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Old 12 Mar 2013
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BMW K75 anyone?

Hi, Does anyone out there use a K75 for touring etc? If anyone does and they would like to share their ideas good/bad about the bike, I'd be very happy to hear them. I am not looking to 'forge' new paths on unmade roads!
Many Thanks
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Old 12 Mar 2013
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Had a K100 outfit which are very popular for sidecar duty in Australia and other places. Comments in a fairly random order would be:

- These are a 35 year old design made 20 years ago, no matter how well made they can be worn and they use typical BMW cheeselike fasteners.

+ These are bikes that stand up to BMW's reputation for longevity and reliability. It's a car engine, so no worryingly lightweight major components.

+ They have power and are smooth.

- Fuel use is very 1980's, they compare well to other bikes of the age but not modern lightweights.

+ The service items are on the outside and demands minimal. Even a full four part fluid change (engine, gearbox, final drive, coolant) is half a day with tools you'd carry.

- There are some weird, under designed, modern-style BMW styled bits. What cretin designed a throttle assembly with two cast aluminium gears and a length of bicycle chain rather than just a plastic bobbin? Why did they fit a pile of extra electrical relays and switches just to have a three thumb indicator set up that tells you the brake light lamp wasn't blown when you set off?

- The fuel warning light activations are based on your horroscope and a piece of damp sea weed. Range is not up to modern standards.

+ They are tough. The Ossies use these outfits on dirt roads. They usually make it home.

+ The previous owners tend to be old boys with beards who'd swap their real ale for floor cleaner before letting cheap oil near the beast.

+ No one steals them.

+/- The wheels started off tubeless, but at 25 years old may have had to go tubed due to pin hole leaks and tyre choice. TL tyre with a tube is the worst of both worlds, functional TL fit is rare benefit when looking at 1980's machinery.

- If you break the clutch or water pump you need a week and serious kit.

+ Parts are plentiful and quite cheap. Motorworks will still sell you a new one in kit form if you have enough cash and time! BMW have no imagination, the parts they used in 1985 fit the 1992 they wouldn't dream of Guzzi like chaos or Japanese style weekly model changes.

+/- The weather protection on the faired ones is excellent in bad weather, but sitting in still and hot air, on top of a Peugeot 104 engine can be a bit rubbish in the summer.

+/- If you care about such things your reputation will not be enhanced, beautiful Italian models will not swoon and Hells Angels will not wave to you. If you wheelie one, small boys will stare at you like you have two heads and the BMW Club will try and get you sectioned.

If I wanted a £2000 bike that'd go two up to Moscow in a week they'd still be on my list of possibles. I'd buy based on condition and price though, no love either way for the badge or how it rides.

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Old 12 Mar 2013
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Many thanks for the reply, a pretty comprehensive assessment I would say!
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Old 13 Mar 2013
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I had a K100s as well - easy to service as i remember . Fuel filter in tank is easy to get at . oil filter needs a tool as is under a cover on the sump . i remember the oil warning light coming on one day in the rain - the pressure switch is right in the front of the engine by the front wheel in a rubber cover , the water had got in and caused a short . the gear indicator is pants and never seemed to work despite me changing it . the clutch shaft requires the gearbox to be removed and needs periodic geasing . try damien sherlocks(uk) for bits and pieces new and second hand . a pretty solid bike that i sold for what i bought it for ..................oh nearly forgot the fork oil is in fact aircraft engine oil ( really ) it is really thin - if you put 10 weight in then it really stiffens up the front , then again im sure there are really light weight fork oils about now .
Agree that you should go by condition - the one i had was immaculate when i bought it - was still two grand twelve years ago !!
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Old 16 Mar 2013
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Taken at the top of the Transfagarasan pass on the way to Turkey on my 1988 K75S. It's what these bikes were made for,fear not with a K75 in good condition you'll be able tour day after day without any noticeable effect on the bike

6 weeks , 5,000 miles through 14 countries with no problems and it didn't even use a drop of oil.

Watch out for weak drive shafts on early bikes with 21 splines,they must be greased or they will wear and strip the splines.The rear shock is an other weak point.
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Old 26 Mar 2013
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I now drive a '91 K75RT with only 25k on it.
Always been in the family.
Revived it after +10 years non use.
Had to renew fuel pump + filters + rubbers in the tank.
Replaced 18+ year old tires to BT45 = good combination.
Lubed the splines (not difficult).
Plenty of power (to me).
Very steady on motorways also at high speeds (+150 Km/h).
Get 20 km per 1 liter. Range of +350 km.
Good brakes. Smooth.
Standard panniers suitable for camping (I use Ortlieb roll on passenger seat)
Can drive all day. I drove +10 hours/day without much effort.
K75 is a bit lighter - smoother - more nimble compared to the K100.
Love it. Will never sell it.
(might get a second bike for more offroad / allroad trips).
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Old 28 Mar 2013
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loved my k75

I owned a k75 and it was a wonderful traveling bike. I did a track day at Barber Raceway, part of the time with a passenger. I rode two of the three 20 minute sessions per hour. 240? miles. Another time I rode through the pits at walking speeds and less with over 400 lbs of rider and different passenger. Over Deals Gap with passenger and a trailer and home 150ish miles at about 100 mph. I rode 70 miles to Steel drag way, made a few passes and rode home. (14.3 @96 mph) It had bias ply tires, that don't grip like wide radials, but it was both stable and agile and a more than willing ....say an eager accomplice that would simply purr at different frequencies. My friend rode his k100rt to a much easier 240,000 mikes before getting another k bike. The k100 model tends to be cheaper because the k75 vibrates less and is "sweeter". And the vibration of a k100 does not prevent racking up some serious miles.....This bike did not care how fast or how slow I wanted to go. It was always a pleasure to ride. I will have another. ratbikemike
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