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Great Motorcycles - The BMW K1


In 1989, BMW released a motorcycle that turned the world upside down. This bike was the BMW K1 and it was surprising for two reasons: its performance and the fact that it was built by BMW.

At the time, BMW made strong and reliable motorcycles, but they were tasteless and boring. The K1 broke this mold and led to the current BMW range which includes many performance-oriented machines, such as the K1200S and K1200R.

At the time of construction of the K1, a voluntary limit of 100 hp limited the power of German motorcycles. In order to get the maximum performance from the K1, BMW engineers decided to wrap the bike in a complete aerodynamic fairing. This decision also indicated that in the future BMW would make bicycles not only reliable, but also exciting to watch and drive.

The K1 was powered by a 16-valve, 167-valve, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, double overhead cam, four-cylinder, 100 hp engine. At 8000 rpm. He used a five-speed transmission and a final shaft drive. The engine rested in a tubular steel space frame.

The suspension included a telescopic front section and a single-shock rear section. Two disc brakes on the front and one disc on the rear provided braking power. The bike was a little heavy, rocking to 570 lbs. While being the most sporty and powerful bike ever built by BMW, he was still not as powerful or as fast as his contemporaries.

He did not have a lot of low-speed torque and the engine was not a breather, but he pulled linearly to the red line of 8500 rpm. The bike excelled as a sports traveler and was at its best at long distances at high speeds.

Like its engine, the big BMW did not have a razor, but was enough to do the job. The K1 was heavy and demanded a moderate force on the handlebars to turn, which proved to be advantageous for its role as a high-speed touring motorcycle. The K1 could go all day in tight turns or long, but when the road became winding, the K1 had to slow down to negotiate turns.

The fairing of the K1 made the long distance rides very comfortable. He did a great job in diverting the wind. The bike had great fuel economy and a long range. Overall, the K1 was an excellent high-speed motorcycle, but it had a drawback. It was sorely lacking space for luggage.

The BMW K1 was not a pure sports bike, but it was a success as a sport touring motorcycle. This was the first bike to break the traditional BMW mold and led to the innovative and exciting motorcycles that the company now manufactures.