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Old 02-25-2013, 07:04 AM   #1
TipsyMcStagger OP
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Basket Case - getting in over my head?

I've posted that I'm looking for an airhead to tinker with and form into a cafe racer. I think I've also mentioned I've never owned (or ridden) an airhead, so other than what I'd learned reading this forum, I have zero experience with these bikes.

I replied to an ad on CL. The guy only sent two pics and wrote, "it needs, heads, carbs, pipes (I have later spare motor, carbs.)"

I have no idea what the spare motor and carbs he mentions consist of, so assuming the engine that's on the bike is as rough as it looks (looks like it needs more than heads...it has has no cylinders);

(1) How difficult/costly is it to source jugs, heads, carbs and pipes for these bikes?

(2) How interchangeable are parts from other models and later years?

Supposedly, it's a 1973 R75. Thanks for the education!

Tipsy



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Old 02-25-2013, 07:28 AM   #2
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What about the Guzzi in the background? That would be neat as well.

If that BMW has been sitting for 15 or 20 years with the top end off,the crankshaft and internals could be stuffed as well. Parts for those old beemers are generally available from BMW,prices were going steadily up and up when I rebuilt an R75/6 4 or 5 years ago,shocking is a mild take on what the prices were then. Used parts can sometimes be found on various forums.
You might be better off finding a runner of some sort,a bike like that could snowball into an expensive time consuming lesson .

I just picked up a 1974 XS650 yesterday for 100.00,engine turns over,bike is complete/uncrashed with some corrosion but mainly dirty.
Parts are available on ebay and here and there,Yamaha built a ton of them.

Those old beemers have street cred,but are a clunker to ride,crap brakes,crap shifting,handling like a rubber cow,and slow to the point of distraction. A guy can spend many years addressing all these problems,once a complete rebuild has been done anyway.

Airhead people are special people,one will check in any moment now.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
I just picked up a 1974 XS650 yesterday for 100.00,engine turns over,bike is complete/uncrashed with some corrosion but mainly dirty.
Parts are available on ebay and here and there,Yamaha built a ton of them.
I've considered XS650's in the past, but I'm enamored with the old airheads. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while.

Tipsy
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TipsyMcStagger View Post
I've considered XS650's in the past, but I'm enamored with the old airheads. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while.

Tipsy

There's a name for airheads in this condition....they're called "scrap metal".
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:30 PM   #5
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There's a name for airheads in this condition....they're called "scrap metal".
Yeah...I'm not considering this particular bike, unless he wants to give it to me (probably a bad idea even at that).

And I can't say I'm not re-considering an XS650 project instead.

Tipsy
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
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I found an old Airhead under a porch once. It had not been run in many years. I bought it. Paid too much of course but for me that was a learning lesson I probably needed.

The bike in question had been covered with one of those blue tarps, worn in many key areas so the water could get inside but not allowed to fully evaporate ever. Under a porch is also a nice spot to guarantee lots of moisture. I bought my brother a tank of gas for his truck and we hauled it away.

Pistons frozen, wiring missing, unknown manufacture ignition, Tornado air disturbers in the carbs (remember those?) Water in the carbs, worn out heads. worn out trans. I ended up using some of the parts and giving some of them away. It was not exactly a loss because the parts mostly fit my 1975 R90/6. I have the trans in my bike now. Some of the front end is on my bike too.

Someday I may get to use more of this bike. It was a 1977 R100S.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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...aaah... I now understand the Big Brown Three Holer..... in my mind I was somehow thinking the ole DC-9 when you mentioned MD11... but you run the Heavy!! (they're still DC-whatever in my old-fart brain!)



Good chatting with you!
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I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyMcStagger View Post
Yeah...I'm not considering this particular bike, unless he wants to give it to me (probably a bad idea even at that).

And I can't say I'm not re-considering an XS650 project instead.

Tipsy
I was just checking on ebay for parts availability/prices on XS stuff. Theres a plethora of cheap parts on there for the mighty XS.
Cylinder head for 20.00 comes to mind.
I had an 82 XS once that I changed from cruiser/custom in stock form to a standard/street tracker just using older XS parts,easy to work on and fun to ride around.

Clattery and buzzy like any old aircooled twin.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:41 PM   #9
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I've always heard good stuff about XS650's. I thought they were getting rare because they are so popular but you guys talk like they are still common. Too bad I'm a one bike guy or I'd like one of those.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by driggles View Post
There's a name for airheads in this condition....they're called "scrap metal".
I wouldn't go that far.
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Old 02-27-2013, 05:35 AM   #11
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As far as "names" go you started out wrong when you said "basketcase" because a true basketcase is like the airhead I bought where the bike was taken apart by someone else,then sat for awhile & sold to me in pieces-ALL THE PIECES! not missing jugs and so on. You were advised well here. Go to WWW.IBMWR.com, CL and spend a month or so & also as a watcher on ebay auctions then after buying a rider and tinkering for a bit you'll know if this is a good direction to take.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:14 AM   #12
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There's a name for airheads in this condition....they're called "scrap metal".
I like Boat Anchor.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post

Those old beemers have street cred,but are a clunker to ride,crap brakes,crap shifting,handling like a rubber cow,and slow to the point of distraction.

Truer words were never spoken. I used to own an R90S
and while it was not as slow as a /5 it did have
terrible brakes, awful shifting, and rubber cow
handling. Guys on Japanese sport bikes used to say they
didn't like riding behind me on twisty roads because
it was so scary to watch the bike pitch and wobble.
If you put sticky modern tires on one today the frame
would probably twist up like a clock spring.



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Old 02-25-2013, 08:04 AM   #14
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That looks like way too much for somebody with no Airhead experience. Have you had any previous mechanical adventures? Of course the bottom line is important. It looks like a parts bike to me. You say it comes with another engine? What kind of shape is that in?

What's the asking price? What's the mileage?
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
That looks like way too much for somebody with no Airhead experience. Have you had any previous mechanical adventures? Of course the bottom line is important. It looks like a parts bike to me. You say it comes with another engine? What kind of shape is that in?

What's the asking price? What's the mileage?
I posted all of the information provided to me thus far. No mileage was provided. The asking prices is $1250 obo. No information was provided about the additional engine other than to say it is from a "later model."

Yes, I have mechanical experience. I have no experience welding but I've always wanted to learn and look at this as an opportunity to do so.

Tipsy
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