K1 story


The design of the K100 that BMW used to produce was a cruiser/tourer design and BMW marketing wanted a sports orientated tourer to appeal to a more youth orientated market perception, and compete with the Japanese factories. BMW was committed to the manufacturer imposed 100 bhp (75 kW) limit for motorcycles sold in Germany, so decided that to address both issues it needed to turn to aerodynamics to solve the problem.

After an aggresive first layout, BMW engineers started to built an actual prototype. Design created the aerodynamic “Racer” mockup, based on a standard K100 chassis, using the same large and all enveloping two-piece front mud guard mated closely to a seven-piece main fairing, that included two small panniers. The resultant drag coefficient was 0.34 with the rider prone, the lowest of any production motorcycle in 1988.

The debut in 1988 Köln Motorcycle salon was stunning ! Nobody knows what to say when BMW unveiled the model to the press and public. Futuristic look in reference to the K and R previous models was unexpected. First units come to the dealers april 1989. Innovative look and high price (22.000 DM) were his worst enemies in the sales statistics. Model power limitation (100 BHP) was another handicap opposite their japanese rivals.

Evolution of the K1 model

First units came with ABS as an option. ABS becomes standard since october 1991, just like the catalytic exhaust. Last K1 model was produced august 1993, but BMW dealers offered bikes until mid 1994.

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