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Old 01-17-2013, 08:23 PM   #16
Leo562 OP
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Whittier, CA
Oddometer: 22
Okay so as of right now to get it straight
I Need:

-3 feet of fuel line
-engine oil (specifically one of the ones listed)
-a Battery (which I have no idea where to purchase and I believe it is a 12v 28ah if i'm wrong correct me please)
-Wheel bearing Grease
-Carb Cleaner and a can of Sea Foam (If there are more cleaners I need let me know as we go on)
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:42 PM   #17
Sam...I am.
Joined: May 2010
Location: seal beach, ca.
Oddometer: 1,975
You will find great info here on ADV.

Also join Airheads Beemer Club. They are having a tech day this Saturday, Jan19 in Fullerton.

I pm'd you the info. Go to the right hand top corner of the page and open.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:16 PM   #18
fine beer sampler
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Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Bothell, Washington
Oddometer: 1,790
Oh, I forgot....Welcome!
1978 R100/7 Build thread 1915 Boardtrack racer replica (Electric Powered) Lots of bicycles
Hemp: The strongest natural fiber in the world, and the most nutritious plant on earth.....why is this illegal again?
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:03 PM   #19
Oz Nutter
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Australia - Great Southern Land
Oddometer: 1,274
Thumb Go Hard youngfella.....

Originally Posted by Leo562 View Post
Hi I'm Leo and I am 18 years old.

My father has left a 1978 BMW R100S. It has been sitting in our garage for about the same amount of time that I have been alive.

But now my father has left and I am left with the exciting pleasure of restoring it. But there is a catch I am not experienced at all.

The only thing I have is the Clymer Manual and the tools my father left me and of course the BMW it self.

I have joined this community due to the fact that I see potential help. This community seems very knowledgable.

So my first question (in a probably very long series of questions) is where do I start?

P.S. I do have experience with electronics i.e. soldering wiring and the sort.


I would really like to get this baby up and running it is in pretty good cosmetic condition due to the fact that it has been in the garage the whole time
Well Done mate
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:36 AM   #20
Out of the office.
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
Oddometer: 6,298
Slow down

Before you start the bike, I'd pull the oil pan (after draining the oil out, clean out the sludge that will be in the bottom

Pull the float bowls check the jets and what condition they were left in.

Your tank will also be full of sludge, drain the tank and pull the petcocks, there is a chance that the tank might be rust along the bottom edges.

Once you asses these things then you can start with things like a new battery and fuel line.

Do you have any idea why the bike was parked for 18years?

Feel free to PM me, I live in the Harbor area and I might be able to help you a little.
On vacation for a spell
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:49 AM   #21
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: NoVa
Oddometer: 144
Originally Posted by Leo562 View Post
I also have another question! Where do you trust to get parts for a motorcycle of this type? Do you prefer OEM parts or...?

If its a nice clean bike I'd keep it original. If its already a bit trashed...make it your own.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:05 AM   #22
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Bowling Green, Ohio
Oddometer: 81
after 20 years of sitting, don't ride it until you get new tires, even if yours "looks good"
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:28 AM   #23
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Oddometer: 4,269
The biggies are going to be the fuel system, tires and battery. But depending on the condition when it was parked, and how it was stored, it could need a lot more. Some pics would help. And PLEASE tell us how the bike was stored: indoors, enclosed garage, open shed, or under a tarp beneath the deck?

If I were you (not me, but you with a little bit of my experience added in) and the bike had been stored well, I would probably proceed sort of like this:
  • Buy a battery. I use the Odyssey PC680 for nearly everything. They are great.
  • Drain the engine oil. If it looks sort of normal, refill with fresh. If it comes out like tar, abort.
  • Open the tank, look inside. Is it all rusty and smelling like turpentine? Yuck. It needs to be emptied and cleaned out, then probably re-coated. The re-coating can wait, though, because you probably want to ride the bike. Remove the fuel taps, clean everything up, reassemble with new hoses. Remove the float bowls from the carbs. If everything is clean in there, count your blessings. If the floats are glued to the bowl by crystallized fuel residue, you need to really clean the carbs out. Sorry, that is a tedious job. With fuel in the tank, open the valves to let fuel down to the carb and see if it comes out. If so, shut it off and put the float bowls back on.
  • Air up the tires and make sure the steering works (the grease might be solidified). See if the clutch actually disengages the drivetrain.
  • Start the bike and ride SLOWLY up and down the street for a while, just to do it. Woo-hoo!
  • Once it's warm, park it (it's going to stay parked for a while) and drain all of the fluids, change the tires, clean/replace/re-grease the steering head bearings and wheel bearings, replace the air filter, re-line the tank if needed, replace the oil pan gasket, and do about a dozen other things.

If it's in horrible condition none of this will work.

If I were ME, I'd be doing this as paid work (because that's my job) and I'd do a lot more stuff before ever riding the bike. But it would also cost $1000~6000.
Anton Largiader
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:32 AM   #24
Beemerholics Anonymous
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Jackson's Bottom Oregon
Oddometer: 8,190
Look guys - I think you've overlooked a very important basic here, namely that Leo isn't a trained mechanic; no experience wrenching on delicate aluminum castings.

It's good advice to change the fluids, check for spark and fuel and all that... but even before all that - the simplest tasks can reach nightmare proportions with stripped fasteners. Consider how easily oil pan bolts strip in the block!

Welcome to the forum Leo! I'm glad you checked in and are wanting to 'restore' your dad's bike to road-worthiness. The 100S is a desirable model and one a lot of us lust after - so we want to see it well taken care of.

There are two things I'd like to offer up -

One - become an airhead club member and contact those in your area. Get some mentoring on wrenching before doing much work on the bike. Even simple tasks like draining the oil or replacing spark plugs can turn into headaches with stripped threads. Better to take your time and get the basics down before proceeding any farther.

Second - dry start-up is the number one cause of engine wear. After all this time, all of the metal to metal surfaces are bone dry. The oil has drained into the oil pan a long time ago and nothing has any lube to protect it anymore. When an engine is newly assembled, everything has been pre-lubed for that first start up.

In your case, you'll want to work the lube back into the assemblies while causing the least amount of wear. First remove the spark plugs and lay them on the fins in the caps, and crank the engine as already advised. Crank the engine till the oil light goes out.

Shift the transmission into fifth gear. With the bike on the center stand, rotate the rear wheel. Do this for five minutes or more. What this will do is lubricate the final drive and transmission.

Once the engine is started (whenever that happens) while warming it up, run the bike through the gears (on the center stand) to further splash oil into all the remote recesses.

Another reason for doing this is seals. They apply pressure to the shafts they seal by means of a spring. Without any lube at the point where the seal contacts the shaft, it can chatter and throw off the spring. Then the seal will leak and cause you problems. So get everything well lubed first - it's well worth the extra trouble.
Wanted: Dead, smashed, crashed or trashed gauges
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:47 AM   #25
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Mar 2006
Location: Kingston Ontario Canada
Oddometer: 454
Lots of good advice here.Do what Wirespokes says and try to get some oil circulated in the motor before you fire it up.One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is the correct installation of the oil filter.Try and get an experienced Airhead rider to help you install the first oil filter.If it isn't done right it can cause catastrophic damage to your motor.It used to be called the $3,000 'O' ring but its probably more than that now.

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Old 01-18-2013, 07:49 AM   #26
6 mesas de invierno!
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Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Toronto
Oddometer: 322
I too am a new Airhead owner. Aside from the great help on this forum I found the following very helpful... A BMW Carb rebuild DVD. This visual really demystifies it for you. You can order it from Bing. But be sure to purchase your carb parts from BMW, not Bing. The dealership is cheaper.

Being a novice, you may find visuals to be advantages to maintaining your Airhead. I know I do. This YouTube channel has a few vids that you can scan over. Read your Clymers and peruse the parts Fiche for more familiarity of your model.

Just to give you some encouragement... my hard starting, very poor running, stored outside 79 R100RS that I purchased last September now runs like a top.

Be methodical, take your time, and you will be rewarded.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:54 AM   #27
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Chewelah, WA
Oddometer: 1,144
Hook up with your local Airheads. Schedule a Barley Therapy at your place. You supply beer and brats and decades or Airhead experience with come to look over your Airhead and see to your edumacation in all you need to know about refreshing your Airhead.

Go to the ABC website. The ABC rep for you local chapter can be found there, I think. Then find the link to the Airheads list at micapeak. Go there and sign up, no fees. You will then see 20 or 30 so questions and answers per day and can submit any question you have. Just ask, who near Whittier is an Airhead? How do I set up a Barley Therapy? Shoot, there might be one scheduled this weekend not to far away.

Set yourself a goal. Safe and reliable to make it to Airheads Central this June in Salem at the National Rally. You will be in a position to help others by then with any maintenace info.

As time allows, become familiar with Robert Fleischer, the SnowBum, and his massive web pages. Just start wading through it. Identify the info relevant to your year/model. Nose to grindstone here along with following links he gives will pay big rewards in understanding what you got and how to fix it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:08 AM   #28
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Joined: Dec 2011
Location: sunny san diego
Oddometer: 397
Originally Posted by samthg View Post
They are having a tech day this Saturday, Jan19 in Fullerton.
I'm glad someone else posted this.

Leo, DEFINITELY go to the tech day. even if only to say hi. The people you meet in real life can be your best asset. If you like, if samthg didn't include it, i can give you the emails of a few guys that might even be able to help arrange getting your bike to the tech day. Don't be shy, get out to Fullerton tomorrow.

1978 BMW R80/7
"all we need is time and courage." - Renner
"A lightened flywheel on your bike is like me getting into Spandex and putting on track shoes to walk the dog." - M
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:30 AM   #29
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Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Silver Spring, Md
Oddometer: 9,661
This bike was stored for almost 20 years in a garage in So. Cali near LA, I believe. So you have this space to work on the bike? It is not terribly cold this time of the year or any time where you are.

We anxiously await the pictures which will tell us so much. Try to do detail of the bike. Show any oil leakage or stains from where oil once leaked. Any thing you think is a defect or damaged try to show in detail.

A couple of things for your shopping list;

Oil Pan Gasket

Carburetor float bowl gaskets (2). If you can afford this right away get the carb rebuild kits and include 2 Floats, 2 Diaphragms and 2 float needles. But this stuff will all be around a hundred or more so if you need to only get the float bowl gaskets right now.

Oil Filter Change Kit. Extra washers for engine drain and all the gear oil locations. A parts guy will know what you need but you get Transmission, Drive Shaft and Final Drive gaskets. Two each, that is a fill crush washer and a drain crush washer. They do sell these in packs of ten or more in some places but right now you just need a couple of each. A dealer will sell them by the piece, more expensive, so just get two or three.

Buy the oil in One Gallon size. You can use 10W-40 oil for the first change since the bike will only be warmed up this time. Then after that you should use the 20W-50.

The advice about drain the oil and look at it carefully is very good. If it looks like clean oil at this point after all this time then you will do best to leave the pan on but if the engine oil looks black and tarry, is very thick. Or if there is not much oil in it (sorry you won't know what is a lot or a little in this application) then you are going to be advised to take the oil pan off. Let's just say at this point that you might be doing this but we will try to not have to do this one unless determined later it needs to be done.

Take a picture of the used oil for us. Spill some of the used oil on a white sheet of paper if you can so we can see how dirty it is.

The advice about rotating the engine to circulate the oil before starting is good advice.

You are going to clean the gas tank and remove the petcocks to clean them. We want to know how much debris comes out of the tank and how much debris is around the screens of the petcocks. Clean the petcocks with your carb cleaner but don't try or try not to take them apart at this time, they can be a real biotch to put back together if you don't know how. We just want to asses the amount of trash in the tank and clean it up enough that it's not going to clog up right away. You'll be very interested in any amount of rust or bubbles in the paint on the bottom edge of the tank. Careful of tanks that have these bubbles in the paint, the paint is keeping the tank from leaking and the bubble is where the rust has worked it's way through. All that is needed is a hard rubbing and the paint fails and the tank leaks.

Looking forward to reports of progress when you get to this stuff. Gawd, you must be a Mother's Dream, tending to studies and obligations when you have an old bike to work on instead! That is so incredible. I'm sorry but I feel I must tell you that I don't think a single one of these guys who have been writing you would be able to do this.
Never memorize something you can look up.
---Albert Einstein

Pay your debt, piratejohn.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:47 AM   #30
So much to ponder
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: oc, ca
Oddometer: 3,287
I am right over in the next town and I have 77 R100S that I enjoy working on. I am by no means an expert but I have learned a trick or two since I've had it. Feel free to PM me. You're right about this community. There are lots of good people willing to help, especially in the airheads threads.
Because you cannot eat a salad with a spork.
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