I'm going to test ride this bike, but wondered if anyone can give me their insight on the braking power of the drums. I'm very interested in purchasing this one, but concerned about the brakes not being disc in front.
Also, can the front drum be converted to disc? If so, it is a big setback in $?
thanks in advance!
Front drum brakes, when set up correctly can be quite good. I've heard they're on par with the single disk brakes that showed up with the /6 and /7. I tend to agree in that the drum on my /2 gives me reasonable confidence when stopping. Granted, a drum brake might fade some under repeated application, like going down a grade or heavy use in traffic, but in general I think drums are nothing to worry about.
I think you're looking at quite an adventure to convert the drum to disk. You would really need to purchase a complete front wheel with the disk already there plus you'll need the sliders to accomodate the caliper. You'll need a master cylinder...the /6 and /7 series came with the undertank version, but later people have switched to the handlebar kind. I think the forks are the same, but it depends on how late you go. I think if you were to find these parts from the same year R75/6 or R90/6, you could do the swap.
Note that the R60/6 had a tendency to ping due to the high compression and aggressive cam profile. My Dad had a '75 R60/6 that we never could get rid of the ping. At the time I didn't know about dual plugging and/or the use of certain electronic ignitions that can help with that. You can also install a base gasket which reduces the compression, but that takes the "fight" completely out of the motor.
Kurt in S.A.
A few short years ago the director of wera vintage used a drum brake on his 750 and he was FAST.. if its set up properly this should be no problem!!
Who makes electronic ignitions for the R60?
The most common ones are Dyna and Boyer. Anton lists a few others here on this page:
Enduralast makes an electronic ignition as well.
The one that I hear the most useful with the R60/6 is the Boyer because it has a computer-controlled or mapped advance curve. Boyer delays the ignition advance such that the bike runs a bit on the retarded side. Knowing that an advance timing will cause pinging (on any bike or car), and the R60 already is prone to pinging, using the Boyer with the slightly retarded timing curves helps out.
The Dyna III wouldn't help that situation...it uses the stock advance mechanism whereas the Boyer replaces it with the "computer". The stock advance is the bob weights held back with springs.
I believe that the Omega also has a computer controlled advance curve. You can read more about it from the link on Anton's site.
Kurt in S.A.