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Thread: What is the best used bike?

  1. #1
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    What is the best used bike?

    How is that for a topic?

    No, the answer is (probably) not the bike you are trying to sell. What I'm looking for is the best bike for ME. But I haven't ridden enough different bikes and am looking for input from the forum on what would be good.

    So, what's going to make a good bike for me? First a little background: I've owned a K75T for over 30 years. During that time, I've put 100k miles on the bike. That's not a lot of miles per year, and I hope to ride more in the future. The bike has been great. Its never left me stranded, has decent wind protection, good enough handling and a smooth ride. So, why get rid of it? Well, it's been totaled 3 times (long story), the seat needs new foam, several pieces of body work need replacement and the seals/gaskets are starting to go (can you believe the gaskets have lasted only 32 years?!). And a new clutch is probably around the corner. I could fix all this. It would be several thousand dollars, and I'd be left with a bike with 1987 technology, performance, etc.

    I may be wrong, but I think I can do better....

    So, what's going to be 'better'?

    Well, what I do on the bike is mostly commuting in the SF Bay area. So something where the max width is the handlebars is needed to make lane splitting easy. I do take it on trips, so removable hard luggage and a comfortable riding position would be great, along with a way to strap on a tent and sleeping bag. I park it in a garage in between my neighbors cars, so the ~87 inch length of the K75 must not be exceeded by more than a couple of inches. While I've taken the K75 to the track (Thunder Hill is FUN), I'm not going to be the fastest guy on the track, so don't need to pretend I am and racer performance is not relevant. I don't go off road.

    Budget? 7-9k? Am I delusional in thinking I can pick up a bike meeting the above that was build in the 2010's for this price? If so, please tell me. I won't be offended. But a quick check on eBay says that I might be OK.

    What I'm looking for from the forum is something like "you should check out the BMW model XYZ. But watch out for the 20XX model year(s) because the drive lines fails/is known for surging/some other problem I would have never known about unless I asked."

    Ultimately, I'm at the beginning of my purchase process and am looking for thoughts on what might be good for me, rather than a specific bike for sale.

    TIA for your thoughts!

  2. #2
    Easy peasy. Simple as simple can be. K75S

    If you want a bit more modern then F800s

    Want newer yet then R9T set up as an urban warrior bike
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  3. #3
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    An Oilhead without the servo-assist (whizzy) brakes should cost around 2~3K and be nearly bullet proof. Almost as bullet proof as a K75.
    Cave contents: 16 R12RS, 13 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & SawStop PCS175
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  4. #4
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    An F800ST or the later F800GT would be in your budget and do what you are looking for. I commute in the Seattle area year around and take it on multi-state trips. With some bar risers and lowered foot pegs, the ergos become nicely relaxed.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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  5. #5
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    You might also consider a brand new BMW. Like either the G310R or G310GS, out the door for less than the $7,000 you are thinking about spending. ABS is a huge improvement over the K you've been riding.

    Voni
    sMiling

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  6. #6
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  7. #7
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    v
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  8. #8
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    If it has to be a BMW . . . then I agree with Paul and Voni. Especially as regards the F800 (my current bike) or the G310 (my likely next bike).

    If you are open to another brand, then I recommend you go with either a Honda or Yamaha (most reliable bikes made), choose some model comparable to the BMW 800 or 310.

    Good luck.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Easy peasy. Simple as simple can be. K75S
    Thanks Paul. But I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to say. First: are you saying K75's in general or specifically a K75S(I always thought the red one was the most beautiful bike BMW made!)? i.e. why would the 'S' be different than the rest of the K75 line?

    Second: The assumption I have in my question is that a 'modern' bike will give me better performance/safety/reliability with less maintenance (old gaskets/hoses/wear and tear). By specifically calling out a bike that hasn't been build in the last 20+ years, are you suggesting I'm making the wrong tradeoff or perhaps I'm making the wrong assumption?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    If it has to be a BMW . . .
    thanks royce. Yes, I'm trying to keep it to BMW. Not 100% sure why. Perhaps I need to discuss that with a therapist...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    You might also consider a brand new BMW. Like either the G310R or G310GS, out the door for less than the $7,000 you are thinking about spending. ABS is a huge improvement over the K you've been riding.

    Voni
    sMiling

    Thanks Voni! That's one hell of a review!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by 48882 View Post
    Thanks Paul. But I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to say. First: are you saying K75's in general or specifically a K75S(I always thought the red one was the most beautiful bike BMW made!)? i.e. why would the 'S' be different than the rest of the K75 line?

    Second: The assumption I have in my question is that a 'modern' bike will give me better performance/safety/reliability with less maintenance (old gaskets/hoses/wear and tear). By specifically calling out a bike that hasn't been build in the last 20+ years, are you suggesting I'm making the wrong tradeoff or perhaps I'm making the wrong assumption?
    I had a 1986 K75T. I rode it 369,643 miles in 19 years, before it was totalled in an accident. At that moment I was 7 days and 40 states into a 49 state ride. The notion that these bikes somehow rot with age is wrong. Change brake lines to Speigler once, replace a seal occasionally maybe, fuel hose maybe, etc. That bike never had the head off, never had any transmission work. Basically routine maintenance, brake pads, a driveshaft or two.

    I specifically said K75S model because you wanted something with narrow bars. Ditto why I said F800S. I agree with the post that an R1100R or RS would be OK but was really thinking lighter and smaller than that.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 07-24-2019 at 04:29 AM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  13. #13
    Rally Rat 1074's Avatar
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    K75

    I agree with Paul but would throw in the K75C model as well. i know of one owner with, at the time, over 450k miles with only routine service and a timing chain! Not that I'm prejudice but my current "newest" bike is a 1987 K75C. It does everything I need it to do and doesn't shed a lot of heat on my thighs as some models do.
    Plus, the price for a good used one is well within or below what you want to pay!
    Boxerbruce

  14. #14
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    Thanks Paul and BoxerBruce.

    You are making an excellent argument for me to spend the $$ on my K75T!

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by 48882 View Post
    Thanks Paul and BoxerBruce.

    You are making an excellent argument for me to spend the $$ on my K75T!
    In my post #12 I failed to mention that I still have a couple of K75s. A K75RTP former police bike and a '94 low seat standard. The cop bike has about 50K on it and the standard has right at 125K. It will get a new clutch this fall.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

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