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Andre 2001-2003 SilverSmoke R90S Cutaway 70's poster BMW Cartoon Airhead Motor

The R90S Project.
Manufactured October 1973. Registered:1/02/1974. Frame Number 4070350. 177.000 KM. Registration Number LY4205 Colour: Silver Smoke.

The headache:
I bought this bike in 1985 just because it was thrown at me. I used it for some months on dealer plates before parking it in a shed in conditions not ideal for storing. After 17 years it appeared that someone was using the bike as a donor for nuts and bolts. It was in a sorry state. The years of moisture had taken its toll.  Rusty metal details, oxidized aluminium and a motor housing covered with a white powdered layer. There was this layer of mould all over the bike giving it a sort of hairy texture.

I am not a pro but doing all the work myself other than the sandblasting and the unleaded conversion of the heads. The welding was done with a MIG and the Dillon/Henrob 2000 gas welder. I began on a simple restoration using a careful estimate of £2000.00 ordering parts along the way. I pulled off the barrels saw that there was a fine rust powder coating all the steel parts inside and the engine had to be stripped. I collected about 2 tablespoons of the powder and mixed with oil, would have made a fine grinding paste. There was no way back as parts had been ordered and paid for, the project could not be abandoned without a loss. 

The smoked paintwork will be done in the primitive paintbox at the club workshop. This will be the most exiting part of the whole project for me. I have a collection of sprayguns and airbrushes, a Binks spraygun, a Binks/Wren airbrush both external mix, a Badger Model 400 external mix, a Meiji FS-GR gravity feed internal mix airbrush and a Paasche VLS internal mix with 4 needles and nozzles. The Silver and Smoke will be done with the Badger. I primed the metal parts with the Glasurit 2-component epoxy based waterproof etching primer. This was followed by the Sikkens primer filler. The frame and black details have been done with Sikkens Carcryl. The Smoke has been mixed from Standox bases by Theo Terwel in The Netherlands. The painting from now on will be done with the Sikkens products. The pinstriping on the 74 models were taped Gold and I have managed to get the original Gold tape from BMW. I have still not decided if I will use it or do a masked pinstriping with Gold paint. After all the bike is not original with the digital ignition and aftermarket exhaust system. I suppose the overall look is the most important.

Motoren Israel in Germany did the unleaded conversion.

Project winter 2003:
Due to delays the rebuilding of the bike will be the project for the winter. 


My cat André passed away 28.February........ and on the 10.May I adopted an abandoned cat, a Ragdoll of about 5 years named Chanse. This cat had been looking for food around the garbage bins for the past 2-3 years. In July I adopted yet another abandoned cat, a persian/Norwegian Forest and alley mix. They will be posted as soon as I find a suitable spot for them on the main page.

I have joined Moss Mc, a club in a nearby town called Moss. The club, situated in the woods and has no nearby neighbours. It has all facilities and a workshop of 80! square metres with all tools and three motorcycle lifts. The paint box is big enough for bikes. I was looking foward to starting with my paintwork on the 19.May but on my way to work on the 15th I lost the oil pressure in my car and blew the big ends. Delays again. The engine and Gearbox was replaced in July. In September the Head Gaskets blew and I spent a few days working on it. Then the fuel-injection system broke down last week and luckily for me I localized the fault myself and the car runs happily with a new electro-magnetic valve. I am back to working on the bike now.

I tried out the Silver Smoke on the 15/10 and the results have been posted. It looks better in the pictures than in real life so I have started to sand down again to redo the paint. I have been trying to solve the problem with the exessive overspray on the silver. The first attempt was done with an extension tube from the ventilator fan, applying suction to the silver. The silver base had to be worked on with fine rubbing compound before I sprayed on 6 coats of the clearcoat. I have managed to get hold of a kitchen ventilator and the next and hopefully last attempt will be better than the first. I will only be patching the silver and then add the smoke around it.

I got access to a very well equiped motorcycle workshop with loads of mouth watering tools, Ultrasonic Cleaner, Valve Cutters, Lathe and Tyre fitting and balancing gear. The owner lets me use the place whenever I want to and all this for free. I just help out sometimes. The pictures of the workshop can be seen under the workshop menu. The engine is started on. I had some problems with the main bearings and had to have new ones sent from Germany. I used the delays around Christmas to cut out some tools for the crankshaft rear seal and the gearbox output flange. The bottom end is almost done. and got delayed for four days when I lost the woodruff key on the crankshaft. Got a new one today and I figure that the engine will be in the frame around Monday, 17/1/2004. The tools and the progress on the engine has been recorded under the 'My Bike' section. The gearbox will be dismantled after the engine is in the frame.

28/01/04. At last the engine is in the frame and had to wait a week for circlips of the correct dimensions. By the weekend the engine should be complete.....

10/2/2004 I dismantled the gearbox. Out came some very thick porridge-like black oil which I had never seen in a gearbox before. While washing down the parts I found a birch leaf! The previous owner had put sawdust into the gearbox to hide noises due to a broken damper spring. I bought an old gearbox to salvage some parts and new bearings, seals and the gasket are ordered and will be soon on its way from Germany. By the end of the month the gearbox should be rebuilt and mounted to the engine.

1/4/2004. The bike was started up a few days ago and today the basic adjustments were done and I rode a short trip around the clubhouse. Within the next 2 weeks the rest of the bike has to be assembled before the inspection and registration. A short viseo can be downloaded from the downloads page.