And for the purists…
If bend-swinging on a modern take on the original article just isn’t for you, then may we interest you at all in the following? The original ‘modern’ roadster is arguably 1970’s R60/5. Launched in 1969 as the Type 246, this was a sweet-handling 599cc boxer-twin of around 40bhp, upgraded into the R60/6 for 1974 the Type 247 had twin dial instruments, five-speed ‘box, frame strengthening and longer swingarm. Amazingly, the basic design was so ‘right’ it soldiered on until the mid-1990s and arguably saved BMW’S bikebuilding department from getting the bullet. You can pick up a good one for £5000 or less. Don’t forget the other family members – we’d look at the R75 and R90 (no, not the S). Like the R60, examples of both can be found for a few grand, rising to £6000+ for a really nice one. By the time the R60 was on its way out, the R1100R was on the
drawing board. BMW was heading away from the twovalve, air-head engines to the four-valve oil-heads. It’s fair to say the 1100R isn’t the best looking bike around, but the 80bhp, 235 kilo bike, which also came in 850 guise, rode well enough. Our choice would be the 2001-on R1150R, which looked much nicer, had five bhp more from the twin-spark 1130cc motor, servo-assisted brakes and (more importantly) much nicer ‘flowing’ looks. 1100s can be had for as little as £2k, with the 1150 starting at not much more. Remember, these things often did huge mileages so check the service history. Finally, how about something quirkier? The BMW R1150R Rockster was sold alongside the standard 1150R, from 2003-2005. It had the same proven chassis and powerplant but had a twin-headlight front-end with a frankly bizarre range of colour schemes. Expect prices to be around the same as the basic 1150R.
Where the naked boxer began.
“The sound that the responsive boxer twin of the Pure C makes is magical, even beating the four 300bhp Lycomings that power The Blades’ aircraft flying above me.”
The Rockster was kinda funky.
But the 1150R was altogether better..
R1100R looked quirky, went well.