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Old 03-08-2011, 12:03 PM   #1
asino OP
n00b indeed
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: East Bay
Oddometer: 17
Wicked The Cookie Man made me do it...Or how to claw your way into a decent GS on a dime

Famous Amos, yes the cookies from elementary school guy, once said (I paraphrase) "There is only one way to eat an elephant, one bite at a time."

I have a habit of going after elephants when it comes to projects. In this build thread, I plan to share the triumphs, long ways, short ways (recommended and 'save yourself') and bang your head against a wall ways to go from hand-me-down Kawasaki Vulcan 750 n00b to a glorious airhead GS pro in a few short months.

It would be asinine to assume this will be a smooth road, but to keep the cliche train rolling, variety, challenges and f**k ups are the spice of life, no?

Meet my yet to be named project bike:

1992 BMW R100GS, PD want to be, dressed in glorious early nineties custom neon paint.


The price was right, the title is clear and best of all the engine is dead!

I'm on my way to go see a possible engine candidate in the next town over, could be getting very interesting (I will include lots of pictures) as soon as this Friday morning!

More to come, stay tuned, let me know what you think!

P.S-A HUGE thank you to Brad, the P.O of this bike for the project and the good faith. We'll have to go for a ride when this thing is done.
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Old 03-08-2011, 12:41 PM   #2
Grider Pirate
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Location: LV, NV
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Dead Engine?

Dead how? Crank shot? Just curious.
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:12 PM   #3
asino OP
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The P.O states it threw a connecting rod. There was never an autopsy, but the hole in the crank case is rather telling
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:14 PM   #4
asino OP
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Joined: Feb 2011
Location: East Bay
Oddometer: 17
Spoon

Here's the new boxer:

Thanks to Joe for the rig, specialty tool loan and seasoned advice.

Stay tuned...next big moves should be Friday morning at my buddy's shop!
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asino screwed with this post 03-08-2011 at 09:22 PM Reason: I should note that this is already in the trunk of my cage, post transaction
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Old 03-08-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
wirewrkr
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Joined: May 2008
Location: HIGH desert
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Before you buy ANYTHING engine related, pull your top end off and see if the top end is good.
I have a bottom end from a 93 GS that I prepped for a project a few years back ( new chain, gaskets, etc) that may not happen. Economics being what they are. I will be in San Jose at the end of this month.
Anyhow, start with taking off your topend and all will be revealed to you.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:22 PM   #6
asino OP
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Location: East Bay
Oddometer: 17
I definitely plan on performing an autopsy and taking pictures. Whether that happens this weekend or not is yet to be seen.

I have already sourced a complete engine from a '91 GS that looks pretty clean The seller is local to me and came off as a generally good person who loves airheads. Plus the transaction took place at his home, so I know where he lives.

But we'll see what happens when my friend and I wrestle it in.

wirewrkr, PM me when you get to town if you want to exchange notes!

At the beginning of this thread, I promised there would be no holding back. In that spirit, if the new engine is a dud, I'll be sure to make it know in as fair/objective a way as if it is a star.

Worst cast scenario, I know a whole hell of a lot more about the GS at the end of this weekend than if I do right now.
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Old 03-08-2011, 11:04 PM   #7
fishkens
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Nice! Looks like it has a Fox shock. It works well but may be 10 - 15 years old.

Dig the colors too.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:26 AM   #8
bgoodsoil
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Washington, DC, USA
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My first bike was a VN750 too. It was a comfy bike to start out on.

These engines are pretty simple and this forum is the best resource on the internet for them. Snowbum's site has every scrap of info you'd ever need but starting a build thread is a lot more interesting than digging through it. I did the same thing 2 years ago and it made the build a lot funner. If you can find some local airheads it'd certainly be helpful but hanging out with folks on here is still pretty good.

Those are some old Jesses. I've got the same ones. The PO said he ordered them in '95 and they had to make them special for him even then. They're some of the best panniers available.

Are any of the electrical parts on the busted engine aftermarket? You might find a better Starter/alternator/ignition system that you can swap over.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:34 AM   #9
asino OP
n00b indeed
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: East Bay
Oddometer: 17
fishkens: I have a thick stack of papers that came with the bike. The Fox Shox was a special order from the BMW dealer in Moutain View CA, dated from 1998. Now, there's warning signs all over the shock and the shock manual (I know, survived 13 years!) about how this is a nitrogen filled unit etc, etc, etc.

Does that mean if it is kaput, no fixing it? I'm not feeling the $850 1998 dollars this part was bought for...

bgoodsoil: I have nothing but love in my heart...and partial deafness for that kawasaki. It had drag pipes on it when I bought it.

The bay area is turning out to be filled to the rafters with airhead lovers, a few of which have already contacted me since I first posted yesterday.

Thank you all bay area (and non-bay area) airhead gurus for your contact and great advice!

I've found in previous car projects, which is still not done only on the side, you can get absolutely mired in another person's build thread and never actually do anything (of any consequence) to your own project.

So this thread is my resolution to commit to my own path, get an awesome bike out of it, and maybe sow the seeds of a few future great rides with this crew.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:40 AM   #10
SOLO LOBO
airhead or nothing
 
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Location: Shoreline, WA
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You might ping bmwguru to be sure, but I think Fox will still rebuild the motorcycle shocks... as would any real quality suspension shop.

If not Fox, I would HIGHLY suggest Dan Kyle Racing.
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Old 03-09-2011, 02:18 PM   #11
asino OP
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Location: East Bay
Oddometer: 17
Fox Shox

Hey Solo Lobo,

Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely price out Dan Kyle racing as well as fox when I cross that bridge.

Goal number one is to get this running and tuned. All the suspention and over all chasis maintenence will be gravy after that.
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:19 PM   #12
Wirespokes
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Location: Jackson's Bottom Oregon
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A riding buddy here got his GSPD with a Fox and I seriously consider it one of the best shocks you could get. Period! That thing is incredible!
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:23 PM   #13
asino OP
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Oddometer: 17
I'm excited to ride it to see what it needs. The front fork definitely needs a refresher as it was very spongy. The rear, the fox unit, didn't seem too bad, but I rode it pedal push style for about 50 feet so far, so we shall see.

Anybody have any live by advice for taking these airheads in and out?
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:38 PM   #14
bgoodsoil
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The gearbox needs to come off. You don't have to remove the swingarm to get the gearbox off but it's a heckuva lot easier if you do. To remove it you'll need a 27mm socket that's been ground down on the end a bit. The swingarm nuts are in a tight recess The clutch arm is mounted on the back of the gearbox and that's gotta get removed. There's a long rod going through the gearbox that gets in the way if you don't pull it out.

The engine's only held in with the 2 rods at the bottom(yours might have the mounts on top that go to the starter cover too). You might be able to lay the bike over and lift the engine out the side with a come-along.
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:24 AM   #15
zbg8000
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Oddometer: 44
My 93 gs had plenty of room for a standard 27mm socket from craftsman.
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