In order to obtain the maximum performance, BMW engineers decided to wrap the K1 in an all-encompassing aerodynamic fairing. of sports bike models like the Honda Fireblade, the K1 ceased production within the year. A total of 6,921 were sold and, although that figure is regarded by some as disappointing, the K1 helped BMW establish itself as a motorcycle manufacturer and it remains one of their most important machines. Although based on the original K100, the K1 was a very different machine. While the general layout was the same, the K1 received a new four-valve cylinder head, which produced an additional 10bhp. It had an improved version of the K100’s Bosch fuel injection system, which greatly helped with the engine’s overall performance. The K1 produced around 100bhp and yet BMW could have exceeded this limit if it were not for the strict German motoring regulations. In the United States, emissions regulations pushed the K1’s overall power down to 95bhp. The K1 cost almost $13,000 and was rather expensive when compared with its competitors at the time. For example, the Honda CBR600F was just as fast, lighter and cost around $8,500; much less than the K1. With the market beginning to change in 1993 and the introduction

BMW first introduced the radical sport-touring four-cylinder K1 in 1988. During this time BMW was under a barrage of attacks from critics claiming the German manufacturer was having an identity launched the inline four-cylinder K100. It featured double-overhead cams, liquid cooling and a Bosch electronic fuel injection system. The K100’s 987cc engine was also laid down on its side, making it unlike any other BMW motorcycle. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s four-cylinder motorcycles crisis. This break in tradition started in 1982, when BMW

were becoming more and more popular. BMW had squeezed as much performance out of its air- cooled twin engines as they could, and decided the K100 was to be developed as a new generation of motorcycle. Sales were slow at first but soon customers began to warm to these multi-cylinder BMWs. A number of changes were made to the K100 over the next few years but BMW knew it had to get even more power out of the bike. BMW decided the best way forward was with the release of the K1, which was presented to the public in September 1988.


Made with FlippingBook HTML5