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Thread: When does an Airhead become High Mileage

  1. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Northern WV
    Quote Originally Posted by widebmw View Post
    As of today I have 184,275 miles on my 92 R100R.
    I should roll over to 200,000 next fall.
    OK as an owner of a R100R myself I worry when I hear mention of both driveshaft/U-joint and transmission bearings needing replaced, typically anywhere from 40-60K. Would you be willing to share what mileage your R needed what repairs?
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R, 15 FJ-09, 15 Road King, 07 Moto Guzzi Griso No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  2. #17
    Registered User Rinty's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    Calgary, Alberta
    Some long ago names, on this thread.

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  3. #18
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Pleasure Island. NC

    1961 r69s

    I sold my R69S with over 300,000 miles on it. It had never had an engine overhaul, but the heads had been done twice. The head work was needed because of the lazy rider who would put the bike on the side stand after riding. Raw gas running down on hot valves tends to cause damage.

    The man who bought it from me did a total restoration and found no bearing wear. He replaced the rings, but said in reality the old rings were still good.

    I did almost all the maintenance myself; but had an EXPERT mechanic named Clanton Austell do the things the bike needed to live a long life. Anyone remember "slingers"?

    BTW, Clanton still owns a shop outside of Columbia, SC and has aprentice mechanics working with him to learn the art of the airhead. He also has a building full of NOS parts from his old BMW dealership.
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    2009 R 1200 RT,1996 R1100RT, 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  4. #19
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
    Fenwick, Ontario Canada
    My 77 RS has 516,000 miles, still working on it!
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    Ambassador BMW MOA Ontario Canada
    President Niagara BMW Riders #298
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    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS (just getting started)

  5. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by BMWRich58 View Post

    With these new "oilheads", people tend to think 40-60K is high mileage due to all the "reliability/maintenance" problems these bikes have been having. V-belts fraying,transmissions and rear end seals leaking,shocks leaking under 25k miles,swing arm bearings,brake pad wear sooner etc....
    I have no idea who these people are. They must have been reading the internet too often. Voni's R1100RS is at 370,000 miles with minimal repair. It had a valve job at 300K but still has original rings. My R1150R is at 170,000 miles with virtually no repair other than stuff like brake pads and shocks. I am both puzzled and amazed at the stuff some people come up with in their heads.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  6. #21
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    May 2009
    along the wisconsin river here in central wisconsin
    Keeping good records of your high milage bike is vital to keeping it going.A older bike has all the problems associated with that particular model figured out by now so its easier to maintain them knowing that.Regardless it costs money and time that lots of folks may not have time of money to put that many miles on there particular model bike.A long sitting bike takes alot to get it running normally again so regular operating is your friend.My 81 sat for 22 years and went through many heat/cold cycles while in storage in the unheated garage. It's tough on seals ,and many other things that work better with regular use. High milage is not per say a bad thing as long as your maintenence is performed,and recorded so you don't loose track of what and when maintenence was done.

  7. #22
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Green Bay, WI
    I'm with Paul on this, as my 94 RS "only" has 170,000 trouble free miles on it and the engine has never been opened other than routine maintenance. So I would say, like the Airheads, 100,000 is a minimal "high miles" checkpoint.

    I agree too, that bikes that get ridden regularly/frequently get in the 7,000 to 10,000 miles per year range. So a 1980 Airhead could easily have over 196,000 miles on it if driven 7,000 miles per year. Defintely high miles.
    Get trained! The best "performance" upgrade you can get is YOU. Visit for training info.

  8. #23
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    Tongue in cheek ... don't explode.

    If it's a pre-1981 bike, it's when it needs new ignition points.
    Kent Christensen
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  9. #24
    Here's an alternative from my observations of airheads that have actually sold on ebay over recent months. An airhead has to have less than 50,000 miles on the clock to gather a lot of buying attention. I am not saying higher mileage bikes do not sell, just that they appeal to a market segment that is knowledgeable and prepared to work with their bike than many who equate low miles with a guarantee of providing a reliable "Sunday" rider. Take solace - for 40 year old BSA/Triumph twins miles have to be no more than 20,000, and probably less than 10,000, to get a lot of buyer action.

    Current ~ '74 TR5T : '93 R100R : '99 Gran Canyon : '06 ST3s
    Past ~ Variety of British, French, Italian, Czechoslovakian, & German bikes

  10. #25
    Registered User PeoriaMac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Washington, Illinois


    [QUOTE=srb;23842]Considering your bike is 18 years old with that mileage I would agree with you that your bike is low mileage.

    Considering that it's 26 years old, that's even more remarkable....
    1986 R80RT, 2005 R1200GS
    Livin' Large On The Lake

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