The BMW k1  - since '88 

My intention for this website is to share my passion for the k1  with you or bring it back to your mind. 
This bizarre, quite rare and technically unique milestone from the beginning fascinated me.



The k1  was launched at the IFMA exhibition in Cologne/ Germany and introduced to the public

the 20th Sep 1988.

According to the BMW press release in 1989 the k1  was the brand new 4-valve top model of the K-series after a 100.000 of the well-known "flying brick" 2-valve K-models been sold since 1984.



The k1  is another remarkable milestone in the BMW history like the 2002 flagship M1 sports car,
as well as the iconic boxers; R100RS, R90S, R80G/S, R80ST, R65LS, etc.

The decade of the Eighties shares the k1  with the famous BMW 635 CSi, Z1, M3, M5 as well as
the famous R80G/S and “Paris Dakar” and its successors R100GS+ R80GS with paralever (1987-1995).


The k1  was in part, developed to achieve a market share of the existing sports bikes segment dominated by Yamaha FZR1000, Honda CBR1000F, Kawasaki ZX-7, ZX-10, Suzuki GSX-R 1100, Bimota Dieci, Triumph Daytona 1000, etc.


Due to the existing German commitment of a 100bhp limit for motorcycles in the 1980s a technical alternative was required to take part of the competition on existing sports bikes with up to 145bhp.



 

The k1  was the very first motorcycle featured with an all-enveloping two-piece front mudguard and main fairing, which has been completely developed in a wind tunnel, following the same exhaustive research as experienced by the R100RS in the end of the 70s.

BMW has achieved to balance the given performance gap of about 30bhp with an increased aerodynamic feature by creating a class leading drag coefficient of CwxA = 0,335 by the time a value from 0,4 to 0,5 was ordinary. 

Cordial thanks to BMW
and the innovative R&D team
for such an exceptional result
in the mid of Eighties!

 

The k1  -  form follows function!
In the Eighties the bikers did neither realize why the
 k1  looks like that nor see their advantages. 
The unfamiliar wind tunnel design of the k1  did not get the expected echo whether innovative or not.
Next to the high price to less people bouhgt
the k1  because it was to far ahead of the development. 
That is why
 the k1  is rather rare nowadays...

 

The future design of the k1  would have fit for the movies "Back to the future" as well as "Star Wars" and would have supported to grow in popularity as it happened to the Delorean...

 

Even if the k1  is like fallen off the face of the earth these days 
the k1  remains the most memorable BMW milestone to me.

 

Even after decades it is still a pleasure to ride the k1  and I appreciate it's advantages very much.
Due to the advanced tyre technology provided these days even more then in the end of 80s...

 

One of a few remaining  k1  owners

Andreas