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Old 02-04-2013, 11:36 PM   #1
SERE Nate OP
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Joined: Jan 2013
Oddometer: 123
Bought my 1st Airhead!!!!

I finally have found my dream bike! I found a 1977 75/7 tucked away in a barn in Montana. It has 60k miles on it, its a 2 owner bike, new tires, points, oil pan gasket, condenser, and plugs. Starts up and runs. I have not had a chance to actually see the bike yet so I'm going off of pictures. My buddy is going to pick it up for me tomorrow. I'm in Spokane Wa so I can't get over to get it right away.

I paid $1500 for it, plus $100 gas for my buddy to get it. I feel like I did pretty good on the deal.

What are some of the things that should be checked/replaced on the bike to get started?

I plan on keeping it fairly stock, but want to do some modern upgrades on it to increase the performance and reliability of the bike. What are some of the common upgrades that I should look into doing on the bike?

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...37209964_n.jpg

http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphoto...01746786_n.jpg
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:32 PM   #2
disston
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Congratulations. A very nice vintage example of Airhead.

I recommend not trying too many "upgrades" right away. The bike will work just fine the way it was built. There's plenty to do. You'll need a manual either the Haynes or Clymers manuals will work. Most of us have both. You'll need the on board tool kit and a couple of special tools will be needed in time. There are many parts that the bike will need as normal wear and tear. There's the oil filter set up to learn and measure the oil filter depth to see if the White O-ring is properly spaced. The tune up on this machine requires points and plugs. You learn how to do this. Clutch adjustment should be looked at and all the fluids changed.

The bike will tell you what it needs. At first you will be learning to do this normal maintenance stuff and then some day there will be a new oil leak that we'll have to talk about. Or the clutch may need renewing or the gearbox might be getting too loose. So learn the bike. It will tell you what it needs.

Most new Airhead owners want better brakes right away. Eventually the brakes can be improved. If you throw thousands of dollars at the brakes and a year rebuilding them, they will still be Ate brakes and they won't work as good as your buddies new GSXR. Learn to not tail gate. It can save you thousands of dollars.

Let us know how well it runs. Put some miles on her.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:54 PM   #3
SERE Nate OP
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Thanks for the reply.

I built a custom cafe out of a rusted out 80 CB650. I am expecting to do some wrenching and maintenance. Sounds like its in good working order and that the main tune ups have been done recently.

My main concern is to get it as safe and reliable as I can, as I plan on taking my gf on this bike and we are going to go on some long trips this summer.

With new (500 miles) tires, points, plugs, oil, and a few other things, it sounds like it should be good to go. What else would you change out prior to really taking it for an extended ride? We are looking to go from Spokane to Seattle, then to Portland, and back.

She comes from a Harley background and I'm trying to un brainwash her!!!!.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:15 PM   #4
villageidiot
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Ignition wires, brake hose/fresh fluid, service all fluids, fresh fuel filters, check wheel bearings, steering stem bearings, and make sure the brushes on the alternator are good is where I would start
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:39 PM   #5
Cordless
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30 years away from home is enough

I am moving back home to Spokane in the next two months and bringing my tools and airhead menagerie with me including my own '77 R75/7 so you will have a bike to compare yours to.

I also have an '81 g/s in pieces, a '75 R90/6, a '56 R50, and an '82 R100RT just to keep me occupied. There's apparently a small but dedicated airhead community in Spokane--and I am accustomed to running two tech days per year so you'll have some human and tool resources.

If you like engine work, I will also be building a high performance airhead engine over the next few years just for grins. I have three+ /5 engines to cannibalize.

I look forward to seeing your new /7. You made a good deal.
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
bbsteinle
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Spokane Airheads meet the first Wed. of the month (starting in March) at the Rocket Market on the South Hill. Take Grand Blvd south all the way to the end, then one block east. Hope to see you guys there!

bbsteinle screwed with this post 02-05-2013 at 07:49 PM Reason: missed a word.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:34 PM   #7
SERE Nate OP
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Its ALIVE! My buddy went and picked it up tonight. It was 25 degrees out, he checked and the motor was cold, and the bike fired right up. He said that there was a little smoke but everything seemed to be in proper order.

I look forward to getting to know everyone here!

Here is a pic of my CB650 that me and my buddy built. My buddy built most of it, I did the grunt work and designed the bike....

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

My buddies BMW in front, my CB in the back....

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

Another project,,,,,

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

Last project bike! 65 yds3 Big Bear

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:35 AM   #8
gsd4me
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There's nothing really special about the R75/7 except that not many were made before they increased the capacity to 800cc. If it were mine I'd be looking after it and not molesting it too much.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:48 AM   #9
Paul_Rochdale
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As the others said, leave the poor thing alone and just get used to riding her and understanding her character. As for the poor ATE brakes, they will never be brilliant but at least you have twin discs. See where the brake master cylinder is. If it's under the tank and mounted on the frame, you can get a kit from Motorworks to mount it on your handlebars. This is far, far better as you will not so easily ignore the brake fluid. Apparently the brakes also work a bit better with the master cylinder on the handlebars. Touring? Did you get panniers with the bike? I see there are no pannier frames in the photos. These shouldn't be too expensive bought secondhand.

They are good bikes, I have a 100/7 which I had twin plugged. This improved the smooth running, exceleration and MPG but that can come later.

One thing I should mention and that's the finned exhaust nuts. Unless these have been properly looked after, they have a tendency of seizing on the male threads of the cylinder head. Do not use anything other than the correct bronze spanner available from Motorworks. When you buy/borrow the spanner ('wrench' to you Merrycans) see if you can at least move the nuts. DO NOT USE FORCE. The threads of the nuts and the studs can and do corrode so if you use force, you WILL regret this as a repair is possible, expensive and unneccessary. If after applying copious amounts of WD40, try boiling water. If they fail to work, you will need to remove the soft alloy nuts by drilling a serious of shallow 1/16" holes between the fins of the nut - don't go too deeply as you will damage the male thread of the stubs. When use have a line of shallow holes, use a really sharp chisel, I use an old broad screwdriver blade sharpened to a sharp edge, then strike the chisel point along the series of holes. Then with a bit of leverage, the nut will spring apart and off the stub leaving the thread intact. You'll then need new nuts of course but they are cheap. Clean up the male threads with a wire brush and Copaslip the new nuts and replace. Don't do it up too tightly (Please don't ask about bloody torque wrenches) and in a years time, undo, clean and re-Copaslip. Simples. I 'restored' the male threads on one of my BM's by grinding a knife edge along a hacksaw blade, and used this to carefully file away along the lines of the thread. It worked and annual re-Copaslipping will prevent any further problems.

Paul_Rochdale screwed with this post 02-06-2013 at 04:08 AM
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:43 AM   #10
hardwaregrrl
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BAGS!!! That's all you need to pack your crap in and hit the road!!! Get a set of cheap softbags, or I bet you can find some period correct BMW bags for a good price. Congrats on your purchase!!! It looks like a winner.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:50 AM   #11
sealsam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
BAGS!!! That's all you need to pack your crap in and hit the road!!!
...and maybe an inexpensive aftermarket windscreen to keep the 'junk' off you.

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:51 AM   #12
Gerg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_Rochdale View Post
As the others said, leave the poor thing alone and just get used to riding her and understanding her character. As for the poor ATE brakes, they will never be brilliant but at least you have twin discs. See where the brake master cylinder is. If it's under the tank and mounted on the frame, you can get a kit from Motorworks to mount it on your handlebars. This is far, far better as you will not so easily ignore the brake fluid. Apparently the brakes also work a bit better with the master cylinder on the handlebars. Touring? Did you get panniers with the bike? I see there are no pannier frames in the photos. These shouldn't be too expensive bought secondhand.

They are good bikes, I have a 100/7 which I had twin plugged. This improved the smooth running, exceleration and MPG but that can come later.


One thing I should mention and that's the finned exhaust nuts. Unless these have been properly looked after, they have a tendency of seizing on the male threads of the cylinder head. Do not use anything other than the correct bronze spanner available from Motorworks. When you buy/borrow the spanner ('wrench' to you Merrycans) see if you can at least move the nuts. DO NOT USE FORCE. The threads of the nuts and the studs can and do corrode so if you use force, you WILL regret this as a repair is possible, expensive and unneccessary. If after applying copious amounts of WD40, try boiling water. If they fail to work, you will need to remove the soft alloy nuts by drilling a serious of shallow 1/16" holes between the fins of the nut - don't go too deeply as you will damage the male thread of the stubs. When use have a line of shallow holes, use a really sharp chisel, I use an old broad screwdriver blade sharpened to a sharp edge, then strike the chisel point along the series of holes. Then with a bit of leverage, the nut will spring apart and off the stub leaving the thread intact. You'll then need new nuts of course but they are cheap. Clean up the male threads with a wire brush and Copaslip the new nuts and replace. Don't do it up too tightly (Please don't ask about bloody torque wrenches) and in a years time, undo, clean and re-Copaslip. Simples. I 'restored' the male threads on one of my BM's by grinding a knife edge along a hacksaw blade, and used this to carefully file away along the lines of the thread. It worked and annual re-Copaslipping will prevent any further problems.
Heat is your friend!
I had a hell of a time getting them off of my /7 (still in boxes). Adding heat to JUST the fins so you transfer as little heat as you can to the head and it'll probably come lose. But you still need the spanner
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:57 AM   #13
SERE Nate OP
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Talking

It comes with a set of soft bags!
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:22 AM   #14
DoktorT
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Location: Chewelah, WA
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Not a whole bunch but there are enough of us Airheads in Spokane to help each other out.

I have a 79 RS. John in Chewelah has a pristine R90S, his Dad's 78 R100RS, and a 90's R100 with sidecar, oh and as well a nice /5 toaster.

Bob in Deer Park will be having another 3 day Barley Therapy this summer. A great meet with lots of Canadians who come down for the weekend.

Another Bob is on the Southill with 2 Airheads.

A new Airhead has bought a house on the southill and is moving to Spokane next month with a bunch of Airheads, and says he has been having yearly Barley Therapies and will continue to do that when he gets moved in. (See Cordless above)

First Wed each month is a gathering of all types of motorcycles, Airheads and lots of vintage stuff there as well as a bunch of newer Guzzies to even a few Harleys, at the Rocket Market at the bitter end of Grand Blvd.

There can be expected at least 5 or more Airheads will be going to the BMWMOA National this June in Salem, OR.

No doubt we can help you get your new Airhead in good condition by then to make the ride with us.

Pmail me the first chance you have to spend some time with the Airhead in hand. I would be happy to come and spend an hour and just orient you to most of the basics you need to know that will save you much time/money in not making so many of the typical errors of Airhead nOObs.

It's just as important to know what NOT to spend time/money on as what needs to be done to insure safe and reliable touring.

T.P. Stephens
W. Spokane
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:46 AM   #15
SERE Nate OP
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Thanks!

I posted last night but for some reason it didn't go through. Maybe because im a noob? Anyways, my buddy picked it up for me last night. It was 25 degrees out and he checked the motor and it was cold. He said it fired right up and sounded pretty good. Said it smoked a little but nothing too crazy.

It will need some tlc but mostly cosmetic. It came with soft bags, wheel and fork bearings, manuals, tool kit, and some extra loose misc parts and gaskets.

I'd love to make the trip to Oregon! That sounds like a realistic goal. I'm hoping to go get it around the 20th but it will depend on the roads. I'm planning on riding it back from Montana. It's in good hands now at least. He's a great mechanic but mostly jap stuff. He's going to do some basic maintenance and check everything out for me.
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