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Old 04-23-2013, 04:33 AM   #1
Bleemus OP
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Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Winhall, Vermont
Oddometer: 1,138
Found a R69 under a pile of junk in a friends basement . . .

21k miles. No dents and his wife said "it ran rough when we put it down there 10 years ago."

My friend loved to ride but he isn't mechanical at all so when something breaks he parks it till I fix it. I seem to have to fix his mowers and other small engines all the time. This gem has my interest piqued.

I would like to surprise him by restoring this to running condition. New tires obviously, rebuild shocks etc. but since I have never worked on one of these old bikes I am wondering if I am getting in over my head.

His wife thinks he would really enjoy riding again and is willing to make it look like it is still under the pile after I sneak away with it on a trailer so it would be a real surprise. Giving it serious thought.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:44 AM   #2
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Location: Charlottesville, VA
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That would be pretty cool. The engine probably doesn't need more than a good carb overhaul and maybe checking the top end for valve condition, cylinder wall condition, etc. Plus tune-up stuff. They are pretty simple bikes. New rubber bits, maybe new cables, that's all doable by a person with basic mechanical inclination.

If he were going to start riding it a LOT and the bike had led a rough life, you might think about the slingers but that would be a job for someone else. At 21k miles, I sure wouldn't worry about that.

There are plenty of resources for your project. The vintage clubs, the /2 Yahoo list, here, Duane's website, and more.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:52 AM   #3
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More importantly... What are you and his wife doing in the basement without him?


Thats an awesome find! If you do pick it up to rebuild, a rebuild thread is a must. I love seeing them come back to life!
2000 Suzuki TLR; 2012 Yamaha Super Tenere; 2005 XT660R; 1993 TDM850; 1977 Kawi KE175
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:58 AM   #4
Bleemus OP
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Location: Winhall, Vermont
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I was just helping her find something she lost long ago. Honest!

Thanks Anton for the thumbs up. Looks like I am going to need to learn a new language if I take this project on so how about speeding up my education and telling me what a "slinger" is for this Airhead newbie. I am mechanically inclined but motorbike wrenching is a weak point as I am just getting back into riding after a long hiatus. Started the year right by getting a 99 f650.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:51 AM   #5
The Bavarian Butcher
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WE require pictures. Seriously.

Just the Bike.
Fred <|> Need an Airhead Part? .... I May Have It!
'85 BMW R80RT G/Sified <|> '73 BMW R75/5 LWB <|> '94 MZ Silver Star Hack
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:54 AM   #6
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Pics, or it didn't happen.

Here's a "won't burn your eyes" article on slingers.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:30 AM   #7
Bill Harris
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Slingers? You remember on the old Honda singles and twins from the '60's the oil was pumped into a cavity in the clutch housing in the way to the engine bearings where the centrifugal force of the rotating crankshaft "slung" out the particles in the oil, thereby cleaning it? Same principle, but the BMW slingers are harder to get at for cleaning.

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Old 04-23-2013, 07:28 AM   #8
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Why don't you just offer to buy the bike. I think if you work at getting it restored you might end up wanting to own it. If your pal hasn't ridden it in 10 years, nor had the motivation to get someone to fix it, then maybe it's just not in his blood? Not saying you should be a bad friend, but really, we all dig different things. Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:41 AM   #9
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Is it an R69 or an R69S? Either way, it should be owned by someone mechanical. Back when they were made, they were so much better than anything else on the market. These days, almost anything is better. They take a lot of tinkering but if you treat them right and keep their oil clean, they will last a very long time.

It's not that uncommon to see these put away because they were running badly. The big thing here is the slingers. If the oil is left dirty for long periods of time, the slingers will clog with the filth in the oil. If some smart-ass decides to put some oil cleaning crap in the crankcase, again, the slingers will fill up. If the top end is rebuilt because the pistons started slapping or scoring,.... the slingers will fill up with ring and piston skirt. Any way you look at it, start with cleaning the slingers. That means pulling the crank and either cleaning the slingers or replacing them. Once this job is done and the oil kept clean, the motor will last a very long time.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:48 AM   #10
Bleemus OP
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It is under such a big pile of junk that I didn't get to go over it with a fine tooth comb but I did see the plaque on the steering column and I believe it said R69US.

Looks like when I extract this antique I will be learning a lot about slingers!
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:58 AM   #11
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I would love to find something like that. Just like everybody else here.

I'm no expert but believe an R69US Is pretty much the same as an R69S except it has telescopic forks like modern machines instead of the Earles fork. They may have only been produced in 1969 or at the most a couple of years only.

One of the experts will know more than I. But I'll add one more thing, I know, you want this bike.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

Pay your debt, piratejohn.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:49 PM   #12
Bleemus OP
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Location: Winhall, Vermont
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Okay. All great advice and at 21k I don't need to crack the engine to clean the slingers. So I am looking at two new tires, carb rebuilds, shock rebuilds. Things I think I can handle. There is a BMW guru north of me that is highly thought of in case I run into trouble. I will try to get some pics tomorrow. Thanks to all!
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:56 PM   #13
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check the brake pads also, the glue gets old and lets go.(possibly at an inconvenient time.)
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #14
Bleemus OP
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Joined: Mar 2013
Location: Winhall, Vermont
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Ahh yes. A brake overhaul would be on the list. Not being able to stop this beauty would be a crime.

I will admit that having to crack it down to the crankshaft was putting me off attempting this but now I a m feeling more confident. I have rebuilt carbs, rebuilt a few old VWs fully and feel that this is in my wheelhouse. Hope to get a few pics tomorrow to show all what we are looking at in full.

Really do appreciate the feedback from the pros here. I bow before you sensei.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:35 PM   #15
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Bench mark works is online
From sturgis Mississippi a wealth of parts and more knowledge than most others combined when it comes to old bmws his name is Craig vecherek sp? I have an old Beemer and have gotten many parts and advice from Craig ..good luck..
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