Custom – BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger! – Page 2 – BMW K1600B test: dynamics

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BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger !

Custom - BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger! - Page 2 - BMW K1600B test: dynamics

The last BMW custom motorcycle, the R1200C discontinued in 2004, did not leave lasting memories … It is different for the K1600B which succeeds it with its orgasmic six-cylinder 160 hp! First try.

Page 2 – BMW K1600B test: dynamics

Launched in 2011 on the K1600GT and K1600GTL, the majestic "six-legged" has not aged a bit on the K1600B: normal, since it is repeated identically on the Bagger, BMW not having deemed it useful to reconfigure it through a specific injection, for example.

Pity ?

Custom - BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger! - Page 2 - BMW K1600B test: dynamics

MNC is divided on this point: on the one hand, the powerful breath without any hollow of the 6-cylinder befits the new Bagger rather well, offering astonishing revivals and extension for a motorcycle of this displacement. Flexible, the engine resumes without batting an eyelid in 6th at 40 km / h at 1000 rpm, in a muffled hum pierced with metallic accents.

Crossing a town in 4th gear at 50 km / h at 1750 rpm is a formality for this very charismatic engine, despite the 336 kg to tow. Up to 2500 rpm, its revivals are majestic but not necessarily super sensational. At low revs, a big twin or the Gold’s flat six is ​​more expressive – but not more efficient, nuance. 

In this, BMW could have given the Bagger an extra ladle of character through reworked mapping. Certainly, differences in reactivity are felt between the three injection laws proposed (Rain, Road and Dynamic), but a "map" favoring low revs to the detriment of pure power would have been welcome in our opinion.. 

As well as more "custom" timbre exhausts … But it is rather the opposite: the extended silencers of the "B" stifle the soundtrack and deprive it of the audible cracklings on the GT. All the more unfortunate that these motorcycles particularly flourish with a "villainous" sound..

Custom - BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger! - Page 2 - BMW K1600B test: dynamics

Beyond this threshold, however, the aforementioned motorcycles can go get dressed: from 3000 rpm, this 24-valve block (!) Changes register and becomes almost sporty, launching its 160 hp in a particularly enjoyable triple gallop. At 4500 rpm, the motorcycle growls and roars, pulling almost ferociously on the arms until the breaker approaches at 8500 rpm. 

Speed ​​where it takes 210 km / h in 4th like a flower (!), Before an electronic limiter stops its thrust: almost frustrating, as the engine clearly expresses its ability to exceed this limit. MNC would love to find this monument of power and responsiveness on a roadster, type K1600R !

Its ride-by-wire accelerator is as sensitive as it is precise: some will be surprised – even annoyed – at its responsiveness, others will praise its surgical precision which allows precise management of the colossal power available. Everyone will ultimately appreciate the elasticity and the presence of this exceptional engine, whose architecture is the dream of (beautiful) mechanics lovers. !

However, a few small flaws are still present: like the K1600GT and GTL, the K1600B lets out a whistling primary transmission without elegance up to 3000 rpm. Here again, this sound characteristic is not associated with the custom genre, more connected to the bass than the treble. In addition, its cardan transmission is not completely transparent and "slams" when the throttle is cut.. 

Custom - BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger! - Page 2 - BMW K1600B test: dynamics

The selection has not improved compared to the first models tested by MNC: the box is rough and noisy, even if some American twins do much worse in this area. And the latter are far from being as fast and precise, especially when the bidirectional shifter offered as an option is added to the "K16B". !

This Pro shifter partly eliminates the small weaknesses of the selection, because it allows you to up gears without disengaging or cutting the throttle, then down without touching the left lever. Pleasant, efficient and comfortable: to adopt without hesitation, including – or even especially – for urban use.

With a "B" like "Bonnard" in the virolos !

The geometry and the suspensions of the K1600B being identical to those of the K1600GT (apart from the rear spring, 10 mm shorter on the B), the dynamic behavior of the Bagger is the same: flawless! This results in a perfectly distributed mass balance, which gives an amazing handling to this bike, however heavy and bulky.. 

Custom - BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger! - Page 2 - BMW K1600B test: dynamics

Turning around is just a formality, just like entering curves: there is something magical about handling a motorcycle over three quintals so easily, a thrilling sensation common with Honda Goldwings. This recital of good manners continues on the corner, with foolproof stability and motor skills to match. The standard traction control does not fall under the task, despite the high torque and horsepower !

On the comfort side, the K1600B relies on its ESA Dynamic electronic damping, whose hydraulic reactivity varies according to the mode engaged (“Road” and “Cruise”). The preload can be adjusted when stationary from the left stalk, depending on whether the motorcycle is driven solo or in duo, loaded or not. Practical and functional.

The comfort provided is remarkable, although more oriented towards rigor than pleasure. Engaging the "Cruise" mode does not change much: like its engine, the damping of the K1600B plays in a register more watted than "padded". Bikers who love a little arsouille will appreciate it, especially since the ground clearance is suitable for this type of motorcycle. !

State-of-the-art protection and equipment

Despite the cutout in the windshield, the protection remains excellent: electrically adjusted in the high position, it perfectly shelters the shoulders and chest as well as a large part of the helmet. For a 1.75 m pilot, only the last third of the head is exposed to turbulence. Suffice to say that you can ride comfortably with a jet or demi-jet helmet on the secondary network.

 Custom - BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger! - Page 2 - BMW K1600B test: dynamics

The deflectors under the mirrors – very effective – play their role in preserving the hands, while the legs find shelter behind the fairings. Small detail well gambergé: removable deflectors located at the top of the fairings, which open forward to improve air circulation at low speed.

The original xenon headlamps also provide real added value in terms of lighting efficiency, while the presence of heated grips and saddle is greatly appreciated as standard. As is the very readable color matrix dashboard, controlled by the practical "Multicontroller" wheel on the left hand..

Custom - BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger! - Page 2 - BMW K1600B test: dynamics

The K1600B responds favorably to all the technological expectations expected from such a high-end motorcycle (23,250 €), with the exception of its audio installation, which has aged badly. Inaudible above 110 km / h, the sound system suffers above all from the comparison with the most recent devices, such as the incredible Harley-Davidson "Boom Box". 

The offer as an option in this price bracket therefore appears even more petty on the part of BMW … Same observation for the optional nature of the central stand and reverse gear, devices yet almost essential with such a heavy motorcycle.

Verdict: "bagger", but not put away !

Original style, performance and style: these are the K1600B’s arguments for investing in the custom genre in general, and Bagger in particular. On a dynamic level, this bike is a success: its 6-legged is magical, while the rigor of its cycle part is enough to make certain sporty roads blush..

Custom - BMW K1600B test: Power Bagger! - Page 2 - BMW K1600B test: dynamics

In a way, the BMW takes on its own the recipes used by Ducati with its Diavel and its X-Diavel version, namely motorcycles with strong temperament with road behavior above all suspicion..

But is it really this daring mix of genres that American bikers expect, the priority target of this K1600B? The question deserves to be raised, especially as its GT nature sweats under its custom airs: the ergonomics to review the running boards is an example….

Some will also criticize its limited and sad color chart (black only, like the famous Ford T of 1908!) And its massive use of plastic, up to the covering of the 26.5-liter tank: a few metal parts as well as additional chrome would strengthen its custom status. A less muffled soundtrack, too. Especially when it’s such a mechanism that expresses itself !

The K1600B is already available in the BMW network, at the same price as the K1600GT: 23,250 €. In view of its performance and its technology, this price is rather competitive: the Honda F6B appears at € 24,799 (clearance at € 23,299 currently pending its replacement), when the Harley-Davidson Street Glide and Road Glide exceed € 25,000 (€ 26,890 and € 27,290 respectively) !

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