I've been patiently waiting for this for almost two years now.
A little over two years ago, my wife's grandpa, Jim ("Papa" to us), moved back home from Florida. He brought with him, among other things, his 1973 BMW R60/5 toaster. He admitted that he was too old to ride it anymore, and said he wanted a family member to take it. My wife has a rather large family, and it seemed that everybody wanted the bike. In fact, it became the point of a few arguments. So, I backed off and stayed away from the entire issue. Papa didn't like the bickering, so he said he was going to put everyone's names in a hat and draw one name, to whom the bike would go. Papa was a great man and treated me like one of his own, and made a point of telling me on the side that he wanted my name in the hat. I politely declined, telling him that I would love to have the bike, but not if other closer family members wanted it.
I think there was a part of Papa that wanted me to have the bike. At the time, I was the only family member that rode bikes, and Papa and I used to talk about motorcycles and trips that we had gone on.
Unfortunately, Papa passed from cancer a few short months after moving home. The bike was brought to my wife's Aunt's house, where it has sat in the back yard ever since. It made me cringe that the poor old bike was sitting outside in the elements when I had a nice garage spot for it, but I knew I had to play the waiting game. I knew if I gave it enough time, the other family members would realize that they were never going to do anything with the poor old bike. This weekend, I felt the old girl had been neglected enough. I borrowed a trailer, swung by the Aunt's house and told them I would be happy to take that eyesore off of their hands. They were actually excited to get rid of it. Funny how time changes things.
So, here she is as I unloaded her in my driveway earlier today.
I immediately grabbed a wrench and removed the windscreen. The bike already looks ten times nicer!
Hard to read here, but Papa put 43,000 miles on her:
The purpose of this thread it threefold. One is to bring this old girl back to as-new condition, probably with a few tasteful mods. The second is to honor the life of Papa. The third is a kind of therapy - I've done one other build diary (on KTM Talk) and found it very relaxing and rewarding. Plus, the forums are a great place to turn when I need help, as I know I will!
Fair warning, this will probably be long and drawn out. I'm on no time schedule and this could end up taking quite a while to complete. My last build thread took almost two years from start to finish, but I was quite happy with the results, which is all that matters to me. My last project transformed my 1994 KTM 550 MX/C from this (when I bought it):
I plan to be far more anal and detailed with this R60.
That's all for now, thanks for reading my introduction, and hopefully I'll have some updates and new photos soon.