Old School Airhead Fish'in

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by bmwhacker, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    My work takes me all over the Western / Southern US. Whenever we stay in one place for a few weeks I always place a Craigslist ad in the local motorcycle section "wanting to buy" old BMW's or other European motorcycles.
    I've been pretty lucky over the years and have hauled home a dozen or so old BMW's for $500.00 to $100.00.
    I have yet to run across a pre 1969 model BMW but always am hopeful something rare will come along someday.
    I have got lucky a few times and burned a few times.....
    I bought a 1974 R75/6 winter before last. Photos didn't look too bad and the guy offered to haul it up to me (180 miles on icy roads) for a $100.00. We settled on a $400.00 price + the $100.00 shipping to my door. When the bike showed up I had high hopes but after closer inspection things weren't too good. I was able to salvage a few good parts, sell a few parts and then sell the rolling chassis to at least make a small profit.

    You just never know what will come up. Last week, by word of mouth I was soon standing over a dusty, but beautiful Norton Commando, a BSA Single and a few other British specimans in a local guys garage. His brother in law has a R100 BMW that he wants to get rid of. So I'll be following up on that. I think a guy could buy the Norton for a reasonable price too. I'm just not much of a British bike fan as I've never ridden one and don't kow much about them.

    Today I had a bite from a guy with a 1972 - 600 (?) BMW. He doesn't sound very knowledgeable about bikes other than the engine was sent off years ago, was dual plugged and rebuilt by some guy in Virginia. The bike has a newer 5 speed transmission but has sat for 5 years in his elderly moms garage. He told me that he knew that the tires were "new" with only a few miles on them....but then remembered that he bought them 10 years ago.

    These fishing trips are an adventure for me.....now if I could get my wife to have as much fun as I do.....:lol3
    #1
  2. flemsmith

    flemsmith lurk

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    S what do you typically do with them: rebuilding old bikes is not a way to make money, at least I never have. So do you part them out? fix them up to run but not look pristene and then sell them? Collect them for some day in the future when you'll have a lot of old bikes and hope you can sell them with the prices going up? Just curious.

    roy
    #2
  3. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    That is pretty good. Play your cards right and it could be a long-term investment (or a long-term break-even). Or at least some parts bikes to horse-trade with.

    If you are ever stationed in NW Alabama, PM me.
    #3
  4. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    It has been a crap shoot all the time. Of the dozen or so bikes I've acquired, non were worthy of investing any $$$$ to get them drivable. I got lucky once - I bought a BMW sight unseen for $100.00 and then found a nice 8 gallon Heinrich Tank sitting on it when I picked it up. I've typically pulled parts for my projects and spares and then peddled the remainder. The part I like is never knowing what will turn up when someone answers my ads. Kind of a fantasy thing I guess. I know of a guy who bought a very rare nearly complete KS601 Zundapp Elastic a few weeks ago for a few (7) hundred bucks. The bike is worth maybe $20k when assembled....and the PO took it apart in running order and stored it correctly, only losing the top triple tree mount over the years.
    I live full time in my RV so my space is very limited with a 20' cargo trailer and a small 3 rail bike trailer, although I have some property with a storage shed in AZ. so some stuff stays down there.
    I used to save tons of parts for my future use but decided it made more sense to sell off extra parts .Of course I've sold off parts that I eventually needed but oh well, can't keep all this stuff laying around.
    This system pays for the majority of my bike needs and projects and recycles good used parts to those in need.
    I use EBay and the IBMWR sites to sell parts. I've also given a lot of stuff away and that was not up to my standards but still usable.
    Whenever I've got boxes of old stuff I do not feel can be sold individually, I'll sell a whole pickup load of chassis /misc. parts for $350.00 - $400.00 just to make it go away.

    Last winters housekeeping load went away for $400.00:
    (complete 1974 rolling chassis with a rusty engine, a usable lower end for a 1974 R90/6, another R90 /6 front fork assembly, broken Bates saddle bags & two sets of mounts, a rare (IMO ugly) Califia Fairing, a final drive, a couple of boxes of other treasures...)

    [​IMG]

    Right now my parts supply has dwindled to nothing so it's time to make some new scores.
    EBay selling has been pretty much hassle free. If I get an unhappy buyer I usually refund everything including shipping and let them keep the parts. I look at that as part of doing business and go forward. It is not worth the hassle to fight over some issue and then send parts back and expect the buyer to eat the shipping....I've been there and wasn't happy about that.

    So all in all this is a fun (to me) hobby that I can make a few bucks on and support my habit.
    I've built one complete sidehack rig in this fashion and have a couple spare transmissions / misc parts laying around.
    You just never know when you'll reach into a barrel of shit and pull out a diamond.

    The crazy thing is that some parts I feel should bring big bucks don't....and then some I think will go cheap sell high...
    #4
  5. camgregus

    camgregus riding gently now

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    what is your ebay seller name? I want to add you to my favorites so I can see what you put up there...
    #5
  6. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    EBay seller name:
    dsmith6121
    #6
  7. jbcaddy

    jbcaddy Long timer

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    I don't want to know more about that Norton and the other British bikes you found:D, really I don't:ear




    So, did ya take any photos?:wink:
    #7
  8. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    I plan on going over and visiting the guy again. I'll take some photos this time. He said he paid 2 grand for the Norton, but didn't say how long ago. It is a very nice looking bike. As far as I could tell it was pretty much stock except for a "Corbin looking" cafe style seat....but I don't know much about the Brit stuff. There were a few more "across the pond" two wheelers in there too.
    The guy has an eccentric taste like me.....had a 1960 MGA Roadster, an Austin American (Mini Cooper) looking car, an old 30's hot rod he was building. Looks like he has too many projects, so maybe the Norton might be up for grabs.
    It looked too nice for me....I go for the money pit, cheap, beat up, rusty treasures.:lol3
    #8
  9. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    I'm excited!
    Tomorrow AM we'll drive the 36 miles to check out the old (1972?) BMW that has been offered up. I'm going to drag a trailer with me just in case. I've gone home with an empty trailer more than once when someone thinks their derelict piece of crap is still worth a thousand bucks.
    As long as the bike is salvageable, I hope to drag it home for $500.00 or less....if it is a definite "parts bike" the price should be cheaper.
    I miss my old /5 which I recently sold so maybe if this thing is salvageable, it will fill the void.

    Verbal description:
    1972 /5 with a later model dual plugged 600cc engine & 5 speed transmission.
    I don't know if he kept the /5 Motometer gauge / headlamp nacelle?......or swapped the front brake to a disc?...or????
    Has been sitting for 5 years in a garage. Sounds like it still has some $1.99 gas in the tank from 2006. Not good.

    The more detailed questions I asked the owner, the less he seemed to know. That is probably not a good sign.
    Seems like "dual plugging" a 600cc would be somewhat fruitless? I guess it surely wouldn't have hurt it any.

    Pictures tomorrow for sure. One way or the other.
    #9
  10. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    It is an interesting prospect. My bike is not dual plugged, yet. R90/6. I've heard that it is most workable on the 900's and 1000's. Hope you get the /5 headlight. Without it it is not much of a /5.

    I'm going to have a set of heads done soon but still have to wait on dual plugging. I need new exhaust seats, ouch.

    Happy Hunting Hacker.
    #10
  11. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    We made the 40 minute trip over to a nearby town to take a look at the bike in question. My heart sunk quite a bit upon my first view. No major find here for sure. Arggg....looks pretty bad.....
    [​IMG]
    Bike appears to have a 1974 R60/6 dual plugged engine with the 5 speed kick start transmission. Frame is an early 70's short wheel base.
    A 72 / 73 "Toaster Tank" minus the toaster panels. The owner thinks the panels might be sitting in his barn at another location. He does have the fenders, tail light and rear turn signals so will attempt to find them.

    I began looking it over closely and found a vintage Puch headlamp nacelle and speedometer, with a generic ignition switch.

    [​IMG]

    The seller really wanted to recoup his $1000.00 investment from 12 years ago. I had to point out the issues at hand: Tires probably have less than a 1000 miles on them but are weather rotted and not usable except for around the block a few times. The "new" battery is the same vintage as the tires. The "nice" stock mufflers are after market and have damage and dents.
    I made him aware if the bike was close to original and at least partially complete I would hand him a grand in a heart beat but the bike is a rat with a lot of issues and missing parts.
    I found the engine kicked over fine with good compression and the transmission clicked into each gear without problems. The dual plug set up has the proper coils and appears to be done well. Alloy wheels have normal tire tool scratches and spin true. Interior of tank looks a little crusty but no major rust. Pulled the float bowels and carbs look pretty good. Throttle slides are free.
    The serial number decoder says we have a 4 - 1971 manufactured R75/5. The title says we have a 1973 BMW so she is a mutt.
    The engine serial number shows a 6 - 1974 engine manufacture - R60/6.
    After a lot of discussion I decided I would make a $400.00 offer which I think is fair considering what we have here.
    I told him he might be able to get the $1000.00 wanted if he parted it out or spent some dough to get it back in running order. But it will always be a mongrel.
    So I dragged the thing home for $400.00. Maybe I paid too much but I know I could recoup the investment if I pieced the bike out. Not sure what to do with it...Cafe bike? Rat Rod? Maybe stuff the engine in my 1953 Zundapp? I think I'll spend a couple hours some weekend and get the engine running, take it for a spin as-is, then go from there. At least in my possession the bike will live on, either as donor to others projects or as a rat runner. I kind of like the rat runner option with minimal investment.



    Stopped at a car wash and invested $2.00 into my latest money pit.

    The monster Puch headlight is already growing on me.
    [​IMG]

    The fuel tank had been refinished but was left in primer....but it almost looks like a clear coat over it. Maybe this was the final color? The fenders are supposed to match. The mufflers didn't look quite right....upside down and reversed. I've only seen this a couple of times.
    [​IMG]

    On the way home I stopped at the shop of a new acquantance to look at his dusty treasures:

    I think a guy could buy this but I doubt that it would be cheap.
    [​IMG]

    Has a solo Mikuni carb...looks like he has removed something there....starter? [​IMG]

    A few years of dust. A shame to see this collecting dust, it should be tearing up the road.
    [​IMG]

    Low original mileage.
    [​IMG]

    rear disc.
    [​IMG]

    The Norton has a red neighbor next to him.
    [​IMG]

    Well maybe the next "find" will be a rare exotic treasure. 90% of the fun is the hunt.
    #11
  12. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    I like the headlight also.
    #12
  13. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    I spent an hour or so cleaning up the rims and other alloy pieces and everything shined up nice. I reversed the mufflers to their proper location and of course there was some rust on the bottoms. Most of it removed easily.
    Valve covers have some surface scratches but no major damage.

    [​IMG]

    The Puch speedometer was connected with the BMW cable. Not sure how accurate it will be. Fills the hole in the headlight if nothing else. Headlight bucket has some surface rust but no dents, The chrome trim ring has a scrape on it.
    [​IMG]

    Front / rear rims cleaned up pretty good.
    [​IMG]


    Mufflers swapped to their proper places. The header pipes are in real good shape with no dents or rust to speak of. [​IMG]


    Well so much for todays fun and games. Maybe I'll have her fired up next weekend. Been working 6 days a week , 13/14 hour shifts so Sunday is my only day off. :D
    #13
  14. JLeather

    JLeather Bike Butcherer

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    I think you did well buying it. I'd have given $400 for it in a second. The wheels alone are worth easily half what you paid for it. Nice find.
    #14
  15. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    The seller was pretty proud of the recovered seat....has the 1971 /5 grab handles but there are small "lumps" in the foam.(?)
    Maybe we have "tenants" living under the cover?

    After sitting in a dry barn for 5 years I'd better pull the air box / alternator cover and starter cover to chase out any other boarders that might have moved in.
    #15
  16. ChromeSux

    ChromeSux Un-plated and Unscrewed

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    The Commando could potentially (if he is not too high) make you more money, its a 75 electric start, one year only bike, looks like it could clean up pretty good, i would want to get the starter that was on it.

    The starters were not real dependable on those but can be made/ upgraded to be dependable.
    Even with the economy like it is the market for 75 E start bikes is pretty good, and they have became harder to find, very much like the /5, you find a good one and it brings good money.

    The single Mikuni carb deal is a common thing on Nortons, folks have been doing it for years, i bought a one owner 72 that had been converted, the guy had converted it back in the 70's.
    #16
  17. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    I would love to have the Commando. Unfortunately my expendable working capital is not that large. As is my storage area. I'm maxxed out at 4 bikes at the present...2 running...2 not.
    #17
  18. norton73

    norton73 drinkin'

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    :nod

    Five or so years ago you couldn't hardly give away a '75 MKIII, the extra weight, linkages for the left side shift, and a few other things turned people off. Lately however, because the '75 is the only left shift Norton, and most people struggle to convert or jump from bike to bike, the '75 s are getting another look and going up in value, maybe faster than the earlier Commandos.
    Plus as the rider's age, that electric start is looking better all the time.

    Most people who want a Norton to ride convert to the single Mikuni, easy to tune, parts are easy to get, a real enrichener system, not dribbling gas all over the transmission.Between a mikuni and the electric ignition of your choice, a commando will become a 1 kick starter.
    #18
  19. msells

    msells Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location: Parking lot of Everybody's Pizza & Steady Hand Pour House near Emory University

    Him: "How's that BMW treating you?"
    Me: "Well, but I'd like to have an older one someday."
    Him: "I've got two in my garage."


    After some chit chat we agree to meet.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Looks to all be R69 stuff. The black one he wants to get back on the road - it needs a "timing spring" and didn't quite run right. It looks like it need A LOT MORE than a timing spring... The white one was in a "minor accident" - speedo and headlight bucket is damaged. Shifter broken off. Haven't looked closely to see what else. On both bikes cables are frozen, gas caps don't budge.. I'm thinking of making an offer on the white bike plus the spares that he has around. He has another bike that was disassembled and started on. Tank and frame painted and "well cured" hanging on the wall. I think I saw fenders too. There's a transmission sitting in the garage, motor is in the basement.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Oh, and there were a few other bikes that we agreed on a price for. A Honda Dream 150 and a Yamaha XS400:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    More of the white bike I'm eyeing:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I had a number in my head which I'm now thinking based on this thread is high. $1000 and all the BMW stuff except the black bike disappears! This would be the white bike plus the other disassembled bike and painted parts (tank, fenders, frame). I figure that painted tank, fenders & frame are worth some benjamins but don't know the market really. Should I offer $400-500 and leave him the frame & tank but grab the extra motor and transmission? I think he'd like all of it gone but I'm not sure of fair market value. Is there anything worth $200+ that I should check to make sure is there if I'm paying $1000 or be straight and tell him about so he could sell it separately??

    What would you experienced fishermen do? I'd like to actually get a running bike out of the white one. I'm not allergic to removing lots of rust & dust and spending some bucks on parts but don't want to do a full on crazy restoration. I guess I need to do a better inspection and do some math on what the cost of a typical list of things to replace on a "ran when parked" R69 is. Headlight bucket, tires, cables, carb rebuilds, battery, fluids, lots of rubber parts, ...
    #19
  20. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    There's always a certain amount of risk involved not knowing the engine internals condition.
    I'd buy all that for a grand in a minute. Offer him $800.00 and go from there(?)
    If you decide not to invest a bunch to get it going again you could piece it out for a good amount.

    The old CA95 Hondas are a hoot, not worth much but fun to ride. Don't EVER let the oil level get down to the "add" mark. ....I've fished up a few of them over the years:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    And then there was the CA95's big brother:

    [​IMG]


    Then this....I still kick myself for selling it....

    [​IMG]

    Where it was found:

    [​IMG]
    #20