Looking at Airheads today

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by NC BMW Rider, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. NC BMW Rider

    NC BMW Rider Been here awhile

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    First post, but good to have found this site.

    I'm going to get back into motorcycling again after a long hiatus. I live in north western NC, about 5 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway so this is prime riding territory.

    There are two airheads I'm considering and will be looking at today.

    The first is a '75 R90S, but it is a basket case. My biggest concern is whether all the parts are there. The PO was going to make it a cafe racer, but lost interest. There are a couple of boxes of stuff that, hopefully, will contain most of the parts needed to make a complete bike. Apparently he did chop up the wiring harness as well before he quit as well. Nice.
    I've been going over the photos and trying to see the parts that aren't there and getting prices. Pretty sobering. It will need, and deserves, a complete restoration and is frankly the one I hope works out, but the price will need to be right.

    The second is a R100/7 that is complete and running. It will need a little TLC, but appears nice. It has a fairing similar to the R90S, so I could make it into a pseudo "S" bike and it would be fun to ride.

    Anyway, I'll let y'all know how things go today and happy to be part of this group.

    Regards
    Mark
    #1
  2. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff

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    Unless you really need an R90S because of what they represent, maybe the 100/7 would be the better buy, especially if you are not a hard charger. The 100/7 makes its torque a lot lower down the rev range than the 90S and would be a nicer bike to ride day to day.
    #2
  3. ME 109

    ME 109 Long timer

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    The /7 sounds a better option.
    With the 90s your hiatus will continue for a lot longer than you think.
    #3
  4. chollo9

    chollo9 Screwed the Pooch

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    I don't think it could be said better than that!

    But I have an intact harness if you go that way.
    #4
  5. kadesean

    kadesean eyesuck

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    You didn't mention prices.

    If the R90S is all there and can be picked up cheaply you may want to buy both. Ride the /7 and refurb the 90S.

    In my way of thinking most 'basket cases' are around $500, but a complete 90S basket could be worth more.
    #5
  6. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    You are much much better looking toward a bike that is finished or at least a complete running bike.
    That r90 will cost three to four times what you expect it to cost.

    The flip side depending on how muc you get it for and how much work you can do, and how much you value your time it might not lose that much value.

    My suggestion... Find a decent running mid 80 r80 and ride the bike while looking for a decent r90s to get.
    #6
  7. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

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    If you are looking to ride through the Winter the /7. If you are looking for a Winter project and know these bikes really well, the R90S.
    #7
  8. Jamie

    Jamie .

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    I think I've seen R90S you're talking about. His price is pretty high for a non-runner, IMO.
    #8
  9. daveoneshot

    daveoneshot Been here awhile

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    I have an R 100/7 with an S fairing....all stock, no tricks. It's plenty strong for me and manages to scare me now and then, mostly due to my riding skills , or lack of. Could be my age, too, 71. But every time I get off the thing I stare at it for a minute and give thanks.
    #9
  10. NC BMW Rider

    NC BMW Rider Been here awhile

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    OK, after putting 435 miles on my 735iL today let me submit the following report:

    The R90S was pretty rough. The front turn signals were missing as was the tach needle, right side cover, and the rear frame diagonals were cut at some point in the past, although there were there and could be rewelded back it would probably be easier to just find a good used one.

    The paint was pretty rough and the entire bike would have to be stripped and resprayed. It did have compression when turned by hand. The wiring was rough and would probably have to be replaced. Everything else looked to be there though.

    The owner is asking $1950 and I was considering offering $1200 only because it is a R90S and that is cool.


    The 100/7 has not been run in about 6 years. The owner bought a Harley and has been riding that.

    The right carb leaked and the bike would not rev above 1100 RPM's without dying. I'm thinking a good carb cleaning and rebuild will take care of most of those issues.

    More bothersome was that the generator light did not go out after starting the bike. It may be an issue with not being able to rev high enough to get a good field established in the alternator. Also, the oil light never went out. When questioned the owner said he started the bike yesterday and the oil light went out immediately. He may have just not noticed that it was glowing with the gen light still going. Is it possible the oil pressure switch is just gunked up? It did have oil in it.
    He is asking $3k and I am thinking about offering $2K.

    Thoughts?
    #10
  11. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Been here awhile

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    Sounds high to me for what you're describing. I picked up an r90/6 with about 2500 in new parts for $3800. - fwiw

    2k seems fair for the /7

    If you go the r90s route you just have to know you'll spend more than you'll ever get back out of it. When I came to grips with that on my 90/6 it became a much more fun project. Fwiw
    #11
  12. NC BMW Rider

    NC BMW Rider Been here awhile

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    I talked to the owner of the R90S and he tells me that he has already turned down $1500, but would take $1600 now.

    I gotta think about it and realize it would be a labor of love, not necessarily something to profit from in the near term.

    Any thoughts regarding the oil light on the R100/7?
    #12
  13. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    The thoughts thru my mind have alarm bells surrounding them.

    The 90S sounds like a looong term expensive project.
    http://www.indian.no/ Open that link, then click on "My Bike" for inspiration or discouragement. That'll be your choice.

    The oil light on the /7 could be anything, including a $2000 o-ring. I'd be very wary, especially when you have time on your side and the money in your pocket to buy something with less ??? about them.


    There are many more airheads out there and a good one will have your name on it. Take the time to look carefully.
    #13
  14. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

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    happened to my /5 once (a freind who know more than me ) told me pull the oil senser out, turn it over (the engine) if it spits oil out your ok, if it doen't it could be bad.

    Now after i did this in front of a resturant, i put the oil senser (after i cleaned it) back in and the light went out.


    Also generator light on all my airheads comes on at idle
    #14
  15. walkingbear

    walkingbear Lets Play Chicken!

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    I paid $2500 for a running R90s that was missing the S fairing and not the right paint. It was a running bike. Used that to make an offer $1k would be a great offer.
    #15
  16. JPSpen

    JPSpen At Large

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    Keeping up with the Joneses, OK ?
    Keep looking...

    Right now you're looking at a couple of $500.00 parts bikes...

    You can find a nice one out there in the price range you have in mind..

    You just have to be patient and ready to jump when the right one comes along..

    Don't buy the wrong bike and spend four times more than it'll ever be worth to make it run again..

    John
    #16
  17. NC BMW Rider

    NC BMW Rider Been here awhile

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    Yep, I believe I'll keep looking.

    Thanks guys.
    #17
  18. oldroadie

    oldroadie Two wheel addict

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    #18
  19. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    That's good advice.

    Doesn't take much to run up a huge bill in parts with Airheads. I've just spent a few £ on my old 100/7. £300 on a spray job and another £400 on parts you can't even see and that was a good running machine. I guess that would be over $1000 without even trying.
    #19
  20. Moonshiner

    Moonshiner aka "B-dog"

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    Good decision. There are many more decent airheads at better prices out there than you saw.

    Even $2K was too much for the 100/7.

    Others in this thread have hinted at it, but if you're looking at any kind of fixer upper, it's going to cost you some dollars and some time, so buy one with the intentions of riding it and owning it for awhile.

    Good Luck!
    #20