Saturday, March 19, 2011

BMW's going and coming

The old R75/5 was delivered to the new care taker in Phoenix yesterday. Was kind of sad to see it got but it was time. He'll have fun with it. I think it has good to someone who will appreciate it.
I rode a few miles on the R65 last night and everything checks out good. It has a minor (hopefully) electrical gremlin as it blew a fuse for the turn signals. All the turn signals are loose on the mounting stalks so I'll look into that. All electrical systems were working fine when I test rode the bike in Phoenix.
It is a nice looking bike. The bike is mostly clean and with a little detailing it will look even better. The paint is good other than a few spots on the front fender. I'll begin sorting things out on it as time allows. I'll change all fluids, check out the electrical systems, and give it a general cleaning up. The Metzler tires are in pretty fair shape so won't have to buy any tires ...for now anyway. It also has a brand new "Brown" sidestand installed but no center stand. I was glad to see the complete, original tool set was also present, a nice plus. The Krauser bags and mounts are in great shape and function properly. Won't need bungie straps to hold them on like the R75/5.
I'll go over the systems with minimal cash output and then decide if it will hang around for a while. Have never been a R65 fan but we'll see how things develope. It will eventually make a good entry level bike for a new BMW owner.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Zundapp KS601 Sport / R65 BMW

This KS 601 / Steib rig sold for $15000.00 at the las Vegas M.C. Auction in January. I'll venture the seller had a lot more than that invested.
This solo KS 601 recently sold for $17500.00

So a deal has been struck and my old R75/5 will be delivered tomorrow to its' new caretaker in Phoenix AZ. Below is the trade in BMW I'm taking in. The owner has sent me a list of maintenance and purchases he has done in the past year. He has quite a bit invested in the bike. I'll likely keep it around for a while and ride it. Who knows, my wife loves "blue" so maybe she'll take up riding again.(?)

The bike appears to have a few "bumps and bruises" but I think it is in over all good condition. Riding a little R65 might be fun.(?) Definitely different than all my past bikes. This is a 1982 model so will be the newest motorcycle I've ever owned.

I'm quite excited to pick up my "new" 1954 Zundapp. I've found that it is a "Sport" model which is a more desirable model. More horse power and compression. Not as many of these were built. I've been pouring over the Internet seeking information on these bikes and have found a sort of "Zundapp Underground" exists around the planet. Many parts are available and many reproduction parts are offered. The prices are somewhat extreme though. The cost to perform a full blown restoration on this bike would definitely eclipse its' actual resale value. I won't go into this project without keeping this thought in the forefront.

I love my hobby but one must keep the financial overview realistic.

There is no such thing as "one stop shopping" for Zundapp parts. I've dug up a number of sources but it took a lot of "Internet Digging" to bring them to the surface. I'm very surprised to see the prices these old bikes demand. The prices vary, but a pristine example I saw recently sold for $17.5k from one seller....another nice one with a Steib sidecar sold for $15k at the Las Vegas M.C. Auction in January. I've found another mostly complete unrestored non running one in Norway for around $14.5k. A Harley Dealer has a non running one in his personal "Museum" and he estimates the value at around $10k. Prices jump all over so it comes down to how bad the buyer wants one.

I'm thinking that original is good. These bikes are only original once so I'm going forward with that theory in mind. Unfortunately this bike has had the fenders replaced with some 60's era alloy English ones. A pair of originals are with the bike but are an ugly maroon....maybe some original paint is still living under the maroon?

I will spend my initial hours just cleaning up the bike in a careful manner to see what patina I can expose. Don't want to damage any original finish during that process, so it is a fine line. I may never get any further than just cleaning it....who knows. I just know that I want to possess it for a while....and maybe make a nice profit from selling it down the line. Someone with deeper pockets than mine may want to restore it completely.

I've found that these bikes utilize a center shock absorber between the fork tubes. My bike is missing that shock unit. I found a new one but the price is $300.00 and I'd have to bury it in the back yard for a year so it would match the bike. The same seller has an original used one for $50.00. I'll likely go that route.

I found a complete 1950's shop manual for the bike on line. The rebuild procedures are completely old school and quite interesting. Actually kind of scary....using "tin foil' for connecting rod shims.....filing down the connecting rod ends to "adjust" the connecting rods to fit the bearings. Quite interesting but spooky.

I think there is a nice original "patina" living under all the dust!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

R75/5 sold?

I spent a few hours with a potential buyer yesterday....he had little riding experience and was completely intimidated by the R75/5. I took him for a ride on the pillion seat and he was somewhat shocked by the size of the bike. Way too big for him. I did not let him drive the bike as he would have likely crashed it. I dissuaded him from the deal and I told him he should buy a smaller bike and get his riding skills up to par before buying a vintage BMW.
I had another offer for the bike which included a BMW trade. The buyer has offered a fair amount of cash and a 1982 BMW R65. The R65 photo is a little poor but the bikes owner has said he has taken care of it. All repairs being performed at a BMW Dealer. Appears to be a nice little bike with a low seat height.

So this will work well for me. I will not have the total purchase price for the Zundapp but can handle the difference....and will still have a solo bike to ride. The R65 would actually be a good bike for my wife to ride if she wants to.

. We'll see if this deal comes together.....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

1954 Zundapp KS 601

1953 Zundapp KS 601....this bike appears to have an after market fender light and tail light guard installed. Other than that it is the same model as the 1954 I will be bringing home.
Another fine specimen -1953 Zundapp KS 601 - Only 5000 of these bikes were manufactured in Germany between 1950 and 1957. They are a fairly rare motorcycle.

A few years ago I happened upon this old forlorn 1954 Zundapp sitting in an acquaintance's barn. He had purchased it from a relative years ago and just never got around to doing anything with it. The asking price was quite high so I never gave it any more thought.

A previous owner had swapped fenders and installed some smaller alloy fenders. Someone saw this photo and thought they were an after market English fender set. The currant owner hunted down a pair of original fenders, a toolbox and a pair of nice carb intake tubes. Not sure what other items he scrounged up.

My old BMW R75/5 has been just sitting and I fire it up now and then for a short ride. I did ride it around 1600 miles last summer, riding through Glacier Park and then down to the Spring Solstice Party in Roberts MT. The old /5 has always ran great but I came to the conclusion that I would like to take on a new project. The /5 BMW will need to be sold to finance and make room for the new project.
I contacted the owner of the 1954 Zundapp and by chance he had dropped his price by a substantial amount. I did a lot of Internet research and contacted a Zundapp Guru in Texas. He has restored numerous Zundapps and sells parts on the side. Parts are available but some are quite expensive and some parts are very tough to find. Luckily the 54 I am looking at is mostly complete. missing a few minor items like the original tail light. I found photos of the original tail lights and by chance they are exactly like the one I mounted on my sidecar. I have found others available on the Internet for less than $50.00. I also found a complete engine gasket set for $40.00 so have ordered that.

The bike engine is currently not free. Likely some moisture has formed in the cylinder and caused rust to form. Quite common on bikes that sit. My last project BMW had sat out for over 20 years in the snow, rain, etc and suffered a similar fate. With patience and care I was able to free the engine with no damage and repair it with no problems. I hope the Zundapp will be as simple a fix. At least it has never sat outside since it was taken off the road.

The cost to completely restore one of these bikes would likely cost more than the final product is worth. I hope to go through any mechanical issues found and get it in running order, leaving the patina as found...other than a careful, serious clean up that will need to be performed.
The Texas Zundapp "expert" Told me that my purchase price is reasonable and that I shouldn't get hurt on the deal. If my plans for getting the bike running do not work out I would hope to at least get my investment back on a resale.
I will miss my old 1973 R75/5 which I have proudly owned since the early 90's. It has been a great , reliable bike for us and has served us well. The bike has never let me down in nearly 50000 miles of riding. I have spent a lot of money on the bike over the years, but that comes with owning these old vintage motorcycles. I have a couple of potential buyers coming to look at the BMW. I ran it on EBay but the price never got near what I am asking. There are always others out there looking to get into an old Airhead so it will eventually sell, to a good owner I hope.
Hopefully the Zundapp Project will not bankrupt me! I am looking forward to getting possession of the bike and begin my "Archaeological" process.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.