Race to Rebuild the BMW R90/6

The Motorcycle Classics/Dairyland Cycle Insurance 1974 BMW R90/6 Race to Rebuild project finally wraps up — and it’s lovely.

| May/June 2013

1974 BMW

It's been a long road, but our BMW cafe project rebuild bike is done!

Photo Courtesy MC Staff

It’s been a long haul “building” the Motorcycle Classics/Dairyland Cycle Insurance Race to Rebuild BMW, and now that it’s finally finished, we’re kind of sad it’s done.  

Why the quote marks around “building?” The truth is, we didn’t actually “build” anything. What we did, however, was take a tired old BMW and give it a healthy injection of fresh parts for a new lease on life. In the process, we also gave it a new attitude, applying the requisite pieces to turn a staid tourer into a café-themed road bike.

Those pieces include the big things that jump out at you like the custom wheels, the replica Ducati 900SS fairing, the R90S low bars, the R100RT gas tank, the bum-stop solo seat, rearsets and the Dunstall-style mufflers. But there are a lot of details that go into a build like this.

It’s the little things …

Those details include items like the minimalist brushed aluminum turn signals and cats eye taillight we sourced from Dime City Cycles, and the very nice San Jose-style fork brace from Brad Phillips at Phast by Phillips.

Other touches include the fiberglass starter cover from Boxer Works, which we had TC Concepts paint to match the bodywork. The fiberglass cover deletes the factory two-piece aluminum cover that also houses the stock air filter — not a problem as we swapped the stock Bing carburetors for a pair of 32mm Mikunis from Rocky Point Cycle, shod with K&N pod filters. That left the issue of the engine breather hose under the cover that normally dumps into the right intake pipe, now gone. We worked around that by fabricating a simple dump can with a rubber elbow sourced from an old Kymco (!) scooter that the stock breather hose plugged into perfectly. A filtered outlet from the dump can allows normal breathing without an oily mess.

We also had Stuart at Custom Coatings powder coat the front engine cover gloss black to match the valve covers and frame. For a final touch we sanded the raised ribs on the cover to bare aluminum to match the valve covers. Nice.

2/12/2015 9:36:14 PM

stormguzzi. Sorry I didn't see your post earlier. I should have some fairly detailed shots of the bracket I made for the fairing. It takes some fabricating, but it's certainly doable. I'm hardly an experienced fabricator, I can tell you that. Post again and we'll figure out how to get you some pics. Richard/Motorcycle Classics

1/30/2015 7:13:27 PM

I am building a 75 BMW R90?6 and can't seem to figure out the mounting hardware for my faring its just like the one in the artical? can i get detailed photos of the BMW in this artical? or id like any advise anyone can give me, i thought a 77 or 78 BMW RT faring bracket would work but it dosen't seem to have enough clearence, please help. Thanks

4/29/2013 4:00:53 AM

I want to build my own one of these. Please post ALL the specs an suppliers. Thanks

gerald estes III
11/7/2012 10:38:16 PM

the cafe' concept? nice idea, i think changing it is a great show of appreciation for the 'old man' and a real good way for 'him' to get back into rubbing elbows with old riding buddies. missing from the selection list maybe because its a decade late is honda's goldwing intro model. i saw one done up just as you propose, dressed out in thunderbolt fashion - it was a rider so not a concourse example, but it sure looked, sounded and maneuvered down the roadway like nothing you've ever seen before. the component parts list is a good idea also; practical critical path methodology. from experience, id really look closely at the stock components and how they came assembled, then somehow figure a way to budget in either their rebuilding and/or replacement to satisfy the rebuilds concept . some examples: i certainly wouldnt give the non stock electronic ignition any static just because its maintenance free...wanna ride the thing or what... the picture included with the article shows the stiff end of the shock spring pavement side - more prevelent today are linkage actuated inverted gas shock(s) with the supple coils down. im in agreement with retaining spoked wheels as opposed to solid disc or mags. something to address if the cafe' concept is all encompassing - figure a way to modify the rear brake actuation and hardware. its not that difficult to sort stuff like that out if a complete rebuild plan includes a set of blueprints. and why? because who's to judge the ride comfort and feel of a one seater...the jury, im afraid, remains in deliberation. is it just one mans ride or an industry vehicle? point being the article alluding to the human side of things by mentioning the snubbing of a brit bike. use the complete concept, they deserve mention as the best damn 'glass artisans on the planet...incorporate those skills into the cafe' concept - either as suppliers of custom bodywork or collaborators in having unbreakable plastic cosmetics produce 'specially for the project. just an idea... respectfully, gerald

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