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Hi All,

I was visiting Chattanooga TN this past weekend and stopped in to Pandora BMW where they had just received two 1600GTL's from BMWNA. These were demo bikes were from the press party rides in South Africa. One was silver and one was black. I did not get to ride the bike...just sit on it.

Some features:
1. The GPS is housed in the dash but the mounting mechanism raises up from the dash to under the windscreen where the actual GPS unit is inserted into the holder and then the holder is lowered into the dash.
2. Fairing wind protection is so good they have flip out wings on the fairing at tank level to divert wind onto the rider
3. Everything is computer controlled. The general menu category is selected by a handlebar switch on the left handlebar. A rotating wheel on the left handlebar (just ahead of the grip) is thumbed to move through all the individual selections in that category. For example, radio station selection and volume levels are selected and adjusted via this wheel. The dash was easy to read in bright sunlight.
4. Ground clearance seemed a bit less than on a K1300GT
5. The seat has had a lot of attention paid to it. The passenger seat is contoured and quite "broad". It Looks to be very comfortable. I have a 34 in inseam and the driver seat in the low position gave me plenty of room to flat foot the bike. I believe this seat and its adjustments will accommodate a lot of riders across a large range of inseam lengths. The feeling I had sitting on the bike was that you sat down into the bike similar to the feeling I had sitting on a 2010 BMW R1200RT.
6. These two bikes had "projector beam" style driving lights mounted low on stalks that came out from the inner frame of the bike. These lights reminded me of the projector lights on the GS bikes. Dealer said they are not the same light but similar.
7. Plastic damage on these bikes will be very expensive. There are horizontal chrome bars on the rear luggage bags to absorb tip overs but nothing on the front fairings. I believe one of the first things the aftermarket companies will develop is crash bars for the engine cases. It appears there are potential mounting locations around the exterior of the engine cases. Such crash bars will help save the cases and the side panels of the fairing in case of a tip over.
8. The bike has 4 or 5 different ride settings in terms of torque and power. These settings include cruise, sport and rain among others.
9 The mechanic working on these bikes took one for a test ride while I was there. He said the bike was very smooth and could quickly pull up power from a low RPM in 5th gear. Said once underway the balance and maneuverability of the bike was very good.

This dealer indicated their Dealer Meeting would take place this past Monday. I have no more information as to when demo rides wil be available or when delivery will begin. I just happened to visit this dealer a day after these two bikes arrived and have passed on what I learned in the above comments.

Francis
 

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Tried , on for size in STL

Was at a BMWMOA meeting in St. Louis this weekend and the STL dealer brought one over for our perusal. It was not as large as I imagined but larger in some respects too. I know that's conflicting but hear me out. The bike itself was not much bigger than my 1300 GT only with a larger fairing. With the rear bags off, it was very close to the slant 4 GT in size and appearance. When my turn came to sit on it I was amazed how light it was compared to my 1200 LT. In every way I found myself amazed with the bike. We've all seen the pictures of the dash but in real life it really is a well thought out package. I started the bike and with my hands on the bars there really was NO vibration. The dealer encouraged me to rev it up which I did and that engine eagerly revs but still puts out no noticeable vibs. What a great package overall. One of the board members hijacked the bike for a trip around the hotel parking lot and came back and said it had none of the slow speed tendacies of the LT. In fact I believe his words were "That is no LT!" Plus the sound of the engine alone was enough to make a guy throw away his Viagra. It really will be a sweet bike I believe.
 
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