which one to buy?
decided it's time for a road bike again, been riding dirt bikes alot for the last 25 years, haven't had a road bike for 20. want the bike for touring with the wife, plan on 2-400 mile days a few few times a year ( I have a few other hobbies as well) I'm thinking a k series. Are there certain years that have been better then others? please feed me with some good ideas. Thanks Bruce
I'm partial to the boxers, so I would tell you the RT. I think it is more fun to ride than the four-cylinders. They just seem to be - well - Japanese. Of course, I have the GSA and I will tell you it is actually a very fine road bike. And it comes without all that plastic, and it can go 400 miles between fillups. Don't know of any other bike on the market that can do that. My wife loves to ride on the back too.
Japanese? Really? How much time have you spent on a K bike? You get more bike for your buck with a K bike. Feature for feature and cost to buy one put the brick on top.
Bruce, Currently I own a K75 and do not think I will ever sell it. It is just to good of bike. Super smooth. Many people think it is the best bike BMW has ever made. Period. I would place it in the top five, but I would not go as far to say it is the best. It is a little small for two up. With what you have told us, a 1100 would be a nice bike for you. As far as what year is best? They made some minor improvements on the Ks as time went on, most changes were done by 1990. I would start there. K bike or boxer, make sure you buy a machine with side cases. If not, plan to spend an extra $500-900 for those.
And the Boxer? I learned to ride on a boxer and I have a soft spot for them. I have owned a boxer and will buy another if I get the chance. When I was looking at K bikes, I was looking at boxers also. Both would work for me. With that said, I bought a K bike. That should tell you something.
Bottom line, they are both great bikes, but very very different. Try a K75, then try a K100 and a K1100. Maybe even a
K 1200. Then go ride some boxers. Start with a R75/6 and go up from there. See what fits you and your wife.
When I was looking for a K bike, I looked for price and features. I passed up up some great buys because they did not have this or that feature, or the color was wrong. If I had to do it again, I would look more for what fit me and what needed to be fixed.
Half the fun is looking. Good luck.
I appreciate the input, I thought there might be a few others who also had opinions. I'm looking to find a bike in the sub $6k range, am not yet sold on a particular as I'm not well informed as to which is going to be my best choice. BMW sure builds some pretty machines. Ease of maintenance is important too. I've worked in the automotive industry as a BMW and Mercedes shop owner for many years.
You should be able to find a very very nice K bike for less than 6K. I came into some
money (40K) so I could get just about what ever I wanted. I knew that if I bought a
K bike it would be a K75. Most of the time, you can get a nice K for about $2500-3000.
$3500- 4000 will get you a great machine. Maybe a little more if it is from a dealer.
Don't be in a super hurry to buy. You would be amazed at what you can find at the end of the riding season. If everything was equal, (1990 K bike,'90 Boxer, etc.) Boxers seemed to go for more. Straight across the board. I picked up a clean, nicely loaded 1995 K75 for less than $2800. I found stuff all the way down to $1400 and up to $3750.
As you shop, ask the owner about the splines and when they were lubed. That is one of the main things to worry about on K bike. Your local BMW dealer should be able check over any K before you by for about $150. I think I was quoted $135. Having them check the splines may cost you extra.
Go check out motobrick.com. Ask those guys. They will be happy to help.
It does matter: How big a boy are you? -and your sweetie? Then you can pick bikes that haul you & your stuff. If you put me @ 215#'s & my wife @ 135#'s you soon reach the loaded point on my R1150R, which is a popular bike for touring from the past. Also, you make no mention of $$$ which helps people like me decide.
My experience is with both K1200LT and the RTs- 1150 and new 1200 (among other BMWs but not what you're asking about). My opinion is they are both great tourers. LT will feel heavy, but rock-solid. The Ks and the RTs both handle very well, like smaller, lighter bikes. Handling these bikes on long trips will not tire you out, your limit is you. (and the seat. Some of the newer model RT seats are torture to a lot of us)
If you will only do a few long tours a year AND ride it around town and shorter rides, then the RT is a better all-around choice. There were times I did not want to haul the LT out of the garage for a short hop. If you're mostly only using it for long tours, then the edge goes to the LT series. It is as solid as a car on the interstates. - I realize you're also considering older K bikes which are not as heavy as the LT is. The bottom line is you have to decide what the two of you and your gear need out of a ride - weight and handling wise- and start to limit choices from there.
as I mentioned earlier I would like to budget around $6k for a bike. As for my weight 159 lbs the wife, about 170, I can travel very light, as am used to doing trips on dirt bikes where weight is very much a factor, the wife will need to learn about essentials. Our plan at this point is to primarly ride 2-400 miles a day to help keep the woman from getting cranky. I first will finish exploring the back ways of Oregon where I live, then head to Idaho, montana, wyoming as I haven't seen enough of them traveling interstates in other trips. What the bike weights is important as I want to be able to pick it up if it get tipped over. I'm not looking for something that is really fast as that was a big problem for me in the past when I rode on the road, many tickets, and I like fast, but have tempered my ways the last few years.
Look at a k12rs. It can do the miles, the load, two up, and is pretty easily adjustable between one up sporty and two up touring. If you learn the way to do it your wife can pick it up
I wish my weight was only 159 pounds. Like i said before, try everything.
If you decide on a K bike, please let me know what you end up with.
If I was in your shoes, I would lean towards a K1100 or 1200.
My transition to BMW was from a Honda XR400R (with a street legal Baja Kit) to a K bike. (Prior to that was an FJ1200 & a old IT175) It was a smooth transition and I am still happy with it after 5 years.
The little dual sport desert sled was fun, but kicking it over was getting to be to much for 50+ knees. And let's face it, it was a dirt bike with a lic. plate. Not much fun for a long street haul. And well the freeway with knobby's, well no.
I was initially looking for something with the Boxer motor, hopefully a low milage RT. Because nothing says BWM like a Boxer right? Well test rode (Something else I love about BMW, being able to test ride the bikes) a 2002 K1200RS. That's all it took and that's what went home with me. And it was out the door for around $5k too. Still riding that K bike and we have put thousands of miles behind us. 600-700 mile days at 80 mph were not a problem. That motor will cruise or scream, up to your mood.
Do I still love those Boxer motor bikes, yep.. Like to have one someday, maybe that RT or a GS. But that would be in addition to my Brick. Lots of great K bikes out there, along with with RT's etc. Test ride'em, then ride'em some more.
Hmmm....maybe you should buy a boxer...like one of these....:hug
boy that is a really sexy bike, the wife would have to stay home though as she wouldn't have much of a a seat.
I'm leaning more to a r1150rt at this point, the boxer engine seems like a good choice and I've seen several here in Oregon that seem like a pretty fair price for the miles and condition. I'm just coming off an injury and will be ready to get back on a bike again in about 2 weeks (been laid up for 3 months +) I'm really ready for a little adventure again
Yeah, I was sorta teasing with that photo of Boxer Cup Replica S. :) The S bikes aren't really the best alternative for a carrying a companion, but the seat cowl comes off in about two shakes of a lambs tail, and with optional bags there is plenty of luggage capacity for two. My smarter half isn't interesting in riding anymore (may have something to do with my 10 year love affair with Ducati 900SS's...lol), but she does find the back seat (mine is custom by Rick Mayer) of my '04S to be comfy enough for the occasional jaunt.
If, and that's a very big IF, she was more inclined to ride pillion, I'd probably own an RT of some sort. Tried an 1150R for awhile, nice bike, but not meant for two up riding either.
If you can somehow manage a test spin or two, try as many bikes as you can. I've ridden a few of the various K-bikes, and they've all been a blast. But after 49 summers of riding motos, I've grown attached to twin cylinders. Horizontally opposed of courSe! :brad
Good luck, hope you're back on two wheels soonest...!
Well I found my new bike, a 1999 r1100rt, charcol 20k 1 owner, will fly to Boisie next friday to pick up and then my first ride 500 miles back home (maybe longer if I find some good back roads)