That's all the posts for the K1600 GT and GTL? Alright, let's spice it up a bit.
So... I rode the K1600GT... and the GTL afterward. Sheep among the wolves? It felt that way that weekend.
I was at the Street Vibrations (Reno, Nevada), working for the BMW's Demo Tent. For those who are not familiar with this event, it's an annual gathering for the cruisers crowd (Harleys, Victories, customs, etc.) - http://www.road-shows.com/street_vibrations.php
And among them, 10 K1600GTL and 6 K1600GT (more or less... plus 2 RT-P lead bikes). It was quite interesting and funny to see many of those cruiser riders stopped by and trying out the BMWs cruising flavors.
Demo rides ran from Thursday to Saturday. We got busy on Friday and Saturday... and I ended up playing sweep for the second group. This gave me 4-5 riding sessions with both bikes.
Both are heavy bikes to begin with. Slow-speed maneuvers take some getting used to. It's true what some reviews said, both seem to shred weight as you get on the throttle. The balance is phenomenal for a 'big' bike. Eventually I also learnt that it behaves well when ridden like how one would ride an RT. This is something I didn't feel as much when riding the K1300GT. I'm guessing the K1300GT's more lean forward position has something to do with this.
The engine is a gem. What else can I say? It pulls like a locomotive. It's so smooth throughout the RPM range just with an added buzz at the higher range. Clutch pull is light, gears are easy too engage. The throttle has a different feel than what we are used to, but it's so precise, so yes, it takes a bit of a learning curve and getting used to. But after that it's so predictable and light to operate. One thing I found later on... the gears prefer to shift around mid-range. It takes a little more effort to shift at the higher RPM, close to redline. Possibly something I had to get used to as well.
I did several low RPM tests and had the bike go as low as 30 MPH on 6th gear and did a roll on. No hiccups, it just went on and accelerated smoothly. By the way, 65 MPH on 6th gear is right just below 3000 RPM.
One thing that I had to get used to as well... listening to the engine sound. It sounds awesome from behind, but you can't quite hear it from the front seat. And with barely any vibrations, I had to pay attention to the RPM in the beginning.
Riding dynamic: ESA II works great with noticeable differences between each setting. Comfort is for cruising and eating miles on smooth freeways. Normal is for the rest. Sport, maybe if one takes it closer to the extreme... which I'm not skilled enough to do. But just like the previous ESA on the K1200/1300s... Sport raises the rear a bit. I was carving through the twisties in Normal.
One other thing that impresses me from the engine is how economical it is. Unlike some other sport-touring bikes that need an ECO mode to go frugal, the K1600GT/GTL would just do it as you go. A couple of the sweep rides I did, I reset the consumption and saw as high as 50.6 MPG. This included mixed main street traffic, freeways, twisties, a short stop and go, and occasional chasing the bikes and kept them in line (passed the speed limit a few times).