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Thread: A Road Not Taken - 3-Valve Airhead

  1. #16
    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    Lkchris, you are truly a ray of sunshine!

    What motivates a person to make such curmudgeonly remarks, advanced constipation?
    '04 Silver R1150RT "Big Oel"
    '08 Suzuki DL650 "Screaming Yellow Zonker"
    "I just want somewhere to ride and food when I get there."

  2. #17
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff488 View Post
    Lkchris, you are truly a ray of sunshine!

    What motivates a person to make such curmudgeonly remarks, advanced constipation?
    When folks unjustly criticize BMW I'm on it.

    When BMW earns it I'm on it.

    The first year Ks earned it big time and the first part of the 1980s were not BMW's finest hour.

    Sorry to harsh your mellow.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #18
    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    My mellow remains untrammeled, thanks.

    Good to know someone's on top of this stuff.
    '04 Silver R1150RT "Big Oel"
    '08 Suzuki DL650 "Screaming Yellow Zonker"
    "I just want somewhere to ride and food when I get there."

  4. #19
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    I have never been one to criticize BMW motorcycle design, primarily due to consideration that a retired BMW engineer may notice my comments; track me down; and show up unexpectedly to confront me about the meaning of my statements. I don't need that aggravation.
    Stan

    AH# 13238

  5. #20
    Registered User lmo1131's Avatar
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    I have never been one to criticize BMW motorcycle design, primarily due to consideration that a retired BMW engineer may notice my comments; track me down; and show up unexpectedly to confront me about the meaning of my statements.
    Do the still do that... . . ?!?!
    "It is what you discover, after you know it all, that counts." _ John Wooden

    Lew Morris
    1973 R75/5 - original owner

  6. #21
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    I test-rode a K-100RS back in the day. I also found it too buzzy for my taste and continued on riding a series of R-models. Last year I came on a low-miles K100RS at a price I thought too good to pass up. I jumped on it. I've since become very pleased with the bike. There must be a good deal of variation in the vibration level from K-bike to K-bike, as I know I've not become tougher in the years since that test-ride. Today I don't have any problem with my hands going numb when I ride my K100RS. As for heat management, no one can say that is not an issue, but even in the hot, arid environment in which I often ride I can manage it just fine by keeping my knees somewhat splayed out in the airstream. Those old K-bike are way undervalued in the US market and can be great economical sport-touring companions.

  7. #22
    Smoooooth at 430 gch71's Avatar
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    [QUOTE,And yes, anything's more reliable than an Airhead.[/QUOTE]

    play nice, that's uncalled for. Then why do you still see airheads on the road?
    So don't sling the crap.... Especially stating " ANYTHING"...really then why is my airhead still on the road and a 1974 R60/6 at that. Let's see.....where to start....it was driven from Antwerp Belgium to the shipping docks from there on a boat to New York then drove to Minnesota, then across to Colorado up to Pikes Peak then down through the south to Miami Florida where it was put back on a ship to Spain then driven back to its home in Belgium, O and by the way that was in 1977, did it again in 1979, all without problems, that was my brother and father! Now I've had it since early 89 and proceeded to drive the crap out of it and still no major issues, only pushrod tube seals replaced and the usual consumables So if I may ask you before you throw out a statement like that I would think twice, come on really "ANYTHING".
    Glenn
    ...driving to work on my airhead
    '74 R60/6, '75 R60/6(boxes)

  8. #23
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    Methinks Sarcasm was afoot with the negative Airhead Reliability comment.

  9. #24
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Or it might stem from the meaning of the word "reliable." The original user might have meant:

    a) It'll run forever with little maintenance and few repairs (e.g., K-bikes); or

    b) It'll run forever with regular maintenance and some repairs other bikes might not need (e.g., Airheads); or

    c) It won't dependably start when you want it to (e.g., anything abused or neglected).

    Or even something else. Even though we're speaking the same language, we often put slightly different meanings to our words.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  10. #25
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    Reliability vs. Durabilty

    I think airheads tend more towards durability than reliability conpared to modern machines. Compared to their contemporaries they score on both reliability and durability. These are the reasons why they were always able to gain premium prices in the day. Like many old cars, the knowledge and experience in the aftermarket coupled with improved engineering and materials means that many of the weakness in older designs like the airhead have been sorted. Keep up with the more frequent servicing demands required of the older designs and incorporate the improvements known to improve the design and you have both relable and durable.
    Mark

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

  11. #26
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R100RT_Mark View Post
    I think airheads tend more towards durability than reliability conpared to modern machines. Compared to their contemporaries they score on both reliability and durability. These are the reasons why they were always able to gain premium prices in the day. Like many old cars, the knowledge and experience in the aftermarket coupled with improved engineering and materials means that many of the weakness in older designs like the airhead have been sorted. Keep up with the more frequent servicing demands required of the older designs and incorporate the improvements known to improve the design and you have both relable and durable.
    Well stated!
    Jim
    '78 R80/7 and '84 R100RS (Blues Brothers), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '02 325ci (Blue Streak)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas & freshly greased bearings!)

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