ADVrider (
-   Airheads (
-   -   It's about time you did something about that airhead. (

kbasa 12-17-2007 11:19 PM

It's about time you did something about that airhead.
I have an airhead. I have an airhead with a story. I have an airhead that has suffered through some bad times; losing an owner, living in a basement, getting hit by a car not once, but twice.

It needs love, this poor machine, and I'm the man to do it.

kbasa 12-17-2007 11:25 PM

First, the story. I've owned this bike for three years now, but I've known it longer. I've seen this bike parked at campgrounds in New England, I've followed this bike, I've led this bike. Most of my Sled Dog buddies back in New England know this bike and it's only by sheer happenstance that I managed to become its custodian.

This bike used to belong to Greg McQuide. We were both in Yankee Beemers back in New England. We both wound up in California at the end of the 90s. Him writing for Motorcyclist in LA, having finally achieved his dream job and me, up here in SF, having grown tired of Boston and the weather. His buddy Jim is still out here in LA.

Greg, as you may recall, got killed at the Honda Hoot in 2000. He had the R100CS Last Edition, which Mitch Boehm wound up purchasing from Greg's folks. I bought it from Mitch a few years ago. It had languished in the Motorcyclist garage and when Mitch was ready to sell, I was ready to buy.

Greg, with the R100 at the Larz Anderson European Motorcycle Day show in Brookline, MA., some time in the late 90s.

kbasa 12-17-2007 11:27 PM

Over President's Day weekend a couple years ago, we took a ride down the LA and picked it up at the Motorcyclist garage. I think it had been outside about once a year over the 5 years it sat there. They'd charge the battery, change the oil, ride it around the block and then it would sit for another year.

Poor baby. When we picked it up, it ran on one cylinder, the tires were rock hard and the battery was on its way out.

kbasa 12-17-2007 11:28 PM

kbasa 12-17-2007 11:31 PM

I rode it around for a couple years. Usually on nice afternoons around the county. Never far, never tooo fast, just out for a putt putt on the old bike, enjoying riding it around.

Last January, on the 6th at about 9am, I got hit by some guy making a Uturn just over the crest of a blind hill here in Marin. I was only going about 15 or 20 at the time, but it still made a mess out of the front of the bike. It was rideable, but suffered some scars.

kbasa 12-17-2007 11:34 PM

So it was decision time. Restore or just make it function? How far to go with a restoration?

I'll be honest. I like machines that have some marks on them. Like chairs that show the wear of the feet of people that sat in them, I like my bikes to be ridden and to keep their stories with them.

Should I wipe all the stories? Or should I just make it look decent enough? What would Greg have done to this bike? Full restoration? Pretty daily rider? I have no idea. So what I've decided to do is make this bike a pretty daily rider. It won't be outfitted to ride to Alaska or Key West. It'll be ready to ride anywhere I feel like riding it, which probably won't be far.

I just like riding it.

So it's going to get new paint, the frame cleaned up, the wheels cleaned up, the miscellaneous bits on the front end cleaned up and fixed, some new bits and it'll be ready for a ride.

kbasa 12-17-2007 11:37 PM

So, with my settlement check in the bank, parts list in hand and a painter lined up, I started. I packed up the bodywork and shipped it off to Vermont. I ordered my big stack of parts (Round 1 on parts, I think) and starting taking things off for assessment, refurbishment and replacement.

See that big box in the back? It's got lots of little bits in plastic bags. It's almost time to start sorting and cleaning.

I still need to get the front end off, the rear end off and take the swingarm off. I need to finish cleaning the engine cases and trans.

I'll be at this a while, but will post stuff up when I do something. This will be pretty relaxed for a while, since I don't have the ambition Putts does, but I hope you guys will help me when I get stuck.

I'm not going to pull the engine out, nor am I going to disassemble the whole bike. I'll paint the lower frame while the engine's in the frame. I'll send the battery box, swingarm housing and rear subframe off to the powder coater.

I will refrain from project scope creep. I swear. Tina says I better. She wants a kitchen. I want my airhead back together and looking pretty.

opposedcyljunkie 12-17-2007 11:42 PM

that's a beautiful bike, and rightfully should be restored to its original glory. i would say that greg can rest easy after you've fixed it :thumb

kbasa 12-17-2007 11:44 PM


Originally Posted by opposedcyljunkie
that's a beautiful bike, and rightfully should be restored to its original glory. i would say that greg can rest easy after you've fixed it :thumb

Thanks. I'll try and do it justice.

McB 12-18-2007 04:25 AM


Originally Posted by kbasa
I packed up the bodywork and shipped it off to Vermont.

Woody Jackson?

AntonLargiader 12-18-2007 06:13 AM

Ya' know Dave, once the swingarm is out it's a snap to pull the tranny, which lets you check out the rear main seal. At that point you can yank the motor without doing much more than pushing the wiring harness out of the way.

You're not going to leave the centerstand unpainted when the battery box and other parts are going to be fresh, will you?!?! Sears jack under the now engineless frame, off comes the centerstand.

Now there's not much standing in the way of pulling the front end off and just shipping that frame along with the other black parts. Hey! Maybe a color change is in order! Bump up the compression! 400W alternator! Woo-hoo!!!! USD fork conversion!!

The sky's the limit!!! Come on, man, show us some more parts!


I will refrain from project scope creep. I swear.

OldBMWMaster 12-18-2007 06:21 AM

This is going to be a project
I rescued a BMW last year. I was only going to get it road worthy. The tank really needed a paint job. But then the fenders would look bad compared to a fresh tank. Off go all three to the paint shop.

Got them back after 3 months. No way could I put those on that ratty looking frame.

It goes on and on.

The bike is still in pieces; but I am optimistic.

In the meantime, I have bought two more BMWs so I would always have a ride.

Good luck and much patience.

Bigger Al 12-18-2007 06:41 AM

I need to do that to mine. It's getting a bit ratty...........

You're a good man for doing this, Dave.:clap

Eurobiker 12-18-2007 06:57 AM

What's the mileage? I'd do a spline lube while it was stripped down, too. I'd also take a peak at the transmission, but Tina might kill you, so I won't suggest it. :lol3 Something you may already be aware of, but be careful about the load you place on that rear luggage rack. They're attached at the rear cowl and won't take too much weight. I'd say 10, 15 lbs. max.

Anyway, it's a nice Airhead and worth every penny you put into it. :thumb

kbasa 12-18-2007 07:05 AM


Originally Posted by McB
Woody Jackson?

Ray Atwood.

Shush, Anton. :lol3

Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:05 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015