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Old 06-05-2010, 03:37 PM   #1
ashrubbery OP
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How to ride an airhead

Hello, im a new airhead owner having recently bought an '82 R100RS (same guy having charging problems see "Charging problems - R100RS" http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=586155 )

So I bought the BMW because I needed a reliable bike that has a big enough engine, was comfortable and has plenty of space for touring. Im planning on doing a rather long road trip about 7000km id say.

The biggest thing of course was reliability and Ive been told that these BMW airheads were dead reliable - so i got one. It was also in my price range - i payed $2500 for it. Well, okay it wasnt really in my price range. I did have the money though (my savings...), and I decided to buy it because of all of the above reasons and the fact that it was in great condition and If I looked after it id get my money back 3 or 4 years down the line if I have to sell it.


Its done about 87,000km which isnt too bad...

The only thing ive been disappointed about is the charging/battery which I think ive got fixed... (better be or else im screwed! did I mention im leaving for this trip in a week??) and the fact that the original BMW voltmeter and clock has been replaced! I thought the clock looked a bit crummy for a beemer when I bought it. bastards!
well at least it came with the original BMW panniers.

Anyways coming to the point of this thread I do realize that this is an old bike and needs to be treated well. Besides regular maintenance (changing oil and whatnot) how should I ride the BMW to ensure maximum longevity and most importantly so that it wont break down on me. For example what is the bikes ideal rpm?

Also in terms of big maintenance jobs, what are the things on the bike I need to pay extra attention so that they wont break/explode/fail and then I have to pay 100s and 1000s of dollars to fix (money I dont have!)

one final question have you guys ridden your R100RS off road? im thinking of riding it on a very well used farm road (not paved though). About 40km i think. If i do it I will go slow, but can the bike handle it do you think?

thanks
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:06 PM   #2
Frank06
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I find my '81 R100RT likes to run at 4k RPM (~65 mph or so I think.) I'm sure every bike has their own personality so you'll have to find out what works for you. The 1000cc engines apparently have a shudder under load around 3K RPM so that's to be avoided. Search/read threads on the $2K or $3K o-ring (to do with the oil filter.) Check valve clearance, etc. I run synthetic fluids in everything except the engine.
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:13 PM   #3
durtwurm
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Maintenance records? Most important part of an old bike purchase. I will no longer purchase an old bike without them. As to the charging system; it is adequate if everthing is functioning properly. There are upgrades out there, but cost you some cash. I ride mine on dirt roads all the time ('78 RS ). Depends on the tires. My bike likes to run on the Interstate at 80-90 mph. The fairing is the best ever on any machine. Things to look out for? Well, depends on what has been done maintenance wise but; fork seals; pushrod seals; brake switch; points good, that is if it still has 'em; none leaking master cylinders; head bearing; wheel bearings, etc. If your bike is sound you got a very good price. Splines need to be checked and serviced if it is unknown when this was last done; transmission input and final drive.

And yes, the 2,000 buck o-ring as mentioned.

Here is my old '78 RS. We are RS bros.

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Old 06-05-2010, 05:53 PM   #4
Yarddog
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Ride the hell out of it...Fix what needs fixin'...do the regular maintenance on it...don't work it to death unless you intend to take it all apart and re-do it, like I did mine, because I needed mine to be dead-reliable...period...and the only way I could reasonably guarantee that would happen is to do what I did...If you don't, just expect things to break from time to time and deal with it...Don't know if any really good short cuts that I would be happy with, so just ride 'er...
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:21 PM   #5
Wirespokes
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First off, don't lug it. Boxer engines don't hold up well worked below 3K or 3.5K RPM. Shift down if you want to pass or head up a hill.

Don't wind out first gear - short shift. It's easier on the transmission that way.

Use fifth as an overdrive and don't make it work hard. See above.

Four to five thousand RPMs are good cruising Rs. Six works too, but is kinda fast for any speed limits around here.

Lubing the final drive splines every rear tire change (first time should be now, unless you know for sure the PO did it recently), and the trans input splines every 20K, along with the regular maintenance.

If the bike was sitting for a year, lube the cable ends to ensure they swivel when used, otherwise they'll bind/stick and the cable will work back and forth and break.

Definitely use synthetic in the trans - it'll double it's life span. And inspect the trans drain plug frequently to ensure no large chunks of metal are coming loose.

Take it easy on gravel roads because the front/main fairing mount tends to break. The upright tubing arms are only tack welded to the sheet metal and are not as robust as they should be. Those tack welds break and the tubes come free of the sheet metal bracket.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:52 PM   #6
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I agree with what you have been told by the others here. One thought however, have the exhaust valves been replaced yet? This year motor is prone to exhaust valve recession at about the mileage you state it has. Suggest you check this before leaving on an extended trip, otherwise do the maintenace and enjoy.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:56 PM   #7
Just Dan
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The RS has been doing dirt for longer than those johnny come lately GS things. We call GS's mobile traffic jams on dirt tracks.

You can punt an RS quite quickly over long distances on dirt. The secret is being smooth and picking your line well in advance. If you don't. Then things tend to break. Like fairing mounts and dents in the front rim. No more than any other bike with a full fairing.

One of my earlier RS's . Did well over 30,000 km of dirt, on that one.
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Old 06-05-2010, 10:45 PM   #8
boxerboy81
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I. Look after the electrics and charge system. A half day spent cleaning or replacing every accessible connection, some soldering, add an extra earth strap from the diode board, service your starter and keep the battery in good nick.
2. Work out the best screen to helmet relationship. Buffeting can destroy the fun. I'm 186cm, and a 7cm cut down from the oem screen allows comfortable cruising, whilst maintaining 90%+ of the weather protection.
3. Clean carbs, replace o-rings, gaskets, diaphragms, run some copper wire thru the jets and the orifices in the throat (near the butterfly.
5. Change all oils. I use semi synth (post rebuild) in the motor, semi or full synth in gearbox, and dino in the shaft and fd. Take particular note of how your filter o-ring is done. Keep a spare o-ring and shim on the bike if you're touring.
6. Buy a couple of sets of all the crush washers for motor and transmissions....change them every time, and learn how to tighten the drain bolts without stripping the threads. No need to "crush" the crush washers...snug is ok.
7. Service the centre stand. Grease the pivots, tighten those bolts. Out of sight out of mind...
8. Ensure the wheel bearings are clean, greased and shimmed correctly.
9. Adjust the swingarm bearings, regrease them too.
10. Check your splines...moly, thin coat, but every time the rear wheel is off. Clean the old stuff off first. Take note of the state of the splines.
11. Keep an eye out for a good spare transmission and final drive.

There's more of course...but
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:01 PM   #9
coastranger
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flush bleed brakes, ck air filter is all I can add to above
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Old 06-06-2010, 04:33 AM   #10
ashrubbery OP
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The $2000 O-ring has to do with the oil cooler right? Where is this oil cooler? ive found lots of detailed info but cant find where the thing is to begin with! Where do i look to find it?
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:15 AM   #11
boxerboy81
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The o-ring is where the oil filter is, under the filter cover.
On the RS, it should be covered by the oil cooler thermostat.
The cooler sits b/w the two downtubes at the front of the bike, and is connected to the thermostat/oil filter via oil lines. It's rectangular and is surrounded by the lower front fairing piece.
See the black rectangle at the front of Just Dans picture above...that's where the oil cooler is.
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Old 06-06-2010, 07:21 AM   #12
ashrubbery OP
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Okay thanks!

Well, my '82 R100RS doesnt have an oil cooler.
Should I be happy?
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Old 06-06-2010, 08:09 AM   #13
durtwurm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashrubbery
Okay thanks!

Well, my '82 R100RS doesnt have an oil cooler.
Should I be happy?
It is easier to change the oil without a cooler, so yes be happy.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:31 AM   #14
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I wish something like this place was available when I was new to the bike. I learned everything the hard way...

In the corners, it's best to be on the throttle, true anyway but especially true with these bikes. They typically have mild suspension with a lot of travel, chopping the throttle or braking in the curves can upset the geometry something fierce. The Germans call them rubber cows for a reason. But that doesn't mean that you can blitz around at a good clip. They are forgiving with choppy roads, soaking up the bumps, I've blasted over many a mountain pass. I tell people it thinks it's in the Alps, indeed they seem to love the high altitude, twisty secondary roads.

Don't leave your key in the steering lock. Ever. Many a guy has crimped theirs off by forgetting about it.

The gearboxes like to be ordered into gear.
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Old 06-06-2010, 09:38 AM   #15
bomberdave
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my rt fairing was cracked to shit from dirt road vibration, i had fiberglass patches all over the place. kinda wish it had had a skid plate too. YMMV.
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