2 Months in with the BMW K1600B...Long Write-up | Victory Motorcycles: Motorcycle Forums

2 Months in with the BMW K1600B...Long Write-up

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mrmegadeth, Dec 2, 2020.

  1. mrmegadeth

    mrmegadeth Active Member

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    I keep seeing more and more references to the BMW so I thought I'd share my thoughts on my new-to-me K1600B.

    I now have owned it for 2 months and have about 2700 miles and have a few thoughts...

    For anyone not familiar with my Pin or history on here, here are a few brief reads:
    2009 100 Cu Inch Stage 2...
    Anyone try the Star/Yamamha Eluder

    Let's start with the good things....

    This is a serious bike and not as easy to ride as the 'Pin. What I mean is the way the speed builds is serious and you have to watch or else you are going way too fast way too quickly. 4th gear will easily hit 100 mph in a few seconds. This is such a fun engine.

    I LOVE the 7 gallon tank. I never noticed how small the 4.5 gallons was on the Pin but I was tired of filling up ever other day with my morning commute. I get 220 miles per tank rather easily on the BMW. Plus, if you go easy on the throttle you get decent MPG - I was able to get 41.55 MPG (bike said 42.8 MPG) on my ride to SA, TX a few weeks ago (riding at 75 MPH). In the Houston traffic I'm getting 35-38 MPG routinely.

    The ergos are so comfy. You can really move around with the pegs and the boards. It did take me a while to get used to the height - I'm 6'1" with a 32-inch inseam. Seat is about 30 inches with the aftermarket seat. I sit taller than some SUVs so I can see really well in traffic!

    The bags are better than what I had on the Pin (US Saddle Bags). I'm sure you X-bikes would bemoan how small they are but they work well for me. I did add a tail bag for my tools to clear more space but that's only because I hate the looks of a pillion and the only solo seat on the market is the Corbin which is $1300.

    People really like this bike! I get approached all the time with bikers and non-bikers wanting to talk about the bike. I had a very confused lady come up to me the other day wanting to know when BMW started making motorcycles. Haha. I informed her the bikes were way older than the cars.

    The headlights and floorlights are so well sorted. I always thought the lighting on the Pin was weak (even with the LED headlight). Plus, the backlighting on the Speedo and Tach are better. I had a really hard time reading the speed on the Pin at night.

    Wind management is really well sorted. You can get a few aftermarket wings to allow even less wind into the rider's bubble.

    I love the gadgets and gizmos. It's been chilly here in Houston and I never knew what I was missing with the heated grips and seat. The quick shift is just great and something else I never knew I needed. Same with the electric shield. I love the keyless on the bike - sure I could have added to the Pin but knew I wanted it until I had it.

    Ok, the bad...

    The speedo on this thing goes to 180 MPH so reading it with a quick glance is difficult. But you can configure he TFT dash to show a numerical MPH which "fixes" this annoyance.

    I am getting distracted by the gadgets on long rides. I find myself messing with the Navi unit and onboard computer. Plus, the Garmin Navigator VI is very busy/chatty (lots of traffic warnings and other info) so it keeps demanding my attention. I can change this if I want.

    The brakes are good, very powerful but not grabby, but I am having issues adjusting to the setup. What I mean is there are no rear brakes. Normally on the Pin I use the rear a lot and it's pretty powerful but with the Beemer the rear is almost useless - but since the front to rear are linked there is almost no reason to use it except for hill holding. However, my bike has a hill hold feature, enabled automatically if you want or manually by a hard squeeze of the front brake, so no reason for the rear.

    If you ride this bike hard, i.e. >4000 RPM, for extended periods it will consume oil. It's a known issue on the oilhead Beemers. I did a really hard run from Dallas to Houston (>90MPH the entire way) and it took ~1L to fill it back up. The bike holds 4.5L with a dry sump so that isn't catastrophic but it is annoying. All my other rides were really, really hard also. I have been really riding the bike through the twists and the country as hard as I can....In the 2700 miles I've put on the bike I've added 2L. I'll probably end up getting an extended warranty just in case something "bad happens" here.

    However, since back from Dallas I've been riding more normally. I even made a nice easy ride to see my parents in SA, TX. Oil hasn't budged. So if the bike only uses oil when you push it to the limits I'm ok with that.

    Bike is a tire eater. I swear I can visibly see the tires wearing. But, see above....I figure if I stop pushing the bike to the limits (which isn't my normal style) this will slow down.

    The OEM grips are tiny in diameter. I was getting hand cramps and having throttle input issues because they were so "thin"; another common complaint with the Beemer. I added Grip Puppies and all is well now.

    Steering is very heavy as is the bike so in a parking lot you have to plan way ahead. I'm not a small guy but I have troubles backing out sometimes. I blame the seat height as I just can't get a ton of leverage. I just try to always park so my first move is forward or I back out down a small incline.

    The bike does want to move around in the wind and dirty air, e.g. behind a semi. If you read through reviews of people on the internet you'll see this come up - some people went so far as to sell their bike or report it to the NHSTA. I guess I am used to the Pin which had ZERO wind management. However, on the Pin air moved my body around, especially my head, and on the Beemer the bike is moved around. Six or half dozen I guess.

    For the wind issue above I blame the suspension. I find the Cruise setting a bit under damped. It's a very nice, floaty ride and I think the low damping causes the bike to feel loose. If you set up the bike to a more firm ride, either pre-load or more damping, the front end "dancing" goes away.

    Even though the Cons list is bigger than the Pros I love this thing. I am not missing the Pin and have decided to actually sell it. I'll change the oil and fix one small issue and then list it in the New Year. Was a great bike and I never had an issue but the Beemer has shown me what I'm missing. Even if the Beemer gets too expensive to own I don't think I'd be happy to go back to the Pin and would want something similar to the Beemer again, e.g. Concourse.
     
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  2. mrmegadeth

    mrmegadeth Active Member

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    TL;DR The Beemer is a helluva bike and I am selling my Pin
     
  3. JamesBond

    JamesBond Well-Known Member

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    Wait till you see the bills to maintain and service that beemer.....:banghead:
     
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  4. mrmegadeth

    mrmegadeth Active Member

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    Oil change is 2.5x times longer than the Pin and the costs aren't so I'm ahead there. Tires are similar but the BMW has a much wider selection due to a more common size. Valves were just checked on the previous owner's dime - next check is ~24,000 miles from now (this is a pricey service ~$1100).

    Other common maintenance is antifreeze (no big whoop) and air filters (no big whoop) and brakes (3 disc vs 2 but no big whoop) and plugs.

    We will see if the costs are not commiserate to the performance of the bike.
     
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  5. lou8700

    lou8700 Well-Known Member

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    How are you liking the riding position. Do you have highway pegs that you can you stretch out your legs comfortably? I have highway pegs on my Goldwing Valkyrie but they are spread so wide it feels awkward and my legs often cramp swinging them back to the regular pegs.
     
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  6. mrmegadeth

    mrmegadeth Active Member

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    So I have a normal upright position with the pegs - not really tucked like a dedicated sport bike. There is a little pressure in my hands and on my wrist when I use the pegs but nothing uncomfy. They sell a pull back riser if I want it....

    I have the B variant so it has boards that are right by the engine case and attach to the engine guards. This lets you recline and remove all the pressure in the hands. For me, I am not as much on my tail bone as I was on the Pin but this is still a "cruiser" feeling seating position.

    Between the 2 I am always comfortable.

    I will say that the seat, which has a high and a low position, feels a bit sloped down when using the pegs. I might try the high position and see if that feels better.
     
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  7. mister-g

    mister-g Well-Known Member

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    how about some pics of that bad biatch ! :smile_popcorn:
     
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  8. Chattanooga_Mark

    Chattanooga_Mark Well-Known Member

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    Great write up mrmegadeth. The 1600B is certainly an awesome motorcycle. I looked at one recently at my local BMW dealer when I went to see the R1800. Congratulations to you with your B.
     
  9. slickvic

    slickvic Well-Known Member

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    Me too. Just did the same. Saw both bikes and the America. Wait is that a bmw ? Anyway .... very nice bike but I’ll keep my baggers.
     
  10. mrmegadeth

    mrmegadeth Active Member

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  11. mrmegadeth

    mrmegadeth Active Member

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  12. slickvic

    slickvic Well-Known Member

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    I knew that but l will still keep mine.
     
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  13. Chattanooga_Mark

    Chattanooga_Mark Well-Known Member

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    Your B is a very attractive motorcycle mrmegadeth. They make a trunk option as well don't they?
     
  14. mrmegadeth

    mrmegadeth Active Member

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    They do make a trunk. They call it a Grand America. K 1600 Grand America

    It is supposed be a really nice piece of furniture and ever so slightly larger than the Wing. I don't think it's a quick release to add it though - after all, it has central locking system.
     
  15. Chattanooga_Mark

    Chattanooga_Mark Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful, as well as a handful.
     

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