New to K Bikes?


Here's some basic information to get you started. More maintenance and modification information can be found at this link: BMW K75, K100, K1, K1100 Maintenance & Modifications

Scroll down for documents related to particular models.

At the end of that there's a list of recommended initial modifications.

Links to K bike discussion forums are at the end of the page.


Basic Terminology:

Bimmer vs. Beemer: Not that it really matters but If you're new to BMW motorsports then "Bimmers" refers to BMW cars and "Beemers" refers to BMW motorcycles.

Classic K Bikes: The term "Classic K bikes" refers to K100s, K75s, K1s and K1100s which all have the same basic design based on the original K bike design, the 1983 K100. In the mid 90s the K1200 models were a major redesign in terms of the frame, suspension, bodywork, etc...

Flying Brick: Nickname for K bikes due to the appearance of the three or four cylinder engine lying on its side. Some also attribute the term brick to the weight of K bikes.


Little Paint Spots: Many people wonder why some of the bolts and nuts on K bikes have little spots of paint on or near them. During the assembly process these were used to indicate that a bolt or nut had been properly torqued.


Owner Maintainable? Yes. With a modicum of wrenching skill and experience K bikes are fully owner maintainable if you're a "shade tree" or DIY mechanic. Sites like are a good resource where you can get maintenance advice from other K bike owners. But remember that if you do your own work then you do so at your own risk with your motorcycle's safety and reliability hanging in the balance.

Professional Shop Maintenance: If you are not comfortable performing some or all of the maintenance on your K bike then you'll want to find a qualified mechanic.

Personally I would not recommend taking a classic K bike to BMW dealer. To start with, BMW dealers have relatively high hourly labor rates and charge standard, not actual, labor hours for the work that they do. Next, the mechanics working at BMW dealers are only trained to work on newer BMW models and have little to no training or experience working on old K bikes. They may be good, qualified mechanics but when it comes to working on old K bikes most BMW dealer mechanics these days are merely "manual readers."

When looking for a good independent shop try to find one with experience working on BMWs and, in particular, K bikes. Ask around on motorcycle forums or seek advice from a local BMW rider club to find one near you. There's a fair amount of former BMW mechanics that have gone into business for themselves to work on BMWs. Most will charge you actual, not standard, hours at more reasonable labor rates than a BMW dealer and they have valuable experience and insight into working on older BMWs.

A list of independent BMW shops in the US and Canada can be found at this link. There may be others so if you don't find a nearby one at that link then ask around.

Generic motorcycle shops may do OK for routine maintenance like fluid and filter changes but for more complicated mechanical or electrical work it's a bit of a crap shoot. However, if you're not comfortable doing your own work then it is something to consider.

Manuals And Documents To Download:

   K Bike Wiring Diagrams

NOTE: The distribution of the following BMW shop manuals is OK with BMW and does not constitute a copyright violation.

K100, K100RS, K100RT, K100LT

   K100 US Rider Manual (PDF)

   Rider Manual Supplement - ABS Brakes (PDF)

   Operating Tips for a K75 or K100(2V) (PDF)

   K Bike General Maintenance (PDF)

   K75 & K100 BMW Shop Manual (PDF)

   K100RT, K100LT: Radio Owner Manual (PDF)

K75, K75C, K75S, K75RT

   K75 US Rider Manual (PDF)

NOTE: The fork oil quantity specified in this manual is only for 1992 and later K75s with Showa forks. More info at this link.

   Rider Manual Supplement - ABS Brakes (PDF)

   Operating Tips for a K75 or K100(2V) (PDF)

   K Bike General Maintenance (PDF)

   K75 & K100 BMW Shop Manual (PDF)

   K75RT: Radio Owner Manual (PDF)

K1, K100RS4V

   K1, K100RS4V Rider Manual - English (PDF)

   Rider Manual Supplement - ABS Brakes (PDF)

   Operating Tips for a K100RS4V/K1/K1100 (PDF)

   K Bike General Maintenance (PDF)

   K1 & K100RS4V BMW Shop Manual (PDF)

K1100LT, K1100RS

   K1100 US Rider Manual (PDF)

   Rider Manual Supplement - ABS Brakes (PDF)

   Operating Tips for a K100RS4V/K1/K1100 (PDF)

   K Bike General Maintenance (PDF)

   K1100 BMW Shop Manual (PDF)

   K1100LT: Radio Owner Manual (PDF)


Recommended Initial Modifications


If you're a DIY type of person who can't leave well enough alone then you're probably wondering what the first things you should modify are. Here's what matters to me.

Riding Comfort

Click this link to learn how to adapt your K bike and riding style in order to ride more comfortably.


I like to be seen when I ride in order to minimize the chances of being hit by another vehicle that didn't see me. I also like the headlight to put out a decent amount of light for riding at night. Click on the items below for more information.

1) Headlight Relays and/or LED H4 Headlight Bulb

2) Front Fork LED Aux Lighting

3) Rear Lighting

     a) Rear LED Brake Lighting - Eagle Eye LEDs (my latest & greatest)

     b) Add Brake LEDs To Sides Of Tail Light Lens

     c) Strobing LED Brake Light


5) K75/K100: Improve Throttle Return

6) Upgrade Instrument Cluster Lighting To LEDs

7) Heated Grips

8) Real Cruise Control

The last one is a relatively major DIY project but very useful if you plan to ride a lot of miles.


It's a good idea to review the owner's manual to learn how to remove and install the front and rear wheels. Many motorcycle shops that do tire changes will not remove and install wheels on a BMW. Not to mention that you'll get better rates and turnaround times for bringing them "off bike" wheels. If you're away from home most shops or tire dealers will allow you to remove and install the wheels at their location and then change tires while you wait.

9) Metal Valve Stems

If your bike doesn't have them already then it's a good idea to replace the original rubber valve stems with metal valve stems the next time you have the tires changed.  (In the US I use BikeMaster 151402 valve stems - about $5 each.)

10) Radial Tires

Many K bike models came from the factory with bias ply tires. I strongly advise you to switch over to radial tires for greatly improved handling and performance. More info about running radial tires can be found at this link.

Classic K bikes came with two styles of wheels:



K75s, K100s and K1100LTs:

For the 2.50x18 front 3 spoke wheel 110/80-18 tires work well.

For the 3.00x17 rear 3 spoke wheel 150/70-17 tires work well.

(I run Bridgestone T31 or T32 tires on all of my Ks and think they are excellent tires.)

2019 Update: There used to be no radial tires that would fit the early Y-spoke wheels but Continental now offers their Road Attack 3 radials in the 110/80-18 front and 130/80-17 rear that will work well on the Y-spoke wheels. (Or 130/80-18 if you have an early K75 standard or K75C with a rear drum brake 18 inch wheel.)

2023 Update: It looks like Continental has discontinued production of the Road Attack 3 in a 130/80-17 rear and the Road Attack 4 doesn't come in 130/80-17.

2024 Update: The Continental Trail Attack 3 is available is available in 110/80-18 and 130/80-17. This tire is a dual sport radial tire that is designed for 80% street use and 20% off-road use so it is perfectly acceptable to run it on a street bike like a K.


Discussion Forums for Technical & Other Issues - K75, K100, K1 & K1100 discussion forum.

K100 Forum - Despite the name this forum is open to and welcomes all classic K bike owners.

K11OG Forum - (K1100 Owners Group) Also welcoming to all classic K bike owners.


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