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Old 04-27-2009, 01:37 PM   #1
eneyman OP
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: San Francisco
Oddometer: 26
BMW K75 for touring?

Hey all, I am researching into getting my first bike. I want to use it not only for daily commuting but for long cross country style touring and need it to be reliable. I have been looking into the 650GS and am highly interested, but can't seem to find any great deals.. I am patient though. Anyways, my question is regarding the K75 (1985-1995) model. I've read the engine is "bulletproof" and will go 100+k miles, but is this a reliable bike to take on long touring? I like the older design and just wanted to get your guys opinion in case I stumble upon a great deal one day on this bike. Also, if this is a solid choice, are parts easy to find and available at decent prices since the bikes have been out of production for a while?

Thanks,
Eddie
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Old 04-27-2009, 01:49 PM   #2
Ilikepivo
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I currently own F bikes, a K75, and R bikes. My K75 is a '95. I can't vouch for the ABS equipped model, but in regards to reliability, everything you have heard about the K75 is true. If you can, get issue 4 of "BMW Motorcycles" from Germany (the English version). They feature the K75. My copy came a few days ago.

Mine has BMW side cases and a Hepco & Becker big Journey case in matching silver accent. It is a smooth running fuel sipper that handles well. You will hear a whine coming from the engine. That is normal. It is the gears.

Make sure service is up to date and as scheduled. You will not go wrong with a K75.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:59 PM   #3
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K75's are stupidly reliable. Touring is no problem whatsoever. All parts are readily available (in Europe anyway).
Check this website for more on K-bikes: http://www.flyingbrick.de/
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:24 PM   #4
eneyman OP
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yea I was on campus today and saw 2 K75's parked in the lot of motorcycles with all the new rice rockets.. One was blue and the other silver with blue stripes, very cool and vintage looking. I wouldn't mind getting one of these if I can get a deal, but damn even they are pricy, looking at IBMWR, these K75's are going for 3-4k! I don't see any nice ones for sale in my area but will keep an eye out.

Another question for you guys, if I get one of these and want to add side cases, is it easy to find new mods/luggage that are compatible? What site would you guys recommend?

thx
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Old 04-27-2009, 03:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneyman
Another question for you guys, if I get one of these and want to add side cases, is it easy to find new mods/luggage that are compatible? What site would you guys recommend?

thx
get BMW luggage: http://motorworks.co.uk/bmw/products...r_text_image=0
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:39 PM   #6
Zagando
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K75S is the way to go for fun, reliable touring!

K75s are excellent touring bikes and many consider them to be the best all-around bike ever made. That is not a serious overstatement as they are pretty bullet-proof. Just keep oil in the engine and the splines lubed every other tire change and your good to go---anywhere.

There are some guys in Alaska and Australia that have made dual sports bikes out of some K75s but that is out of the ordinary.

The main thing is they are superb all-day 80mph+ cruisers and still manage great fuel economy. (I averaged 51.5 mpg cross-country) The fuel injection helps and the inline triple is as smooth as any bike engine can be---it's more like riding a turbine-powered machine, IMO.

The 3-4k price tag is right on the mark for a good solid K. I paid $5k for mine but it came with lots of goodies and the original mileage was low. It has been taken well care of throughout its life and that is important.

If you can the 3rd generation BMW hard bags go for a set---they're large enough to fit a full-face helmet in and are lockable and sturdy. (The 3rd gen bags have the logo about five inches above the rear red reflector; how to tell them apart from the earlier versions). I regularly do large grocery shopping runs with mine and having a top case also helps.

I bought mine from a collector way down in Georgia after spotting it in a listing in the IBMWR Marketplace; flew down and rode the 3200 miles back to the West Coast where I shipped her home to Hawaii. Not a problem. These bikes are made for the open road.

I would suggest searching Craig's List, www.ibmwr.org and joining BMW MOA. There's always a bunch of real knowledgeable guys that can answer any question you might have about K75s or any other model on the excellent MOA forums (there's even one just for Flying Brick K-bikes K75, K100, K1100 models).

They have a strong cult following for many good reasons. Ride one and you will discover why.

They're fun to work on and parts are readily available. You can even use automotive oil filters from Napa that work perfectly with the early K-bikes, too.

All years are good for K75s but I like the later models with ABS brakes. The S model has a better suspension but aftermarket shocks will always be an improvement. Some models came with a lower seat for those with shorter inseams, be aware of this (mine is a low-seat model that I built up with some padding for knee comfort).

The main thing is to find one you like and has been reasonably maintained.

Good luck in your search, be patient and the right one will show up.

Here's mine---one shot in the middle of Texas on the ride home, the other here in Volcanoes Nat'l. Park during an afternoon ride:


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Old 04-27-2009, 10:13 PM   #7
eneyman OP
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wow Zagando, that is a beautiful example right there.. looks brand spankin new! Thanks for the helpful info fellas, I will definitely keep an eye out. I prefer the higher handlebars though, touring style.

I'm really liking that soft bmw yellow, what is the name of that color
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:51 PM   #8
eneyman OP
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dang I am looking at prices on ebay and craigs and others, seems like here in California the prices are steep :/ .. I am seeing some good deals around other places in the country, but don't want to buy a bike over the internet, this is something I actually need to see in person. I am looking at used 650GS's by the way, I would rather have a newer 650gs over the K75, unless a killer deal comes around.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:50 PM   #9
Zagando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eneyman
wow Zagando, that is a beautiful example right there.. looks brand spankin new! Thanks for the helpful info fellas, I will definitely keep an eye out. I prefer the higher handlebars though, touring style.

I'm really liking that soft bmw yellow, what is the name of that color
Thanks, Eneyman, it is the Dakar Yellow. I am actually going to paint it another color this summer (maybe I shouldn't have told you---the only thing I don't like about the bike).

The C bars are what you want, although I love my shorter S bars. I'm more at one with the bike and the road. The C bars make a lot of people happy, though---whatever works for you is the way to go.

Search CL everyday and check out the other sources I mentioned. One will turn up sooner or later.

Hold out for an S, though (they also have front dual discs and a single rear disc instead of drum brakes found on the C, T or /2 models.
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Old 04-28-2009, 05:20 AM   #10
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I sold mine with 79535 miles on the clock. The mileage was not noticeable in any way, the engine still pulled like new and didn't use a drop of oil. Mileage like that is actually low(ish) for a K75, 150 000+ miles is not rare at all.

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Old 04-28-2009, 06:25 AM   #11
johno
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I am a Boxer man. I did a service for a bloke on a K75RT, and had heard so much good about them that I just had to go for a ride.

Personally, I didnt like it. My GSPD has more go in it than the 75.
I suppose if I had it for a bit longer it may grow on me. Certainly was smooth compared to my Airhead.
They have a common starting problem as well. They weld up the starter relay if trying to start a bike with a half flat battery.
The one I serviced did this, and I cleaned up the contacts in the relay, and no problems since.

Please dont take my comments as a downer, just my findings.
The owner of the one I worked on, loves it.

I would suggest you get a decent ride on one before you buy.

I have also had a 2001 F650GS, and was a great bike.
But dont think it is what you want if you want to do long trips.
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Old 04-28-2009, 06:43 AM   #12
LasseNC
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Any bike can go anywhere ;)
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:11 AM   #13
bikecat
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Main weaknesses of the K75 are the splines and the not so comfy seat. Sluggish for 2-up and once you hit 4k on the RPM the little pony will gallop :)
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikecat
Main weaknesses of the K75 are the splines and the not so comfy seat. Sluggish for 2-up and once you hit 4k on the RPM the little pony will gallop :)
I guess the comfort of the seat depends on the owners arse. I had the standard seat and found it comfy for all day long.

That a GSPD has more go is not true. Boxer delivery characteristics are simply different, more torque on low revs but K75 has at least 20mph higher top speed than GS. K75S will hit 130mph in the right conditions (standard version will struggle to reach 125 though), try that on a GSPD
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:47 AM   #15
Kismet
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I'm addicted to airheads, but the riding I did on a K75, and on a loaner shop bike...K100RS...was enlightening.

Like it was on rails...into turns too fast and it just shrugged and powered on through. I was accustomed to feeling/hearing the engine as part of a ride...the K bikes gave me no feed-back. I likened it to an electric motor, twist and go.

I have friends who covered the country many times...they love 'em.

K75 especially.


Good luck.
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