My Other Bike Is A ........


fallenarch

THE SLOW RIDER
Registered
#81
After lots of sleep I think I have a bit more clarity and realize I should have added what was circulating in my mind: For reference Arch, the phenomenon you described is well-known just not with new bikes but with mis-configured bikes. If you raise the rear of the Busa for a "more aggressive look", as you raise the rear (or lower the front), the geometry will very quickly exceed a "reasonable" rake & trail. The result will be that the bike falls in the turns and you must act to stop it, rather than the neutral feeling you described for most bikes where the lean stops as you stop counter-steering. A suspension builder used the phrase "unstable" when describing this to me.

This is why without knowing or understanding the BMW I wonder if there is an issue with the tires, or if perhaps unloaded the rear is too high relative to the front (if that is possible as I have zero understanding of that suspension's capabilities.)

Lastly, I sincerely hope that I am not being a wet blanket!

Suzuki is historically known for not putting enough weight on the front wheel of their street bikes. This is fine but to get good traction and feel most sport bikes are slightly front heavy. By raising the rear end of the Busa by 1", more weight is put on the front end and the result is a less "drifty" feel with very sharp tracking. This is very noticeable BTW, and fixes the bike even if you don't ride aggressively or track the bike - this is not an aesthetic preference. It is also not a significant change to the geometry.

Read my post #75. The BMW's suspension is automatically setup by the ESA and the dealer preparation is legendary, so this is not a configuration issue. Also, both K1600 GT's I rode felt this way and I have seen this mentioned in other reviews, so it's a characteristic of the bike. Finally, I'm sure in a few months of riding I won't even notice this as it is not a major issue, just a bit of a different feel from most bikes.

You seem like you are curious about suspension and handling issues, as I have been for some time. You should go test ride a BMW (they are very open to letting people ride them). The BMW approaches this very different from most other bikes and I see the new GW is using a double wishbone front end now too. This suspension has great strengths but feel is not it's strongest point. That's why BMW does not use it on the S1000RR. Google the Duo-lever system, you will find it interesting.
 

mabupa

Registered
#82
Sorry guys this is a long one. Don't read it if that's a problem for you!

Today the driver from Motorcycles of Charlotte rolled up into my front yard, opened the trailer and out came my 2018 BMW K1600 GT Sport – finally she was mine!

When I was clearing a place for her in the garage last night I got the dimensions from the BMW site. 92 inches long and 40 inches wide, holly molly that’s nearly 10” longer than a Hayabusa, can that be right? It was right, this is an epically huge vehicle. Side by side this BMW makes the Hayabusa look petite.

Surprisingly, the BMW is reasonably easy to handle when moving it around manually. Not sure if it’s the shaft drive or not, but the Hayabusa is quite a bit harder to roll. Bottom line is weight is not the main thing that comes to mind with the BMW whether you are moving under power or pushing it in the driveway – a welcome discovery.

The quality of the BMW is extraordinary. Fit and finish of parts and panels is amazing and well above anything on two wheels I have ever inspected. The paint is automobile quality, but to be honest most bikes today have pretty good paint jobs. We’ll see how the black engine stands up to the road. Even the plastic seems heavy on this bike. Clearly BMW approaches the K1600 series of bikes like high end cars in many ways, and they don’t share other manufacturers compulsive fanaticism with Barbie figures.

The bike has everything you can imagine on it: Audio system (including radio and Sirrus XM), Navigation, ABS, cornering TC, electronic suspension adjustment, cruise, adaptive headlights (can’t wait to test that out), incline start assist, reverse (yes reverse), shift assist pro, central locking on the storage, TPMS, integrated Navigation, heated seats/grips (which work well, my ride to day was 28 degrees but comfortable), and more. The real amazing thing about all these options is I was working them comfortably (while moving) in 35 minutes of riding the new bike. The dash is genius, switching is complicated but somehow everything’s in the right place when you need it. You control everything with a wheel on the left bar and a menu button. Clearly BMW brings some auto mastery to this setup and it is fantastic. There is nothing here to compare with the Hayabusa and that is a profound weakness for the Suzuki.

Seating position is comfortable. I did get some tightening up in the small of my back when my legs were extended down (like at stoplights). The bars seem way to close, the seat is soft, and you almost feel like you’re sinking into the bike. I think a Corbin will be on order very soon. Wind protection was good, compared to having nothing, which I’m used to on the Hayabusa Lol! The K1600 GT Sport has a shortened shield to accent the sporty look. I think I may have to fit the larger windshield from the GTL model, at least in the winter. Overall the bike rides very high and you feel like you are looking down on the traffic around you. This took some getting used to but after a few hours if felt fine. Despite my nit-picking, the cockpit of the Beemer is a fine place to be. Ergonomics are first rate and the complicated controls are intuitive. While the Hayabusa is not as plush, it’s every bit as comfortable for my frame in all honesty. Especially for short rides.

As far as options, I added crash protection for the panniers and the engine. I opted for the highway pegs mounted on the crash bars. This is heavy steel stuff and again is function over mass. I had plugs (pilot & passenger) for heated gear added because the 12v plug on the console is only 10 amps., a rare WTF in a bike that has millions of miles of R&D behind every screw. Of course, I added the Garmin Navigator 6 (a BMW specific version of the 660M). For me the Nav 6 looks small in it’s console and while there is good sun protection on the screen it’s just too small. The 590LM I use on the Hayabusa is better but does not link into the bike control functions.

On the other hand, the center of mass for the bike feels sort of odd. The bike is quite top heavy, even under power the bike seems to want to fall into a lean quite heavily.
Something else only a Hayabusa owner can appreciate is that the bike comes with both a kickstand and center stand. Push down on the kick stand and it pops firmly into place and locks. Now how hard was that?

The engine is the star of this bike. It’s louder than you might expect, and it has a sport’s car sort of muffled snarl to it. I was thinking about adding the Akrapovic slip-ons (hey get all you can while the Boss is in “Yes Dear” mode, right?) but the dealer talked me out of it. Appears that was a great call as the engine sound is acceptable stock. The 2018 seems louder than the 2017 I rode that sounded like a sewing machine. I kept the rpm under 5K for the new-bike run in, but the character is there. Power and pull are good too. However, once you yank the throttle of an unrestricted Hayabusa engine not much else impresses you.

The throttle on the BMW takes some getting used to. There is a delay in the take up that is positively annoying. Maybe BMW thinks the engine is too powerful to give the rider immediate access to all of it. Whatever they were thinking, it may well be a more dangerous scenario having such a delay between when you ask for power and when you get it. I sincerely hope someone can hack the throttle by wire system and fix this mistake. Delay aside, fueling of the big six is perfect. The engine deceptively provided some impressive thrust.

The clutch is a bit quirky too. It has a very short throw that is at the end of the clutch pull. You feel nothing in the lever and must go by the engine RPMs dropping or the bike moving forward. Fortunately, the engine is simply unstallable. I’m thinking some of the clutch’s eccentric behavior may be due to the shift assist pro. On the positive side, effort is very low and should not be a problem in backed up traffic.
The transmission is tight. Shifting is light with solid engagement. I was unable to find neutral while moving, like say down shifting coming up to a light. Once stopped neutral reappears in the shift pattern but only when going in the up direction from first. This transmission is frankly a bit sloppy when shifting by clutch. However, use the shift assist pro for clutchless up and down shifts and the system becomes amazingly smooth. The bike is new though, and it’s not unusual for transmissions to take a few miles to wear in.

Braking is amazing. Between the big BMW calipers, ABS, and the Duo-lever front suspension, braking is smooth and uneventful no matter how hard you drop anchor. I believe the brakes are linked. My only gripe is the lever pull is very hard. I have become used to two finger full stops with the Brembo setup on my Hayabusa, so I was surprised to find myself full handing the BMW’s brake lever.
Ride & handling are interesting. I am convinced that the BMW design team’s goal was to make the bike handle like an expensive sports car. The slow throttle, the indirect feel of the duo-lever front end, and weight distribution of the bike make for a somewhat isolated feeling that takes some getting used to. The duo-lever communicates little of the typical forces you get used to from a motorcycle’s front end. There is no dive during breaking. There is no rise with acceleration. There is just composure, sort of like the bike does what you tell it without telling you how it’s doing it.

I have spent a ton of cash and time making my Hayabusa an exceptional handling motorcycle. It has risers in the rear, the best tires, weight loss all around and factory tech setup Ohlins suspension. You feel everything that rolls on under the bike. The suspension is tuned to tell the rider what’s there while not letting anything disrupt the process. I can even feel things as subtle as different pavement formulations. Going from this level of information to the K16’s near “feeling blackout” is startling. It’s sort of like most high-performance suspensions are judged by how much they tell you and the BMW just says “Hey, I got this”. This more than anything is why I affectionately call the K1600 a “Car without a cage”.

Like most modern big bikes, the K16 doesn’t feel like a hippo once it’s moving. But like most big bikes, there are hints, lol! The Hayabusa is reasonably comfortable on a track. It won’t win a race with a true sport bike, but it will surprise the posers – even in the turns. The K16 would be totally out of place on a track, period. Still, turning is effortless even in tighter twisties. I have discussed the lack of feel from the front end, but there are also absolutely no objections to what you are telling the bike to do. In fact, the top heavy K16 is startlingly willing to lay over. This appears to be a feeling mainly, as I had no trouble keeping this under control. But it is a specific character of the bike that takes a bit of “socialization”.

Rider modes and suspension setting are straight forward. If you are coming from a sport or sporty bike, I’ll make this simple for you: Dynamic, hard as possible.

More trivial things abound. The windshield is cool and works. I never understood why you need a motorized shield, but you can tune out noise and where the wind hits you, if at all. When I look into the mirrors all I see is what’s behind me. Mirrors that work, now there’s something really innovative! The headlights have “halos” that sort of flicker, very cool looking and difficult for a car to miss, though undoubtedly somehow, they will. I wonder if BMW could somehow make their cellphones flicker? The storage abounds on the bike all over the place and it has central locking. I hope the central locking system is robust because you must push the button 3-4 time before you’re confident all is locked!

I found it amazing that all the gizmos on this bike are so evolved that using them seems natural in just an hour of riding. Switches are where you think they should be and they work completely intuitively. If you are an anti-gadget purist, you need to experience how this bike it implements rider aids. It will change your paradigm. Ironically, it’s the handling of this bike that will feel the most alien.

After an hour on the bike however, I had an epiphany: This bike handles like a car and you only get the feedback necessary to make good riding decisions. Once I got it the Bike became amazing and very fun to push into a turn. It is a great mile munching tool for doing great distances in a spirited way. BMW understands these goals as well as any bike and it is clear the K1600 GT is a bike with an exceptional pedigree and relentless engineer’s hell bent on perfection. The big question is “Am I happy I plopped down the better part of $30K on this bike”. The answer to that is yes. I don’t think there is a better bike for what I plan to do with the K16. Still, the smartest move I made in this deal was keeping the Hayabusa.

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Awesome review!!! One observation about your pic though. That is the only picture I’ve seen where the object closer to the camera still looks smaller than the object further away from the camera. LOL!! That thing looks massive!!!!
 

mabupa

Registered
#83
haha... I got a 2014 mustang 5.0 and the clutch blew up in it... and yesterday my radio stopped working.. I ordered the car with ZERO options in it... because I didn't want the added expense or the gizmos to break.... I cant win.
Sounds like is time to get a maestro interface kit and aftermarket radio. It allows to operate even your AC through the radio.
 

fallenarch

THE SLOW RIDER
Registered
#87
Arch, if you excessively raise the rear of a sport bike, (not your example) you will generate the same trait you see with the BMW, falling into the turns. This is a fact of suspensions. Have I clarified that to make sense? That is where I have seen this behavior before.
Yes and thanks for clarification. Now I am picking up what you were putting down and agree.
 

fallenarch

THE SLOW RIDER
Registered
#88
Now that I think about what you are saying (and get it!) it might be worth seeing if the suspension can be somehow lowered some to see if the falling feeling can be adjusted out. On the other hand I could change my name to Fallingarch? Thanks Hayabusa Wannabe for being persistent on that it's an interesting perspective.
 

fallenarch

THE SLOW RIDER
Registered
#89
I got to put some good time in on the BMW today and the bike just seems to get more and more impressive. I’m finding that if there is a feature on this bike, BMW thought about it long and hard before adding it to the package and more often than not, it works splendidly well once you understand it.

We’ll start with situational awareness and control. I’m not sure this is the BMW or if it would apply to any bike that you sit upright on, but it’s incredibly easy to keeps tabs on what’s happening around you. A quick glance in the mirrors covers everything behind you without having to contort your body to clear blind spots. Sitting up so high feels like you are overlooking the traffic, further heightening the feeling of awareness and control. The lack of wind resistance on your body is also a revelation. I didn’t realize how much noise was coming from the wind alone. After hours of riding there is no physical or mental exhaustion, I could absolutely ride this bike for a 16-18-hour day.

It is beyond me how BMW got a 750-pound bike to be this obedient. I mentioned in my initial ride impressions how the bike feels top heavy, which can make for some awkwardness at low speeds. But at higher speeds the reason becomes obvious why BMW designed this balance into the bike. With a long wheelbase, a lot of weight and with a lot of pull coming from the 1600cc six this bike is unshakably stable. The slight tippiness makes the K1600 more than willing to dip into a turn or roll up from one side to the other. Get this big girl rolling into the twisties and it’s like a 250-pound Great Dane rolling over on command like it was a 10-pound Chihuahua.

Speaking of handling, there is a stretch of local road that is an awesome ride. The road is curvy and fairly 3 dimensional for this area. Hit it at the right time of day and you’re lucky to see another car, although I have been surprised by the occasional farm equipment. I’m probably a high intermediate rider on the Hayabusa (and I’ve ridden this road probably 150 times or more) and a novice on the BMW. About half way through the run it occurred to me that I was keeping a pretty impressive pace on the Beemer. And I was correct, I made the run in 42 minutes on the BMW, just 5 minutes slower than my typical time on the Hayabusa! I affectionately call my Busa the flying pig. Not sure what I’ll call the BMW, but there is little doubt this lady can dance.

I greatly underestimated what it takes to learn to use a bike with so much intelligence. For example, how you work the throttle is essential to making the pro shift assist work, and when you get it right it’s as smooth as an automatic transmission (or a DCT transmission, if you’re on the wrong bike, Lol!). On the other hand, close the throttle completely and those 6 paint cans in the engine do a fine job of braking. But keep on the least amount of maintenance throttle and the bike coasts smoothly. This is so effective, I didn’t even use the brakes much at all on my speed runs through the twisties. I’m still not a big fan of the throttle but I’m just starting to understand that you use this throttle to tell the bike a lot more than just “go faster.”

The BMW’s brakes are linked and with the duo-lever front end this is a game changer frankly. These brakes are so ridiculously talented at hauling the bikes 750 pounds (and your pounds too) down with no fanfare it’s almost magical. OK it’s totally magical, really. On one corner I went in way too hot and I started wondering how hard it was going to be to pick this baby up. Then I realized I was almost to the apex of the turn and I was still scrubbing off speed and squeezing the lever like a G.I. Joe with Kung Fu grip with no objections from the bike or tires.

When I started looking for a new bike, I wanted something that would be friendlier to my aging frame. But I didn’t want a retirement lounge either. I love riding fast, deep leaning, and the way the Hayabusa makes me feel. After this last ride, I’m starting to believe this BMW can be as awe inspiring as my Hayabusa has been.

BMW under Bridge.jpg
 
#91
Great post about the bimmer fallenarch!!! Sounds like that thing has 300lbs worth of electronics and wires! It is a good looking bike for sure and it sounds like you are loving it. Here is a pic of my “poor man’s sport-tourer” to hijack your thread as I promised on the othe thread. LOL! I have no complaints for the price and I could probably travel to NY from Florida to visit my family without an issue.
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fallenarch

THE SLOW RIDER
Registered
#92
Great post about the bimmer fallenarch!!! Sounds like that thing has 300lbs worth of electronics and wires! It is a good looking bike for sure and it sounds like you are loving it. Here is a pic of my “poor man’s sport-tourer” to hijack your thread as I promised on the othe thread. LOL! I have no complaints for the price and I could probably travel to NY from Florida to visit my family without an issue.
Nothing wrong with a Connie! Great history of touring performance and the pedigree on that 1400 engine is legendary too. However the Connie has a pretty good electronics package too. I guess with electronics you either are open to them or you're not. But contrary to what many think the electronics aren't electronic nanny's taking the rider out of the process. They are tools and you have to learn to use them effectively. Like it or not, when the Gen 3 Hayabusa gets here it will have TC, ABS and maybe more.

Now on the thread jack .......
 

fallenarch

THE SLOW RIDER
Registered
#93
Excellent write up Willie , reckon you definitely made the right choice now , for sure . She sounds like an exceptional riding experience . Keep posting on your ride discoveries with your new beast please , really enjoyable read mate .:beerchug:
You changed your avatar, at first I didn't notice it was you buddy!

As a design professional I love really strong design. The BMW is one of the most meticulously designed bikes I have ever seen. The Germans design with function first which is very in line with my own design sensibilities (form follows function). It is striking however that even with the obvious design effort put into this bike, there are still some big misses (like the audio system).

I suppose the BMW is expensive for a motorcycle, but not so much in the grand scheme things. It's a lot cheaper than a truck, camper or a boat. Just comes down to what you are committed to as far as toys IMHO. Maybe I'm a boring guy but I basically work, spend time with the family and ride.

Funny though, this bike gets some really negative vibes from people when you drive up. Guess BMW guys have quite the reputation. I do feel that the bike elevates your appreciation for detail and quality, that's an inevitable consequence of owning any premium product. So I suppose I am a BMW guy now, but I have a growing appreciation of the bike, not it's exclusivity.
 
#94
Nothing wrong with a Connie! Great history of touring performance and the pedigree on that 1400 engine is legendary too. However the Connie has a pretty good electronics package too. I guess with electronics you either are open to them or you're not. But contrary to what many think the electronics aren't electronic nanny's taking the rider out of the process. They are tools and you have to learn to use them effectively. Like it or not, when the Gen 3 Hayabusa gets here it will have TC, ABS and maybe more.

Now on the thread jack .......
Not sure if I missed it, but have you done any long highway stretches to see how high your MPG goes on the bimmer?
 

fallenarch

THE SLOW RIDER
Registered
#96
Thought you guys might find these latest ride reports interesting. Even a $28K bike isn't perfect, go figure. I am a very objective guy, it is what it is. A lot of people see this as complaining but it's just me trying to figure out how to get things the way I want them. Since I've had the BMW I rode the Busa twice, and frankly it felt pretty brutal in comparison. Look for a comparison in the future. This was originally posted on the BMW forum:

Posted 4/2/2018:
I suppose I was a bit niave in my expectations for the BMW. I thought it would be perfect and wouldn’t need any adjustments. Obviously, no bike is perfect, and nothing fits all riders. Even on a multi-million-dollar MotoGP bike, adjustments must be made for the specific rider.

For me, riding is about a great performing bike and great music as the soundtrack to my day on a great road. This makes my priorities a great engine, great handling, and the great audio.

While the BMW has arguably one of the great touring engines, I’ve spent the last 8 years riding one of the greatest engines ever put on a motorcycle. Whatever your prejudices on the Hayabusa, if you don’t respect that engine you simply don’t get it. I didn’t expect the K16 to match the Hayabusa’s raw thrust, but I also didn’t expect BMW to frustrate me with a filter preventing me from exploiting that great motor. The throttle feel on the BMW is a serious weakness for me because it negates much of the effort put into a great engine. When someone asks: “hey you got cable?” I reply: “No I got this stupid drive by wire crap!”

I understand motorcycle chassis and suspension design and I understand the compromises BMW made on the K. Still, I was shocked at how alien the bike felt when I first started riding it. After a few miles however, most of the choices BMW has made for the bike seem to have been mostly genius. They made a very heavy bike very easy to turn at speed, and frankly, the K loses little in terms of rational speed to the Busa on a twisty road. The price for this friskiness is a bit of top heaviness and light handling that requires that you keep on top of where the bike is going, but I’m with BMW on this compromise. There is the left pull issue, but mine is one of the 50% that head straight down the road.

As for brakes, I’ll just say this bike has the best brakes this side of an arresting line on the USS Nimitz. Really, ridiculously awesome. This could be a frame of reference thing too however, because apparently Suzuki has no interest in stopping anything! On a $12k 2009 Hayabusa, I spent another $3k fixing the brakes with Brembos, and they’re still not in the same league as these.

I am that freak guy who really is comfortable crouched over on a crotch-rocket. Been riding 8 to12-hour rides on weekends for years with just the addition of a Corbin seat with zero back issues. I’m 6’-1”but have a 30-inch inseam and 37-inch sleeves, I could have been the model they based the Busa on. I have struggled to get comfortable on the K16. The bars feel too close in to my chest. My legs feel cramped somehow (yes, my short little stubby legs), and my size 13 feet struggle to fit in the area around the pegs. I get cramps in my throttle hand (I won’t say it…), and I have been getting lower back spasms since riding the Beemer. A friend pointed out politely that at 56 it will take some time for my muscles to adjust. What were friends for again? So, I called Sargent and gave them a bunch of money.

I also can’t get the stock windscreen to work. In the low position the wind hits me in the chest and in the high position it feels like someone is drumming on my helmet. So, I called Aeroflow and gave them a bunch of money.

Then there is the entertainment system. Ok, I really meant the F’n entertainment system! $2,500 bucks for something I turn off, so I can hear music that doesn’t give me a headache and I can see the digital speedometer. Yes, that really happened…. So, I’m planning on giving someone a bunch of money when I can figure out who.

The day I bought my Busa I thought Busas were ugly and I still do – but it was like a superhero’s bike in silver and gray. It’s a bike with huge personality, sort of the Pitbull of motorcycles - people love it or hate it. I love the K. Every bolt on her is splendid, I sit in the garage and look at her. I even took some panels off to look at her. I go on google and look at her. As a designer I would fall under the ultra-rationalists. Boy is this the bike for a rational type.

So, this isn’t going splendidly like I thought dropping $28K on a motorcycle would. Been giving that a lot of thought lately. First, almost all my miles on the K have been breaking it in. I hate doing this, easily the worst thing about owning a motorcycle next to throwing it down the road. It’s been cold. I ride year-round because any kind of ride is better than putting it up for 2-3 months a year. But riding in the cold will make any bike suck, right? Sometimes I’m so wrapped up that if I fell someone would have to pick me up as if I had been knocked from my horse in a joust! And this bike is complex, it takes a bit to fully feel at home in the cockpit.

But the big problem is I haven’t had that bonding experience yet with the K. That ride when you realize why it’s brilliant. It was easy with the Busa, just turn the throttle and every ride you come home thinking “did that just happen?” This is a long-range tool, it’s not going to impress on the way to the grocery when the cop looks away to bite her donut. It’s just not that simple with something this sophisticated.

So, it’s frustrating. I believe this is an amazing bike and I’ll get there. But it’s just a lot harder than I expected so far. I’m glad I wrote this. Made me realize I need to just count to three and man up. Have to work things out just like every other bike I've had including my beloved Hayabusa. OMG I spent a fortune on that bike.

Posted 4/19/2018:
I wanted to follow up on my last post to this thread. Since I posted this, things have improved 100%. I’ll go through a few things because others coming from other manufacturer’s will have similar initial concerns. Sorry for long post:

At first, I was less than impressed with the engine on the K. It was lethargic relative to my expectations. After the break-in and 600-mile inspection, first thing I did was go up into the 7K+ rpms and yelled in my helmet “hello Mr. 6 glad to meet you!” There was the beast I expected. Turns out there are 2 bikes here. The sub-4K bike is capable but certainly not something to write home about. But above 4K lies a brute that is a ball to ride. It’s not as aggressive as my Hayabusa, but it will blur your peripheral vision and put a big, outlaw grin on your face. I’m assured they don’t turn on the afterburners in the 600-mile service, that 7K kick in the butt was always there. Very, very happy with the engine.

The throttle on the K is still not my favorite but I’m learning to live with it. Close the throttle completely and you get very constructive engine braking. On many of my favorite roads I don’t even use the brakes. Leave the throttle open just a bit and the engine will coast, also very useful. To access the big six’s power, you must quickly twist past that first ¼ turn or so, ignoring your instinct that this would loop some bikes. I’ve started calling that first ¼ turn the “nanny zone”. Figure all this out and the bike is well behaved.

The clutch gets better each ride, the travel is long, but the feel is much more communicative. Pulling off involves playing out the clutch lever until the engine rpms slow, then rolling the throttle on quickly past the nanny zone. Even with the technique down, getting the bike going is always an adventure, especially in traffic. In any event, I no longer feel the throttle is a show stopper and probably won’t go to too much effort to change it unless BMW offers an option.

I am getting used to the front end of the K16 and the alien (to me) feel of it. I have hustled the bike through some twisty roads with very good results, and my confidence is now surpassing 100%. My evolved feelings are that this is a slick setup and the benefits far out-weight the negatives. The advantages to the braking alone are worth the eccentric feel. On the feel issue, it took me some time to realize the subtle feeling of “support” is what you must monitor in fast cornering, as opposed to the more communicative bouncing and diving from a traditional front fork.

People used to big, lumbering motorcycles will find this bike has the heart of a sport bike. You must be vigilant with the K while running long on a slab. But get it into the twisties and she is as light as a ballet dancer. This bike simply defies the laws of physics it’s so easy to turn. Unfortunately, the higher center of gravity that gives the bike its superhero dexterity, tends to make things clumsy at very slow speeds. Consequently, it takes some familiarity to handle the K16 at parking lot speed. You probably don’t want to lift the front of your helmet and expose your face until you get the bike successfully stopped. Anyhoo, you’re missing the point if you spend too much time going slow on this bike!

I finally realized I was going to have to just let the audio thing go. I’ve turned it off and built a setup I can ride and listen to music with. First, the OEM windshield was just too low, even in the maximum extended position. I replaced it with an Aeroflow windshield and the cockpit is now quiet and for the most part wind-noise free. Next, I switched to a more touring appropriate helmet in the Neotec 2, which is just fantastic. I also bought some custom IEM’s to use with my SENA 30K. Together, these changes have made the saddle of this BMW a truly great place to spend a day. I even find myself dreaming of that long ride to nowhere all week at work.

There was something very wrong for me in the stock seat. Not sure if it was height, too soft, or what. But after a couple extended rides I was having severe back spasms. I have been riding for a long time and most of it on aggressive bikes and never have I experienced a problem like this. I bought a Sargent seat and went for the low option. When I took my first ride I did not expect what happened: It was perfect. Felt 100% more comfortable and even the problems I was having getting my feet comfortable were gone. I didn’t analyze this but it worked magic with my riding position. I bought the BMW for longer distance rides, now she’s ready to fulfill that mission.

It took some effort but I’m very glad I stuck with it. If you don’t include Honda copying the front end, the BMW’s feel and handling is a unique experience that takes some getting used to. I suppose no bike is perfect but frankly it’s hard to figure how BMW so thoroughly dropped the ball on the audio system. That said the level of engineering in this bike is second to none and a dialed in K16 is a magnificent motorcycle.
 

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