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Thread: Changing of the Guard

  1. #1
    Registered User Bob_M's Avatar
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    Changing of the Guard

    During the last few weeks it has become common that the "Oilhead" directory is getting more viewers than the "Airhead" directory. I don't know what that means, but I suspect it is maintenance related. Those bike are getting mature and certainly they are needing some TLC

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    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_M View Post
    During the last few weeks it has become common that the "Oilhead" directory is getting more viewers than the "Airhead" directory. I don't know what that means, but I suspect it is maintenance related. Those bike are getting mature and certainly they are needing some TLC
    I think we old airheads that ride airheads have learned how to work on our bikes and those of us with oilheads have decided to learn to work on our bikes due to them getting older and not wanting to spend the big bucks on an old bike for service. I don't count myself because I'm just cheap. I've never had a bike to a shop except for a recall (but I didn't start riding motorcycles until 1974). I didn pay to have tires changed one time.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

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    Another reason. . .

    Hey, Guys --

    I started a search for a good used airhead about two years ago. One of the factors for this search was that I was pretty sure I could do my own work on the the bike, even though I'd never wrenched a BMW.

    Given that there aren't a lot of BMW's of ANY kind here in So. NM, my search broadened, and I found a one-owner, pearl white '94 R1100RS up close to Albuquerque. The "deal-maker" was that the seller had done all his own routine maintenance, and informed me that working on these 1100 Oily's was EZ. Almost all of the 42k miles were touring miles, versus commute. This thing looked new.

    Well, he was RIGHT about how easy these are to wrench. I'm almost finished with a clutch-spline lube and some various upgrades - cam chain tensioner and pivot bushings from Rubber Chicken and SS brakelines. (The bike was BONE stock - nothing added.) If a guy gets plenty of manuals, dials up the Wise Ones on this site (Glaves, Cutter, etc.) -- a lot of otherwise scary stuff becomes possible.

    The Ride: My friend allows me to ride his R100RS MotoSport (YES!) when I'm in the Bay Area, and his R90S when I'm in Phoenix -- this is the kind of friend to have! (Bikes stashed all over the country.) I used to own a '98 K1200RS, and I'd have to say that this new beauty "splits the difference" in some ways. Hey, I love them all - if it has two wheels, I'm a fan, but especially our German steeds. The "mechanicalness" of an airhead, and the power and speed of the K -- as I've written on another thread recently, "this is the best bike I've ever owned" and that's the stone truth.

    Viva, Oily's! If I can slip it into the garage unseen (heh-heh), maybe a fine old Airhead will join my old Goldwing hack and (Oily) MoonBeamer. Right now, I'm very happy.

    Regards,

    Walking Eagle

  4. #4
    The 16th Annual Blitz to Branson was held last weekend. About 120 riders attended. There were no Airhead motorcycles. No Ariel, Henderson, or Vincent bikes either.

    The oldest bike was a 1991 K1.

    Time marches on.
    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
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  5. #5
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    The 16th Annual Blitz to Branson was held last weekend. About 120 riders attended. There were no Airhead motorcycles. No Ariel, Henderson, or Vincent bikes either.

    The oldest bike was a 1991 K1.

    Time marches on.
    Hopefully, your valuable advice will march right along with Father Time.

    You're a resource many rely on!

  6. #6
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's kind of sad.

    I like Oilheads pretty much except that the split seats and rock-hard tires make them something I don't want to own.

    Saddest part to me is the fact that so many Airhead owners these days seem to be guys who can only afford a near-junker--which nevertheless doesn't stop them bragging much about their vast motorcycling knowledge. And, of course, complaining about the too-modern new stuff. Both very boring.

    It can be a tribute to BMW that so many old ones are still on the road--but not in the condition of so many of them, unfortunately.
    Kent Christensen
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    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Yeah, it's kind of sad.

    I like Oilheads pretty much except that the split seats and rock-hard tires make them something I don't want to own.

    Saddest part to me is the fact that so many Airhead owners these days seem to be guys who can only afford a near-junker--which nevertheless doesn't stop them bragging much about their vast motorcycling knowledge. And, of course, complaining about the too-modern new stuff. Both very boring.

    It can be a tribute to BMW that so many old ones are still on the road--but not in the condition of so many of them, unfortunately.
    Split seats - OK, not a preference but "rock hard tires" escapes me. Yes you can get hard compound touring tires and you can get softer sport touring tires, or you can get even softer sport tires in those sizes. But for the ill informed actually believing that inflating to the maximum cold pressure embossed on the sidewall, or higher, is a good thing to do you lost me totally with the rock hard tires bit.
    Last edited by PGlaves; 05-03-2011 at 04:46 PM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    My plan is to ride my oilhead, what with its "rock hard" tires and superlative handling, adequate power & so on until it becomes a bit heavy for me handle then switch over to my project airhead for less of the above but also less weight and closer to the ground for local rides as longer distances become less doable. "The plan", of course is more about how ones health holds out than bike specifics, but for any grey whiskers biker the older machines have their fascinations-they do actually look like "motorcycles" and not so much like spaceships...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by kantuckid View Post
    My plan is to ride my oilhead, what with its "rock hard" tires and superlative handling, adequate power & so on until it becomes a bit heavy for me handle then switch over to my project airhead for less of the above but also less weight and closer to the ground for local rides as longer distances become less doable. "The plan", of course is more about how ones health holds out than bike specifics, but for any grey whiskers biker the older machines have their fascinations-they do actually look like "motorcycles" and not so much like spaceships...
    Last year for our summer-long travels around North America I rode my R1150R overladen with what weighed to be 170 pounds of luggage and gear.

    Since then I have bought two bikes. Another K75 and an F650 (Single) Dakar. Next week when we depart for some summer travels I will be riding the F650 Dakar.

    I heard that BMW is coming out one of these days with a step-through scooter. May get one of those one of these days, as time marches on.
    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
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  10. #10
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    I like Oilheads pretty much except that the split seats and rock-hard tires make them something I don't want to own.
    Like Paul, this is the very first I've heard the Oilheads had "rock-hard tires". Then again, I've only put about 350,000 miles on two R11RSs so maybe I didn't get the memo....

    I also put roughly 15,000 on an R11RT-P running PR2s and I can tell you without reservation - those are far from "rock-hard tires".

    I now am running the second set of PR2s on the R12RT I'm currently on, and still those are NOT what I refer to as "rock-hard tires" - even running very high pressures at 42 F&R cold.

    No offense Chirs, but your statement doesn't hold up.
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  11. #11
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    Talking wait a minute....

    I am waiting to see what other airhead riders have to say about the changing of the guard.

    There is more to riding an AH than just being cheap and wanting to save a couple of bucks.

    I agree that time marches on.

    But isn't interesting that BMW still supports the "older" bikes to a far more greater extent than other other manufacturers?

    Isn't also interesting that in the October, 2008 issue of Motorcycle Consumer News the R75/5 is considered a "great bike" because of 1.) it is a great bike, and 2.) it has a vibrant online community.

    But I find it more interesting when a previous poster says that (paraphrase) he will seek a lighter airhead when handling a heavier oilhead becomes problematical. Note that he did not say anything about a lighter "F" series.

    Well, I have owned two oilheads. One was disappointing, the other was OK.

    I just sold my "OK", and I bought one of Mr. Strickland's R75/5's. I am looking forward to every old fashioned mile that I can ride on a lighter bike, with a little less power, on a comfortable seat, with a buttery smooth tranny, no final drive nor finicky tranny issues, with comfortable ergo's, and having a bench seat rather having a seat with the pillion 6 inches higher.

    The guards may change, but I think the ramparts will be around for quite some time.
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Current bike: 2015 Yamaha TW 200, modified for road/street use with tire, sprocket upgrades. "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  12. #12
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I don't know how much meaning you should put in the number of views of a particular kind of bike. I have an oilhead and an airhead but formerly owned a Brick. I always look in all types of BMWs that have a driveshaft and the RR. I don't want to miss anything of interest.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Yeah, it's kind of sad.

    I like Oilheads pretty much except that the split seats and rock-hard tires make them something I don't want to own.

    And, of course, complaining about the too-modern new stuff.
    pot calling the kettle black? or just talking out of the southern orifice?

    my oilhead has neither a split seat, nor rock hard tires. (Maybe its an airheadwolf in oilheadsheep clothing?) granted, the stock saddle was not kind to the boys, so i had Rick Mayer fix that issue, but that is a pretty common scenario for many bikes- including airheads.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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