Air­heads are in­flat­ing

Bag a bul­let­proof beemer be­fore prices hit the roof

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

Ev­ery­body wants an old BMW ‘air­head’ – the air-cooled flat twin that re­mained in pro­duc­tion for 70 years. There’s a good rea­son for this. These bikes were, at least un­til the mid-1980s, built to stan­dards that out­classed the op­po­si­tion. You got stain­less steel and qual­ity glass fi­bre, top-notch al­loy cast­ings, paint as good as you got on BMW’S cars and even (be­fore it was banned) red lead coat­ing on the inside of the tanks, to pre­vent cor­ro­sion.

BMW air­heads have never been cheap. Right now, though, you’re look­ing at your last chance of bag­ging one at a sen­si­ble (ish) price.

BMW made small changes over the decades, but they were im­mensely sig­nif­i­cant. They aban­doned the ex­pen­sive roller­bear­ing crank­shaft mod­els in favour of plain bear­ing mo­tors.

Then they hogged the en­gines out from 600cc to 750cc, 800cc, 900cc and fi­nally a full litre. How­ever, the 1000cc en­gines were a bit lumpy and the 800s and 900s are sweeter.

They pro­duced the first sport­s­tourer in the form of the 90S, with its cock­pit fair­ing that was copied by ab­so­lutely ev­ery­one. Then they pro­duced the wind tun­nel-de­vel­oped R100RS, whose fair­ing has per­haps never been bet­tered.

BMW also launched the world’s first big ad­ven­ture trailie, in the form of the R80G/S.

En­try into the air­head world now costs about £2000, for some­thing like a late 1970s R75 or early R80. Three grand is start­ing money for a good R100RS, five grand for a good GS and seven for an R90S.

There are a lot about, be­cause the damn things were built to last. Even a cos­met­i­cally-challenged non-run­ner is worth a grand, be­cause they are so re­build­able. But their pop­u­lar­ity with the retro scene means de­mand is strong… so prices are on the up.

These days you’ll pay £6000 for a rough R80G/S ParisDakar with prices ris­ing to £15k for a minter

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.