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Topic-icon Original wheels on 1976 R90S

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2 months 1 week ago #4415 by charlie
Original wheels on 1976 R90S was created by charlie
I'm looking at purchasing a 1976 R90S. The seller tells me that it is all original, including the wheels which are not wire spokes. Were the wheels shown in the photo an available option for R90S in 1976? I'm very far away, so I can't inspect the bike myself but I probably wouldn't be able to say anyway.

On a related note, the asking price is $12,000 which seems like a lot even if the bike is all original with matching numbers and in very good condition. It's not a show bike, appears to be in very good condition by the photos, but I haven't seen or heard it run. It has 30K miles showing, can't say if the odometer works. I'll have to get somebody local to do a pre-purchase check out for me.
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2 months 1 week ago #4418 by Wobbly
Replied by Wobbly on topic Original wheels on 1976 R90S
Those are NOT original wheels, but rather period correct Lester brand wheels. The OEM wheel was aluminum rims laced with wire spokes.

The Lesters, while not original, were a costly upgrade which was usually installed because they 1) never needed truing, and 2) allowed the use of tubeless tires. Since most tires come as tubeless anyway, and since tires without tubes generally get higher mileage and allow flat repair while the wheel is still on the bike, Lesters are generally considered a "good thing" by those who actually ride.

Not original enough for a concours show, but still eligible for "2 thumbs up".

Hope this helps.

Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
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2 months 1 week ago #4419 by charlie
Replied by charlie on topic Original wheels on 1976 R90S
That information is very much appreciated.

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2 months 1 week ago - 2 months 1 week ago #4421 by 8053
Replied by 8053 on topic Original wheels on 1976 R90S
The seat looks like a Corbin to my eyes. I've owned at least one. I didn't like it much. It's not original.

The Lester wheels are a plus, not that there is anything wrong with spokes.

I was involved in a restoration project on an all original R90S that was raffled by the BMWMOA Foundation about 10 years ago. Everything on that bike was restored except the original paint which was very nice, but not perfect. The bike had 155,000 miles when we started the project and had been in a flood. There was a "high water mark" on the inside of the front motor cover.

The winner of the raffle owned it for 3 or 4 years and then put it up for sale on IBMWR. His asking price at that time was $7800.

James Strickland, IL. Airmarshal
Last edit: 2 months 1 week ago by 8053.
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2 months 1 week ago #4422 by charlie
Replied by charlie on topic Original wheels on 1976 R90S
I thought the seat didn't look original, with the white piping. All I have is the photos and what the seller says. It is hard, at least for me, to determine fair value of a vintage motorcycle. All I see are asking priced for maybe 8 or 10 R90S that are listed online around the country.

FWIW I found a Hagerty valuation report for 1975 R90S with the following (in USD):
Concours $15,000
Excellent $12,000
Good $9,000
Fair $6,000

I'm thinking this bike may be someplace on the high side of good. But impossible to say without having somebody check it out in person. Condition is everything. There are a few nicks in the paint, but it may well be original and is generally good color and even shiny. Not a barn find by any stretch. I am considering paying for a pre-purchase inspection at a BMW dealership, if the seller is willing to take it in.

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2 months 1 week ago - 2 months 1 week ago #4423 by Wobbly
Replied by Wobbly on topic Original wheels on 1976 R90S

charlie wrote: I am considering paying for a pre-purchase inspection at a BMW dealership, if the seller is willing to take it in.


The problem is that you'll be hard pressed to find a BMW dealership that knows what they're looking at. Most of the mechanics weren't even born when the last Airhead was made. And you can forget about finding someone who worked on them, back in the day.

If you are that concerned, I have a pal that has an all-original, 2-owner, orange R90S for less than $10K. He rides it to the Gathering of the Clans in NC each June. You could see it/ride it there, and have ~15 Air Marshals go over it with you for free. And it has the correct wheels. :)

Don't hide 'em, Ride 'em !!
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