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Old 05-16-2008, 06:07 PM   #1
Airhead Wrangler OP
Adios Mexico
 
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Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Back in Seattle, FINALLY
Oddometer: 6,430
R80ST Resurrection

I got a new bike this winter and have mentioned it a few times here and there, but thought I'd do a proper thread on this thing. Well, through luck, destiny, karma, kismet, fate, happenstance, etc I had an '84 R80ST in like new condition fall into my lap this winter for free. A neighbor had seen me riding around the neighborhood on all manner of two wheeled vehicles and said they had an old bmw in their garage that they had bought new in '84. The guy wasn't much of a rider then and couldn't even recall what model it was when I asked. He said the mileage was really low, but didn't know exactly. He said I could take it free of charge if I wanted it. He just wanted it out of his garage. He had bought it just after getting married and only got a year of riding in before his wife got pregnant and he was forbidden to ride it anymore. He kept the bike though and it's been sitting in his heated garage for 23 years under a dust cover. I told him I'd take it sight unseen, as I'm always up for a project, no matter how ratty it may look, but this thing blew my basket-case-barn-bike expectations out of the water. Here it is as it was given to me:




Here's what the odometer looked like at the time:




I had instant wood.

It needed a good amount of work to get on the road again. New battery, new plugs, new tires and tubes, new fluids all the way around (the old oil came out looking like honey though - looked brand new). There was old gas in the tank and the petcocks were left on - for 23 years. The fuel lines and carb bowls were packed solid with gas gum and the needles were corroded down to to the size of big sewing needles. New fuel lines and 3 cans of carb cleaner later it was running, but it was only getting about 20 mpg. Then came a complete carb rebuild and rejet from the stock 135 mains up to 150s (which were stock on the '83s, but the '84s got leaned out to meet emissions). The carb rebuild and rejet worked wonders. Next step before puting any real miles on it was lubing the clutch spline which was bone dry. In order to cure the ST of its low range, I got an R100GS tank off of san francisco craigslist in great condition plus it looks a lot better on the bike than the stock tank. On the highway she's getting around 40mpg now, so I can now top 200 miles on a tank no prob. I racked up about 1500 miles on her and did a couple of oil changes over the course of those miles just to get whatever old oil was left in there out. I also changed the fork oil and added some fork boots while I was at it. Then came the Jesse bags. Great looking bags, with a pretty janky mounting system. The mounts look like they were made by a wildwest blacksmith or something - pretty rough. Not only that, but the mounts for the ST are also intended for the R100GS which has a wider subframe. "Oh just put some more washers in there to shim it out," I was told. Also, nobody thought to mention to me that the mounts require you to remove all the body panels and exhaust shield. Their response was "oh yeah normally people just buy a second set of body panels that they can modify to work with the racks." They should try buying body panels for an ST. THEY DON'T EXIST. Luckily, I kind of prefer the naked look without body panels. Normally I don't tolerate that level of idiocy when I pay $1000 for something so simple, but I didn't have a whole lot of choice. Not many companies still make bags/mounts for these older airheads. Next on my list of things to do is to replace the stock rear shock which creaks like a barn door. I'm thinking of going with a YSS or a Wilbers. Any input on either of those? Also, I think I'm running the stock coil, but I'm not sure. These bikes came with the infamous grey bosch coils that are so prone to cracking, but the coil on mine doesn't really look grey. It's black. It also doesn't say bosch anywhere on it. Anyone have a pic of the bad coils I can compare to? Anyway, here's the bike as it looks today:



Cool neighbor, this bud's for you...
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R80ST Gets The HPN Treatment
Seattle to TDF on an airhead

Current rides: HPN #834, '93 R100GSPD "red rocket", '73 R75/5 Toaster mongrel, '80 Ducati Pantah 500SL, '92 DR350, '67 Honda SS50, '80 Honda Chaly.

Airhead Wrangler screwed with this post 05-16-2008 at 06:20 PM
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