A bit of history and some stories about vintage bikes for sale

Latest

1983 Triumph Bonneville TSX

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 8.21.00 AMIn the early 1980’s the ‘Cruiser’ class was growing like crazy. The Japanese manufacturers were selling them faster than they could make them. I know because I was selling motorcycles at the time, the dealership owners even made me ride one as a demo bike for three months. I was happy I had a full face helmet, nobody knew it was me?

Harley thought they had the market cornered but the Big Four from Japan were eating away at Harleys market share like a Pit Bull with a fat juicy pork chop. Harley Davidson even got Congress to pass a tariff bill against bikes from Japan over 700cc. Those were weird times. But cruisers kept selling…even the Suzuki Madura.

Triumph was in decline and were doing everything they could to keep going so they entered the ‘Criuser’ market with the TSX. Triumph took the standard Bonneville and gave it a couple of tweaks. The main thing that was changed was lowering the bike. Change the shock angle, a 16″ rear wheel.  Next was adding a stepped seat. Then for looks, they blacked out the engine cases. That’s pretty much it, instant Cruiser. This was the last hurrah for Triumph. It was a good bike, not great but good.Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 6.26.05 PM

I found a really nice one on ebay this morning. It’s all stock (which I like), not too many miles and only one ding in the tank…oh well. If you’d like to have a classic bike that is a bit unusual (not many were exported  to the US), comfortable to ride and won’t break the bank, click on the link below for more info and more pictures.

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1983+Triumph+TSX+750&icep_item=361542053185&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.45.23 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.45.37 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.46.57 AM1983 Triumph TSX 750</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1983+Triumph+TSX+750&item=361542053185&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

1973 Harley Davidson Golf Cart

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 5.22.35 PMMy business partner in Arizona bleeds black and orange, he wouldn’t be caught dead on any motorcycle that didn’t come from “The Motor Company”.  Well, that’s not entirely true but pretty damn close. In all the years I’ve known Les if he’s not in an Aloha shirt  (at his pool party) he’s is wearing a Harley T-Shirt…no kidding. Les now lives and runs the Arizona arm of our company…in a gated community where everybody drives golf carts to get around. Today I found exactly what he needs…a Harley Davidson Golf Cart.

I’ve written before about how Harley has done just about everything under the sun in the motorcycle business. From buying up Italian motorcycle companies, to trying Cafe Racers, racing little 100cc two stokes in Baja, getting engines from Porsche, you name it. But Golf Carts? Well, when two wheels aren’t enough for you anymore it’s time for the coolest golf cart you can get. A Harley.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 5.37.00 PM

There is feeling of irony here. The Golf cart is a single cylinder 245cc gas engine three wheeler. It was designed by ‘Willie G’ when he first joined the family business. It later became a four wheeler, but the three wheeler has a cool factor  that the later version can’t match. Now here is  where I get a chuckle, there truly is only one Harley Davidson I would like to own, the XLCR…designed by Willie G. From Golf carts to cafe racers Willie G is probably the most ‘Outlaw’ of Outlaws at Harley.

I found a pretty nice 1973 Harley Cart on ebay today, it runs good, looks good and comes with a spare motor, wheels and some extra parts…not bad for a pretty resonable price. Think about it, when you can’t ride your Road King anymore you can still ride a Harley around your Senior Citizen community and be the envy of all your golf buddies. Not to mention the ladies!

Click on the link below for more info and pictures.

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1973+Harley+Davidson+Golf+Cart&icep_item=231924177502&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 6.09.54 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 6.10.10 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 6.10.25 PM1973 Harley Davidson Golf Cart</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1973+Harley+Davidson+Golf+Cart&item=231924177502&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

1975 Honda Gold Wing

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.45.19 PMI was living in Las Cruces New Mexico when I first saw the original Gold Wing. A friend owned the local Honda dealership and the Honda sales rep was there to show off the newest latest greatest from Honda. Being that I worked for a newspaper at the time it was my duty to report the occasion. Well, to be honest I was really excited to just see the new bike and I wasn’t disappointed.

At the time I was riding the ‘Evil, Wicked, Mean and Nasty‘ Kawasaki H2. Light, fast and handled about as good as a $5.00 stroller from Kmart…but thats another story for another time. The Honda sales rep pulled the cover off the bike and there was this really big bike, I mean Big. He was telling us that this was the next ‘Superbike’! ? The sales rep went through all the hoopla of power, rideability and so on and so on…then he showed us just how smooth the motor was. Taking a quarter out of his pocket he balanced it on the cylinder while the motor was running and the quarter didn’t move. I’m sure there was some sort of glue on there but who cares..it was a good show.

I did get a chance to ride the bike that day and all I could think was this thing is a BOAT!…But it was super smooth, comfortable and actually handled pretty darn good.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.52.15 PMWhen the motorcycling world got ahold of this bike motorcycle touring changed forever. The Wing was no longer a competitor to the Mighty Z1 from Kawasaki it was going straight after the Harley Electra Glide. The Gold Wing became a Gold Mine for the touring aftermarket and Craig Vetter being the leader. The Windjammer fairing changed the Gold Wing and touring.

Years and years later I bought my father a used Gold Wing. I picked it up took it home and went about getting it ready to hand it over to him. After the work was done I took it for a good ride. Before I rode it I still considered  it a boat, but it was what my dad wanted.

With a good tune up, some minor suspension work and new tires I was really impressed with the Wing. It’s smoother than a baby’s butt, will get you from here to Nova Scotia with about a worry and will handle a tight twisty road  without breaking a sweat. I loved it.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.52.50 PMI found a super cleanScreen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.51.10 PM first generation Gold Wing on ebay this morning. This bike is in ‘fly and buy and ride it home’ condition. Only 17,887 miles on the clock (it’s barely broken in!) all maintenance done. Jeez…it’s perfect. The first generation  Wings are a perfect platform for customizing. Cafe Racer, sidecar rig, full touring mode or…just leave it as it is. It’s a great motorcycle. I just wish I knew how to balance a quarter on the engine while its running.

Click on the link below for more info and pictures

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1975+Honda+Gold+Wing&icep_item=301930012498&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.07.56 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.08.12 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.08.40 AM1975 Honda Gold Wing</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1975+Honda+Gold+Wing&item=301930012498&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

1979 Triumph T140E Bonneville

When most motorcycle people think of Classic British Motorcycles the first bike to come to mind is the Bonneville. Well, except for my friend Ken…who thinks Norton was far better looking and more fun to ride (he also holds two Bonneville Salt Flat Speed records on a Norton…no wonder he’s a bit biased).
Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.00.49 PMBy the standards of the time it was light, great handling, plenty of power and beautiful to look at. It was, and still is to this day, a wonderful motorbike. The Bonneville of the era was the perfect platform for anything you wanted it to do. The Bonnie would travel (leaving a small trail of oil along its way so you could find your way home), you could race it, turn it into a cafe racer, or if you were sick enough…a chopper..Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.18.32 AMEven though I think that those that chopped Bonneville’s  (some ??are pretty good looking) should be sentenced to motorcycle prison for life with no parole…but thats just me.

The Bonneville is the bike that did everything good but nothing great until you got your hands dirty…then it became close to heaven on two wheels. In 1976 Triumph got its hands dirty. The motor was upgraded with better pistons, rods,bigger oil pumps (so you can leave more on your garage floor) , electronic ignition (now you don’t have to rely on the Lucas (the Prince of Darkness) and you got a better front suspension. oh, and an electric start. For those of us that have ridden older Triumphs there was also a shift change …from the right side to the left, which had become the norm universally.Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 7.48.50 AM

In my heart I do believe that the Triumph Bonneville is one of the few perfect motorcycles ever made, including the new generation Bonnies. When you stab the kickstarter on an older model or hit the button on a new generation version it has a soul that says “lets go and lets go fast”. It may not have the rumble and grumble of an American V-Twin but the Triumphs soul of speed is there in your right hand.

I found a great one on ebay this morning that honestly needs virtually nothing. It’s beautiful. Well I would change one thing…I really don’t like those ‘Buckhorn’ handlebars. Other than that..a wonderful piece of British motorcycling.

Click on the link below for more pictures and a more detailed description.

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1979+Triumph+T140e+Bonneville&icep_item=191850760027&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.37.36 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.38.17 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.37.54 AM1979 Triumph T140e Bonneville</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1979+Triumph+T140e+Bonneville&item=191850760027&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

1965 Triumph Thunderbird

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 8.08.38 AM

The Thunderbird is one of the motorcycles my step dad put me on at the beginning of motorcycling life. Well, actually after a Yamaha 80 and a Bultaco 250…he wasn’t so dumb as to put a teenager in the late 60’s on one of his treasured motorcycles.  But when he did, well, life changed forever. My life was ruined…I fell in love with British motorcycles.

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 3.23.38 PMThe Thunderbird was a variant of the 500cc Speed Twin. As Triumph was growing in the American market they realized riders wanted more power…we Americans love more power. Hell, we have lawnmowers that have more power than some motorcycles!! The Speed Twin was punched out to 650cc. The Thunderbird was the model that got all the other British builders to jump up to 650cc.

The 1950’s were the heyday of the Thunderbird but then came the Bonneville. The T-Bird was relegated  to entry level status or as it was called then..the working mans bike. A commuter. The Bonnie had everything the Thunderbird didn’t. Well, the T-Bird still had Marlon Brando.Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 2.46.57 PMThe Thunderbird was of the ‘Pre-Unit’ era of bikes (1949-1962) …the engine and transmission were separate pieces, but in 1963Triumph adopted unit construction. This really was a good thing. It made it easier at the factory level, easier for you and I to maintain and the bike lost thirty pounds. All good.

In ’63 not only did the T-Bird get the new motor it also got needed chassis improvements, but as things go so did the Thunderbird by 1966. The Thunderbird was a great bike, it did everything you would want a motorcycle to do but the Bonneville was much more alluring. I also think that the Bathtub body work didn’t help the ‘Bird’. 1965 was the last year of the body work.  Now I look at it and think this is very cool…for it’s time. Does it make the bike more valuable? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I found one ebay this morning that is need of some TLC. The potential is there it’s just going to need some love. The seller says it runs good. These are great bikes just don’t abuse them, take care of them and this is a bike that will give you years of fun…and oil leaks, but what the hell, the body work is worth it! You won’t see one of these everywhere you go. Oh, and check out the headlight nacelle…too cool.

Click on the link below for more pictures and a little (and I mean little) bit of info.

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1965+Triumph+Thunderbird&icep_item=252345894051&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 3.18.25 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 3.18.47 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 3.19.12 PM1965 Triumph Thunderbird</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1965+Triumph+Thunderbird&item=252345894051&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

Image

1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 6.15.30 PMMy old (not age wise…?) racing friend Steve Allen of http://www.bevelheaven.com owned an Eldorado…or maybe it was an Ambassador, either one it doesn’t matter, he loved it. My friends Eric and Ken (both are Bonneville Land Speed record holders) run a Guzzi streamliner at Bonneville and I have always lusted after one. I have ridden Eldorado’s , 850 and 1000 Le Mans and even a fairly newer California model. Loved ’em all. And so did the LAPD and the California Highway Patrol.  There is just something about a simple tractor motor put into a motorcycle fame that’s just wScreen Shot 2016-04-06 at 6.16.47 PMwonderful.

The Eldorado has a whopping 64 horsepower, a long chassis, a boat-load of torque and looks a lot heavier than it really is. Is it easy to ride? Oh yeah. Would you race  your buddy through your local canyon road? No. Would you take your wife or girlfriend (not both at the same time…) from Santa Monica to Nova Scotia…absolutely. The Eldorado was designed for long distance. Smooth easy loping motor, very predictable handling, great ergonomics…what more could you ask for? Smoother shifting and better brakes.

The Eldo is a bike that you really need to anticipate whats coming up. Shifting is clunky unless you’re slow and deliberate. It’s a long throw and takes a bit of getting used to unless you’re used to old bikes. The brakes…well, plan ahead. The brakes work fine but the 9″ drum is a bit weak if you’re used to modern disc’s . Give yourself plenty of time and distance and you’ll get used to it. Remember, the Eldorado is a traveler, not a Sportbike. The bike is most comfortable on the road between 65-80mph, after that  the handling or should I say ‘handling response’ becomes a little less than confidence inspiring, especially two up.  But still, it is a fabulous long distance mount

I found a really great one on ebay this morning that is truly a fly and buy bike.  It has been upgraded with a 1000cc engine kit, well maintained and the stock handlebars. This is a good deal. Besides riding around South Carolina this time of year sounds like a lot of fun.

Click on the link below for more info and pictures

 

 

 

1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1973+Moto+Guzzi+Eldorado&icep_item=201555350176&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 6.42.34 PM

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 6.42.16 PM1973 Moto Guzzi Eldorado</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1973+Moto+Guzzi+Eldorado&item=201555350176&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

1985 Yamaha RZ350 Kenny Roberts

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 6.59.29 AMNow here is where the fun begins. The RD series of motorcycles from Yamaha were seriously some of the most fun motorcycles you could ever ride. I spent a good deal of time on RD’s starting with an RD250 that my step dad ostensibly for my mom to ride. I think she spent about 10 minutes on it and decided motorcycles were not for her…lucky me. From there it was onto my father-in-laws RD350 (which decided to hole a piston somewhere between Phoenix and Albuquerque) Riding about 300 miles on a sick motorcycle is not fun and then to have the owner (your father in law who doesn’t really like you anyway..) blame you?? And lastly to an RD400. As I look back, those bikes always put a smile on my face, even when working on them (which wasn’t all that often…I’m lazy). Super fun to ride, reliable and good looking. You can’t beat that.

Just when you’re thinking things can’t get any better, the Tuning Fork company decides to make great bikes even better…here comes the RZ350. Water cooling, a new chassis (perimeter instead of spine style), better brakes, new styling, whats not to love?Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 6.56.57 AM

So here is what makes this motorcycle so valuable…It came here for one year. 1985. Though many are titled 1984. The EPA decided that 2 strokes were incompatible with their emissions regulations. But wait, the RZ came with catalytic converters and the rest of the world was OK with it, whats wrong here??  California. I’ll leave it at that

My good friend and racing competitor,Craig races an RZ and absolutely loves it. As a matter of fact I have never met anyone that loves Sportbikes that doesn’t love the RZ. Would I love to own one? Yes, Would I do a weekend trip on it? yes. Would I ride it across the country to visit my brother in law…odds are are low on that one. Not because of my brother in law…but, multiple hundreds of miles a day on an RZ??? You must have done something bad in a past life….

I found a beauty on Ebay this morning that may seem a bit overpriced but honestly, an RZ350 is probably one of the highest ‘Giggle Factor’ and most fun fun motorcycles you will ever ride.Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 6.23.30 PM
Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 6.17.11 PM

Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 6.24.10 PM
Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 6.23.30 PM1985 Yamaha RZ 350 Kenny Roberts

1981 Honda CB750 F

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 7.15.29 AMI spent a lot of miles on a CB750F…a lot. Quite a bit north of 100K. From Mexico to Canada and all around the Western US. It never failed me. I failed it a couple of times but it was a good soldier. When I bought mine (my daughter was just 3 weeks or was it 3 days old?) I also ordered the ‘European Sport Kit’ Lower handlebars,reset pegs and I think something else?. I loved the bike. Over time I upgraded the suspension, put a Kerker exhaust on (the standard of the time) but honestly, it didn’t need anything else. Honda did a great job with the CB-F series, 750,900,1100. It didn’t do anything great, it just did everything very,very well. The series was a bike that you could think about your riding and not the bike. Tank bag, saddlebags and around the world you go. Well, maybe.Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 8.13.40 AM
I found a very interesting CB750F model on ebay today. The seller has done some very interesting changes to the bike. Kawasaki suspension. A bit more modern and probably adds a lot to the stability/handling. This bike does need a little love but not enough to make it undesirable. Price seems fair…so far. Click on the pics below for more info and more pictures.
My experience with this series of Honda’s was absolutely wonderful. It really is one of the bikes I regret not having today.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 5.34.10 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-17 at 5.35.17 PM
Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 5.34.49 PM1981 Honda CB750F

1941 Harley Davidson Flathead

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.50.36 AM Years back a friend decided he wanted to live “Off The Grid”, I think that at sometime in life quite a few of us have thought of that. Then reality hits. A wife, kids, going to PTA meetings, and how far away is the nearest grocery store? Dan decided to wait until PTA meetings were over and kids were off to college before he headed down the path of “Off The Grid”.
Dan had spent years planning this transition in life (much to his wife’s dismay and consternation) and then the day came…”Honey, I found us a piece of land in Arizona that would be perfect for getting out of the Rat Race.
Now I’ve known Dan for years and over those years he acquired quite a motorcycle collection, some were pieces of junk (we all have those) and some were very special. He sold ’em all to buy this piece of land and an Airstream trailer to plant on it. Again, his wife just sat there shaking her head and wondering what kind of medications could help her husband. Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.18.39 AM
Fast forward about a year…This “living off the grid” ain’t all it’s cracked up to be and more importantly Dan missed his motorcycles. Sell the land, the Airstream, move back to town and buy a motorcycle. This time he decided on a classic bike instead of something modern.
How ‘Vintage’ is vintage, how ‘Antique’ is antique? Dan opted for Pre-war American. Indian, Harley, Excelsior??? Dan found a beautiful Harley WL model Flathead that needed some love. A few months later, and about as much money as he paid for his Airstream he had a big smile on his face and his overly tolerant wife was happy to have central air conditioning.Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.50.24 AM
The ‘Flathead’ design motor was very common throughout motoring history. Dating back to the early 20th century it was used in cars, tractors, pretty much anything motorized. The design was simple, dependable and relatively cheap to manufacture. However, it’s design did limit its power output, there are always trade offs. The WL Model Harley Davidson was a 45 cubic inch model that eventually found itself doing service in World War Two for not only the US troops but also for the Russian Army, they bought nearly 30,000 of them. After the war, the WLA model (A was for Army’) was very popular with returning GI’s. There is a lot more history available out there about the Flathead Harley’s and it’s quite fascinating. When it comes to Flatheads though there is nothing like the sound of a Ford Flathead to wake up you soul!
Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 11.48.12 AMI found a really beautiful 1941 Harley WL model on Ebay this morning. Earlier in this story I talked about my friend Dan and his Airstream. He paid nearly $30,000 for that trailer, he sold it for about the same. After he finished all the work he had done on the 1940 Harley, he could have bought back his trailer and given his wife a dish washer and air conditioning. It didn’t matter, he loved the bike. The bike I found on ebay this morning is a deal!
It is ready to ride. It does show it’s age and that is just great. If you’re not the adventurous type or a skilled mechanic you may not want to ride the bike across the country, but for weekend outings, it’s perfect and well worth the money.
Click on the pics below for more info and pictures. There’s an old saying out there “God rides a Harley”…there is another one that goes along with it, “If God rides a Harley, God rides slow”. On this bike, slow is just fine.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 5.30.10 PM
Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 5.31.02 PM
Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 5.30.48 PM
Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 5.31.19 PM1941 Harley Davidson Flathead

1974 BMW R90S

Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 5.26.41 PMA few years ago I bought a 1976 R90S that had been sitting in a garage under a blanket, a piece of carpet and a few boxes for 17 years.It had only 15,000 miles on it. I got it for a song. It needed the standard stuff…all the fluids changed, new tires, clean the carbs, go through the wiring, new battery flush the brake system and get the mouse nest out of the air box.
After all that it was time for a shakedown run, a couple hundred miles ought to do it…as long as I had my AAA card. Well, the ride went perfect and I was in love with my BMW. It did everything I asked of it and with no muss or fuss. The next week the missus and I headed off to tour Utah and again, all was well.Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 8.02.08 AM
Over the few years that I had the R90 I had put about 70,000 miles on it with almost no issues. Easy maintenance, comfortable for two up riding, with a couple of suspension mods it handled pretty great, but then one night an evil spirit (Tanqueray Martinis and my friend (?) Erik) convinced me to sell it and buy an Adventure bike.
Well, word got out that I had sold the BMW and instantly I got an email from a good friend telling me that I needed to seek the help of a mental health professional. First I sold a Ducati Darmah, then my R90S all to buy a Buell Ulysses? They were right, I did need help. Do I regret selling my R90S? yes. Do I like my Buell? Yes. Do I love it ? No. I’d really rather have my R90S back…or something similar. Ah well. Hindsight is always 20/20.
The R90S showed up on these shores in 1974, at that time is was basically a bored out R75 with a few suspension upgrades, different carbs, a higher compression ratio and very cool bodywork including one of the most beautiful paint jobs and a nice tight little bikini fairing up front.
BMW really wanted to upgrade or modernize its image and the S model was the ideal platform and the best place to showcase that…the racetrack. Enter Reg Pridmore. Canadian racer Reg Pridmore took the Butler and Smith (the US distributors of BMW at the time) to the first ever AMA Superbike Championship in 1976. Fuddy Duddy BMW was now a very serious racer…The R90S is not your fathers BMW.There is a vast amount of good racing history about the R90S in that period and reading it makes me wish I had mine back.Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 5.28.31 PM
The photo above is three BMW’s leading a race. These bikes and even the street version are no slouches.
I found an especially nice S model today on ebay that is truly a fly /buy and ride/ Well, maybe the ride part might be a bit sketchy…only because of the weather across the country. Hey wait, you’re a good rider…some snow, a tornado or two and golf ball size hail won’t stop you. Will it?
Screen Shot 2015-11-14 at 6.12.14 PM
Honestly, this is a bike ready to ride. A lot of new parts, some nice additions (the Ohlins shocks and the Corbin seat) The price at this time seems reasonable, but we’ll see. It is a fabulous motorcycle. If you were ever looking for the perfect vintage sport touring bike, the R90S is without question the best you will ever find.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and more info

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 7.52.54 AM
Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 7.53.35 AM
Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 7.53.08 AM
Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 7.53.23 AM1974 BMW R90S

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 98 other followers