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Thread: Why is the 85 K100 the "Finest Year K?"

  1. #16
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    If I understand this correctly, The 49 states model had the hot cams and the California models had the milder cam. Am I understanding this correctly?

  2. #17
    BMW uber alles! Zagando's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Rockport, TX
    Yes, Barry, you have understood the hotter European cam issue correctly.

    I bought my FYK off the showroom floor in Lubbock, Texas summer of '85.

    My god, that bike took off like a bat out of hell! The first stoplight I came out of as I was leaving Lubbock I actually did an unintended wheelie!

    I was riding back home to Santa Fe after flying into Lubbock. Since I was trying to break it in gently I didn't go crazy with it at all until I put a couple thousand miles on it.

    But every time I was accelerating out of a dead stop I had to be careful not to pop another wheelie.

    While I enjoy my current ride ('94 K75S) I still miss those days when I was flying low in the Land of Enchantment on my candy apple red FYK.
    Last edited by nh7robmw; 12-02-2011 at 02:30 AM. Reason: typo

    ex: K75S Berlina R100GS/PD , K100RS , R75/5 , R60/2

  3. #18
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    FYK really should be more generic, i.e. First Year K.

    On my first test drive of one, I was in 5th gear in 500 feet, trying to make the vibration go away.

    These bikes were plagued by
    • excessive vibration
    • superheated gas tank
    • vibrations destroying muffler bracket.
    • vapor lock
    • other things I've forgotten (repressed)

    Since my first experiences with first-year K-bikes, I haven't considered ownership of a K-bike for a nanosecond since.

    Given that, I'm positive they haven't gotten worse, so "finest" is undoubtedly misused.

    Obviously '85s are probably the cheapest Ks on the used bike market, and lots of rationalizations I'm sure thereby make them "finest."
    Last edited by lkchris; 12-05-2011 at 07:45 PM.
    Kent Christensen
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  4. #19
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Ash Grove, MO
    Quote Originally Posted by SweetT View Post
    I've seen the 85 K100 refered to as the "FYK" or Finest year K. Is it really that good? Why?
    Because it's the year I own.'s also the ONLY BMW I have ever owned, and as the saying goes, "The best you know is the best you've had'

  5. #20
    Registered User
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    May 2004
    boise, idaho

    1985 K100RS Vibes

    Kent, I think there must be a fair bit of variation in the vibration level on the early K-bikes. In the 80's (don't recall exactly which year) I was tempted off my beloved airhead by a test ride on a K100RS. I was not impressed at all. The vibes really bugged me and it seemed to be something of a slug.
    Fast forward to this past summer. I found a 1985 K100RS that I couldn't pass up. Unloved but with very low miles and the price was very attractive. I did some routine maintenance on her, treated her to a new rear suspension unit and now I can't wait for warmer weather so I can put some serious miles on the bike. The engine is very smooth and the progressive power curve is a delight; she feels planted on the highway like no airhead I've ever ridden. There are no cylinders in the places my big feet need to occupy.
    I can easily foresee riding my old GS in hot weather, for the K-bike really does throw off more heat that I can probably tolerate. But, a fairly modern three-season bike is not a bad thing. Ya know?

  6. #21
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Portsmouth, NH
    The 85's also had the more robust drive shaft splines. Much more resistant to wear.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  7. #22
    Registered User
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    May 2004
    boise, idaho

    Best Year K-bike

    Hummm. Never heard that before. However, I did hear that for the K-bikes from the latter part of the 1980s BMW recommended servicing the splines at longer intervals. It's never easy separating rumors, dreams and reality.

  8. #23

    Top Case 1985 K100 LT

    Anyone find a good topcase for these old bikes? Mine is a jewel.

  9. #24
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Spring Lake NJ, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by nikemd View Post
    Anyone find a good topcase for these old bikes? Mine is a jewel.
    "Good"? Well, sorta. BMW made a very nice small topcase - a 21Liter size that fastened to the rear luggage carrier. It really required putting on one of the 4 screw luggage carriers, not the 2 screw (mounts) one that came on the FYK. It was shaped to hug the rear shape of the bike, and didn't look ungainly big like most aftermarket cases. It also was small enough that unless you loaded it with lead, it was hard to upset the balance of the bike with it.

    Nice case with one flaw - the lock assembly loves to loosen up and then jam - closed. Sometimes it also opened when at speed. Since the lid opened toward the rear of the bike, usually the "stuff" stayed in the case. Usually. Not always. People solved that with a strap wrapped around the case and lid.

    If you shop wisely - you can generally score one for around $125. Make sure it comes with the removable plate that mounts in the rear luggage carrier that it fastens to. Some people thought they could leave that plate in the carrier without the topcase on it. That usually works for a while, then it wiggles loose and is gone in the wind.

    Since I don't like large topcases (they tend to get filled up, and IMHO look ugly) - it was one of my favorites. I used mine on both my FYK100RT, and on THE K75S that followed it.
    Don Eilenberger
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders
    '12 R1200R - I love this bike!

  10. #25
    No longer a member here
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    If you look closely at the term "Finest Year K", you will see that the attribute "finest" refers to the "year" , not the "K". 1985 was the finest year. BMW also built a K-bike that year.

  11. #26
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Pleasure Island. NC

    This weeeknd

    I spent this past weekend on a 85 K100RS. My regular ride is a R1100RT and I missed that big fairing while riding all day in the rain; but the power and smoothness of the k100, makes my R BIKE seem like the tractor it is. Thanks to the NCHP for only giving me a wave as I blasted by his dark blue unmarked Ford at 9o MPH on I-40n Sunday. I don't think he wanted to get wet.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    2009 R 1200 RT,1996 R1100RT, 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  12. #27
    Registered User froggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    85 K100RT Naked

    Have had a 02 R1150RT now for 3 years and love it, but wanted a project bike to turn into a Naked for the hot Humid weather here in MO.
    Got a great deal on a K with only 11 thou on it. Road it 2 weeks with the plastics on and it was pretty hot, not to mention my knees kept hitting the fairing (6.2). Six months later and she's almost finished her transformation. Had to take her through my streets after starting her after such a long time. OOOOh boy, love that pull above 4000rpms, and yes I have The Finest Cam on this engine.
    We drove all this way for a DEAD END ! My son!!!
    02 Silver RT1150 My 1st BMW Bike ...Totaled 2/23/16
    13 Black R1200RT 90th Annv

  13. #28
    Registered User JohnnyinTaos's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Taos, NM
    Quote Originally Posted by froggy View Post
    OOOOh boy, love that pull above 4000rpms, and yes I have The Finest Cam on this engine.
    Seems like when they were new (28 yrs ago), everybody must have believed that these bikes were amazing. Now only those of us who have 'em seem to know.


  14. #29
    Out There Somewhere ricochetrider's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Harrisburg, PA
    Well, I've never had or ridden an 85 K100 but DO have an 88. It was my first BMW, and I came to it after a Long-ish time of riding old Triumphs. Given that, the complaints about vibrations in the early Ks do tend to mystify. I have managed to keep the 88, and have since had two R100s (still own the 93 RS) and now also own 2002 K1200RS.
    I continue to find that ol' K100RS a joy to ride.

    All this talk about the 85 model ALMOST tempts me to buy one....
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  15. #30
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Red Rock, Az.

    Cool It NEVER let Me down!

    I "stold" a 85 K100LT in '86, all the so called "hard core BEEMER riders" didn't considder it a real BMW because it wasn't a air cooled horizontal twin so none of them wanted it. I payed $6,800. for a brand new machine. the little glitches the "nit-pickers" cried about were trivial at the most. I had a couple of ways to get the speedo to come back, 1. knock on it with my fingers, 2. Beep the horn, and finally I took it apart and put small pieces of foam agansed the problem contacts to hold them in better. The "BUZZ" they cried about wasnt there if you didn't travel in that gear at that speed, so all you needed to do is up-shift, down-shift, or speed up or slow down if it really botherd you that much. I rode Harleys most of my before BMW life and if a Harley wasnt buzzing or vibrateing it had to be SHUT OFF OR WRECKED! I had well over 100,000 miles on that bike, It took me all over the USA without a problem. ( I did run out of gas twice in 13 years, but that was my fault for having too much fun) I now ride the "ULTIMATE FLYING BRICK", a 2004 K1200GT. It has all the improvements possible to the "BRICK" along with ABS. I have added a Hannigan Classic side car for my wife. She had a Liver transplant in 2006 and a Kidney transplant in 2010. she needed to learn to walk and everything els in order to have enough strength to get in and out but She loves rideing so that gave her the insentive to work hard to get to whear she is now. she gets in and out like nothing ever happned. Everyone, Love your Machine and it will LOVE YOU BACK!
    Me Fish

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