BMW K1600 Forum banner
  • Hey Everyone! Enter your bike HERE to be a part of this months Bike of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I didn't ride a lot the last 20 years, work family, ect...
I have owned a 1999 Kawi 9r since new, and kept it pristine. I have toured lightly, done track days, and been a a holligan on it, but 'fraid those days are a bit past.

Started riding a lot more 2 years ago, mainly 100 mile Sunday mornings back road county blacktop stuff. We are a 5 months riding season area.
I still love my bike, but 100 miles is enough on it. I just plain get beat up.

I am looking for a stead to eat quiet miles, be hassle free, and be free of pucker moments.

I thought I adored the concept of a K1600 GT. So, last year I test rode an RT1250, GSA 1250, (just all while waiting on a 1600 to pop up I could test ride.
Today, I saw our dealer had a 2015 GT with 18,000 on it, and went down to ride it. However, an '18 Goldwing with 4ooo miles, was sitting next to it, and I rode that first.

This is my first time ever on either bike, with the only "big bikes" I've ever rode on have been Road Kings and the like, never a full bagged out unit.

I can physically handle either bike, the weight just was not a problem, and I could touch the ground well enogh on either bike. I still throw my 9 around quite a bit.

The GW was astonishing, just easy. The wind protection was top of the hat. Everything was as I have always been told. Competent, comfy, stable and moves well in all axis'

Then I rode the 2015 1600GT. Keep in mind, I went down there to buy the thing, yet here is what I discovered. I want to love the concept....but:

The shifter was inside my size 10 foot, and I had to rotate my foot in and concentrate to shift. ( I run fully adjustable race sets on my 9r)

The tranny was clunky and long throwed. I've read it is a crap shoot if you get a tight one. This one was not, and for 18k should have been tighter.

The rider pocket was loud and turbulent. I am used to no windshield and sitting on top of my bike, in full wind, but I've always had smooth flow coming off my screen. The 1600 was miserable, no matter the position of the windscreen. It was quite miserable.

The forged bars were narrow, compared to the GW and my extra wide ones on my 9. I have 3 foot wide shoulders, so thats always an issue on anyy bike. The bike was twitchy in a sport bike without the front weight bias kinda bad way. It flicked well at speed, and I am sure I could adjust to the handling. (The goldwing was just plain stoic in this regard)

Everything else was as described, good motor, handled well. Although I did experience some acceleration woblle I am not use to.
The Wing was far smoother in the front end

Here's the point of all the this. I walked in to buy that 2015 GT, to ride while I wait for setting up to order a 2023 1600 GT upon avaialbilty to do so.

I walked out really wanting to just buy the Wing and see how it goes.

I really am not old yet, but I want to enjoy the ride, the scenery, the air, the moments. I will not be chasing anyone around draggin knee pucks ever again, although the occasional power slide out of a corner will still happen on the 9.:)

My questions on the 1600, as they would pertain to a new one:

1. Is that tranny clunk and long shift throw normal? Is it improved on the 2022 bikes? Are there even any aftermarket rear sets to fix my issue with the narrowness of the stock set?
2. Does the 2022 fairing package actually work better than the 2015?
3. If I got a 2022 or 23 GT, would I actually like it, based on today's experience with the Wing?
4. Do I need to ride a new GTL? I think I can find one.

I know, I know it is all personal and find what I like and what works for me and so on.......But I really want to like the 1600 GT!

Thanks for all the posts, Ive been trolling for a couple of years......
 

·
Premium Member
2018 K1600GT Opt 719 Blue Planet Metallic
Joined
·
3,378 Posts
2022 MI/KM:
9700 mi
A wing, for me, would be a great touring, comfy bike with enough torque to get around cars. The GT is more than that to me. I ride sport touring bikes because I like to go far, and I like to go fast. The wing would not make my heart beat as intensely as the GT. So reading your description, I'd say buy the wing.
1) the Shift Assist Pro on my '18 GT is great. I assume the new bikes have it just as smooth.
2) I don't know. I know they changed the fairings on the GTs/GTLS MY 2017. I cant say my '18 is better with air flow than the previous bikes. I'm good with it. I did change my fairing for 2-up riding. Don't know how improved the latest rendition is.
3) I usually try to go with my gut feeling. My guess is ....probably.
4) Give it a shot! Or try to ride a newer GT and see what you think.

Best of luck! Worst case scenario, you buy one and ride it for a year or two, take a depreciation hit if you don't love it, and buy another. There are worse consequences in life.
 

·
Registered
2013 K1600GT
Joined
·
13 Posts
This is a case of buy both. Not at the same time, unless you can…. Then ride one for a season, if you don’t like it, trade it in on the other. Life is too short to waste committing to just one bike.:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
I've only ridden a couple Wings that were pre 2018 so I can't speak to the newest style Wing all that much. As for shifting on the K Bikes, I picked up a 2022 GTL in May and if you learn to shift it just right it is not clunky and it shifts well, in my opinion. I'm pretty sure you can adjust the shifter position, but these issues sound like minor ones, and you have other bigger issues to consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
878 Posts
Sounds like you are leaning towards the GW. If that’s the one that floats your boat get it. No here ride’s your ride like you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
I'd say quite a few of the shortcomings you listed could be mitigated with aftermarket parts. Other than clunky transmission, I guess.

I do agree with you on the long throws, though. However, they can be eliminated with a short throw kit. I installed one on mine a few weeks ago and absolutely love it! Throws are short and precise and it could just be in my head, but I also think the clunkiness has kind of disappeared. 🤷‍♂️ Haven't been riding too much since the installation, but will do a 2K+ mile trip to Colorado in a couple of weeks, so I'll get some more seat time on that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,552 Posts
2022 MI/KM:
10,000 mi
I am looking for a stead to eat quiet miles, be hassle free, and be free of pucker moments.
Go with the GW. Based on what you're looking for, the GW crosses more T's and dots more I's. The K16 is about bringing a lot more "sport" to the ride than the GW. And if the sport aspect speaks to you like many here, a GW isn't an option.

Having said this, you can get a more refined ride from the K16 GTL or B/GA variants. And the 18+ models have less clunky shifting than their older counterparts, as well as niceties like shift assist and reverse. Unless you're looking for the stability of riding inside a car, the K16 is a great highway cruiser. In the last year, I've done an IBA 1000 2-up with my wife, and an IBA 1500 with a few friends, along with numerous 700+ mile days. Many of those miles were in torrential cross winds that weren't any fun. But I don't have a death wish, and my GTL handled then well. I've never felt in any danger.

Anyway, go with your gut. It seems to be saying the GW is a better match for you.
 

·
Super Moderator
K1600GA
Joined
·
3,505 Posts
I am comforted by the clunk. Having owned 6 BMWs across four engines, I can say all of them clunked.

Now, there is a technique I learned years ago involving "preloading" the shifter before shifting that eliminates the clunk, but I don't mind the clunk at all.

Now, the exhaust pipes suck. They are fugly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'd say quite a few of the shortcomings you listed could be mitigated with aftermarket parts. Other than clunky transmission, I guess.

I do agree with you on the long throws, though. However, they can be eliminated with a short throw kit. I installed one on mine a few weeks ago and absolutely love it! Throws are short and precise and it could just be in my head, but I also think the clunkiness has kind of disappeared. 🤷‍♂️ Haven't been riding too much since the installation, but will do a 2K+ mile trip to Colorado in a couple of weeks, so I'll get some more seat time on that.
Keep me posted after the Co trip and let me know how that short throw kit affected your bike. I am just SO used to my sport bikes after all these years, it makes change hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you alll for the comments. I passed on the used Wing today, for now. I love my dealer, and they handle both Honda and BMW, so now i need to find a newer GT or GTL to ride and see what my thoughts are. Luckily they have new wings coming in, well maybe based on current affairs, in Mid august. If I choose that route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,552 Posts
2022 MI/KM:
10,000 mi
A BMW can be a shock to the system when you first ride one. When I was still on Harleys, I remember testing a new RT and wondering what the big deal was. The shifting was clunky and it was top heavy. Of course, short test rides are really insufficient and don’t give complete feedback. So I left thinking the brand wasn’t for me. But I thought about it over the next few weeks and decided to take a chance. That was 17 years ago and I haven’t looked back.

Ultimately, you have to decide what riding experience speaks to you. There is little debate that the GW and K16 are different in many important ways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
436 Posts
Clunk? What clunk? I definitely had one on my 2012, but I don’t have one on my 2018.

Best of luck! Worst case scenario, you buy one and ride it for a year or two, take a depreciation hit if you don't love it, and buy another. There are worse consequences in life.
Well said!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
Now, there is a technique I learned years ago involving "preloading" the shifter before shifting that eliminates the clunk, but I don't mind the clunk at all.
@Bills9r, on the bikes without Shift Assist, this is the best way to shift a BMW. It doesn't take but a little lift of your toe to pre-select the shift. Once ready to shift, hold the upward pressure and... Well, you know how to shift. The procedure for down-shifting works the same way, although I don't find it necessary going lower. Another thing, BMW's do not like to shift once you're stopped. While rolling, go ahead and get to first. If you don't, you have to release the clutch to the friction point, squeeze it, click the shifter, release the clutch to the friction point, squeeze it, click the shifter. You get the idea.

Ultimately, the choice to what you ride is yours. On this site, you'll get a bent toward the K1600. On one geared to the RT, they'll lean that way. Same as for a Gold Wing site. Nature of the beast. I hope you find the one that "talks" to you. Since it doesn't sound like the '15 GT did, check out an '18 or newer model with the upgrades to the line. I rode an '18 GW on an extended test ride a few years ago. It didn't feel like me. The RT and GSA didn't either. The GTL I have did/does.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnS1955

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thats great info Lee adn DJ. Thank you.
I can shift my 9 going up in gears with just right pressure and throttle control, going down with a throttle blip to match works fair enough, but some clutch is required usually. I keep that throtttle cable very tight, it's just what feels good.

This time I rode my 9 down there, so it was fresh in my memory.
I walked in asked for an hour with the bike, and then went out and learned a whole lot more. My dealer is pretty accomadating.


The first date did not go well, but she's smart and engaging so We went out again today.
First, the air flow thing, well that's my own stupidity. I had come home and read some more about the bike. The Beemer guru had flipped out the winglets, and I never thought to put them back in. Dur dur der der. They redirect an amazing ammount of air, which I thought was a dirty pocket. Nope, I started todayoff with them put away, and was stunned at the difference. The Krafwterks windsield got adjusted just so, and holy canoley, I had peace on the bike.

Next, I went and found some flow. I like flow when riding, just seamless body to bike inputs and the resulting movement of the bike. Kinda like the perfect carve on good skis on groomers. Jut flow...

SO, at that point I had something, a bit of a spark, so we went and found a side road and opened things up, and that was it. Fell in love. I have always loved inline 4's, and the six just purrs.

After I was able to get to a familiar curvy stretch and roll in and out, I was ready buy the ring.

Now, that tranny is still annoying, but I figured it out, a short throw kit and tweaking of the shifter size and height, she'll be fine.

The bars are too close and narrow, but that can be fixed. (although I'll wait on that till I get a new one next year)

The calm I found on the Gold Wing was still in my mind, but I ain't ready for 5pm suppers an 2 hours of tv on the couch, then off to bed. Plus that calm made the thing HOT to ride, as there is so little airflow. That and the luggage size on the '18 is tiny.

I went in asked for a trade in number for the bike I havent bought yet for next year, and then agreed to buy it. On the premise that I can order one if they open up orders, or get dibs or an allocation.

$16300 with a Remus exhaust and 18000 miles on it. Fair price? I have no clue in this market, but again, the service level is exceptional....

We close up next week, and as soon as I find a tank bag, ( I love just being able to stuff crap in them), I will go roll out for 400 miles, and see what else needs tweaked. Then wait for a triple black 2023, fingers crossed.

The ride home on the 9 was bitter sweet, as I feel it won't see much time on the road in the future. Although I did stuff 6 Popeye sandwhiches and a sweatshirt in the tank bag.:unsure:. so it still has purpose. That and carving, O and wheelies, she likes those.

Any tips, gear or enhancement choices are appreciated.

Again, thank you all for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
992 Posts
I'm glad you came back and gave the K another look. In hot weather, opening the wings lets a lot of air through, as you now know. Farkles, like bikes, are a personal choice. I haven't done too much to mine. I've added a Billie Jr brake light from Clearwater Lights that I found 2nd hand. I had already bought an EZ-Can from HEXCode to keep the CANBus from calling foul due to electrical output of the brake light. The most expensive thing I've bought is a seat from Russell Day Long. They are expensive but so much better than the factory seat. A buddy who quit riding and sold his K16 GAVE me his GS-911. This is a device that allows you to read trouble codes and reset them, as well as the service reminder. Others here have changed windscreens and added this or that. If you will do your own service, the K16 has 2 oil drain plugs. The outer plug is an 8mm hex. The inner plug, accessed through the drain is a 5mm hex. Being an older model, the owner may have already made the switch for the inner plug to @RL Lemke's SuperPlug. If not, there is a thread with instructions on how to obtain one. The 5mm hex plug can drop off your hex key into the oil pan. This is not something you want to happen.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top