I am about to purchase a '98 Dakar K1200RS. Can anyone tell me some details about the evolution of this "flying brick" motor as far as the lineage of the bike and what it transformed into over the years?
See bikez.com for a comprehensive list of BMW motorcycle models. K bikes start on page 3:
The "Flying Brick" K100 was first produced in 1983 (model year 1984 in the U.S., IIRC) and ended in 2010 or 2011 with the last K1200LT.
K100 = 4-cylinder/8-valve (987cc). Available with ABS (K100RS-SE) beginning in 1988. 16-valve engine started in 1989 with the K1 and in 1990 on the RS models.
K75 = 3-cyclinder/6-valve (740cc). Available from 1986 through 1996.
K1100 = 4-cylinder/16-valve (1,092cc). Available from 1993 through 1997.
K1200 = 4-cyclinder/16-valve (1,171cc). The 1200 models were a major re-design, bearing little resemblance to previous K bikes other than the the "brick" engine. Completly new frame, telelever front end, paralever drive shaft, 6-speed transmission, etc. Huge improvement in power and handling. Available from 1997 - 2005 (RS/GT) and as late as 2011 for the LT models.
I've owned 5 flying brick K bikes: 1985 K100RS, 1989 K100RS/SE (ABS special), 1990 K1, 1991 K1, and a 2004 K1200GT. Bought the GT in '08 with ~10,000 miles on the odometer and it's been a great bike. Nearing 100,000 miles and still going strong. Definitely the best of the Ks I've owned. Loved the K1s (beautiful in blue!), but the high foot pegs and cramped riding position killed my old knees. Wish I would have kept the last one just to ride once in a while and look at longingly while wishing for the greater flexibility of my younger self. 😉