February 2009 3
I am a big fan of the Honda XR600 series of motorcycles. You might remember the 1983 Honda XL600 I was working on just last summer. The XL600 was a fantastic bike, particularly with the XR600 motor transplanted into it, but it was more street oriented and was never intended to take constant off-road abuse. I’ve been keeping my eye open for a true late model XR600 for quite a while, and this one just popped up recently, so I jumped on it.
It is certainly well ridden and has been enjoyed by ‘who knows how many’ previous owners. However, it is a sturdy bike with no real issues besides needing the linkage bearings replaced and a new set of foot pegs.
The XR600 is, in my eyes, the perfect platform for a do-it-all dual purpose motorcycle. It’s a bit piggish on tight trails, and a bit of a wind catcher on the highway, but it will do both without complaining and will last years and years trouble free.
If you have a good eye you’ll see this bike has a recovered seat with gel-insert, an early style IMS 4 gallon tank, Scotts top billet triple clamp, and a lot of character.
Long live the Honda XR600R.
As if I didn’t have enough motorcycles crammed into a tiny storage unit – now I have another! I drove 8 hours each way to pick up this 1985 BMW K100. I am generally real impulsive when it comes to motorcycle purchases, and this is certainly one of those cases. I have no need for this bike at all, but I saw a good deal and had to have it!
The BMW K100 (and K75) motorcycles are probably THE most reliable and long lasting motorcycles ever built. These motors are known to commonly go over 250,000 miles without any rebuild. Knick-named the ‘flying brick’ these motors are big, heavy, robust, and silky smooth. No bike runs, rides, or shifts as smoothly as a K bike. Sometimes you forget it’s running.
This particular K100 has a Corbin seat and a few other farkles – but unfortunately the fairing has suffered some damage and doesn’t look great. I has traveled 117,000 miles to date.
When I brought it back it hadn’t run in a few months. I promptly jumped it from my car battery and it roared to life instantly. I drove it around a bit and it didn’t skip a beat. These bikes are troopers.
The downside of a K bike for me is that they are ‘too’ smooth. They don’t offer the same excitement factor that other bikes do. These K100’s accelerate smooth, brake smooth, turn smooth, and frankly it’s like sitting in a Cadillac. I’ve heard them called the ‘old-mans-bike’, and that is certainly true.
I spotted this beauty outside a deli in the San Fernando Valley recently and luckily I had my camera with me. What a gorgeous bike.
Is this a GS5 or 85? My Matchless knowledge is limited and I don’t have a keen enough eye to tell. Anybody?