Reviving a Classic BMW Motorcycle – Part 1

I appreciate new things… nice and shiny. I like new cars, boats and motorcycles with the latest and greatest in design, styling, technology and comfort. No dings, scratches or mechanical problems. Turn key and ready to go.

But I really like old things…classic vehicles from yesteryear with gorgeous lines, unique styling and class that can’t be duplicated. New vehicles are readily accessible and often, after a year or two, it seems like you see the same car or motorcycle everywhere.

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The classics are not easily found. Many have made their way to the scrap yard never to be seen again. But when you do spot an old vehicle that was common decades earlier, it is now rare and unique, adding a level of coolness…even if it isn’t in perfect condition.

1980’s BMW R100 Airhead

It has become increasingly difficult to find classic vehicles. Over the years, I have periodically found a few motorcycles that were worth bringing back to life. One was an early 1980’s BMW R100 Airhead. This style motorcycle has a vintage look and super cool cylinder heads that stick out on both sides of the bike. When I found it, it was setup as a touring motorcycle.

I appreciate leaving things original, as they were when they left the factory. But sometimes they are beyond repair. This particular motorcycle had cracked and damaged fairings and bodywork, along with missing pieces. So I decided to do a modified build of the bike.

BMW R100 Before

BMW R100 After

Moto Guzzi

A few years later, I found a similar bike- an old Moto Guzzi. It’s an Italian designed and built machine. This bike had been sitting for decades and was in worse condition than the BMW, missing parts and not running. Again, I decided on a modified build.

Moto Guzzi V65C Before

Moto Guzzi V65C After

1971 BMW R60

It has been a while since I restored the Moto Guzzi and I sold it to another enthusiast. Recently, I stumbled upon a new project. A friend of mine who has several motorcycles, and looking to buy another, needed to make some room. He was looking to part with a 1971 BMW R60 that his father bought brand new. The bike had been sitting for 30 years since his father last rode it, unfortunately before passing.

1971 BMW R60 sees daylight after 30 years.

A true barn-find and in disrepair, I have decided to save it. The bike has all of the original parts but is in need of some tender loving care. I will leave it original and bring this classic back to life.

Through this series of articles, I will document the repairs and revival in pictures and video…

Let me know your thoughts, suggestions, or share your own motorcycle restorations. I hope you enjoy!

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