In 1973, BMW attempted to shake off the firm’s boring image by launching the R90S. Using the well proven R75/5 as a basis, the engine was bored out from 749 to 898cc and an extra gear added, giving a five-speed box. Hans Muth introduced bold new styling with a unique air-brushed finish on each machine, and the BMW sports tourer was born.
Long- distance, high-speed riding in comfort became a reality. The R90S was ultra-reliable, economical and handled well; 17,465 were built between 1973 and 1976, and today they have lost none of their appeal, commanding prices in excess of £8000.
Our featured machine is probably as far from a standard R90S as it’s possible to get. Using the reliable powerplant, it takes things to a whole new level. Although subtle and understated, it simply demands a second glance. The longer you look at it, the more you observe, and start to appreciate the amount of thought and effort which has been lavished on it in creating such a unique machine.
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It was built initially by the Dutch BMW race bike specialists Becks Motoren Wijhe, and they remember this particular BMW as being a really quick bike. It was bought by a Dutch collector and subsequently raced in Europe and at Le Mans, finishing in the top 10 in its class. It was eventually acquired as part of a job lot by a dealer in the south of England where it stood for a while until spotted by Duncan, its current owner.Enjoy more Classic Bike Guide reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.