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Thread: The Joy of K Bike Ownership

  1. #1
    Registered User VIEJO's Avatar
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    The Joy of K Bike Ownership

    About fourteen years ago I made a slightly over zealous right hand turn on my 2003 K1200RS which resulted in the forward two inches of the rear brake pedal being somewhat inwardly deformed. Within forty eight hours I had ordered a replacement part from Max BMW which arrived in due time and took its place on the "get to ASAP" section of my workbench. Having Integral Brakes on the RS meant that almost 99% of my braking (and I'm a fairly aggressive rider) was done using the front brake lever only as the RS is a trifle girthy and a significant weight shift to the left tends to move my right foot away from the rear brake pedal. All of which means, of course, that I just got around to installing the new rear brake pedal this afternoon.

    Installing the new pedal took about five minutes..... re-setting the "hair trigger" rear brake light switch took about thirty.... and, it was 106F in my shop this afternoon (Hutto, Texas).

    Joseph Lucas would have been appalled.... or pleased.

    I often miss my '54 Panhead Harley where even having a rear brake that worked was never a certainty and a functional brake light was an early Christmas present.

    However, one good application of "right wrist therapy" and all will be well in the world again.

    Viejo

  2. #2
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    K bike ownership

    the K bike is a joy to ride as it pulls like a freight train (98K1200RS) And yes it was a hot one in pflugerville texas also
    Rde safe

  3. #3
    Registered User VIEJO's Avatar
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    As a dedicated Airhead ('76 R90/6, '81 R100, plus a long history of Brit bikes and a few Harleys), a "K" bike was the bike I swore I'd never own.... too many cylinders, pressurized fuel system, too much electronic circuitry, radiators, plastic bodywork, and I couldn't get it in black.

    To make a long story short- I ended up with one and now it's the bike I'll never sell.

    I repainted it black.

    Viejo

  4. #4
    Nick Kennedy
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    14 years to put on a new brake arm, dude you HAVE got to learn to relax and take it easy.
    Lifes short- but it ain't that short.. just saying

  5. #5
    Registered User VIEJO's Avatar
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    you're absolutely right..... now that I'm retired I plan on slowing down a bit

  6. #6
    379,000 miles on a K75T for 19 years speaks for itself. All others can only wish.
    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/

  7. #7
    Registered User VIEJO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    379,000 miles on a K75T for 19 years speaks for itself. All others can only wish.
    Hola Paul!

    A record worthy to chase... even in vain.

    There is something about a ~750cc configuration- 2, 3, or 4 cylinders, that seems to have a naturally sweet balance. Every 750 I have ridden (even the mid-60's Royal Enfield) was strong and even tempered. If it hadn't been for the notoriously finicky electrics (a collective groan at this point from all Lucas aficionados) the 750 Norton Atlas would probably be remembered as one of the finest British touring machines ever.

    I put about 200K on my '76 R90/6 (most of which came after I opened it up to one litre to take some of the high end "buzz" out of it), but it was never quite as smooth as an R75/5. Faster, yes, considerably, but on a long day still not as smooth as the 750.

    I think even BMW was surprised by the long term success and rider loyalty inspired by the K75's. I have very little seat time on a K75, probably less than 100 mi, but I was very impressed..... I wish my K1200RS felt as well balanced at low to moderate speeds and to the best of my recollection the K75 felt just as well planted at 80+ mph highway speeds.

    Abrazos,

    Viejo

  8. #8
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    We used to tease that BMW quit making the K75 because if you had one, you'd never need another bike, and then what would happen to new bike sales???

    Voni
    sMiling
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  9. #9
    Nick Kennedy
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    I still got my 1990 K75 RT
    Love that bike in the shoulder seasons! Not so much in the summer thou.

  10. #10
    Registered User VIEJO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voni View Post
    We used to tease that BMW quit making the K75 because if you had one, you'd never need another bike, and then what would happen to new bike sales???

    Voni
    sMiling
    Hola Voni,

    Actually, I think you're spot on wrt BMW and the K75. They were in such a rush to compete with the Japanese multi cylinder rockets they released the three cylinder bike asap to see if the market would accept a non-Boxer bike from BMW. Then, when it surpassed all their sales and rider satisfaction expectations they blasted ahead to the four cylinder bikes without looking back and appreciating what a gem the K75 series really was.

    Back in the '60s and '70s folks said the same thing about the slant six engine..... almost put Chrysler out business..... never broke, never quit.

    Viejo

  11. #11
    Registered User VIEJO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickrides View Post
    I still got my 1990 K75 RT
    Love that bike in the shoulder seasons! Not so much in the summer thou.
    snow tires in the winter?

  12. #12

    Should I or shouldn't I?

    I have an opportunity to add a '92 K100RS to my garage. Ive been riding an '87 R80 with an RT final drive. I love the bike, but my eye has been drifting toward this K bike. So, loyal K bike riders. How much do you love/hate your bikes? Thanks in advance!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIEJO View Post
    As a dedicated Airhead ('76 R90/6, '81 R100, plus a long history of Brit bikes and a few Harleys), a "K" bike was the bike I swore I'd never own.... too many cylinders, pressurized fuel system, too much electronic circuitry, radiators, plastic bodywork, and I couldn't get it in black.

    To make a long story short- I ended up with one and now it's the bike I'll never sell.

    I repainted it black.

    Viejo
    I was in the same place, love airheads for the simplicity, still do. The K bikes were too complicated for me i thought. Now that I've owned this '93 k75 for a couple of years I'm rethinking that. It's a very low mile example that was stored indoors in California, so no corrosion. Everything works currently, I did replace the fuel pump, and do basic service and tires, nothing else. It might sound weird, and I can't quite quantify it, but the K75 is almost too smooth, like an electric motor, I know crazy. I just don't have the same connection to it like i do with the airheads. But make no mistake it's a very competent motorbike, and I think i would miss it if I sold it. I really like triples of all flavors, be it 2 stroke Suzuki's of yesteryear, or modern 4 stroke triples of today. I like the configuration of the K75 too, for valve service and the like. I like my r75 over the r100 too, very smooth, the r100 not as much, that's why I sold my r100r. I'm looking for a r80 i think next, when i find a nice one with a mono lever driveshaft,or a 2 shocker, I'm not a fan of the para lever. cheers. K75_090.jpg
    Last edited by chunk; 08-26-2019 at 05:07 PM.

  14. #14
    JohnWC
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    Quote Originally Posted by r80rider View Post
    I have an opportunity to add a '92 K100RS to my garage. Ive been riding an '87 R80 with an RT final drive. I love the bike, but my eye has been drifting toward this K bike. So, loyal K bike riders. How much do you love/hate your bikes? Thanks in advance!
    I think they are hugely underrated bikes. But that's good as it keeps the prices down, unlike the current fad: airheads. When you get past the usual insults of they aren't "real BMWs" or they have no "soul" you see how very practical they are. Smoother than any airhead every built,and one of the most durable and reliable engine designs out there. Liquid cooled for sitting in traffic, ( the dread of airhead owners.) Very quiet. The engine separate from the frame for much easier major maintenance jobs like clutch work (see spline lubes on oilheads).

    I had a K75RT. It had sat for five years. I rebuilt the fuel tank systems( pump, etc.) It started up instantly. Unfortunately, it was just too hot for summer riding, something everyone agreed on. Which might be one of the few detriments to the k bikes. A k1100 I rode once seemed the same. I'm now working to restore a K75S, which I regard as one of the nicest looking bikes BMW ever made. I'm not looking forward to the idea that I will need to keep both it and my trusty R1100RT but it's hard to think of parting with either bike. I guess I will always have a thing for the K75 bikes. Just too good of a design.

  15. #15
    PeteG
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    Quote Originally Posted by chunk View Post
    I was in the same place, love airheads for the simplicity, still do. The K bikes were too complicated for me i thought. Now that I've owned this '93 k75 for a couple of years I'm rethinking that. It's a very low mile example that was stored indoors in California, so no corrosion. Everything works currently, I did replace the fuel pump, and do basic service and tires, nothing else. It might sound weird, and I can't quite quantify it, but the K75 is almost too smooth, like an electric motor, I know crazy. I just don't have the same connection to it like i do with the airheads. But make no mistake it's a very competent motorbike, and I think i would miss it if I sold it. I really like triples of all flavors, be it 2 stroke Suzuki's of yesteryear, or modern 4 stroke triples of today. I like the configuration of the K75 too, for valve service and the like. I like my r75 over the r100 too, very smooth, the r100 not as much, that's why I sold my r100r. I'm looking for a r80 i think next, when i find a nice one with a mono lever driveshaft,or a 2 shocker, I'm not a fan of the para lever. cheers. K75_090.jpg
    That K75 is sexy.

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