Updated (see below): In their debut year on sale in America, the BMW K1600GTL and K1600GT have earned awards from the U.S. media. In its July issue, Cycle World magazine named the K1600GTL the “Best Touring Bike of 2011” and the K1600GT the “Best Sport-Touring Bike of 2011.” In the September issue of Motorcyclist, editors chose the BMW K1600GT as the “Best Touring Bike,” while BMW’s adaptive headlight technology (optional on both the GT and GTL) earned a “Best New Technology” award.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this recognition from these well-respected publications,” commented Pieter de Waal, Vice President, BMW Motorrad USA. “The positive response we’ve had from customers and journalists reaffirms our commitment to continually raising the bar for performance, safety, technology and value in this competitive market.”
Commenting on the six-cylinder luxury touring machines, the editors of Cycle World said: “It’s one thing to win the game; it’s something else altogether to change the rules. But that’s what BMW’s new K1600GTL has done to the world of two-wheel touring.” Of the K1600GT, they commented, “The Bavarian Motor Works last earned the honor of Best Sport-Touring Bike in 2006-07 with its K1200GT and stepped up in a big way this year with its all-new K1600GT.”
Motorcyclist magazine editors offered similar praise for the K1600GT, stating: “The company that invented Grand Touring reinvents the Grand Tourer… The K1600GT feels more like a BMW K1300S than your average long-distance luxury recliner, with handling that melts off 250 lbs., and acceleration nothing in the class can match… Unless somebody comes up with a better way to repeal some heavyweight physical laws – gravity, for starters – BMW’s class-busting inline has what it takes to lock it up for the next decade. Or two.”
Both have innovations including the world’s lightest and most compact six-cylinder engine on a production motorcycle, and the world’s first Xenon adaptive headlight on a motorcycle, with innovative electronics automatically compensating for the lean angle around corners and ensuring the beam of the headlight is always directed at the road ahead.
Motorcyclist magazine editors praised BMW’s adaptive headlight technology, saying “On a twisty road in the dark of night, BMW’s adaptive headlight lets you see further and be seen sooner. For motorcyclists accustomed to literally riding in the dark when riding in the dark, this is a very good thing.”
Runner-up in the ‘Best New Technology’ category was the BMW K1600GT/GTL Multi-Controller, which received an Honorable Mention as a one-stop device for operating all the menu options on the K1600 Series on-board computer display, “allowing a rider to remain focused on the road ahead rather than fiddling with a multitude of buttons and switches in the cockpit.”
Updated 08/26/11: The online magazine Motorcycle.com has come out with their ‘Best of 2011’ awards with the two BMW six-cylinder machines winning ‘Motorcycle of the Year’, ‘Best Touring’, ‘Best Sport Tourer’ and ‘Best New Technology’ awards. The ‘Motorcycle of the Year’ award was shared by the BMW K1600GT and K1600GTL models which are built around the same inline six-cylinder engines and use the same technology.
Editors said, “BMW’s new K1600 platform is nothing less than impressive, whether discussing its marvelous inline-six motor, its lengthy list of technologically advanced features, or its beguiling sporting performance for a comfy touring mount of its size. And, amazingly, the K16’s underpinnings give it the ability to compete simultaneously with luxury-touring bikes and serious sporty tourers. The K16s are stunning, spectacular, appealing, capable and effective, easily earning a combined place as our Motorcycle of the Year.”
For more photos and information check out our K1600GT and K1600GTL gallery.