Jun 18, 2014

Second Chances for Dumbasses like me

I didn't deserve it, but I took good fortune and spit on it.  Then good fortune smiled on me again.   Somebody upstairs likes me.
This is my second airhead, and hopefully my last. 
Below is a little tale of my first and how I parted with it.

I owned a very well sorted 1977 BMW R100S.  It had a laundry list of cool upgrades like San Jose Fork and Swingarm braces, auxiliary gauges, custom paint, etc etc.   But more importantly, it had character.   Whenever I parked it, I'd return to find old men hanging around it, waiting to speak with me.  Cool old guys, not toothless vagrants, but interesting dudes.

I was lucky to have found it, but I wouldn't understand how lucky till it was gone.  Now that I'm shopping for the R90 above, I'm learning more and more how cool my R100S was,   It's going to be okay, but It still stings a little to speak of it.
After selling it,  the owner actually tracked me down and ripped me a new ass,  he was crazy and though i was flipping it.  I kept it for over 2 years, so that  was not the case.  It was just financial need and I didn't make a dime once the deal was done.

Money was tight after my masterful flop in the latest real estate market.    I had a weak moment, sold it and I bought a newer Ducati, a nice, soul-less, reliable bike.  While my fuel leaks and daily transportation problems were solved, i'd regret it quite soon after selling.
The ride home when I bought the '77 BMW a few years back. Damn I was cool.  

I sold because i needed a non-leaking, affordable short distance commuter.   A small Ducati fit the bill.  But of course my commute changed just a couple weeks later, and I missed the BMW terribly at that point.   To make matters worse, I then moved to Colorado where the open roads and high speed limits made that old R100S seem even more ideal.  
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Yes, those are perfect Lester mags and stainless exhaust you see there.
Oh and custom paint, and dual plugs, and billet freaking aluminum valve covers. you cannot see the 4 auxiliary gauges or swingarm brace here, but they are there, and mega cool too.

I looked through my email archives and asked the new owner if he'd consider selling it back to me. It couldn't hurt to ask and it had been almost a year at this point.  He suggested that I find solace in the fact that the bike had a home with a worthy owner.  

Damn you Travis!  Thanks for the email though. :)


How often do such opportunities arise to own a classic machine in amazing condition?   Apparently twice for me.  

Found locally in Craigslist here in Colorado just 30 minutes away. 
Like so many airheads, the description of the work  done to the bike pictured below far exceeded the price,   but you can only ask so much for these machines.  Opportunity knocked to make things right in my soul.  I answered w/out hesitation.

The owner was retiring from two wheelers and looking to clear out space.
It was not a real 1976 R90S (which run $10-20K depending on the condition), but a working tribute to one, built from an R90 and used by the same couple for the last 38 years.   There were tears when I picket it up to take it away.

Forks are off a later model R100S, which have dual disks. 

The seller purchased the bike in 1977 and had improved and maintained the bike with passion right up until the day I arrived.  We agreed on a good price, stipulating we both felt the same way about the bike and it's intrinsic value exceeding the market value.  I assured him that I was essentially 
adopting the bike, like a 2nd son, and it would live a good life since I learned a valuable lesson in my last sale.   As sappy as it sounds, that mattered to the seller, and I meant it.  
Engine was recently rebuilt and bored to closer to 1000cc. I need to ask Greg exactly when.
Perhaps not knowing when, or having proof will make the bike that much harder to sell :)
Greg, the seller, and I hit it off immediately.  Nobody want's to buy from a jackass.  Read my blog "enjoy the process or walk"   and you'll get my meaning.  He'd driven this machine all over the country alone and with his wife over the years.   While I'd primarily be going out for coffee with it, my passion about well engineered machines was the same.  

You'll notice I've already removed the back rest and the luggage rack.
  This is leaner  and more to my taste for the short 1 hour rides that I do.

Greg recommended that I bring a large SUV or truck even if I was riding home.  He had over 38 years of goodies accumulated and I needed to haul them all off.  Woo hoo!!

 The paint was a custom blend by BeeLine Paint in Colorado Springs, but the fairing was painted by FitzGraphics in Broomfield and he used Aztec Gold.   I'll be tinking endlessly to make it my own, but the bones are good on this one for sure.
I'm racking my brain now on how to assure I don't have another momentary lapse of reason and sell this one.  For starters I've not asked for a single receipt from the seller,   that's a good start.   I've heard of some guys intentionally loosing the title, that's a good idea too.


It's exactly 30 days later,  I sold the Ducati for $5,000 and spent most on goodies.  
I might have gone a little overboard shopping:

Overbuilt swingarm brace.  I don't need one, but it makes me happy.
Besides I have a bad u-joint so opportunity knocked for upgrading
Fork brace,  an airhead just looks wrong w/out em
Triple clamp, billet aluminum is never a bad idea for anything.
Frame braces.  Don't need'em but they look racey.
Lester mags, so i can go tubeless and avoid rust.
A brown side stand because we all need one of them
and factory seat because it just looks better to me.
Stainless bolt kit.  Good summer project replacing every bolt

 80's bar mounted master cylinders brake far better. (Not my bike)

LEDs, pretty cool extra lighting.
Extra front and rear fenders, to paint black and trim/customize
I'm thinking more tire should show from the sides and rear..

I've sourced a set of Krauser bags,  but need to rebuild the locks so no photo yet.

Those billet aluminum valve covers could take a while to find,  
see here, in my inspirational photo below.     
They are super cool.   Called Cool Covers i believe. 

Current State as of April 2017

I'm not keen on the R90S clone theme, eventually i'll make it my own.
Currently thinking a bare aluminum tank, charcoal fenders and no fairing.
The gold paint is new, so I'll box it all up and sell, or keep.   


pwhite52 said...

Even more sad that you sold the r100 is the fact you don't have an 2004 r1150rt with all the geegaws anyone could want. Oh kind of like mine. Hmmmm ksl.com
The gas tank on the late 70's airheads is without a doubt the most beautiful tank ever designed.

Oscar Zorrilla said...

Hey I met you and your beautiful awesome wife when you two stopped by the restaurant I work (Tamayo) for a few drinks a couple weeks ago...I'm Oscar and I remember I asked you a question about your shirt which led to you telling me you once owned a Shelby cobra(replica) which was the coolest thing I've heard in a while, there is not a lot of car guys out there and I was so pleased and happy to be talking to a true one (you). You gave me your card(which I lost but I was smart enough to remember the website) so I've been reading this blog and I've been having a blast doing so!! Very refreshing!! A true car guy speaking about cars!! I just wanted to stay in contact with you! I really enjoyed it and I hope I can hear from you soon! (I know email would be more convenient but I misplaced your business card with your email)

Oscar Zorrilla said...

Ive been having trouble posting a comment so I'm sorry if you get like a million of these!! I just really want to let you know how cool I think this blog is!