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Old 11-24-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
headtube OP
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Please enlighten me

I've been an Airhead owner (79 RS) for three months. After wrenching for the first two, I finally put 109 miles on her in three days. And with winter on my heels I'll be getting it ready for storage in December. So with very little experience, being a total novice I'm not qualified to make any accurate evaluations about vintage, collectibility, or rarity. Would someone please explain why this eBay sale fetched so much dinero?
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #2
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It's all in the description. Your bike isn't one of those.

R90S is an iconic bike from that period (even to non-BMW fanatics). It's got period correct accessories, looks to be in outstanding condition, etc, etc. It's all 'right.'

What is so puzzling about that?
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:21 PM   #3
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R90Ses are being sold for more money than any other '70 on BMW. The R90S broke a lot of ground, with it's factory installed fairing and high performance. I think the US racing program helped drive home the point that BMWs could be sporty, even though many curent collectors are only peripherally aware of that.

I'm a little disapointed that the RSes aren't receiving the same attention, but that leaves them for the rest of us.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwrench View Post
I'm a little disapointed that the RSes aren't receiving the same attention
Agreed. Simply because of the fairing design.

Aside from the fairing and wheels on the R90 everything else "looks" the same. Also, I can see how a first year production moto might fetch a bit more $. As for the peripheral extras... wouldn't the purists pay more for a stock first year production machine?
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:56 PM   #5
Rob Farmer
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I've no idea of the prices in the US or Canada but the RS machines never fetch much money over here. They're a fabulous distance machine so never really caught on in our little island. Strip the RS fairing off and fit a bikini fairing and your bike will be worth more money - strange?

As mentioned above the 90S was a ground breaking bike. The 90 engine is lovely, the whole package makes for a great, practical machine that's still more than capable of being a daily rider. BMW released a couple of models over the years 100S, 100CS that on paper were better machines with similar styling, neither model has the same appeal as the 90S
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:42 AM   #6
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They are overpriced. Wish I had one to sell. Actually that price is lower than what some of the R90Ses sold for a year ago. Fairly low mileage, not super low but low enough.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:02 AM   #7
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I understand the allure and the higher prices - there is a cherry R90s being sold in my area for ten grand and maybe even worth it. I also wish I owned an original R90s but then if it was my only bike I would probably worry about the tradeoffs. I would concern myself with wear and tear, higher priced used parts specific to the model, keeping it stock or ruining the value, wanting to keep it in the living room etc. etc. Funny, when I go to the garage I see essentially the same bike in looks and performance - on a good day worth maybe two and a half grand - my 82 with all those free upgrades and improvements over the original.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:56 AM   #8
Mark Manley
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It always seems that it is the first year of a ground breaking model that fetches top dollar, a '59 T120, '69 CB750 and '73 Z1 all attract a higher price than subsequent and arguably better models, although with the R90S I think the high price is carried by all production years which in the UK at least is about double that of a similar condition R100S or RS.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:31 PM   #9
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Yeah, all three years of the 90S are desirable. For a long time the most sought after was the 76 due to all of the improvements made over the model run. But any more, they're all equally desirable.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:09 PM   #10
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There's been tons written about the R90s

From back in the day to now. Here's my take on why these bikes are valued so high (way to high if you ask me)

It was the first bike to move BMW's from staid boring touring machines into more "sporty" machines.

These bikes were expensive when new and were halo bikes, that people wanted to buy at the time but couldn't afford them

It's these people who are now buying and selling these bikes, they have to money to get them and they want to satisfy the desire to own one.

The RS, and other models for some reason don't have that same kind of visceral emotion tied to them
People simply don't desire them as much as they desire the R90S, part of that is the sporty nature of the R90S
and part I think is it's ground breaking design (for it's time) I do think that in time the RS and to some degree the other S models will see an increase in demand,

Then there will come a time when demand starts to slip for all the bikes, as we reach a kind of owner saturation point,
in other words all the people who want one will have either gotten one and kept it or gotten one and kept it then moved on.

Will the younger riders like them as much? Will the riders like me who began riding in the 90's see them as just old bikes and not something desirable.

For ten Grover's there are some amazing bikes out there, Jaw dropping performance, styling and exotic looks that appeal to kids tastes much more then a nearly 40 year old gentleman express.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:04 PM   #11
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Squish makes some good points. There is a phenomenon in the car collecting world where Model Ts and As are not bringing nearly the money they once were: Today's collector is looking for the car they lusted after when younger, so muscle cars are bringing silly money. Eventually, those who wanted R90Ses will fade away, and the bikes younger collectors want will be GSXRs and the like, and R90S values will fall off. We just need to stay active long enough to take advantage of that.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:57 PM   #12
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A friend that does full restores of BMW's says that the RS's value has dropped quite a bit over the last couple of years. I suppose that sort of goes with the world economy and collectibles in general.

I dunno, I've still got mine, a '77 big pipe, and I intend to keep it until I no longer ride.
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:01 PM   #13
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Here's one:http://cleveland.craigslist.org/mcy/3428089826.html
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Old 11-28-2012, 03:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bereahorn View Post
makes me sad to see things left for decades instead of used.

maybe I'm not old enough yet.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bereahorn View Post
I don't believe that $12,000 is the going price for any RS model. That is certainly a desirable RS and very, very low mileage but I detect model envy. The R90S bikes have been going for this much and the RS Bikes want in the silly money game. Actually I think the R90S bikes may have settled a little lower this year than last year.

Maybe it'll happen. But no precedent.
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