1988 BMW K100 LT

Guide Price: £10,500 - £12,500

** Please note this bike was subject to a CAT-C insurance write off in July 2009 **


﹒Fresh from a ground up nut & bolt rebuild 
﹒Professionally built, bespoke bike oozing café racer style
﹒Based on the reliable BMW K100 sport tourer

The Background

Affectionately known as ‘the Flying Brick’, it’s safe to say that BMW never set out to make the K100 LT the fastest, sportiest bike on the market. And, among a sea of the 80’s crazy-fast Japanese superbikes, it turned out to be a smart decision… Instead, with its 987cc four-stroke engine, the BMW provided real world, usable power at low revs, it was easy-to-use, incredibly reliable and therefore appealed instantly to would-be motorcycle tourers. It quickly became known as a bike that was as happy to take you on a journey around the world – twice - as it would be to take you and your lunch box to work on a drizzly Monday morning. 

The ‘LT’ lettering designating this the ‘Luxury Touring’ model in the range; noted for its higher screen, touring fairing and additional luggage carrying abilities. Of course, none of these features would be distinguishable on the bike it has now been transformed into…
Now, some 30 years later, these leisurely, uber-reliable BMW’s have been welcomed with open arms by large swathes of café racer builders, grateful for their strong build quality the more sedate demographic of previous owners.

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The History

Purchased just over a year ago by its current owner in original, pannier-laden ‘LT’ spec, the intention was to transform this 80’s BMW into an eye-grabbing, raw, custom motorbike to enjoy on Sunday cruises. And, a year later, that’s exactly what has been achieved with this bespoke, café racer build.

Utilising the skills of professionals for welding work, electricals, saddle trimming and paintwork, the current owner has undertaken a full rebuild in the past 12 months. From replacing every nut and bolt on the engine, stripping, sandblasted and repainting the frame, to the fitting of luxurious new shocks, using original BMW items or custom-fabricated parts throughout: this has been a thoroughly considered conversion.

Having found the process as rewarding as the riding, the owner has commemorated the finish of the build with a fresh MOT and a short ride, choosing to move on to his next project and thus, offering this K100 Café Racer in like-new condition for its next owner to enjoy the rewards.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, this bike was subject to a Cat-C insurance write off in July 2009. However, with the amount of work done to the bike since then, it could be argued that this is not representative of the bike now. But we thought you should know either way!

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The Paperwork

An extensive list of receipts for the many parts and labour required to transform this bike during the current owner’s tenure is logged and can be provided to the new owner. Still in its company, too is the logbook along with a detailed MOT history, brought up to date with a swift pass at the end of May 2020.

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The Condition

As you may expect from the build that’s been described up to this point, this bike presents in as close to new condition as you could wish for. The goal of any BMW-based conversion is typically to maximise the imposing stature of the engine and tank combination, focusing on purifying the rest of the bike as much as possible, stripping unnecessary weight both from a visual and physical perspective. Both objectives have, as can be seen, comfortably been achieved with this build, showcasing the impressive engine and exhaust, doing away with the bulk.

The rear-frame has been sandblasted and repainted in gloss black to give old-school appeal, an appeal which is further endorsed by the powder coated engine covers, proudly displaying the the BMW lettering. Fans of modern BMW’s may recognise the distinctive Yas Marina Blue colour of the tank, beautifully linking the bike’s heritage to its modern-day performance connections. Adding further classy touches with a nod to the Café Racer style book, the owner has chosen a custom-made tan leather seat and finished off the look with bronze wheels, professionally powder coated to ensure that they retain their charm. Finishing off the head-turning looks are the new Michelin MS tyres which, despite their aggressive off-road looks, are an all-season offering made from a super soft compound which the owner assures are fine for road use.

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The Mechanics

Whilst the original 1988 bones of this bike may have ticked over 77,000 miles (cue the comments of “that’s barely run in!” from K100 fans), it’s fair to state that this rides and performs like a new bike thanks to the extensive work that’s been done to convert it. With a vast weight reduction, the already-capable engine will shift its new owner from country lanes to the café faster than you can say “Steve McQueen”.  

Despite being such a simple, pure object, no corners have been cut in the modernising of it. From the total re-wiring, with cables neatly hidden beneath the seat, to the addition of a YSS rear shock, new speedometer and LED headlamp: this bike benefits from numerous modern touches whilst retaining the classic styling.

The sound created from the rumbling 4-stroke engine is now complemented by a throaty, un-silenced exhaust to give it its husky, assertive burble. For those who may wish to quieten this, the silencer comes provided with the bike.

With such an exhaustive list of work done, it’s appropriate to detail the full specs from this year-long labour of love conversion:

  • Custom rear suspension with YSS shock
  • Custom made seat
  • Powder coated wheels
  • New Michelin MS tyres
  • New exhaust
  • K1 Suzuki fork
  • New wiring
  • New BMW gaskets
  • New GNK spark plugs
  • New filters and oil
  • Front brakes use Tokico callipers and EBC discs
  • Rear Brembo brake 
  • CNC custom made radiator cover
  • CNC custom made air intake cover
  • New speedometer
  • Bar end indicators
  • All new original BMW bolts
  • Montana 2 handlebar-end mirrors
  • Highsider CNC headlamp brackets adjustable
  • New LED headlamp
  • New CNC levers

The Appeal

With summer just around the next bend, this may just be the perfect opportunity to don your vintage helmet and prepare for many miles of enjoyment on this uber cool, dependable bike.

With its ground-up rebuild, this offers the perfect chance to own a freshly completed, bespoke café racer with nothing to do other than roll it out into the sunshine and enjoy the ride (and admiring glances). 

** The photos in this listing have been provided to us by the seller **

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1988
  • Make BMW
  • Model K100 LT
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 77,000 Miles
  • Engine size 980
  • Location Essex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
22 bids
  • price.c•••• £7,250 16/06/21
  • morgan2•••• £7,050 16/06/21
  • price.c•••• £6,050 16/06/21
  • morgan2•••• £5,700 16/06/21
  • price.c•••• £5,600 16/06/21
  • clive-m•••• £5,300 15/06/21
  • morgan2•••• £5,050 15/06/21
  • price.c•••• £4,950 15/06/21
  • morgan2•••• £4,550 14/06/21
  • price.c•••• £4,250 14/06/21

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