How it all began
I have always been intrigued by unique look of R series (airheads). Also having to always been riding Japanese bikes I decided that I can’t call myself an experienced rider if I don’t at least try BMW motorcycles.
I wanted the original air head but not to spend the entire year in the garage getting it up to operational level.
This is what I have found. Randomly bumped into it as the person selling it mislabeled it as BMW Mystik instead of R100 that I used as my search query.
Asking price was $6,000 AUD and it only had around 30,000km on the odometer.
Original photos of GumTree ad below.
All I can say is that pictures lie. The bike looked in excellent condition – that was not the case when I arrived to see it.
What is not clearly shown (note for future owners)
- Tires – plenty of thread however, 10+ years old. Read up here on how to determine age of the tire.
- Valve covers have been patched up with epoxy and painted – owner has dropped the bike before.
- Bikini cowl hides damage to the headlight and gauges.
- Panniers – material is so damaged by the sun that it actually breaks when touched. Hinges been replaced (DIY crude job). Locking mechanism is quite loose.
- Choke not operational – starting requires rev’ing the engine manually to keep it going.
- All engine parts heavily oxidized – bike probably wasn’t clean regularly/or kept outside.
- Looks like a lot of maintenance work was done on the cheap – repaired instead of replaced and often with whatever did the job (cable ties, blue-tack etc.)
- There was maintenance done – however, it was only engine oil. Carbs never been cleaned, no others fluids were replaced as far as I could tell.
Here are pictures that they should have used on GumTree.
Nevertheless, despite all those issues I have decided to purchase the bike due to mileage appearing accurate. I have looked at the following when trying to work out whether the mileage is accurate.
- original BMW pegs, hand grips, seat etc (things that normally would get really worn out with mileage) compared to poor repair/maintenance of other parts gave me a good indication that the mileage is accurate.
If I was to do it again – this is what I would do differently
- Make sure that the bike is cold when I arrived (although it wasn’t hot) to make sure that there aren’t any issues starting cold.
- Had tools to check spark plugs & battery voltage.
- Brought someone with me who have had an airhead before to compare how it runs to their one. I never had airhead before therefore it was difficult to know what is normal and what isn’t.
- Should have subscribed to airheads.org (although content is mostly targeted at US) or Airheads Down Under (facebook group) to get some members help. They are truly a fantastic community that are always happy to lend hand at resolving any issues/questions.
- I should have taken it for a longer test ride – ensure that all gears work smoothly, bike doesn’t smoke when warm, no intermittent issues with bike cutting out or stopping (would indicate any electrical issues).
- Once I bought it I should have dropped the bike off to a garage that has experience in R100 to get all fluids replaced and everything checked – my experience even though I have rebuilt one bike and maintained couple others was clearly not enough.
Overall, very happy with my purchase and looking forward to riding it as much as I can.