This Classic Airhead PROJECT BIKE has great potential. It’s a very low original mileage machine that has had perhaps 3 owners since new, and it comes with a few nice extras (noted below). This bike, now just 42-years-young, could become anything the next owner desires. Certainly, a refreshed, standard airhead like this could become a daily rider — or how about the starting point for a custom project. Building customs is a growing and exciting trend and this PROJECT BIKE would be an ideal platform for such a build because it’s in very good mechanical condition but not so perfect cosmetically. (You’d never use a cosmetically pristine bike to build a custom.) For example, a similar year R100 full custom just sold at auction for $16,000 plus the 5% buyer’s premium; so you see, in addition to the challenging FUN you’d have taking on a PROJECT BIKE custom build, there’s potential for sizable return on investment too! On the other hand, a lot of enthusiasts we know with the time and talent to create such wonderful and unique bikes simply prefer to keep them to ride with pride. Either way, it’s a WIN.
We took in this bike six months ago and originally intended to refurbish it ourselves to sell as a good used, perfectly running and restored classic. However, our five Certified BMW Technicians have been so busy taking care of customers’ bikes and prepping many new BMWs for delivery, that there just wasn’t time to get it in the queue. And since we don’t see our work load getting lighter in the weeks and months ahead, we chose to officially make it a PROJECT BIKE and let someone else enjoy the process of bringing it into the spectrum of fully safe and roadworthy motorcycles. The lucky rider who adopts this PROJECT BIKE will surely enjoy the fruits of their labor for years and years.
Before we share more let us share that we want the buyer to know as much as possible on all PROJECT BIKES. We urge potential buyers to ask questions so everything is not clear. We’ve nothing to hide; our goal is that each buyer for any PROJECT BIKE purchased feels they paid fairly and received great value in the transaction.
We have a disclaimer about our PROJECT BIKES on the Bob’s website. We encourage people to schedule a time to visit (a strict requirement these days), meet with one of our sales advisors and inspect any machine in person. That way you will know all the positives and any small negatives involved with full clarity.
If you don’t live close enough to visit, our staff with a pre-scheduled day and time (that appointment), will be pleased to walk this or any PROJECT BIKE while you are on the phone including adding a few Facetime views or short video to address any details; even from across the country you will be thoroughly informed and comfortable; knowing exactly what you are purchasing. You can read about Bob’s PROJECT BIKES and pre-read the additional bill of sale involved on our website HERE.
This ’78 R100/7 did start up and idle a bit poorly when it first arrived and there was some concern as to if this PROJECT BIKE was running on both cylinders. After the bike sat for six months on a battery tender in our warehouse, Bob attempted to start it up Saturday, April 18, so we could share those results. After roughly 25 seconds (see video link below) it coughed to life and ran fairly well; this occurred because Bob had the foresight to look in the tank before turning on the petcocks and discovered there was barely any gas in the tank at all and far less on the right side – the side that was not doing so well last year. He did his best to slosh what was there around (the gas can was across the road) after placing both valves in the reserve position and getting fuel to both carbs makes a lot of difference. And after less than 45 seconds this PROJECT BIKE was idling at about 1,300 rpm (choke almost off) smoothly and without any smoke visible or noises that should not be present.
Download a short video HERE.
As this point we’ll start sharing pluses and minuses so you have written details to go with the roughly two dozen clear images and the videos on this PROJECT BIKE. It has decent but not great paint everywhere. There are no large or even medium dents or damage that would indicate any garage or street tip-overs, let alone something worse. Clearly, though, this bike was never been babied or placed on a pedestal. Cosmetically it’s missing a tank roundel (cheap), has some paint worn off the edges of the front fender and a bunch where the seat (probably before being lowered) rubbed on the gas tank. The wheels are pretty clean as are the spokes and nipples with the front being cleaner than the rear which is very common. We are confident that this one is going to shine up pretty well with a good bath and applying some specific polishes which Bob’s stocks.
The mufflers both have a few very tiny dimples (one behind the axle on the right side) which will need to be pointed out to most viewers but there’s little rust, corrosion or surface degradation on the entire machine to address. Most hardware is in good condition and should not need to be replaced. Rubber parts including foot pegs, grips, fork boots, instrument surrounds and more bits on this PROJECT BIKE is all in average or better condition; some of it has most certainly been replaced over time prior to arrival at Bob’s. Note that while the seat is in really great shape and has the optional (or added later) “S” cowling plus the extra hard to find BMW luggage rack/grab rail, the foam was cut down about one inch to allow a shorter rider a better shot at placing both boots solidly on the ground when stopped; there’s still plenty of cushion and the seat is still very comfortable and most people unless they are intimately familiar with these machines would not know it was slightly modified.
Mechanically it looks, sounds and feels solid; we anticipate that it has a strong engine, gearbox and final drive but we have NOT taken this PROJECT BIKE out for a good test ride aside from a .3 mile loop around the parking lot which allowed Bob to place it in first and second gears and do a basic brake and suspension evaluation. It rode OK especially for a bike with slightly bent handlebars and a front tire near the very end of its life based on tread depth and especially its age. The few up and down shifts were smooth and problem free, and the clutch feels very solid. The front brake disc measured comfortably above minimum factory specs and should have a reasonable amount of life remaining; it would pass the strict Maryland State Inspection, but the front tire would not. The rear tire appears to have less than 100 miles on and the sidewalls are in excellent shape and its production dates from near the end of 2011.
All the switches work well, all lights and signals function as does the single stock horn; the foot pedal operated rear brake switch did not function but the front lever one did bringing the rear brake light on; perhaps it needs lubrication or if not it’s an inexpensive replacement. The speedometer and tachometer both operate as designed although no one at Bob’s ever rode this PROJECT BIKE over 35 mph or 4,500 rpm on the short parking lot double loop. The tripmeter/odometer knob functions perfectly unlike many examples of this era.
This PROJECT BIKE is just the kind of classic that so many “Airhead” enthusiasts who enjoy exercising their mechanical skills are looking for. There is much potential here and we look forward to seeing it ride back into the Bob’s later this year after its next owner has had their fun doing some of the maintenance and restoration it needs.
The bike has a clear transferable title, comes with 2 keys, a straight, correct USA style handlebar (used) to replace the slightly bent one on it now, a Clymer repair manual, the original owner’s manual and Tech Data book, and a mostly complete BMW tool kit with the factory pouch. There’s even a rare worldwide dealer directory which is out-of-date but is worth a browse. If this PROJECT BIKE is calling your name, don’t hesitate!