BMW K 1600 sketch – Click above for high-res image gallery

Late last year at the EICMA Show in Milan, BMW showed off a unique concept motorcycle powered by a six cylinder engine. At the time, the German company indicated that we could expect to see a production machine using a similar straight-six powerplant. Today, BMW has finally released a bunch of information on two upcoming production machines, which will be known as the K 1600 GT and GTL.

First and foremost, it's the engine that most intrigues us about this luxury touring motorcycle. According to BMW, its 1649cc mill pushes out 160 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 129 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Torque lovers needn't be worried that the engine is too high strung either, with 70 percent of maximum twist available at just 1,500 revs. The big chunk of metal nestled within the K 1600's frame rails will weigh 226 pounds and will be 22 inches across.

All kinds of electronics goodies will be available, as you would expect, including ride-by-wire throttle control with three modes: Rain, Road and Dynamic. There will also be traction control and ABS brakes, along with BMW's impressive ESA II electronically adjustable suspension. Perhaps the coolest bit of tech, though, is the headlight. Allow us to explain.

BMW has created a new headlight that can actually level itself, regardless of how much load is on the bike (rider, passenger, luggage). This is a first in the motorcycle marketplace. There is also an optional system that can follow the road ahead, even when the bike is leaned over heavily in the corners.

As mentioned before, two models will be available sporting this powerplant and chassis. The first is the GT, which is a kind of heavyweight sport touring bike that comes with panniers but no top box. Think of the larger, more fully equipped GTL as a Honda Goldwing competitor, as it will feature supersized seating surfaces, a more relaxed riding position and a full set of luggage.

No official on-sale date has been announced, and neither has a price. That said, we expect the K 1600 to hit the market as a 2011 model for a price that will surely be over $20,000. See more details in the press release after the break.

[Source: BMW]
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BMW K 1600 GT and BMW K 1600 GTL – fascination with six cylinders.

Since BMW Motorrad presented the concept study Concept 6 in autumn 2009, the six-cylinder in-line engine featured in it has captured the imagination of many motorcycle fans. With BMW, six-cylinder in-line engines have stood for fascinating engine technology in automobiles for over seven decades, in a way which is unique among brands. In the near future, BMW motorcycles will also be available with an internally developed six-cylinder in-line engine.

With the BMW K 1600 GT and the BMW K 1600 GTL, BMW Motorrad is penetrating a whole new dimension in the Touring world of experience . Both motorcycles stand for a supreme, impressive and equally distinctive appearance, arousing a desire to travel at first sight.

This press release contains a range of information on all aspects of BMW Motorrad's new touring bikes. Additional data and background information will be added for the world premiere.

Riding dynamics, long-distance suitability and comfort.

For decades, six-cylinder in-line engines have offered a special fascination. In addition to their perfect running smoothness they also offer supreme output and torque, giving the rider powerful emotional impressions, too. And of course the sound of a six-cylinder engine is beyond compare.

In addition to safety, equipment and prestige, the key criteria for a supreme touring bike are comfort and dynamics. With the most compact in-line six-cylinder engine in serial motorcycle production to date, the K 1600 GT and the K 1600 GTL penetrate a whole new dimension in terms of riding properties, long-distance suitability and comfort. They combine maximum agility and riding dynamics with a luxurious overall package. With an engine output of 118 kW (160 bhp) and a maximum torque of approx. 175 newton metres, their six-cylinder engine provides superb propulsion in all conditions.

BMW K 1600 GT with active riding ergonomics for proactive touring.

The dynamic touring bike BMW K 1600 GT is characterised by an active seating position which nonetheless offers a high level of long-distance comfort. The reason for this is the favourable set-up of the ergonomics triangle made up of footrests, seat and handlebars. The K 1600 GT has a very extensive range of standard features ex works consisting of xenon (HID) headlight, heated grips and seat, cruise control and on-board computer. These features in conjunction with the supreme riding qualities of the new BMW Motorrad six-cylinder engine leave nothing to be desired for the proactive tour rider.

BMW K 1600 GTL with very comfortable, relaxed ergonomics set-up for long trips with pillion passenger.

The luxurious touring bike BMW K 1600 GTL meets the highest demands. Rider and pillion passenger benefit from the relaxed, upright seating position as is especially appreciated over long distances. The ergonomics design is geared towards even further enhanced comfort and derives from a two-level seat in conjunction with rider footrests which are positioned further forward and lower down, as well as handlebars which reach further back. The standard topcase rounds off the range of comfort features for the pillion passenger. Like the K 1600 GT, the K 1600 GTL has a very extensive range of standard features consisting of xenon headlight, heated grips and seat, cruise control and on-board computer. The overall impression of this fascinating six-cylinder motorcycle with a carefully conceived storage concept, audio system as standard and numerous design elements make the BMW K 1600 GTL the flagship among BMW touring bikes.

An overview of highlights of the BMW K 1600 GT/GTL.

* Supreme in-line six-cylinder engine with a high level of pulling power, especially in the lower and medium engine speed range.
* Engine output 118 kW (160 bhp) at approx 7 500 rpm and maximum torque approx. 175 Nm at approx. 5 000 rpm.
* Over 70% of maximum torque available from 1 500 rpm.
* Lightest and most compact six-cylinder in-line engine in serial motorcycle production, weighing just 102.6 kg and measuring 560 mm in width.
* Consistent lightweight construction throughout the entire vehicle (magnesium front panel carrier, aluminium rear frame, crankshaft etc.).
* E-Gas (ride-by-wire).
* Three modes to choose from ("Rain", "Road", "Dynamic")
* High active safety due to standard BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part integral).
* Traction control DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) for maximum safety when accelerating (optional extra).
* Chassis with Duolever and Paralever and ideal concentration of masses for dynamic riding properties combined with optimum comfort.
* Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA II for optimum adaptation to all uses and load states (optional extra).
* World premiere in motorcycles: Adaptive Headlight (optional extra) in conjunction with standard xenon headlight and lighting rings for increased safety at night.
* Integrated operating concept for the first time with Multi-Controller, TFT colour screen and menu guidance.
* Audio system with preparation for navigation device and controllable interface for iPod, MP3, USB, Bluetooth and satellite radio (only USA and Canada) (standard in the K 1600 GTL).
* Innovative design with outstanding wind and weather protection.
* K 1600 GT with active riding ergonomics for proactive touring.
* K 1600 GTL with very comfortable, relaxed ergonomics set-up for long trips with pillion passenger, as well as luxury touring features.
* Extensive fittings and individually tailored accessories at the familiar high level of BMW Motorrad.

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