BMW K 1600 Grand America: The Name Says It All

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BMW K 1600 Grand America: The Name Says It All
BMW K 1600 Grand America: The Name Says It All

Video: BMW K 1600 Grand America: The Name Says It All

Video: BMW K 1600 Grand America: The Name Says It All
Video: Голда по-немецки?! BMW K 1600 Grand America #МОТОЗОНА №44 2023, September

BMW Motorrad expands the six-cylinder family. At Grand America, the name says it all.

Since the beginning of 2018, anyone who wants to steer a six-cylinder and therefore superior motorized two-wheel steamer through the country has been able to choose between two models at BMW. The already known K 1600 GTL, which was revised in 2017, is joined by the new K 1600 Grand America. It is based on the particularly “long and low” looking K 1600 B, the excavator variant of the 1600 series.

With running boards, engine protection bars and reversing aid fitted as standard, the Grand America is at the top of the Bavarian model range in terms of equipment. With a weight of 364 kilograms, it beats the GTL, which is also equipped with a topcase and (almost) all chicanes, by 14 kilograms. And with a price of a good 26,000 euros, it also climbed the top of the price list.

Shift assistant asked

The absolute top is the 118 kW / 160 PS 1.6 liter six-cylinder engine, which has been in the range since 2010. It runs silky smooth, hangs perfectly on the gas, bursts with power at the lowest speeds and, if desired, burns off fireworks that will not leave even the most demanding drivers indifferent. It's great that petrol economy is part of the Bavarian art of engine construction. Even with hardly more than 5.5 liters you can drive 100 kilometers quickly on country and mountain roads.

The power transmission via the six-speed gearbox, optional shift assistant and cardan is a little less than that of the impressive engine: the noises from the cardan and gearbox during load changes and occasionally when engaging first gear do not really correspond to the price range. The optional two-way shift assistant is top notch.

Comfort with ESA

The rear of the BMW K 1600 Grand America. Photo: SP-X
The rear of the BMW K 1600 Grand America. Photo: SP-X

The same can be said of the three-disc brake system with a partially integral system: it bites hard without the half-ton load becoming restless. The ABS regulates cleanly if necessary, the standard Pro version also masters the discipline of powerful deceleration in an inclined position. The ESA suspension adjustment system is very convenient.

The stern rises in a few seconds when switched to two-person operation. We had better experiences with the tighter “Road” damping setting. The "Cruise" damping seems to be superfluous in this country - the precision of the chassis suffers, the driving experience becomes spongy.

Grand America with pillion only

Due to the design - the Grand America is based on the excavator version with a lowered rear frame - there is significantly more load on the rear wheel than the excavator base because of the additional equipment. In addition, the large topcase acts as an aerodynamic troublemaker. If you are traveling solo, the straight-line stability is only convincing up to about 140 km / h, then light, but always harmless commuting begins. So that sensitive drivers don't panic under any circumstances, the speed limit is 162 km / h electronically. Compared to the GTL that is of course poor, because it is allowed to run at least 220 km / h. Grand America is stable with social security.

Seating comfort, wind protection (at least up to a speed of 140) as well as driving comfort are also highly praised by our passengers. The space for luggage is good, albeit less than with the GTL because of the sloping side cases. There should be even more praise from autumn 2018 when additional speakers are supplied as standard that are integrated into the top case.

Grand America extremely fine in North America

The BMW K 1600 Grand America in action. Photo: SP-X
The BMW K 1600 Grand America in action. Photo: SP-X

In Canada and the USA, the K 1600 Grand America cuts a fine figure: The non-hectic traffic away from the metropolises, the long distances and the low pace changes even on winding routes make the Bayern steamship an excellent touring motorcycle in the vastness of North America.

In this country things are different. The streets are narrower, the curve radii smaller, the inclines steeper, the through-roads narrower. As a result, you have to work a lot more on the handlebars and, despite the powerful six-cylinder torque, shift gear a lot more often. It is a shame that the driver always has to take his left foot off the very useful, inclined step because there is no additional gear lever. This is, quite conventionally, on the left footrest. At such moments, the heretical idea of an automatic transmission comes up, which one could also stimulate at the push of a button.

BMW K 1600 Grand America from 26,150 euros

Anyone interested in the K 1600 Grand America should be aware of two things: with the base price of 26,150 euros, it is not enough if you are a fan of the full equipment. The agility that is otherwise typical of the brand cannot be additionally ordered for this extremely comfortable motorcycle.

Instead of the possibility of snappy gasping, cruising is the focus, which can certainly take place at a demanding speed level. But when the handlebars are hectic, driving pleasure suffers. Of course, an experienced driver with the Grand America will also manage the tight hairpins on the Tyrolean Hahntennjoch, but the larger curve radii on the Großglockner are far more fun. And the beautiful routes there. (SP-X)