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cold_fire 07-16-2009 03:01 PM

Bmw K1...
... next BMW as a collector's motorcycle?

We all know what a collector's bike looks like: odd looks, built in limited series, huge price when new, race pedigree. Apart from the last one, the K1 seemes to fit the bill. I've just put a search on the biggest German second hand auction site. The very cheapest K1 I could find was a non-original, tuned up, 3000E wreck. The most expensive original was 7000E. That's one helluva money for a 1990 motorbike. The 1990's Hayabusa with a look that only a mother could love. But I do believe in 10-20 years' time this motorbike would become just as sought after as a "/2" or a "/5". What do you think?

As for why I'm asking the question... No, I'm not a collector that searches for ways to invest his money. But the bike's looks are starting to grow on me and I might want to do something about it in the not-so-distant future :)

rightsideup 07-16-2009 03:06 PM


Originally Posted by cold_fire
I do believe in 10-20 years' time this motorbike would become just as sought after as a "/2" or a "/5". What do you think?

I think not although I have always quite liked them, nearly bought one a couple of years ago and still would at the right price.

Anorak 07-16-2009 04:08 PM

The performance can't be called a 1990 Hayabusa. It only looks fast. If you are looking for one, this will make you sad. Probably about $700.00 to ship them anywhere in the USA. For you in Romania, who knows?

Josephvman 07-16-2009 09:05 PM chance! Race pedigree? How so? All show, no go! A friend of mind was a president for BMW motorcycles (not in the U.S.) when the K1 was being built. They had such a hard time selling them that all the corporate bikes that the reps were riding were K1's.

At best an oddity that will appeal to a limited number of BMW enthusiasts, IMO.

The HP2 Sport might have a shot as a future classic, especially if it turns out to be the last and greatest high-performance boxer sport bike. Since it's doubtful they can push the existing boxer to much more power than the HP2 Sport, this might be the ultimate.

Bulldust 07-17-2009 05:00 AM

I owned a 1990 model Blue/Yellow, a very HOT motorcycle to ride in the summer, can give you severe burns on the shins when the cooling fan kicks in waiting at a set of lights. Uncomfortable to ride any long distance and a very limited steering lock. A styling excercise at best, fun to ride at speed over 80 MPH is good, a collectore item certainly, a day to day motorcycle not at all. Could not wait to get rid of mine. Better off with a similar year R100RS 16 valve.

kraftwerk 07-17-2009 08:23 AM

Hello. My first post and I thought I'd just wade in. I'd always liked the look of the K1 but had never ridden one - and earlier this year found myself with some spare cash. I spent a while looking for the right bike and found this beauty...

It's a 1989, fewer than 20k miles on the clock, owned by the same guy for 17 years, tonnes of history and the hilariously rare bespoke luggage set. About as good as you're going to find. I spoke to the guy on the phone at some length and decided to take the plunge. Bought a plane ticket from London to Dundee, which cost nearly 300 - there was only me and three others on the flight.

The bike looked fantastic and I excitedly handed over the cash, suited up and set off for a 550-mile ride home to London. I reached the end of the seller's driveway and thought to myself 'Oh dear... this bike is so not for me.' The long ride only hardened my opinion. Buzzy, ponderous, heavy, hot and uninspiring. But looks amazing.

I put it on eBay as soon as I got home. Sold it to a guy who keeps huskies. 42 of them...

Solo Lobo 07-17-2009 08:31 AM

I always wanted one... until I sat on one recently..... I'm 5'9" and it too cramped for me!

spanky 07-19-2009 07:18 PM

My experience
I owned a pristine '92 K1 in blue & silver for a little over three years and can tell you that the K1 has a turning radius of an aircraft carrier, a mediocre powerplant, and handles poorly.

I'm 6'-1" and rides of more than 200 miles left me feeling knotted up and with stiff knees.

The other thing about this model is that the fork tubes were manufactured by Marzzochi (sp) and were prone to pitting and shredding fork tube seals. My bike had its tubes replaced under warranty by a previous owner who elected to have gators installed over the new tubes in order to avoid a repeat of this problem when the bike went out of warranty.

For the record I also owned a '92 Ducati 907IE with forks made by Marzzochi. Same result only this time I ate the repair bill. Ouch.

The heat issue is for real. BMW offered an insulating kit that blocked air flow from the engine cavity, it may still be available and if so is worth it.

The factory luggage is rare, very rare, and so are most other factory offered options and goodies.

The brake fluid reservoir gasket is prone to leaking fluid onto the right side fairing compartment door and messing up the paint. Should you find a K1 make sure this item has been upgraded.

Some K100's from the '89 thru '93 model years had issues with final drives and several cases of drive trains locking up and sending both rider and bike off the road.

The speedometer/tachometer cluster was prone to failure. Make sure the pod on any bike you're interested in has the special yellow stiped background specific to the K1 and that you know the bike's actual mileage synchs up with what's refelcted on the odometer. Any BMW dealer can run a check on the bike's VIN and tell you what's been done, this is one warranty fix that will show up assuming it was within the three year warranty period.

The front fender is prone to cracking around the holes molded to accomodate the fork tubes. I'm not sure if BMW still offers plastic for the K1 but of you buy one you might want to look into this. Oh, I think BMW still offers the decals for both the fender and side panels. Hammersley BMW in VA used to stock a lot of K1 stuff but they've either been bought out or merged with another on line BMW dealership.

You know, as lousy a bike as the K1 is I miss mine. I bought it for $6K in late
'02 and sold it for $6.5K in January of '06. In spite of the profit I was still underwater given other costs associated with owning the bike but I've also noticed that K1 prices have been inching up. Most examples I've seen are low mileage and near perfect with asking prices between $7 and $10.5K.

This beauty was mine:

Good luck with your search!

Putts 07-20-2009 05:12 AM


Originally Posted by cold_fire
... next BMW as a collector's motorcycle?

I hear you can get some special after market riding gear for them.


I think they're really cool looking, but I'm weird like that. They've GOT to become a collectible. Too odd a bike not to.

wirewrkr 07-20-2009 07:15 AM

Interesting that you would start this thread right now.
Here in the states in the BAY area of California, there are two for sale, both from two separate owners, both for around $4,000.00 US.
I also think that they may have a place again one day in the collector market,
as they actually did for a short while during the last big buying frenzy.
About 5 years ago or so, these two bikes would not have sat on Craigslist week after week while the price dropped.( like they are now) They would have quickly brought $5,5-6K
BUT those times are gone for a while.

Airhead Wrangler 07-20-2009 08:58 AM


Originally Posted by Putts

I think they're really cool looking, but I'm weird like that. They've GOT to become a collectible. Too odd a bike not to.

They pioneered the decal spillover from body panel to fender. Gotta love that. Man is he ever happy about his riding gear.

Kid-Yukon 11-21-2009 06:56 PM

1990 BMW K1 ...Still loving it...
Thought I would chime in on this ....I have had my K1 for 14 years.Initially purchased as a investment in 1995 when I was 43 however after my 8 hour ride home I said invest nothing ride this thorough bread and ride it I have.I agree it turns like a semi truck ,as well as has some faults as mentioned in earlier posts.At 6 foot it fits me perfectly.Most miles in a day 570 and I did them comfortably & quickly.I have corrected all of the various issues they have. One just has to think outside the box.The K1 is like a 1963 Jaguar XKE a work of art to me.Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...They are not for everyone but I can say once you get over 80mph the aero- dynamics set in and it is like glue to the road.I am lucky enough to live in the western US and in eastern Oregon,Nevada,Montana,California and other fine open roads you can cut loose and travel at any speed to your hearts content,just don't do it on the Interstates,the Mounties just love that Red/Yellow color.I have had 2 warnings for 10mph over.I still think they just wanted to see what it biggie,just my Irish luck prevailing once again.. Overall I have to say its a great bike.Incredible on high speed sweepersnot so much in the twisties depending upon your riding skill.The design was a step outside of the conventional BMW protocol for sure.It was also a testbed so to speak for incorporating the paralever final drive with the "Flying Brick" engine.One thing not to overlook was the beauty of the ABS, a nice asset to have.It also has the factory heat kit installed and I have never felt any discomfort even in a 1oo degree 400 mile day in Nevada and Utah on HWY 50...You may not like the look but as time goes on it will be a collectible...Just like a John Player Norton...Cheers

Ps:Mine has the factory seat as well as the custom Corbin,Custom tank cover and tank bag (large) by Bagster,full factory luggage set and of course Deer Whistles so they can look too...the fix for the right front fender just had to oslightly snlarged and reinforced wit ha bit of fiber glass for added strength no problem.I also always carry some plastic and tape to cover the Master Cylinder should it decide to cut loose again, I was fortunate to catch mine before the brake fluid created a disaster...It has been extremely reliable for 44,000 miles...and don't ask its not for sale...."FUN FUN FUN ON THE AUTO-BAHN" for those of you who remember the song by Kraftwerk... I hope the pic comes through...see video for those in Europe who do love the K1.

Infracaninophile 11-21-2009 07:56 PM

Back when I was riding my 1993 Ducati 900SS SP, I had a friend with a K1. We swapped bikes one afternoon for about 150 miles. As painful as the Duck could be for 300+ mile rides, I was never so glad to be back on my own bike. They are very rare around here and I bet I may be lucky to see one per year out and about here in Colorado.

How many ever came to the US?


Kid-Yukon 08-19-2010 06:46 PM

Bmw K1..
I read that about 650 were imported to the USA...

Rob Farmer 08-19-2010 11:33 PM

I sold mine in 2000. Absolutely fantastic bike. I had over 80,000 trouble free miles out of mine. The finish was superb. Weather protection was second to none and it would hit a 150 MPH in no time at all. Quite happy sitting at 120Mph for hours. It was very picky over tyres though and would soon cup the front tyre making handling really heavy and slow. As mentioned above the heat from the cooling fan in summer would burn your thigh when stationary.

They were predicting it would be worth big money 10 years ago but have yet to make it big time. At one point they were being bought for their drive trains and engines for these trikes -->

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