Friday, June 22, 2012

Back to the 1980s: Riding the BMW K1


We were quite fascinated with the BMW K1 when we first saw pictures of the bike in the late-1980s. And it still doesn't look too bad to us...

Introduced in 1988, the BMW K1 was pretty radical for its time. Its liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16-valve, 987cc four-cylinder engine featured electronic fuel injection (engineered by Bosch) and computer-controlled ignition with three-dimensional mapping, and produced 100bhp and 100Nm of torque. The bike had Brembo brakes with ABS, a single-side swingarm/shaft-drive set up, five-speed gearbox, and a full fairing with a remarkably unique graphics treatment - we'd love to see an S1000RR with its name emblazoned all over the fairing the way it's done on the K1.

With a dry weight of about 230 kilos and only 100bhp on tap, we don't suppose the K1's performance would be anything special by modern standards, but then this BMW was always meant to be a sports-tourer rather than an all-out sportsbike, so that's probably all right. Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that we had posters of this bike up on our bedroom walls back when we were in school, maybe it's the sci-fi styling or maybe it's just that the K1 is from the 1980s, a decade we love so much. Whatever it is, we think the K1 was damn cool 25 years ago. And it still is.

BMW K1
BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1 image host BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1 BMW K1


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