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ps6000
09-10-2003, 01:20 PM
Hello,
I am currently in the market for a new bike. I have owned bikes before yamahas and suzukis, and have put a tremendous amount of miles on them. When I looked for a new bike the k series made by bmw jumped out at me. "what a good looking bike" I gasped. Now I am a cheap s.o.b. always looking to save a buck. I am not bothered by spending more for a bmw than a japanese bike because I feel im getting what I pay for ...quality. Now does this bike have any design flaws, or common problems that arrive? Also these bikes how easy is it to work on yourself and what would I be spending on parts.
I really like these bikes I just want to know more about them. Anything you can help me with is appreciated.
Thanks
p.

kbasa
09-10-2003, 01:32 PM
There's a thread about "Choosing a K75" that might help you here in the Kbikes forum.

But generally, Kbikes are pretty good.

lancew
09-10-2003, 02:16 PM
P-

I bought my 99 k12rs in December of 99 and put 27,000 miles on it in the first 3 years I had it. (wrecked a shoulder last summer falling off a horse, just starting to ride more now). The bike is completely stock with heated grips and bmw bags, and the only change I have made is a louder horn. I have had no maintenance problems, but am just about ready for a new shock.

I love it. It is not as fast as a pure sportbike, nor is it as plush as pure touring bikes, but it does everything very very well IMHO. A fast rider on the K can embarrass a less-than-fast rider on a sportbike and even a relative wimp like me can string a couple of 750 mile days together in some really lousy conditions. I can easily load it with enough gear for a two-week camping trip (Helen2Wheels bags on top of the cases). It's big, heavy, and underpowered compared to the new Yamaha FJR, but is extremely smooth, predictable, and rock-steady at any speed. I will admit that I am biased- my last bike was an '85 K100RS that I bought as a basket case and ended up trading with over 100,000 miles.

The new GT is supposedly even better, believe it comes with bar-backs and a better seat, also the heated grips, cruise, and bags are standard (I think). The accessories make up the difference between the RS and GT prices.

If I had it to do over again, I would get a marsee tank bag instead of the bmw set-up (too small, lousy raincover & map case). Other than that I am personally very very happy with this bike. Other common gripes are lack of nimble-ness, low power-weight ratio compared to others in the class, some are dissatisfied with the headlight, and some here have mentioned a rear-wheel wobble in newer bikes and some rear-drive failures in the LT.

Search this forum- there was a good discussion about the K1200GT vs. FJR1300. here: ON Article: K1200GT vs. FJR1300 (http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=638&highlight=fjr1300+k1200gt)

It includes opinions from some people who love it, and some who are nowhere near as happy with the K as I am. YMMV.

Hope this helps, good luck

dlearl476
09-12-2003, 03:09 AM
Interesting article in current "BIKE" comparing GT-FJR-ST1300-R/RT. GT was the least favorite. Loved the FJR, but most bike mags love the most recently introduced bike.

knary
09-12-2003, 07:06 AM
Originally posted by ps6000
Hello,
I am currently in the market for a new bike. I have owned bikes before yamahas and suzukis, and have put a tremendous amount of miles on them. When I looked for a new bike the k series made by bmw jumped out at me. "what a good looking bike" I gasped. Now I am a cheap s.o.b. always looking to save a buck. I am not bothered by spending more for a bmw than a japanese bike because I feel im getting what I pay for ...quality. Now does this bike have any design flaws, or common problems that arrive? Also these bikes how easy is it to work on yourself and what would I be spending on parts.
I really like these bikes I just want to know more about them. Anything you can help me with is appreciated.
Thanks
p.

What K-bike are you talking about? old, new? what?

ps6000
09-12-2003, 12:41 PM
well i was looking for something in between 85-93 . but im beggining to move towards an airhead because of the ease of repair, but ive heard that k bikes dont break down as much. Ive also read this stuff about final drive failure, should this be a worry of mine, any way to check out the problem before I buy. So i an admitidly a little unsure about what model I am after, this will be my first bmw. Also I am 6ft2in tall and alot of bikes cant handle me. Any suggestions?

lancew
09-12-2003, 02:06 PM
oops, sorry, when you said you were looking for a new bike, thought you meant NEW bike...

The rear-drive failures you hear about are mostly on newer LTs, some GS's. I think the jury is still out on that problem. Older K's need periodic spline lubes but I personally know of no chronic problems, especially considering the miles that some of them have. My '85 K was a rat-bike, rescued from a barn after 3 years in solitary confinement, and I got 4 years and around 40,000 miles out of it, for a total between 100 and 120k on the bike. The early K's have a good reputation for longevity if you keep the maintenance up.

It really comes down to what kind of riding you are looking to do. I have been looking at the IBMWR marketplace classifieds, IBMWR classifieds (http://www.ibmwr.org/market/) , and lately I have been lusting after another 2-valve K100, either standard or RS... those look really cheap to me, and if my bike were paid for it would be getting company in the garage.

By the way, I'm 6'1", 36" inseam, and my '85 was a better fit for my legs than the '99 is.

ps6000
09-12-2003, 07:47 PM
I want to use the bike for everything. I have a 1980 suzuki gs850 which is a great touring bike but when I hit the city I feel like I might as well get a goldwing or a station wagon. My previous bike was a 1981 Yamaha Virago which was great in the city, but with a passanger on the back and a bunch of gear, riding through Montana's highways at the reasonable and prudent speed limit reminded me of my days on a 50cc scooter. I am very demanding and I want a bike with the best of both worlds. I know I will have to sacrifice a little but I think its worth it. Any suggestions that can be made would be appreciated. Im going to buy a bike this fall/winter and I want to enter into it knowing all I can.
thanks

kbasa
09-12-2003, 08:15 PM
You need a GS, son.

knary
09-12-2003, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by KBasa
You need a GS, son.
Everybody needs a GS.

So where's yours? :D

ps6000
09-12-2003, 08:41 PM
Your talking about the RxxxGS? I dont see any with a fairing, are they generaly available like that?

knary
09-12-2003, 08:46 PM
Big fairings are for girly men. :evil
just kiddin'

There is more wind protection on my 1150GS than there was on my K75s. It is less than what you'd find on a K100RS. Some folks fit them with Huge fairings, some, like me, cut their windscreens down.

What kind of protection are you looking for? what kind of seating position? upright? leaned back?sport-touring leaned forward (not to be confused with the sport bike pretzel position)?

kbasa
09-12-2003, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by knary
Everybody needs a GS.

So where's yours? :D

Some dude's out riding it around depreciating it for me right now.

:D

ps6000
09-13-2003, 12:11 AM
I dont feel like leaning forward too much. I just want to be comfortable.

kbasa
09-13-2003, 01:01 AM
http://www.micapeak.com/bmw/gs/images/gs11aero.jpg

kbasa
09-13-2003, 01:04 AM
You need these (http://www.motomacondo.com/protapers.html) too.

ps6000
09-13-2003, 01:41 AM
can you take that duckbill nose off it?

kbasa
09-13-2003, 04:02 AM
I don't think so, but you can get a bigger one!

;)

LORAZEPAM
09-14-2003, 01:08 AM
Hey the duckbill just gives it character! I want one of those one of these days. Work is the curse of the man who wants more toys.

104632
09-14-2003, 03:38 AM
Owned Kawasaki's, Honda, Harley, Bridgestone (it was a brand in Japan). Now own 6 BMW's - 3 1974 Airheads and one each F, K, R (all 21st Century models).

Things I believe. You will spend more time and money on a BMW than other bikes. You will choose to do so. They can be expensive to maintain because parts, services, and labor can be expensive. It is worth it only if you become a BMW afficionado in the various ways we do. You will like it. You will ride it. You will take longer rides than you ever have before. You will ride in the rain. You will like that you can ride in the rain. You will constantly obsess about maintenance, longer rides, mileage accumulation, oil changes, oil brands, tires, seats, shields, plastic bits, and DIY items. Lastly, you will never need to lubricate, adjust or replace a chain again (save for the F series).

That said: K bikes are great for smooth, flexible power and long touring rides. Good weather protection, adequate seating ergos. No major problems across the years though some report shaft and rear drive problems. R bikes are good for everything if you are happy with the Boxer design and performance. The RT can tour with the best of them (some say it is the best of them), the RS and S can twist and turn. The GS can go (almost) anywhere and do it well. The R and Rockster are just plain fun.

Factor the cost of the bike, whether you want to do your own maintenance, gear (BMW riders always wear full gear, don't we?) and the 'fun' you want to have, into your investigations. E-bay (with caution), IBMWR, Airheads, Cycletrader, local papers -- all good sources. See latest issue of Motorcyclist for a review of 50 best used bikes. BMW scored one in every category except 600RR class and Super-sport, liter bikes.

Best of luck and welcome aboard.

RIDERR1150GSADV
09-14-2003, 10:43 PM
Welcome to the BMW family!:clap
I ride an R 1150 RT and although it is not a K bike you can be assured that the quality is BMW on either bike.
I never rode anything else than BMW and do not have any experience with Japanese bikes. My last bike was 20 years ago and it was an RT also:bliss .
I just started riding a few months back an am in love again with the RT :cat
Whatever your choice I sure you are in for a nice ride!
Just ENJOY:rocker