Race to Rebuild: The BMW R90/6 Part 3
Our project 1974 BMW R90/6 may be in pieces, but we’re quickly getting traction on our build.
You might look at this photo and see simply a bare frame. We look at the same photo and see the fruits of hours of work, some of it ours (somebody had to strip it down), and some of it Stuart Armstrong’s.
Photo By MC Staff
Enter to win the Race to Rebuild Giveaway.
Winter is finally settling in here in the Midwest, and not a moment too soon. Why are we so happy for cold weather and the snowfall it invariably brings? One look at the Motorcycle Classics/Dairyland Cycle Race to Rebuild 1974 BMW R90/6 tells the story; we need to get some work done!
And thankfully, we finally are. OK, so maybe it doesn’t look like much just yet. You might look at the photo above and see simply a bare frame. We look at the same photo and see the fruits of hours of work, some of it ours (somebody had to strip it down), and some of it Stuart Armstrong’s.
Stuart, the owner of Custom Coatings & Metal, is our go-to guy for media blasting and powder coating, and true to form he’s worked his magic on our BMW’s frame. The results speak for themselves, and like every job he’s done for us before, our frame came back looking better than new. So far, we’ve had Stuart strip and paint the main frame, the rear subframe and the swingarm — and there’s more heading his way as we ramp up our Race to Rebuild BMW project.
Where we’re going
We’ve been slow to reveal our plans for the BMW, alluding only to a leaning for a café-style road bike. That leaning has become a full-on bent as we’ve gone looking for inspiration, talking with readers and with the suppliers who are helping us pull this project together. Our BMW will have an unquestionable café style, but we’re keeping the focus on roadability and rideability. It’s an emphasis you’ve told us you like, and one our suppliers are helping make happen.
Take the Airtech fairing we’ve chosen. The leading manufacturer of fiberglass fairings for vintage — and modern — bikes (check the fairing on a vintage AHRMA racer the next time you’re at the track; chances are good it’s an Airtech), Airtech offers a mind-numbing selection of fairing options. Looking at their offerings, the hardest part is deciding exactly what you want. In our case, we’re opting for Airtech’s Ducati 900SS Café Half fairing. It may not be the standard unit you’d think of on a BMW, but we like it for its classic shape, sized to give a bit more protection from the elements and perfect for hunkering down for a fast blast down the highway — which is exactly where we see our BMW when it’s done.
We’ll match our Airtech unit with a Round Back Café Tail for long wheelbase /5-/7s from Boxer Café. This is a sweet unit, and we like how its nose slots into the rear of the frame’s top tube and how the back of the seat bolts to the rear hoop for a secure installation. We’ll also be getting one of Boxer Café’s fiberglass starter covers, a piece we think will really set off our R90’s engine. You can’t use this piece running a stock air filter, but our plans call for ditching the stock carburetion and air filters for a set of round slide Mikuni VMs from Rocky Point Cycle with filters from K&N Filters. Rocky Point Cycle has made a name for itself assembling conversion carb kits for BMWs, Nortons and more, offering kits with pre-jetted carbs to make final tuning a breeze.
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