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Old 12-25-2008, 01:21 AM   #1
Thunderpants OP
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R 80 g/s PD heading for The Gambia

You know the way when you've had a few drinks, the phone rings, some mad bugger with a half baked idea starts blethering in your ear and the next thing you know you've agreed to something without thinking it through?

Well it happened to me and I'm now committed to a ride in January 2010 from the West Coast of Scotland down to The Gambia to support a charity which is raising funds to build a four-mile lifeline road for an impoverished part of Africa, cut off by rainwater for six months of the year.

After giving it a lot of thought I'm not only going but I'm taking an Airhead and leaving the nasty oil head at home so any tips, thoughts, ideas on preparing will be gratefully accepted and if you want to contribute some of your children's inheritance click the link below

Was fortunate a few weeks back to find a much loved 80 g/s PD and did a deal with the owner which let me add my first mono to the stable. Flew over early one Saturday morning to collect it and found out very quickly just what people have been raving about with these things, I'd had a 1993 100 GS PD for a while but the little 80 was just so light and quickly became my favorite.



A couple of weeks later I heard on the airhead grapevine about another g/s PD which was on the market and being sold with a load of spares including standard g/s tank, starter motor, Thunderchild electrical components, rocker covers, the list just went on and on so I contacted the owner and next thing I knew I was on the ferry again heading off to collect yet another bike.

This one originated in Germany and its first owner was not a fan of the classic paint scheme so had the bike painted a dark anthracite grey and dyed the red single seat black



Mechanically the bike had recently had a complete top end rebuild and came with a twin disk conversion (co-incidentally just like the first one) so when it came to deciding which bike to prepare for the Gambia trip I decided to go with the grey one and at the same time return the bodywork back to it's original Alpine white.

First step was to strip the bike, send the plastics and tanks off to a local paint shop and the rear sub frame to a local fabricator to be reinforced.





Had a chance to check out the plumbing for the twin disc system, which was nice



First addition was an extended sump spacer so out came the oil (my first ever on an airhead) and after a good clean inside the new oil pick up spacer was fitted and the spacer installed using some nice shiny stainless steel bolts rather than the galvanized ones that came with the kit.



Next was the Sito exhaust, it fitted straight on with the mounting points lining up perfectly using the supplied space for the link pipe from the OE junction box and a Technoflex shock complete with high and low compression adjustment.



Last but not least for the day a set of heavy duty stainless steel crash bars and a freshly powder coated set of square rocker covers.



These crash bars are a lot stonger than the stock ones and still let you geemove the rocker covers when fitted. The only downside is you cannot fit the standard side stand to them but as the bike has a Surefoot stand this is not an issue.

Having fitted a spare rear subframe I adapted the bikes standard exhaust shield to fit with the Sito. Quite a simple job as the Sito came with a mounting lug already, all that was required was a couple of new holes in the guard and one in the lower mounting bracket of the Sito and on it went. I'll be adding a bracket between the rear of the heat shield and the rear rack eventually just to stabilize the guard.



Seemed like time to fit the PD tank from the first bike (the freshly painted grey PD tank would be safer on that) and take the bike out for a quick wash and start it up. I made a quick movie with the camera to record the event. Please remember the bike had just been ashed on a cold winters morning so the steam rising from the cyliners is not a problem.

Also gave the chance to see if the voltmeter I'd sourced from a breaker and fitted instead of the clock was working. It was and had a dead spider under the glass for that authentic aged look!



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Old 12-25-2008, 01:35 AM   #2
johno
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How dare you come on here and brag about having 2 G/S Beemers.

Most of us would kill for 1, let alone 2.

They look good thats for sure.


Just need to keep my eyes, and ears open. Maybe one day
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Old 12-25-2008, 02:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johno
How dare you come on here and brag about having 2 G/S Beemers.

Most of us would kill for 1, let alone 2.

They look good thats for sure.


Just need to keep my eyes, and ears open. Maybe one day
Let's just say I'm their custodian for future generations
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Old 12-25-2008, 02:41 AM   #4
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Next was the new alloy top yolk which I found on this very site. There is a specific version for the g/s which has mounting clamps for the indicator tubes which need to be cut but I wanted to retain the mounting points for additional instruments so went with the standard clamp, reversed and inverted the indicators and adapted the end of the tube to allow the lenses to point straight.





While the yolk was being replaced I took the opportunity to fit new head bearings, the existing ones were past there best and the packing grease had turned to "jelly".

As the plastics and tanks had come back from the paint shop the new MPH speedo was installed to replace the original kph version. As it came with 1 mile on the clock I negotiated a discount from the dealer on the basis it was used.



A set of Renthal bars combined wiith the original mounting clamps completed the modification.
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Old 12-25-2008, 02:52 AM   #5
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Having fitted the new body work it was time for some pictures to record the moment.

I'm biased here but combined with the Acerbis brush guards (half the price of TT guards, same manufacturer but without the TT badges) and the fly screen from the 80 Basic I'm well pleased with the result.











Calipers are not fitted as I'm replacing the brak lines and splitter so taking the opportunity to clean and service them over the Christmas holidays.
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Old 12-25-2008, 03:02 AM   #6
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While the painter was doing the original tanks and bodywork I sent him a new nylon 43 liter HPN tank to paint as well.

Acerbis who make the tanks for HPN stopped making them 6 months ago so fitting kits are having to be made by HPN themselves and won't be available for 4 weeks or so but I thought it best to have everything painted together and modified a set of decals sourced through Italian Ebay for the PD look.





I'll be fitting an original set of side foils as well but am going to wait until the tank is on the bike to get the positioning right.

Will post further developments as they take place.
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Old 12-25-2008, 04:33 AM   #7
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you're set. Take a double-nutted bolt (M6 works for me) to serve as a shift peg in case you break the shifter. Or just carry a spare shift lever (spot-welding some rod to the perforated stock shift lever strengthens it). Spare clutch and brake hand levers are de rigeur also. As are spare control cables ziptied to the originals.

the monolever will be the shit in Africa

We expect an overly-detailed ride report
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:46 AM   #8
Wirespokes
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Oh man oh man! When you jump in, it's all the way!

I like the dual disc conversion. Any idea what was involved?

These things are addictive, huh? I would recommend installing Race Tech Cartridge Emulators - one of the cheapest, biggest bang for the buck upgrades you can do to the bike. Then install an Ohlins or Wilbers or something comparable on the rear. You'll be amazed.
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:04 AM   #9
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beautiful. and a ''sail/drive-and-ride'' to get the second bike. an adventure in itself.
sounds like a great trip. best of luck and keep us posted.
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:26 AM   #10
Rob Farmer
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And there he is. Doesn't seem like five minutes since he was taking the piss out of us Airhead riders and there's your man himself with two of em.

Way to go Roger. Glad you've seen the light

Rob Farmer screwed with this post 12-25-2008 at 09:55 AM
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:06 AM   #11
Caddy82rats
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Great bike and report
now we are waiting the story of the travel
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Old 12-25-2008, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugwest


you're set. Take a double-nutted bolt (M6 works for me) to serve as a shift peg in case you break the shifter. Or just carry a spare shift lever (spot-welding some rod to the perforated stock shift lever strengthens it). Spare clutch and brake hand levers are de rigeur also. As are spare control cables ziptied to the originals.

the monolever will be the shit in Africa

We expect an overly-detailed ride report
Good info have added it to the list of things to do and I'm sure a full report will be possible
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Old 12-25-2008, 12:00 PM   #13
Thunderpants OP
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Location: Ireland (The bit at the top)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirespokes
Oh man oh man! When you jump in, it's all the way!

I like the dual disc conversion. Any idea what was involved?

These things are addictive, huh? I would recommend installing Race Tech Cartridge Emulators - one of the cheapest, biggest bang for the buck upgrades you can do to the bike. Then install an Ohlins or Wilbers or something comparable on the rear. You'll be amazed.
Will have a look into Race Tech Cartridge Emulators and see what's involved. The forks have already had progressive springs fitted which helps with the extra braking.

The brake cylinder has been changed to a 15mm unit rather than the stock 13mm to handle the additional caliper.

I've ordered new lines and a splitter from Venhill Engineering in the UK which was pretty straightforward.

The bikes both came with front wheels capable of taking two discs, plus the discs and additional Brembo calipers, I'm not sure of what they are from but can find out easily enough and let you know.
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Old 12-25-2008, 12:03 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rob Farmer
And there he is. Doesn't seem like five minutes since he was taking the piss out of us Airhead riders and there's your man himself with two of em.

Way to go Roger. Glad you've seen the light
How dare you Sir, when did I ever take the piss out of airhead riders? Well on a public forum or anytime you lot were in earshot?

Thought I'd bore the pants off a wider audience Rob!
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Old 12-25-2008, 12:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Caddy82rats
Great bike and report
now we are waiting the story of the travel
Well the trip itself is not due to start until the 8th of January 2010 but I wanted to make a start this winter then ride the bike next year before a final strip and rebuild ready for the off.

Still have things to sort but will post as things progress and of course a full report on the trip itself.

I'm the only Airhead going so far so should be interesting
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