Updating and working on the BMW K1600GTL

BMW has three basic lines of motorcycles. BMW Boxer motors with two opposed cylinder, inline engines in either 4 or 6 cylinder, and a variety of two and one cylinder bikes. What follows is documenting the tear down and upgrade of some very specific systems on the bike. Some of the things simply can’t be seen most of the time and some of the things are integrated with the bike very closely so they may be apparent but not noticed by the untrained eye. The following is a list of things that have been done and are left to be done.

  1. Installed PDM60 power management module
  2. Installed two Rigid Industries LED spots using Clearwater mirror brackets
  3. Installed two Rigid Industries LED floods using PIAA bar mounts
  4. Fabricated switch assembly
  5. Updated the front turn signal to running lights
  6. Installed the BMW puddle light
  7. Installed HyperLite brake and running lights
  8. Fabricated horn install bracket
  9. Installed Stebel Horn with relay
  10. Installed Wunderliche pannier bag protection bars
  11. Installed Wunderliche engine protection bars
  12. Installed Wunderliche top case rack
  13. Installed Wunderliche highway pegs
  14. Installed J&M CB radio with intercom
  15. Installed J&M BMW integration module
  16. Installed J&M CB radio antenna
  17. Installed J&M Valentine 1 Interface
  18. Installed J&M Radar Detector bracket
  19. Installed bracket to hold new GPS on handlebars
  20. Installed Zumo 665 using J&M cell phone input as integration
  21. Installed Tune2Air BlueTooth auxiliary unit using BMW iPod Dongle
  22. Installed custom fabricated switch assembly
  23. Installed RAM SPOT2 mount
  24. Installed RAM ball and SlipGrip iPhone 5 mount
  25. Installed USB port
  26. Installed AirFlow wings
  27. Installed tank bag accessory ring

All of the electronics only hook up to the bike in a very few points. The bike connections are pretty simple. To segment the CANBUS the only connections are through the PDM60 power module with a few exceptions. The motorcycle horn harness connects to the horn relay, the front running lights draw power from the PDM60 and are triggered by the turn signal circuit, the brake lights trigger the HyperLites brake function, and the switched power of for the PDM 60 is triggered from the bike. All grounds are either direct to the chassis or using a ground jumper.




Tearing down the bike to it’s component pieces is not done lightly. I set aside a month to do this project piece by piece. I had done a couple of the projects on the bike and decided that I would push through and get the rest of them done. The Purple tape you see in the pictures is holding the fastening for the spot. I take the screw from that spot and attach it with painters tape to that particular point on the bike. This allows me to find the exact fastener fast and easy.



The various items added to the bike come in three broad categories. Things that tell people I am there, thing that tell me people are there, things that keep me sitting there. The horn and lights serve the purpose to announce my presence. The Stebel air horn is a bit disappointing but in testing it appears to get peoples attention.



I fabricated a switch housing so that I could have it located in a particular place. The switch is fairly water resistant.



The finished product will end up double side taped to the bottom of the J&M CB radio controls.



The resulting switches aren’t as close as I would like but they are able to be used fairly easily.



In testing the SPOT works fine in this location. It is hard to tell in this picture, but when the windshield comes down automagically it doesn’t quite touch the upper part of the SPOT bracket. What is apparent is that it is nearly impossible to get out of that location when the windshield is down.



Four GPS receivers. Three with screens.



These Wunderliche engine protection bars replaced my Illium units I tried first. The main reason is I liked these better as in looking. They also gave a better mount location for a light on the bike.



The rear of the K16GTL needed some kind of pannier protection. I wanted something to at least slow down damage to the bags, but also I wanted to give some protection to the passengers lower legs.



Miniature shower cap and all the Valentine 1 sits on a J&M bracket within clear view of the rider.



I know some people don’t like having a cell phone, but I do like having one. The phone is bluetooth connected through the second GPS and from there to the J&M intercom and radio system. This puts the dialing unit directly in front of me. The BMW Navigator IV is show but I also have a Zumo 665 with the associated XM antenna. That allows me weather and traffic on the nearest GPS a function that is absent in the dash unit of the BMW.



Auxillary music and books on tape are provided from my phone through the Tune2 Air unit in the glovebox. There are very few wires on the bike.



The phone is provided bike power through a weather resistant USB port.






One of the reason the Wunderliche engine protection bars were used was the ability to put this high power floods on the bike. The lights are never meant to be run at the same time. Instead a mix of light correct to the situation can be dialed up or down as the rider deems necessary.



The high-power spots mounted on the Clearwater brackets look kind of funky mounted in diamond form. Since they are spots no light is lost to the side scatter seen is lights like the BMW floods at the feet of the rider.



No picture can do justice to the light coming from the front of this bike.

Things to still be done reflect on fairly easy projects.

  1. Install water bottle with bicycle cage on right side
  2. Install fuel cell
  3. Source and install updated seat (Sargent or Russell Day Long) 
  4. Install the AeroFlow winglets
  5. Install Illium passenger floor boards

I think that will be the last thrust on the process of creating this bike. I will be trying to take it for a shake out cruise in the next few week.



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