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Reading experience: BMW K 1600 GT

Endurance test – 22,000 kilometers later

In the spring, Christoph Dimter was still a guest tester at MOTORRAD, the BMW K 1600 fell into disrepair – and bought one. His record after a season as a long-term test.

This man is lucky, just lucky. First he almost knocks part of the MOTORRAD test team at the reception of the editorial office, then with his enthusiasm for the not even officially presented BMW six-cylinder tourer K 1600 GT open doors.

The result: He is allowed to travel over 5000 kilometers to southern France and northern Spain for a tourer comparison (MOTORRAD 10/2011), enthusiastically orders his own BMW six-pack and since then, as an early retiree, sits more on his motorcycle than on the couch at home. Just a lucky guy.

D.imter has always been an express traveler. Yamaha FJR 1300, two Suzuki Hayabusas, most recently a Kawasaki GTR 1400 – just an excerpt from 42 years of motorcycles and 500,000 kilometers. But the K 1600 is the crowning glory for him. The 60-year-old gear specialist (Porsche racing department) tends to be more sober analysis than exuberance. On the new 1600, however, it roasts over 20,000 kilometers in one season. Be it for sharpening bends in the Alps, for drinking coffee by the North Sea or for heating on the racetrack. Yes, you read that right. The man is contaminated with K 1600. But he’s also a sober technician. Dimter notes, measures, weighs and communicates. Regardless of whether it is in his personal balance sheet for MOTORRAD or in a letter to BMW boss von Kuenheim, whom he congratulates on this motorcycle. And at the same time criticized many individual items as being in need of improvement. Dimter sees a need for action.

No question about it, the expert for quick gear changes is not an easy customer. Especially not for a motorcycle manufacturer who has stumbled into many a gearbox trap. "Unworthy" is Dimter’s dictation when it comes to the powertrain of his K 1600. And it’s not even the loud thump when engaging first gear that bothers him the most. It’s not the noiseless and then loud cracking gear changes that sometimes spoil his fun. Or the gears that pop out more frequently, the whistling of the primary drive or the “tram noises” of the transmission in fifth and sixth gear. No, it is the omnipresent "clong" during load changes that gives him no peace and for which he provides an onboard video of the Passo Pian delle Fugazze as proof ( / watch? v = hvl3v0SNtBQ). "The task of the developer is to minimize the effects of the play between the claws, the so-called clearance angle, which is technically necessary in the dog gearbox, through various measures in the drive train, "lectures Dimter in his report. This problem was solved halfway with a Yamaha FJR 1300, with a Kawasaki GTR 1400 well and with a Yamaha Vmax (all motorcycles with high power, high torque and above all cardan drive) sensationally well solved. His K 1600 GT, however, was a bereavement. “Shift – clong, accelerate – clong, take gas off – clong, just constantly clong”, writes Dimter. BMW just didn’t finish developing this.

In contrast to the other part of the drive unit, the motor. What this six-cylinder – without individual throttle valves, variable intake paths or even adjustable camshafts, but with a liter output of just 100 hp – replaces with the GT is simply terrific. And that with an average consumption that, according to the on-board computer, is an astonishing 5.3 liters per 100 kilometers. “I’ve never been able to experience that in this performance class, ”enthuses Dimter, who has a round, but by no means leisurely driving style. "To date, I have not experienced an operating condition in which the engine did not behave exactly as I expected and desired."

Six outlets of the six-in-two exhaust system refer to the engine.

This sentence not only stands for highest satisfaction, but also for another fact. His K 1600 GT never broke down, apart from a broken turn signal switch it was never defective. And also fulfilled his chassis requirements perfectly. “Whether solo, solo with luggage, with pillion passenger and luggage: cruising with high comfort, traveling quickly, having fun with high dynamics – set ESA (the suspension that can be adjusted at the push of a button), expect and get the highest level. This is the K 1600 GT ”, praises the alpine fan and flirts with the fact that his footrests are heavily sanded, while the “fear nipples” have long ceased to exist. Also a merit of the Metzeler Z8 series tires, which "have grip until everything keys down, and with high performance down to the last meter". At Dimter, one set was enough for 6000 kilometers – a mileage that he has never achieved on his touring bikes before.

Speaking of reaching: BMW’s own Garmin navigation system largely fails as a reliable destination guide when it comes to the meticulous route planner. Cumbersome operation, imprecise display, intermittent failures – his mobile TomTom could do that much better. In addition, a navigation cover that is not exactly fitting in the field of vision, very dissolute gaps, the BMW communication system with loud noise – despite all the euphoria, the criticism is not neglected. In order to finally draw an enthusiastic summary. “What a motorcycle!” Summarizes Dimter. “Thank you, BMW! And now get on with the open points! "

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