The compact drive system was patented 1st February 1979!
Well, now it’s known that the wind tunnel design and the introduced colors of the k1 as well as the 4-cylinder engine, to be very honest, was not very much appreciated by the BMW customers in the 80s.
Actually the k1 was a shock to the quite conservative clientele, still in love with and accustomed to the existing 2-Valve Boxer motorcycles well known for decades, never have been asking for anything else.
Additionally the k1 was not able to mount solid panniers for touring, as was usual for the BMW clients.
Finally the k1 was extremely expensive in
the 80s, let’s say quite exclusive for most of the people, but especially for those customers who would prefer the cheaper Japanese motorcycles anyway.
Myself, I had to starve for two years before I could finally afford to buy a two-year-old k1 in 1992.
Nonetheless it was still more expensive than a new Japanese sports bike or even a small-range car!
Recapitulating, it can be said that the k1 was too expensive and the design too far ahead of it's time.
According to the given key points, what is unique about the k1 then?
Even after decades, there are still spare parts for the k1 available!
Thank you very much BMW for the support to keep the k1 alive.
September 1983 - First design studies
June, 22nd 1986 - Presentation of the k1 prototype to the board of directors
January 1988 - Release of the changes, the k1 design now close to the final series
23rd March 1988 - official operating permit by Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA)
20th Sep. 1988 - Presentation of the k1 to the public at the IFMA in Cologne
8- 16th May 1989 - Presentation of the k1 to the press in Italy, 50km south east of Rom
29th May 1989 - Sales release
Total of 6921 k1 have been produced between 1988 and 1993
1988: 12 = 0,17% (not sold)
1989: 3574 = 50,64%
1990: 2120 = 30,63%
1991: 763 = 11,02%
1992: 310 = 4,48%
1993: 142 = 2,05%
Approx. 2050 of the k1 have been sold in Germany
Approx. 670 of the k1 have been sold to America
Approx. 570 of the k1 have been sold to France
It is rather likely that less than a quarter of the 6921 k1 s remain on the road today.
From 1988-1990 the k1 was just available in marrakech-red / broom-yellow or laguna-blue / broom-yellow.
Approx. 77% of the k1 were sold in one of that two initial colors.
Classic-black, royal-blue + silk-blue with silver drive, wheels+decals were available from end of 1990 on.
A last 100 k1 Ultima's were offered in dakar-yellow/ black seat+decals and silver wheels in 1993.
Rumors has it that they were made of parts to reduce the huge stock, probably not required due to not achieved sales forecast.