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Old 07-24-2010, 10:19 AM   #1
Beater OP
Theory Is Not Enough
 
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Oddometer: 3,030
Beater's beater

There are journey's of all sorts. Some are solo, some not ... but all are personal. Some have clear destinations ... many do not. Many have a fuzzy goal ... that changes and morphs over time to something you accept. Still for others as the clarity of the goal sharpens the destination becomes specific ... and doesn't look like anything like the destination as envisioned at the beginning of the project.

For those of you purists, please stop reading and go no further. What you are about to witness is the destruction of a 1978 R100RS. It will be bastardized to a point that is unrecognizable when compared to the original form. For those of you who love those old school looks with modern functionality ... keep reading. The end result is a fully functional bike, that can be ridden across the country at a moments notice.

In the summer of 2008 I decided I wanted a motorcycle. I had a little crotch rocket in college, and the neighborhood friends had YX80's and 125's when I was young. I just felt I needed the wind on my face again. I'm 39, have had one automobile accident in my life (other guys fault), and am a disgustingly safe driver. I began the research ... I wanted a reliable, rock solid, bike for cruising the two lane roads of North Georgia. Ohh ... and I love old things. A single Google search landed me here. What are the odds?

Initially I wanted a Norton. I got talked out of that fairly quick. I still love them .. they are beautiful. I have a friend who has a 68' 850 ... and when it runs ... it screams.

I started looking at BMW's. More research lead me to 76 to 81, R80's, R90's and R100's. From what I read these seemed to be the most reliable, and oldest I could get for the amount of money I wanted to spend.

I began the search in earnest. About two months later a friend calls me.

Friend: "You know anything about motorcycles?"
Me: "A little. Why?"
Friend: "This guy hasn't paid for his storage unit for six months. We're cleaning it out, and buried beneath all this crap there appears to be an old BMW."
Me: "I'll be right there."

We spent about two hours digging it out from in between furniture, and buried in cloths from the 80's. I was way too excited about it ... I forgot to bring the camera.

Anyway, what was beneath the mound was a 1978 R100RS. The faring was cracked to the point of being questionable. There were many missing parts ... the carbs were FILLED with the white aluminum oxidation. The seat needed help. The instrument cluster was non functional, and read 14K ... but I was guessing at 114K. Rear disc was toast. The compression was 30psi, and 45psi in the cylinders. The tank was rusted and had holes in it. The last time it was registered was in 1997 (it was 2008).

But, I could take the front cover off and turn the engine. Under the seat I found the original tool kit, and a little notebook with 'maintenance' performed, the transmission wet cleanly through all the gears ... The bike apparently had belonged to an Army officer ... and the officer had taken the bike all over the world. There were maintenance receipts from Germany, Korea (have you seen that bike test?!) ... and all over the states.

SO .. the owner of the storage unit wanted me to pay for the 'back rent'. I did. At the very least, I could part it out and make more than that investment. Here she is ... as she arrived home.



I began taking her apart to access the damage and work. I would need new carbs. The cylinders were rusted. I could hold the heads up to the light and see light through the valves. The tank will need replacing. The bills for this were piling up. I became 'friends' with John Landstrom at Blue Moon. Nathan from Boxerworks was a real asset. I never liked the faring ... so once I got her running I sold it ... for bout 300$ more than I bought the bike for.

But of course ... the first goal was to just get her running.



Sweet. Next came riding it.



Check. Now lets make it sound good

Over the last year, I've had my share of issues ... from dead charging system (THANKS BRAD!!), leaking seals (THANKS baldwithglasses (LEN!)) ... but with the help of the people here (Wirespokes, wirewrkr, bgoodsoil, pbeckm, Anton ... ) I have always fixed it better than what it was.

Once it was working ... I started focusing in on what I wanted it to look like.

Version 2.0


Then V2.1, added the ammo cans, because I could sell the BMW bags for 300$, and finance an new tank.


Then a new tank ... Upright /2 bars ... Acewell ...


SURPRISE! My Uncle had been watching my progress ... and had secretly wanted a BMW for years ...So he got one ... a '78 R80. His is the Orange Tank ... mine the White.


My Uncle!


Then I realized that I really wasn't going to be riding two up. I started looking at solo seats ... and what I wanted was an older knucklehead type seat ... I was recommended to Jim Bryant ... who makes sidecars and other fun stuff for CJ750's. He has a new seat that was supposed to be plug n' play for /2's ... and I had to do a little fabrication ... but I made it work.









The list of new parts is long ...

New wheels (spokes, a recent edition)
Drum brake (not the disc of the RS)
New seat
New pistons (one up)
Rebored cylinders
Mikuni Carbs (34s)
Rebuilt starter
Complete new Charging System (from an 85 GS, Thanks BRAD!)
Acewell Speedo (AMAZING directions pbeckm)
/2 bars
Parabellum Windscreen
Jim's CJ seat.
Redone heads (new guides, ground valves)
Numerous seals
Rear main seal (THANKS BRAD!)
Oil pump seal
Fantastic Transmission advice (Thanks ANTON!)
New timing chain
New battery
New tank
New tires
New coils and ignition wires.
Crash Bars

I'm sure I've missed something (probably many things) ... but at the end of the day ... I realize that this journey will continue. At no point have I reached the goal or end ... Indeed the point of the trip seems to be the journey itself.

And I can't tell you how much fun this has been. Getting dirty or riding. I really don't know which I enjoy more. I think I'll go change the oil in the gear box (I just replaced the shift lever seal) ... I'm thinking synthetic. Thoughts?
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'85 R80RT G/Sified <|> '91 R100GS Bumblebee (103K miles and climbing) <|> '73 R75/5 LWB
Airhead Zen: Ride - Repair - Ride - Maintain - Ride - Repeat

Beater screwed with this post 07-24-2010 at 08:27 PM
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:32 AM   #2
mark1305
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I like that!

Each version looks a little better than the previous. But when I got to the pic with the windshield mounted and looked over the whole profile - Wow. The size of the ammo can panniers, the solo seat, and the screen all are visually balanced and almost flaunt their functionality. The use of black and white looks good, too. I have to admit I like the shape of the old tank slightly better, but like the effect of the white tank between black fenders & panniers.

Good job.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:35 AM   #3
mark1305
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Errhh, So, are you going to be able to bring that thing up to the Olds Cool Fall Rally? That would be a nice little jaunt from your location over to Tellico Plains.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:56 AM   #4
Beater OP
Theory Is Not Enough
 
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Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
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Mark! Yes, sir. We'll be going to the rally. I'm in the midst of talking my Uncle into going as well. I can't wait to meet all of the people who have helped with this, and been so patient with all of my questions ...

Thanks for the compliment! It is nothing close to what I envisioned in the beginning, but each step was a part of the progression ... Just make it functional ...

It's been sooo much fun.
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Fred
'85 R80RT G/Sified <|> '91 R100GS Bumblebee (103K miles and climbing) <|> '73 R75/5 LWB
Airhead Zen: Ride - Repair - Ride - Maintain - Ride - Repeat
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:53 PM   #5
datchew
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I'm not so sure about the big fairing, but the rest of it looks very nice. Definitely needs knobbies, but you can worry about that later.

I like it.
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:53 PM   #6
Kismet
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Location: rural WI
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I don't see any beater. I see a customized airhead that delights the eye.


nicely done.
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enjoy every sandwich

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'78 R100/7, well really, R80/7
'87 Radian/fj600
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:02 PM   #7
bmwblake
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very nice. judging from the video, you live less than a mile from my brother. at first i thought it was his neighborhood.

the tractor style solo seat really does it for me.
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:58 PM   #8
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Thanks!

datchew - I know what you mean. The bike does look even better without the windscreen, but cruising at 70mph ... I was getting beat with the upright riding position and frontal exposure. I bought the parabellum, and actually cut 2 inches off either side, and one inch from the top (it was a 21" to start) ... now I'm looking about 1 inch over the top of it, and the wind has been cut down 75%+. As a matter of fact, I'm hearing the engine do things that I had never heard before. It was actually concerning ... but Anton and others confirmed that is what it sounded like ... and ride on! I have been thinking about a BMW dirt bike ...

Kismet - Thanks! I've been to rural WI ... my sister lives in Madison. Good country.

Blake - Thanks! Decatur is an interesting place ... Your brother have a classic bike?
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Fred
'85 R80RT G/Sified <|> '91 R100GS Bumblebee (103K miles and climbing) <|> '73 R75/5 LWB
Airhead Zen: Ride - Repair - Ride - Maintain - Ride - Repeat
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:43 PM   #9
Stagehand
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NICE

man you have really made that bike your own. Thats the best feeling. Fairing be damned, I know how nice those are when they really cover you. And those are some cool crash bars. The only thing that looks odd to me is the rear fender uncovered. That needs something.
But that is the best looking ammo can install I've seen yet, I think. Whole thing looks kinda like a Guzzi, you know? Just with... uh... saggy jugs.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:22 AM   #10
spartanman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beater
And I can't tell you how much fun this has been. Getting dirty or riding. I really don't know which I enjoy more. I think I'll go change the oil in the gear box (I just replaced the shift lever seal) ... I'm thinking synthetic. Thoughts?
I like it! Pure function. Those solo seats are surprisingly comfy considering they have next-to-no padding.

I just put Redline 75W90 synthetic in my R100RS transmission after resealing. I changed out the Valvoline 75W90 dino oil I had just put in because I had trouble downshifting and upshifts were notchy too. Night and day difference with the Redline.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand
NICE

The only thing that looks odd to me is the rear fender uncovered. That needs something.
A luggage rack?
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:56 AM   #12
Beater OP
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Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spartanman
A luggage rack?
You know I've been thinking about that. And Stagehand is right ... there is a little something missing there. I don't want to disrupt the profile too much ... but a nice luggage rack could do it ... and I would have a tie down for a sleeping bag and tent ...

Good ideas and thanks!!!
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Fred
'85 R80RT G/Sified <|> '91 R100GS Bumblebee (103K miles and climbing) <|> '73 R75/5 LWB
Airhead Zen: Ride - Repair - Ride - Maintain - Ride - Repeat
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:22 AM   #13
bmwblake
upside down parker
 
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boojum has a thread on a luggage rack for his /6. it's a nice rack and would give you some ideas.

unfortunately, my brother isn't a motorcyclist.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beater
You know I've been thinking about that. And Stagehand is right ... there is a little something missing there. I don't want to disrupt the profile too much ... but a nice luggage rack could do it ... and I would have a tie down for a sleeping bag and tent ...

Good ideas and thanks!!!
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:26 AM   #14
squish
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Boy this thing will make the purists shudder.

It's interesting. It's got a little bit of an ex KZ cop bike look to it.
with the white tank big guards and the solo seat.

I agree with whoever said it needs knobbies.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:18 AM   #15
HowdyDoody
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Location: Lancaster, PA
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Fantastic Project and Journey

Great story and wonderful journey! Enjoy!
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