Make that $25,990, plus tax and a “mere” $179 “documentation fee”. It was nice of them to take off that hefty fairing and take a sawzall to the aft end of the rear subframe, and heck, airhead GS subframes are a dime a dozen. Sure, the big bore kit boosting displacement from 980 to 1070ccs. will be a hit with the “boy racers”, but did they bother to install the missing circlip in the tranny? If not, that 10% or so torque increase will quickly destroy said tranny. And what of the short lived “throwaway” paralever driveshaft… I see no note of it being replaced by the servicable aftermarket replacements. And rebuilding everything as well as repainting the frame… Heck, this airhead is only two decades old and the odo only shows 16k miles. Rebuilds on airheads are reserved for bikes with at least six digits on the odo, and restoration is for /2s!

Now the market for airheads has moved upwards a bit, but at the rate of climb of a biplane, not a rocket. Given that BMW made a mere few hundred thousand of them and over a hundred thousand made it to America, that’s not surprising. And unlike Buells that seem to get crashed or stripped for chopper fodder, airhead riders are a mature lot, insuring that most of those airheads are still around. As a result, the going price for most airheads in road ready condition hovers from $2000 to $5000, with the smaller engined versions being the bargains and the newer R100, GS, and PD versions toward the higher end of the range. Some of the rarer and more desirable airheads are pushing the five digit mark and probably worth it, bikes like the R80G/S and R90S that combine high performance with rarity.

God only knows… Why Max BMW put such a stratospheric price tag on this GS. Maybe they’re testing to see how far up they can push the market? Maybe some newly hired droid added up the parts and service invoices and the acquisition cost, added a percentage for profit, and rounded up to just short of $26k? Trying to manipulate a market is nothing new, couple years back I was on an e-mail list whose major function was to jack up the price of 60s and 70s steel framed euro bicycles. A grand for a PX-8 is a bit much, and I dropped out. Sometimes no hype is needed… The price of used real minis has gone up as yuppies buy the BMW fakes, then develop a lust for the real thing. A whole cottage industry has developed to bash together 90s minis, import them from Europe, and give them bogus 60s titles to get them registered and plated in America. Didn’t help either that parts prices are skyrocketing now that the supplies shared with the assembly line that shut down around the turn of the millenium are running low, and repops are costing two and three times as much. 

Sadly, some newbie with more money than brains will probably wander into Max BMW, pay $20k for this lowly airhead, and think he stole it. He’ll tell a bunch of his buddies about it, and they’ll bid airheads up over $10k and price the real airhead riders out of the market. For those of us already well stocked with airheads, the aftermarket will smell all this new money and parts prices will double.

On the plus side, I could sell off my three airheads for $30k as is and buy a new Guzzi V7, Triumph Scrambler, and Honda’s upcoming repro inline 4, and with the change left over buy  a new ‘stich!