I began riding in 1994 at the age of 48. Although it seemed to my husband like a quick decision from looking to buying, it really wasn't. About a year passed between the time I took my first ride as passenger on a K75RT and the purchase of my first bike. During that time I rode as a passenger on an R100RT and it was at that point that I thought, "I gotta get one of these for myself!" Then things began to move a little more quickly. In about a month I'd purchased a helmet and signed up for a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course, and I took delivery of the K75 about a month after that.
My K75 is the low seat version, which was made only in 1994. BMW produced the K75 model from 1985 to 1995. I bought my bike at the now-defunct BMW Motorrad of St. Louis, but it came from the Knoxville dealer, which has since burned down. K75 engines are known as "bricks" and my K75 is named Fliegenderziegelstein, which means "flying brick" in German. A friend has pointed out that the name illustrates just how ugly the German language is.
The K75 has a very smooth-running engine, a counter-balanced inline triple. It's a very reliable, bullet proof bike, which is approaching classic bike status. It has an almost cult following of very devoted fans. It's not exactly a looker, although I think it's a cutie, and at 75 hp, it has much less horsepower than more modern bikes. Motorcyclist magazine's editors recently called the K75 "The two-wheel equivalent of Birkenstocks."
I spent many an hour at BMW Motorrad of St. Louis staring at the R1150R models and finally succumbed to the lure of its looks in early 2003, just after the dealership was sold to Fred and Diane Pueschel, eventually to become BMW Motorcycles of St. Louis, which is now out of business. I had no intention of buying another bike; it was just one of those things that happens. I named this one Valentino because I took delivery the day after Valentine's Day and because the bike is red.
The R1150R is an oilhead, meaning that it is air and oil cooled. The oil coolers, which stick out to the side of the tank make the tank area look like a heart from the top, hence another reason to name the bike Valentino. The engine is a horizontally opposed boxer engine and those big pistons slamming back and forth create some vibration. The bike feels like a BMW, and it's got another 10 hp above the K75 and more torque, so this one can set the road on fire.
I bought the R100 Mystic in October of 2006, shortly after I retired. Back in 1994 when I bought the K75, I narrowed my choice to the K75 and an R100 Mystic. I chose the K75 but never forgot the Mystic. When a 1994 model--with only 19,700 miles on it!--became available in St. Louis, it was a no-brainer. These bikes are not easy to find; only 250 were imported to the U.S. during the years 1991-95. It's an Airhead--my first Airhead. It's a pretty sweet bike and I'm going to try to keep it as stock as possible, although I have thought about putting an S fairing on it. This bike's name is Merlin. Merlin the Mystic, get it????
It looks like I really like red bikes, doesn't it? Well, it's just a coincidence. I had no choice in the color of the K75--it's the color that came from the Knoxville BMW dealer, the place where BMW Motorrad of St. Louis got the bike for me. I did choose the color of the R1150R. I wanted red. The Mystic name should give a hint of the color: Mystic Red. That's the only color the Mystic comes in.