BMW K bikes (Bricks)

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Silver member
Silver member
We set of from Gateshead for Arran last Tuesday, lovely weather, high spirits and the start of 6 days around the Scottish Highlands. This was the first long trip for my K100 since I bought it nearly 2 years ago.

We dumped the bags at the Hostel in Lochranza and set of for a run around the island. It was at a point some 15 miles later and slowed by farm traffic that the back end of the bike suddenly went down and I slewed across the road. I initially thought I had suffered a blow out but it actually turned out to be the top of the shock separating from the damper rod. A closer inspection revealed the fact that the damper rod appeared to have literally unscrewed itself from the top mount. There were some pieces of alloy thread which suggested that the end of the damper rod had been chattering inside the mount at the very end of the internal thread before it gave way.

I was able to screw the top of the mount back onto the damper rod but there was no way I could compress and fit the spring. In the middle of nowhere we looked through the various bike tool kits to see if there was anything we could use to get the bike to a garage. A Suzuki Gladius tool kit came to the rescue with a 2 part spark plug wrench that once split apart and the rubber plug holder removed was the perfect length to slip over the damper rod and tighten the top mount down onto it. with the now solid shock re-attached to the bike I was able to, tentatively, travel the 25 miles back to Brodick where a very helpful guy running Angus Lambie Motor engineers was able to tap out the damaged thread, compress the spring and Loctite the shock top back onto the damper rod.

I was till a little wary of it letting go again and added some reference marks to ascertain any movement of the damper rod relative to the shock top. I'm pleased to say that over a further 8oo miles it never budged.

I bought the damper, an original BMW item, not long after buying the bike nearly 18 months ago to replace the nivomat. It was advertised as rebuilt with powder coated spring and re-chromed spring adjuster, it looked brand new. I didn't fit it until I put the bike back on the road a few weeks ago, in total it had done just under 500 miles at point of failure.

I can only surmise that whoever put it back together didn't properly attach the top mount to the damper rod. More worryingly was the fact that the good weather and fast A roads had encouraged some...'spirited' riding. I dread to think what might have happened had the shock come adrift some 50-60 miles earlier.

On the plus side the K100 performed admirably, its not as quick, as agile or as economical as the triumph Speed Triple I usually do these trips on, but it is so much more comfortable, carries luggage way better and managed a creditable 46mpg. I'll definitely be using the old girl again.

Junior member of the trip getting his hand dirty whilst older members supervise and make encouraging noises

 Rear shock disintegrated.....shock, horror DSCN4602

An elegant, post trauma, pose in the evening sun at Lochranza

Rear shock disintegrated.....shock, horror DSCN4632



Life time member
Life time member
Scary story. Shocked
I've rebuilt the standard shock with a new Bilstein damper and it clearly states in the instructions to use thread locking fluid when screwing the end back on!
I guess the lazy b*****d who rebuilt it didn't bother.
The result doesn't bear thinking about. Glad you were ok.
Suppose the moral of the story is to trust no one and do it yourself. Hence the purpose of this forum.
Nice looking naked K100.

Life is not a rehearsal.
2010 VFR 1200F DCT 
2010 R1200GS(gone)
1986 K100 Silver(gone)
2012 K1600GT(gone)
1984 K100RT Madison Silver(gone)
1989 K100LT Stratus Grey(gone)
1984 K100 Red(gone)


Silver member
Silver member
Thanks CJ.............certainly the pucker factor was quite high. Unfortunately the disasters didn't end there. That night 2 deer fighting outside the hostel knocked over 2 of the bikes which snapped the brake lever off one. This necessitated a search for someone on the island who was prepared to have a go at welding the 2 broken bits together. Thank you Kiscadale engineering.

The nice thing was that both of the businesses mentioned did the work immediately and for nominal amounts. Otherwise we would have been stuck pending the arrival of replacement parts.


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