1974 BMW R60/6...worth it?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by lucky23, Jun 1, 2014.

  1. lucky23

    lucky23 Been here awhile

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    I'm going to look at an R60/6 today, but I'm wondering what to offer? He says it hasn't ridden it in a long time. Are R60s even worth the time? I've read a lot about how underpowered they are. Should I just hold out for a bigger airhead?
    #1
  2. Disston

    Disston ShadeTreeExpert Supporter

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    Many of these machines are still on the road. Riders who have them love them. But if you are already thinking bigger is better then maybe a 900 or 1000 is right for you.
    #2
  3. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

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    I had a 60/6 and loved it.... simple, easy to work on, reliable etc, but then, so are the others of that vintage. Depends more on what "power" means to you. I rode mine back roads, single rider, after I cafe'd. But I'm 5-7", 160#, so not a lot of heft.

    Some will tell you the drum brakes are nfg, but when properly adjusted, I found them fine. Of course, I wasn't stopping from freeway speeds, either!

    I wrote a thread about mine, it started out "rough", to put mildly. I learned a lot, and that bike gave me an appreciation for the engineering and construction that goes into them. I have an R80ST now, but I ride two-up fairly routinely now. The power of the 800, when solo, is everything I would ever want!

    Good luck!!
    :D
    #3
  4. lucky23

    lucky23 Been here awhile

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    I'm not concerned so much with racing from light to light, just highway cruising comfortably, not straining at 70mph. I'm thinking of offering $2000? Bpeckm, great thread!
    #4
  5. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Matt Parkhouse of Colorado, a long time BMW rider, swears by the early R60 models. He knows his stuff too!
    #5
  6. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

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    Thanks, I did have a lot of fun (and a real learning curve!) with that bike. Seventy on the freeway? You may want a taller geared, bigger displacement bike. The 60 will do it, but it wouldnt be the ideal kind of road for the bike.

    It's so hard to know what somebody's expectations are... there are certainly lots of peopel with R60's, perfectly happy with them. It is capable, BUT, for highway crusiing I think most would probably opt for more oomph, and the lower gearing that the bigger engines have.

    :D
    #6
  7. dvblue_2000

    dvblue_2000 Probationary

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    I currently own an R60/7, and had an R60/6. It's slow, but still has the fine feel and craftsmanship of the other BMWs. I took my GPS out with it yesterday and learned my speedometer's off about 7 MPH at highway speeds so it's even slower than I thought. At 5000 RPM it's doing just under 70 MPH. It'll cruise at 70 all day though. If I want to haul ass, I'll hop on my Kawasaki 1200.
    #7
  8. norton73

    norton73 drinkin' in the garage Supporter

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    My first BMW was a '74 R60/6 that I got about 1976. I rode that thing two up all up and down the east coast with camping gear, but then again, the national speed limit was 55 mph, and my girl friends and I were quite a bit lighter then :D

    I could cruise comfortably at 65, but passing semis up hill in WV could seem like it was taking an eternity.

    I believe it had something along the lines of 36 claimed hp, but to make it, BMW upped the compression ratio quite a bit, and the cam was actually pretty radical. For a brief period I had both the R60 and a R90S, the R60 required higher octane gas, Sunoco 260 at the time, but the R90S was fine on lesser fuel.

    The front brake was ok in the dry, but if it was raining or humid out, rust would form on the drum lining and the first time you grabbed the brake, it could be really grabby :huh It wasn't helped much by the fact that the bike had a Metzler ribbed tire on the front that wore like iron, I think the one that was on the bike when I got it at 5k miles was still on there at 30K miles when I finally replaced it with something softer.
    #8
  9. lucky23

    lucky23 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the replies! He wants $2000 for it, so I'm seriously on the fence. Since it was sitting for so long I would have to take the whole thing down, which is fine, I just want to make sure it's worth it.
    #9
  10. photorider

    photorider Been here awhile

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    I have an R60/6 and love it for back road cruising. I have ridden it cross country and it is a great old bike. That said, if you are looking for a highway cruiser, I don't think this is the bike for you. You can keep up with highway traffic but you're not likely to be passing anything!
    #10
  11. Disston

    Disston ShadeTreeExpert Supporter

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    How long is a long time? Was it stored with gas in the tank? Was it stored inside or out? Cylinders filled with oil? Heated garage? Leaky shed? Was it stored outside under a blue tarp? Does the engine turn over? Did mice or rats get to the wiring? Was it stored with new oil in the sump or dirty oil? How old is the battery?
    #11
  12. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    there's another R60/6 in Portland for sale $5400 .. restored with 4,400 miles .. no one is going to pay that much unless they've wanted that exact model for sometime.

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. lucky23

    lucky23 Been here awhile

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    I saw that one. I agree. I saw a fully restored toaster R75 for less than that. The one I'm considering has been kept in a garage under a cover. He left gas in it. Engine turns over, but I anticipate flushing the entire bike and replacing all rubber.
    #13
  14. bmwloco

    bmwloco Long timer

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    $2000 for any running or near running Airhead is worth the investment.

    You'll learn a lot too, and the education is cheap by comparison.
    #14
  15. SculptD

    SculptD Smells like tech

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    As many have said, that can be a great bike, but I don't think it would be on my list of "the one you really want" from the airhead classic spectrum. I'd at least want a short wheel base in a R60. But, then, I'd also want an R75. Or, I'd want the upgrades of a /7. For me, that's just an in-between model/year.
    #15
  16. lucky23

    lucky23 Been here awhile

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    He just called me and offered it for $1800! Think I'm gonna do it...it'll be nice to have another airhead project(:
    #16
  17. knary

    knary sunshine and puppies

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    Because the last one went so smoothly? :lol3
    #17
  18. jellycow

    jellycow out there without a clue, now on a '99 640 AVD

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    If he is calling and offering a lower price then he must be in a hurry selling and that gives you a nice chance to offer like 1500 and settle at about 1600-1700. So that's how your new tires get paid for :norton
    #18
  19. therealbatman

    therealbatman "Godfather"

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    Thats how my deal went down ('78 R100/7) he was asking $3500, I got it for less than 30% of that. The bike ran ok but needed all of the maintenance, exhaust, rubber bits, battery, tires and tubes..not to mention 80 hours labor to get where it is today.

    I would offer $1200 and settle on $1500 maybe $1600

    The art of negotiation is being willing to walk away.
    #19
  20. dvblue_2000

    dvblue_2000 Probationary

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    The R60/7 my daughter and I bought had sat a long time, and I had to replace the whole fuel system except for the gas cap. The tank looked great but had pinholes in the upper half. It also needed new petcocks. I could have rebuilt the Bings, but bought a Mikuni set that came jetted way too rich. Luckily we found an identical tank in great condition on Ebay the same weekend. Eventually the master cylinder started leaking so I had to rebuild it. I bought the bike from my daughter a couple years later (she was overwhelmed by all the maintenance) and have a pretty nice bike now.
    #20