October 2007 6
I feel the need to post this picture I took a couple days ago. The R60/5 looks great in every setting, but this pic in particular I like.
Well well well, a couple big cans of elbow grease and look what I’ve got. A nice shiny vintage 2 smoker. And it’s a 6 speed!
There is still plenty of work to be done, but what a transformation.
I’ve always wanted an old 70’s 2 stroke motorcycle. Well, I finally found one. I may have found the most rusted up, junked one around, but t he point is .. . . .I found one. I immediately pulled off the luggage rack, sissy bar, engine guards, and assessed the situation.
I bought this gem because I had always wanted an old Beemer. These are phenomenal bikes. The slash 5 series were the first “modern” bikes from BMW. They had telescoping forks, reasonable handling, decent brakes (no discs yet), and motors that will outlive any owner. I bought this bike with about 91,500 miles on it and have put on thousands since.
All the early R bikes (R50, R60, R75) were great touring platforms. They required less maintenance and were generally easier to work on then their Japanese counterpart. Early models came with the large 6 gallon tank, and the option to add on a bevy of additional touring accessories. My R60 is fitted with Krauser engine gaurds, as well as a Krauser luggage rack and saddlebags (saddlebags are not mounted for this pic). I absolutely love this bike. Runs and rides nice and smooth and I have absolutely no hesitation about taking it anywhere because I know it will never leave me stranded.
I bought this bike on a whim because the price was right. It hadn’t been on the road for a couple years, but it at least started and ran and appeared to be reasonably safe. I gave it a 10 mile test run once I got it down off the trailer. It seemed to go ok, not great, but ok. So that night I flushed the oil. I then threw my saddlebags over the back of the seat, strapped on a suitcase and tent and left for and left for a roadtrip to Kentucky. I’m sure you are thinking that it’s a terrible idea to ride an old bike like this 1,000 miles without so much as checking bearings, but that’s just the kind of rider I am. . . reckless. Heh.
It got pretty bad gas mileage, and only had a 3 gallon tank, but I managed to make it all the way to Kentucky. 1,000 miles in only 19 hours on the road. I wouldn’t say the bike performed beautifully, but it did perform.
On the way back I ran into a couple minor mechanical troubles, as well as a hell storm of dense fog, torrential rains, and lighting. But I’ll get to that all next time.
These old Honda CM’s are a decent little bike. They have that unusual half cruiser half standard design that was oh-so popular back in the early 80’s. All the Japanese companies were slowly shifting their design focus to try and be more in line with American demand. This of course means laid back cruisers, bleh. These Honda CM bikes, Yamaha’s XJ Maxims, Suzuki GS L models, and Kawasaki CSR bikes all have very similar styling. They are also all middle of the road bikes that offered no particular appeal to anyone and aren’t too stylish or well built.
That being said. This bike does ride pretty smooth, and isn’t a terrible machine for what it is. It is now residing with a middle age woman who bought it from me as her first bike. And I must say, there aren’t many first bikes that are better than this. Low seat, reasonable handling, and smooth motor make this bike a comfy and easy ride to learn on. If only the sport bike babies with track dreams were into learning safely.
It is unfortunate that this bike has no stand out characterisics. At least the CM400A had an automatic transmission to define itself.