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Old 12-19-2010, 06:15 PM   #1
Blue_Meanie OP
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Oddometer: 3
New to the Airhead world

And hell, motorcycles in general. Picked up my first bike, a 76 R75/6, from a auto shop a couple of months ago. It was running when I purchased it and because of schooling, it was put into storage after they finished syncing the carbs and some other stuff.

I finally was able to get it to my place and the engine won't start. After going through 2 batteries (starter sounded lethargic), checking to see if fuel was getting to the float bowl (which it was and I poured it back into the tank), and checking the air filter, after a few tries it finally turned over. Though it took a few more times to actually keep running after turning over. My question is, I'm no master mechanic, but I really didn't do anything. So was it just a case of it just sitting for a few months?

And here's a pic of side bike:
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Old 12-19-2010, 06:32 PM   #2
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: cen tex
Oddometer: 227
how old was the gas? Old gas is no bueno...

And before an oldtimer says it, fill out your profile so we know where to come get the bike when you decide to cafe it......

Nice bike btw...
2000 Honda VFR (Butterscotch)
2001 Triumph Tiger (Beater Beast)
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:12 PM   #3
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: paradise
Oddometer: 1,524
I no nothing about bmw's but first things first. Is there gas in it? is the gas turned on? is the kill switch in the run position? is your choke mechanism working? Is there spark at the grounded plugs? isthere decent compression? Is the bike timed right ? are the valves within spec? Is there fuel getting to the cylinders? Is your main fuse intact and conducting electricity? It sounds like your carbs need a good cleaning. That should keep you busy for awhile. Good luck, Fergie
"If you come to a fork in the road, take it." Yogi Berra.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:13 AM   #4
Blue_Meanie OP
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Oddometer: 3
The gas was only about 3 or 4 days old. Also should of put in there that I was able to get it running and rode it around the parking lot for a good bit.

Don't think I'll cafe it, doesn't look to comfortable.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:43 AM   #5
Don't buy from Brad
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Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Remember the Alamo!
Oddometer: 7,409
Welcome to the old school world newb and beatles fan.

You'll have a steep learning curve to get it sorted out, but you'll love it.
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:50 AM   #6
Uncle Ernie
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Asheville NC
Oddometer: 3,978
Yeah- where are you and what was the temps at the time?
These bikes take LOTS of juice out of the battery- keep it on a tender and if it's not a sealed battery, keep track of the fluid level. Read that a couple of times.
When you push the button, pull the clutch lever so you're not dragging the transmission along for the ride. Also, after a couple of tries, you should take the plugs out and have a look. If the alleged gas has wet them down, you can try cleaning them, but a lot of times the plugs are shot once they wet out. Today's gas SUCKS.
I use 80% Sta-bil mixed with 20% Marvel Mystery Oil in gas that's going to sit for more than a couple of weeks. 2 ounces per tank, and run it into the carbs before turning the gas off a block or 2 before parking (to run the gas out). Gas sitting in the carbs most likely will clog a jet.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:05 AM   #7
rockin' the toaster
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: sunny SoCal
Oddometer: 2,328
nice bike; great start.

smart charger/battery tender is highly recommended.

they're easier to wake when not hibernating.
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Old 12-20-2010, 02:25 PM   #8
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: B.C.
Oddometer: 324
Hi Blue,
Very nice looking bike.
But as you are finding out Old Beemers are kind of fussy.
They don't like being left alone and do wierd shit when they are.
I always have to choke mine to start it, and if left for more than a month, it is usually not a push the button and go show.
Syncing the carbs and tuning them up is a little more involved than most bikes...Has the guy who tuned it up worked on BMW motorcycles before? That could be part of your trouble.
Charge up the battery, ride it every day, and see if it gives you any more trouble.
Let us know how its going, and then we can tell you all kinds of freightening and useless stuff about your beautiful bike.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:23 PM   #9
rockin' the toaster
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: sunny SoCal
Oddometer: 2,328
+1 on the choke aka enrichener use.
Unless the engine is warm I use the enrichner to start with maybe slight throttle twisting (though technically this is unnecessary) to help it along. Once running the 'choke' lever can be returned to the normal operating position almost immediately. I believe this is common practice.

Difficult to say what your bike's issue is (if any) due to the number of variables possible. Is the ignition bone-stock, eg. points or aftermarket breakerless ignition... right plugs, good compression and valve lash settings, etc. Maybe the old starter is worn... is it the original starter motor? Could be simply bad electrical ground.

Good thing that lots of help is readily available through various conduits, such as:

if you want to view the illustrated parts catalog (which is very handy for 'exploded' views) follow the below listed link, click enter to get past the first page, then enter yout /6's seven digit serial number in the window provided.

congrats again on the bike, looking good and a favorite among the cognoscenti (aka kool-aid drinkers ).
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:40 PM   #10
Country Doc
Joined: Dec 2006
Location: somwhere north of Kingston, Ontario
Oddometer: 2,760
The bike looks great!! Surprisingly clean for that vintage, which is apparently one of the favourite years/models of many in airhead-land.

Once you take the windshield and sissy bar off, it'll look like a normal airhead again.

Not surprising to me at all that it was very, very cold blooded after sitting for a prolonged period. My airheads have all done that. I don't know why that is, but it seems that the longer they sit, the harder they are to start.

Above all other things, airheads like to be ridden regularly (and tended regularly as well).


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Old 12-21-2010, 01:03 PM   #11
Hopelessly lost
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Joined: Jul 2004
Location: Antioch, FL
Oddometer: 571
Find and join your local "Airheads" chapter. A great group dedicated to keeping these old bike going. Many local chapters hold tech days to teach you how to fix and maintain your old airhead. I've PM'ed (private message) you the name and email addres of the NC leader. They should be able to tell you about any upcoming events.
Antioch, FL - Hopelessly lost, but making good time
Bike picts
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:48 PM   #12
Blue_Meanie OP
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Oddometer: 3
Thanks for all the replies. Some of the sites are new to me and one is definitely a favorite (realoem). Got to stretch her legs out today after coming back off of vacation and was it a blast. Can't wait to get more comfortable with it and take some mini road-trips on it.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:50 PM   #13
Uncle Pollo
happy cachiporra
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Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Albuquerque, Neue Messico
Oddometer: 48,532
Replace all fuel lines = 10 bux

Remove tank. Remove petcocks. Drain and clean.
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