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Old 10-26-2012, 09:57 AM   #1
Gytis OP
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Hello airheads

Hi to all.

Let me introduce my self. My name is Gytis and I am gear addict.
English isn't my first language, and not second either, but you know that already, so please forgive me for my verbal diarrhea. Bear with me and I'll do my best . Though on regular basics my post should and will remain one sentence at the time

Wrenching in my garage is my Zen . Fixing, building and driving fast - that is what gets me in trouble with wife and law enforcement. Though , my son loves it. Go figure
I have, some, knowledge building and driving ( racing) cars. Particularly early 911s. I do own few too.

Motorcycles is totally new to me, but I always was fascinated by, and all my knowledge comes from reading threads on this forum.
Have driven few long , looooond time ago. Not sure about values and good years vs bad year models. So I did, not unusual to me, move - I dive in head first by buying 1986 BMW R80 witch looks like Touring bike with luggage boxes and what not, sight unseen, not knowing it runs or not ,and any other conditions.
Intent in purchasing was to build Caffe Racer. Now, after accepting delivery and inspecting closer, I have trouble proceeding with "chop and cut" approach.
Bike is in very original state.One owner. Mechanically sound. Runs and Drives great. 5k miles on speedo. Has all original stuff down to manuals, tool set, wheel lock etc.

My questions would be:

1. is there a value in originality. preserving this way and driving the hell out of it ?

2. cons and pros for this particular model ?

3. best way to make it center mount rear shock? ( if I'll go "cut and chop" route)

I'll post photos as soon as I figure how to.

Gytis screwed with this post 10-26-2012 at 10:04 AM Reason: gramar
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:11 AM   #2
Gytis OP
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
Gytis OP
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how difficult is upgrade to one of these ? or similar.
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:26 PM   #4
Gytis OP
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how difficult can it be to update to this kind a swing arm ?

is length of single side arm and dual arms , and newer vs older differs a lot ?
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Old 10-26-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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Your bike is a monoshock already, and I see no sense in moving the shock to a center position.

Converting to the newer style swingarm would be a lot of work - much more difficult than it first appears as the distance between mountings is different. Also, that rear suspension is longer than yours and wouldn't work any better than what's already there. All you would gain is a disc brake when your drum is plenty sufficient.

I don't know that the R80 has an special collector value, but it sounds like a nice bike and worthy of being maintianed as-is. Pix would help fill in the story a LOT.

When we get posts like this, we usually recommend riding the bike for a while and let it 'talk' to you. Get acquainted and go from there.

Also - welcome to the forum! Don't worry about the language barrier - you've done a good job of hurdling that one!
Wanted: Dead, smashed, crashed or trashed gauges
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:05 PM   #6
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+1 wirespokes
R90s 1070 replica, R90/6, 1958 R50
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:07 PM   #7
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Welcome to the Asylum.

I'm not an expert on many airheads, as I only have had the one I own now. But there is a wealth of knowledge on here - one just has to selectively read through many many threads to find the specific bits of knowledge needed at any one time.

The swingarm in your link looks like a paralever swingarm. Its design cured some of the earlier monolever quirks such as "jacking" in which the rear end of the bike lifts on acceleration form a stop, and conversely squats slightly on deceleration. But paralevers are prone to rear pivot bearing failures, and I believe also final drive failures. I'm not sure if upgrading an older bike to that swingarm is feasible or even desirable.

As for preserving originality, it comes down to whether the model in question is rare, or was a bigger seller in its day. And as with many things, even a rare model can be customized quite a bit and the original parts stored away in case the day comes when it may be more important to restore it to original. Case in point - My R80 ST is becoming fairly rare as it was a two-year-only model that didn't sell well. Now it is much more sought after. So the few mods I've made are all reversible and the parts are stored away just in case.
Mark J
Merritt Island, FL

When a person asks you for advice, they don't want advice. They want corroboration.
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mark1305 View Post
. But paralevers are prone to rear pivot bearing failures, and I believe also final drive failures.
Drive shaft failures, not final drives. But the item pictured is an R1100 swingarm that, if used with the appropriate shaft apparently avoids the failures of the earlier Para shafts.

Whether it would be worth trying on an 86 R80 is debatable.
Current: 93 R100GS, 03 XR650R
Prior: 73 CB350, 77 R100/7, 83 R100RT, 04 XR650L
I love every motorcycle I've owned and even some that I haven't.

ignatz72 screwed with this post 10-26-2012 at 01:38 PM
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:21 PM   #9
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if your R80 touring bike is truly an original 5k mile bike... don't chop that super nice bike up.

there's plenty of airheads that's a better candidate for chopping up.
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:04 PM   #10
Gytis OP
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Hey, I am back. thanks for responses . I appreciate .

"Sandy" wasn't as bad to my town as to others. No power for 10 days. No WEB (thanks Verizon) for 25 days.
So i survived and so my bike.

Had a ton of time alone with bike. Disassembled into pieces....and put it back together. Just to get to know each other :)

Still, being me I want to make some changes . Will try to make as reversible as possible.
Just for kicks and games would want to BUY Rear swing arm for my 86 R80. Any suggestions ? anyone looking to sell?

Thought I give a try here first and keep $$ in the "family", before hitting ebay and craigslist , and etc.

please let me know what you have. Cash, paypal, check is ready.

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Old 11-28-2012, 08:08 AM   #11
Rob Farmer
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The 1100 swinging arm will fit straight into your bike but you will have a huge offset from the centre line. With some expensive wheel work you can just about pull it back if you have wire wheels fitted but it isn't cheap or easy to do, the spoke angles have to be changed in the hub. You would also need an adapter to change from your existing drive shaft flange to one that will take the 1100 swinging arm. On top of that you need to make up a shock mount for the top of the shock and have a custom shock made to suit.

Heres the shock mount GarryH made

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Old 11-28-2012, 10:22 AM   #12
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A low mileage original bike is not a good prospect for the type of modification you have mentioned. It does happen all the time. The majority opinion seems to be that it's a money loser. We do see some fantastic skills at building some of these bikes though and if they work well after modification they may keep some value. I don't know about that part though. How well does it work?

A big draw back to the Airhead and all the modifications done is the frame. I've never seen anything more that some reinforcement and a cross brace installed. Is that enough?

A lot of effort is put on eliminating weight to increase weight/power ratio. I think there are points made in this area but it is still an Airhead and the nearest 500 cc Crotch Rocket blows away a 900 cc BMW. (And the rider of the Crotch Rocket is a Fat Boy!)

Try to keep the bike as it is for a year. This will probably be enough time to make the correct decision. These bikes have some quirks and they grow on you.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

Pay your debt, piratejohn.
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