My current touring bike is a 2013 K1600GTL. I bout it new in 2014 under a BMW incentive program to clear out last year’s stock. It is a step up in just about every way from the 2005 Honda VTX 1800N (an amazing bike in it’s own right). A 1600cc 6 cylinder in-line 6 cylinder with 160 HP, ABS, traction control, throttle-by-wire with 3 different sensitivity settings, rider load preset, adjustable windscreen, cruise control, integrated sound system with satellite radio and weather radio, GPS, heated grips, heated seat, fog lights, a 7.1 gallon fuel tank for a 300 mile range, and tons of luggage space.
I actually picked up the bike after my wife decided she didn’t want to ride her own bike anymore and just wanted a comfy back seat. We shopped it around a bit, but after a test ride on the K1600, the decision was made. My arm didn’t have to be twisted all that hard.
I confess that I do now ride the BMW far more than my VTX. It has better performance, gets better gas mileage, and is more comfortable. Its increased luggage capacity alone makes it a far more useful bike for cross country trips. The other major plus, electronics aside, is the much greater rider coverage than you will get from any cruiser. Riding in the cold and rain is far more comfortable than I thought possible on a 2 wheeler.
I’ve done a few customizations that I’ll list here, then detail each in articles down the road.
- Corbin heated touring seat
- Clear sticker/bra covers on some of the main contact points of the bike
- RKA tank bag
- Heated gear plug
- Battery Tender plug
- Wunderlich luggage rack
My main riding gear is:
- Scorpion EXO-1100 Helmet
- Sena 20s bluetooth communicator
- Fieldsheer pants and jackets
- Solid leather jacket and pants
- Perforated leather jacket and pants
- All-weather textile jacket and pants
- BMW Motorrad Summer 2 Pants
- Lee Parks Deertours gloves for both warm and cold weather riding
- Fieldsheer waterproof gloves for the cold and rain
- Powerlet heated jacket and glove liners
- BMW Touring Socks
- Matterhorn boots
- Oakley Gascan glasses
I’ll come back and do more detailed reviews of these products as time goes by. Stay tuned for more.