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Old 11-26-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
backdrifter OP
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How do airheads do in prolonged stop and go traffic?

Some of you may have seen my build thread regarding Papa's R60/5 that I'm restoring. Well, beyond the motorcycle, Papa's love was dancing. In fact, it runs in their family's blood, and my wife is a 5th generation dance studio owner/operator.

They have two parades a year. The one I'm concerned about is the day after Thanksgiving. I would love to enter the BMW into the parade with their other floats in honor of Papa. The parade route is 2 miles and it is a slow pace - 3mph or less. It usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to complete. It wouldn't be fun on a bike - lots of clutch and lots of stopping, but I'd still like to do it.

Yesterday was around 50 degrees, but it's typically cooler. How would the airhead do in this situation? Would it end up overheating?

Thanks in advance!
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backdrifter screwed with this post 11-26-2011 at 06:00 PM
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:43 PM   #2
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It'll be fine. The way i look at air cooled engines is there are plenty of stationary engines. Air compressors etc., plus dirt bikes that run at high RPMs but low speed, like in the woods. The RPMs may creep up as it gets warm. Oddly, most of my water cooled bikes ran horribly in stop in go traffic.
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response!
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Old 11-26-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
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Stationary engines are fan cooled. Basically idling for long periods as in a parade is a bad for any type of engine.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:09 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by batoutoflahonda View Post
It'll be fine. The way i look at air cooled engines is there are plenty of stationary engines. Air compressors etc., plus dirt bikes that run at high RPMs but low speed, like in the woods. The RPMs may creep up as it gets warm. Oddly, most of my water cooled bikes ran horribly in stop in go traffic.
Stationary engines almost always have a fan to blow over their fins.
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:52 PM   #6
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BMW engines with the opposed cylinders sticking out in the air are probably better than any other air-cooled motorcycle engines at tolerating that kind of abuse, but nevertheless, I'd avoid prolonged periods of no movement with an idling engine, unless you're doing it in cold weather.

I rode my R69S in a parade once, and finally shut it down and pushed it. Too much stopping and sitting.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:14 PM   #7
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I think as long as you've got any movement at all, even if its just creeping along at barely idle, you'll probably be fine. Its Rev's that make really serious heat, and as long as youre not actually dead stopped for longer than a few-five minutes at a time, I would go ahead and do it. Especially if its kinda chilly out.

If its overheating, you'll know it because it will act like crap, Idle like shit, revving itself weirdly, and laggy throttle response. I also spit on the cylinders. If it skittles away immediately, its probably a bit hot. But if it just kinda sits there and boils or sizzles, its ok. PS, remember to flip helmet up first.


Im a little confused by the timing of the original post, though Are you talking about Next year's parade?
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:32 PM   #8
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my thoughts actually went first to the electrics. airheads have notoriously weak charging systems, even in commuting traffic. i guess 1 hour wouldn't be that big a deal though.
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:42 PM   #9
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Some years ago at the Spokane BMWMOA rally, I listened to an old Airhead sage from Henderson, NV, respond as to whether his Beemer would do alright on a trip to Death Valley in August, and what special preparations he should make for the bike for the heat.

He said the bike required no special preparations, as it will be OK, but then he added, "But you, you're going to die."

I have been caught in Portland freeway stop & go during a heatwave, and my R100GSPD never stumbled nor missed a beat. I felt like I was gonna die, though.

Tom in Salem
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Old 11-26-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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Parade

My R90/6 does not like block after block start and stop traffic on hot days. [hot days]
You will know.
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Old 11-26-2011, 11:06 PM   #11
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I got stuck in a bumper to bumper traffic in Manila many years ago in my R60/5. Both me and my bike overheated.


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Old 11-27-2011, 03:56 AM   #12
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Air cooled Harleys have been used in parades for decades, I suspect the flat twin BMW would do as well or better with the cylinders full exposed to the slightly moving air.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:54 PM   #13
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Don't Worry 'Bout It...

I've done parades with airheads for years, no problems!
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:33 PM   #14
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Thanks for all of the responses. I would have a support truck just in front of or behind me. I could always have them carry a few bottles of water for me in case I needed to dump them on the cylinders. I think I'll plan on giving it a shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand View Post
Im a little confused by the timing of the original post, though Are you talking about Next year's parade?
Hi Stagehand, yes, I'm thinking about next year. I would have loved to participate this year, but unfortunately all I have so far is a shiny frame and fork!
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1973 BMW R60/5:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=608166
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:36 PM   #15
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I had to bail halfway through the only parade my R100 ever participated in. Didn't seem to bother the Harleys for some reason.
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