20 years of the BMW K series: comparison of the K 100 RS against the K 1200 RS

20 years of the BMW K series: comparison of the K 100 RS against the K 1200 RS

20 years of the BMW K series: comparison of the K 100 RS against the K 1200 RS

The history of the K

In 1983, BMW pushed ahead with its first four-cylinder. Today the fat K 1200 RS sails through the countryside as the flagship from Munich. What has changed in 20 years??

Was it yesterday? Or the day before yesterday? BMW’s quantum leap cannot be very long ago.

At every corner there is a Bavarian brick in a tubular frame, on every alpine tour, multitudes of K-100 riders greet friendly from the flip-up helmets. No wonder, because whether for a stroll through town or on vacation, the K 100 RS can do it. Versatility has been the great virtue of the four-cylinder from the start. Even if BMW with the abbreviation RS, internally for racing, clearly attracts the attention of customers
wanted to steer the sporting potential, seasoned motorcyclists recognized the real qualities of the K 100 RS very quickly: great wind protection, very comfortable seating position, a velvety tuned chassis, plus the elastic motor with revolutionary Bosch injection and the typical BMW maintenance-free cardan drive. Enough to get many boxer tourists in the mood for the four-cylinder and to hog the segment of sporty touring bikes. That was in 1983. Today, 20 years later, the chubby K 1200 RS is available from the friendly BMW dealer as the ultimate sports tourer.
Let’s go on a tour of the MOTORRAD test track with a subsequent waving in the pylon park. Despite its light patina, the 20-year-old K 100 RS doesn’t look bad. It starts with maneuvering. Small turning circle, narrow tires, 34 kilograms lighter than the current K 1200 RS ?? there you circle the smallest squiggles on the asphalt, the whole thing from a reasonable 830 millimeters seat height and still with both legs on the ground. With a hint of mocking glee, the K 100 driver patiently waits until his journey-
companion has brought the 294-kilogram balancing drum into position. Can we start now?
It can. With a singing undertone, the oldie goes to great lengths, which cannot hide the fact that 90 hp from an antiquated two-valve engine, and both engines are designed as long-stroke engines, don’t really pull anyone off their seat. A mighty appearance on the other hand with the modern K-version, which despite its corpulence in terms of sprint and pulling astonishment causes. In 3.3 seconds, the 130 hp catapults the vehicle to 100 km / h, one second faster than the ancestors.
But it doesn’t matter because the winding roads between the Neckar and Danube require different skills. For example, the task of going around small hairpin bends with pleasure and style. Wuch, the old woman is gone. While the new one tries hard, but on
infinitely wide arc pushes outwards and loses connection. On the approach to the romantic Danube valley, fast curves follow, peppered with waves and patches ?? and bang, it’s the turn of the 1200s again. Telelever at the front, Paralever at the back, fat radial tires with snappy rubber, the K 100 RS has to beat
give. Also because at higher speeds the handiness, strangled by the gyroscopic forces of the lead-heavy cast wheels in Y-design, falls by the wayside. The K 1200 RS now disguises its excess weight in an outrageous way, and with its easy steering force it lures you into research. But watch out, when it gets down to business, the almost six hundredweight can no longer be discussed away and force you off the track with all your might.
On the other hand, there is a clear advantage without any restrictions: the powerful braking system of the current K, which, thanks to ABS as standard, creates clear conditions, especially on autumn roads. Which one cannot say about the bulky Brembo pliers and the softly tuned fork of the old ones. Restraint is advisable due to watered down feedback and poor braking performance.
If you take the sporty, jagged pace back and enjoy the ride with more touristy gliding, the old K reveals itself with extremely nice attributes. So the cardan reactions are hardly significant, fork and filter
Suspension strut, run in fine in 20 years, tough patches just gone. The completely relaxed seating position, even more pronounced with the front passenger than in the first row, raises the question of why the K 1200 RS folds the rider clearly impeccably despite the adjustable notches, handlebars and seat. In addition, the wedge-shaped cladding of the K 100 carefully braces itself into the wind in front of the driver and, with the exception of slight turbulence, does its job hardly worse than the adjustable windshield of the K 1200 RS.
Real progress, on the other hand, has been seen in the propulsion system. The far too short overall ratio of the old K was cured in the new with a long sixth gear and the chirping, annoying vibrations when driving constantly on the motorway thanks to the elastic mounting of the longitudinal in the aluminum chassis
In-line engine prevented. On the other hand, there are hardly any differences in terms of gearshift, an eternal point of criticism of all Bavarian multi-cylinders. Long lever paths, some of which end with an onomatopoeic action of the gear wheels with a form-fitting that is not always successful. Careful attention to hectic, that is the key to success here.
During the well-deserved rest, the realization remains that the greater benefit of the K 1200 RS can be noted with the gain in active safety and impressive driving performance. However, it is permissible to ask why the Munich-based company only vaguely oriented itself towards the outstanding virtues of the old RS when redesigning the capital K. This applies to the moderate ergonomics, especially for drivers of small stature, as well as the immensely high weight. After the extensive autumn tour, the test drivers agreed on this: It is more comfortable and relaxed to travel on the old K, which also has an advantage when maneuvering and in slow corners. To prevent obesity, the ingeniously simple tubular steel chassis of the K 100 RS in connection with a vibration-inhibiting balance shaft would certainly have offered an alternative to the bulky, heavy aluminum frame. Which is confirmed in data and facts in the final part of the autumn drive.
M.With a light barrier and time measurement, the MOTORRAD top test course is snappy. Fast swiveling with a U-turn and a hot ride in the circular path give the K 1200 RS only small advantages in terms of time and speed (see page 43). Lens. The subjective impression, however, is clearly in favor of the new ones. With almost identical cornering speed in the circular path and in slow slalom, the tires and chassis convey more safety and transparency. Even our experienced top tester Karsten Schwers, 32, who only knows the first big bikes with narrow tires from the motorcycle quartet, clearly had trouble getting to the limit of the old K 100 RS. The final farewell to nostalgic waves of feeling sealed the brake measurement from 100 km / h. The K 1200 RS with ABS came to a standstill 4.7 meters earlier than the classic that was decelerated without an anti-lock braking system. Which answers the heretical question about 20 years of progress in black and white.

Technical data and measured values
BMW K 100 RS K 1200 RS

Engine Four-cylinder in-line engine, installed lengthways, two valves, four valves, bore x stroke 67 x 70 mm 70.5 x 75 mm, displacement 987 cm2, 1171 cm2, output 66 kW (90 PS) 96 kW (130 PS) at 8500 rpm at 8800 rpm Max. Torque 86 Nm (8.8 kpm) 117 Nm (11.9 kpm) at 6000 / min at 6800 / minDrive single-disc dry clutchGearbox five-speed six-speed secondary drive Cardan Cardan with torque support Chassis Frame construction Bridge frame Bridge frame made of tubular steel, made of aluminum profiles, engine rigid, engine mounted with elastic screws, front tires 110/90 V 18 120/70 ZR 17 rear tires 130/90 V 17 180/55 ZR 17 wheelbase 1516 mm 1555 mm steering head angle 62.5 degrees 62.8 degrees caster 101 mm 124 mm weight 260 kg 294 kg turning circle 5170 mm 6560 mm Seat height 830 mm 820 mm Price 15,600 Marks * 16,047 Euro ** Driving performance Top speed 221 km / h 245 km / h Acceleration 0 100 km / h 4.3 sec 3.3 sec 0 140 km / h 9.8 sec 6.8 sec 0 200 km / h 20.3 sec 11.8 sec K 100 RS K 1200 RS pull-through 60 140 km / h 11.1 sec 9.2 sec Specific data Power-to-weight ratio 3.77 kg / PS 2.89 kg / PS Specific power 90 PS / 1000 cm3 111 PS / 1000 cm3 Measured values ​​in the MOTORRAD-Top-Test-Parcours Brake measurement K 100 RS Braking distance from 100 km / h 46.5 m Average deceleration 8,3 m / s2K 1200 RS braking distance from 100 km / h 41.8 m average deceleration 9.2 m / s2, handling course I (fast slalom) K 100 RS lap time 24.1 sec, vmax 88.2 km / hK 1200 RS lap time 22.8 seconds, vmax 93.2 km / h Comments: Despite narrow tires and 34 kilograms less weight, the K 100 RS is tough and sluggish. The reason: the heavy wheels. It’s five km / h faster with the new one, which also clearly scores in terms of stability.Handling-Parcours II (slow slalom) K 100 RS lap time 31.5 sec, vmax 51.5 km / h K 1200 RS lap time 31, 2 seconds, vmax 48.8 km / h Comments: With a little more lean angle and good handling in this speed range, the old one reaches a higher cornering speed, but loses a few tenths of a second due to the poorer brake and the less powerful motor. Circular orbit Ø 46 mK 100 RS : Lap time 11.6 sec; vmax 47 km / hK 1200 RS: lap time 11.3 seconds; vmax 47.3 km / h Comments: It’s amazing how fast the K 100 RS whistles around the corner on its narrow tires. The testers attested subjectively more safety and better feedback to the K 1200 RS, despite the hard notches and the center stand.

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