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I should have known when the old chap, selling the bike, told me the reason for selling was that he couldnt get the large German up his inclined driveway. Yes, this was a big motorcycle all right. It was a BMW K series, with its great big sail of a fairing and touring panniers, the BMW K75 RT to be exact. This was BMWs first romance with in line engines, back in the mid 80s and resulted in a 750cc in line 3 cylinder (as well as a 4 cylinder 1,000cc). It was a large beast and lets name him Fritz.
My life with Fritz was one of love and hate. I loved the turbine like quality of that 750cc engine it was a case of Deutchland Uber Alles; it had real road presence and style. I was a serious motorcyclist and this Teutonic motorcycle was the Uber Papa of them all. The bike when I purchased it had a ridiculously low mileage for a 1992 tourer (something like 7,000 miles and it really had done such a low mileage as its first owner stored it in his barn for most of its life), but the ABS had packed up (make sure you check its working if the bike has ABS fitted) and the BMW service charges were prohibitive. A standard main service was about £400 and I was not convinced that Fritz was worth this much. The nearest BMW motorcycle dealer was at least 60 miles away, this meant I couldnt spoil Fritz in a real BMW workshop and he had to make do with a local motorcycle workshop.
The ride was indeed solid allied to its shaft drive (no messy chain). It did manage to make light of the bad weather too, with the large fairing taking most of the rain and wind away from the rider. Even taller riders than me (Im 5 8) would have found low speed filtering difficult on an RT though; this was a top heavy bike and with the car like rear view mirrors, the width of Fritz was such that he must have existed on a diet of bratwurst and beer in prodigious quantities for most of his life. This bike had a very large waistline. You didnt chuck Fritz around corners; you gently went round them and respected his majesty and poise. I only racked up a few thousand miles, but it never missed a beat and I would expect these engines should achieve high trouble free mileages.
There was a real BMW biker brother hood out there too; BMW riders were mature and sensible types by and large. You were also very unlikely to get pulled by the Old Bill on Fritz, in fact until recently the K series was a widely used Police motorcycle (the K750 production line ceased in about 1996 or 97). When the time came to put Fritz away in my own garage, I found that even with a fairly moderate incline this was a hefty German lad. I met my Waterloo at a petrol station, I was being a little disrespectful to big Fritz by riding slowly after filling up, one hand on my throttle grip and the other trying to flip down my lid visor, well the embarrassment, was total as Fritz toppled over with me at 2 mph in the middle of the forecourt. Little damage was done as the panniers seemed to take most of the impact and apart from my pride, all was intact. I even managed to pick Fritz up and ride away.
So it was love and hate really. If I had been a few inches taller Fritz and I would have got on much better. But he was a big German farmer type and I was a short British bloke, who needed to find something a little more manageable. But I couldnt fault Fritz. He did what he was supposed to do and although Fritz had been well restored from his down time in the barn (hed even been professionally re sprayed), we just didnt hit it off, due to his size and my shortness of leg. Despite this I would give Fritz a good report, he was sensible, did what he was supposed to do, without any fuss. But at the end of the day he drank lots of beer and ate German sausage in massive quantities. We were just chalk and cheese him and me but I liked my big Teutonic pal and we parted best of friends; indeed so popular are these 750cc machines I sold Fritz for what I paid for him nine months previously. This bike was a good solid lad - top marks and auf weidersehn Fritz.
I purchased this bike in April 2004 from a middle aged chap in Southampton for £1950.00
The bike had 58,263 miles on the clock and the previous four MOT certificates back to May 1999
It was supplied with an oil filter removal tool, a manual and some touch up paint.
I have owned and ridden it in all weathers for the past year and covered 3,500 miles.
In that time it has started first time every time and never let me down.
I have changed the engine oil and filter, gearbox oil, final drive oil (shaft driven) and replaced the worn out rear tyre.
The motor is very torquey and it will pull cleanly and swiftly in any gear from 1800rpm up to about 9000rpm. It returns 52mpg.
Very solidly built it has a very modern specification; ABS which is a brilliant pro-active safety system, single sided swing arm and fuel injection.
Initially it felt top heavy, but I soon became accustomed to this.
At 6'3" I experienced a lot of wind noise over the fairing, a quick call to MotoBins and one tall screen later (£70) problem solved.
For me this bike is superb offering so much protection from the elements it is like sitting in a car, with so much luggage space (two panniers, a top box and two fairing pockets) and such road presence it is like being in a car.
When it comes to acceleration it'll outpace all cars and most sub 750cc bikes. Top speed is about 105mph (estimated) which is way past losing your licence.
Cheap to insure and service it is, for me, the perfect motorcycle.
After years riding an old and trusted BMW boxer, I thought it was time to move into twentieth century, so I bought a K75. The K at first seemed big, flash and very powerfull compared to the old twin, and whilst the three cylinder engine couldn't compare with a jap 4 in terms of any adrenalin rush, it had torque. To keep going at a reasonable rate on public roads, outright power is not all that useful, cause it usually depends on being in the right gear at the right time to fully exploit it. The K had no real power, only developing a modest 75bhp, but it had torque all the way from tickover to the ignition cut out. On the road it meant you could stay in top gear all day, enter bends in any gear, and still power out without dancing on the gear shift, often to the annoyance of sport bike riders. A great engine with a distinctive triple sound, but wrapped in heavy cycle parts with a gearbox that sounded as though it was going to suffer a terminal failure at every change. Maybe thats why they made it so torquey?