BMW Motorcycle

Which Old BMW is Most Reliable?

When it comes to investing in a used motorcycle, reliability is often a top concern. BMW motorcycles are known for their durability and engineering excellence, making them a popular choice among used bike buyers. However, some models stand out for their exceptional reliability even after many years of use. In this blog, we will explore which old BMW is considered the most reliable and why it remains a top choice for those looking for a dependable used BMW motorcycle.

Factors Contributing to BMW Motorcycle Reliability

Before diving into specific models, it’s important to understand what makes a BMW motorcycle reliable. Several factors contribute to the overall reliability of these bikes:

Engineering Excellence

BMW is renowned for its meticulous engineering standards. Each component is designed and tested to meet high performance and durability standards, ensuring that the motorcycles can withstand extensive use over time.

Quality Materials

The use of high-quality materials in construction adds to the longevity of BMW motorcycles. From the engine components to the bodywork, BMW ensures that their bikes are built to last.

Regular Maintenance

Regular and proper maintenance is crucial to the longevity and reliability of any motorcycle. BMW provides comprehensive maintenance schedules and guidelines, which, when followed, help keep the bike in top condition.

The Most Reliable Old BMW Models

While many old BMW models are known for their reliability, a few stand out for their exceptional performance and durability over the years. Here are some of the most reliable used BMW motorcycles:

1. BMW R 1150 GS

The BMW R 1150 GS is often hailed as one of the most reliable adventure motorcycles ever made. Known for its ruggedness and versatility, it has earned a reputation for handling a variety of terrains and conditions without compromising performance.

Key Features

  • Boxer Engine: The air/oil-cooled boxer engine is known for its durability and ease of maintenance. Its robust design ensures long-lasting performance.
  • Telelever Suspension: The Telelever front suspension provides a smooth and stable ride, reducing wear and tear on the front end.
  • ABS Brakes: Early adoption of ABS technology improves safety and reliability in various riding conditions.

2. BMW K75

The BMW K75 is another model celebrated for its reliability. This bike, part of the “Flying Brick” series, is known for its smooth and reliable inline-three engine, which has proven to be virtually bulletproof over the years.

Key Features

  • Inline-Three Engine: The 740cc inline-three engine is renowned for its smooth power delivery and robust construction.
  • Shaft Drive: The maintenance-free shaft drive reduces the need for frequent adjustments and replacements, adding to the bike’s reliability.
  • Fuel Injection: Early adoption of electronic fuel injection ensures consistent performance and easier starting in various conditions.

3. BMW R 80/7

The BMW R 80/7 is a classic model that has stood the test of time. Known for its simplicity and reliability, this bike is a favorite among vintage motorcycle enthusiasts.

Key Features

  • Air-Cooled Boxer Engine: The air-cooled boxer engine is simple and easy to work on, making it a reliable choice for long-term ownership.
  • Classic Design: The minimalist design and straightforward mechanics make the R 80/7 easy to maintain and repair.
  • Durability: Many R 80/7 models have been known to rack up hundreds of thousands of miles with proper maintenance.

4. BMW F 650

The BMW F 650, particularly the Dakar version, is a single-cylinder adventure bike known for its ruggedness and reliability. It’s an excellent choice for those looking for a dependable bike that can handle both on-road and off-road adventures.

Key Features

  • Single-Cylinder Engine: The 650cc single-cylinder engine is simple, robust, and known for its longevity.
  • Versatility: Its lightweight and versatile design makes it suitable for a variety of riding conditions, from city commuting to off-road trails.
  • Low Maintenance: The F 650’s design emphasizes low maintenance and ease of repair, contributing to its reliability.

Tips for Buying a Reliable Used BMW Motorcycle

To ensure you get a reliable used BMW motorcycle, consider the following tips:

Check Maintenance Records

Always ask for and review the maintenance records. A well-documented service history indicates that the bike has been properly cared for.

Conduct a Thorough Inspection

Inspect the motorcycle thoroughly for any signs of wear, damage, or neglect. Pay attention to the engine, suspension, brakes, and electrical components.

Test Ride

A test ride can reveal a lot about the bike’s condition. Listen for unusual noises, check the handling, and ensure that all systems are functioning correctly.

Get a Professional Evaluation

If possible, have a professional mechanic evaluate the bike. They can provide insights into the condition and any potential issues that may not be immediately apparent.


When it comes to reliability, several old BMW models stand out, including the BMW R 1150 GS, BMW K 75, BMW R 80/7, and BMW F 650. These models are known for their robust engineering, quality materials, and overall durability, making them excellent choices for anyone looking to invest in a used BMW motorcycle. By following proper maintenance practices and conducting thorough inspections, you can ensure that your used BMW motorcycle remains a reliable and enjoyable ride for years to come.

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