Great men and women are often imitated by the ambitious. Qualities one admire are handpicked from their virtues and then applied to ones own obstacles in life. In my case, I've adapted Mark Spitler's craftsmanship and finesse for building airheads. As a pupil, I've been the type to rush into situations and learn by trial and error, I hear Mark's words, but the immaturity in my character still proceeds, but I am starting to understand his words now.
When I first met my mentor, Mark Spitler, I saw in his garage for the first time, a silver-smoke BMW R90S. I really didn't know the history of the R90S and to be quite honest I was more in-tune with the aesthetics of the /5 back then. Mark started educating me about the R90S as our time progressed as mentor and pupil. Slowly his words about the R90S began to seep into my head, and slowly I began to appreciate this iconic machine, the one airhead that was able to save BMW Motorrad in the 1970s.
As stupid as it may sound, I steered myself away from working on /6's in the beginning of my airhead journey. I guess the arrogance in me as a pupil saw the R90S as my mentors specialty, and like a child I wanted to specialize in a particular model to call my own, so I choose the /5. After learning in great detail about the /5, I skipped the /6 and moved straight into restoring an early eighties R100, a /7. During the time period of resto-moding the 1976 R90S, I've always felt as if I skipped a chapter somewhere in my education. Now that the gap have been filed, the OCD in me is proud to see... /5, /6, /7...
While Mark was showing me his trick on aligning the ATE calipers, we started talking about his 1976 R90S which was one of the last R90S built in 1976 (98th from the end of the line). These last year R90S, starting half way into the year featured a few /7 signatures. The fins on the cylinders and heads are /7 style. The cylinder barrels are 97mm in diameter at the block end. And as Mark pointed out that his R90S featured the /7 serial id tag on the right hand side of the steering neck, I told him mine did too. We then came to the realization that both R90S's were produced in May 1976 and the two bikes were only 60 numbers apart. Making these two bikes practically sister bikes. The silver-smoke R90S have always been a California bike and was first sold from Irv Seaver BMW in Orange, California. As for my daytona R90S, the frame and matching engine block was purchased from North Carolina, unfortunatley not much more is known.
After looking at the pictures of the two R90S' side by side, I realized how special this day was. This was the first time we had two very similar and yet very different R90S side by side, rebuilt and restored by mentor and pupil.
The 1976 BMW R90S Silver Smoke is for sale. Hot-Rodded with era correct performance parts from Luftmiester. See below for more info.
1976 BMW R90S - 4991138 - Silver Smoke
This was the 98th bike from the end of all R90S production. This BMW is a true time capsule bought at the local dealer and had two owners. The second owner only rode the bike a few months and then dry garage stored the bike since 1996 on a non-operational status. I believe it to be the youngest R90S available. This bike has 25,250 total accumulated miles since new.
This bike comes with the original BMW issued tool roll, BMW issued pump, original barrel style ignition key and flat steel key, both of which fit all three locks, and riders manual. All are in very nice condition.
List of the Luftmeister performance parts this bike had professionally installed in approximately 1981 by the first owner. They were installed by Ron Schmit (an excellent BMW certified technician.
- Professionally lighten and dynamically balanced flywheel to reduce inertia. (Allows the motor to rev up faster and improves the shifts at speed).
- Dual spark plug conversion with expensive Japanese dual output coils and plug wiring
- Premium Boyer Branson electronic ignition system,
- Several San Jose fork and suspension improvements
- Three quart oil pan with a temperature port option
- Luftmeister light weight piston wrist pins, three piece oil control ring sets, unleaded valve seats.
- Manley stainless valves, dual (counter wound) performance valve springs retainers and guides.
- Luftmeister complete rocker arm axial needle bearing conversion kit, high velocity intake tube.
- K&N Air Cleaner kit in standard location.
- Real KONI adjustable damping rear shock absorbers.
- S&W custom progressive fork springs (the best ever offered in my humble opinion).
- The bike has a factory ordered optional 3.09:1 final drive gear unit installed. (standard is 3.0:1).
(This yields faster acceleration), and works really well with the modified motor. High gear roll on is amazing and fuel mileage is comparable with the standard geared bikes. The speedometer has been correctly re-geared to match this ratio. The speedometer is accurate to within 2 MPH.
- BMW optional smoke tinted windshield on cockpit fairing.
For Sale: $22,000.00