So Comrade, you want to buy a motorcycle, I have just the one for you. Made right here in the mother country, the Ural M-63. A wonderful motorcycle, 650 CC, 15 KW power (20 hp) and a top speed of 104 KPH (65 MPH). It comes with a sidecar if you would like , that way you can take your wife and your mistress on a ride.
I had great fun again researching Ural. You have Ural, Dnepr, under one roof. Later down the road they were also known as Cossack motorcycles. Originally they were Military only but in the late 50’s IMZ started building bikes for the public. IMZ stands for Irbitskiy Motosikletniy Zavod (say that three times really fast) IMZ is the parent company. They were also sold in the UK under the name Satra from ’73 to ’79.
Ural has a great history thanks to BMW and the German government. In 1940 the Soviet Union acquired design and production techniques from BMW. The Ural was based on the 1930’s BMW R71. It was originally built in the town of Irbit in an old Brewery. Now we have all heard about the lack of reliability in Urals but think about this…they’re built in a brewery…what did you expect? Let’s see, a barely adequate 6 volt electrical system, the carburetor leaked, floods and spit gas everywhere except into the engine. Sounds just perfect.
The Urals however were known as a tank of a motorcycle. A 750 lb (with a sidecar) 20hp motorcycle that was very capable of traveling two up all over Eastern Europe. The M63 was made from 1963 to 1980. There is a lot more history but you can find it yourself.
There are those of us that go for interesting and then there are those that go for just plain weird. Today I found weird, but in a cool way. I’m going to leave any description of the bike to the ebay seller. I really don’t know what to say about it. Click on the blue link below for more pictures and some information. It is weird but in a cool way. You certainly won’t see anything like at your local Sunday morning hangout…or the Church parking lot.
<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=1970+Ural+-63&icep_item=172347404334&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”>
1970 Ural M-63</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=1970+Ural+M-63&item=172347404334&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”>
I once had a friend who was so into BMW that I think he applied for German citizenship!? But he ended up simply restoring them and riding old Beemers all over the Western US. He even convinced me to buy one and in all honesty I loved it. I sold it a few years later after about 50,000 miles and every now and then I wish still had it.
The bike I found on ebay today is an R60/5 model, nice bike. Here comes todays history lesson…at one time BMW was considering getting out of the motorcycle business but in 1964 the decision came to stay. They (BMW) hired a man from Porsche to design the next generation motorcycles. In 1970 the /5 series replaced the /2 with a number of improvements and changes. The Boxer engine remained with some changes but the rest of the bike was virtually all new. More horsepower, lighter weight and… here are the BIGGIES (insert drum roll here) a 12 volt electrical system and an electric starter!!! They did keep the kick starter for the traditionalist and I think, just in case the new electric starter decided not participate that day.
Even with all the improvements it wasn’t perfect. Yes it had a higher cruising speed but getting there took more work. For one, just getting the bike rolling took some effort because of a heavy clutch and a tall first gear. The power came on at a little over 4000 rpm where as the /2 model got into it’s power between 2 and 3000 rpm, which considering BMW was still using a 4 speed you were working the gear shift lever a lot. The brakes were described as adequate. Now remember, this showed up when the Japanese had advanced to disc brakes so by comparison, yeah the BMW brakes were just adequate. The bike handled a lot better than it’s predesesor with more cornering clearance due to lifting the cylinders.The R60/5 was , and is, a very capable touring bike, it’s quite comfy even two up and has the power to get the two of you down the road.
So, Back to the one I found on ebay this morning. A very clean R60/5. The seller it has 21K miles but also says the speedo/odo doesn’t work so the mileage could be in question. It has some mechanical work done and the seller says it runs smooth. The R60/5 is in beautiful unrestored condition and the starting price is not unreasonable.
If your’e looking for classic BMW I think bike is well working at. Click on the link below for more info and more pictures. Oh and by the way, the classic ‘Toaster’ tank came out in ’72. It is very cool.
<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=1972+BMW+R60%2F5&icep_item=131940490340&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”>
1972 BMW R60/5</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=1972+BMW+R60%2F5&item=131940490340&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”>
A 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.
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.
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?
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
Everyday I find something interesting on ebay. Some motorcycles are waaaayy overpriced and some are values you can’t pass up. How do you choose? Hows your 401K doing and how understanding is your wife? or Bank?
It seems that lately I have been on a sidecar kick…I love sidecar rigs, what can I say. This morning I found a very beautiful Jawa 350 with a Velorex sidecar but…at an asking price of $16,000??? Give me and everyone else a break. Then, with a little more searching I found a really clean Chang Jiang rig for 1/4 of the price.And now you’re asking…Chang Jiang?
Who is Chang Jiang? A Chinese manufacturer producing motorbikes for the Peoples Liberation Army. The Chang Jiang is a somewhat direct descendant of the 1938 BMW R71 but more closely to the Russian M72, which is a decendent from the R71 with a few Russian modifications. It’s a bit convoluted but all three are basic Boxer twin/ shaft driven motorcycles with side cars. Germany is BMW, Russia is Ural and China is Chang Jiang. Here is the interesting part…BMW has progressed, Ural has progressed (kind of), Chang Jiang…not so much. It’s pretty much a 1938 BMW. Well, it works for them I guess.
In 1966 they made some upgrades, they went from the type 1 to the type 2. Here’s the fun part, when a type 2 needed to be serviced they (the Chinese military) would use left over Type 1 parts…makes sense to me.
Here really is the most interesting little tid bit…did you know that the Chang Jiang 750 is the longest running production motorcycle? 68 years! With virtually no modification. In a weird way thats pretty cool.
Click on the pic below for more info
1972 Chang Jiang w/ Sidecar
All of us that ride motorcycles have riding friends that are devoted to the bike they ride. More than just their own bike but the brand as well. I ride with friends that bleed black and orange, some Italian red and some German…what color do they bleed? And the Brits..well, thats a horse of another color. But the point here is that we all have, for whatever reasons, our favorite and we become somewhat fanatical about our brand. I have owned all of them and loved all of them, almost equally. Well, my Ducati was a pain in the ass to work on…
Oddly enough most of my riding friends speak German, particularly vintage German.BMW to be specific and to be even more specific, R75’s. Having owned an R90 I do understand the affinity. The BMW does everything you want a motorcycle to do. Comfortable, good handling (that is part of why the police departments like them so much), and above all else…reliable as at the day is long. A vintage BMW is a motorcycle is a bike that when you put that second tank of gas in during a ride, you’re planning the third.
I found a great classic today on ebay that honest to goodness is a fly there with your riding gear and ride this bike home. It has the luggage racks but no luggage..you can easily get them. This is a great bike at a good price. Really, fly to Virginia and spend the next two weeks riding home.
Click on the pics below for more info and more pictures. Nice bike!
I have always been a fan of oddball motorcycles…actually owned a lot of them, much to the bewilderment of family and friends. While doing my daily search of ebay for stuff I need and / or want, I found a bike I have never heard of before, a Junak?
In Post War Europe there were a ton of motorbike manufacturers, in Poland alone there were Twenty Eight, 28!!, between 1928 and 1972, the Junak is Polish. There is so much history in Eastern European motorcycle building its mind boggling. If you want to learn more about the Post War Eastern Europe motorcycling industry you will spend hours upon hours and days upon days at your computer and talking to motorcycle historians and then it goes back to Britain…and then….
Back to Junak. Junak was the first and only (at the time, post war) manufacturer of four stroke motorcycles in Poland. The best and most popular was the M10, a 350cc single cylinder that very closely resembled the Ariel single (with maybe a touch of BMW thrown in for good measure). Like I have said before, most of the Eastern Euro bikes had their basis on British bikes…who didn’t? Well, maybe the Italians?
The Junak M10 is a very simple 350cc single that had many uses. It was originally designed for the military (was there an Eastern European motorcycle that wasn’t??), and for touring.The Januk M10 became a very popular civilian motorbike especially with a side car, but also had good success in cross country racing
And, circuit racing (roadracing)
I found a very beautiful example of the Junak M10 on ebay this morning. It is a 1963 with just 400 miles (610 KM) on the clock. It is a first kick starter (most of the time) and good runner. Interestingly enough spare parts aren’t all that difficult to come by, there are a number of sources that can still supply you with parts to keep this bit of Post War Eastern European motorcycling culture on the road. Cosmetically it’s really nice, going to need a few things here and there but nothing to be overly concerned about if you plan on riding it. The seller is asking nearly $10K for it…is it worth that much??? You decide.
Click on the pics below for more info and pictures
I truly do have this love / hate relationship with Bultaco. I raced Pursang’s in the desert, Matador’s in Enduro’s and an Astro in a TT race. I rode my Matador to and from school and all over the local mountains. What do they all have in common? They all left me stranded somewhere near ‘BFE’ which is close to the ‘middle of nowhere’, well the Astro is the one exception, it didn’t strand me during my one 10 lap TT race. Nonetheless, my life with Bultaco was, well, interesting.
The one category of Bultaco motorcycles I haven’t had the ‘pleasure'(?) of spending any time on is the street bikes. Since the very beginning of my relationship with Bultaco, I have lusted after the Metralla. The Metralla had only what you needed. It was light, fast, quick handling and beautiful. The Mercurio was another version of the same bike that didn’t have much of an impact here in the US. Why? Well, it started as a small bike and worked its way up to 175cc. Today, 175cc isn’t even freeway legal here in California, but in the rest of the world, it was a pretty big bike.
The Bultaco singles worked. Because of Senior Bulto’s involvement with Montessa’s racing success, Bultaco’s were race bred machines from day one. Here is a quick (Readers Digest version) of Bultaco history. Francisco ‘Paco’ Bulto started Bultaco following a split with his former employer, Montessa. Management at Montessa decided it was time to get out of racing, Paco disagreed and along with a few others left Montessa and started the new company based on racing technology and design. 1954 brought the first Bultaco, the 125cc Tralla, a road going machine bred from the successful road racers they had built for Montessa. Two months later, in the Spanish Grand Prix, Bultaco took seven out of the top ten finishers!!! And as they say, the rest is history. A short side note, former 500GP and MotoGP rider Sete Gibernau is Senor Bulto’s grandson.
I found a very unique Mercurio on ebay this morning. This Mercurio is a really well done ‘custom’. It features a BMW gas tank, a unique fibreglass tail section and different wheels and hubs. I dig the dual headlight set up. It is a really cool motorbike. It is a runner according to the seller. Priced seems reasonable compared to some other bikes I have seen lately. The Bultaco is a very simple motorbike and with minimum maintenance should be a fun Sunday ride for a long time. Plus, this bike, in my opinion has a very high cool factor and would be a blast to ride. Click on the pics below for more pictures and a bit more information.
Well, the time has come to sell my R90S. I love this bike but I think that somebody may love it a bit more.
I bought the bike a few years ago from my son’s father in law. It had been sitting for seventeen years under some boxes of vintage radios, a piece of old carpet and a couple of blankets and I wanted it. We struck a deal and I brought it home.
A good tune up, new tires and off I went to see my friend Bill Stermer (who wrote the book on airhead BMW’s and is a writer for Rider Magazine). We rode our favorite road and at the end of the ride he gave the bike the ‘two thumbs up’ and I was happy. Since that time, my wife and I have traveled California and the Southwest US on the BMW and it has never let us down. It is a great motorcycle. But, like most of us motorcyclists, we always lust for something else…new, old, or just different from what we have now. That is where I am at now.
So, here’s the deal. The bike is a 1976 R90S with 36,572 miles on the clock. It has a 1977 R100RS fairing, makes for very comfortable riding. I put new shocks on it from Bobs BMW on it about 10k miles ago and replaced the fork springs. The carbs were rebuilt and full tune up done about 2K miles ago. All the fluids have just been changed (engine oil and filter,trans,drive shaft and differential,front brake fluid). New throttle and clutch cables.
I put a ‘Brown’s’ sidestand on it because the stock BMW sidestand is a nightmare. The bike has the full complete BMW tool kit plus more tools and ignition parts, a spare throttle cable and a genuine BMW tank cover. Factory BMW saddle bags (Krauser) and the small luggage rack in place of the simple grab handle, the chrome grab handle comes with it too. I have a set of fork boots that I didn’t install that go with the bike.
What the bike needs is a new rear tire and the fairing needs a paint job, and the windscreen is cracked…that’s all.
It’s a great bike, runs perfectly and can be yours for $6000. R90S models with twice the mileage sell for more, this is a good deal. I will deliver within 100 miles of zip code 93015 for an additional $100. If you want the bike shipped I can help your shipper but all arrangements are up to you.
If you have any questions or would like more pictures just send me an e-mail email@example.com
This R90 has been a great friend and now it needs to be a great friend to someone else.
This bike is so easy to write about because I have an R90S and absolutely love it! And, my S model has a similar story. When I found mine it had been buried underneath a mountain of boxes full of vintage radio parts for about seventeen years. I was there to buy an old radio but I noticed some old motorcycles being rolled out of the garage and into a truck and a van. “What’s going on?” I asked. “My wife told me to start cleaning out the garage” said Mr. Radio. I stood there slack jawed watching a Vincent Black Shadow roll into the back of an old Ford Econoline, a Norton International roll into a U-Haul trailer and an old sidevalve K model Harley sitting in the driveway waiting for its new owner.
Mr. Radio, proceeded to show me a couple more motorcycles that had been buried for decades and one of them happened to be an R90s that he had fitted an R100RS fairing to, but no fuel tank. “Where’s the tank?” he pointed up into the rafters and there sat a beautifully painted ‘Smoke Grey’ tank. We worked out the price and the BMW went home with me that day. I think the radio is still in his garage.
The BMW R90s is the first AMA Superbike Champion motorcycle. Granted, it is not the basic 58HP R90s but the regular R90s is an incredible motorcycle. I believe that it is the ‘Superbike that will do everything’. I have put thousands of miles on it across the western US and it is my daily commuter (when I’m not riding my son’s Honda Hawk…which I confiscated from him when he wasn’t looking…).
I found this really nice ’75 model on ebay today, it has only 19K miles on it, has been gone through front to back…new tires,battery,shocks, etc. This is a really great bike. It is the beautiful ‘Daytona Orange’, which, I wish mine was. The current ebay price of the bike is about right considering the low mileage. This is definitely a ‘buy, fly, ride home’ bike.
Click on the pictures below for more pics and more info. Honestly, this is a great bike to have and ride
This is the time of year that many (most) classic bike lovers, collectors and hoarders start looking through the garage and wondering what project to work on next. In some cases it’s an easy choice, it’s the bike you have been buying parts for the past year and it’s finally time to get to work. Or…it’s an iennie-meenie-mienie-mo decision, “what bike do I want to ride this spring?” Usually these decisions are made late at night after drinking beers with friends that wish they had your problem…never a good time to make choices that end up costing you a lot of money or your wife making you sleep in the garage with your new ‘project’.
But, some vintage bike people have a different sort of problem, they have ‘non-project bikes’ (bikes that already run just great and just don’t get ridden enough) in the way of bikes that need love. I found one of those on ebay this morning, a 1964 BMW R60/2 that is ready to go.
The R60/ series was basically designed as a true utilitarian motorcycle. Stout, reliable, capable of pulling a sidecar (the frame mounts were already there), and with a top speed af around 90mph, no slouch for its size. The R60 weighed 430lbs, put out around 30hp and was built like a tank. One of the unique features of the R60 in Europe and the early versions brought to the US, was the Earles front suspension. The Earles front suspension was designed to help eliminate the front-end dive of the telescopic fork and keep steering more accurate under braking. It also was the front suspension of choice for those that want to attach a sidecar. Side note here…years back my friend Jeff got a wild hair up his ass about getting a side car rig. He decided that a BMW R80RT was the bike of choice for the project. He got his bike and a sidecar and then started having the best time of his motorcycling life. After much frustration with the handling, he talked with other side car nuts and found that the Earles or leading link front suspension would cure all his ills (bike related ills …not his other psychological ills…). Once that was installed, life was great. I can personally attest to what a difference that change made.
The R60’s really are one tough motorcycle. The travel stories out there that star an R60 are endless. There is a great book, ‘Two Wheels To Adventure’ by Danny Liska that documents his trip from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego on and R60. It is a great read for any one who has a wanderlust and a testament to the strength of the R60’s.
The R60/2 I found today is a ready to go rider that has had some extras added that are well worth it and unique looking too…as in not your typical old BMW accessories, but really perfect for this bike. The black bike has only 47,000 miles on the clock and has pampered its whole life. The seller has detailed service notes and good history of the bike. The is equipped with a Heinrich fairing which looks really great on this bike and a set of Enduro(?) saddlebags which flow really nicely with the fairing. New seats for comfort and they look great. The bike does have the Earles forks which makes it an ideal candidate to hook a side car up to, I think a Steib would be perfect.
The seller is one of these guys that is making room (both mentally and logistically) for other projects and is looking for a better home for this really nice BMW that is a rider not a show queen and as he puts it, “it won’t break your heart to get a few rock chips from a great ride.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and more information.