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Old 08-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #1
Yachtie OP
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Bought my first bike! '76 R90/6. But am a total newbie

Hello all! So after years of wanting to purchase my first bike the time has finally come! I bought myself a 1976 R90/6. I'm pretty clueless to motorcycles to be perfectly honest. I grew up on the backseats of my parent's Harleys, but just never got my own... Till now.

I'm 26, and I'm quite fond of the vintage look, and when i first saw this BMW i fell in love! Soooo cool, soooo different from everything else. I do plan giving it the cafe treatment. Don't want to go too crazy with it, but just want to give it that look and make it my own.

Now, I'm in the "Doing my homework" stage. Searching this forum every minute i can.

My plans as of right now are to

Pick up rear sets (who offers the best kit?)

Clip ons (buddy has them waiting for me)

Seat? (I think i may try to modify/reshape the existing seat into more of a solo seat)

I think a Toaster.Tan/Stephen brace is on the list (How abouts do i go about ordering one?)

I'd like a nice simple speedo/tach option if anyone has any suggestions?

What else do i need to know and should look at doing?

Is there a how-to anywhere on doing a K&N air filter swap? I like that look, cleaner.



Like i said, motorcycles are not my area of expertise, but i hope to learn a lot in the near future and do most if not all my own mods and work.

Thanks all!

Here's a few pics of my new toy



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Old 08-13-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
disston
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That is a really nice looking R90, as they say, clean.

I think rear sets will be radical, you said not radical. But maybe you are thinking not too much stuff in the paint/decoration department.

That seat and tank are not /6 parts. They might be /7 or they might be S parts. If the paint is as good as it looks you might make a few bucks selling them. I just think that with you wanting to modify the seat that seat would not be a good one to modify. A seat with out the metal cowling would be easier to modify.

I'd ride it like it is myself. Any changes that you make to the basic style of the bike will lower the value when it comes time to sell.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:41 PM   #3
Deuce
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Your not going to want to hear this but I would leave it alone. Get some new shocks (Ikon) and put some Progressive springs in the forks. Then give it a good tune up and ride the shit out of it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:57 PM   #4
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+1 from Deuce.

I think that seat pretty nice on that bike .

Acewell speedo might be all that is needed and new shocks ( you will not believe the different they can make a bike feel )

So there a few hundred dollars spend ... Use the rest for gas and oil ... and go see the world
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
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The closest I would do to a cafe treatment on that bike is an S fairing and bars. Past that, it would be a shame. But it is your bike and it is nice to see some young blood appreciating the old airheads - just don't expect the old crusties to applaud you for chopping it up.
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Old 08-13-2012, 07:54 PM   #6
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Honestly, from looking at the pics more and more (pick up the bike wednesday) i couldn't agree more with you all! I love it as is!

It has side bags which i'm going to remove. I do want to upgrade the brake light and signals to something more lower profile.

I love the tank, and can live with the seat. I really want to do the rear sets to get that sportier look while riding, although, how comfortable is riding a 90 with rearsets?

The handlebars i can live with, might throw on clip ons just to see how i like em.

So which springs should i upgrade to? and where to purchase them?

Also, the speedo and tach are cracked, and i would like to upgrade them to a single (All-in-one?) Any recommendations?

Thanks again for the compliments on the appearance. I can't wait to ride it!!!! ahhhh!!!!
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
That is a really nice looking R90, as they say, clean.

I think rear sets will be radical, you said not radical. But maybe you are thinking not too much stuff in the paint/decoration department.

That seat and tank are not /6 parts. They might be /7 or they might be S parts. If the paint is as good as it looks you might make a few bucks selling them. I just think that with you wanting to modify the seat that seat would not be a good one to modify. A seat with out the metal cowling would be easier to modify.

I'd ride it like it is myself. Any changes that you make to the basic style of the bike will lower the value when it comes time to sell.

The owner said they were not the original seat or tank. You think they might be /7 or S? There definitely OEM BMW right?(from pics might be hard to tell)

Anyone have a link to the Acewell Speedo? That a nice piece?
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:55 PM   #8
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As already mentioned - that bike's too nice to chop up and modify. Frankly, it's a beautiful sporty bike as is. And it's correct it's not the correct bodywork for a /6, but is for the 90S - a very cool and collectable look.

The gauges are worth fixing and getting right. I say that not just because I work on them, but is why I work on them. I feel they're worth it, and fit the style of the machine.

I'd leave it just as is. My first beemer in 1990 was an R90 and it took me quite a while to make it look like yours. Of course, it's your bike and you can personalize it however you choose, but my advice would be to ride it for a couple months at least, tour to the next state, take some long multi-day rides, then decide what to do with it.

As for springs and shocks - depends what's in there now. Perhaps they're just fine! Lots of guys install Progressive springs to eliminate brake dive, but I've found them to be waaaay tooo stiff and pound the front end with every little bump. So just ride it and decide from there!

Taking a second look at your photo, I see those are the original rear shocks - best watch for a good used set of konis. And instead of spending cash on substitute gauges, convert to a dual disc front end!
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:00 PM   #9
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Welcome Yachtie, remember to fill out your profile.

With your enthusiasm to get right in there and start 'improving' things duly noted- and appreciated- I think most airhead owners would prefer to see you just get right in there and put some serious miles on it first- and considering you haven't ridden it yet, put any miles on it
Also, most other airhead owners probably won't be too keen of purely form before function modifications, especially decided upon before you have ridden it. Form changes that don't affect funtion? Sure. Form changes that have a (arguably) negative function? not so much

Yeah sure, take the bags off for everyday riding, but don't get rid of them if you are ever going to do some adventuring on that bike (which is what it was made for)- those panniers are brilliant. Just get yourself some security straps to make sure the panniers stay on when you have all your gear loaded into them.

I don't know about rear-sets, and I wouldn't want them on my 90/6. The seating/riding position is one of the things I love so much about the bmw's. They are made to ride.... all..... day............ long............. And in basic form most of them will do this very well.

Suspension is a whole nother issue that you might want to think about after some miles- stock rear shocks like that while they suffice perfectly well for many, can be upgraded for varying amounts of $$$. Front end, see how it rides first.

That is a very tidy, well maintained and good looking, non-stock R90/6. They work really well just like that!
I'm not one to usually pitch in with all the other wet-blanket posts, but IMO just give it a chance first before you start thinking about changing it, especially changes for primarily aesthetic purposes.
Doesn't mean you shouldn't get busy and get your hands dirty though- get in there and give it a full fluid change, check your brakes, your air filter, set the valves, balance the carbs, etc, etc. Get used to riding it and learn the basic maintenance, and then see what you want to change about it.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:11 PM   #10
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I had Clubmans on my R90 for a while and it was not comfortable after a half hour or so.. I now have similar bars to what you currently have and they're perfect.

I've also thought about rear sets, but I'm cheap and I just lower the passenger pegs and put my feet back on them when I'm hauling down the highway. You might consider that.

I am a bit of a purist for my own machines, but wouldn't be offended at all by someone elses decision to ditch those turn signals. They're the plastic (lame ) ones anyway.

I'd be interested in the other gauges (not the speedo or tach) that you have, if you decide to get rid of or sell them. For your sake, the bags might come in handy later, so hang onto them even if you decide to leave them at home a lot for the naked look.

Oh, and I'm also 26. I think blaine.hale might be, too. Bunch of young scamps.
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
As already mentioned - that bike's too nice to chop up and modify. Frankly, it's a beautiful sporty bike as is. And it's correct it's not the correct bodywork for a /6, but is for the 90S - a very cool and collectable look.

The gauges are worth fixing and getting right. I say that not just because I work on them, but is why I work on them. I feel they're worth it, and fit the style of the machine.

I'd leave it just as is. My first beemer in 1990 was an R90 and it took me quite a while to make it look like yours. Of course, it's your bike and you can personalize it however you choose, but my advice would be to ride it for a couple months at least, tour to the next state, take some long multi-day rides, then decide what to do with it.

As for springs and shocks - depends what's in there now. Perhaps they're just fine! Lots of guys install Progressive springs to eliminate brake dive, but I've found them to be waaaay tooo stiff and pound the front end with every little bump. So just ride it and decide from there!

Taking a second look at your photo, I see those are the original rear shocks - best watch for a good used set of konis. And instead of spending cash on substitute gauges, convert to a dual disc front end!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontic View Post
Welcome Yachtie, remember to fill out your profile.

With your enthusiasm to get right in there and start 'improving' things duly noted- and appreciated- I think most airhead owners would prefer to see you just get right in there and put some serious miles on it first- and considering you haven't ridden it yet, put any miles on it
Also, most other airhead owners probably won't be too keen of purely form before function modifications, especially decided upon before you have ridden it. Form changes that don't affect funtion? Sure. Form changes that have a (arguably) negative function? not so much

Yeah sure, take the bags off for everyday riding, but don't get rid of them if you are ever going to do some adventuring on that bike (which is what it was made for)- those panniers are brilliant. Just get yourself some security straps to make sure the panniers stay on when you have all your gear loaded into them.

I don't know about rear-sets, and I wouldn't want them on my 90/6. The seating/riding position is one of the things I love so much about the bmw's. They are made to ride.... all..... day............ long............. And in basic form most of them will do this very well.

Suspension is a whole nother issue that you might want to think about after some miles- stock rear shocks like that while they suffice perfectly well for many, can be upgraded for varying amounts of $$$. Front end, see how it rides first.

That is a very tidy, well maintained and good looking, non-stock R90/6. They work really well just like that!
I'm not one to usually pitch in with all the other wet-blanket posts, but IMO just give it a chance first before you start thinking about changing it, especially changes for primarily aesthetic purposes.
Doesn't mean you shouldn't get busy and get your hands dirty though- get in there and give it a full fluid change, check your brakes, your air filter, set the valves, balance the carbs, etc, etc. Get used to riding it and learn the basic maintenance, and then see what you want to change about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude View Post
I had Clubmans on my R90 for a while and it was not comfortable after a half hour or so.. I now have similar bars to what you currently have and they're perfect.

I've also thought about rear sets, but I'm cheap and I just lower the passenger pegs and put my feet back on them when I'm hauling down the highway. You might consider that.

I am a bit of a purist for my own machines, but wouldn't be offended at all by someone elses decision to ditch those turn signals. They're the plastic (lame ) ones anyway.

I'd be interested in the other gauges (not the speedo or tach) that you have, if you decide to get rid of or sell them. For your sake, the bags might come in handy later, so hang onto them even if you decide to leave them at home a lot for the naked look.

Oh, and I'm also 26. I think blaine.hale might be, too. Bunch of young scamps.

Thanks all, I think all your advice to leave it as is is the best advice for sure. Thats exactly what i'm going to do. I'll ride it a bunch and just see how i like it. If there's things i want to chance I'll change em once i ride it first!

And since you all insist I will hold on to the bags, they could certainly come in handy for all the long rides I plan on making!

Now the worst part is, I'm oversea's for at least another 2 months! I'm Chief Officer of a 187' Megayacht thats cruising the Mediterranean, Currently in Greece. My friend is picking up the bike for me on Wednesday, and he's going to give it a once over maybe ride it every so often so it doesn't just sit. These next few months are going to be tough but gives me something to look forward to!
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Old 08-13-2012, 09:50 PM   #12
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On another note, what would you suppose the value of the bike is? Given everything works as it should and no mechanical issues?

I paid 3,800 for it, honestly I would have paid 5 for it i loved it so much but luckily no one else bid! haha
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:28 AM   #13
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That's a very nice bike, someone has spent a lot of time and trouble to get it right for them, it's not stock by any means, but the changes to the bike are in character. It would not be surprised if the engine is not stock either, the cylinders look as if they are newer than the rest of the engine, I would look for lightened flywheel.......

+1 on a second disc and I would change to a 13mm handlebar master cylinder.

The bars look as if they are from a R90/s, clip ones and rear sets are fine to showboating round town, but can too easily ruin your back on a long ride. BMWs especially from the 70s, really don't do showboating round town so well, arkward gearbox and lousy brakes don't help.

You have the clock the voltmeter, the bars, all you need is the screen.

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Old 08-14-2012, 02:26 AM   #14
disston
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If you change anything do not throw away the old parts. That bike is very well sorted and the parts on it now are the best for that vintage. They are not all /6 parts but they are pure BMW. Keep the bags because someday you might want to take your bike on vacation and they work very well for hauling the stuff you will need. They can be removed for everyday use, they unfasten from the frames in about ten seconds.

You say the gauges are cracked. And this is maybe the worst wrong with them? They are worth fixing. In the long run the correct gauges in working order will add value to the bike. And you mentioned value. You did not over pay for that bike. One thing to appreciate about our motorcycles, the Airheads, these bikes go up in value. This trend is very well established and not some overnight fad. The Airheads are bought and sold by people that ride their bikes so any advice you get around here and from other Airhead riders will be practical, usable advice. If you put clip ons or rear sets on that bike do save all the old pieces because they will be needed to make a sale some day. We do see bikes sometimes that don't sell at all or are too hard to sell and the owners have to take much less money than they think they should because of the modifications.

Now about those gauges again. There is a guy here that fixes gauges. He does excellent work for a reasonable price. He has already written a bit for your project. He is Wirespokes. Write him a PM telling about this damage to the speedo/tach and see how much it would cost to fix it. The worst thing about having a crack is that water and debris gets inside. I hope that there isn't any other damage but at least I would think these gauges need cleaning and greasing. WS can help here. It is something that needs a little bit of special knowledge. Sometimes the simple stuff we riders can take care of so look into it a little.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:39 AM   #15
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My first thoughts on seeing the pics were the same as everyone else's. It looks sweet as it is.

Get to know what the bike is now, before trying to make it something else.
Once you throw some panniers, a tank bag and a tent on there, you're a gonna.
But of course, it's your bike.
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