The venerable Honda Gold Wing GL1800 finally has a serious contender: BMW has just released key information on their upcoming K 1600 GT and GTL touring motorcycles, and their equipment lists look like a dream come true for long distance riders.
Unlike the GL's horizontally opposed six-cylinder, this Beemer packs an inline-6 configuration that echoes the layout used in BMW automobiles; incidentally, it also recalls the straight-six setup found on the late, great Honda CBX. Based on its nomenclature, the powerplant is presumably a 1,600cc mill, and BMW says the 160 horsepower engine will produce 70% of its maximum torque of 129 lb-ft at a mere 1,500 rpm. Wow.
Suspension will be of the Duolever and Paralever persuasion, ABS will come standard, and the more touring-oriented GTL model will include a xenon headlight, heated grips and seat, cruise control and on-board computer. Options will include dynamic traction control, an adaptive headlight (which automatically compensates for lean and pitch angles), and BMW's ESA II Electronic Suspension Adjustment system.
BMW's S1000RR may have set a new standard in the superbike arena, and it's looking like the K1600 GT and GTL just might do the same for the touring bike market.
No word yet on price, release date, or actual photos of the thing, but we've got info and concept sketches in this 2011 BMW K1600GT / GTL Photo Gallery.
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Sketch © BMW; click for photo gallery