We can say it, the K 1 is an upheaval for the BMW brand. A visual shock sprinkled with an astonishing evolution of road performance. If the Munich brand can boast of a past rich in speed records, this is due to an era between the great wars. Since then, BM has forged an image of comfort, safety and reliability that set standards in the motorcycle world. Yet the sport, BM knows. In a car, the M3 knows how to make powder speak. What if I told you that there is a guy from Motorsport GMBH who looked at the mechanics of the K1? !?!
Compared to the other models of the K series, the block increases in power to reach 100 hp but is distinguished by its marked increase in torque, its value now exceeding 10 mkg. The Bavarian 4-cylinder also gained 8 new valves while the crankshaft lost 1.3 kg. The compression ratio increases from 10.2 to 11 to 1, some moving parts are made lighter and the injection electronics are at the cutting edge of technology. However, it is not the mill but certainly the design of the K1 that mobilized the most brainpower. A thorough study in aerodynamics combined with singular stylistic choices result in a motorcycle without equal or precedent. Of course, the BM will stand out. Lines that are both imposing and cut, mixes of Star trek and TGV; an incredibly enveloping front fender, colors … mmhhhrrgg… "specials". The blue is elegant, the red sporty, but the touches of yellow scattered all over the place are reminiscent of Father Fougasse’s combine. And worse, there’s this microwave oven door, sorry, the headlight that breaks the K1’s speed line. We love, we wonder or we hate, but this sportswoman will not leave anyone indifferent.
Let’s not forget the chassis which shows a seriousness in line with the claims of the machine. The tubular structure frame retains the design of the K series but the tubes are larger. Wide rims and new ABS reinforced brakes (standard) will bring a real plus to the handling and safety of the motorcycle.
BMW tradition, the rear transmission is still provided by cardan shaft, with the adoption of the new Paralever system appeared a year ago on the trail R 100 GS. The principle: a second articulation makes it possible to virtually eliminate the torque effects typical of this type of transmission. And on the road, chic motorcycle or shock motorcycle ?
When taking this 259 kg motorcycle, we are far from suspecting its ease of use. With its generous size, the beast confuses but is welcoming when you hit the road. A bit tilted on the front, well installed, however with the legs too bent, we start the 16 valves whose sound does not differ from the other K. A few cables and we are conquered by the smoothness and driving of the K1. Flown the 3 quintals. Its very lively front, the smoothness of the controls and the flexibility of the mill give the machine wings. No risk of being overwhelmed by the power because the 4 cylinders lacks torque below 4000 rpm. Either way, we’re not going to spend the day flirting with Renault Super 5s and Citroën BXs. And worse, we have a BM cut like an airplane between the pognes, so, we go for it !
Faced with the lack of torque at low revs, we waited for mid revs to open wide. The boiler still vibrates a little, especially around 5000 revs, and begins its ascent towards the red zone. It lacks a little liveliness in its revving then distributes a hell of a nice potato between 6000 and 9500 trs. Question taken again, the K1 holds the dragee high to many Japanese. While cruising at good speed, a generous flick of the right wrist and the behemoth will chat with the 260 meter. It goes, but you have the vertebrae that derail…
Because here’s where it gets stuck and it shouldn’t. "Studied in wind tunnel, aerodynamics, air penetration, gna gna gna…" Maybe well, but it gets noisy in the headphones from 140 an hour. Then, to go faster, no other choice but to hide your head in the bubble. BMW wanted the rider to feel the sensation of speed very early on so as not to encourage driving at very high speed. Staggering for such a worked machine; especially since the rest of the body benefits from very correct protection. However, it is not all bad, far from it, especially since by its aerodynamics, the German sports car is very stable at high speed as in curves. This can move a little because the rear reacts less quickly than the front but the K1 is always reassuring. A little caution on a congested highway or when sailing in the south: the large mudguard and the large fairing cause sensitivity to the wind and trucks. The autonomy is substantial and allows to rally much warmer roads.
It is in the virolos that the teutonic gives the best of itself. In its good rev range, the thruster allows you to leap from turn to turn and the steering gently swallows you all the curves. This is not a supersport front end but we believe it. Normally with this type of steering it guides from a little to a lot. Fortunately, BM has judiciously installed a steering damper, hidden in the fork crown. Provide a small manual for the gearbox. In sport driving, apply yourself to shifting gears if you do not want to find yourself "between 2 speeds". Otherwise, the box is good but does not yet have the efficiency and speed of a jap ‘.
If the machine is superb to pilot in the laces of our beautiful country, it prefers the roll-up to the too muscular piloting. Take advantage of the front braking but not during the turn; a 281 kg beast that gets up on its own in the curve when you press the right lever a little, this is not recommended.
And you will have opportunities to use the braking, especially since the BM is tasty. It has become really powerful, progressive and enjoyable. In addition, mister ABS watches over all this.
The BMW K1 is truly surprising. Comfort and protection have nothing to do with the usual German standards. It is really a sportswoman who comes to rub shoulders with the Japanese like the Honda CBR 1000 and Kawasaki Tomcat. Forget your luggage and discover BM piloting. The engine and the chassis are strong, the design surprising but which will not thrill everyone. You don’t have to be a connoisseur to appreciate good things; but here we can ask ourselves the question.
M.B – internet photos
What you must remember
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sure 3 notice
1000 K1 1991
Model marketed in
0 to 100: 3.90 s
medium: 6 l
240 km / h
The technical aspect
BMW 1000 K1 1992
- Tank: 22 liters
- Width: 875 mm
- Height: 1210 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,565 mm
- Dry weight: 234 kg
- Operating weight: 259 kg
- Train before
- Secondary cardan drive
- Rear axle
(67 x 70 mm)
at 8000 rpm
at 6,750 rpm