This is BMW’s new beast It can unleash 160bhp It weighs 350kg on a full tank Its 6-cylinder engine roars like a wild animal It would take an exceptional rider to tame this monster A man with exceptional abilities Mentally prepared to face the worst… Damn! You’re giving me a Hollywood-style intro for the K1600 Bagger! It’s not a sports bike, it’s just for a gentle ride! I need to go and change. I’m starting to get fed up with working with artists. On paper, the new K1600 Bagger certainly seems a little terrifying. Reading the technical specs, it looks like BMW have been overdoing it on the steroids. Almost 2.5m long, with a big 1650cc 6-cylinder engine, a huge 26.5 litre fuel tank and a generally hefty demeanour all round. Having created such an imposing machine, the German mark was wise enough to fit it with a reverse gear. But don’t be misled: although the K16B has the vital statistics of a sumo wrestler, it has the speed of a sprinter. 0 to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds, and 0 to 130km/h in 4.8, it can rival much sportier bikes. Well yeah, as well as a beefy 6-cylinder engine, the 1,618mm wheelbase and the bike’s weight mean that you can give the throttle a good twist without worrying about flipping it over. OK, it looks like I wasn’t entirely wrong to be a little wary about the numbers. The K1600 B is not the easiest bike to handle. After all, it weighs 330kg. And also, a small weakness of the bike is the throttle control. There is a slight delay, which is quite annoying if you want to ride at low speeds. However, its great strength is its look. This bike really does look fantastic. BMW didn’t need to look far for a great design they lifted much of what Rolland Sands had done with his Concept 101 Just over 20 years ago, the famous American bike designer created an outstanding bagger based on the K1600 GT. It was presented at the Villa d’Este elegance contest in Italy and prioritised the use of quality materials like brushed aluminium, carbon or even wood. It is worth noting that the large front wheel is one of the rare differences between the concept bike and the standard version. For a bit of background, 101 refers to the long road which crosses California from North to South, and it is almost the size of the K1600’s engine converted to cubic inches. Although some parts have changed, like the lower seat, the wider handlebars or the shorter electric windshield the overall shape of the B version is unmistakably similar to the K16 GT. Check out the lowered rear frame and the altered positioning of the luggage bags. To really emphasise the Bagger look, BMW is even offering optional advanced footrests. And as always with BMW, the list of other options is as long as your arm: keyless ignition, dynamic ESA suspension, shifter pro for going up and down the gears, an audio system, adaptive cornering light and much more besides. The only issue is that the added extras ramp up the price: €28,100 for our test model. Another quibble is the monotone black colour scheme. It is elegant, but for a bike which is supposed to be fun, it kind of kills the mood. Once you climb on board, this beast becomes rather pleasant to ride. With the flexibility of the engine and the luxuriant surroundings, you feel like you are riding a padded almost quilted machine. The 6-cylinder engine doesn’t cause any vibrations, the suspension effectively cushions the bumps, and nothing comes between you and the road ahead. Although there is a Cruise mode for the suspension, it should only be used for straight roads because the hydraulics become quite loose and the bike moves around quite a bit in the turns. Raise the electric windshield, stick on the cruise control, turn up the radio and the DNA of the K16 B GT model starts to appear. If you should ever get the urge to travel, it is certainly possible with this Bavarian Bagger. Hang on, we’ve been talking about Baggers all this time, but what does it actually mean? That’s right, perhaps some of you don’t know what Bagger means. Well let’s explain…. Basically, a bagger is a custom bike with a bigger front end, and a pair of luggage bags. The shape generally goes from high to low, echoing the streamline design look. On the market, there are a few European manufacturers which make them, like the K16 B, the Honda F6B or the Moto Guzzi MGX 21. But of course, most of them are American, whether they’re Indians or Harley Davidsons To see whether the BMW really is a Bagger at heart, we got hold of the Bagger par excellence, the HD Road Glide. Hey my friend, have you seen my lovely new Road Glide? Why are you talking like that? Because it’s an American bike Will you be doing that for the whole video?
Of course! OK, let’s go, at least I won’t be able to hear you speak! A few miles is all you need to realise that these 2 bikes are completely different from each other. Whatever feature you compare, the differences are staggeringly clear. Comfort-wise, while the rider feels pampered on the BMW, the same cannot be said for the Harley. Although the riding position isn’t too bad, the rear shock absorbers give your bones a good shaking at the slightest bump. Also, despite its weight, which you need to bear in mind, the K16B proves itself to be good under braking and has decent road holding. In comparison, the Road Glide quickly reminds you of its low ground clearance and the weak brakes mean that you always need to brake earlier than usual. Finally, it’s hard to compare the big rocker-arm twin engine on the Harley with the inline 6-cylinder on the BMW In terms of flexibility, the 107 doesn’t do a bad job, but it struggles at higher revs. The BMW engine, on the other hand, excels in every situation and lets out some wonderfully musical sounds too. As for judging the true spirit of the bike, what better way than to take them out for a ride! So here we are on the Harley Road Glide which sets the benchmark when it comes to Baggers. It’s a pretty hefty bike, with high bull horn handlebars and a very low seat. As a result, you sit low down on the bike, with your feet out in front These bikes are all about smooth riding. With a big 107 cubic inches offering a decent amount of torque, plenty of flexibility and, quite honestly, this engine lets you ride along just feathering the throttle. That means the bike sets off with just a few revs, and you can stay like that for a short while, before giving it another squeeze and moving forward a bit more. However, it is lacking a bit of character. In my view, as is often the case with Harley engines, they are quite restricted when it comes to the exhaust. It needs a bit of simple tuning to really unleash the potential of this big twin engine and get a much nicer popping sound Moving from the HD to the BMW, the question is: “is it really a bagger ? In terms of the riding position, you have to say: no, not really. It’s more like a traditional bike. Obviously, it has a lower seat than the K16 GT, the handlebars are different, but it is still completely different from a bagger. The foot rests are further forward, to give you a feet first position, but it just isn’t an American-style bagger. And to be honest, you try the feet first position for a couple of seconds and then you just go back to the normal position It’s nice, it’s got some go in it, but is it really a Bagger at heart? Again, it’s debateable, the flexibility of the engine allows you to ride gently. However, it’s easy to get tempted on this bike and give the throttle a good squeeze. You soon find yourself wanting to give it some welly and make the most of the power which starts to unleash around 5,000 revs. When it kicks in, it’s pretty impressive So, although it has a name and a look with all the classic hallmarks, is the new K1600 B a true Bagger or just a stripped-back GT version? Now that is the question! OK Michaël, so you tested the Moto Guzzi MGX 21, you tried out most of Harley’s 2018 models, is the K1600 B really a Bagger? Quite honestly, having ridden it, it is a great bike. The engine is excellent, it holds the road well, and it’s very well-equipped. There’s nothing more to say. As for whether it is a real Bagger, I don’t think so. BMW hasn’t gone all out. Here for example, the foot rests are optional, but they haven’t put the selector or the brake on them, so you hardly ever use them. And then there’s the six-cylinder engine. It always urges you to give it some welly, to go flat out, which is not what Bagger’s are about.” In fact, among the journalists at MJ, you’re the only one with an engineering degree. In other words, you’re the only one with a brain. Tell us a bit about this incredible 6-cylinder engine. The inline-six is a unique engine. It has the best balance and you can really appreciate it on the motorway, there is no vibration at all The individual cylinders are quite small, so the revs jump pretty quickly. It has plenty of torque: between 2,000 and 7,000 revs there’s more than 13mkg. It’s powerful, it sounds amazing, it’s like a Ferrari. Honestly, it has everything going for it apart from the weight, which makes it quite a heavy engine.” Although the BMW has plenty of strengths, there is one which particularly impressed us: the engine, with its incredible inline 6 cylinders. The engine alone is a knockout selling point for all the versions of the K1600. As for this B version, we were a little disappointed. BMW chose to go in this direction, but it failed to go all the way with the concept. But that should only be a problem for those looking for a real Bagger. Anyone else will simply find an excellent bike which can really rack up the miles. After the K1600 B, Aurélien is going home on another wild machine. A machine which has a monstrous amount of power With a terrifying roar!! A mysterious machine which…! Have you finished messing around with your Hollywood intros!! It’s my scooter, it’s a load of crap! It’s even got bird shit on it! We liked The wonderful six-cylinder engine
The bike’s agility despite its weight The comprehensive list of features
The finishing touches We didn’t like
The throttle control at start-up The monotone black colour scheme