Pick of the Day: 1990 BMW K1

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K1's futuristic styling was controversial

The 1990’s were an amazing era for performance vehicles. Technology and styling were moving at a breakneck pace, and manufacturers were constantly pushing the envelope of both.

Motorcycle companies were pushing the boundaries even more than car manufacturers, and it seemed like new models were released weekly.

BMW, usually known for extremely well-built but conservative motorcycles, decided to throw its hat in the ring and released a vision of a motorcycle of the future with the K1.

The K1 was built to be the ultimate sport/touring performance motorcycle. It featured a 1,000cc DOHC, 16-valve, fuel-injected inline 4-cylinder engine mated to a space-age chassis. The motorcycle looked more like a light cycle from the movie Tron, and it delivered performance never before seen from BMW.

The Pick of the Day is a 1990 BMW K1, one of just 613 imported to the U.S with the Blue-and-Yellow paint scheme. Adding to its value is the optional and expensive Staintune stainless-steel performance exhaust.

While the K1 was a high-performance BMW, capable of almost 150 mph, it was not as fast as some of the sport bikes from Japan, yet it cost much more, with a list price when new of $12,990. The price tag tended to keep buyers away, and not everyone loved the styling, which added up to slow sales.

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For many years, the K1 has been a fantastic bargain, with nice examples available for as little as $7,000. But the recent trend of 1990s performance vehicles getting hotter and hotter has helped K1 values, and it has become a desirable collector motorcycle.

There were few accessories available for the K1 from BMW, and this one has all of them, including the BMW tank bag with both rain covers, original BMW saddle bags with rain covers, factory tool and tire-repair kits.

It also has the newer and improved BMW fuel pump, and it has had all filters, fluids and battery replaced, according to the St. Louis, Missouri, dealer advertising the bike on ClassicCars.com.

The K1 is a true technological tour d’ force of the 1990s, and it not only is a serious future collectible but a bike you can ride down to the corner store or take cross country. They are wonderfully stable at high speeds and carve the corners like a sport bike.

The K1 also looks like no other motorcycle on the road, and you would definitely make some new friends along the way, who will have lots of questions whenever you stop.

The asking price for the BMW is on the high side at $13,900, but when you consider that this bike is all original with 20,000 miles and includes all the cool and rare K1 accessories, it seems fairly priced.

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To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

 

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I owned by K1 for three years and it truly was the best bike I ever owned. Extremely fast and stable at a cruising speed of 120 mph, sweet looking, dynamic and "bitching" styling, and just plain cool!

    I should have kept it but ya can’t keep them all!

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