My First K Bike

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Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:00 am

My First K Bike

Post by kirkpatrick3890 »

I met my future wife, Melanie, and soon after she asked for a ride on my Kawasaki, a KZ400, which I had ridden some 14,000 miles but I had no one to ride with so had put it up for sale. In fact it was sold, but not delivered.
She really liked that short ride and asked if I really had to sell the bike, which of course I did, but I told her (rather excitedly) "Well you know, one can always buy another motorcycle."

We got married and I told her she should take the Motorcycle Safety Course prior to riding, and I said I would take it along with her as I had not taken it. We both learned a lot (such as the life saving concept of "counter steering".

While at the outside course a couple rode up on two BMWs, an R65 and an R100RT (this was 1987). I dashed over to meet them as I had always wanted a BMW and struck up a conversation.

My wife and I went through several bikes each, such as a Yamaha with a non working electric starter, a Honda CX 500 (the closest I could afford to a shaft drive BMW) and others. We then started looking at BMWs that would work for her and found a plain R80, which she successfully rode and announced it would do, so I knew she could ride anywhere on that bike. Then what bike for me? We went to RK BMW in Deptford, NJ and I tested a K100RS. Whoah, WHAT power, but my mind was really taken over by it simply being a BMW, a long held desire since my youth. So we bought a 1987 K100RS Motorsport for me (pearl white with blue/red stripes), which I rode many places and sold it with 125,000 miles on it. I modified it a lot, even retro-fitting ABS. We went to many rallies, cross country, to Nova Scotia, and more.

Other bikes came and went for both of us, a K1100LT upon which I had mounted by BMW Motorrad of St. Louis, Missouri, an EML GTII sidecar once we were going to have kids, a K1200RS (yes, it hit an indicated 160 mph, but I lost the picture I took of the speedo at that speed, along with pictures of Yosemite :-( many airheads; R90S, R100RS, R27, R69S conversion, R80G/Ss, etc., and oilheads, but it all started with a BMW K bike of which I have very fond memories.

Your story?
Mac Kirkpatrick
President, VBMWO

Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:49 pm
Location: Carson City, Nevada

Re: My First K Bike

Post by snowbum »

Mac, I'm sure you know that I had a K1100LT, pulling a GT2 chair.....Penny and I did our around-the-USA trip on that rig. I had other motorcycles available (not with chairs), but the sidecar rig was Penny's favorite...I had quite a nice passenger setup.
She would ride with me on any of my other 2 wheelers, but hated knocking helmets in particular... :-)

It had EZS wheels and car tires and the expected "frame" changes, & with the EML chair, and a lot of fun stuff I did to it, would really eat the miles. Early-on I had REMOVED the ABS and sold the $$$ parts, because I hated the effect of ABS on certain...ah...ah....riding conditions, and the weight of the early ABS parts was atrocious, and in the way of other stuff.
The rig would loft the front wheel upon over-use of the right hand, mostly due to the small wheels, giving the effect of a much higher rear drive ratio. It stopped as well as it went, though.

I was going to go to Alaska (was to be my 8th and last ever trip there)... on that rig, ...never having taken a rig to AK, ....but sold it in 2019, when we had decided to move. Photos on my site.

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