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Old 01-08-2012, 05:33 PM   #1
benthic OP
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R80/7 + a newb = a long road to cafe

hello Inmates!

I've been really learning a lot and enjoying the several airhead build threads here and they have both intimidated me and inspired. Inspired me enough to start my own thread.

a quick background of me:
I took the MSF course here in San Diego back in May 2011, quickly bought a 2007 Honda Shadow Spirit, and promptly crashed it in some local twisties. I spent the next month healing and fixing my bike - the fixing was entirely new to me and mostly cosmetic. The experience was obviously a great lesson in many ways, but it also awakened a hitherto unknown passion for beautiful motorcycles and the desire to make one myself. On December 21, 2011, I couldn't resist anymore and I bought a 1978 BMW R80/7.



So the good news is that the bike runs, and I was able to ride it home, and as far as I can tell, for being 33 years old it is in good shape. I suspect it hasn't been taken care of super well though, and the time has definitely taken some toll.

The things I know are wrong with it:
the gas cap is very finicky - i almost couldn't figure out how it works, but if i'm gentle and talk sweetly, it works
the seat lock doesn't seem to actually lock, but the catch does hold the seat down.
the bags don't have keys, and one of the locks was forced at some point - so they work, but not perfectly
the horn doesn't work, which is funny since the turn signals squeak when you use them!
there is some clunking with the front end, which i've been told might be a neck bearing - i'm working on that.
and when i bought the bike the centerstand almost immediately vibrated loose and fell off - luckily in my garage
the odometer was frozen at 30,000
there is an oil leak somewhere on the bottom of the bike

The things I suspect are wrong with it:
Since I have no basis for comparison it is hard to say, but i think overall it needs a tune up. I'm certainly no expert but it doesn't sound like i think it would if it has some TLC. And I think the same goes for the brakes and suspension. wheel bearings, etc.

So far I have fixed the odometer (thank you internet!) and fixed the center stand - I figured it would be much easier to work on with the center stand instead of that spring loaded side stand (tricky little guy - i almost dropped the bike when the side stand snapped back up!). I also took the bags and bag supports off so the bike would be easier to work on.

My PLAN, is to really fix the bike up mechanically before i think about anything cosmetic. But as i said, i'm a newb with no experience with engines. I can take stuff apart and put it back together, but so far, i don't really understand how they work. At the moment the exhaust is off (to fix the center stand) and I've got some parts coming (gaskets, crush washers), and hopefully this week i'll change the oil and filter, and air filter. I also started taking things off the handlebars to make it easier to clean them up and also get to the triple tree to check out this front end issue...

I'll take any and all crtisism and suggestions! Please, let me know if you have something to share. The bike came with the Clymer manual, and I've been scouring the internet - it is amazing how much information is out there and how many people love these bikes! I've also been reading Ian Falloon's Boxer Twin Bible, which is interesting.

To close this wordy intro-post, some pics:


the Honda and the BMW:) and my teeny tiny garage.


i found cycleworks.com and got myself one of these wrenches.


it is hard to tell, but the mufflers shined up awesome! the header pipes not so much.


i'm going to try to find a kit for these and clean them up!

Thanks for reading and I look forward to talking to some of you:)
Spencer
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:03 PM   #2
samthg
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Welcome to ADV. A great family, with tons of info & help.

I'm a new airhead owner myself, and just started the learning process also. Mine is a '78 r100s.

Many turn to Snowbum... bmwmotorcycletech.info/

Good luck with the bike. Maybe we'll cross paths in S.D. county someday. I really enjoy riding the Lake Henshaw, Mt. Palomar, Anza Borrego area's.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #3
kbasa
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Nice! We are your kindly motorcycle uncles and we will help you.

For the carbs, just hit them with some carb cleaner and a toothbrush to clean them up. Do they work OK?

The oil is likely coming out of the pushrod tubes, those cigar tube looking things at the base of the cylinders. Spray the whole thing with Simple Green and degrease it. Then, watch to see where it's coming from. If it's the pushrod tubes, you're going to learn about how motors work.

Regardless, you should learn to do a standard tune up on your bike. Look for your local airheads club and find out when they're having a tech day. Take your bike and go watch. It's awesome.

Here's one account from a chapter in FL: http://gearheadgrrrl.com/
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:20 PM   #4
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Welcome to the nut house for sure!!! Spencer, be sure to clean up the exhaust threads with a brush and be liberal with a coat of anti-seize on the threads before reinstalling the head pipes. It sucks when you bugger up those threads. Rebuilding the carbs isn't that bad. Do one at a time, and I wouldn't worry about doing the butterfly screws unless you can borrow the tool to mushroom the heads.

Read this then wander around his site a bit. Good learning there. make sure to use a google search for stuff on advrider. This search engine here sucks.

May want to get some electrical cleaner and dielectric grease and go through all the connections. Might help the horn problem. Lots of info here, lots of good folks willing to help. Oh...change those fuel filters, drop your float bowls and clean them out with carb cleaner and some compressed air for starters.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:34 PM   #5
Bill Harris
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Welcome to The Asylum. Your R80 is normal for a bike it's age, it'll respond well to some TLC.

Blindfishz? Benthic? Marine biologist??
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
Uncle Pollo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbasa View Post
Nice! We are your kindly motorcycle uncles and we will help you.

For the carbs, just hit them with some carb cleaner and a toothbrush to clean them up. Do they work OK?

The oil is likely coming out of the pushrod tubes, those cigar tube looking things at the base of the cylinders. Spray the whole thing with Simple Green and degrease it. Then, watch to see where it's coming from. If it's the pushrod tubes, you're going to learn about how motors work.

Regardless, you should learn to do a standard tune up on your bike. Look for your local airheads club and find out when they're having a tech day. Take your bike and go watch. It's awesome.

Here's one account from a chapter in FL: http://gearheadgrrrl.com/
Also, wash the underside of the bike and tighten those bolts under the oil pan ( they are upside down)

That stopped 90% of my oil leaks.
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Old 01-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
fishkens
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Originally Posted by PolloAsesino View Post
...and tighten those bolts under the oil pan ( they are upside down)
But use a torque wrench - those oil pan bolts can easily be overtightened and stripped.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:25 AM   #8
apt13
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just about the exact same bike (and story) as me. my R80/7 was basically my first real bike and first learning experience with working on one. it's been a great amount of fun, a little frustration, with excellent help from the folks here who were VERY patient with me, haha. don't be afraid to ask stupid questions.

my bike was in similar condition when i got it, with no history. i pretty much just changed all the fluids and learned how to tune it up as soon as i got it. the only major trouble i've had was some wiring and starter issues which were eventually sorted out. i also changed all the brake/throttle cables as they were pretty chewed up. the bike runs great now!

i've also got a weird "clunk" noise in the front end and haven't been able to figure it out. i was actually going to rebuild the forks this weekend to see what happens. i'd like to know if you ever figure yours out. i'll keep an eye on your thread for sure!
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:05 AM   #9
H96669
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apt13 View Post
i've also got a weird "clunk" noise in the front end and haven't been able to figure it out. i was actually going to rebuild the forks this weekend to see what happens. i'd like to know if you ever figure yours out. i'll keep an eye on your thread for sure!
A "clunk" type noise is usually the steering head bearings, but you really want to look at them on an old bike if just to remove and replace the old congealed grease.If I was home I could post pics of what I found in my 87GS.....scary!

A "clack" type noise can be worn "guide rings" inside the forks, kind of happened at the same time on my 85 K100 and my roommate's R100S so we spent a week-end way back then dissasembling cleaning and refitting our forks with copious amounts of "Lube". Easy job really when the lower bolt holding the internals cooperates. I usually loosen that one up before removing the tension on the springs,seems to hold the internals better so they don't turn as you unscrew the bolt.

Getting old....Beer & Lube doesn't mix so well anymore.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:04 AM   #10
Wirespokes
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Great first post! Ya done good!

About the best advice is to connect up to the airheads group and attend a tech day - more of a social get-together, but if you've got questions, that's the place to find answers. Those guys will be able to tell you in short order what's up, what to worry about and what's normal.

The squeaking turn signals is most likely caused by the turn signal beeper barely working. For a few years they thought it was a good idea to have an audible beep when the signals are on - not sure why. Perhaps they thought the rider would hear the beeping to remind him to turn them off. Doesn't work - I know guys who rode for miles with their signals still on. And beeping.

The clunk in the front end is most likely that the bumpers disintigrated - a rubber donut that softens the collision of slider and fork tube. Does it make the clunk on compression or rebound?

Steering head bearings are probably ok. You don't need to remove any front end stuff to check them. It's easy, and one of those things that will take two minutes for someone to show you how to check them. Essentially, they need to be loose enough to move freely, yet with no slop. Just a slight bit of preload is needed. The grease can get old and stiff and make the bearings feel notchy, and you'd swear the bearings are bad. But all that's needed is a clean up and fresh grease. The handle bars should slowly fall over to full lock on their own when the wheel is started in that direction. But the problem is there's wiring and cables to muddy the issue. One side usually falls easier than the other.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:01 PM   #11
benthic OP
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Geez! So many responses! Thanks all for the kind welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FR700 View Post
Clear concise posts with appropriate sized pictures will not be tolerated

I will try to do better next time;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by samthg View Post
Many turn to Snowbum... bmwmotorcycletech.info/

Iíve looked at his stuff, but find his site difficult to use - Iíll keep trying:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbasa View Post
For the carbs... Do they work OK?...The oil is likely coming out of the pushrod tubes, those cigar tube looking things at the base of the cylinders. Spray the whole thing with Simple Green and degrease it. Then, watch to see where it's coming from. If it's the pushrod tubes, you're going to learn about how motors work.

The bike runs, so i guess(?) they work ok;) Part of my learning process is taking things apart so even if they are working, I want to disassemble and rebuild so I understand them better - this ultimately will go for the entire engine I hope...I have tons of SG, but the bike has some serious layers of filth. My new approach is to clean as I take parts off rather than try to clean everything and all the nooks and crannies ahead of time - not great, as I wanted to start with a clean bike, but I've found it is about impossible to get to all the filth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
...be sure to clean up the exhaust threads with a brush and be liberal with a coat of anti-seize on the threads before reinstalling the head pipes.. Read this, t
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
hen wander around his site a bit....May want to get some electrical cleaner and dielectric grease and go through all the connections. Might help the horn problem. Lots of info here, lots of good folks willing to help. Oh...change those fuel filters, drop your float bowls and clean them out with carb cleaner and some compressed air for starters.
I already have the anti-seize ready for when I reassemble the exhaust:) - Great site about the oil filter - I bought what I think I need from Bobís BMW for the filter change, and have the Clymer manual. Good call on the fuel filters, etc. Iíll put it on my list;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harris View Post
Blindfishz? Benthic? Marine biologist??

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolloAsesino View Post
Also, wash the underside of the bike and tighten those bolts under the oil pan ( they are upside down) That stopped 90% of my oil leaks.

Yeah, Iím hoping that is what it is - I have a new oil pan gasket and crush washers coming...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishkens View Post
But use a torque wrench - those oil pan bolts can easily be overtightened and stripped.

I donít currently have a torque wrench that goes that low - I think the manual calls for 6 or 9ft/lbs? Iíll look into a smaller wrench. As I said, Iím new to engines (and torque wrenches!) - a friend had told me that for anything under 10 ft/lbs, it wasnít terribly important to use a torque wrench, I take it you disagree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by apt13 View Post
just about the exact same bike (and story) as me...

Awesome:) ditto if you find the clunk problem first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H96669 View Post
...so we spent a week-end way back then dissasembling cleaning and refitting our forks ...

Yup, that is the plan:) I need to read through my manual again to make sure I have everything i need. Also, with my tiny garage I donít have a lot of space - BUT! My wife and I are hopefully very close to buying a new home with a nice garage, so some of the disassembly projects might wait...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes View Post
The squeaking turn signals is most likely caused by the turn signal beeper barely working. ...The clunk in the front end is most likely that the bumpers disintigrated - a rubber donut that softens the collision of slider and fork tube. Does it make the clunk on compression or rebound? Steering head bearings are probably ok. ...The grease can get old and stiff and make the bearings feel notchy, and you'd swear the bearings are bad. But all that's needed is a clean up and fresh grease...

Huh, I didnít realize the turn signal beepers were seperate from the horn - I knew about this feature, but thought they were just wired to the horn. I plan on stopping the beeps as soon as I figure out how;) I think there is a lot of old and stiff grease on this bike!;) I hope to eventually disassemble everything and rebuild with fresh grease and parts where needed:)

I really appreciate the warm welcome! Iíve been meaning to join the airheads group so maybe Iíll get that done tonight:) Iíll try to come up with a list of ďdumbĒ questions for my next post;)

Thanks everyone!
Spencer
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:24 PM   #12
Rob Farmer
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the Honda and the BMW:) and my teeny tiny garage.
Pah! tiny garage!! Most of us in England have to make do with garages designed to house either a horse or at best an Austin 7, The vast majority have no garages at all. Yours is positively palatial by comparison.

If you have no idea what an Austin 7 - this was the standard sized British car up until WWII



Cool bike though. I have one of those with over 200,000 miles on it.

Rob Farmer screwed with this post 01-09-2012 at 01:29 PM
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:25 PM   #13
apt13
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there was a guy on the BMWMOA forums who did a total rebuild of the flat top carbs (same as you and me) and had good pics throughout the whole process. might be worth looking at if you get around to redoing the carbs. or bookmark for later. luckily mine have been seemingly working good (as far as i know), so i haven't had to dig into them yet. i'll try and find the link in a sec.

update: here it is:

http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...light=flat+top
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apt13 screwed with this post 01-09-2012 at 01:42 PM
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:04 PM   #14
benthic OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apt13 View Post
hmmm...looks a bit more complicated than I thought. Well, if it was easy, everyone would do it right?;)

Since the bike runs, I think I pick the low fruit on the engine side (oil, transmission, and shaft) and focus on the front end. (sound reasonable?) So I have some front end questions:)

While I'm working on the front does anyone have any suggestions on things to take care of while I'm there? I read this article about upgrading the suspension with an emulator(?) and am wondering if I should think about doing it?

How would I know if the fork springs need to be replaced? I've been told to change the fork oil and am planning on it.

I'm not really trying to make a racer or anything, but I do want to RIDE it:) and am willing to make smart upgrades. Anything else?

Thanks!
Spencer
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:14 PM   #15
Wirespokes
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Unless he's an MOA (BMW Owners of America) member, he won't be able to access that thread.

However - here's his photobucket pictorial, which should help some:

http://s1142.photobucket.com/albums/...tor%20Rebuild/
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