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Old 11-26-2012, 05:45 AM   #106
rudolf35 OP
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Wicked Four days of smiles

Having four days to "test" the R50/5 resulted in nothing but smiles and mileage.


R50/5 at the lake


More R50/5 at the lake

Riding all over the DfW area, in an attempt to gather mileage, I had to stop at a H-D hangout just to be the "turd in a fishbowl".


Turd in a fishbowl

Interesting thing was that the R50/5 gathered a lot of positive comments. I guess a 41 year old bike has earned it's keep and reputation.

So, now that the bike is almost at the 1k (593 miles to be precise), indicated, mileage it is time for a all around oil change. Not only a good idea after a rebuild, but also a good time to open the filter just to make sure there are not chunks of metal or any such rubbish.


Result of four days of test riding

Besides the smiles I also gathered some interesting information about my /5. First is that the bike, with a mix of urban and back road riding, yields 195 miles from full to reserve; good thing to know when on a trip. I furthermore realized that the speedometer is 5mph proud; keeps me honest and withing legal limits - yeah, right. Another point that became very clear is that it is a keeper. With that in mind, I will invest in a Corbin Gunfighter seat and obtain some bag mounts that where offered to me. Once I have the "farkles" on the bike and it has proven itself some more, I will entertain the thought of making a relaxed road trip to my riding buddies in Iowa (naturally all on back roads). Time will tell, but for now it is all smiles as we gather miles.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:12 AM   #107
disston
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Usually the speedos are proud by a certain percent. So you should check it at a few different speeds. It will be off more the faster you are going. Not the same 5 mph at 20 mph and then 80 mph. See?

Another weird thing tho, as often as the speedo may be off by a certain amount, the odometers are often spot on.

Traditionally the Beemers have gotten along with the Harley guys.
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:54 AM   #108
rudolf35 OP
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Thumb Post first oil change

Having completed the first post oil change there is nothing to report. After removing the oil filter I cut it apart and found nothing. That was the best find I could think of; no metal - not even hints of metal.

So, now all that remains is riding it and smiling all along. It is amazing though how a 500cc bike can be so much fun. Every time I ride it, it is a time travel to Germany in the late 60's early 70's - back road cruising with no worries about performance; just riding for the sake of riding. Now finally I understand the draw of the airheads.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:03 AM   #109
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Congrats and enjoy!

That's great to hear. I'm in the midst of rebuilding an R60/5, and having never ridden it (and after investing thousands of dollars into it), I worry about not liking riding it. I also worry about it being underpowered (even though I'm not a good enough rider to need any more power). It's good to hear that they are entertaining rides.

Enjoy, and keep riding!
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Old 12-07-2012, 11:26 AM   #110
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Laugh Low cc's and power

Quote:
Originally Posted by backdrifter View Post
I also worry about it being underpowered (even though I'm not a good enough rider to need any more power). It's good to hear that they are entertaining rides.
To be honest, I have always had a soft spot for low cc bikes. This airhead hits all the right buttons in my dash - low cc's, character, handles well and a time trip back to Germany.

With the low cc's one learns to look ahead and gauge what is coming. I find myself not rushing amber lights (I see them normally as decoration), sticking within the speed limit (no choice do not have the power to exceed it anyway) in general driving safer; not a bad thing.

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Old 01-12-2013, 06:22 AM   #111
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Wicked Usage update

So, the old girl has soldiered on to 1,450 miles indicated without as much as a burp. I did notice, that my other bikes have suffered in the usage department - old girl hogs all the attention.

Seriously, after the rebuild the bike has not shown any signs of issues. The one item that did surface is dirt in the tank. My inline filters do collect some grunge and that issue will be addressed when it is tme to do the "look pretty" work. Since I am planning to repaint the tank and fenders, I will have a radiator shop clean and seal the tank. Up to that time, I will just ride it and keep the inline filters renewed when the get to filled up.

Since the bike lives in TX and we have "safety" inspections the time has come to renew. The question now is, who to confuse? The Honda, H-D or Kawi/Suzi dealer - none have a clue how to work 40 year old switch gear; might as well have fun with it.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:26 AM   #112
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Talking 3k and going strong

Between work, four other bikes and life in general it has taken some time to get the /5 to the 3k mark. Finally managed to do it and smiling all the way.


3,000 miles past the rebuild

Needless to say, it was time for a oil change and general once over. The beauty of it all is that there is nothing to report. After cutting the filter open there was nothing in there but used oil - a VERY good thing.

One thing I did fail to note was that I treated the old girl to a new Corbin Gunslinger seat. What a difference. The old seat was a homemade overstuffed pillow, the new Corbin not only looks better it also gives a much more secure feeling/planted feeling while riding the bike. One thing I might mention is that I like firm seats (old Guzzi rider) and Corbin seats are firm - fair warning.


Sporting a new Corbin Gunslinger


Rear view with Corbin Gunslinger


Ready for her second life

It was noted many posts ago that the 1/4" longer Triumph Scrambler shocks (only had about 500 miles on them) might make the handling to twitchy. Well, I am happy to report that the Scrambler shocks are working out just fine. They where way to light for the Scrambler but bang on for the /5; Scrambler is a lot heavier than the /5 ever thought of being.

So now the old girl is a firm member of the heard; pulling commute duties and getting more attention than any other bike I own - does throw people when one states that the bike is 42 years old.

Future improvements will include new spokes all around, better brake linings and possibly a set of custom fitted bags (12"L x 6"W x 5"D) made from River Road sissybar bags.

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Old 03-25-2014, 03:34 PM   #113
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Talking /5 Alive and well

It has been a while since I updated the R50/5's log but that does not mean it has been sitting around.

Today, another of those nasty Texas Spring days, 65F no wind and blazing sunshine. What can one do but take ones favorite BMW for a spin. Putting the R50/5 in her favorite element, back roads, can only bring smiles and miles - 185 miles of FM and county roads.


R50/5 on TX FM66


Pic 2 on TX FM66


Waxahachie, TX old time bike shop

It is amazing how a simple, pure machine can restore ones outlook. No electronics, no plastic fantastic, just the basics to make one enjoy the road and weather.

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Old 10-25-2014, 03:45 AM   #114
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Superb work !
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Old 10-25-2014, 06:12 AM   #115
Bill Harris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudolf35 View Post
It is amazing how a simple, pure machine can restore ones outlook. No electronics, no plastic fantastic, just the basics to make one enjoy the road and weather.

Classic sigline material.

--Bill
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Old 10-25-2014, 06:47 AM   #116
Jim K in PA
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Great ride, Rudolf. Keep the updates coming. I have a couple of threads that I update from time to time, with little feedback from anyone. But the view count rises, so I guess someone reads them. Same with this one. Great to read about successes and the joys derived therefrom.

I suspect an early low displacement airhead will wander into my barn at some point, but I suspect it will have an earles fork on it.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:12 PM   #117
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Nice bike and tastefully preserved. The white color scheme looks great.
The seat looks good too. I see you've kept the sportster mufflers so you must like their tone. They appear to "fit" the look of the bike.
I've read that the electric starter was optional on the R50/5.(?) not sure if that is a fact though.


The R50/5's were the lowest production numbers of all the /5's if memory serves me.
Never had the chance to ride a 500cc BMW. Some veteran Airhead riders I know love the 500cc / 600cc versions.
I've had a couple R60's and a pile of R75's, but the R50's are few and far between.

I went a few years without a /5 but couldn't live without one at hand. My latest one is still being "tweeked" to suit me.
The narrow Euro bars don't quite agree with my old neck / back so I'm going to install some 2" "bar backs" to lesson my hunched over position...... also just got a pair of Napoleon bar end mirrors to eventually install. Had a pair of the long, thin stemmed OEM mirrors but didn't like them as they vibrated....installed some short heavier stemmed ones but cannot quite see around myself. I think the bar end mirrors will be just right.

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Old 10-30-2014, 07:24 AM   #118
rudolf35 OP
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Laugh 4,500 post rebuild

The /5 is now 4,500 past the rebuild and still running like it should. There was a bit of a issue at 4,100, the left exhaust pushrods rubber seal started to weep.

At first I ran a small screwdriver blade around the rubber to case to make sure no crud had managed to invade the seal. Sorry to say, no such luck. The rubber just would not seal.

I have to admit that when I built the motor I used some pushrod seals that looked new, felt new but I guess they where not new. So, a quick order to Max's got me two pushrod seals.

The hardest part I though would be the cleanup of the Yama Bond; nope, it just peeled off like a rubbery gasket. The Yama Bond was a test for me but now it has proven to work like a champ - easy on, seals and comes off very easy.

Anyway, pulled the left jug, cleaned the surfaces and put it all back together in time to ride it to work; spent about 2.5 hours on the pushrod seal replacement. A few folks make it sound like the pushrod seal replacement is dark magic, it is not. Just have the spares, clean and assemble.

FYI, I did NOT use any sealant between the pushrod seal and the case or pushrod tube. Mounted it dry as BMW had intended it - result, no more leak!
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:39 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rudolf35 View Post
It has been a while since I updated the R50/5's log but that does not mean it has been sitting around.

Today, another of those nasty Texas Spring days, 65F no wind and blazing sunshine. What can one do but take ones favorite BMW for a spin. Putting the R50/5 in her favorite element, back roads, can only bring smiles and miles - 185 miles of FM and county roads.


R50/5 on TX FM66


Pic 2 on TX FM66


Waxahachie, TX old time bike shop

It is amazing how a simple, pure machine can restore ones outlook. No electronics, no plastic fantastic, just the basics to make one enjoy the road and weather.

Old thread I know but +1. Stupid simple is what comes to my mind with these airheads and that is a good thing.

That is all. Carry on.
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Old 12-09-2014, 09:57 PM   #120
Dave Bell
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Nice Thread!

I live near Wills Point and just got my first Airhead. A 77 R100/7 in great shape. I plan on getting another Airhead soon, maybe one to sort of restore. It would be nice to go ride with you some day.

Also have a 2011 Ural, sort of an airhead I guess.
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