Spy photos: BMW K1600LT

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BMW-K1600LT.jpgAt last year’s EICMA show, the BMW Concept 6 was said to preview a
near-future six-cylinder production bike. Well, here’s that production
bike. Spied in Los Angeles by the Cordura-loving Germans at
Tourenfahrer.de, the BMW K1600LT will make 96lb/ft of torque at just
2,000rpm, a figure that will continue to rise as the inline-six
approaches its 9,000rpm redline. How do we know that? BMW told us. >

In fact, they told us quite a bit about the K1600LT at EICMA:

The new BMW straight-six will further expand the K-Series in the foreseeable future. The first model to be introduced will be an innovative and luxurious BMW touring machine. Reflecting the tradition of the BMW K-Series, this will of course be a genuine top-of-the-line product.

The power unit is approximately 100 mm or 4″ slimmer than all former straight-six production engines and only a bit wider than a large-capacity straight-four with conventional technology.

The reduction in width is achieved in particular by the slightly over-square bore: stroke ratio with relatively long stroke and very small gaps between cylinders. To achieve this very compact configuration with minimum width, the electrical ancillaries and their drive components are positioned behind the crankshaft in the open space above the transmission.

High-tech lightweight construction in all areas serves to make the power unit relatively light from the outset, important components in this context being the two hollow-drilled camshafts and the very light connecting rods. The perfect compensation of masses ensured by the configuration and layout of the engine avoids the need for a balance shaft and its drive elements on the new straight-six, which again means lower weight and enhanced running smoothness.

BMW-K1600-Engine.jpg…follows the well-known straight-four in the K 1300 model series, again coming with cylinders tilted to the front by 55o. This ensures not only a low centre of gravity, but also very good weight balance as an element essential above all under sporting conditions for precise feeling and clear feedback from the front. A further advantage is that the tilted engine provides extra space for the aerodynamically positioned intake manifold directly above the engine and allows ideal configuration of the frame profiles following the flow of power.

…dry sump lubrication. Apart from greater reliability even under extreme conditions, dry sump technology serves to keep the crankcase particularly low and flat, with the engine being fitted lower down and masses concentrated around the centre of gravity. Doing without an oil sump, the engine may be positioned far lower than on a conventional layout.
The oil reservoir is provided by an oil tank integrated at the rear of the engine block. This avoids the need for a separate tank, again helping to make the entire power unit more compact and reduce weight to a minimum.

Output of the new six-cylinder will be in approximately the same range as on BMW’s 1.3-litre straight-four power units. Torque, on the other hand, will be right at the top of the range, even in comparison with the largest motorcycle engines, such superior power and muscle coming inter alia from engine capacity of no less than 1.6 litres.

The engine’s power and performance characteristics are equally impressive, offering 130 Nm or 96 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 rpm and at the same time revving up almost to 9,000 rpm - a dynamic potential quite unparalleled in the tourer segment.

Power “in the same range” as the BMW K1300S means about 175bhp and you can further expect the straight-six to be incredibly smooth, something BMW’s six cylinder engines were known for before they stopped making cars and starting making SUVs.

Tourinfuhrer notes the presence of an electrically adjustable screen, LED lights and other luxury goods expected of a flagship tourer.

Looking at the picture, we see an incredibly low seat, K1300S-style Duolever (Hossack) front suspension and overall proportions that seem dramatically less porky than the aging K1200LT that this bike will supersede. Expect a production model to debut this fall.

via Tourenfahrer

  • VetteWrecker

    I imagine I’m not who they’re targeting this bike at, (I’m still technically in my early 30s) but I dig it. I guess touring on a Monster has convinced me there has got to be a better way.

    I wonder how much it weighs.

    • marco

      Weight? Apparently only some 25 lbs. more than the current K1300GT – or at least that is what the German bike forums are saying.

  • Jett

    I’ll definitely consider one of these. I was considering moving from the C14 to an RT next year, but will give this a serious look. On one hand, I could see the price being $23 to $25k, based upon the current GT price; but the pricing on the SS1000R was so aggressive, I wonder if they’ll try to do the same here. Probably not.

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

    Anybody else seeing a bit of the Vstrom 1000 in the styling?

    As for pricing, I doubt BMW would put the same level of discount on one of their bread-and-butter tourers like they did on the S1000r; the pricing of the S bike was due to the fact the bmw hadn’t produced a bike in that category.

  • John Ashman

    Great, now cut it in half and put that engine in the F800ST.

  • http://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

    Das Koncours?

    • Michael

      As a former C-14 owner, you ain’t just whistling Dixie, brother! I thought it was a strange hybrid between a C-14 and a Yamaha T-Max.

  • JR

    Yeah! An I-6 would be super smooth, but now that the Horex is going with the better packaged VR6… which is better?

  • NotThatOld

    I guess I can appreciate it for what it is is but that is the motorcycle equivalent of a Winnebago. Functional sure, but not cool in the slightest.

  • pauljones

    It’s…inelegant. More so than a Goldwing. If that seat were any lower, it’d literally be the most powerful scooter known to man. I’d be curious to know if they also offer some sort of automatic transmission as an option; that’s starting to grow in popularity, too.

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    It kinda looks like a big fat scooter. I predict new Iron Butt championships!

  • AK

    Days on days of all this electric bike media and then to the 6 cylinder BMW and what ever that other bike was (Horable-x was it?)…

    …Already knew that they’re GREAT at the inline 6, soooo, lets produce something meaningful and towards the future.

    One step forward, two steps back kinda thing?

    Seriously folks, look at BossHogs, this is what you want from BMW?

    • Richard Gozinya

      Did you mean Boss Hoss? Not really sure what you’re upset about though, this blog, unless I’m mistaken, is about motorcycles, not EVs. So, whether it’s gas powered, battery powered, diesel powered, or nuclear powered, is secondary to the fact that it’s a motorcycle.

      Oh, and this is a spiffy engine, I want to put one in an old Austin Mini Cooper, with straight pipes.

      • AK

        Yes, BossHoss…its BARLEY a motorcycle, and if you failed to miss my correlation it was that big 6 & 8 cyl engines are downright lame sauce in bikes.

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          I tend to agree, over 1,000cc you’re just gaining weight and size even if you are gaining some power and torque. The bike manufacturers are still stuck in an escalation of excess they started a decade ago and haven’t been able to turn off, despite the financiapocalypse.

          • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

            I’m still waiting for Direct Injection to be introduced. I would expect BMW to be the technology leader on that front.

            I have heard that there are technical problems with applying DI to motorcycles, however; anybody know anything else? I know motorcycles generally run higher compression rates than cars anyways, so maybe the benefit just isn’t worth the cost.

            • Richard Gozinya

              I think that Motus bike will use it, not sure though.

          • Jeff DiCarlo

            Direct Injection has several problems. It can be difficult to optimize the mixing over the wide RPM range that bikes use. It is also very expensive (pressure = $$) and the pump can be loud. It’s biggest advantage cannot be utilized in the US. It can give a real boost to mileage by using very lean mixures at idle, but this causes emissions too high for our standards.
            It’ll eventually get to bikes, but I’m not sure when.

  • Spiny Norman

    The only thing that this brings to mind is the razor business.

  • http://htp://cohobot.blogspot.com/ coho

    “Tourinfuhrer”

    I LOLing,butI’m being ironic about it, so it’s OK.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      As long as your LOLz are ironic it’s ok.

  • AceCafeClipOns

    I love the pillion’s arm-chair.
    Is there a reading light as an option?
    Will they offer a diesel version soon?

  • vic
    • vic

      btw the burgman 400 is a really nice scooter .reeeeaally comfy ,loads of storage space, has enough ummpff to ride safe in fast traffic

      you would think that because is so heavy it’s a beast to steer but it’s actually pretty nimble,more than any cruiser or big sport tourer around the city ,an old man65 in my building owned it and rode it daily,that guy had 50 years of riding motorcycles,

  • Darth Lefty

    How come no “VR6″ type engines in motorbikes? Seems like a natural…

    • Hairy Seaward

      You dont come here often do you?

  • Andrey

    Wait till they produce a high performance version of this engine… should be amazing.

  • steve taylor

    Apparently, a lot of your readers aren’t sufficiently qualified to handle a big, high performance motorcycle. Crown Vic this bike is not.

  • Hans Muellers

    Who needs a bigger bike? Who needs more cylinders ? is bigger really better ?

    Who can lift the bike when it is toppled over? Do I have to call a crane to pick it up ? Who really needs a bike like that ? 100 People ? 1000 People ? Why bother !! Why not make a GS with 1ooo cc but a Shaft drive ( sorry, chain will not do! ). the GS 800 is ok but the chain drive ? No thanks
    can you think of anything else, BMW ? Racing bikes for people that do not race? Cruisers for people that do not cruise ? Now you are going to make scooters, too ? With all the Chinese scooters around ? Schuster bleib bei deinen Laisten. forget the LT extra heavy weight! Let Honda have this category, you do not have to be everything for everybody, BMW !

  • harold maxwell

    Love it! I have been a harley rider for nearly 40 years now, and bought my first BMW (K1200GT) this past winter. Put 14,000 miles on it already and love it! Been looking at the R1200GSA as my next bike but now I will have to try one of these butes! Go BMW!!!!

  • Jimbo

    Thank you, BMW. Just got my first – new K1200LT. 40 years of riding all the big name bikes and I have to tell you – I have never had a more precise, smooth and enjoyable experience. Put 8 hours in the saddle the first time I got on it – didn’t want it to stop. By the way, we old farts have survived the sparks and rubber burnout period and now pay your salaries…and there are a lot of us.

    • GW

      You’re right. There are a lot of us.

  • R90srider

    Looks like an RT on steroids. Bring it on BMW