. AT around 80mph the front goes so light and I can see it wobbling around like it's going to go into a tank slapper. It's even worse if you pass a lorry in windy weather. Worse bike I've ever owned for stability at high speed.
 

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My K16GT is horrible at speed. AT around 80mph the front goes so light and I can see it wobbling around like it's going to go into a tank slapper. It's even worse if you pass a lorry in windy weather. Worse bike I've ever owned for stability at high speed.
I believe you, but I don't understand how our experiences could be so different. It would be a very good experiment to swap bikes for a ride to compare/isolate the experience.
 

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:unsure::cool:Duane, that's interesting as I was not aware of the GTL being speed limited, I thought the GA was the only one that was limited.

If you look at my profile picture you can see GTL's are limited to GPS 135, speedo can read as high as 145, it's crazy optimistic. Even if the bike could go higher it would gear-out pretty quick after that.
 

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My K16GT is horrible at speed. AT around 80mph the front goes so light and I can see it wobbling around like it's going to go into a tank slapper. It's even worse if you pass a lorry in windy weather. Worse bike I've ever owned for stability at high speed.
Must be your bike, have a GTL and even being the second one I have owned never even looked anywhere near becoming a tank slapper, yes I get some dirty air from Truck on the highways, but I can honestly say I ride fast and love the handling on fast twisty roads, etc. I agree on passing trucks or to be exact being behind or beside them can create some turbulence but never to the point, I feel unsafe. In windy conditions, I would have to say all bikes get pushed around to some degree. Not saying that you are wrong it is just from the experiences I have had with my 2 GTL`s and then again even with the 4 RT`s I have owned, they too were light and has some dirty air issues with a truck, etc. but once again never to the point they looked to be tank slappers or felt unsafe in any way. With regards to my Indian Roadmasters, at 422 kg, they coped slightly a little bit of dirty air behind trucks and they were a lot heavier than the BMW`s
 

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If you look at my profile picture you can see GTL's are limited to GPS 135, speedo can read as high as 145, it's crazy optimistic. Even if the bike could go higher it would gear-out pretty quick after that.
Danny, I really can't see your speedo on your profile clear enough but then again I can't see any of us really sitting at whatever the top speed is legally on our bikes unless you live in Germany and ride the Autobarn. I am happy with the fact my GTL goes fast, handles so well that it and other BMW`s feel are so safe in dropping the bike into a corner or sweeping bend to put a smile on my face every time, I do not ride on highways any longer than I need too to have a big problem with any dirty air as the other member has mentioned. In fact, I consider the BMW`s to be one of if not one of the safest bikes around. I am sure you would also agree with that statement as would others here on the forum. Thanks for your feedback also.
 

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This K1600 B is my second K bike. First was a 2012 GTL. That motorcycle was the best riding motorcycle I've ever ridden. Solid as a rock at whatever speed - clean or dirty air.
Bought the B for 2 reasons. I liked the looks and the floorboards and was a little nervous about all the "issues" with the early model. The B rode totally different, quite a bit squirrely in dirty air.

I changed the tires to the Pilot 5 GTs, added the Aerowings, changed to the Wunderlich air screen, and got away from the softer "cruise" setting. The overall combination really made the bike solid.

Real happy now....
 
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