My first Airhead - R100/7

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by katit, Sep 13, 2021.

  1. nmalozzi

    nmalozzi airheaded

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    It's certainly not factory, lol. Previous owner seems to have taken great issue with cables/wiring being "loose", I see electrical tape AND zip ties. If anything that'd be a slight red flag for me. Depending on how else they decided to "attach" those cables/wires there may be damage at the connection points from not being able to move with the bars/etc. Not a show stopper, but worth looking closer at when you inspect the bike. Given that, and the aftermarket fairing. I'd be pulling the tank off during inspection to check on all the wiring. Look for broken non-bmw connectors. Again, maybe not a show stopper, but if it's a mess I'd walk away at that price.
    #21
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  2. nmalozzi

    nmalozzi airheaded

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    Also, I wouldn't believe the stated mileage. It likely rolled once, so 116kmi is more likely. Just look at the rear brake pedal:
    upload_2021-9-22_9-15-28.png

    You don't get that kind of wear on the brake in 16k mi, and nobody spends the big bucks on a Daylong seat to only put 16k mi on the bike.
    #22
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  3. katit

    katit Been here awhile

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    What specific wrear are you talking about? I don't see anything.

    As far as mileage stated - I spoke to people and tend to believe it. If it happens to not be correct - that means they are lying and that means I am not reading people at all - which indicates bigger problem than a mileage (to me). Story sounds good. And people don't look like the ones who would be doing it. Red bike was in a family, it was seller's father bike until 1985. He got it from father with intent to ride, and then bought another for his wife (black one). Not much riding happened(health issues) and they parked both bikes in dry garage in 1993.

    Also, on miles. I put 2k on my AT in 2 years. I am busy adult with kids and business. I ride in my spare time and don't have much of it. When I commute - it is short 15 mile commute (both ways). If I keep doing it - it will be 15k miles when bike will be 15yo. And now I am getting more bikes so it will be even less miles on each bike.
    #23
  4. nmalozzi

    nmalozzi airheaded

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    A brand new /7 brake pedal has "spikes" that look like tiny pyramids. I'd expect those pyramids to be a lot more defined and "sharp" on a bike with only 16kmi. This is just a gauge though, it's not a perfect science. Just one clue to use to better inform you to actual condition of the bike.

    Stories are great, but service records are better. Are any included/provided? People misspeak/mishear things all the time. The seller might not be lying per-say, but they may be mistaken. 1993 was 28yrs ago. That's a lot of time to forget/misremember things. Reading people is fine, but it's better to be sure. Trust, but verify.
    #24
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  5. katit

    katit Been here awhile

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    Yes, all service records included in one of those books on picture

    Definitely going to verify. I don’t expect cosmetics to be that great with 116k
    #25
  6. nmalozzi

    nmalozzi airheaded

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    I hope it is 16k mi. If it checks out I'd be inspecting the rear brakes... previous owner used them a lot lol.
    #26
  7. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    Backrest is removable. You can plug the threaded holes with screws or source the factory hand rails. The RDL (Russell Day Long) seats used the factory trim. The backrest mount is the same/similar to OEM. That backrest would likely fit on (physically not aesthetically) any LWB seat. You could simply transfer the grab rail over from the stock seat.

    The RDL are very comfortable mostly due to having spring support instead of just cut/molded foam. I have one for my SWB /5 that needs some attention for the cover. I rebuilt my stock seat probably 6 years ago with new foam/cover/hardware and have found it to be quite comfortable for all day. I can shift forward/aft while riding so the change of position helps with glute circulation.

    These were (still are) likely the best seat available for all day touring comfort. I just think they along with the Lufty/Vetter fairing make the old airheads look like Goldwings and that’s not what appeals to me about the old airheads.

    To each his own, yours looks to be in good condition and should be a fun project for you.
    #27
  8. katit

    katit Been here awhile

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    Thanks! I never rode airhead but I suspect it won't be "all day" bike for me :) I appreciate cool factor, I appreciate simplicity, mechanicals and so on. But it's probably not a competition for modern bikes comfort and safety.

    I also like stock look without fairing. And with stock seat. Also this one probably won't look as bad once backrest removed.

    Will see. I can't wait to pick it up, but it's going to be a long road trip :) What afraid the most - pictures usually look better than reality. I just mainly went off conversation and fact that I don't see any rust and paint seem to be good. Seller claims bike wasn't parked outside ever except for one time they were on a trip.
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  9. katit

    katit Been here awhile

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    Man, to be honest I don't see what you see. This photo is not very high res to show it correctly. Also, angle of it may show different things. I understand what you are saying. Just looked at dozen of those for sale on ebay and they all slightly differ and depending on photo angle, light, etc.
    #29
  10. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    @katit - a couple of things to note (@nmalozzi has already brought them up)....

    1) If you are planning on removing that windjammer fairing (I would) then you have to look for the headlight in the spare parts. The Vetter fairings were "universal" and forced a kludge with the wiring when adding it. The fairing had it's own light and didn't reuse the BMW one. Conversely, Butler & Smith had packages on the dealer showroom floors that included a similar looking Luftmeister fairing, Krauser bags/top case...the top case and fairing were paint matched to the bike. The Lufty fairing re-used the BMW headlight. You simply removed the headlight connected the fairing harness in it's place and then located the OEM headlight into the fairing. When you removed the fairing the reversal was/is quite easy with no wiring issues. This bike you are looking at appears to have replicated this package with after market options (white Vetter fairing, white Krauser bags, the RDL seat instead of top box). Neither is right or wrong but the "aftermarket" method just means there's more to contend with 40 years later. I suspect there will be plenty of 'What the ...?!" moments when you jump in there.

    2) It is a common but non-scientific method for verifying a bike's stated mileage by looking at wear items. Hand grips, rubber shift covers, foot pegs, etc. The thing is that all of these rubber items can be changed to make the bike appear to be fewer miles. Very few, if any, will go to the effort of changing the rear brake lever. The textured face of the lever will hint to it's usage by it's wear. After 16k miles, it honestly should look virtually new compared to most you would be comparing it to. It would not be mistaken for new if compared directly to a new one. There are tons of caveats to this inexact science...there are plenty of 100k mile bikes where the riders response is "This has a rear brake?" and there are low mile examples where the rider found it "comfortable" to rest his right toe on that textured face or spent lots of garage time pretending to be in the curves on Isle of Mann. You can't really know without more information and that's what Nick is suggesting. The wear as evidenced in the low-res image suggests either a toe-dragger or more than 16k miles. This should elicit more research on your part. When looking at the service history...does it simply show service up to the 16k mark and abruptly stop or are there gaps in the history...or is there service work done that represents higher wear than the mileage indicates. There's lots of things to look for without actually "quizzing" or "interrogating" the owner. Whether I'm a seller or a buyer, I want the interaction and subsequent transaction to be above-board and based on trust. In either scenario I can determine not to finish the transaction if my integrity is being unfairly challenged. However, some guy showing up from a CL ad has reason to be wary so I understand some questioning.

    My overall take on this specific bike and your head-first dive into the airhead pond is this:
    --this bike appeals to you on several different levels.
    --you have no direct experience with this bike or really any airheads.
    --you've come here to seek counsel from the inmates running the asylum (high risk behavior, there ;-).
    --It really seems like you are both mentally and emotionally committed to this bike.
    --If that's the case then we aren't really going to be able to talk you out of it. ;-)

    I'm a notorious cheap skate when it comes to buying vehicles. When I see $3800 for a 40+ year old bike that hasn't moved in 25+ years I cringe. Just to give it a little perspective I bought a 76 R75/6 in Monza Blue with the full Butler & Smith pkg for $1200. It was in similar condition to yours--sat in a barn for 30 years. I have done very little with it so far (much to my wife's chagrin). I removed the fairing and literally gave it away (happy to do so as they hold no value currently).

    IMHO, $4k should get you a running motorcycle (especially an old airhead) unless it's a collector's item...no offense but a 78 R100/7 is not a collector's item at least not in terms of valuation.

    With that said, the value of this bike can only be determined by you since you're buying it. The inmates here are trying to alert you to things that they would be inspecting/paying closer attention to if they were in your shoes.
    #30
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  11. katit

    katit Been here awhile

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    Well, I also have deposit on it, so committed financially as well.

    I agree with all of you guys. Couple things which appeal to me:
    1. This is "standard" bike. Not R, not RS, I just wanted this type. I also like color (also blue would be good as well)
    2. It was parked with low miles. I like it much better vs bike that was used for 40 years and in good running condition. Don't know, but I'd rather do things myself and not re-do something somebody did. Maybe it is wishful thinking and I will find out it's not what I think it is. But at least this is what I pictured in my head. I like to "walk" this path myself (getting it back to running). This is not bike I am buying to ride, it would not be interesting to me actually to get something already restored by somebody else. There will be no story to tell.

    I've been monitoring different markeplaces for a while and didn't see anything similar in condition listed. None in St Louis or 100 mile radius I can just go look at. I was looking for 1978 specifically, I only want bikes from that year, I just think it's cool and this is what I want. It makes sense to me.

    In a grand scheme of things - of course I don't want to throw money away, but extra $1-2k for what I feel is right for me it not a big deal. This is toy first of all. And toys don't make money :) After it runs - it will probably be just parked in my garage (again) until..


    P.S. I am working on KZ650 restoration right now. It already cost 2x of purchase price (not even keeping track to feel better). My conclusion - if there is no cosmetic issues like rust and paint fading - I can deal with it and enjoy process. Replating every bolt and painting (like I do with KZ) is probably too much
    #31
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  12. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    I know that you are new to the airhead pool so I'll make some allowances but...in the airhead world the cheapest thing on the bike is the nut that connects the seat to the handlebar.

    You're gonna have to work on that if you really want to swim in this water...;-)
    #32
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  13. katit

    katit Been here awhile

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    Paul, I was referring to initial purchase price. As far as bringing it into working condition - I think there is a lot of parallel worlds or "pools" and airheads is not something very different. Just for kicks I browsed boxer2valve catalog (which I don't think is cheapest out there) and prices look inline with KZ part prices. So no shock there.
    #33
  14. katit

    katit Been here awhile

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    What I did find interesting though is amount of special tools needed. Again, comparing to KZ I am working on, seems like there is a lot of special things needed when working on airhead. Or, maybe it's boxer2valve videos make you think so :)
    #34
  15. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    You know I was joking?
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  16. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing Supporter

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    #36
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  17. katit

    katit Been here awhile

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    I know you were joking. I didn't know if you think that airheads more expensive to deal with vs other 40yo bikes. I feel like they actually might be cheaper as it looks like most parts readily available.
    #37
  18. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    Any 40 yr old bike resto is a labor of love. The main advantage to the old airheads is that parts are readily available regardless of price.
    #38
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  19. nmalozzi

    nmalozzi airheaded

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    I'm the only special tool my airheads have ever needed.
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  20. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    Ah, but now you have a /2 conversion....
    #40