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Thread: New Airhead

  1. #1
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    New Airhead

    Q: What is one to do when holed-up when it's 30 below zero in Minnesota?
    A: Look for value priced Airheads on Craigslist.

    Want vs. Need: Didn't "need" another bike but finding a good value created the "want.”

    The Story: Saw posting on Craigslist a couple weeks ago - seller located about 100 miles away. Was interested but did I really need another bike? Besides, it was way too cold to drive up and see it.

    At 63, I’ve been trying to reduce "attachments." Gave K75s to younger son when he completed his military service as a US Marine. Sold my '73 R60/5 that I'd improved mechanically and cosmetically, keeping a road bike K12GT and a previous Airhead restoration that I'd have a hard time parting with, a Red '82 R65LS. After doing a couple restorations, reached conclusion that "generally" economically wiser to buy a bike already fixed up than doing a restoration -but I will say the R65LS was fruitful in that I made a couple very good friends through the forums and learned a heck of a lot lot about Airheads, including getting to know Airhead Guru, Mr. Matt Parkhouse, who rebuilt the broken tranny on the R65LS and has provided me with advice and parts for my Airheads.

    The Bike: 1976 R60/6 - initially called seller and he was not conversational: Seller: "What can I do for you?" Me: "Well, I'm interested in knowing more about the bike." I didn’t get much info over the phone!
    He just didn't sound like a friendly person - but as I kept looking at the pictures of this bike, I couldn't believe how clean it was - usually the metal on an old Airhead is tarnished and the spokes are rusty but not this one.

    After a couple weeks, the bike was still posted on CL. I called him again telling him I was interested - when we had a short "window" of warmer weather, like 36 degrees, I went to the bank to get some cash, showed my wife the picture and told her I was going to pick up another bike. It was about a 2-hour drive and I was starting to wonder if I'd pushed my luck driving to stranger’s homes and buying motorcycles of Craigslist - and this guy seemed as gruff as they come!

    I persevered and when I reached his home, parked my car with the bumper carrier on the back and walked up and knocked on the door - the seller was about my age and turned out to be a really nice guy - when I saw the bike, my jaw dropped - couldn't believe the condition and what he'd done to it - he'd bought it as a "barn find" in 2005. It had a Vetter Fairing and one of those Cushy seats that are way out of vogue. He had the fairing, seat, and a bunch of parts. He'd done some improvements to the bike as follows:
    1) Set it up as a solo rider - bought a high quality solo seat. I'm excited about the solo set up as riding an R60 two up is not great!
    2) Bought new exhaust pipes - really nice ones.
    3) Removed stock turn signals and installed small LED signals adjacent to tail light and installed new mirrors with LED's on front side of mirrors - actually pretty cool - I do have the OEM turn signals and am debating whether to re-intall them for added visibility or maybe will call Clearwater Lights and find out if they have driving light suggestions to mount on the front forks. Seller did a very professional job running wires.
    4) He installed new coils - he said they're hotter and I'm not sure I understand the rationale but perhaps someone will chime in and let me know if these coils are okay to keep on the bike (I do have the OEMs). It looks like they're Bosch 6V VW / Porsche Coils 0-2211000222
    5) He overhauled the carbs and installed new throttle/choke cables.
    6) Says he rebuilt the front end and greased or replaced steering head bearings - he bought a new damper knob but it doesn't turn (not that I'd use it anyway).
    7) New fork lock, original ignition key and working seat lock with key!
    8) Paint Monza blue with OEM white pin striping in like new condition.
    9) Gauges and trip reset meter work and all light bulbs replaced.
    10) OEM rear shocks and may upgrade but not until after I ride it.
    11) New Michelin tires.
    11) Gearbox is 5 speed (slash 5 R60 was a 4 speed).
    12) New battery box with gel battery and a tender wire connector.

    It was warm enough to start and it started right up! I put it on center stand and ran it through the gears and checked brakes. Horn, lights, kill switch - everything works! Another nice thing is frame and engine numbers match!

    Has @ 25k on the clock and I feel these are original miles - motor sounded tight and good.

    I paid him his asking price, as it way under market price and when he signed the title, he signed it in the wrong spot - being 100 miles from home, he was willing to go to the local DMV where we got things sorted out and the registration transferred. Included was a slew of spare parts, an overflowing oem tool kit with extra wrenches, two new spare tubes, a flat tire kit, 2 sets of plugs, points, condensers, the Northwoods points tool, and 2 sets of feeler gauges.

    After title was transferred, we drove back to his home and he helped me load the bike on the carrier and the big box of spare parts – the only thing I left behind was the Vetter Fairing.

    Was so surprised how different he behaved compared to our phone conversation - I complimented him on his restoration and asked what he did - he told me he's retired and has a disability. That explained it! Followed my intuition, treated him with respect and picked up a real nice example of BMW m/c history.

    Wish it had the disc brake up front but for solo riding and mostly off the freeways; it should be a nice back roads rider!

    *** Apologies for pics not being in correct orientation - perhaps forum moderator can rotate? I can't see where to do it?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Ken Tuvman
    Excelsior, MN
    K1200GT & R65LS

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Ken -

    Sounds like you had a good day! As for the coils, Snowbum shows that BMW part 12-13-1-351-584 is the same Bosch part 0 221 100 022 using on the /5 points models. His discussion of coils is midway down this page:

    http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/ignition.htm

    I rotated your pictures, although your originals are probably a bit better. I had to do a screen capture and rotate and save to a new image. The forum software can't be used to rotate pictures...it has to be done prior to uploading. We think it has something to with iPhones specifically or other smartphones and the way they encore the orientation in the image. It's a problem that can't really be solved other than to do the work outside the forum.
    R60-6-1.jpgR60-6-2.jpg
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Nice barn/garage find! Looks like he had his regular ride tucked away under that cover.

  4. #4
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    Very nice find. Congratulations !!
    Howard Edwards

    2014 Road King; 1975 R75/6

  5. #5
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Ken -

    Sounds like you had a good day! As for the coils, Snowbum shows that BMW part 12-13-1-351-584 is the same Bosch part 0 221 100 022 using on the /5 points models. His discussion of coils is midway down this page:

    http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/ignition.htm

    I rotated your pictures, although your originals are probably a bit better. I had to do a screen capture and rotate and save to a new image. The forum software can't be used to rotate pictures...it has to be done prior to uploading. We think it has something to with iPhones specifically or other smartphones and the way they encore the orientation in the image. It's a problem that can't really be solved other than to do the work outside the forum.
    R60-6-1.jpgR60-6-2.jpg
    Thank You Kurt - I hope things are going well and boy is the Airhead forum lucky to have you as the moderator - you're an amazing asset to our club! Thanks for rotating the pics and yes I use an iPhone!
    Ken Tuvman
    Excelsior, MN
    K1200GT & R65LS

  6. #6
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khittner1 View Post
    Nice barn/garage find! Looks like he had his regular ride tucked away under that cover.
    The picture was taken AFTER I safely got her home - seems like we read too many stories of bikes falling while being transported!

    Sellers new ride is a Harley Sportster - interesting story - I asked him how he arrived at his asking price for bike and he responded "that's the amount of money I need to accessorize my new Harley."
    Ken Tuvman
    Excelsior, MN
    K1200GT & R65LS

  7. #7
    Registered User tanker4me's Avatar
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    Good story!

    You probably know more about these bikes than I do, but will weigh in with my experience with the /5 & /6 brake/suspension options.

    The R60/5 front drum brake, once it was adjusted correctly worked as well as the single disk on my R90/6. I'm sure it'd be different if on track time.

    Only had the R60/5 for a year, bought it from the original owner with 5000 miles on it! Would have replaced the shocks had I kept it.

    I have read on this forum that the EBC replacement shoes are an improvement over OEM.

    The R60/5 was sold after an R90/6 with 35,000 miles was found.

    The R90 was in rough shape cosmetically, but in stock form. "Good! no monkey hands" was the phrase the local airhead mechanic* described it with when dropped off at his shop.

    It had sat 10 years, some of that time it was outside without a cover.

    All that was needed to get the engine running well was a carb rebuild, battery and tune up.

    The tires, fork seals, & some of the other rubber bits were replaced.

    It ran well, but I could have replaced the original shocks with 2X4s and it would have handled better!

    Some research was done, many options available, a pair of non adjustable shocks were ordered and installed.

    Huge improvement in handling and long distance comfort!

    That was 6 years ago. (just had them rebuilt last year at 40,000 miles since install)

    The shocks weren't cheap, but got the right "set up" (spring/valving) for the bike & me.

    Bill
    * He's from Germany, and it cracked me up when he said this.
    Last edited by tanker4me; 01-13-2018 at 05:09 AM.
    We are all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can.
    Will Rogers

  8. #8
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
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    Slash 6

    Looks to me like you gotta nice bike. My first bike was a '71 R50/5, after over 30 years of ownership, now moved on to it's 3rd owner. My 2nd bike is/was a an R90/6 almost 30 years of ownership. Now undergoing an extensive refreshening by me. The bike floats my boat. Ride and enjoy.

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