Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Restoring a '87 K75Cs--Does it make $ense?

  1. #1

    Restoring a '87 K75Cs--Does it make $ense?

    It has to be a labor of love, because when you look at the economics of restoring an old bike the numbers don't work.

    A few years ago I picked up a great deal on a complete 1987 K75Cs with 23k miles--just $400. The "only" problem was it was left for dead sitting outside unloved and uncovered for over a decade.

    Last April I finally got serious about bringing my "Zombie" bike back to life and just finished most the the restoration about a month ago. The total costs ifor the bike and parts--$3177.66. At best the bike is worth $2750, probably less.

    The restoration was thorough and since I plan to keep the bike a long time I went the extra mile "renewing" serviceable parts like coolant hoses and rubber boots and rebuilding brake calibers that I didn't have to. At the same time I looked to economize by buying used and aftermarket parts where I could. And there were a few expensive maintenance items included such as a battery and tires, and I added some accessories such as a top and side cases and the 50 amp alternator which all pushed the costs up.

    But was it work it?

    The bike is wonderful and I plan to keep it a long time--it's smooth as glass and with the stock pipes quiet too. I commute by bike to work and have parked my '99 K1200RS and adopted the K75 as my daily driver.

    It must be love, because in the end, I'd do it again even though when I add it all up, it just doesn't add up!


  2. #2
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    Labor of Love

    Welcome to the world of BMW restoration. Hopefully you get the value of the bike back in riding it. Ride and enjoy. :groovy

  3. #3
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    SW Ohio
    I get an intangible feeling from knowing a bike (or car) down to the last nut and bolt. And an advantage you have is the bike is not to valuable to risk riding it on the street!

    a side note, my stepson recently bought a new Honda CBR250 for $4K, it is a good, nimble, economical bike. But he absolutely loves taking my 27yr old, 185,000 mile K75s for a spin. go figure
    1987 K75S
    Original litter
    Original owner
    2012 Ural Gear Up

  4. #4
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Midlothian, Virginia
    But was it work it?
    There is a non quantitative aspect to your restoration. The raw numbers may not "work", but what about the enjoyment you get restoring the machine and riding it afterward? Hard to put a number on that, but it has value.

    When you do sell the K75 you will certainly get receive more for it than if you never fixed her up. Your restoration cost, less the sum you get when you sell her is the dollar cost for your enjoyment. Only you will know if it is worth it...but I think you find it is "worth" the time and effort.

    Folks have different "relationships" with their bikes. For some, it is simply a mode of transportation. It gets them from point A to point B. I get attached to my motorcycle. She takes me to new places and we revisit favorites. It may sound odd, but I bond with her as we roll down Virginia's backroads.

    Like me, I think you are the later of the two I described.

    It must be love, because in the end, I'd do it again even though when I add it all up, it just doesn't add up!
    I am the beneficiary of the previous owner's labor on my Airhead and I appreciate the fact that his investment lives on in my bike today. When you sell your K75 someone else will reap the benefits of the work you have done on her.

    Ignore the bean counters and enjoy your K75.
    Last edited by bluehole; 08-24-2013 at 12:14 AM.
    1972 R75/5
    1993 R100R

  5. #5
    3 Red Bricks
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pleasanton, Ca.
    Let's see, you've got less than $3200 invested in one of the smoothest bikes ever built with only 23k on the clock and all the running gear in tip top fresh condition. Cost per mile for your next 150,000 miles will be one of the best bargains you could have gotten anywhere. You aren't going to have to spend thousands at the dealerships fixing all the high tech "technology traps" that the newer bikes have.

    Well Done!

    P.S. Don't forget to keep those rear splines lubed.

    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

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

  6. #6
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    B.C. Canada
    I agree with Lee. Yes, you could probably buy the same year/model with fewer problems for $2750 - but not with NO issues. Then you have to fix the problems as they crop up. Seems like you should have a very enjoyable and hopefully problem free ride for many years.

    If for some reason you want to sell it (and it also looks good - any pictures?) you should get a premium price for it. Still lots of K75 fans out there (as there should be.)
    1992 K100RS

  7. #7
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    I saw your left over parts ad on CL not 20 minutes ago - too bad you didn't have a spare Ohlins

    To echo Lee, yes I think if you plan on keeping it for the long haul, and you should, it is well worth it. I love mine!
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  8. #8
    Sorry Ted--no spare Ohlins--it came with a Fox shock that I sold when I picked up a nice works shock.

    Here are some pics of my "back from the dead" Zombie bike:

    I still have some things to do:

    • Fix heated grips and four way flasher,
    • Replace heat shield for the muffler--I have one on the way
    • Mount side cases (I picked up a set but they need locks)
    • Coordinate ignition, fork, case, seat locks (Had to replace the lock set--the Key BMW provided with the VIN # didn't work)

    Here is a list of the work I did:

    • Replaced seat (I still have the Corbin that was on it, but it is in very rough shape)
    • Replaced exhaust (Still have the Luftmeister but it needs fresh powder coat or paint)
    • Rebuilt front forks with Progressive springs (one spring was broken), new seals, valves, o-rings, etc
    • Replaced front calipers with used ones I rebuilt (The old ones couldn't be rebuilt-- the bolts sheared when I tried to remove them).
    • Replaced front brake pads
    • Rebuilt front Brake Master Cylinder (also corroded)
    • Replaced front brake lines (old ones rusted through)
    • Replaced choke and clutch cable. (the throttle cable was good)
    • Replaced all toggle switches with aftermarket marine ones. The old ones were corroded inside from being out in the rain. New OEM switches were running $35 to $65
    • Rebuilt water/oil pump,. I also bought the special tool needed to properly install the seals.
    • Replaced all coolant hoses and flushed cooling system (it was heavily corroded as was the pump internals).
    • Replaced Radiator Fan (Old one was seized and casing melted).
    • Painted Valve and Crank cover and gaskets with engine enamel
    • Replaced plugs
    • Fully cleaned and relined gas tank with POR Marine Clean and a POR-15 kit. (It had a pin-hole leak)
    • Replaced fuel pump, filter and hoses. I used an aftermarket pump--the OEM was too expensive. The old pump bushing in the tank had had deteriorated to a sticky goo. After letting the tank air out a few weeks the goo had hardened and I could scrape most of it out. The marine clean, carb cleaner and elbow grease took care of the rest and I was delighted with how clean I was able to get the interior of the tank.
    • Replaced gas cap gaskets and removed flapper valve to ease refueling
    • Cleaned throttle bodies, injectors, fuel rail, and adjusted TPS and idle and replaced injector o-rings
    • Replaced air intake and crank vent hoses
    • Replaced air filter with K&N
    • Pulled transmission and clutch for inspection, replaced transmission to swingarm rubber boot.
    • Replaced torn rubber clutch lever boot (at rear of transmission).
    • Replaced rear main seal on engine (I built some simple tools to do this)
    • Removed drive shaft and final drive for inspection, reassembled and lubed splines.
    • Replaced tires, battery, grips, etc.
    • Replaced all fluids.

    I'm defintely enjoying the bike and plan to keep it a long time, but as far as taking me to nice places and on memorable adventures, it's predominat use will be to commute. I like my job but those 6:00 AM departures in January and dicing it with D.C. traffic doesn't leave me with a warm feeling.

  9. #9
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    That is an awesome amount of work, there is a lot on that list that I need to do myself

    I commute on mine, though granted the RT fairing can get a bit warm in the summer it is awesome in the winter. An Aerostich Roadcrafter is pretty much a must have - I use a side case for my dress shoes and suit jacket. Just make sure your horn works well and use it aggressively (the amount of mindless texters is really astounding) and be mindful of lane position to keep a wide buffer between yourself and other cars. As for lane splitting, just don't do it. Three times in the last year I have seen angry drivers pull to the left and once all the way to the right into a bike lane, to block splitters, each time nearly causing an accident.
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
    Moto Pages

  10. #10
    Well if you need a hand or a second opinion let me know.

    I've got the Stitch and Gerbings too, but I'm sure gonna miss my K1200's Aeroflow wind shield when the weather turns cold and rainy.

    I've been bike commuting into DC for about a decade ever since my Agency moved downtown and my car parking rates went from free to $230 a month (even parking the bike is $25/mo). Part of the reason I leave so early is to avoid the DC traffic. Early morning it's not bad until the last mile. But in the evening I'm in the thick of it until I can get on the HOV lanes, and even then, the HOV can come to a crawl in some areas. It's always a dicey ride--and while I'm cautious when I ride I'm not timid--I count my blessings whenever I get to my destination safely.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Northern Front Range, CO
    your "cost in" to "benefit out" ratio is really quite good. Over a purchase price by a few hundred #, and all of it is refurbished/new? dude, you are ahead of the curve.

    It's when you get $6000 into a bike worth $2500 that things should feel pretty wonky.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    It's when you get $6000 into a bike worth $2500 that things should feel pretty wonky.
    I think it's going to get wonky for me when my wife finds my folder full of parts receipts!


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts