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Lot 332: BMW 898cc R90S

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

With the introduction of the '/6' range in 1973, BMW joined the superbike league with a pair of 900cc flat-twins. The touring version was typed 'R90/6' and the gorgeous new sportster 'R90S'. With its twin front disc brakes, racing-style seat, megaphone-shaped silencers and cockpit fairing, the R90S looked like no BMW before it, while the air-brushed 'smoke' custom finish to tank, seat and fairing meant that no two examples left the factory exactly alike. With 67bhp on tap, the R90S was good for a maximum speed of more than 125mph. True, there were a handful of rivals that were faster, but none of them could match the BMW's capacity for sustained high-speed cruising. 'When it comes to comfort and capability for traveling at maximum speed with minimum fatigue, the R90S is second to none,' declared Bike magazine's tester back in 1975. 'The truth is that many bikes do one thing superbly, but the BMW is the only bike I know that does everything very well.'

This example is presented in generally good cosmetic condition, finished in black and gray with a pair of BMW panniers. Fresh from long-term storage, the bike has not been ridden in some time, although the indicated 89,144 miles on the odometer is believed to be original. BMW's landmark first superbike can only become increasingly collectible, and the machine offered here represents a rare opportunity to acquire an unmolested, ultra low mileage example preserved in virtually showroom condition.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number332
Estimate$3000-$5000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$7000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$8190
Year1974
Condition rating1
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number4950870
Engine number4950870
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors