2023 BMW K 1600 GT (bike review)

The epitome of luxury grand touring, the 2023 BMW K 1600 GT sets the standard in comfort and ease of use. The performance of its big 6-cylinder motor remains class defining as well.

Looking larger than life, it sports a feature packed cockpit which houses all your rider goodies, including a 10.25-inch TFT display. With its bagger stance, the GT variant is instantly recognisable in its exclusive Light White/Racing Blue Metallic/Racing Red duco.

It’s a hefty beast though, tipping the scales, without a rider or luggage, but with a near full fuel tank, at 343kg. With a reasonable seat height of 810mm you do feel the girth, but it doesn’t feel awkward or unmanageable. Over time it becomes less noticeable.

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If you let momentum be your friend, it becomes very easy to ride. In fact, the more time we spent on this bike, the more our thoughts wandered to “if we were to ride around Australia, on sealed roads of course, this would be the best motorcycle for the trip”.

Considering its refined elegance and superb touring capabilities it makes some level of sense. The showstopper of this touring package though is without doubt the inline six-cylinder four stroke engine that features four valves per cylinder.

2023 BMW K 1600 GT
2023 BMW K 1600 GT

Producing a respectable 118kW of get up and go, and 180Nm of torque, the K 1600 GT has enough grunt to pull at lower revs and enough power to be exciting higher in the range. That on tap power is most evident when cornering.

Get the K 1600 GT above 3,000rpm and the big GT really starts to boogie and whip up a bit of a frenzy as it works its way to a claimed top speed in excess of 200km/h. That’s on the back of improved power availability across the rev range for 2023.

Engine drag torque control is also new, which is a technology that helps avoid unstable riding conditions when coasting or shifting down gears, eliminating excessive slip at the rear wheel. Three rider modes are on offer too.

Dynamic mode is where the action is, delivering full throttle capability and making the most of all of the available torque and horsepower to deliver the rider the most of the available performance. Road mode enables a less aggressive powerband.

It makes for a more gentle throttle response for the rider. Rain mode delivers a more docile experience. No matter the mode, all the power is delivered through a six speed gearbox and BMW’s renowned shaft drive. Gear changes are handled via a quick shifter.

2023 BMW K 1600 GT
2023 BMW K 1600 GT

The combination ensures that in the corners, the K 1600 GT feels planted even when pushing more enthusiastically. Likewise, while you’re eating up the miles on the open road, the plush suspension setup eats up the bumps with a minimum of fuss.

That comfort comes from a Motorrad duo-lever central sprint strut offering 115mm of travel. At the rear, there’s 135mm of travel from a cast aluminium single-sided swing arm that’s paired with a para-lever central spring strut.

There is also a whole heap of fancy tech that adjusts the bike’s setup and balance electronically, which is a nice touch if you like to hop on and ride. The big BMW is built on a bridge-type frame made from cast aluminium with a load-bearing engine.

Dual 320mm discs with 4-piston callipers carry out the stopping duties on the front, while on the rear a 320mm single disc setup features a single 4-piston calliper. Of course BMW’s integral ABS Pro features as well.

As a big bike, it does catch a lot of wind though and although the K 1600 GT holds a line well, like most large objects it will be subject to strong gusts. The upside to all that fairing and the fully electric adjustable windscreen though is a good amount of protection.

2023 BMW K 1600 GT
2023 BMW K 1600 GT

On the tech front, the TFT display we mentioned earlier is intuitive and easy to operate. It’s the control centre for the entire bike, and also includes audio and smartphone functionality, including navigation.

The sound system on the K 1600 GT is good without being outstanding. While it’s in no way disappointing, it doesn’t match the other technology loaded into this luxurious German cruiser. The attention to detail and engineering is world class though.

The 2023 BMW K 1600 GT features heated grips, heated seats for rider and pillion, cruise control and a reversing aid, all as standard. It has full LED lighting with the front beams offering adaptive capabilities for cornering at night.

Our test bike came fitted with two good-sized hard, lockable panniers that are great for overnight trips or weekend getaways. If we were going to plan a big trip though, we’d add the optional lockable top box. Additional options packages are also available.

Priced from $41,120 plus on-road costs, the BMW K 1600 GT is backed by a 5-year warranty. It’s truly a worthy contender for a round Australia tour, offering plenty of comfort and space for long stints in the saddle.

2023 BMW K 1600 GT
2023 BMW K 1600 GT

Handling and power delivery are very good, and there is more than enough to keep even the most discerning rider engaged. Add in the pillion and luggage carrying capacity, and it’s quite hard to find fault in this fit-for-purpose grand tourer.

Our test bike was provided by BMW Motorrad Australia. To find out more about the 2023 BMW K 1600 GT, contact your local BMW Motorrad dealer.


Riding experience
Style and comfort
Braking and handling
Overall bike performance
Value for money


Pros - grand touring ability; technology; power delivery.
Cons - sheer physical size; wind buffeting; price point.
Adam Cranstone
Adam Cranstone
Adam Cranstone started his motorbike journey in his teenage years when he brought home his first bike against his parents wishes. It was at that point that he knew motorbikes were in his blood. He has a love for high performance sports bikes, dirt bikes and tourers, but is happy to climb aboard any two-wheeled machine.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> grand touring ability; technology; power delivery.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> sheer physical size; wind buffeting; price point.2023 BMW K 1600 GT (bike review)