Ev­ery month we take a look at the clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cle mar­ket with a range of in­dus­try ex­perts. This month, Paul Jayson from The Mo­tor­cy­cle Bro­ker and our very own Scott Red­mond look at BMWS at both ends of the price scale!

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - CONTENTS -

On the sub­ject of Beemers… what’s pricey and what’s not!

Look­ing at BMW’S R90/6 and R100/7 I can’t help but get a weird feel­ing that they may go to in­sane money like Vin­cents have. Maybe be­cause you can tune the hell out of low revving, push-rod, large ca­pac­ity mo­tors? I don’t know why, but I have this strange sus­pi­cion that these ma­chines will be­come very ex­pen­sive. Let’s be clear about which ones, I don’t mean an R100 from 1985: al­though I don’t be­lieve you’ll pick those up for peanuts. I mean the R90/6 from 1974 to 1976 and the 1976 to 1979 R100/7 – the ones with the tiny han­dle­bar fair­ing and the black or or­ange with the smoke silver paint job. The R90/6 pro­duced 60bhp and had a wooden sin­gle front disc and a rear drum that would lock-up with lit­tle provo­ca­tion. The R100/7 pro­duced 65bhp and had two front brakes that were wooden, with a cable op­er­a­tion to the mas­ter cylin­der mounted un­der the tank. The rear drum would also lock up if stamped on with­out con­sid­er­a­tion. This ma­chine is fed by two gi­ant Bing car­bu­ret­tors and is great for tour­ing and sur­pris­ingly ag­ile in cor­ners for such a big lump: de­cep­tively clever ma­chines... The cen­tre of grav­ity is very low, car­ry­ing the cylin­ders on the side of the mo­tor. It also makes these ma­chines very easy to work on. The dry clutch is a sin­gle plate car type item and rip­ping these mo­tors to bits is a dod­dle. The R100/7 is com­par­a­tively light at around 470lb (213kg) com­pared to a Z900 at about 540lb (245kg). The pic­ture of the or­ange and smoke silver R100/7, with its bikini fair­ing in match­ing colours and blue brake cal­lipers on the front of all the dif­fer­ent mo­tor­cy­cling mag­a­zines is in­deli­bly etched on most mo­tor­cy­clists’ mem­o­ries. It got rave re­views and had an air of so­phis­ti­ca­tion about it. Krauser made great pan­niers for the R and they im­me­di­ately con­verted it to a long dis­tance tourer, mak­ing it the Gold­wing of its day. Re­mem­ber that the Gold­wing was still a naked flat four 1000cc lump and hadn’t grown pan­niers at this point in time. The R90/6 is a great look­ing pre­de­ces­sor that just looks, well, clas­sic. These ma­chines are full of curves and look like mo­tor­cy­cles. They are iconic, rare and ride bril­liantly. They look like clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cles and it’s tough to find them in great con­di­tion. They are easy to work on and the R100/7 eas­ily con­verts from a scratcher of its day, to a mile munch­ing tourer. In 1977 BMW brought out the R100/7 RS with a massive full fair­ing: these be­he­moths of­fered long dis­tance tour­ing ca­pa­bil­ity in all weath­ers and were so pop­u­lar that the po­lice or­dered them by the thou­sands, world­wide. But these early ones have a look that prob­a­bly in­spired the Mar­tini Yamaha XS1100: an ugly beast of a mo­tor­cy­cle, but great to ride and yet bizarrely at­trac­tive and quite valu­able. The R100RS has the fair­ing that the Mar­tini Yam should have had. I don’t think the RS will be as valu­able as an R90/6 or an R100/7, but I think they will com­mand a pre­mium. I re­ally do be­lieve that the prices of these ma­chines will sur­prise and the day will come when they will com­mand enor­mous pre­mi­ums. Quite when that will hap­pen and how, I do not know. They are great fun to own and ride and very easy to work on.

RIGHT: Ahhh that’ll be the R90 S.

BE­LOW: Bendswing­ing on an old Beemer: bliss!

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