K100 Buying Advice? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 2005, 5:44 pm Thread Starter
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K100 Buying Advice?


I'm currently riding an old but trusty 1976 R75/6 BMW. A friend's husband who is ill offered to sell me his 1985 K100 BMW for $2000 because he knows it will have a good home.

I already read the "K-Bike Buyer's Guide"
by Don Eilenberger so I know there are some issues with this model at this age. It has 30,000 miles on the odometer and he didn't say this wasn't the actual mileage and since this is Wisconsin our riding season is short. But is that the correct mileage? Not 100% sure.

The paint looks "new" altho original and I believe the bike was well-maintained in that he took it to the dealer. I believe he changed the engine oil frequently -- he claims every 1000 miles. He was more vague about the trannie oil change intervals.

Unfortunately its a K100 and not a K100RT which I would much prefer in this cool climate. It does have the BMW plastic windshield, saddlebags, and the small box on back. Otherwise it's pretty much stock.

As I live a few hundred miles from the bike I don't have access to it now, but it did seem like a nice motorcycle, altho I didn't ride it. When I go down in the spring I will bring
Don's "K-Bike Buyer's Guide" along and inspect the bike closer and also give it a long test ride.

But any advice or feedback you might have would be appreciated. Mostly I'm worried that I will miss the full RT fairing. Also I have not had a water-cooled bike before with fuel injection and the added complexity in a bike this old worries me a little as I maintain my bikes and all my stuff myself.

What do you guys think?

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 30th, 2005, 11:27 pm
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Not saying there isn't a wealth of info here, but you might get better detailed responses from www.ibmwr.org K-bike technical pages. "The Don" (Don Eilenberger) is an excellent resource, and there is lots of K100 information in their archives, both by Don and others. Email the ones listed on the tech page for anything not covered in the tech pages. They're very knowledgable, but will be very grumpy if you don't search and read first. Many questions have been asked many times before...you know the drill. Also, you might find someone who is close by and can check out the bike for you.

What I know (which isn't much) is the rings weren't "fixed" to reduce the engine start-up smoking from the bike being on it's side stand. Center-stand parking helps a lot, as does leaning the bike to the right for about 30 seconds before putting it up on the center stand. Doesn't fix it, but helps. 30k isn't much mileage for a 20 year old bike, so all the fluids should be changed ASAP. $2000 in cherry condition and running well isn't a bad price. But, yeah, the RT would be nicer with that weather. Although, I recall that there was an issue early on that dealt with throwing heat onto the rider that was resolved...but I don't know what year that was attended to.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 31st, 2005, 1:41 am
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I just bought an 85 K100RT 70k. The current owner alone spent $3000 in the year he has had it (and rode it 20k!), not intending to sell it. This convinced me to buy it, even for a low price of $2000. Service history is everything on these bikes. Without regular spline lube at input shaft of transmission and at final drive, they are more to repair than to buy. The speedos are a weak spot, so it's very important to verify actual mileage. I had an 85 k100RS model for only 6-8 months. It was uncomfortable for me. The RT confirms this, and i wouldn't buy another model to 'make it work' for me in terms of the right fit. I'm very happy now, especially with a stackful of service records.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 31st, 2005, 9:35 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips. Yes, I've also been reading the tech pages and I'll check that other website too. But it's good to hear live opinions from K-bike enthusiasts.

I esp. noticed the advice about inspecting the wear pattern on the brake pedal. I have written that down as that appears to be a way to check relative mileage. That will be the first thing I will look at when I go back down.

I did buy a car from the same guy who owns this K100. In fact, we were walking into the garage to look at the bike and he said: "Want to buy a car?" Since it was only $250 I did buy it.

Reason I bring that up is because he did save all the service records of the auto I got from him. So I'd be surprised if he didn't also save the service records on the bike. I will have to ask for them and look them over closely.

I imagine he would let me remove the rear wheel to inspect the rear spline if that is simple to do on the K100. On my R75/6 it's just a matter of taking the wheel off. I would imagine the K100 is similar.

There is no BMW dealer within hundreds of miles of where I live so whatever work is done on the bike should I buy it will be done here. But from reading old literature the K100 seems to be easy to service and you guys rack up some very impressive mileage.

The windshield is an issue for me in this cool climate. That seems like a step backwards in spite of the bike being high-tech compared to my R75/6. I think if it was an RS or an RT I would not feel this hesitation. The motor unit on the K100 does appeal to me.


Last edited by paulstamser; Dec 31st, 2005 at 9:41 am.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 31st, 2005, 11:05 am
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The K100 was and still is a fine motorcycle, it had a few foilbles, like heat from the engine and clutch splines that need lubrication every now and then. But this bike is capable of very high milage, I have friends with K100's with in excess of 250000 miles and still running. I think the amount your friend wants is reasonable. But if you are not familiar with a K bike I would take it to a dealer and spend the mony for a complete service and then enjoy a fine bike.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Dec 31st, 2005, 12:56 pm
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Checking the driveshaft splines is a little more than just removing the wheel. You have to remove the complete rear drive unit, then tighten a water hose clamp onto the shaft and "pop" it out of the housing to lube it.
Bruce C
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 8:43 am
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Hi Paul, that sounds like a good deal on the K100. I gather it is a
plain k100 and not an RS? If you like riding when its
cold, the K will handle it fine.

One of the problems on those is excessive heat, so that might
work to your advantage I rode airheads for 15 years
when I got an 85 k100rs back in '97. Completely reliable
for the 34k I rode it, I never had to use a battery charger on it,
never failed to start. If I hadn't kept crashing it I might still
be riding it.

You've heard about the splines, no big deal really; mine looked like
new at 54k when i "retired" it. You've read that the tank and sidepanels
as well as camshafts are different on it. The only other gotcha
is the water\oil pump impeller and shaft, which is secured with a nut instead of a bolt
as on later years. This will break off and a new shaft is a couple hundred bucks.
The old shaft could be tapped and threaded too, or a new pump is lttle more
than the shaft itself.

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