Two years after we first spied BMW’s bagger on test, leaked images reveal its final design!
There’s still no fixed launch date but leaked design images have finally given us an unfettered look at what the finished product will look like when it does eventually get launched.
While the term ‘bagger’ has been used to refer to the new bike ever since the first spy pictures emerged, and the firm’s Concept 101 unveiled 12 months ago fitted the usual bagger definition by having panniers, no top-box and a cut-down screen, the actual bike is more of a full-dress tourer.
However, it’s distinct from the existing K1600 GT and GTL luxury mile-eaters thanks to styling that has a nod towards American-style tourers. In particular the sloping rear end and horizontal exhausts can be marked out for giving it a longer, lower look than the GT and GTL and, on closer inspection virtually every panel on the bike is new.
Let’s start with that rear end. Compared to the upswept tail of the K1600GTL, the panniers are smaller and mounted lower thanks to those horizontal exhausts. The top case is also less boxy, and while it incorporates a passenger back rest it’s clearly designed to be removable, which would give the bike a more typical bagger appearance.
The side bags are also separate but it’s unlikely that they can be removed for riding with no luggage – not least because they incorporate the tail lights. There’s also an additional high-level brake light and tail light in the back of the top case.
Looking from the rear, the new exhausts retain the six individual outlet holes, reflecting the bike’s six-cylinder engine layout.
Further forward, the side panels are new and less enclosing than the K1600GT/GLT versions, leaving more of that massive engine on show. The sides of the fuel tank are also reshaped, and the nose plastics are redesigned.
What’s carried over?
The headlight appears to be the same as the existing bike, which means it will be able to incorporate the high-tech adaptive light that’s optionally available for the current model.
Also carried over are the frame, suspension and wheels, suggesting that in terms of specifications the new bagger will be much like the current K1600. That means 118kW at 7750rpm, 175Nm at 5250rpm and a weight of around 350kg, ready-to-ride.
Equipment will be predictable high, with an electrically adjustable screen, stereo, heated everything and a huge options list.
While the engine is largely the same, it might well be updated on the new bagger and the rest of the K1600 range to meet the latest emissions rules. BMW is also surely looking to add its Gear Shift Assist Pro system to allow clutchless up- and down-shifts – something that would really benefit a relaxed cruiser like this. These pictures do show a new clutch lever and mechanism on the bars, so some changes have been made to it, but don’t be fooled by the impression that there are two levers – that’s almost certainly a mistake in the CAD imaging used to create the pictures, resulting in them simultaneously showing the lever in both its engaged and disengaged positions.
Where the Concept 101 had a massive, oversized front wheel that required a completely new set of Duolever forks, the production version carries over the same kit as the stock K1600GT. That also means it will be able to benefit from the same electronically adjustable suspension.
At the moment there’s still no word on when the final bike will be revealed. Many expected it to have joined this year’s BMW model range, particularly after the Concept 101 was shown last May, but it appears to have been delayed. It’s likely that the bike will appear at shows later this year and join the BMW line-up in 2017.
by Ben Purvis