From its bikini cowl, through its two-tone paintwork to its powerful boxer motor, the R90S was designed to turn BMW’s fortunes around. Despite success on the race track, in the early 1970s the firm was best known for humdrum, workaday bikes. The R90S changed that. Relatively low weight and great styling made it an instant hit and set the groundwork for BMW’s current success.
This 1974 R90S is a real timewarp piece. With a documented nut and bolt restoration in the early 1990s, it’s covered just 500 miles since. It is entirely standard apart from the custom paint job – the design is correct, the colour isn’t – and those pretty Lester alloy wheels. This is a chance to own a historied classic bike that doesn’t just look good but has the dynamic depth to back those visuals up.
The History And Paperwork
Four owners from new
Restored in 1991 including mechanicals and bodywork
Tax and MOT exempt
Standard bike except paint colour
The bike has matching frame and engine numbers
UK registered machine
Older restoration with limited miles since
Design-correct paintwork in custom shade
Rebuilt frame and suspension
Optional hand and leg guards fitted
Two keys supplied with bike
Two new tyres fitted
In the early 1990s this R90S was subject to a nut and bolt restoration of the frame, suspension, engine and gearbox and received a full respray. According to paperwork supplied with the bike the work seems to have been so extensive and so expensive that the then owner was ‘financially embarrassed’ into immediately selling it.
That paperwork helpfully confirms the mileage at the time – around 89,000 miles. In the 30 years since the bike has covered less than 500 miles in the hands of enthusiasts and collectors of this pivotal BMW bike. It still sports the Waxoyl applied during that restoration work.
BMW originally offered the R90S in just two colours, black or orange, so the blue colour scheme on this bike is not period correct. However, it does faithfully follow the two-tone scheme of those original bikes. As an older restoration there are a few signs of wear and tear in the photographs including some paintwork scratches that have been carefully touched in. The trim, dials and chrome are all complete and in very good condition. Even the clock still works.
This example has some nice period accessories fitted, including those attractive Lester alloy wheels – shod with new tyres - hand guards and also leg guards.
Rebuilt engine and gearbox
500 miles since rebuild
900cc BMW boxer two cylinder engine
Five speed gearbox
The R90S offered buyers a very advanced specification when new and this was key to its appeal. As well as that proven Type 247 900cc boxer engine the bike has disc brakes, shaft drive, electric start and a five speed gearbox. The high specification makes this a very engaging bike, with convenience features like that electric starter that belie its nearly 50 year age.
The bike’s early 90s rebuild was comprehensive and included the engine and gearbox. That was 30 years ago, but the bike has covered just 500 miles since and has been carefully dry stored by its enthusiast owners in the intervening years. The Seller has used the bike very sparingly and says that it is ‘mechanically very good.’
There are classic bikes and then there are time warp examples like this one. Restored over 30 years ago and barely used since, it looks like a real period piece. The R90S was pivotal for BMW, transporting it from dowdy workaday bikes to models that better reflected its track success. Those R90S specifications, stylings and distinctive paint job suggest that this is a bike that deserves to be used and enjoyed.
Notice to bidders
This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only. Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.
A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.
Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
1974 BMW R90S
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