Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

1979 R100 engine

All black paint on the engine has been bead-blasted to show the aluminum.

The 1979 engine was the last one to have a metal airbox visually integrated in the rest of the engine case. And it was the first one with the brand acronym written in full instead of the model number.

This engine has been dual plugged and fitted with a deep oil pan (aftermarket) for better cooling.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Recycled emblems

Recycled tank emblems from a BMW R90S, slightly rusty (as they should be), but no fading

Friday, May 14, 2010

New side covers

New side covers, same color as the frame. The Serpentine font was designed by Dick Jensen (1926-2000).

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New seat

New custom seat based on a modified BMW R90/6 police model. Many thanks to Hugo from Sid’s Custom Upholstery, Mountain View, for the great work.

Front aluminum turn signals just fitted.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Old style exhaust nuts

Thanks Greg for these great looking exhaust nuts. The older models like this one had much larger fins.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Until 1975, BMW emblems were made out of metal and enamel. Main advantage: they don't turn yellow in UV light.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Slowly taking form

The seat needs a new cover.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Rebuilt carbs

Constant velocity (or constant depression) carburetors made by Bing. This type 94 carb has a bore size of 40 mm.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Free new front wheel courtesy of BMW

In 1984, BMW recalled their front Snowflake aluminum wheels because they may "develop cracks and fractures from operating on rough roads". Today, 26 years later, BMW still honors this recall.

Monday, February 8, 2010

New tank, new bars

Repainted BMW R90S tank, new low sidecar bars and dirty grips

Saturday, December 12, 2009


The valve covers only needed a bit of cleaning but the guy decided to powdercoat them white.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cylinder head

Left cylinder head with rocker supports, rockers and valve springs. The heads have been dual-plugged for increased reliability.

Connector rods

Rebored connector rods. All BMW rods are steel forgings.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Attractive lady

Quote from the Rider’s manual:

“Two-up riding: Your companion, particularly if an attractive lady, must be provided with the same complete, good quality riding gear as your own.”

So what kind of gear does my buddy deserve?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How to own a BMW

(Pic stolen from

– Look as much as possible like David Niven. (At least the moustache.)
– Insist on watching if a mechanic has to work on the bike.
– Buy a bottle of BMW touch-up paint with the new bike.
– Wear a white dust coat with the BMW logo over the pocket when performing even minor maintenance on the machine.
– Learn how to intimidate parts personnel.
– Drink only Heineken’s or Beck’s out of a ceramic stein.
– Be on a first-name basis with someone of authority at Butler and Smith.
– Never, never street race. You may, on occasion, put the pass on an unbeliever by employing the maneuver Farina used on Nuvolari at Monte Carlo in 1935, but only if you can do it well.
– Constantly discuss the old Earles-type front forks in the most intimate of terms.
– Never blip the throttle at stoplights.
– Redlining the engine is prohibited in any case.
– Annoy your dealer with complaints of obscure sounds or sensations that only you perceive.
– Regale captive parts counter people with funny stories about your old RAF squadron leader. (Ethiopian military police are also acceptable.)
– Be smug – remember, you have demonstrated the fact that you were obviously born to a higher station in life by owning the pride of the Bavarian Motor Works.

Quote from Big Bike magazine, October 1977.

Friday, September 18, 2009

BMW philosophy

I like the text of this 1979 BMW ad:

“Our engineers don’t think it makes sense to take something that’s simple and reliable and, for commercial purposes, make it complex and, therefore, likely to be less reliable. And yet that’s exactly what’s happening in the world of mass-production motorcycles today. It won’t happen at BMW. We make what works. Not what’s in vogue.”

“The simplicity of the opposed twin makes it one of the only large engines offered today that’s easy to maintain totally on your own. Cylinders, valve train, carburetors, ignition: all vital parts are easily gotten to, and easily adjusted. So the little work a BMW does require is also easy work.”

Today BMW philosophy is quite different. The strategy is to make replacement parts so expensive that people buy new models instead of fixing their old ones.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Source of inspiration I: BMW R90/6

The most beautiful motorcycle BMW ever made. Form follows function and not the opposite.

Source of inspiration II: Doc'Moto

I never liked BMW solo seats. To me they never seem to fit the bike properly. These guys solved the problem.

Source of inspiration III: Monkee #9


Rough-hewn motorcycle, designed to be run, mixing modern and old features. Perfect balance.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Source of inspiration IV: Sienna Ivory

Sienna Ivory (siena avorio), a timeless color.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Without fairing

The high bars and the armchair-like Reynolds seat allow one to ride in a way that looks “dignified” (as Duane Ausherman puts it). I am going to get rid of both.

The seat on the picture is a /6 police seat bought in France. It will need some modifications too.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New (old) parts II: aluminum fuel cap

This is an aluminum hinged cap from the beginning of the 1970s. In 1974 BMW chromed the gas tank caps. They were shinier, but did not retain the nice patina of the aluminum caps (instead chrome bubbles off).

New (old) parts I: aluminum turn signals

Old airheads used to have turn signal made of aluminum... Looks better than plastic.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

1979 Ad

Original BMW ad from 1979