Evan Fell Motorcycle Works

My name is Evan Fell and my hobby is motorcycle restoration, customization, and riding. This is a blog about my bikes.

1985 BMW K100

Posted on February 16, 2009 | Posted by | 23 Comments

1985 BMW K100, originally uploaded by evanfell.

As if I didn’t have enough motorcycles crammed into a tiny storage unit – now I have another! I drove 8 hours each way to pick up this 1985 BMW K100. I am generally real impulsive when it comes to motorcycle purchases, and this is certainly one of those cases. I have no need for this bike at all, but I saw a good deal and had to have it!

The BMW K100 (and K75) motorcycles are probably THE most reliable and long lasting motorcycles ever built. These motors are known to commonly go over 250,000 miles without any rebuild. Knick-named the ‘flying brick’ these motors are big, heavy, robust, and silky smooth. No bike runs, rides, or shifts as smoothly as a K bike. Sometimes you forget it’s running.

This particular K100 has a Corbin seat and a few other farkles – but unfortunately the fairing has suffered some damage and doesn’t look great. I has traveled 117,000 miles to date.

When I brought it back it hadn’t run in a few months. I promptly jumped it from my car battery and it roared to life instantly. I drove it around a bit and it didn’t skip a beat. These bikes are troopers.

The downside of a K bike for me is that they are ‘too’ smooth. They don’t offer the same excitement factor that other bikes do. These K100’s accelerate smooth, brake smooth, turn smooth, and frankly it’s like sitting in a Cadillac. I’ve heard them called the ‘old-mans-bike’, and that is certainly true.


23 Responses to “1985 BMW K100”

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  4. Mike
    March 5th, 2009 @ 10:48 pm


    Just a quick note to say THANK-YOU for the article on carb cleaning. I am a novice on bike repair and always hesitate to touch them (love riding..always worried to wrench).

    I bought a 1984 DR125 for my daughter to ride on this winter and could not get this to start (Throttle cable kink and bad baffle). Replaced them both and.. Nothing.

    Was scared to try to even remove (let alone clean) the carbs, till I came upon your site. I did the removal tonite and hope to clean it all up this weekend. Hope this does the trick.

    Thanks for all the great info. I ride a ‘78 Yamaha XS400 for my daily. And hope someday to get a bigger bike.

    Too much info, sorry. Just saying thanks.

    All the best.



  5. tony dunn
    August 14th, 2009 @ 7:44 am

    Hey Evan, recently bought a 84 K100RS, agree with all you said, apart from the fact mine corners like a brick-(mebbe time for a new rear shockie),and crap narrow h/bars- but all in all excellent value.
    keep it upright,


  6. Melanie
    December 10th, 2009 @ 2:23 pm

    Hi Evan. I was doing some research on my own K-bike and came across your blog. I love your work. Here’s a link to a pic of my brick.


  7. Ron
    August 18th, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

    Hey Evan, Good article on the K100. I’m currently evaluating the purchase of an 85 and am trying to do all the research I can. Your article was very helpful. I’m really leaning toward the purchase of this bike now and if the on site inspection goes well it’ll be in my garage with the week.


  8. Jonas
    September 11th, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

    Hey Evan, I have just been made an offer on a trade in for my car with one of these bikes. It’s an 87 K100rs. He claims it has low miles on it. Do you think it is worth a trade value of $3,500? I saw that you had driven 16 hours for a bike that has 117k on it. I just thought I would get some advice on it.

    Thank you.


    Evan Fell Reply:

    Hi Jonas,

    The mileage on a K100 or K75 is more or less irrelevant. They are extremely long lived motors and transmissions. If the bike is absolutely pristine it might be worth $3,500 – but I certainly wouldn’t pay that much for one. I have found mine at MUCH cheaper prices.



  9. Gaston
    October 3rd, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

    I just bought a 85 K1000RS and I have to ride from Texas to Miami Florida. 1300 miles to try this simple beauty.
    I just sadly sold my Aprilia Caponord which is a diferent animal after all. I’ll see how tha K1000 make the big trip (already 80k miles)


    Evan Fell Reply:

    I’m sure it made the trip just fine. Those Aprilia Capoonords are awesome too though. They look great when decked out for adventure touring.


  10. steve springer
    October 28th, 2010 @ 9:35 pm

    looking for my resently purchased and allready flew around 900 miles on it the only problem is i,m 5foot 9inches tall and need to find out the safest route in achiveing this small feat the bmw dealer here in gainesville,florida wants to sell me a 250 dollar shorter rear shock but i,ve allready have a few ideas. i really hate to waste the old shock as the bike only has 38,000original miles and i only need a 2 to 2and one hahf lower,thanks for impur and safe and happy riding allways,steve.


    Evan Fell Reply:

    I have an unfair advantage in this department because I’m rather tall. But whenever shorter riders give grief about their seat being too tall I always think of guys like Gaston Rahier, the renowned BMW dakar racer who could barely see over the handlebars! haha. For lowering your bike – either shave the seat, or drop the shock and forks. That’s about all you can do.


  11. Kevin Reeder
    November 17th, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

    I’m going to pick up my 85 K100 today! I’m picking it up for 1750 with 30,000 on it! I can hardly contain myself!

    Thanks for the great info Evan. You have a bookmark in my favs and I’ll be watching for updates.

    Kevin~Another stoked K-100 owner


  12. Kevin Reeder
    November 17th, 2010 @ 3:58 pm

    I’de like to hear about how Gastons ride from Texas to Miami turned out. If all turns out well with mine I’m thinking about heading to the east coast myself…from Cali.


  13. Kevin Reeder
    November 23rd, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

    Hi Evan,
    I need some advise on my BMWK100. There is a factory recall on the throttle cable and it just started sticking. Now I have to unroll it and its totally stiff. Is this something I can do something about without spending a bunch of money?



  14. Maurice LaMontagne
    January 12th, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

    I may be purchasing an 1985 K 100 , however, it has ha a history of faulty clutch. What can you tell me about this. If I pick it up uner say $ 1600-$2000 is it a good buy? I can handle doing the mechanic work…I hear it is very tricky. Can a new heavy duty clutch or one that is more resilient put in?
    Please adviseThanks, Maurice


    Evan Fell Reply:

    For Under 2k the bike is a good buy provided it’s in nice shape. The clutches can of course be replaced. It’s a bit of effort on the K100 and you’ll have to tear down the bike a bit, but if you are a capable home wrencher there is no reason you can’t tackle it.


  15. Kevin Reeder
    January 25th, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

    Evan Fell sucks at replying to posts on his blog…. he is losing his place amongst my bookmarked pages.

    For Maurice: I’m loving my 85 K bike. I think the price you are getting it for is great, that is about what I paid for mine. I cant offer you any advise on your clutch cable, as I am new to these bikes as well. Good luck and keep the rubber side down.


  16. Evan Fell
    January 25th, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

    Hi Kevin,

    Sorry I have offended you with a slow response. The question you emailed me was responded to in the forum along with hundreds of others.
    Here is the link.




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  19. Erik
    January 12th, 2014 @ 11:35 am

    When you buy an old k100 series your primary concern is the drive pinion if you don’t have someone check it before you buy it you could be in for a major repair . The 1983-85 pinion are beefy large teeth compared to the 86 and up with smaller teeth. To have these rebuilt there is a guy in Canada named Bruno that rebuilds the back ends of the drive shaft and adds a washer type block to them to hold the lube down at the bottom of the shaft to extend the life of the rebuild.


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Quick Intro

I have owned nearly every make and model of vintage Japanese motorcycle as well as a number of other Europeans and more modern bikes. I do everything from simple fixes to full restorations. I also travel and ride every chance I get.


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