Since Kaw has been around a whole year I'm afraid my thoughts have strayed once again to other possible bikes. I can't help myself, it just happens. I've tried to stop, stayed away from Craig's List motorcycle ads for weeks at a time. I thought I was clean, kicked the habit. No more bikes.
One day a little Bavarian gnome sat on one shoulder saying "Re-live the old days, buy an old airhead BMW" and on the other shoulder a little banker angel (there's an oxymoron) said "Be sensible. You're broke!" But if I sold the Kaw I could get something else and the Kaw, since it was bought right, is still worth what I paid for it. If I could find one more old BMW like I had in the good ol' days, one proper opposed-twin air cooled Beemer, well, that would be a fine thing, especially if it was black with white pinstriping as all proper BMWs are. Visions of when I was a 25 years old on my '74 R90S danced in my head. I dare not dream of another R90S, way out of my price league now, but a nice clean pre-1994 R-bike doesn't seem too much to hope for.
|California Highway 49. 1974|
Eventually I spotted a possible candidate, an early '80s BMW R100RT, the pearl white 60th Anniversary Edition with just 57,000 miles on it. One of 600 made for the USA market. >sweat, sweat<
Should I? Could I? No, I mustn't. But I must. I'll go look at it when I drive up to the big city about other business, it will probably be gone by then anyway. And they were asking too much for it. And it's probably a beater bike.
Well, just by coincidence I needed to go to the valley the very next day. Imagine that. So I made an appointment to see the bike.
I told the wife "It's probably a beater anyway."
"Why go look then?" she asked.
"Well, because it could be cream puff or at least a diamond in the rough" I said trying not to sound too hopeful.
Turned out that the present owner wasn't the one who'd rolled up the 57k on the bike, that was the previous owner of a year or so back. The bike had been sitting for nearly a year now. So I looked through the records and something was odd, the bike had a service and minor repairs totaling almost $3000 when it had just 54k miles on it. No old Beemer at 54k should need that much routine service work and bits & pieces replaced unless it's been ridden very hard. Hmm.
Back at the house the owner seemed to know nothing of the plaque or what it meant. I explained that in all likelihood the bike had 157,000 miles on it, not 57,000. That would also explain why it needed so much maintenance at 54,000 miles.
I thanked the person for their time and we left. I was both discouraged and oddly relieved. After we got in the car the Mrs. said simply "How did you know it was a beater before we even pulled to a stop in front of the house?" "I dunno" I replied. I had to think about that one for a minute. What detail could you really see from a moving vehicle a 100+ feet from a bike? "I guess you can just tell. Something about the aluminum engine parts, the paint doesn't look quite right, the black parts aren't black enough. It just doesn't look well cared for even from a distance. I guess I've looked at enough beater bikes over the years to know one now even at a distance."
I'll keep looking for the cream puff or at least looking for a diamond in the rough. Back to Craig's List.