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Thread: Which Airhead?

  1. #1
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    Which Airhead?

    I've owned an oilhead for the last 8 years but nostagia and my son's new interest in riding has Me pondering an Airhead. Any suggestions/+ or- would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    As new an R100RT or R100RS or R100GS as you can find.

    Not for sure anything older than 1981, as time has moved on and these bikes are firmly in the "quaint" and "difficult" category these days. No longer representative of the 21st century BMW and mostly becoming embarassments.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    and mostly becoming embarassments.
    In your humble opinion! No real reason to step on those that have come before us. In my humble opinion!
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #4
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    Certainly nothing embarrassing about a pre-81 air head. I assume the concern is with conventional points ignition, which does require more attention than electronic set up. But that's part of the fun and nostalgia of an older bike. I have owned a 1977 r100rs since 1982. The riding position takes some getting used to and probably won't be right for long-distant, marathon cruising (though some would disagree). I love the r90s also. Really depends and how nostalgic you want to be and what type of riding you are planning. The rt series will put you more upright with a bigger fairing. In any event, any well cared for air head will give years and tens of thousands of miles of reliable service/fun. So pick a bike you like and go for it!

  5. #5
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    There is no right answer to this, and they're are many opinions...as we've seen and will see. I'll list some information that I've saved from knowledge Airhead people as to their choices for best and worst years. These would be their opinions...I won't go into rationale...in some cases I don't have their rationale.

    From Tom Cutter - likes these models and he would choose these in order of preference:

    1) 1976 R75/6
    2) 1979 R100S or R100T
    3) 1977 R100RS
    4) 1994 R100M Mystic

    From Oak:

    Oak says best years were 1976, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, and 1990 onward.

    He says to avoid 1970, 1974, 1981. Models 1984 thru 1994 have the circlip problem in the transmission – it’s missing.

    From Snowbum: here's the link to descriptions of various models. Embedded in this will be his thoughts for pros/cons:

    http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/models.htm
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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    Greatly appreciate the feedback. I seem to come accross R65's being put up for sale with some frequency, Any particular opions about this model?

  7. #7
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I suggest a 85 or newer R80 because the valve issue, brakes, and other problems had been addressed. There are some concern with a circlip missing on the transmisson but my 86 has been a fine reliable machine for the last 13+years. The R80 is said to the the smoothest airhead.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  8. #8
    Registered User miairhead's Avatar
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    Need to decide

    Naked, RS, or RT. Side cases,
    Are you going to ride 2 up?

    Lots of opinions, but you have to decide what your looking for: Only you can decide what you like and want.
    Tom
    '84 R100RT '04 CLC(gone) Honda NT700V
    BMW
    Beer Motorcycles Women

  9. #9
    Registered User donbmw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robsandy4123 View Post
    Greatly appreciate the feedback. I seem to come accross R65's being put up for sale with some frequency, Any particular opions about this model?
    The R65 is a good bike I have 2 R65,s. The 1982 R65 was bought new and has close to 100,000 miles. Also have a 1975 R90. Both are good bikes and I would go all the country again on either one.

    Don
    1975 R90/6, 1980 and 1982 R65, !959 TR3A Triumph Car

  10. #10
    Registered User robertklee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    As new an R100RT or R100RS or R100GS as you can find.

    Not for sure anything older than 1981, as time has moved on and these bikes are firmly in the "quaint" and "difficult" category these days. No longer representative of the 21st century BMW and mostly becoming embarassments.
    You've got to be joking. I just got off my '73 60/5 that I've owned for 25 years. What's embarrassing about it? It's one of the finest motorcycles ever produced. To be frank, I could buy a new motorcycle but I just dont like all that crap; you know- fuel injection, electronic ignition, electronic gas gauge, tubeless tires...the list goes on and on. Personally I prefer points and kick starters. Never have any trouble with it and it keeps on ticking. I mean, really...and by the way-I'm quaint and difficult and I do okay.

    RKL
    "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

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    Preference here for post '81 bikes - Suggest avoid monolever R65s

    All post ÔÇÿ81 bikes have a much less vintage feel than the /7s and their predecessors having lightened flywheels, Nikasil cylinders, 87 octane unleaded friendly (in theory from ÔÇÿ80 or so, but in practice from the ÔÇÿ85 model year on), Brembo brakes and electronic ignitions. Monolevers came in across the range in ÔÇÿ85 (on R80ST and R80G/S a few years earlier) and offer better handing than the earlier twin shock bikes. The ÔÇÖ87 on R100GS models and ÔÇÖ91 on R100R Paralevers are another handling and braking step forward, particularly the latter with four-pot front calipers, single disc for ÔÇÿ91/2, twin disk ÔÇÖ93 on. If the trip/weather suits, I ride my ÔÇÖ93 R100R in preference to my ÔÇÖ94 R100RT ÔÇô the handling/stopping advantages of the former make for a much more enjoyable trip.

    The twin-shock R65s are fun. I had an ÔÇÖ85 - one of the last. More compact than the 800 and 1,000 of the same era, and a little tauter ride. Perfect around town, but marginal on a loaded up long run ÔÇô one reason why it is common to see one even now with less than 25,000 miles on the clock. Some parts availability quirks. Typically cheaper to buy than the larger bikes.

    Unless it was a really good bike at a really good price, I would avoid the mono-lever R65 that were introduced at the end of ÔÇÖ85. This era used the same monolever frame/cycle parts as the bigger bikes, so you give up the nimbleness of the small twin-shock for a larger heavier bike that may have slightly better handing. Few of these R65s were sold in the day as the R80s made much more sense to most buyers.
    Mark

    Current - '74 TR5T : '93 R100R : '06 ST3s ~ Past - Variety of British, French, Italian, Czechoslovakian, and German bikes from the '70s, '80s and '90s

  12. #12
    Registered User 163750's Avatar
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    Your are right Kent, my representitve K1200LT is laying out under the carport in pieces again while I try to find "yet" one more gremlin in the electrical department. It has ran all of 134 miles this year due to "questionable engineering issues".................. 21st century my wallet.
    Oh, thats right. My R60 is in pieces as well. Wait a minute, I'm sorry, it was running perfectly, as it has for the last forty years. I just decided to finally refurbish it simply because it deserves it. The LT is gone as soon as it is fit to sell. I'm looking for another airhead after the Lt is gone because it really does appear as though BMW has forgotten to leave the dance with the one who brought them.
    AirMonger

  13. #13
    Registered User rapz's Avatar
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    1979 R100RT and miles to go before I sleep.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Website: www.airheadmoto.com
    IBA No. 58411
    Current Bike 1979 BMW 100RT; 2013 BMW R1200RT 90th Anniversary Edition; 2008 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic 105th Anniversary Edition

  14. #14
    Registered User argent brick's Avatar
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    I used to have a R60/6 and loved it. For a twin it was super smooth and you will never find any bike as simple to work on. Underpowered for two up rides though.

    Now I own a K bike, but nothing is quite like a slash 6 or 7 boxer.

    If I was buying another Boxer it would be a R80 for my first choice.
    Lynn
    MOA #57883
    Current Ride: 1995 K75 Standard
    Past: 1978 Yamaha XS 750, 1976 BMW R60/6

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    No longer representative of the 21st century BMW and mostly becoming embarassments.
    I've had my R75/6 for 32 years, and never been embarassed. Nor has it ever made me walk.
    Howard Edwards

    2014 Road King; 1975 R75/6

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