85 Bmw K100 Rt.

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Gernick, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Gernick

    Gernick Long timer

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    I'm interested in getting one of these for a long distance tourer. What are the Pros and cons? Should I get a later model?


    Yes I did look through a lot of threads using the search function. Figure this would make it a little easier for those that are interested.
    #1
  2. copper84

    copper84 Adventurer

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    I had a 1987 BMW K100 RT from 2001 through 2006. I thought it was a great bike. I sold it to buy a 2003 1150GS only because of all the ranch roads out here in Oklahoma City. The K bike is very good for the touring mission. Maintenance is minimal and it never left me on the side of the road. I have found BMW owners usually take care of their bikes and garage them.

    During the summer the heat builds up behind the fairing and can be a bit much. I used to move my knees out into the slipstream to cool down. In fall and winter that's a great feature. For the money...mine was $3500 from a dealer it's a good buy.

    Another issue with early K's are noisy brakes. The only thing I found to quite them down was Mercedes brake grease. The brakes are flawless but they do talk to you.

    All in all I miss by K bike, The big GS and I are still dating but I will fall in love with her. By the way don't crank the bike on a low battery charge...you will blow the starter relay...found out the hard way. I'm not the only one....the dealer had them in stock.

    I put a power plug on the bike to use a battery charger. Parts are no problem and there is a whole sub culture out there, just do a google search.

    If I had the money I may look at early 90's K1100, but if you have one in sight I wouldn't hesitate. One more thing....I may have bought a K100 RS if I had to do it over again. If the bike is a straight tour bike fine....if it's a daily driver or weekend tour bike the RS may be a better choice.

    Again lots of info out there. Hope this helps
    #2
  3. Gernick

    Gernick Long timer

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    This one is going to be purely for cold weather and long distance rides.

    I've got my eyes on an '85. What should I look out for? Wasn't there something special about that year?
    #3
  4. bmwblake

    bmwblake upside down parker

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    i miss my k75s sometimes. great and simple bikes.
    here's some good info on the 85 or finest year k as they are often referred to (by people who happen to own that year).
    #4
  5. lkchris

    lkchris Albuquerque

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    There was lots "special" about that year.

    It was the first USA year for the K-bike and there was lots left to do to perfiect this bike.

    Muffler falls apart
    Fuel boils, i.e. vapor lock
    Incredible heat on rider
    Intolerable vibration in hand grips (see muffler falls apart)

    It was the first and last K-bike I ever considered.

    It's not surprising they're cheaper on the used market than Airheads the same or even a couple years older.

    I understand, however they were improved over time, as is to be expected from BMW. I'd look for a 16V over an 8V.
    #5
  6. Yossarian™

    Yossarian™ Deputy Cultural Attaché

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    I had an '85 K100RT. The bike had heat issues. Namely, on warm days the heat buildup behind the windshield was quite bothersome. On hot days, it was almost unbearable, with persipiration dripping down inside my helmet. I did have a tall windshield on the bike, though.

    Ugh. Just thinking about roasting on that bike makes me sweat.

    Other than that, and a nagging issue with a poor electrical connection (eventually solved) it was a solid, reliable bike that rode well.

    I traded it for a ZX-11 in 1990 and speed's been the game ever since.
    #6
  7. Gernick

    Gernick Long timer

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    Wasn't the 16v only in the RS?
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  8. copper84

    copper84 Adventurer

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    I believe the early 90's were all 16 valve. The first K's were 8 valve. I kind of agree with the other poster....later is better. Having said that it really depends on how much you want to spend and want you want.

    As far as the buzzing goes the early k's were buzzy. That's why the K75 were so successful. They were 3 cylinders and had a counter balancer. The 100's did not. My bike had aftermarket foam grips so the buzz didn't bother me.

    If you ride loooong distance think about heated grips. I have heated grips on my GS and they extended your time in cooler temps.

    If you get a good deal on the 85 your looking at you wont be sorry, the bike will serve you well. By the way in 2001 on my 87 I paid $3500 with 32,000 miles, repainted the fairing (it was used hard), took care of it, replaced a bent rim (that I bent), battery, and when I traded it in the dealer sold it for $4000- $4500 (don't know for sure, but he gave he $2300 on trade in).

    What i liked about the K bike was for 1985 it was fuel injected, electronic ignition, shaft, water cooled, double disk front brakes, etc...pretty good for mid 80's.
    #8
  9. Gernick

    Gernick Long timer

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    Yeah. I'm looking for a budget machine. I don't really want to spend more than $3500.
    #9
  10. copper84

    copper84 Adventurer

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    I just read the link from the other poster and it's good advice...I read that when I had my K bike. The advise is good because people who owned the K bike rode the shit out of them.

    On a 22 year old bike the rubber will need work.....I lubed my rear spline and it was fine.....I think BMW said to do it every 10,000 miles. I also remember the issue with the speedo....I think they used plastic gears...but the speedos were an issue. My gas gauge was not accurate....but it was inaccurate within a 10th of a gallon all the time. I could be 150 miles before my low fuel light came on.

    Bottom line.....I've heard about a lot of K bikes getting over 100,000 miles, of course so did R bikes. The reason I ride BMW is they make good stuff. When I bought the K bike I was looking at the Kawasaki Concours (My brother rode one for 41,000 miles). The BMW just had a soul.....the Connie was great but.....just.....mechanical?? Best way to describe it.

    My car is my car...my bike is ME. :wink:
    #10
  11. Gernick

    Gernick Long timer

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    I'm not afraid to use a wrench. Matter of fact, I want to have to put a little work into it. Otherwise I'd look at a newer japanese machine.
    #11
  12. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    I rode a K100RT for a season in the middle of a bunch of seasons with airheads. I think if I'd bought a K100RS I'd prolly still have it.

    Pros:
    Killer reliable motor with more than enough power for anything you want to do on a public road. These things are bomb-proof. The vibes never bothered me.

    Not a bad chassis, either. With sorted suspension they track pretty well for a full on touring bike.

    Fairing works great in cooler weather. Good wx protection and reasonably aerodynamic for high speed running etc.

    Between the motor and the fairing you can devour HUGE miles of highway with minimal effort.

    Cons:
    As noted, the fairing will roast you alive in hot weather. This is NOT an understatement.

    The stock seat will completely emasculate you. On a really hot day the fairing/seat one-two combination will make you wish for an airhead.

    Stock suspension is pretty poor. They cry out for a good quality shock to improve handling and rideablity. Tuning the fork with quality springs is a good idea, too. In stock form it's horribly undersrpung.

    In Conclusion:
    A solid machine that's worth sorting for long term high mile use. But it WILL need sorting (works shock, Corbin seat etc) for long term usefulness. A real bargain, too, imho. (my buddies old K75 with 250k kms still rides better than his Oilhead RS).

    Fit, finish, build quality etc are miles ahead of a Kawasaki Concours. My nieghbor just got rid of one of those and I really couldn't believe just how shoddy the thing was.

    fwiw,
    Lornce
    #12
  13. Gernick

    Gernick Long timer

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    Alrighty than! Thanks everyone. Now I just have to find one. :lol3
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  14. Lornce

    Lornce Lost In Place

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    Message: 9
    Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 09:37:04 -0500
    From: ibmwr-ads@lists.ibmwr.org
    Subject: [IBMWR-Ads] For Sale 1985 K100RT

    Category: K- bikes for sale
    1985 K100RT

    1985 K100RT for sale. 80,000 miles, runs like a top. Recent sevice,
    New speedo pick-up, fan motor, All splines lubed. Bike is grey with no
    damage, All bodywork in good condition with only a few chips in
    fairing. Good working saddlebags,(they seep a little water) Heated
    grips, Metzler tires (6/32 front 5/32 rear) Stock seat with an extra
    touring seat(a rip in the cover) Parabellum windscreen, rear rack,
    Bike is ready to ride.. Pictures available. Serious buyers only, No
    scammers.I rode this bike 11,000 trouble free miles this season.

    Price: $3650.00
    Location: Windber ,Pa.
    Contact Tim Papinchak at <wcycle@floodcity.net>
    Telephone 814-421-3790 cell

    Posted Wednesday, January 02, 2008 at 22:56:10 (EST)
    #14
  15. Gernick

    Gernick Long timer

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    I found one with 54k miles and they only want $2500. Makes me wonder what might be wrong with it. They're not responding to my emails so I think I'm going to give them a call.

    They're only 8 hours away from me. :lol3


    Thanks for the ad. That guys a lot closer to me. I'll check that one out as well.
    #15
  16. Gernick

    Gernick Long timer

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    What were some of the improvements that the K1100 had over the K100?
    #16
  17. tv guy

    tv guy Commuter

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    Apologies for the length of this....The K1100 had 16 valves, so service is more expensive :cry paralever FD, better front brakes (Brembo 4 piston) and cartridge front fork. They also had more horse power though the few I've ridden don't feel quicker than my '85 maybe because they weigh more???

    The '85 is often called the "best year" K :deal due to the euro spec cams (90HP) and bullet proof nearly everything else. To learn more go to IBMWR.org and check out all the K tech articals.

    As for the everlastiang vibes complaints... my other bike is a DR 650, when I ride the K it always feels like a sewing machine by comparison YRMV.

    I also like the RT better than the RS, the seating possition is more comfy, and the RT faring fits me better than anything I've ridden. The heat issue is real, I rode with a cut down windshield for a few years but if you have a summer bike that is the best option.
    #17
  18. jamesm417

    jamesm417 Adventurer

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    I'm looking at an old 85 K100RS.
    It's got low mileage, and has been sitting in my friends garage for years.

    What do I want to look for in regard to maintenance issues?

    Thanks,

    Jim
    #18
  19. blakey

    blakey Adventurer

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    #19
  20. Yellow Iron

    Yellow Iron Long timer

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    best bike I ever owned.

    never really had any problems. Only the tank electric plug. I installed a new spedo and other maintance.
    Heat issues sometines on a hot day when the fan comes on but that was all.
    I had mine up for sale a few times ( no serious offers) Price on these bikes shoud be running on $2500 to $3500
    If your intersted I may part with mine.
    (damm Photobucket is Down ) Post pics later
    Here it is http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=760480&page=3

    Baja red metallic the best color in 85
    Back in the day the first thing to do was off the buzzy bumble bee exhaust and up grade> I installed the newest and best I could get at the time Luftmister canister.
    Everyone was running a corbin seat I had to have a Crobin caynon duel sport.
    Dive problems Progressive springs a must followed up with a progressive in the rear.
    A set of sticky Metzlers (99s no longer avabile) and these were one of the best bikes on the street.
    #20