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Old 09-02-2008, 03:39 PM   #1
bgoodsoil OP
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Wicked Another G/S on the road

Hey! I've been taking up valuable screen space by starting a new thread every time I run in to some problem with my G/S project. I'm likely to have more questions so I'm making this thread to keep it all in one place.

For a little history....

I started riding about 5 years ago. At the time I was in the Coast Guard and stationed on an island off the coast of Alaska. We averaged over 100" of a rain a year so for my first 2 years of riding it was ALWAYS wet. My first bike was this '84 KDX200. It barely ran when I got it but after minor tuning it scared the hell outta me.



Then I saw Easy Rider......yeah, I'm one of the guys that got into riding because of that movie. I didn't have a ton of money, but I ended up getting this '99 Vulcan 750 shipped up from Oregon for $3k. not bad!



I decided that when I got out of the CG I would ride my bike back home from Alaska to Georgia. The island I was on had 13 miles of paved road and the highest speed limit on the island was 45. The first time I ever had a motorcycle at 60mph for more than 10 seconds was when I got off the ferry in British Columbia on my ride home. Not a bad start to touring.

I slept in the woods for most of the trip home(power lines or next to radio towers) and decided I'd be better off with a more offroady bike if I wanted to avoid hotels or campgrounds. I'm cheap. I picked up a KLR. I had it for about a year, and 23,000 miles, before a little old lady pulled out in front of me. Here's my KLR.



I flew over the lady's hood, cracked my tibia on my handlebar enroute and dislocated my right shoulder upon my return to Mother Earth. I owe my armored jacket for the fact that I hit the pavement at 40mph and didn't break a bone. Now, I also wear full knee/shin pads every time I ride. Since I don't drive(my bug is still not running, 1 project at a time!) that's every day.

I got out of the hospital, got a hefty settlement from the insurance and bought a Harley Sportster.



Big mistake. I rode it on a trip to Mexico and it didn't do too well. It weighs almost 600 pounds. I was bottoming out the suspension on the highways and I was scared to ride it in the woods to find a campsite. Also, it drew waaaay too much attention for my liking in rural Mexico. It's a gorgeous bike, I've sat on the back porch just to stare at it, but it doesn't suit the type of riding I want to do.

That brings me up to about a month and a half ago when I found this
'85 r80G/S.



Last week it looked like this.....



edit: now it looks like this.



Thanks for the pic, Blaine

So far I've.....
DR650 fork (SS brake cable, Gold Valves, Eibach springs, SuperBrace, Fork Skins)
Rifle Roadster fairing, PD chin fairing, side covers
Pelican dashboard (TrailTech Vapor, 12v outlet)
Enduralast alternator, Valeo starter, points ignition
Hella FF-50 driving lights, new headlight bucket, new turn signals, LED running light, ATC type fuses
highway pegs, lowered footpegs, extended rear brake lever
HPN tank
Russell Saddle, good bye 70's-era shag-carpet-orange seat, hello 21st century!
gearbox rebuild, higher 5th, circlip
Ohlin's rear shock
Brown sidestand
Leather tank/fork bags alt cover bin, Kathy's Tube Stash, Pelican trunk
Jesse boxes w/ compartment & homemade racks
diamond plate bash guard
Wider footpegs with lowering brackets

now all I want to do is......
WP4860 front end with an Emig Racing 38mm offset triples a spare 17" motard rim and a steering damper
Omega Pistons
shaved r65 block
Shindy Master Cylinder/Brake lever
Motion Pro Clutch & cable
CC Products valve covers from SanJose BMW
HPN style frame bracing
adjust Russell seat/ recover in leather
mast step highway pegs
lower 1st gear
Mount r1100s tank along with new seat and sub frame and tank bag

I'd appreciate any suggestions!

thanks,
brad
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:44 PM   #2
Gimmeslack
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Suggestions?

I suggest you give me your bike. NICE!!
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:58 PM   #3
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Lemme know...

I did a very similar trip back in '03. I had an XR650L and my buddy rode a KLR. Made it from Nashville, TN to the Panama Canal. Ended up shipping our bikes back from San Jose, Costa Rica (that due to my buddy having a nice spill in the highlands)

Tierra del Fuego was the original goal but the trip ended up costing us a bit more than we initially anticipated.

PM me if you ever need suggestions, tips, things to avoid, etc.

Good luck. Nice bike
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:16 PM   #4
datchew
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sounds like the perfect and complete transition. Hardley Ableson -> airhead G/S.


Nice bike indeed. Should be rock solid by the time you're done giving it a good once over.
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:31 PM   #5
bpeckm
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Good on ya, and thassa good bike.... well done!
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:45 PM   #6
bgoodsoil OP
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I somehow managed to post this twice. And I was trying to REDUCE the number of threads I made. Anyways, here's a pic of the fairing....and me showing off.......

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Old 09-02-2008, 05:48 PM   #7
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sounds like youve done your homework. Nice bike, man... I'm someday going to own one...Love the progression of rides,, as well.

You wont hate yourself if you kick down for heated grips, and a set of bashguards.

Just be safe - I've heard a probably apocryphal statistic that said most people crash a few years and a few thousand miles into their riding career. Takes a hair longer for judgment to catch up with skill, but it proves youre really riding, anyway.

Glad you got it out of the way,and got back on one.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:29 PM   #8
BMWzenrider
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Brad,
While you have things apart would be an excellent time to get inside of the transmission and find out if you have one of the infamous circlip transmissions.

You do NOT want to have your output shaft bearing to eat itself while in the middle of Central America.

-----

The BMW airhead transmission is very reliable, except that for a couple of years they decided to remove the circlip from behind the large bearing on the output shaft. Nobody knows why...



What we DO know, is that the transmissions without the circlip have a nasty habit of eating that bearing because of the helical 5th gear pushing against it.



It is a relatively inexpensive fix, and afterwards you will never have a problem for at least the next 80-100k with regular oil changes.

It is probably time to have all the seals replaced anyway, and some of them are MUCH easier to do with the tranny taken apart...

-----

For more information you can check out these two excellent websites:

http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/transmission.htm

http://largiader.com/articles/circlip/

I would recommend any Airhead rider bookmark the home pages for each of these websites if you don't already know about them...

-----

Tom Cutter @ The Rubber Chicken Racing Garage does the circlip repair/installation on an exchange basis (shaft only) for only $66 including return shipping as of last month (when I had my new 1989 R100GS's tranny circlip done).

That is if you take the transmission apart yourself and just send the output shaft to him.
You can also send him the entire transmission and he will do the seals, inspect the bearings, do the circlip, and clean the whole thing up before putting it back together with correct shimming, etc...

Tom does quality work, and I have had a full transmission rebuild done by him, as well as the recent circlip install and other work.

http://rubberchickenracinggarage.com/


-----

Oh yeah, and get a LOUD ASS HORN!!!

(Steibel Nautilus is my current personal fave.)
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Old 02-08-2012, 09:35 AM   #9
pennswoodsed
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old thread new to me

Quote:
Originally Posted by datchew View Post
sounds like the perfect and complete transition. Hardley Ableson -> airhead G/S.


Nice bike indeed. Should be rock solid by the time you're done giving it a good once over.
Followed build install link here to great story ,klr crash scroll down to Sportster picture and thought, NOW that is going to leave scar tissue !

Next thing I know ,he is wheelieing a 450 lb shaftie gs ! At 5 years of riding experience

Bastard ! writes too well,rides too well ,who knows what else !
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Old 09-02-2008, 05:45 PM   #10
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Mine's exactly the same year and model. Cool.

Looking forward to your long journey before you even get to your long journey.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:16 AM   #11
Ritalin Boy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgoodsoil
Hey! I've been taking up valuable screen space by starting a new thread every time I run in to some problem with my G/S project. I'm likely to have more questions so I'm making this thread so I can keep it all in one place.

So, for a little history....

I started riding about 5 years ago. At the time I was in the Coast Guard and stationed on an island off the coast of Alaska. We averaged over 100" of a rain a year so for my first 2 years of riding it was ALWAYS wet. My first bike was this '84 KDX200. It barely ran when I got it but after minor tuning it scared the hell outta me.


Then I saw Easy Rider......yeah, I'm one of the guys that got into riding because of that movie. I didn't have a ton of money, but I ended getting this '99 Vulcan 750 shipped up from Oregon for $3k. not bad!


I decided that when I got out of the CG I would ride my bike back home from Alaska to Georgia. The island I was on had 13 miles of paved road and the highest speed limit on the island was 45. The first time I ever had a motorcycle at 60mph for more than 15 seconds was when I got off the ferry in British Columbia on my ride home. Not a bad start to touring.

I slept in the woods for most of the trip home(power lines or next to radio towers) and decided I'd be better off with a more offroady bike if I wanted avoid hotels or campgrounds(I'm cheap). I picked up a KLR. I had it for about a year(and 23,000 miles!) before a little old lady pulled out in front of me. Here's my KLR.


I flew over the lady's hood, cracked my tibia on my handlebar enroute and dislocated my right shoulder upon my return to Mother Earth. I owe my armored jacket for the fact that I hit the pavement at 40mph and didn't break a bone. Now, I also wear full knee/shin pads every time I ride. Since I don't drive(my bug is still not running, 1 project at a time!) that's every day.

I got out of the hospital, got a hefty settlement from the insurance and bought a Harley Sportster. Worst mistake of my life. I rode it on a week and a half long trip to Mexico and returned determined to never ever ride a Harley again. If I can't ride it across the country, I don't want to ride it to the gas station.

That brings me up to about a months and a half ago when I found this
'85 r80G/S.


Last week it looked like this.....



Here's the plan: God willing I'll complete the round-trip to the Panama Canal next summer that I had intended for this summer. The bike runs fine but I'd like to do some heavy maintenance and modernize what needs it, mainly the electrics. I don't want to do any performance mods to the engine on this one, 45hp is fine with me.

So far I've.....
installed Enduralast alternator
new style Valeo starter
greased tranny splines
replaced FD boot
replaced pushrod seals
mailed solo seat off to Russell, good bye 70's-era shag-carpet-orange
seat, hello 21st century!

now all I want to do is......(updated)
replace all lights with LEDs
replace speedo with TrailTech computer and dashboard
figure out a solution for a headlight(I have a Rifle fairing that will only take
a 6" headlight, so the big 8" things I've found won't work)
replace front end with 2006 DR650 forks and brakes(if they'll ever show up)
rebuild carbs
replace handlebar and hand controls to modern 7/8" standard(that
gear mesh throttle is annoying)
install HPN tank(I sold the signed tank, I just knew I'd trash that thing)
scan my clymer's wiring harness, redraw it to match my bike after I
do everything to it, then print out a color copy, laminate and stick to
the underside of the seat so I'll always have it
LOUD ASS HORN

I'd appreciate any suggestions!

thanks,
brad
Oh dear Lord did you really send your seat to Russell???

I would be more than delighted to trade you mine plus a few bucks for yours, send my ratty seat to Russell instead!

But alas I fear it is too late.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:21 PM   #12
Rapid Dog
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Question Doug Grosjean

...but did you notice any vibes before the tranny was done right?
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Old 09-05-2008, 02:02 PM   #13
Doug Grosjean
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rapid Dog
...but did you notice any vibes before the tranny was done right?
No, just felt like normal flat-twin vibes to me. Nothing felt strange at all. Only symptom was oil leak.

I put about 50k miles on it in the 3 years I owned it, before trans went. Now I'm back at it....
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Old 09-05-2008, 05:29 PM   #14
BMWzenrider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Grosjean
No, just felt like normal flat-twin vibes to me. Nothing felt strange at all. Only symptom was oil leak.
That is just my point, with the dual-sport knobbies that most run on the GS models, it would be hard to detect the faint rumble through the rear end that I could feel on the RT and on the R65 with smoother street rubber.

btw - nice to hear from you again Doug!
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Old 09-06-2008, 06:55 AM   #15
bgoodsoil OP
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a coupla weeks ago I was cutting down a few trees at my church and had to haul the logs waaaay off into the woods. I figured I'd make the job easier and drag 'em with the bike, and give that rear subframe a trial by fire at the same time. Well, the subframe held up just fine, the rear shock however did not. On the ride home I noticed the rear end wobbling around corners. I thought, "that's funny, usually just the front end wobbles!" Standing on the pegs and doing the 'bounce test', I found the rear performed well--best damn pogo stick I've ever tried in fact.

I ordered a new Ohlins from kyle racing, $700 for one dang shock, but it glowed like some kinda Indiana Jones treasure box when I opened it. Add that to the DR fork and I've got almost $1500 in suspension now. This wasn't meant to be a project bike, I just wanted to fix up a few things!

I've got a question for anyone that's put a different throttle on one of these. I went with DR forks so the clamps are 7/8" and I'd like a throttle that actually fits. Also, the brake perch on the DR is separate from the throttle. Will the small stopper at the end of the G/S throttle cables work in any throttle? I seem to remember my throttles in the past having a cylindrical stopper and this one's rectangular. Any thoughts?
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