BMW K 1600 B: The Modern Bagger


BMW’s production K 1600 B bagger has finally landed in the U.S., targeting technology-focused bagger riders from other brands, as well as BMW enthusiasts.

Based on the K 1600 GL and GTL platform, the K 1600 B includes a low-profile seat with a mostly black finish and chrome appointments. BMW includes a number of standard amenities, including ABS brakes and an electronically adjustable windshield. Also, the 37-liter side bags have integrated brake lights and turn signals, for a streamlined look.

K 1600 B – ENGINE

The six-cylinder, four valves per cylinder, DOHC, 1,649cc engine grinds out a claimed 160 horsepower at 7,750 rpm and 119 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,250 rpm. A hydraulically actuated wet clutch provides smooth gear shifting and a shaft transfers power to the rear wheel. The combination provides considerable low-end power and screams at 3,500 rpm.


Tubular handlebars are standard, forged handlebars from the GTL are optional. Heated grips and seat are also standard. Seating is plush and comfortable for long-distance rides. The stock seat is 30.7 inches, but an optional lower seat provides 29.5 inches of clearance, for no additional cost. An adjustable slipstream deflector increases airflow to the rider.

An on-board computer with a 5.7-inch display provides a bevy of information. Standard dynamic-leveling Xenon headlamps continuously adjust pitch according to load and road conditions. Optional adaptive Xenon headlights move the beam of light horizontally and vertically as well.

Floorboards are optional ($200), but foot controls must still be actuated from footpegs; the floorboards are merely for comfort. This is one of few baggers where riders can comfortably stand on the pegs.

Riders can expect and will appreciate tight handling. A front duolever and rear paralever suspension provide considerable stability through turns and under hard braking. The dynamic electronic suspension system includes Road and Cruise modes. The preload settings offer options for one-up, two-up, or one-up with luggage.

Dynamic traction control (DTC) is standard, and features Road, Rain, and Dynamic modes, which affect throttle response and intervention timing. Aluminum cast wheels support 17-inch tires at both ends. BMW offers optional classic forged wheels.

To help maneuver 740 pounds of machinery, an optional reverse assist runs off the starter motor, allowing up to 1 mph of reversing power, up to a 7 percent grade. A seven-gallon gas tank and average 41 mpg allow long jaunts with few refueling stops.


BMW offers several option packages, which include items like adaptive headlights, tire pressure monitoring, keyless start, central locking, clutchless shifting and reverse assist. There are also many accessories available, including: chrome-plated parts, engine and impact guards for the side cases, ground lighting, accessory LED lights, and center stand.

The K 1600 B is entering a crowded market, with the base model priced at $19,995. However, BMW provides a compelling option, which stands out from the competition in terms of technology, electronics, handling, and performance.

K 1600 B – VERDICT

The K1600B is fun to ride. Anyone switching from American-made cruisers should be incredibly impressed. It’s fast and is capable of very aggressive riding, which we experienced on twisty North Carolina roads. There are few flaws and no complaints. Welcome to the bagger club, BMW.