Although in production for only three years, the R90S was the most significant post-war production BMW motorcycle. Its release coincided with the 50th anniversary of the BMW boxer motorcycle, and started a new era for the boxer twin.
Before the R90S BMW motorcycles were idiosyncratic, expensive and primarily luxury touring machines designed to appeal to the older rider.
Although the new-generation R75/5 did much to change the staid image that existed during the 1960s, the R75/5 still couldn't compete with the new high-performance Japanese Superbikes that came in the early 1970s. That all changed when Bob Lutz persuaded BMW's conservative management to sanction the development of the R90S, a sporting machine that could take on the best in the world.
As ace BMW tuner Udo Gietl says, "The R90S was a pivotal bike for BMW. It showed the world that the 'always black' bike could be very pretty, and win races. The R90S provided a new face for BMW motorcycles around the world and is to BMW as the 300SL Gull Wing is to Mercedes-Benz. Neither was perfect but they were iconic. The R90S wasn't BMW's best product, but it had a profound impact on their marketing direction. The R90S was an example of the perfect combination of timing and product."
Author Ian Falloon tells the story of this important bike and how it evolved, noting all significant changes from year to year. Beautifully laid out with big full-color pictures, this book could stand alone as a coffee table book. But it's much more than that. Falloon writes with enough detail to make restoring these great bikes much easier, and also includes a chapter on how to live with an R90S, using them as reliable daily commuters, making popular upgrades, and what to look for if you are in the market for one.
Because the R90S was built in relatively large numbers, it is still possible to buy one at a reasonable price. Excellent parts availability, a wealth of specialist services, and an enthusiastic owners circle ensure the R90S is not merely a show pony, but a classic motorcycle to be ridden. Restoration is relatively straightforward, and with outstanding looks and high-quality equipment, the R90S has justifiably garnered a huge following.
Author: Ian Falloon
Item Number: 2676
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