Villa Erba

23 May 2015

Proceeds to benefit the earthquake relief efforts in Nepal

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Lot 100

1992 BMW K1

  • Frame no. 6377955

Sold for €10.530


100 bhp, 987 cc DOHC 16-valve liquid-cooled longitudinal inline four-cylinder engine with Bosch electronic fuel injection, HY computer-controlled digital ignition, five-speed manual transmission, shaft-driven rear wheel, and front and rear Brembo disc brakes. Wheelbase: 1,565 mm

  • 100% of the proceeds, including the buyer’s premium, will go to Caritas International in support of earthquake relief in Nepal
  • Charitable donation courtesy of BMW specialists Mint Classics, of Münster, Germany
  • First production BMW motorcycle to feature four valves per cylinder
  • Expertly restored, recently serviced, and ready to ride


BMW’s break from tradition started in 1982, when it announced their inline four-cylinder K100. Its 987-cubic centimetre engine featured dual overhead camshafts, liquid cooling, and Bosch electronic fuel injection, and it was positioned horizontally, unlike any BMW before.

After continuous development, BMW announced the upgraded, fully faired K1 in September 1988. Although based on the standard K100, the new K1 was in fact a different animal altogether. The K1 received a new four-valve cylinder head, which, when partnered with the improved version of the Bosch fuel injection, added 10 horsepower and 10 foot-pounds of torque, making it the most powerful motorcycle BMW had produced at the time.

Along with engine upgrades, the K1 also received BMW’s new Paralever system, which helped to eliminate the rise and fall from acceleration and deceleration common to shaft-driven motorbikes. Whilst the frame appears much like the standard K100, it was in fact strengthened substantially with larger diameter tubing and slightly revised geometry, along with a longer wheelbase to improve stability at higher speeds. Ultimately, as the bike was designed for the autobahn, it was capable of reaching top speeds in excess of 225 km/h!

The K1 was a marketing success, as it helped to shift public perception of BMW from a builder of reliable tourers to a manufacturer of modern high-speed sports bikes. From its wind-tunnel-tested fairing, which had the lowest drag coefficient of any production motorcycle to date, to its eye-catching red and yellow colour scheme, the BMW K1 demanded attention wherever it was ridden.

This example has been expertly restored and more recently serviced, with a new German TÜV inspection performed, to ensure that it is ready to ride. It is a technological tour de force that would be the perfect addition to any significant motorcycle collection.

More notably, this lot has been generously offered by Mint Classics, of Münster, Germany, along with RM Sotheby’s, who have pledged 100 percent of the proceeds, including the buyer’s premium, to be donated to the charitable foundation Caritas International in support of the earthquake relief efforts in Nepal.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more