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Bike Review - Posted 14th January 2013
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BMW K75

David Bullivant applauds the 'vastly under-rated' 750cc BMW K-series triple and offers practical advice to other owners...

The BMW 750 has been featured on the RC site before, and Steve McGregor also reprised his experiences in issue 100 of the monthly magazine. I was delighted to see this recognition for the vastly under-rated K75. Steve is to be applauded for landing on such a gem of a motorcycle. The first K100 four-cylinder motorcycles with 8-valve heads developed only 90bhp and the magic 100bhp from 1000cc could only be found in the later, incredible K1 (1988-1993), the head of which had 16 valves. The K75 was the first with 100bhp per litre, and this power was one of the many delights offered by the triple-cylinder model.

Moody brochure shot... BMW K75

Steve mentioned tyres and how they changed the manner of going. From my many thousands of kilometres on a number of K75 motorcycles, I would suggest that Metzler Marathons suit it best. And the suggested pressures shown under the seat are just that, suggested. It is sound advice to inflate well over the suggested limits - the word is that the suggested pressures are to help give a nice squashy ride. Front fork oil should be changed for something heavier, too.

Roamin' in the gloamin'... Steve McGregor's BMW K75RT
K Series BMWs on

Quite the best motorcycle ever was our K75 fitted with a boxer RS fairing. This was a model that BMW should have produced and ours was the product of a Finnish dealer, and bore the title 'Repa Special' to explain the 'RS'. Every three years, we'd change the bike and over the winter the dealer would transfer all the RS fittings to our new K75 that we'd take out in the spring…

When the K series first came on stream in the early 1980s, they were light-years ahead of anything else on the market. They were initially available with two sizes of top-box; a very neat low box, tailored to fit the rear carrier, and the other was a vast touring trunk. Those K100s fitted with the big box tended to weave and buck when ridden solo at high speed. However, if you have a pillion passenger, then a large top-box does not disturb the handling - the wind cannot get hold of it. This is one reason why police motorcycles mount their top-box close to the rider and why he has but a single saddle - it all helps wind-flow at high-speed.

Possibly the best looking one... BMW K75S

The tail-piece that Steve added to his K75 is clearly fitted with a Givi-type rack for a bigger top-box and we too always run a 42 litre Givi top box on a similar rack. On one long trek into Norway, we had the misfortune to hit some really rough road at speed, with the result that the bike flew into the air and came down heavily. We discovered that the Givi rack had punched through the tail-piece, which relies solely on its own material to take the strain of the top-box. Back home, we fabricated a thick steel plate to fit inside the rear bodywork and through which the four rack fixing bolts passed, and never had any more trouble.

Useful K75 info: I carry a full set of spare bulbs in the rear lamp lens. It is a large, box-shaped item, and when dismounted it will absorb a number of bulbs, carefully wrapped. The life of fork seals can be greatly extended by fitting fork-gaiters - those from a GS model fit. If using an unfaired K75, I've found that GS hand protectors fit to the handlebars and bolt straight on. The early faults with speedometers can be cured by giving them a gentle tap while on the move, and drilling a small hole at the base of the case put an end to condensation. Some speedo-faults were traced to the pick-up at the rear wheel getting dirty.

Short people look better in black and white. Fact... BMW K75 - Low Seat Version

The K75 is also available with two factory seat options; Steve has the standard, high saddle. There is a K75 available with low saddle, allowing those with less long legs to feel secure. The lower saddle model runs a smaller diameter rear wheel with disc brake for which Metzler still manufacture a rear tyre. Unlike the high saddle, the lower saddle is not hinged at the side, but takes off completely. The lower saddle models are clearly identified as they appear to have knee-grips along the rear flanks of the fuel tank and a pad on the tail of the tank. The low saddle model has no tool tray beneath the saddle.

It is one of life's amazements that you can buy a low mileage K75, complete with panniers and toolroll for three small figures. We know of Ks with as much as 500,000 miles showing. The fully-balanced engine makes for a very smooth power delivery. Those of us who love 'em, call them 'magic flying carpets'.


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