BMW is bringing back the K1600 series for 2022, with the K1600 GT, K1600 GTL, K1600 B and K1600 Grand America slated to launch in March of 2022.

The K1600 series is familiar, as these six-cylinder behemoths have been BMW’s flagship maxi-touring bikes for a decade; when introduced for 2011, they immediately started winning magazines’ “Best Bike” awards.

However, ever-tightening emissions regulations and more competition in the touring market in recent years (an updated Gold Wing) meant it was time to overhaul the K1600, and now BMW is bringing back four sub-models for the mid-winter launch.

In 2022, we will get the:

2022 BMW K1600 GT. Photo: BMW

K1600 GT

This is the “base model,” if you can say there’s such a thing in this luxury series. It comes with black paint, blacked-out frame and engine, and black fender. Did we mention there was a lot of black? Even the front brake calipers get the Gothic treatment on this machine. There’s a Sport version of this machine with spiffier paint, and an Option 719 version that gets a similar glammed-up look.

Check out that big ol’ topcase. The GTL variant is more touring-oriented than the standard GT. Photo: BMW

K1600 GTL

The K1600 GTL adds a topcase to the standard sidebag load, plus some more luxurious options and flashier trim. It’s a more touring-oriented than the standard GT model.

Allllll my friends know the low rider …. er, the K1600 B, rather. This is the “bagger’ version of the K1600. Photo: BMW

K1600 B

This is BMW’s “bagger” variant. No topcase, bodywork stripped-down.

The Grand America. No V-twin, but lots of other beefy styling. Photo: BMW

K1600 Grand America

The Grand America has similar lines to the bagger; it’s intended to be an American-style tourer, with more of a cruiser feel than a sport tourer. It comes with topcase as standard, and higher windscreen, and floorboards.

Here’s what all four machines have in common:

Updated engine

The inline six now meets Euro5 regs and comes with BMS-O engine control, which allows fine-tuning inside the anti-pollution regulations. Presumably, this is to facilitate aftermarket exhaust installation, although BMW’s presser doesn’t go into its purpose.

The engine comes with two knock sensors, which might save your backside if you’re forced to fuel up from a sketchy middle-of-nowhere location. There’s four lambda probes in the exhaust as well, which should help clean up emissions and also aid engine longevity.

Peak output sits at 160 horsepower at 6,750 rpm; previously, the K1600 series made the same max horsepower at 7,750 rpm. Torque is up, to 133 pound-feet at 5,250 rpm; previously, max torque was 129 pound-feet. BMW says the bikes now have improved acceleration across their entire rev range,  most noticeably in the 3,500-7,000 rpm range, where riders are spending their time in the real world.

A lot of money tied up in that line! Photo: BMW

The K1600 engines come with engine drag torque control, aka Motor Slip Regulation (MSR), as standard. This system smooths out engine braking; drop a gear (or two) too swiftly, and MSR will open the throttle valves to level out the resulting torque, and stabilize the motorcycle. The MSR system is a hybrid, using data from measuring front and rear wheel rotational speeds (intervening if the rear wheel slows down too much); it also uses lean angle information from the bike’s six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU).

The MSR system’s interference depends on the selected riding mode (in Rain and Road modes, there’s more interference, to keep everything polite and in-line. Dynamic riding mode allows more hoonery).

BMW’s lean angle-sensitive Dynamic Traction Control system also comes standard, along with anti-hop clutch, and for maneuvering in awkward situations, a reverse assist and hill start assist. Shaft drive, of course, is standard.

Other electronics

BMW also includes lean angle-sensitive ABS Pro, Dynamic ESA smart suspension, and adaptive LED headlight that will aim into the corners based on your lean angle.

The new bikes all come with a 10.25-inch TFT screen, which BMW says connects easily to smartphones. This widescreen display will show GPS map combined with the instrument cluster, meaning there’s no need to attach a GPS unit to your handlebars (unless you’re an Iron Butt Rally rider, and you want to add a secondary unit, and probably a backup to that as well).

The new K 1600 GT, GTL, B and Grand America are equipped with a standard new 10.25-inch TFT color display with integrated map navigation and connectivity.

For now, it seems BMW is using a proprietary mobile app to connect to the TFT, instead of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This will handle communication (answer or reject phone calls), navigation (with continuous updates, route planning and uploading capability, routes sharable through Rever) and entertainment (control radio or MP3 playback through your Bluetooth helmet comm, or through your bike’s built-in audio system).

The TFT is controlled by a rider-configurable four-button cluster on the left side of the fairing.

Want to charge your smartphone while riding? BMW offers a splashproof built-in phone charging compartment, with splashproof cover and USB-C charging cable, delivering 1,500 mA at 5 V. There’s even an electric fan to keep your phone cool.

There’s a new audio system that’s integrated as standard on the K1600 GTL and Grand America models, and optional on the K1600 GT and K600 B models. The press release is refreshingly free of the machismo of the V-twin scene, which blathers on about how much wattage is being blasted into the environment. Instead, BMW’s more … sophisticated … clientele gets “Highly flexible sound architecture (treble/bass) with a wide range, even at high speeds.” SiriusXM comes free for six months, too.

Heated grips and seat are standard as well.

Chassis info:

BMW’s press release doesn’t say much about the chassis, except that the ESA will automatically adjust the suspension to match your bike’s ride mode, which is pretty handy. Up front, there’s a Duo-lever suspension setup; in back, there’s a Paralever arrangement.

A splashproof phone mount, with integrated charger and even a cooling fan! Photo: BMW

More details:

BMW’s press release makes much ballyhoo about the Option 719 Midnight colour scheme, which uses a water transfer printing process for a unique look. Only the Grand America and B (bagger) models have this available.

These machines will be launched officially in March 2022, but we have no North American availability or pricing yet.

Optional add-ons vary between the machines, but you’re able to get such features as keyless entry, central locking system, forged wheels, crash bars, tubular handlebars and more, depending which model you’ve purchased.

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