1987 BMW K-Series: 1987 K 75 S
I'm a BMW fan in general - both cars and motorcycles. I currently own two BMW motorcycles. One an R1100R 'Boxer', the other a K 75 S. The S is far more comfortable on a long trip than the R. The seat on the K is flatter and better suited for touring. The seat on the R is more of a saddle and, I think, at least, is better suited to more aggressive riding.
Handlebar position on the K seems to be slightly forward of those on the R but not so much that it causes wrist problems.
My R has ABS. My K does not. Have I ever had the ABS kick in? No, but I like to have them. Both bikes handle very well and they both seem to have a very similar low center of gravity that BMW's are known for.
The R 'sounds' like a 'typical' BMW. The K has a distinctive 'whistle' that took a bit of getting used to. The K also has a lower pitched, more rumbling exhaust note especially noticeable on down-shifting.
Both bikes are exceptionally smooth - the R from the start. The K, being water-cooled takes some warming up.
Power-wise I know that both bikes have approximately the same horsepower rating. With that being the case, I think that the K 'feels' faster.
Serviceability? Well each BMW can be a little quirky to work on. For example, replacing air filters are difficult on both bikes. Oil changes are easier on the R for a couple of reasons: firstly, it doesn't have a fairing that has to be removed to get to the filter. The filter, however does have to be a BMW filter of reasonable facsimile or it won't fit. The K (mine, at least) has a faring to remove before changing the filter. Then, the oil has to be drained from the sump. Next, the sump (pan) is dropped to expose the oil filter which is totally immersed in oil. My point is this: changing the oil on the K takes longer and it is much messier to complete on the R. It may be easier to take it to the shop to have a BMW tech do the job but, yegads! are they pricey!
Next, if you have to replace a fuel pump on either bike get ready to de-pressurize the system, remove the gas cap assembly and have your wife (because she has smaller hands than you) dig out the pump. Also, be prepared for sticker shock regarding the price of the parts. Can the shade-tree mechanic handle it? Sure but, again, it's time consuming and can be difficult.
If you have to replace injectors, look around the web for rebuilt injectors - injectors from a late model Ford V-6, for example are identical to those on an '87 K 75. My point? Do the research first. It can save you a fortune. Also, a Clymer's Manual for both bikes is worth it's weight in gold.
The good news on both bikes is that they're well-built and if you maintain them through the years they'll provide you with years of trouble-free service.
I've spent 42 years riding all sorts of bikes and the BMW are, by far, the best bang for the buck on the market!
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