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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all;
I own a 2006 Suzuki V-Strom 650. I love the bike, but have recently found a fully restored 1975 BMW R 90/6. The guy who restored the bike is well known around here. I'm planning a 3-5 week tour this summer and I am curious:

Should I go vintage or adventure?

Thanks, and I look forward to all of your opinions!

Best, Philo
 

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That R90/6 is an awesome touring bike. If you like to go off road, that is not its strong suit but otherwise the V-Strom would get to stay home.
 

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Pale Rider
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We toured circling Lake Superior, in 2009, two up, on a 1979 Honda CB750K. The bike was 30 years old. It ran flawlessly. The only issue we had, was the throttle grip came off in Thunder Bay, Ontario. We glued it back on, and continued our trip. We ran through four days of rain, in the mid-50's for temperature, through Canada. We ran rough (wet, suffering mild hypothermia), but the bike worked perfectly.

That was our first serious tour trip. It was also one of those life-memories, which will warm our hearts until the day we die. We currently ride a 1993 Kawasaki Voyager, a full touring bike: more storage capacity, electronic cruise control, more room, more comfort, much better in every way -- but if given a 'do-over' chance, I'd still take that trip on the Honda, with all of its shortcomings.

If it were me, I would take the vintage BMW. It is a chance to taste a bygone era, and a chance to enjoy a slice of motorcycling history. That's just me, though. Whatever you decide, enjoy your choice. Cheers!
:coffee:
 

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American Legion Rider
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You would have to judge the mechanical abilities of the restorer, but the /6 can handle touring probably better than you. But like was said, touring only. Some fire roads might be okay but no real adventure type exploring.
 

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The "vintage" BMW's are bullet-proof and were actually made for touring with their high final gears, low rpm's, comfortable ergonomics and excellent fuel mileage. The brakes and lighting will seem sub-par as most of us are now used to triple disk brakes with ABS and super bright headlights.

Be ready to become the center of conversation, when you park the Beemer!

I've had 5 BMW's so far and love them. It's only a real shame that the newer ones aren't as reliable as the older ones.

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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Wow. No disrespect, but is that really a question? The old BMW's were rock solid touring bikes. If the builder did it right, there will be no problem riding it.

Think about the advantages. If, for some reason, something happens it will be an easy fix compared to the newer bikes. You'll be riding a piece of history that will definitely garner the respect of other bikers that know what you are riding. It won't take long, perhaps a couple of hours, and you will start to become 'one' with the bike. The mechanical noises, feel of the road, the way it handles, is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

I may be prejudiced, but I have ridden newer bikes (my sons) and old bikes. There is a BIG difference.

I personally will stick with and never sell my 1966 FLH. It just 'feels' like a bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank You!

Hi all;

Thank you all for your replies. They mirror my gut feeling. I'm just a little gun shy doing such a long trip on a 40 year old bike. I have some wrench skills (I have restored a few 1930 Farmalls), but the BMW is a little intimidating for some reason. I'm not planning any major off-roading; fire roads at most.
A little info on the bike:

Pete at Bavarian Motors West is a bit of a BMW icon where I live. He was a tech at the local BMW shop for 14 years and now runs his own shop that only restores vintage bikes.
According to Pete, the bike has had a crankcase up restoration including new back shocks and an electronic ignition has replaced the points.

It's a bit overpriced, but I'm almost certain all the work has been done right.

It's good to get 3rd party opinions, even when they support what you already kinda know:)

One more question, if you don't mind:

1) I'm going out west, do these old Beemers have a tendency to overheat?

Thanks again!
 

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Charlie Tango Xray
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I'd go vintage. Some of my riding buddies and I are planning a vintage ride/ micro brewery tour in upper Michigan later this summer. (Yes we'll save the drinking until we're finished riding for the day). Its probably only going to be 800 miles or so, but all of our bikes will be over 30 years old, and 250ccs or less.:biggrin:
We're working on the route now. Obviously it needs to be all back roads. Preferably with some motorcycle shops along the route..... Just in case.;)
 

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I'm biased toward Vintage. I would ride mine cross country in a heartbeat if I could get away that long. Mine is 37 years old but will run with the best of them.
 

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No Philo, the R series BMW's really don't overheat since the jugs (Can I say that:p) are out in the air stream.

I don't know about "fire roads" unless you keep the speed down as the bikes are front heavy and 'plow' some especially with the narrow stock street tires. Now my past R1100 GS was great, to an extent on dirt and gravel roads.

If you plan on doing a lot of dirt roads and hilly fire roads, I'd take the Baby V-strom.

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I think the fire roads etc... will be kept to a minimum on the tour. I might go "off road" in Nevada because I like to camp in the desert.

Hey! I've got an idea: buy the beemer and keep the V-Strom!

Oh I forgot: I'm currently happily married! :biggrin:
 

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Philo, just a word of caution about camping in the western deserts: Sidewinder's, Diamond back rattlesnakes and tarantula's that coincidently love to come out as soon as the sun starts to set.

If you do camp in those areas like I have, many times in the past, make sure you NEVER sleep on the ground out in the open. Use a tent that has zippered doorways that are absolutely sealed.

In 1966 through 1970, I was stationed at Edwards AFB, in the Mojave and just a short U2 flight to Nevada, and I hunted rattlesnake's as a hobby. In the evening, they were everywhere and the little sidewinder's were very hard to see.

When I was at Area 51, in Nevada, at the "observation area," at the north 'Gate,' I never saw as many tarantulas crawling around after dark.

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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Philo, just a word of caution about camping in the western deserts: Sidewinder's, Diamond back rattlesnakes and tarantula's that coincidently love to come out as soon as the sun starts to set.

If you do camp in those areas like I have, many times in the past, make sure you NEVER sleep on the ground out in the open. Use a tent that has zippered doorways that are absolutely sealed.

In 1966 through 1970, I was stationed at Edwards AFB, in the Mojave and just a short U2 flight to Nevada, and I hunted rattlesnake's as a hobby. In the evening, they were everywhere and the little sidewinder's were very hard to see.

When I was at Area 51, in Nevada, at the "observation area," at the north 'Gate,' I never saw as many tarantulas crawling around after dark.

Sam:coffeescreen:
You're bringing back memories, Porky. Hell, I even STEPPED on a Sidewinder once when I was dirt riding in High Vista. Thank God for Moto Cross boots!

Always keep your wits about you in the Desert. I never camped in the Desert without a tent.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the advice! I'll certainly be on the lookout. I've camped quite a bit in western Texas and the snakes can be an issue there too.
Philo
 
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