The cool thing about a Cafe bike is that there are very few rules about what you can and cannot do. During the visit to Carlisle last month (see Carlisle is for Crazies), I purchased some plug wires for the 911E, and got a front motorcycle fender in the bargain. It was black and silver, and similar in shape to the fender on the R75, and the price was right. Nothing to lose. After drilling some rivets, some work with the vise, and a little cleanup, it actually looked pretty good. I decided to make the swap. For a moment after getting the old one off, I thought about having no front fender. Hhhmmmm..... Interesting, but no. A couple of drilled holes, and a few minutes later, the front of the bike had a different look. Any change has to grow on you, but so far this looks good to me and the patina is about right.
1973 BMW R75/5
This January Saturday was a beautiful clear day with temps in the 40s. Late in the afternoon I found myself with a couple of hours of daylight left and I decided to take the R75 out for some exercise. It did not feel at all cold standing outside, so I put on the Belstaff jacket and got underway. I tiptoed through a few back roads due to gravel. Once on clear B roads, it was obvious that the bike really likes the cooler temperatures. The motor felt crisp and clean. About 20 minutes into the ride, the temp began dropping like a rock, and knees and hands began to suffer. I was so preoccupied with keeping warm that I forgot to pay attention to the odometer. At some point, the bike rolled past 77,777. I had intended to take a picture at that point, but I guess I will have to wait for 777,777. With the cold really beginning to impact things, I changed the planned route, and stopped by a favorite park with a lake. A cafe style bike and freezing cold don't often go together, so some of the folks in the park took quite an interest. The other people in the park were too busy ice fishing on the lake to notice. Warmed up a little, I beat a hasty retreat home, enjoying the throttle response.....
After living for some time with the rectangular bar end mirrors, a practical change was in order. The lovely chrome rectangular mirror vibrated terribly rendering it virtually useless at speeds over say 1 MPH. The bike doesn't do a lot of miles anyway, so each time I rode it I vowed to go back to conventional mirrors (not very cafe-like), or find some other solution. It turns out that the other solution is really a plain and simple bicycle bar-end mirror. I had this mirror laying around for a long time, but finally got some quality garage time to do the simple swap. Cheap, functional, lightweight, and somehow in keeping with the spirit of the bike. With this kind of weight savings I am now finally ready to embarass the field at the next Manx TT.