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Thread: Looking at used K75's: need advice

  1. #1
    I'd rather be riding... spanky's Avatar
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    Question Looking at used K75's: need advice

    Hey folks,

    I've got this same thread posted over at K-Bikes.com and am just trying to capture as much intel as possible.
    ******************************************

    I'm looking at buying a K75 for my SO as an upgrade from her Yamaha XJ700. She's enamored with the BMW brand and seems to have taken to the K75 model and I've managed to find the following local examples:

    1992 K75S w/50K, excellent cosmetic shape, luggage & tank bag, tools, runs well but seems like it might need a spline lube. Could get it for $3200

    1991 K75C w/70K, rough shape, luggage and turn signals have served as outriggers, needs lots of cosmetic TLC, runs VERY well, very strong, owner has it listed at $2500 but will take $2000 firm, he dropped his price by acknowledging its condition and the fact that it needs new tires.

    1987 K75C w/34K, very good condition, 3rd owner, no luggage, I'm going to look at it this afternoon. Owner's asking $2000 for it.

    My question is what am I gettin myself into in terms of bugs, hassles, etc. What should I be on the lookout for with these various model years? As much as I like the '92 something tells me it'll need a spline lube ASAP. It's had a gentle life and semi routine maintenance; its current owner has owned it twelve years and has put an average of 1K miles per year.

    Comments? Advice? Thanks
    Regards,
    Randy
    '99 R1100R & '02 RT
    '06 K12s bumblebee

  2. #2
    3 Red Bricks
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    What symptoms make you think the '92 needs a spline lube?




    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

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

  3. #3
    I'd rather be riding... spanky's Avatar
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    The bike seemed to go into a false neutral rather easily particularly between 2nd and 3rd, the shifter required rather stout foot pressure to shift into another gear otherwise the transmission would make a "ratcheting noise" as if the gears are not fully engaged, and it hasn't had a spline lube in seven years according to its owner.

    I've ridden two other K bikes (a K75 and a K1100) since I test rode this one and they also exhibited a slight tendency to do the same thing but to a far lesser degree. I've owned a K1 and a K12RS and neither bike had those traits hence my thread asking for feedback.

    Over the past many years all I've read about the K75 is how durable they are, can go many miles with basic maintenance, seem to last forever, smooth but not sexy performance, etc. I've read of problems in certain model years involving the transmissions, water pumps, and perhaps some electrical stuff but that's it.

    So, what bugs are known, what should I look out for other than what I've already noticed?
    Regards,
    Randy
    '99 R1100R & '02 RT
    '06 K12s bumblebee

  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Buy the '87
    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://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  5. #5
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    They didn't make a C model in '91. Last one was built in March '90. It's probably a basic K75.

    Cs came with a rear drum brake. The drum is part of the wheel, so it can be very expensive if you chew up the drum. Used rear drum wheels do not come up for sale very often.

    Mileage on the '87 COULD be suspect. Early Ks had problems with speedometer/odometers failing and many have been replaced with zero mile speedos at some point in their life. Sometimes you will see a white 1"x2" sticker on the frame under the seat indicating that it was replaced and at what mileage.

    Cs and basics have much less tupperware that can be damaged in a drop. But, the S is MUCH nicer looking and has better wind protection. The S windscreen does cause noticeably higher wind noise around the helmet (earplugs take care of that).

    Stock S front suspension is better than either of the other bikes (less dive under braking and less front travel), but all of the original rear shocks will be junk and hopefully have been upgraded.

    The bars on the S will probably be a bit too far forward and low (easily remedied with A&S barbacks). The bars are also slightly wider on the non Ss.

    The 3 spoke wheels on the later Ss are less well supported around the rim and will bend easier on extremely hard hits on deep chuck holes (you're supposed to ride around such things).

    I am EXTREMELY biased towards K75Ss. They are a much sexier bike than the other K75s which are more utilitarian, but either can be a very reliable bike with minimal maintenance once the stuff that has been ignored for years has been taken care of.




    Probably the most important thing to check before buying any early K is the condition of the inside of the tank and the fuel pump vibration damper. If the bike has been sitting with moisture in the tank, the tank can corrode (it's aluminum so i won't rust) and create pinhole leaks along the bottom seams.

    Pull the fuel cap assembly and look at the bottom of the tank at the extreme left and right sides along the seams. Discoloration is not good. Accumulated crud is not good.

    A brownish tinge to the inside indicates that bad fuel (from sitting too long) has started to attack the fuel pump vibration damper and turn it to goo. If you can, reach into the tank and rub your finger against the black rubber that surrounds the pump. It should feel firm like a car tire not soft or especially not gooey. The goo can get sucked into the pump and fuel system causing problems.


    If your are mechanically inclined, a front spline lube is pretty straight forward and is covered in detail several places, but will take a relaxed weekend the first try.

    Things you should do on ANY early K that you buy:

    Pull fuel pump inspect vibration damper and pump inlet screen replace as necessary. Clean well in tank where pump goes (usually some crud or dirt there).

    REPLACE the fuel filter unless you KNOW it's been done very recently.

    Lube driveshaft splines.

    Check the valve adjustment.

    Check the crankcase vent hose and replace (I can almost guarantee it will be cracked).

    GO RIDING! USE the powerband over 4500rpm!!



    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

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

  6. #6
    I'd rather be riding... spanky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Buy the '87
    You're a man of few words, Paul, but thanks for the feedback!
    Regards,
    Randy
    '99 R1100R & '02 RT
    '06 K12s bumblebee

  7. #7
    I'd rather be riding... spanky's Avatar
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    Thanks

    98Lee,

    Wow, thanks so much for the in-depth info on the K75! I own and have owned many BMW's but know nothing of this bike other than the bits and pieces I've gleaned off the innernet. I'll be back later today with my impressions on the one I'm looking at this afternoon.

    For what it's worth I'm inclined to like the K75S as well. The one I've looked at has bar backs and that will make a difference for my SO. I had no idea who might offer a set should I elect to go with another bike but now I do!
    Regards,
    Randy
    '99 R1100R & '02 RT
    '06 K12s bumblebee

  8. #8
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spanky View Post
    You're a man of few words, Paul, but thanks for the feedback!
    Well, the transmission in the 92 sounds to be in some distress. Not a huge deal but the prospect of spending $500 to $1,000 on top of a $3,200 bike didn't appeal to me.

    The '91 didn't appeal to me because bikes that are rough and neglected on the outside are often the same on the inside. Folks need to take care of little things before they become big things. There are just too many nice ones out there to settle for a beat up one.

    So I said buy the '87. It sounds well cared for. Mechanically there are not huge differences. Yes the drum brake could be an issue in another 100,000 miles or so. Mine went about 175,000 miles before I switched it over to a disk by getting the disk system parts and wheel. It is a straight bolt over. I got a transmission, driveshaft, final drive, the brake parts, and wheel for $500.
    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://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  9. #9
    I'd rather be riding... spanky's Avatar
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    The 1987 K75.......

    .....wasn't as advertised. The right side of the bike looked as though it had been through a low speed crash. While the tupperware looked okay a few pieces didn't have good fitment, the headlight nacelle looked like it was a cheap aftermarket replacement, and the dash/handlebars/controls. etc., looked faded as though the bike had been stored outside.

    A test ride, however, yielded impressive results; the bike ran strong and shifted well. It needs new tires, a new seat pan, and God knows what else. I suspect it has a salvage title. The seller was very candid about how he acquired the bike and how much he paid for it. I learned that it was a bike I'd previously seen on Craigslist last fall but ignored because the ad was rather blunt about its condition. The current seller has owned it for nine months and is selling it because his wife doesn't like riding on the back.

    Okay, but this is where it gets interesting. He started out by asking $1000 more than he paid for it then started dropping the price to generate some interest.

    Well, I'm not interested but dayum, that bike ran great!
    Regards,
    Randy
    '99 R1100R & '02 RT
    '06 K12s bumblebee

  10. #10
    Dum vivimus vivamus ted's Avatar
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    Run ANY prospective used bike throguh NICB's VinCHECK database here:
    https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud...check/vincheck

    You'd better believe your insurance company will before it decides to write a policy. Even the most perfect looking bike can be have a salvage brand, they are not always disclosed on the title.

    Try it out with this VIN: WB1057406J0132232
    It is for a K75C I looked at that had a clean title...
    Last edited by Ted; 05-19-2011 at 12:30 AM.
    Ted
    "A good stick is a good reason"
    1994 K75RT
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by spanky View Post
    ..

    Well, I'm not interested but dayum, that bike ran great!


    They should all run that way! If they don't, somethin' needs fixin'.





    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

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

  12. #12
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I would keep lookiing until a better bike comes along. With bikes, cheap is frequently cheap. Paying more for a better bike is often the cheapest.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  13. #13
    I'd rather be riding... spanky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acejones View Post
    Buy my '90 K 75.

    Send me a PM and photos.
    Regards,
    Randy
    '99 R1100R & '02 RT
    '06 K12s bumblebee

  14. #14
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    Spanky:

    Have you checked out the flea market? Currently, there are 10 K75's listed there (though none in Colorado). You'll get, I think, a better picture of what is out there and what folks are asking when you do.

    Larry Johnson
    El Paso, TX
    "A bunch of BMW-K's"

  15. #15
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    has your SO ridden a K75 yet? Does she have the inseam for it?
    It's a top heavy bike.
    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
    05 R12GS
    87 K75CT

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