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Thread: Review from Bagger test drive @ The Chip in Sturgis

  1. #1

    Review from Bagger test drive @ The Chip in Sturgis

    Where's the clunky transmission? The excessive heat off the engine? oh, right, I'm not riding the 2017 Milwaukee-Eight Streetglide I came here on ..... I'm on the K1600 B that was just released by BMW on Friday:
    160HP/129 Ft lbs Torque vs. the HD SG @ 100hp.
    Veni, Vidi, Convertitur = I came, I saw, I converted.
    Eight, count em, EIGHT brand new black K1600 B's fresh off the trailer from BMW HQ in NJ lined up & ready to go. Each one with ~10 miles on the odometer - guaranteeing this was going to be a great experience.
    Two very attractive ladies signed-in me & my friend Mike(he's owned 20+ bikes over the years and rode his 2014 Wing to Sturgis) for the test drive and then we were handed over to Nick & the other BMW boys where we got a very good overview & ride instructions for the B: The hill start clutch control, rev-matching clutchless shifter for up & down shifts (WHAT?!), etc. ...... BMW has very well managed test drives - very organized, quick signins, they know the riders want a quick, no waiting experience coupled with a ride it like you stole it style....and they are very acccomodating.
    So me, Mike & a ragtag group of harley-logo leather wearing curmudgeons saddle-up and head out for our test drive - the ride leader warned us "no zigzag tire warmups & no wheelies" & off we went.
    The paved ride course started with a long straight away where everyone got a chance to test the 1600's power surge, quickly leaving The Chip behind in the side mirrors. Then into a right hand curve followed by another straight away and a long sweeper turn & yet another good straight onto a dirt road where we turned around and then went back on the same return route to the Chip.
    No need to tell you BMW guys that the rev matching was spot on, the power band was awesome through out the rev range, immediate acceleration and awesome stopping, trail braking into the turns with the ABS worked like a charm, clutch dump to pullup the front end gave me gobbs of power, super comfortable riding position for my 6'2" frame, ergonomic layout of all the controls/gauges, up/down windshield~very cool!, nice low seating position with the ability to slide off to the left & right for turns while squeezing the gas tank's knee-thigh-indents between my legs. This bike's handling & responsiveness were as impressive as it's power.
    This Bavarian Bagger handles & powers up more like a sport bike than a cruising/touring bike - it's like having 3 bikes in 1. But the ultimate appeal of this bike is that it's also an outstanding cruiser & tourer for when you just want to relax and take it easy.... until the Urge to Surge re-emerges & you're Back On It. I can wear my 1-piece leathers & alpine boots, or my leather jacket/jeans/HD boots, or business casual & tech jacket to the office. Now I really, really like this bike for it's sport bike personality, especially given that its HP is the same as 1-liter(1,000cc) sport bikes. It's front head-on sport bike profile, seating position, the adjustable pulled back handlebars and the tank's shape lets you ride this bagger in a sport bike position: lower the windshield, bend your knees, push your ass back in the seat, drop your wrists & your elbows down alongside the tank - now you're literally hugging the bike: lay your chest against & almost on top of the gas tank, put the balls of your feet on the foot pegs & voila you're in the ultimate sport bike riding position & ready to take on any turn with confidence and body position maneuverability. Now you might feel a little bit like a cartoon character bike racer peaking over the front fairing, but make no mistake, this bike can handle any goofiness you throw at it. & that beautiful engine transmits an outstanding sound that appeals to all of my senses - like a 1000 piece band playing LeaRn To FLy
    It's as if I'm sitting on top of a gas turbine as it cranks up & winds out the transmission from one shift to the next until I realize I've just clicked through all six gears. So I downshift a couple of notches just to hear it all over again. Like the saying goes, Smooth is Fast - this bike invites you to keep practising the smooth part until you buildup your comfort level & confidence & eventually get to the Fast part. You can do a lot on this bike & that's what makes the B the ultimate riders bike. I would really liked to have ridden this into Sturgis on the road from Deadwood & Cheyenne to get the most fun out of it. But now that I'm back on the East Coast in NC, I'll have to take the B out onto the Tail of the Dragon.
    As hard as I tried, I couldnt find any fault with this bike - Three(3) Riding Modes: choose your poison, Suspension: self adjusting, tank size: perfect design, Slipper Clutch?: The rev-matching clutchless shifter for up & down shifts negates the need for a slipper clutch & is way better anyway, styling: awesome, color: shiny/matte blacks & brushed aluminum, highway pegs: built-in floorboards=nice, fog lights: check, storage space: dont need a lot anyway, 2-up seating: check. Other Stuff: GPS, music, Comms: check, heated seats/grips for Daytona Bike Week in case there's another sleet/snow storm in 2018: covered. Price: same/cheaper than a new HD but better price Performance/features/technology/handling/overall ride; OK, it meets all of my requirements. Mike,my 20+ motorcycle Sturgis buddy who has no brand affinity after owning just about every kind of bike(except BMW) marketed over the past 20 years and who's wife Rene no longer asks "Is this your last bike?" & instead asks "So what's your next bike?", summarized it best: "This is an awesome bike - you better get a pilots license when you buy this".
    I really like twisties - whatever bike I'm riding I ride in sport bike mode & it's fun to pass HD's on the run to/from Sturgis who are really just on neutral throttle & praying through most of those turns. But one lone BMW rider saw me & my SG coming up on him & he wasn't going to get passed as easily as his 5 HD buddies behind him - we ran for about 2 miles of twisties and I was amazed at how he could take the turns on his BMW while sitting perfectly center and upright on that high seat, but then again you can get very comfortable with a certain riding style after years/miles of practice. He finally had enough & slid to his right & rejoined his group behind us.
    So I'm a BMW convert - getting the B will take a little getting used to & getting over HD - but I'm not really going to miss HD. My grandfather & family had a long history of riding BSA's in Ireland pre & post WW2, so I will continue to carry on that tradition into the next phase of our family history, albeit ironically on a German bike. Now I need to find a BMW dealer in any State willing to discount off MSRP. I've experienced HD in and around Daytona starting negotiations on Touring models @$2500 off MSRP before/during Bike Week and they will part with EOY models in Aug/Sept for up to $6k off MSRP. Regardless of the K1600 B being a newly released model, I dont know if you've experienced the same price discounts with BMW, but all suggestions are welcome. I think I'll start my search around Biker-central, aka Daytona, and see where the search takes me.
    Here's the B configurator link:
    On 2nd thought, disregard everything I've said about this bike until further notice - I don't need to be increasing the awareness & subsequent demand for this awesome machine until I get mine.
    Last edited by ncotter100; 08-23-2017 at 07:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    SW Iowa
    Thanks for the review. Welcome to BMW and the MOA.
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  3. #3
    Back in the saddle again mikegalbicka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Great review. Thanks for taking the time and welcome to the club.

  4. #4
    Registered User smeg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Chambersburg, Pa.
    Welcome to the club, bought a 98R1100RT back in May. Sold my '70 FLH a week later. I miss the Harley (owned for 36 yes) No comparison on the ride. Enjoy.

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