Party At Leno's: 2012 BMW K1600GT/GTL - First Look

Jay Leno Warms Seat of New Six-Cylinder BMW K1600GTL.

Party At Leno

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When the party is at your house—or in this case, your garage—you get to be the first to taste the punch, right? So, when BMW ripped off the sheet covering its 2012 K1600GTL sport-tourer, Jay Leno grabbed the holeshot and jumped onto the saddle of the all-new inline-Six.

Leno hosted the unveiling of this exciting model at his amazing Big Dog Garage. I’m not sure that it can any longer be called a “garage,” as his ever-expanding Costco-sized space houses more collectable motorcycles and cars than many two- or four-wheel-oriented museums. Arguably, the coolest aspect is that most of the vehicles on display are runners; those that aren’t surely soon will be.

Actor Harrison Ford attended the event. Ford rolled up on a BMW GS and completely immersed himself in Leno’s personal tour of all things mechanical.

While BMW’s focus last year was the S1000RR repli-racer, 2011 will surely be all about the Six. The company has a long, fabled history of using six-cylinder engines in its automobiles. BMW feels that the combination of massive torque, virtually vibration-free balance, excellent fuel economy (claimed to be 50 mpg, highway) and nice sounds make the 1649cc powerplant a great choice for the GT and GTL.

Party At Leno

Comedian Jay Leno fired up this 1925 Doble E20 steam car for us and gave actor Harrison Ford and journalist in attendance the rundown on its function.

Looking beyond the engine, the GT and GTL are arguably the most electronically sophisticated motorcycles ever produced. But BMW didn’t just throw every gadget in existence at the 1600s. Rather, engineers made certain that the new features were practical and user-friendly.

A lot of talk was focused on the new adaptive headlights, which take ECU information gathered from a pair of onboard gyroscopes and determine the bank angle and forward/aft pitch of the motorcycle, aiming the center (low beam) toward the apex of a corner to illuminate the road instead whatever lies beyond it.

A slick multi-function dash with a left-handlebar-mounted click wheel provides access to a multitude of menus that control ABS, ESA, traction control, drive modes, iPod, GPS and almost every other function on the bike. Bluetooth capability eliminates iPod, mobile phone- and rider/passenger intercom-related wires.

MSRP has not been set for either bike. But, as with the S1000RR, BMW has assured the press that pricing will be competitive with other sport-tourers currently on the market. Cycle World expects to ride the bike early in 2011; in the meantime, like Leno, we'll just have to be patient and wait.

011 2012 BMW K1600GTL

010 2012 BMW K1600GT

009 Party At Leno?s: 2012 BMW K1600GT/GTL

008 Party At Leno?s: 2012 BMW K1600GT/GTL

007 Party At Leno?s: 2012 BMW K1600GT/GTL

006 Comedian Jay Leno fired up this 1925 Doble E20 steam car for us and gave actor Harrison Ford and journalist in attendance the rundown on its function.

005 Party At Leno?s: 2012 BMW K1600GT/GTL

004 Party At Leno?s: 2012 BMW K1600GT/GTL

003 Party At Leno?s: 2012 BMW K1600GT/GTL

002 Party At Leno?s: 2012 BMW K1600GT/GTL

001 Party At Leno?s: 2012 BMW K1600GT/GTL