To the Moon and back.
The BMW R series has come a very long way since the 30s. In the mid-70s, BMW entered the superbike game with the R90S, measuring up to the likes of the Honda CB750 Four and Kawasaki Z1. At the time, the bike was a capable competitor. The 898cc Boxer engine produced a decent 67 horsepower, had a top speed of 124 mph and could do the 0-to-62 (0 to 100 km/h) in a respectable 4.8 seconds. Despite its steep price, close to 17,500 R90S found takers during its three year run from 1973 to 1976. It was then replaced by the R100. For one British gentleman, however, there’s nothing quite like his R90.
To the lovely—and very appropriate—sound of composer Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune (Moonlight), Brightside introduces us to Peter Simms. Simms is the proud owner of a well-loved and beautifully preserved BMW R90S that he bought in 1987 and still rides to this day. We could say he has loved his BMW to the Moon, but not quite back just yet. In fact, over the course of the past 32 years, Simms has managed to clock no less than 240,000 miles on his Beemer, which is more than the distance to the Moon.
This R90S has been well traveled and well loved, but mainly, well cared for—the bike looks to be in outstanding condition, still clad in its silver-on-orange livery.
The story doesn’t say how many miles already were on the counter when he bought it in the late 80s, but Peter’s story tells us he deserves most if not all of the credit for the near-quarter of a million mile distance the bike has traveled. Simms was a psychiatric nurse back in the day. One of his patient who had never had a chance to travel gave him the idea for a road trip. So Simms took off on his BMW with said patient and a friend, and headed to the Netherlands. They ended up staying at a "friend of a friend's" place, a lady that would later become Mrs Simms. This meant that for a while, Simms commuted between his native England and the mainland, on his orange R90S of course.
For Simms, the R90S’s quirks are what makes it the perfect motorcycle. He explains that the more you drive it, the better it becomes, so here’s to another 240,000 miles and many more trips, Mr Simms!