Why get a K bike ? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 4 Old Jun 29th, 2010, 5:00 am Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: , Indiana,
Posts: 4
Why get a K bike ?

I'm considering getting a K bike but don't know the differences in the bikes on a mechnical level. Below is a post I've left elsewhere here. Why get a K bike?


I don't own a BMW, yet. I own a Suzuki Vstrom DL650 and I'm thinking of getting a new bike soon. I want to ask some questions of BMW owners especially anyone who left a Vstrom for a BMW or returned to the BMW from another touring bike. I have a thousand questions about the BMWs, I do intend to ride the BMW soon.

Has anyone here left a Wee Strom, Dl650 for a BMW? Which bike and why?
What is your maintenance cost difference? How do you answer the bashers that think BMW bikes are unreliable and too expensive? What is the truth about repair, service and dependability. I know tons of BMWs are on the road, at what cost? Is the internet littered only with those who are having issue? are the good bike's owners not posting?

I'm want a bike for long distance travel. My mid-term goal is to cross and to circle the country(USA)and my long term goal is to cross/circle Europe, parts of South American and Africa in search of great photos, folks and rides. I;d really love to get on the bike and not worry about much save bad cagers and debris.

I will spend 95% of my riding time on road but have an itching to get off road just for the exploration- nothing severe, just short explorations or camping sites. My DL650 is very comfortable to me. I rode the Iron Butt SS1000 on it and was ready to ride more after the adventure.

I'd be switching bikes to find more stability(especially when passing groups of semis), speed, and power. I love riding and hot/cold weather rides are equally good news so I am interested in heated options.

I'm over forty been riding less than a year, love the twisties (even though I just learned to ride), love the long distance rides, Cherohala Skyway, Blue ridge and any long winding country roads. I don't current ride two up but the ultimate would be to do all the above riding with someone so I am also potentially seeking comfort for her.

I've been looking at two different platforms the K1200 and the R1200RT. I have no idea the difference between the K and r series. The 1200GS is appealing, seems it can handle road and off road very well. The comforts of the K and R 1200s will appeal to my better half. Seeking any advice experience BMW owners can provide.

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post #2 of 4 Old Jun 29th, 2010, 5:08 am
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Union, Ky, USA
Posts: 834
Re: Why get a K bike ?

I have both, a K1200LT and a R1150GSA. R bikes maintenance is much easier. My suggestion would be go to a BMW dealer and take some of their bikes out for a test ride and see what puts a smile on your face and then evaluate maintenance costs and such.

Marc Pillis- MSF Rider Coach
Union, Kentucky
2005 LT
2004 R1150GS Adventure
2013 DR650
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post #3 of 4 Old Jun 29th, 2010, 6:18 am
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Winnebago, IL, USA
Posts: 1,178
Re: Why get a K bike ?

K-bikes are not the best choice for off road use. There have been some people who have taken them up the Dalton Highway but they are the exception an not the norm.

Maitenance: How handy are you with a wrench? The R bikes are in most cases easier to work on depending on the model. the R-RT has lots of plastic body panels just like the K-LT.

The GS models seem to have a good following are the best BMW model for off road duty.

Like Mpillis said, go to a dealer or dealers and kick the tires. Ride them, sit on them for a while and see which one fits.


Roy Gregersen

Ride Slow, Ride Fast, Always Ride Safe
85 K100RT sold
02 LTC DOA 9/21/14
12 R1200RT
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post #4 of 4 Old Jun 29th, 2010, 8:29 am
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Huntington, IN, USA
Posts: 89
Re: Why get a K bike ?

I agree with the others, the best thing to do is sample both and see which one you like the best. Many LT owners, and GT owners as well, opt to have an R bike...usually a GS.....as a second bike. That is the path I plan to take myself, my LT is the greatest for long distance Big Mile days with my wife on board, but I also want to do a little more off the beaten path exploring, hence the desire for a GS.
Depending on where you live at in Indiana, getting a test ride can be a tough proposition. I am in the northern half of the state and the closest dealers are in Indy and lower Michigan.

'05 Dark Graphite LT - now

In the past......
Gold Wing, R100 GS P/D (I WILL get another GS!) FLHTCUI, ZX-10, CBX , Honda Turbo, Yamaha Venture , 2 Sportsters, Bultaco Astro, Bultaco Pursang , Montesa Capra, Maico 501, Sear Allstate 106
....and a bunch I have forgotten
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