BMW’s 2017 K1600 B American touring bike has endless style and comfort

BMW has introduced its new American touring bike, the K1600 B, on the roof of the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

In 2010, BMW took its inline six-cylinder engine and wedged it into the K1600 GT and GTL without turning the bike into a pig. For the 2017 model year, the K1600 B is an American Grand Tourer based on the Concept 101 from 2015’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The “Bagger” style is a custom bike category that’s popular in the U.S., showing BMW Motorrad’s devotion to the American market.

Visually, the new all-black (Blackstorm metallic, and black for chassis parts and drivetrain) K 1600 B presents the drop-shaped bagger silhouette with “streamlining” style and the deep-set side cases with integrated taillights. New fully chrome-plated silencers run parallel to the road. The rest of its design is based on the 1600 GT, but thanks to its low-slung shape, the passenger seat is much lower than the GT. The styling is as much about presence as it is about wind protection.

The six-cylinder motor carries over from the K1600 GT with 160hp and 129 pound-feet of torque. An electronic suspension with adaptive dampers works with a Dynamic Traction Control system and two modes: Road and Cruise. The Road setting is fully automated to adapt to all traction and road surface changes. Cruise is all about comfort and mellow damping.

New for the K1600 lineup is a reverse assist, which blocks the forward gear and can be turned on and off from the handlebars. Other transmission tech includes Shift Assistant Pro, which lets the rider shift up and down without the clutch. When accelerating, the throttle valve no longer has to be closed for shifts using the throttle grip, so power is virtually constant without torque interrupt. When decelerating and shifting down (throttle valve closed), the engine speed is automatically adapted by “double-declutching.” This whole process reduces shift time significantly compared to using the clutch.

The speedometer and 5.7-inch TFT engine speed display has been updated from the 2016 K1600 GT with new dials. Intelligent Emergency Call is on board in the event of an accident. The system is automatically triggered, sending the position of the bike to emergency services via BMW’s call center.

In the name of comfort, the design of the footrests, seating area, and handlebar positions have been updated from the 2016 K1600 GT’s for better ergonomics. Both rider and passenger have a relaxed knee angle, but the seating position is still oriented toward the front wheel for “enthusiastic” riding. The seat height can also be adjusted. Finally, heated hand grips, cruise control, and dual-passenger seat heating are included.

Prices have yet to be announced, but BMW Motorrad says the K1600 B will go on sale in the U.S. in the middle of next year.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is the pinnacle of luxury SUVs, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

600-hp, $155K Polestar 1 is the alluring Volvo coupe you’ve been waiting for

Volvo's return to the coupe segment just took an interesting turn: the model will join the Polestar lineup, and it will get a 600-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. The Polestar 1 will be built in China starting in 2019.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.