Spied: BMW K1600 ‘bagger’

Except we’re not so sure it’s a bagger anymore

HERE’S the first clear look at the so-called bagger edition of BMW’s K1600, which now doesn’t look like a bagger at all.

We showed you the bike in a long-lens shot last year, fitted with the same new bagger-style low-slung panniers you can see on it now. At the time it was widely assumed the top box would be removed before production, in line with the bagger formula and the recipe followed by Honda to make the F6B from the Goldwing.

That now seems less likely, since the top box is still on this near production-ready bike spotted in Germany this week. It’s also gained the pillion armrests from the K1600GTL Executive since we saw it last June.

The probable explanation is that it’s simply a new high-spec edition of the tourer given droopy panniers to create a more American-influenced shape. The aim may be to create a closer rival to the likes of Harley-Davidson’s Electra Glide for people who like that sort of thing.

The test mule has also gained more horizontal exhausts to make space for the lower panniers, along with engine protection bars and re-styled fairing and wing mirrors. It’s possible we could see some of those styling tweaks across the K1600 range for 2016.

The design could still work well with the top-box removed, just as Harley offers the bagger-style Street Glide by taking the box off the Electra Glide. Given the rate of BMW model development, we shouldn’t be surprised if that’s also planned - but it hasn’t been seen in any spy shots yet.

Expect answers this autumn.

  • Sign up for Visordown's weekly newsletter, Bugsplat, to get the best motorcycle news, road tests and features plus exclusive competitions and offers direct to your inbox. Register as a Visordown member here and tick the box for Bugsplat in your newsletter settings here.