Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments


Tue, March 16th, 2010

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1985–95 BMW K75S
The three-cylinder 'brick' was not as strong as its big sister four-cylinder K-bike, not to mention the Japanese fours of the time, but it was unexpectedly smooth and thanks to its Bosch fuel injection (a notable feature at the time), power was nicely spread through the rev-range and throttle response was spot-on.
Quality suspension pieces are wasted due to the old-style, non-parallelogram swingarm's noticeable shaft jacking. The 'S' version's rear brake was upgraded to a disc. Steering is slow, but paradoxically prone to high-speed wiggles. One consolation is that thanks to lighter weight and better weight distribution, the BMW triple actually handles a bit better than the larger, faster K100.
The K75S was nicer looking than the other (sometimes oddly shaped) K bikes — with the possible exception of the original K100RS.
There are lots of horror stories of early K-bikes locking up due to oil running into the cylinders while resting on the sidestand, but these stories are mostly overblown. BMW-niks will enumerate various 'trouble spots' with K-bikes, often while failing to mention that they only show up at mileages higher than most Japanese bikes ever see prior to being tossed on the junk-heap.
It can tour, but it's not the most comfortable tourer. It looks sporty, but really isn't. It isn't huge, but isn't the best town bike, either. It's a jack of all trades and master of none.
I'm not a huge BMW fan. The K75S usually comes to mind at least briefly when I consider Beemers I'd like to own, but I doubt it would ever rise to the top of that admittedly short list.
Its a stylish, quality motorcycle with a few too many quirks.