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Vince's 1974 BMW R60/6 Motorcycle

When I was a young teen there was this guy in the local contra dance group who occasionally rode up on a magnificent white BMW Motorcycle. When I was older, and riding my '74 Honda 550-4 (what a great motorcycle), I met a man at a gas station who was riding a very old BMW cycle, and he let me sit on it and run up the throttle - man those opposed pistons made my inline four feel quite the rattletrap. Then reading some motorcycle rag I came across an article extolling the BMW R series, and remarking that you could change either tire with the bike balanced on it's center stand. That struck me as a very sensible design.

So now 15 years later the planets have aligned themselves, and I have come to own a 1974 BMW R60/6. It is black with white pinstripes, (as God and nature intended) and while I did cart it away in several containers, it's not quite a basket case. It has a cool full front fairing, and hard saddle bags for the back, but my first priority will be getting the stock bike back in service, and then I'll see if I want to slap all the extras back on.

Here is a lovely picture of my two boys Max and Asa having their first "ride" 7/14/01


Here's Mr. Asa "taking a turn". Man is it a pain in the butt when people don't get out of the way.


8/22/01 So The bike has spent the past month at my friend Keith's house. Keith is what's known as an "Airhead" that is to say he is one of the elite corps of motorcyclists who ride air cooled BMW machines. Keith also happens to be very knowledgeable about these fine bikes. I couldn't want for a better guide for the undertaking of stripping my beauty down, and rebuilding her pristine and beautiful. In any case, here's a picture of her (no name yet - maybe after we've had a chance to hit the road) with the handlebars and front forks off, and the seat, cylinders, and top and front engine covers removed. Sorry about there not being any more "before" pictures, but I just got the digital camera for my birthday.

9/3/01This week we continued stripping down the bike. Here's a shot of the front end of the engine with the timing cover off (an operation that I'm told can be performed under a bridge if one needs to walk to the local parts store to replace the timing chain on a road trip).
This is a nice before picture of the rear wheel. As you can see aside from a little surface corrosion and some dirt it looks in pretty good shape, and as we're taking things apart, Keith keeps saying things like "Good" and "Oh, this looks great". so far there is (comparatively) very little that will actually need replacement. All the rubber parts, hoses and wires are gonna go, and we'll likely upgrade to some sort of electronic ignition, but other than that all the parts that are coming off the bike are in good shape, and are cleaning up very nicely.

Tonight we pulled the rear wheel assembly, the transmission, the starter motor, clutch and flywheel. So far so good. One of the cool things about the way this bike is put together is that once the rear wheel assembly and suspension are removed, you can fold up the back end, and cut the footprint in half (which is a big win if you have someone working on their bike in your garage who only shows up to work on it once or twice a month.)



And that's where it ends?!?

Well sort of. As of August 2002 we are living and teaching in Shanghai China, so the bike project is kind of in limbo. Keith may be inspired to go ahead with the rebuild, and have a weekend rider, or the bits may sit in his garage until something else happens.

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