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Old 09-11-2014, 07:28 AM   #1
NSA OP
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'75 R90s restoration

Doing a restoration on a '75 R90s. This will be a long term project, and I'll post up as I have new developments. Currently my goal is to have it back on the road by spring 2015, but will see where the project leads me. The first few posts will be a bit out of order as I have to go back in time to dig up pics and history. Hope y'all enjoy and can help me along. This is my first airhead. I'm also a bit new too this site, and struggle a little with the forum layout, so please be patient with me.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:33 AM   #2
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Looking forward to it, but we are definitely going to need some pictures.

For your firs Airhead you certainly could have not done much better than an R90S.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:50 AM   #3
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Welcome to the Insane Asylum.
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Pay your debt, piratejohn.http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=949341
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:50 AM   #4
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History

About 4 years ago I rode my ST1300 to Southern Mississippi to visit my dad. While we were there, we were making shop talk, and he mentioned the r90s as a bike he always wanted. At that point, I'd never seen or heard of one.
I returned back to Tulsa, OK and was browsing Craigslist when I ran across a basket case "s" for cheap. It was rough, but I contacted my dad and let him know about he. He had me go get it, and bring it home for him, until he could make it up here to pick it up. I took lots of pictures of it for him after purchasing, and will add those here once I figure out how to host them free somewhere.
When I say it was a basket case, I mean it was in really rough condition, and the previous owner had started on dis assembly. The pictures will tell more. Basically, it appears to have sat outside in the weather for many years in a non running state. The pistons were rusted into the cylinders where water had gotten into them. The PO had knocked a hole through one of them trying to get it off. The carbs were off and completely seized up. The paint was completely burnt, the master cylinder was seized up tight, etc. Some parts were removed already, but most were still there.
It sat in my garage for about a month until Dad made it up here to pick it up. During this time, I fell in love with it. Not sure why, cause it sure wasn't much to look at, but something about the lines, the skinny tires, the wide engine... it all just mesmerized me. I was kinda sad to see it go when we loaded it up.
I'll pause here while I try to get the pics posted... to be continued.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:08 AM   #5
Bill Harris
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Ugh. That will not be a Restoration as much as a Resurrection. Nickname the bike "Lazarus".

Unless you know BMWs and have access to parts and tools you might be better served by buying a running beater and using this bike as a parts bike.

--Bill
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:08 AM   #6
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:17 AM   #7
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OK, looks like that one worked, so here's some pics I took in my garage prior to Dad picking it up. I took these so he could see just what a mess he got himself into :)





















































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Old 09-11-2014, 08:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Harris View Post
Ugh. That will not be a Restoration as much as a Resurrection. Nickname the bike "Lazarus".

Unless you know BMWs and have access to parts and tools you might be better served by buying a running beater and using this bike as a parts bike.

--Bill
I've been wondering what I'd name it... I think you just picked it out for me Bill
It will be a resurrection for sure!

Thanks for the welcome everyone
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:32 AM   #9
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There were a few more parts that are not in the pictures there, including the rest of the engine parts, the "s" fairing, some side covers, etc. You can kinds see the tank in the pics, and I don't have any better pics of it as it was then. It's in rough shape. Pretty straight, with one very minor ding, but some rust pinholes on the left side bottom.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:37 AM   #10
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Wow! I Salute you sir for the sacrifices, tribulations, and trials for which you are about to partake!

Best of luck for a successful endeavor!

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Old 09-11-2014, 08:54 AM   #11
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Dang, that IS gnarly.

I'll salute your tenacity (some day).

Need to get out and ride (before the rain this PM). I'll hunt up some resurrection threads to ponder when I get back...

--Bill
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:09 AM   #12
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Fast Forward

Leap forward 4 years in time. Dad has a LOT of projects going, and the "s" had been shelved (literally). Over the years, he's completely disassembled it, done some work to the various parts (had the heads rebuilt, the tin blasted and primed, cleaned things up, etc), and amassed various missing parts including a set of r90 pistons and jugs, some good Dellortos, a stainless steel bolt kit, etc. It's been setting on a shelf in his shop for a couple of years and needs a little attention.
I sold a piece of property and had intended to use the $ to buy an oilhead GS. But, in conversation, I asked if he'd part with the "s" instead. He agreed to sell it to me for less than he had into it, and a trip to visit ensued.
While visiting, we pulled out the paperwork he has on it, and found it was 4 years too the day since he was up here in Tulsa picking it up from my place. We had a great time visiting and working on his r100/7. We got it running real good, and went for a ride; him on his Glide on me on the r100. The r100 has "s" bars on it, and we put an "s" fairing he had on it while I was there. Riding that bike, I knew I'd made a good choice. I've never experienced ride and handling like that before, and the airhead power delivery is something out of legends. Not even close to the fastest bike I've been on, but the feel is amazing.
Anyway, we loaded it up for my return trip. Here's some photos of how it looked sitting in his shop:










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Old 09-11-2014, 09:43 AM   #13
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First Obstacle

Back in OK, I run into my first obstacle. Where the master cylinder was mounted, the leaking fluid has surface rusted the frame. Additionally, under where the battery sat has rusted as well. No big deal, but touch up isn't going to cut it. I decide on sand blasting and powder coating the frame. It won't be "original" but it's the way I want to do it. But, the steering lock is still in the frame, and there was no key with the bike.
The lock set is in good condition, and I don't want to destroy it, or any part of it. I have a friend who's a locksmith and says he can make me a key, so I provide him the original ignition to work with, and order 4 blanks online. He has it for a couple of weeks, before passing it off to his locksmith friend because he can't do it. His locksmith friend can't do it either, and the ignition gets returned to me. I take it to another locksmith in town who's supposed to be the "best". After another week, they call me and tell me they can't do it either.
I want to get the ball rolling on this project, and am starting to consider using Snowbums references on how to remove the steering head lock (destructively). As a last ditch effort, I take the frame in to the "best" locksmith and ask him to see if he can pick the lock out. After just a couple of hours, he calls me back and tells me he's picked the lock, but can't get it out of the frame. Since it's spring loaded, if he lets go of the tension-er pick, the lock re-locks.
I asked him if he could hold it in position until I get there, and he agrees. When I arrive, I ask him if I can buy the tension-er pick and tape it to the frame to hold the lock int he unlocked position. For 20$, I'm out the door with the picked lock and tension-er holding it open. I took the whole frame to a friends house where we stuck an allen wrench down inside the head and knocked the lock out. Phew!
Straight to the powder coater I go with all the black metal parts off the bike. This was last Friday, and those parts should be available for pickup this upcoming Monday.
On the way home, I stopped by "Sooner Lock and Key" with the ignition and steering lock. The guy behind the counter immediately recognizes it as a BMW lock set and starts reminiscing about "knob keys and folding keys"... this is a good sign. So, I drop the locks off with him to see if maybe he's the "expert" I've been looking for. We'll see what happens.
I didn't take pics of this process, so they next time you see the frame it'll be in a shiny new black dress.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:52 AM   #14
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Sore fingers

5 weeks I've had this bike now, and haven't started re-assembling anything But, my fingers are aching anyway. Been polishing on the wheels with my favorite product, neverdull, in an effort to bring them back from 40 years of aluminum corrosion. They're coming out real good, despite a few gouges from previous tire iron mishaps. I'll be soda blasting the hubs, but haven't started on that yet. Here's some before, during, and after shots.














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Old 09-11-2014, 09:57 AM   #15
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Atmospheric pressure

This last Sunday, the atmospheric pressure returned to normal in OK for the first time in 20 years. That happened when I let the air out of the rock hard tires that were on the wheels since 1994 at least. How they held air as the bike deteriorated around them, I may never know. Lot's of sweat and tears getting the old tires off, but here's a pic of the new shoes mounted and balanced:
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