Stop the press! BMW Airhead found.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Mexican Forklift story to bring you this important update:

I found a bike that looks good, and that I think I’ll buy if the in-person inspection is commensurate with the condition and price:

1977 R100/7 on

Things in the bike’s favor:

  • It’s in the area. Most other bikes I’ve seen are in Seattle, Texas, or Florida. It’s possible to ship, but that costs about $500.00.
  • It hasn’t been lovingly restored by a famous expert, which would add one bazillion dollars to the price, and make me cry when I (inevitably) tip the bike over in the driveway.
  • It doesn’t have a bloody great fairing that I’d have to take off before I’d be seen outside of the house on the bike. I’m sure that fairings are great on the highway and in the rain, but I’m young enough that the fashion/function equation still is waaaaay in favor of style. Removing a fairing means you have to mess with 1970s German electrics, and I read on the Airheads mailing list that this is not the most fun way to spend three consecutive Sundays.
  • It’s all stock, without “improvements” added by previous owners. BMW owners tend to be engineers with a high opinion of their own abilities. Old Airhead bikes have often been frankensteined: dual plugs, shaved valve covers, or a flux capacitor. Usually, these mods are a tradeoff, swapping an improvement here for a pain-in-the-ass problem there. I like the idea of making my own “previous owner” mistakes.
  • It’s black. And it has fork boots. Those black rubber boots on the front fork are (I’m embarassed to admit) enormously important to me. Without fork boots, it’s just an old bike. With fork boots, it’s a badass Tonka toy. I know, I know: you can put fork boots on any bike. But you’ll get raised eyebrows if you put fork boots on a model that didn’t have them originally.

Todd Byrum, the coordinator (“Airmarshal”) of the Airheads Beemer Club in Pennsylvania, has been really helpful, and even knows Kate’s dad. He gave me some assigned reading to take to the bike inspection on Friday:

“Used Motorcycle Pre-Purchase Checklist”, or

“How To Spend Two Hours Grunting and Shaking Your Head Over the Motorcycle,
Which May Reduce The Price.”

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