Technical drawings and vintage video of the 1970s BMW R90S

Originally published at:


Meow. That is all.

My first, best car was a Subaru Outback, Boxer representin’! :facepunch:




I myself have an R90/6, 1975. Not an S model, but the only difference is a couple mile an hour lower top speed then the s and one less front disc brake because the S has two. Also, the S has a slightly higher compression cam ratio, and instead of my Bing 40mm CV carbs, has Del Orto pumper carbs that give an extra amount of gas to carbs at full open throttle.

Those are minor differences otherwise mine is the same bike.

If anyone else has a 70s airhead I highly recommend getting a full new suspension from Progressive Suspension. Worth every penny, ride went from bottoming out on original 40+ yr old springs to glass smooth and comfortable as hell for like 350$ or so.

Metzeler Tires that are super grippy make a big difference as well. The only serious flaw with the bike is a weak subframe that usually breaks right behind the shock mounts for the rear shocks. Welding Chrome Moly Steel pipe around the frame in those areas will massively stiffen your frame and permanently remove the weakness.


that was beautiful. beautifully shot, beautiful machine.

the ducati desmo is only other bike that is as beautiful.

I miss my old R65LS.


Thumpety thumpety vroom.


I’ve never liked the boxer engine Beamers, and really don’t think “The most beautiful motorcycle of all time” is accurate when something like the Ducati Panigale or MV Augusta Brutale exist.

Mind you, I travel overland on motorcycles and I’ve inherited a certain sniffiness toward GS-1200s and the people who ride them so it could be that.

The bike pictured in the post thumbnail is mine. The tank, fairing, seat and extra front disc brake are also differences. And the color!! :slight_smile: Daytona Orange is faster.

The /6 is my favorite series of R Bike. I started working on an R75/6 and botched it up so bad I sold it and bought the R90S.


Forgot yes the tank is slightly different. I actually prefer the R90S in only that area- the rubber side pieces on my extended size R90 tank kill the looks some. Working on getting the tank blasted and 3D scanned so I can make some custom billet side panels of my own design that fit in the lip perfectly.

Fairing came standard, but seen plenty of other R bikes have fairing added so I didn’t really consider that.

How is the seat different?

Forgot- R90S has the fancier porcelain tank rondel logos that bolt on too, rather than the adhesive backed metal placards I have.

The seat is an S seat with a small toolbox area under the rear cowl. Doesn’t fit with your tank (either the small or large tanks with the knee pads are no go) – the S tank is around the same capacity as the large.

The seat may have less padding, unknown. I find it fine for long rides.

The fairing is an S type fairing but was optional on other models. I had one on my R75/6


That’s about it, yeah. Fifteen grand bikes with five grand worth of touratech bits, BMW branded adventure suit, TKC80s and standup riding on dry grass.

GS800 though? That thing is an overland BEAST. Still BMW though, so the riders get tarred with the 1200 brush.

1 Like

I’m thinking of replacing my 1996 Africa Twin with a GS800 in a couple of years.
If only the flip helmet wasn’t mandatory…


Did I sell you my Africa Twin ? RD07 from WA to the southeastern US ?

1 Like

Last bike I dropped was a GS8. They are so high off the ground I can’t take it. I was on a sharp incline, and had to slow due to someone unexpectedly backing out of a very steep, sloped driveway.


I’ve just got a 2019 Africa Twin. Thing is a monster. I’d love to get a 750 but I live in London and they’re effective banned.

1 Like



What’s it like, how does it compare to the RD07?