Is BMW about to launch the K1600C?

Patent published today

Is BMW about to launch the K1600C?

THERE'S a mystery surrounding BMW’s K1600B bagger; what’s become of the full-dress touring version?

Back in 2015, before the K1600B was even revealed, we got spy shots of a full-dress tourer based on the same bike. Basically a K1600B with a top-box, tall screen and pillion backrest, it was clearly aimed at riders who liked a slightly American flavour to their tourers, rather than the clinically German efficiency of the K1600GT and GTL models.

Later in 2015 the images you see here emerged, adding more fuel to the idea that a touring-cruiser version of the K1600 – let’s call it the K1600C – was on the way. And then… Nothing happened.

Now those 2015 patent pictures have emerged again. They’ve just been published on the European Union Intellectual Property Office website. Interestingly, the site shows that the design was ‘Registered and subject to deferment’ in December 2015, coinciding with the time the pictures first emerged from non-European patent sources. The European patent is now marked ‘Registered and fully published’ with yesterday’s date, 26/10/2017.

Why does that matter? Well, the ability to defer the publication of a patent is something manufacturers use to prevent information about their new products being published before the product is launched. The implication is that back in late 2015 when it applied for a patent on the design, BMW expected to launch the model pictured sometime around 26 October 2017. It hasn’t happened yet, but the timing is very close to the EICMA show in Milan, starting on 6 November, and even closer to the Tokyo Motor Show, which opened to the public on 26 October. Perhaps the original plan was to launch the bike at the Tokyo show? Or there was a mistake on the date of the Milan show? Either way, the publication of this patent so close to the launch of BMW’s 2018 models surely suggests we might see something real in the very near future.

Of course, the other possibility is that BMW was going to launch this bike sometime between late 2015 and October 2017 but it’s been delayed or cancelled at some stage between the patent’s approval and its deferred publication.