Reader Suggestion: 1978 BMW R100/7 Custom Cafe
No longer quite the undiscovered gem they were, BMW’s “airhead” boxers still provide real value to the classic enthusiast. Although the rarer, sportier models like the R90S command real dollars, the more pedestrian bikes were made in sufficient numbers that, unless you’re concerned with collectability, still offer amazing bang for the buck.
Their durability probably doesn’t hurt, either: BMW’s longitudinal flat-twin is really the coelacanth of classic motorcycles, since it was knocked off by the Russians [Ural] and then that knock-off was knocked-off by the Chinese [Chang Jiang] and are still being produced to this day.
If a 1940’s engine can still provide reliable, if somewhat sedate motive power for a modern-ish motorcycle, imagine what the additional thirty years of development found in a bike from the 70’s will add! This 1978 BMW R100/7 may look pretty stock, but has been professionally repainted and restored to better-than-new condition, with upgraded components where appropriate.
From the original listing: 1978 BMW R100/7 Custom Cafe for Sale
“Frame-off” powder coated, black respray, clear coated with hand painted pin striped bodywork, rebuilt motor and trans, lightened flywheel, light weight wrist pins, newer clutch, new t.o. bearing, rebuilt carbs, new Hoske mufflers, new rubber parts, new Metzeler Lazertec tires, BMW wire wheels, Dyna elec. ign.,RS solo seat, R90s handle bar, completed 2008, 1200 miles since build, new brake service Fall 2013, build by BMW restoration specialist in the Twin Cities (more info upon request)
These are very practical, reliable bikes, aside from braking that reportedly requires Johnny Carson-like levels of precognition to use effectively: even period reviews were less than stellar… Although I’d imagine updated pads or a swap to more modern components might help there and not degrade the looks much. On the upside: the rest of the package is hard to criticize: power, handling, and comfort are all there in spades.
$8,750 seems a bit steep for an R100/7, but with only 1200 miles on it since a thorough update, you’re getting what looks to be a very nicely turned-out machine. If you’re okay paying a bit more for something of quality, this could be your ride.