Saturday, August 9, 2008

Dear SheRidesABeemer:

As a result of my blog and participation in various motorcycle forums, I get my fair share of letters. Many times the questions repeat. I've answered this one many ways and many times and decided it's time I add it to the blog.

Hi Gail –
The reason I am contacting you is about your K75—I have my eye on a 1992 K75 with a K1 fairing and was wondering if you wouldn’t mind offering up your opinion(s) on the bike.

I am 5’7” and come from 2 previous Harleys (1995 883 Sportster Hugger and a 1997 1340 FLSTF Fat Boy) and am wondering about fit and handling of the K75…

Any thoughts/advice/suggestions you could relay would be most appreciated…

Amy from Maryland

Mom gets into the picture

Dear Amy,
Thank you for writing. I am glad to hear that you are interested in a K75. It's a great bike. It is good to hear that you are not a novice ride, I could not recommend the K75 to a novice, it's a very top heavy bike. The difference between standing and sitting on that bike is about 2 inches.

Riding a bike with your feet on pegs under you is an entirely different world from the laid back cruiser position you are used to. The K75 is rather top heavy, if you've never ridden an older K bike, you may not know what I mean. A big handful of brakes and you feel vulnerable, like the bike is going to be off balance in a hurry.

5'7" is probably tall enough for the K bike. I'm 5'10, but I carry my height in my torso, I have a 32.5 inch inseam, I can easily flat foot the bike. There are many people out there to advise you on ways to pick up an inch here and there on a K bike.
Again, I am reminded that you are coming from a cruiser where your knees are bent to almost 45 degrees when you are sitting on your bike, not so here.

I'm partial to the K75C model that I have. The K75S has sportier handle bars, I found it to be too "squirrely", too touchy. The K75RT is a whole different animal, it has the heavy fairing, meaning extra top heavy, not enough power. You say you are looking at a bike that someone has put a K1 fairing on? Hmmm, I wouldn't go there (where is the rest of the K1?!) K75C's with 40K miles can still be found in the $3,500 range. Just bring them to a trusted mechanic to have the splines checked out. Many owners bail out on their's if they have not properly maintained the splines.

Good luck with your decision. My K75 was my first bike 10 years ago, and still my favorite. It only took me 3 or 4 years to stop dropping it in parking lots.



Osman said...

If you're considering a K75, I agree on getting the splines checked and reviewing the service history. A well maintained bike is worth a premium. The height is adjustable using a "short-shock" and moving to a lower spot on the triple-clamp. That's how mine was set-up when I bought it (no longer). Easy fix and will adjust maybe 1" to 2".

Disagree on the K1 fairing. It might be an indicator of having an obsessive previous owner, which can be a good thing. If the bike otherwise checks out, the fairing difference is simply cosmetic.

You might want to check out the yahoo group on K-bikes. It's very active and a wealth of knowledge, but be sure to introduce yourself before asking questions. The list owner can get a little fiesty. Check the archives first.

As for rideability, each to their own. The good news is that although the K75 is a heavier bike, it's generally benign. It's power is adequate but you're unlikely to accidentally dial in too much throttle. I would suggest something much smaller/lighter for your first bike though.

Mongo said...

Amy, coming from a 883 sporty you will have no problems handling a K75. The sporty is more top heavy with less power. If you can flat foot it, you won't have any problems making the change. Like Gail said, have the splines checked, if they are good and the price is right, go for it. You can always remove the fairing if you don't like it. The ergonomics on the K75 are the best feature of the bike. I find them to be as close to perfect as any bike I've ever ridden.

Speed safe :)

Anonymous said...

Love that it took you a whole to stop dropping your bike. I still drop mine more than Id like, and tis the F 650 GS. :P But then Im 5 1 and its my first bike. ;)