Car Tips

BMW K1600 motorcycle combines luxury, comfort

Sunday, November 27, 2011

For many years, the BMW 5-Series has been considered a top luxury sport sedan. It has comfortable seats, great power, handling and just enough new technology.

Another BMW model that offers great attributes has two wheels instead of four. The new BMW K1600 GT is kind of the motorcycle equivalent of the 5-Series.

Yes, there's a car side and motorcycle side to BMW. They actually did bikes first and the cars followed later.

For this sport touring two-wheeled Bimmer, which has a base price of $20,900, a new six-cylinder engine provides the power and a motorcycle version of iDrive provides the technology.

Using a thumb wheel controller by the left grip, a rider can scroll through menu items for everything from electronic suspension adjustment to the settings for the optional audio system.

Want to play tunes from your iPod? No problem. There's even a special compartment to keep it snug and secure.

As for comfort, the seat and riding position combine to make highway travel a breeze. The windshield adjusts electrically, and the fuel-injected six underneath you is very smooth.

A big motorcycle with a powerful six-cylinder engine, lots of features and comfort to be able to go all day in the saddle. That sounds like a winning combination. It also sounds very familiar.

Honda's Gold Wing has been using that formula for many years, and has gotten its own update this year.

To be fair, the Gold Wing and BMW probably aren't shopped or ridden by the same people. But it is interesting to see how luxury and gizmos are now working their way into other brands. Honda has set the standard with features like integrated audio, cruise control and navigation.

BMW is starting to catch up quickly, but for all out luxury the Wing is hard to beat.

The K1600 works the more sporting end of the sporty luxury equation, kind of like the cars on BMW's four-wheeled side.

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