Question about 1975 BMW R 90 S

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1974 R90S Transmission question

I recently bought a 74 R90S in rough but restorable shape. When I looked at photos of these machines on various websites, they all had kickstart transmissions. Mine does not. Is this the wrong trans, or are these available both ways? If wrong, would anyone know how tho either convert, or find a used one?

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I'm not certain on the availability of the kickstart, but I would guess it was phase out over time and was also an option. From what I've heard, the kickstart on these machines left quite a bit to be desired. It was functional, but just... It seems the kickstart is best left for those dire situations when the electric start didn't work. Even then, you could bump start the bike... Duane Ausherman has info on the kick start workings here: http://www.w6rec.com/duane/bmw/trans/

Posted on Nov 20, 2008

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1. Frame. If you've owned K-bikes, you know that nothing flexes between the steering head and the swingarm pivot. Very stable. Not so on BMW airheads, with their double-cradle steel tube frames, which earned airheads (like the R90S) the nickname Gummikuh (rubber cow). 2. Brakes. The R90S has 70s-era brakes. Not so good by comparison to late 80s-early 90s K standards. Many of the Ks also have ABS. Not so the R90S. 3. Engine: K-bikes engines are liquid-cooled fuel injected, computer controlled, and exhaust catalyzed. The R90S, like other airheads, is carbureted and air-cooled. Stay out of traffic jams on the highways, or pull over and shut it off. 4. Tires: The post-90 K-R bikes models have radial tires. I've found the R90S, like the KRT/LT models, to feel somewhat tall with its bias ply tires. That said, several years back I bought an R100RS just to own one, and to understand the experience was. Didn't hold a candle to a KRS in terms of performance, but had a certain heritage-appeal.

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