The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Editor's note: Inspired by the Motorcycle Classics/Dairyland Cycle Rebuild, reader Jon Dieman, sent in these photos of his rebuilt 1976 BMW R90/6 as his vote for which bike we should choose, along with the following letter.
I bought my BMW R90/6 new in September 1976, looking just like your picture but with a 5-1/2-gallon tank. Two years later, a "little old lady" in her Plymouth folded the forks back against the engine. After four years in a box, I started the rebuild. I wanted to keep it original in its mechanics while giving it a lighter and leaner look.
1. A 21-inch front rim and spokes from the BMW R80GS. 300x21 Avon Speedmaster Mark II tire.
2. The frame straightened by J. C. Duke of Tulsa, Okla. with a little extra rake to keep the bike level with the larger front wheel.
3. English front and rear fenders.
4. Discard the side covers.
5. The battery replaced by a much more powerful gardent ractor battery.
6. The tank replaced by a 4-1/2-gallon BMW tank.
7. The frame below the seat replaced with a dropped and curved round bar to fit the leather solo "chopper" seat.
8. A homemade leather pillion pad.
10. Homemade taillight bracket.
11. Rear turn signals moved forward.
12. Rearview mirrors swapped sides and mounted under to avoid the Mickey Mouse hat ears look.
The bike is a true joy to ride. The handling is perfect and the 900cc 75hp twin makes for an easy 80 to 90mph cruising speed, if wanted.