Author: Scott Redmond Posted: 27 May 2016
Every Friday we bring you three selected bikes from the online world of the classified ads and auction sites in the form of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
Casting his expert eye over the internet for your benefit is Scott Redmond. For over 25 years he's bought, sold and broken up motorcycles for parts. From doing deals in person under the streetlights of London to surfing the web and buying bikes on his phone he's purchased bargains, howlers and few he'd rather forget.
Here is this week's selection - it's all about the BMWs:
THE GOOD: S1000RR (2012)
eBay listing: www.ebay.co.uk/itm/262445393356
To an entire generation BMW made the bikes that your Dad would admire, sensible, reliable, capable of monster mileages and the owners waved at each other, how quaint. The brand to many was one that hadn’t featured on our motorcycling cv.
Then BMW created the S1000RR. They’d dabbled with performance machines before, but this was the first time that they’d really built a genuine bonafide sports bike. It swept all before it, it was a sensation. The model looked fresh, no garish paint jobs, just clean and classy schemes. The inline four engine pumped out impressive power and the crafted chassis kept it all together.
In years to come this bike will be a classic.
Thankfully most of these machines remain standardish, unlike the offerings from Japan your average Bee Emm owner avoids tawdry tat. You don’t see too many S1000RRs with ill fitting exhaust silencers, anodised bar ends and unwanted stickers if you get my gist.
This bike is exactly how you’d like to buy one, it’s come from a loving home, with a fully documented service history and it’s even got new tyres.
If you are looking for a litre sports bike, then this is probably all you’re ever going to need. Buy it, enjoy it, look after it and in a few years time you’ll be the proud owner of a true modern classic.
THE BAD: R1200C (1998)
eBay listing: www.ebay.co.uk/itm/131826095169
James Bond, our old friend 007, has helped make various things cool over the years. If you could get your product on set you had a decent chance of some added coolness to your brand. Unless that product was an underpowered overweight cruiser motorcycle. The BMW R1200C is all of those things, and more.
With a massive 1200cc flat twin motor beating away you’d have thought it would churn out some decent ponies, but it only creates 60 lazy horses. Adding to the misery is with a full tank of gas it weighs in at over 250 Kilos, which will leave you shaken and not stirred.
The bikes major flaw though isn’t these awful stats, it’s what the bike looks like.
You can tell it was BMW’s first venture into the cruiser market. It looks unfinished from some angles, or like it’s been crashed from others.
This example looks honest, they never sold in large numbers and finding one is probably your biggest problem. This one comes with luggage and a screen. There’s some service history and it’s on its toes ready to go. The Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies wasn’t one of James' best, and the R1200C is equally forgettable when you look at the rest of the BMW back catalogue.
THE UGLY: BMW K1 (1990)
eBay listing: www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151857569717
Beauty is more than skin deep. Beneath the bulbous bodywork is what’s basically a BMW K100, one of their best selling bikes. The K1 is one of those bikes that was a bit of a sales flop. It bombed.
It split opinion from day one, you either liked or loathed its looks.
The K1 was built to be euro friendly, with talk of a 100BHP limit being bounded about in the mid 80s the bike produced practically bang on 100 BHP.
The engine had quite a few changes over the stock K100 motor. The water cooled inline four was the first BMW to use four valves per cylinder, and the crankshaft and con rods were lighter than the K100s items.
The bold colour schemes also split opinion. Almost thirty years on from its launch the K1 is now a bit of a cult bike, being a BMW theirs been no mechanical issues rear their heads, the biggest gripe from owners is the intense heat build up that the distinctive bodywork creates.
A later K100RS is a much better day to day machine, but the ugly bug K1 is always going to be one of those bikes that evokes chatter and discussion.