World's First Superbike
In '79 I was working for Butler & Smith, the then BMW importer. I was sales manager for S.Cal. and a hardcore BMW fan--been a dealer and had seen the R90S Superbikes dominate the first year's AMA Superbike Championship ('76).
In '77 Butler & Smith sold the three team bikes, one of which ended up in Bakersfield at Johnny's BMW. He'd repainted the bike red (to look like the '77 R100S) and won the bike's second AMA National at Laconia -- the bike's first win was the very first AMA Superbike race, the '76 Daytona event. Anyway, by the time I discovered the now-tired old bike in the back of Johnny's shop, it didn't look much like it had when last I'd seen it at Riverside in '76. By '79 the Japanese fours had taken over American Superbike racing, the euro-twins handling advantage no longer able to stave off the Japanese horsepower advantage. I knew that if this piece of BMW racing history was broken out for another couple seasons of Battle of the Twins racing that nothing would remain for future enthusiasts to look at. Luckily, my wife understood my enthusiasm and she and my daughters bought it for me for Christmas '79 for the then-princely sum of $5000. This is what it looked like when I fetched it from Bakersfield. Johnny had sold off various pieces like the Koni monoshock, all of which I had to track down and reaquire before starting the restoration.
funhouse screwed with this post 07-01-2007 at 07:41 PM