It’s been a while since we had an older K model as a PROJECT BIKE but this one found us recently and, to our surprise, it’s not in need of as many things as we initially suspected, though — make no mistake — it does have some needs before it would qualify as safe and roadworthy in our opinion. The motorcycle arrived at our door “dead,” and we were told it had been sitting unused for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. But after a 24 hours on a battery charger it started up almost instantly. A little choke and a few extra twists of the throttle were required but we were duly impressed that it coughed to life and sounded quite solid. Of course, this allowed us to check out many of the bike’s functions including shifting, brakes, lighting, and horns, etc., about which we’ll provide more details below.
Perhaps now would be a good time to grab a cup of coffee or glass of water (beer or wine? Why not. You’re just looking, not riding!) and closely study all the images. Then come back to the text, as there is some great fun and value in what you’re about to learn.
As with all PROJECT BIKES we want the buyer to know as much as possible so we urge every potential buyer to ask questions if anything is not clear. We’ve nothing to hide and our only goal is that the new owner for each and every PROJECT BIKE we offer feels they paid fairly and got good, if not great value in the deal. We have a disclaimer about our PROJECT BIKES easily found on the Bob’s website. We encourage people to call, schedule a time to visit, meet with one of our sales advisors and inspect each machine in person so they know all the positives and any negatives involved in the refurbishing process with full clarity. And we’re proud of the fact that we’ve even taken a few PROJECT BIKES back in trade as good used bikes once all the work was done and the owner had enjoyed the bike for a number of years.
You can read that and more about Bob’s PROJECT BIKES here on our website at: http://www.bobsbmw.com/new-motorcycles/project-bikes/. Over the years, we’ve sold well over a hundred PROJECT BIKES, a number that has risen sharply this year and every single client except one was exceptionally pleased with their acquisition from the very start. That each customer is exceptionally pleased is our goal, just as it is with our exclusive ADVANTAGE CERTIFIED pre-owned used BMW motorcycle program and for that matter the results of someone being assisted in selecting and buying a new BMW here at Bob’s. And for the record we did manage to make that lone individual happy in the end despite some very unrealistic expectations after an extensive in person inspection, review and conversation before buying and leaving with it.
We do not know the number of owners this PROJECT BIKE has had since 1990 but were told by a family member the prior owner had the bike for a long time. It was sold in this region in June of 1990, just five months before Bob’s BMW opened up as an authorized BMW dealer, and we believe it’s likely been in the area the entire time. Regardless of whether it’s had one, two, or even three owners, what is clear is that it now needs a new owner to do the required service, light repairs, and overall maintenance so it can be ridden and enjoyed for another 29 years, or even used to help resurrect another K75 (standard, S or RT) as it’s worth far, far more in parts than what we are asking. But it’s our goal these days to pass them on whole with a clear title which this one has.
On a cosmetic level this PROJECT BIKE got an average score of 6.28 in the 9 of the possible 11 categories we might opt to use on any bike evaluated. As there was no luggage or accessories there were no scores to assign. And to clarify this specific machine the windscreen received a 9.5 because it appears to be like new and was probably installed fairly recently. On the other side of that rating list, the seat got a 3.0 because while it’s certainly very usable and not uncomfortable, the cover is not in particularly good shape. But it’s an original Corbin/BMW (they cooperated for perhaps two years on several models) seat which has a sturdy fiberglass pan so it could be recovered in fresh leather or vinyl locally, at Corbin, or another firm of your choice.
Most other areas relating to cosmetics on this PROJECT BIKE should be easy to see here in the images. We feel the smart buyer will call and schedule a time to see the bike in person, but if you are seriously interested but live far away, let us know and we’ll be happy to take and share some additional photos. The paint is not perfect and there are a few small areas where it’s peeling. There is rust and light corrosion. The right mirror is damaged; at a minimum it needs to be glued, and the 3 female mounting points are not perfect. There are light scratches and some medium deterioration of the finish on the wheels. There’s a small hole that likely held an antenna (may have been a radio prep bike) which has been filled but not painted in the fairing. The right rear turn signal lens is missing. One part of the forward seat hinge is missing.
Regarding mechanical factors on this PROJECT BIKE, we can share this: on the afternoon of April 13th Bob started it up again in our warehouse. Choke on, light twist of the throttle and no hesitation despite what we believe might be aging fuel. It was left to idle long enough to warm up and check to see if the idle was OK with the choke off; it did pretty well, but we’re sure fresh fuel, some fuel system cleaner for the injectors, a set of fresh plugs, and perhaps a throttle body sync will do wonders. The gas cap lock is frozen, and after spraying it down and waiting 24 hours, it did not change. We didn’t force it too hard because we didn’t want to brake off the key it came with nor trash the lock.
On the center stand it ran through the gears fine; up and down the range twice, and the clutch felt solid. With the bike rolled up against the wall the clutch held as well. All lights and most turn signals (3 out of 4) worked. The brake light did not come on with either the hand or foot levers and that’s probably related to the fact that the brakes feel like crap – both front and rear master cylinders need a going through before this PROJECT BIKE is ridden. We are sure it needs all fluids and filters changes just as it probably need fresh brake pads and most assuredly requires new tires too. (These tires date to 2004 and have little remaining tread and poor sidewalls.) The rear disc looks thin, but considering the miles that’s not a shock. The front discs looks like they have a good amount of thickness left to be serviceable but we did not measure these.
There are not many extras included with this PROJECT BIKE as it arrived basically as you see it. The saddlebag mounts were included by BMW when new but the rear luggage rack was an option. ABS brakes were also an option in 1990, a costly one, and this bike was not equipped with ABS. It still retains the stock wheels and exhaust system which are in decent shape. The exhaust components were stainless steel from the headers to the end of the muffler; only the painted muffler heat shield was standard steel. This motorcycle is offered with a clear and transferable title (see our PROJECT BIKE info on this) but no tool kit, no tire repair kit and no owners books as we did not get any of that stuff. We will hand over 2 keys which fit the ignition and everything else but one key does not do everything either.
This PROJECT BIKE is parked in our second warehouse and is connected to a battery charger; we anticipate it holding a charge long enough for the bike to be sold to a new home, but when that battery dies it dies. We could show you the short video Bob took when he started and ran the bike if proof is necessary. We just don’t know how old or young the battery is, but at this price we will not include a new battery or the labor to install one. All that being said, we still think it’s a steal. So call, schedule a visit to check it out in person — before another PROJECT BIKE-hungry BMW enthusiast beats you to it! The next owner gets a generous discount on ANYTHING they buy at Bob’s for the 90 days following the transaction that’s needed to do the work, get it inspected, and start enjoying it. That would include accessories or riding gear so both you and the bike are safe and roadworthy.