When BMW builds a touring motorcycle you know it’s going to be good. But none of us in the Motorcycle-USA offices ever dreamed motorcycle touring could be as good as it is behind the windscreen of the 2012 BMW K1600 GTL ($26,340), our pick for Touring Motorcycle of the Year.
Powered by a high-tech six-cylinder engine – yes, you’ve read correctly, this bad boy sports a slim Inline-Six motor – the BMW’s mill is the epitome of refinement. The K-bike delivers incredible, almost sportbike-like straight-line acceleration yet is smooth, mannered and devoid of any vibration. The German’s didn’t neuter the engine’s character either, infusing it with charisma and fun loving personality.
Multiple engine power and suspension modes let the BMW be as mild or wild as the rider desires, all the while providing many creature comforts in the form of Bluetooth-equipped stereo, heated seats and grips and an optional Garmin GPS that can be neatly integrated into the dash. An enormous 7.0-gallon fuel tank, three huge removable hard cases and a gigantic electronically adjustable windshield make the GTL a viable option for long trips.
It certainly ain’t cheap, but for those looking for the utmost in touring performance and comfort there’s nothing else like it on the road – making the BMW K1600 GTL MotoUSA’s selection for Best Touring Motorcycle in 2012.
Motorcycle USA Best of 2012 Awards
Rider of the Year 2012: Max Biaggi
Manufacturer of the Year 2012: KTM
Best Cruiser 2012: Ducati Diavel
Best Sportbike 2012: BMW S1000RR
Best Street Bike 2012: Triumph Speed Triple R
Best Touring Motorcycle 2012: BMW K1600 GTL
Best Adventure Motorcycle 2012: Triumph Tiger Explorer
Best Enduro 2012: Beta 450 RR
Best Dual Sport 2012: Kawasaki KLR650
Best Motocross Motorcycle 2012: Kawasaki KX450F
Best ATV 2012: Can-Am Outlander 1000 XT
Best UTV 2012: Polaris RZR XP4 900
Motorcycle of the Year 2012: Kawasaki ZX-14R