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Thread: Reasons for switching from R bike to K bike?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Akron, Ohio

    Reasons for switching from R bike to K bike?

    I am currently on a R1100RT, but am thinking of switching to a K bike. Anybody done that? And why? The K style seem to have several advantages, although they often seem like the unwanted stepchild in the BMW family. I'm wondering if they are 1) a lot smoother engine, 2) quieter 3) generally have more power, or power that isn't straining 4) more trouble free. It seems like BMW has spent years trying to improve the boxer engine to get it to where the K engine began. ( Liquid cooling, wet disc clutch). I really value smoothness and quiet in motorcycles, and I am wondering if you just can never get those qualities in any twin cylinder bike. I should note that I would be staying in the flying brick engine style. The only problem I see is that the K75s are getting pretty old, and look too small for two people. And I don't see too many K bikes with much storage capacity. The K1200LT is too big for everyday use. Maybe an 1100LT? Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    No longer a member here
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Early flying brick Ks are rather buzzy, due to the fact that the engine is a solid mount in the frame. I have a 1990 K1 and I don't think it is that much smoother than my 99 R1100RT. The RT is an awesome bike and in my book ranks all the way on top of the list of bikes BMW has ever made. I only wish mine was a 6-speed 1150.

  3. #3
    3 Red Bricks
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pleasanton, Ca.
    If you are looking to replace the RT with a Brick for two up riding and are looking for improvement in every area, I would suggest a K1100RS or better yet, a 02-06 K1200GT. Similar size, smoother, more power, better brakes.

    K75s are better suited to one up riding.

    (Lee beat me to it while I was distracted by a phone call)


    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
    3 Marakesh Red K75Ss
    Mine, Hers, Spare

  4. #4
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    SW Iowa
    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    The only problem I see is that the K75s are getting pretty old, and look too small for two people. And I don't see too many K bikes with much storage capacity. The K1200LT is too big for everyday use. Maybe an 1100LT? Any thoughts?
    How about a 03 or 04 K1200GT? 130 HP at the crank and very smooth.
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  5. #5
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Ash Grove, MO
    I just sold my K100RT. It was near perfect condition and ran flawlessly. I loved that bike up to speeds of 60mph. The motor was strong from idle all the way to the redline. Smooth like an electric motor, would be turning 5000rpm plus at interstate speeds, and it was really 'busy' feeling. And it was also 'buzzy', but foam grips and filling the handlebars with silicone caulk really helped that. But like I said, it just felt like you were going 100mph when only going 60mph. My new to me R1100RT is just the opposite. At low speeds it seems to be lumbering along and not happy. Get it to speed and it really smooths out.

    I test rode several K1200Lt's, and man o man, motor and ride was smooth as silk! Never had the chance to test the 03-04 K1200GT's...and it wasnt really and option due to the very limited side case storage on the exhaust side. But the 1200 brick engine is very smooth, like a sewing machine.

    I will buy a K1200LT with in the next 4 years, just wasn't ready for an 'old man's bike' yet!
    Mike Davis
    "Old n Slow" It's a way of life!
    1985 K100RT

    1998 R1100RT

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Northern Front Range, CO
    fwiw, not until the new wedge K bikes did they go with wet clutch; all brick Ks are dry clutch like the boxers.

    I went from airheads, to Ks (K75s and K11RS), and back to twins (oilhead). Except for 2up touring, i have no interest in a K bike.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Northern New Jersey
    If you are looking for a difference in power, sound, and smoothness, you may not even notice any, and if you do, you'll be disappointed in the smallness of the difference. That is, when comparing a modern, similar model year K and an R. The newer boxers are quite smooth and powerful. And no one has ever complained, AFAIK, about the noise from ANY BMW.
    "The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why" -- Mark Twain

  8. #8
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Wine Country, Northern California
    The first generation K bikes are a steal when you look at them from a "bang for your buck" aspect. I went from a Slash 6 to a K75 and have been very happy with it. If you need more than a 750, consider a K1100. Not only do you get more power because of the bigger engine, you also have a better front end and superior braking.

    Personally, I don't want or need anything bigger that a K75. However, I would like to build one with a Paralever tail and K1100 brakes and front end.
    Then I would have the best of both worlds.
    MOA #57883
    Current Ride: 1995 K75 Standard
    Past: 1978 Yamaha XS 750, 1976 BMW R60/6

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