The rehabilitation of Sir Gustave Sabastian (‘Gus’)
What’s this thread about:
I’ll use this thread to document my rehab of Gus. Padmei’s doing it, why can’t I? And hopefully we’ll get a community of GS / airhead owners here.
This is what Gus looked like when I bought him in Jul 10.
And the second picture shows what he looked Nov 11.
Gus is a bastard in a number of senses. Old vehicles need names. Cursing a thing just doesn’t seem right. It’s always a bitch or bastard. And Gus is positively geriatric.
Why I bought Gus:
I’m a long time airhead fan, having owned a ‘78 R100RS, ‘83 R80ST, ‘86 R65, & an ‘88 R100RS. In the ‘90’s my wife & travelled Europe on the ’78 RS. We spent about 3 yrs alternatively working in London, then travelling the summer months. The trip back home was supposed to be an extended tour through Africa. I actually purchased the ST for that trip, bought a Acerbis 43L plastic tank for it, but alas it was not to be. I wrecked the RS when a van did a u-turn on me, and then the couple we were to go with had a head-on with a minicab. The consolation prize was a trip to the South of France, & then home. Both the RS & the ST were imported back to NZ, but in a moment of madness I sold the ST to allow the purchase of a lounge suite. Which is now almost dead…
I’ve had a couple of goes at getting a GS since, but this hasn’t really worked out. The last white RS was supposed to be one, & the KTM 640a was close (in a sort of ‘Paris Dakar’ way). The KTM was a brilliant bike, but my experience was KTM parts support was lacking. Whilst I am sure the whole package would do big miles, portions of the bike seemed to be higher maintenance then I am used to (Hi ClintNZ & Warewolf!!).
One thing I missed with the KTM was the ability to load either Katherine or Mandy on the back & to go out for a day trip. The KTM was really a one person bike.
Airhead GSs have been on my Trademe favourites list a long time now. I’ve seen a few cheaper GS’s come up (Newguy, Barrie & Padmei). Padmei, you don’t know how lucky you are to have your bike. My finger hovered over the buy now for quite a while the night before you bought it…I have finally decided that I needed to build the bike I had lusted after for 20 yrs.
So where is this heading?
I have agreed with Mandy that I can spend the proceeds of the KTM sale on Gus. Given where the NZD has been against the Euro, GBP & USD I decided to buy some of the larger items now rather than wait. So I have ordered a bunch of parts from Motobins to allow repair of Gus & the RS, Touratech pannier racks & a 43l Tank (I like big tanks & I cannot lie...), to change the handlbars & risers, & have ordered an Ohlins shock from Robert Taylor at CKTechnical. Robert's price has been comparable to import (before freight & GST!), but I get the shock build to my specs.
The wishlist is somewhat more advanced.... :thumb
To make this thread a bit more manageable I have started & will expand on an index - green text are links. For much of the maintenance & modification I haven't always included links, largely because this happened over a number of posts or pages & may be predominantly text.
Index of Maintenance
- Replacing the carb throttle pivot o'rings
- Replace a spoke in the rear cross lace wheel
- Fork oil replacement (standard forks)
- Discussion of Emulators in standard GS forks
- Replacing a head gasket & replacing the camchain
- Re-ringing Gus, & putting in 9.5:1 Pistons. Part one / Part two
Index of Modifications:
- List of modifications / upgrades to date
- Fitting the HPN Tank
- Nissin 4 Pot Brake Conversion
- Fitting Pivot Pegs
- 48mm KYB fork conversion
- Discussion on replacement sidestands
- Discussion of Emmulators in standard GS forks
- Wiring in resistors to remedy hyperflashing indicators
- Fitting a Baja Designs 8" headlight unit & a Trailtech Vapor Speedo Unit
- Hardhead rocker cover protectors (replace crashbars)
- Modifying the rear brake pedal to improve leverage, & therefore braking capacity
Index of ride reports:
- Cold Kiwi Sep '10 - Central Plateau, Nth Island
- 42nd Traverse, Old Whanga Rd, & Kiwi Rd Nov '10 - King Country, North Island
- Clarence River Reserve Feb '11 here, here, & here. Kaikoura East Coast Sth Island, & Reefton, Sth Island
- Easter Trip Away Apr '11, North Island - Taumaranui, Whangamomona, Taupo, Lake Waikaremoana, Gisborne & back to Wgtn
- Sutherlands Hutt, May '11, associated video clips - South Wairarapa, North Island
- Takapari Rd (Nth of Palmerston North) Jul '11 - Ruahine Ranges, North Manawatu, North Island
- Ocean Beach Ride Aug '11, & ICU breakdown. South Wairarapa, North Island
- Cold Kiwi, Old Whanga Rd, & the 42 Traverse Sept '11 & here. Video of the 42nd rockwall here. Central Plateau & King Country, Nth Isld.
- Odlins Rd diversion. Akatarewas, Nth Island
- Ocean Beach in the Rain - Wairapara Sept 11
- The Ride Of The Steves - Sutherlands Hutt & Ocean Beach, Wairarapa Nov '11
- WAR. Waiouru Adventure Ride, Waiouru Miltary Training Grounds, Dec '11. Day one, day two, & day three
- Ocean Beach 2 up with Mandy Boxing Day
- Ocean Beach with Shewolf NZ, 2nd Jan '12
- Ride into the Mangatooks, Kapiti Coast, 4th Jan '12.
- Dusty Butt Pre Ride - Glendhu & Flat Point, Wairarapa, 15th Jan '12
- Two Fatties & A Skinny Take On Odlins Rd - Akatarewas, 4th Feb '12
- RRRR 2012 (Round Ruahine Range Reversed (Part One) & Part Two - 24th & 25th Mar '12
- Ocean Beach with EddieB - South Wairarapa April '12
- East Cape Airhead Ride, East Cape North Island, 20th - 23rd April '12. Days Three & Four here.
- MMMM 2012, July 2012, East Cape North Island
- MAD (Makairo, Aikitio, Dannevirke) Wairarapa, 30th Sept 2012
- Odlins Rd, Akatarewas, Upper Hutt, North Island. 25th Nov
- What really dumb things have you done in the garage
- Airhead Philosophy
nice post Steve - certainly a fashion among Kiwi ADV members to create their own blogs - a trend started by MarkS and since adopted by Bart & Padmei (there may be others) - good on ya anyway - looks like the restoration of your R100GS will be an interesting and hopefully rewarding project - have fun Cheers Aslan:freaky
I purchased Gus from Rob in Whangamomana. Gus has done some miles - 198k kms (or 124k miles). First registered in 1991, & owned by BMW as a demo, then through two Rental Cos. Then 3 private owners: a father & son; then Rob. In the two years of Rental Co ownership, they racked up 160k, which I take to be a good thing. Hopefully long miles, & regular servicing. Maybe mature renters.
Looks-wise, Gus is almost a twin of Padmei’s R80GS, but is the R100 variant. Given the mileage there is some damage, but nothing that time, patience & money can’t fix.
Rob used the bike for adventure riding, and had a heavy fall on the right side at some point. He’s repainted the crash bars, but not the right rocker box cover, which is very battle scarred. He demolished the screen too. There is a dent in the right top of the tank, which might pop out with a bit of air pressure. He had made an engine bashplate, a new screen (clear Perspex, well shaped), & also a new stainless collector box (now well dented – no rear bashplate). He’s replaced the alternator rotor & the timing chain. No other history provided.
I have ridden him a grand total of about 100 meters, from Rob’s garage to the trailer, & from my trailer into my garage.
The shock seems ‘tired’. There is some rust starting on the left fork leg, between the triple clamps. The neutral light doesn’t work. The oil pressure switch seems like it has a seep. Oil weep near the sump gasket. The rear light has been broken & glued. The rear indicators have been replaced with smaller variants. The rear subframe paint has suffered from Rob’s top box (removed at sale). The swingarm / frame boot is perished.
The motor (on start up) was one of the quietest I have ever encountered (but an indication of valve lash being too tight). Idle was smooth. No noticeable issues with the driveshaft or gearbox. Tank shows some overspray. Repainted crashbars already mentioned. Tyres looks good in the Trademe pictures, but are actually munted. Rob sure enjoyed those corners round Whanga…
First job – valves
Intially I was really pleased with the color of the left plug. But the right side wasn't as good, & investigation showed the left carb to head rubber wasn't done up - so the jug was lean as a result of the air leak. Things that make you go 'Hmmmm'.
Adjusting valves are really a piece of cake BUT… someone has been over enthusiastic with the locknut on the left side. I’ll replace. Also the rocker cover central stud. I see this has already been helicoiled once. Also while I’m down there someone has bent the fins on the exhaust nuts trying to get the nuts off. I’ll need to replace that.
The Exhaust Nut doesn't look too bad in this photo, but that's because I've already managed to roll it 45 degrees. Believe me, its very sad. To the extent that the exhaust nut spanner doesn't fit anymore. Butchery
I bought this for the RS because I got tired of the limitations of the stock system. Here's a link to the Enduralast site.
On the stock system, I'm up to my third rotor, & second diode board replacement. I’d upgraded the mechanical regulator in London to deal with a commute I was doing, & had also upgraded the wiring.
I’ve now swapped the Enduralast across to the Gus. The stock system will go on the RS.
Valeo starter motors have a reputation for the magnets becoming un-glued. Also, sometimes they become noisy when they don't disengage immediately from the flywheel. I already had the starter motor out, so I decided to pull it apart to clean it up as much as possible. There is a lot of good info at Joergs website & also Anton Largiarder's. Stephen Bottcher actually epoxied between his magnets, so that if the glue on one failed, it would be held in by the others.
The 1st photo shows the top of the starter motor off. The 2nd has the actual motor detached, & the solenoid not yet disassembled. Basically I just cleaned & reassembled.
Unfortunately when I bolted the starter on the block, I managed to drop a nut down into the flywheel area (it was already in a socket I was about to use - who put that there?...). Oh well, I needed to do the clutch splines anyway!!. And the neutral switch isn't working, and the easiest way to fix it is to drop the gearbox..
Nice work Steve. I'll be watching with interest, as I'd like a project like that. It might be a decade before I get the time/cash though.
Off topic, but was that you who out bid me for that DR rear sprocket today Aslan? :evil
:clap :clap :clap
Good stuff Steve. Yay now I can compare notes.
What are the limitations you talk of with the stock alternator setup? Output not enough to handle running a few appliances or parts just don't last long?
Have you got any pics of the top of your bike with tank & seat off? Just want to compare.
Very cool mate, will be watching with interest
The stock alternator output is 280w at best, but can deteriorate if the wiring / connections are allowed to corrode. The alternator takes to about 3k (?) revs before it actually even covers the engine & light load. This is problematic if you are in slow going or commuting. It relies on the red dash light to excite the charge circuit. If that fails, no charge. The diode board is in very hot / hostile environment - not the best for reliability. Stock grounding for the diode board is not great. A common fix is to run a ground wire from the front cover to a ground on the block.
BTW don't ever take the front cover off without disconnecting the battery ground - easy to burn out a diode from static charge if the cover scraps the diode board. DAMHIK.
There are work arounds for all of those issues.
The Enduralast not only makes more charge, it also starts charging earlier than the stock system. It's also a brushless unit (constant magnet), so potentially maintenance free. Have a look at the site, all will come clear.
My understanding are that the major differences between the two bikes ex factory are the carbs (you've 32mm, I've got 40mms), barrels & heads, & the final drive ratio (yours is a little shorter). That's pretty much it.
great thread Steve - between you Padmei and Bart (if he gets off his arse and takes more photos) this sites finally getting worth a daily visit.
so when is this monster going to finished so you can come for a ride .....?
don't forget to leave enough in the kitty for a trail bike or Andy and I will stop talking to you
Mark, I need to have the bike up & running this weekend, so that I can get to the Cold Kiwi the weekend after. Hopefully the stripped stud in the rocker box cover won't leak (too much), because I don't want to take the heads off yet.
This week / weekend I'll strip the gearbox out (as a unit - I'm not that mechanically confident yet :rofl ) , lube the clutch splines, check the clutch plate for thickness, replace the neutral switch, grease the swingarm bearings, check the drive shaft bearings for play, and reassemble. I'll replace the drive shaft boot as part of the reassembly. Also do a fluids change (engine, gearbox, final drive). Oh & fit the racks, handlebars & risers, & the heated grips.
But it'll be a work in progress for a while after that. The big tank isn't due to be manufactured until mid sept, then needs to be shipped. Same for the shock. But with sufficient notice I'll always be up for a ride...:wink:
Need to get the RS up & running as well, so will effectively have two project for a while. Still dithering as to whether I should really sell that.
The klr has a whole heap of cobwebs all over it so I need to take it for a ride and blow them off
I think Eddie's going up Friday, and intends to do a more relaxed run, over more varied roads...
route - don't care as long as its minimal main roads and involves a latte or two
Dropping the gearbox
Got a bit of garage time in tonight. Looking to drop the gearbox, so I can change the neutral switch, retreive a nut that has fallen into the flywheel area, and do a check & service on the back end of the bike
Dropped out the final drive bolts. Loctited in. Smelly gearbox oil in the driveshaft boot. The boot itself is perished & has a hole in the bottom. It'l be replaced.
Removed the shock as a prelim to removing the swingarm. Manufacture date is '93, so newer than the bike.
The driveshaft bearings look good & feel smooth - no apparent issues.
The swingarm bearings are a little dry, & one seal was loose.
It's been a pain getting the stainless collector box off. This needs to come off to give access to the gearbox. The collector box was homemade by Rob, and has taken a few fairly big wacks. It sits right up againt the engine sump, & covers the gearbox drain plug, so I'm fairly sure that the gearbox oil hadn't been changed in a while. The box removal required BIG leverage & heat to remove it....Its also bloody heavy. But I've no basis for comparison to the OEM.
Dropped the gearbox oil. NOT what I expected at all. It had WATER out first, then a reddish thin oil or ATF? Not the 80/90 weight I expected. :eek1 Very glad I haven't done any miles on this yet. I am hoping that the bearings are okay. I'll do the run the Cold Kiwi then change again. I need to swap the drain plug over with the RS, which has a magnetic one. Not sure what the current plug is - not standard BMW anyway.
Left the gearbox to drain, and will drop the gearbox out when I next get time.
Looking Good. BTW I'm loving the 640A :)
It'll be interesting to see what happens when I replace my perished boot. I've read a lot of posts about finding oil in the boot - Eddie did too I think? Doesn't sound too bad tho. I guess it means replacing the seal?
Is that a big deal?
Are you using a manual 7 if so what one? i have the BMW one but more often I start taking things apart then look at it to see if there's something I've missed.
I will try to get mine back on the road when I locate a couple of brake pistons & then look at dropping the box & greasing the splines.
When you checked your driveshaft bearing, you just gave it a looksie & rolled it round checking for roughness? This all that's needed to check them out or is there a more extensive check?
Keep up the good work.
I wish a certain PD owner would just hand out all his extra bits to his mates:evil
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