The BMW K1 is a motorcycle that was designed by BMW as a high-speed sports-tourer, designed to change the motorcycle media and buying public’s mind of BMW as only a manufacturer of flat-twin tourers.
Based on the previously introduced BMW K100, the K1 was designed for comfortable high-speed autobahn cruising at speeds of up to 150 mph (240 km/h). The radical aerodynamic design was a seven piece glass fibre structure, creating a class leading drag coefficient of 0.38. It was mated with a stiffened chassis, that included a single sided Paralever swingarm, designed to stop shaft drive induced pitch and dive under heavy acceleration and braking, the first use of this on a K-series bike.
Although expensive and either loved or hated, and with some of its early technology either working in use or not—the enclosure created excess heat buildup, while the long wheelbase created a 22 ft (6.7 m) turning circle—the short production run created the result that the motorcycling press and public never had the same view of BMW motorcycles again.