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Thread: k100rs handling issues/ bars too small?

  1. #1
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    k100rs handling issues/ bars too small?

    greetings. I have an 89 K100rs. since getting it in oct06 I've had a bit of a challenge with the handling especially in a crosswind. I figured it was because I had to get used to it's style but after 6k mi. I haven't gotten a whole lot more confident with it. I'm 6ft 200lbs. so I wouldn't think my size is an issue. Only mods from stock is I got it with a Fox nitrogen rear shock. Everything suspension and tire wise seems fine. Put new tires on in nov. To me, the bars seem awfully close together and friends that have climbed on it say the same thing.
    Do I need to rethink how I ride? I sure love this bike but sometimes it's intimidating. Any ideas appreciated!

    Bill

  2. #2
    Blocking the slow lane
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    I don't know that any bike handles nicely in a crosswind. I also have an 89 K100RS......the narrow RS bars should not be limiting as long as you are weighting the pegs to help with the lean.

    If you want wider handlebars, the later K1100RS bar is a bit wider to provide some extra leverage. You can keep the original cables, but it might be a bit more difficult to look out of the rearview mirrors.
    Jon Diaz
    BMW K75/K12GT
    BMWMOA Ambassador

  3. #3
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    too small bars

    Bill:

    I rode a 1982 R 100 RS, with miniscule handlebars, for 15 years and thought they were totally normal. Then I got a new oiler RS, which has much wider bars, and discovered the benefits of real leverage. I can ride the bike in the dirt, I can hold good arcs in 270 degree off - ramps, and I can hold a much better line in cross - winds.

    I recently rode, for the first time, a friend's K 100 RS, with its narrow bar and the attendant reduced leverage, and it was the most noticable characteristic of the machine, for me. BMW's engineers made a significant trade off in designing these machines with weather proof hand positions.

    Absolutely, bar leverage makes a big difference in riding cross winds.

    You might want to demo some other BMW's with wider bars. Until then, just reduce your speed in heavy cross - winds. I used to ride my old RS in fourth gear sometimes, just to keep it on the road (Alberta gets 100 km / hr west winds on occasion).

    So don't feel bad; you're not the only rider who's having trouble with these sporty bars.

    Rinty
    Last edited by Rinty; 05-07-2007 at 01:00 PM. Reason: correct grammar

  4. #4
    kayseventyfive
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    How wide are the K100 RS bars? Are they the same bars as the K75S?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rinty View Post
    Bill:

    I rode a 1982 R 100 RS, with miniscule handlebars, for 15 years and thought they were totally normal. Then I got a new oiler RS, which has much wider bars, and discovered the benefits of real leverage. I can ride the bike in the dirt, I can hold good arcs in 270 degree off - ramps, and I can hold a much better line in cross - winds.

    I recently rode, for the first time, a friend's K 100 RS, with its narrow bar and the attendant reduced leverage, and it was the most noticable characteristic of the machine, for me. BMW's engineers made a significant trade off in designing these machines with weather proof hand positions.

    Absolutely, bar leverage makes a big difference in riding cross winds.

    You might want to demo some other BMW's with wider bars. Until then, just reduce your speed in heavy cross - winds. I used to ride my old RS in fourth gear sometimes, just to keep it on the road (Alberta gets 100 km / hr west winds on occasion).

    So don't feel bad; you're not the only rider who's having trouble with these sporty bars.

    Rinty

    Thanks for the help! I feel better about it now. I figured it was just me.

    First I'm gonna try adjusting my riding style, but I'm also gonna give thought to new bars. Either way this K and me are stuck with eachother!

    Bill

  6. #6
    Don't forget your towel
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    There are a couple of rubber bushings in the collection of parts that connect the bars to the bike. I think you can surf around the ibmwr.org tech section for a link to the K1100 owners group page where they'll tell you how to put a little compression on the bushings. It involves some big washers being used as shims. I did it years ago on my '91 K100RS and it cleared up the rather vague feedback you get with the stock set up.

    It's been long enough that I don't remember the details.
    Steve
    "...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride" A. Bourdain

  7. #7
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Bill since the bike is a keeper for U, U might try this down the road. The K75C handlebars are the universal doner bars. They are a little wider and pulled back than S bars. Their have been a lot of previous threads on this subject. U may have to change the throttle cables and brake line to comlete the project. Either way the RS is a great bike, I hope U have a lot of great miles on it.

  8. #8
    Loading the Bike
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    Thanks for all the help and ideas! I have a good bit to work with now. Being in this group is just one more good reason to own a BMW!


    Bill

  9. #9
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    bars too small

    Bill:

    Another tip, from one of my riding instructer buddies, is to put a little pressure on the upwind handgrip. That'll help the bike counter steer into the wind.

    There is also a recent thread on the Forum about cross wind riding, which has lots of good info.

    Rinty
    Last edited by Rinty; 05-09-2007 at 01:15 PM. Reason: correct spelling

  10. #10
    Dances With Sheep GREGFEELER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill190d View Post
    greetings. I have an 89 K100rs. since getting it in oct06 I've had a bit of a challenge with the handling especially in a crosswind. I figured it was because I had to get used to it's style but after 6k mi. I haven't gotten a whole lot more confident with it. I'm 6ft 200lbs. so I wouldn't think my size is an issue. Only mods from stock is I got it with a Fox nitrogen rear shock. Everything suspension and tire wise seems fine. Put new tires on in nov. To me, the bars seem awfully close together and friends that have climbed on it say the same thing.
    Do I need to rethink how I ride? I sure love this bike but sometimes it's intimidating. Any ideas appreciated!

    Bill
    Bill,
    What tires and pressures are you riding? Do you run with bags all the times? I've found tires and tire pressure make a difference in cross wind situations.
    Greg Feeler
    Ambassador & amateur K-Bike collector, it seems
    1972 R75/5, 1990 K75, 1990 K1, 1992 K75S, 2003 K1200RS

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