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Old 04-30-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
mismith356 OP
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Talking Buying advice r80?

Hey Fellas,

I'm sure other have posted similar requests, I may not be searching with a good string...but was hoping to get some advice on what i might want to be on the look out for when purchasing an early 80's R80RT? 1983 actually.

The owner says it's been sitting for a few years but claims it ran great when parked and stored.

I'm looking to get a decent bike to use for a sidecar rig and from what I've read, BMW is a great bike for the task but I know almost nothing about them. Bike has about 60k miles on it but has been siting for a "few years".

I expect dry rot tires, dead battery and fluids needing to be changed.

What about rear drive shaft, anything I should look for there? Or the trans?

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:14 PM   #2
ML WYDELL
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I picked up a "R75/7 sitter'' and did the following:

1. Drained the oil / cut open the filter to inspect.

2. Drained the trans / final drive and replaced. May consider pulling trans to lube the splines there.

3. Inspected rear hub brake lining / splines and lubed.

4. Inspect / clean master cyl / replace front brake hose.

5. Tubes / Tires

6. Check condition of plugs / clean carbs / inspect fuel tank, hopefully it was stored properly.

Just my 2 cents.

When you start getting these airheads right it can get costly quickly but once its sorted there's a reliable bike at the end.

Spent a lot of money on mine but I could've spent it on worse.
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:32 PM   #3
Hookalatch
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Exhaust valves and the seat can undergo "plastic deformation" in the 1981-84 models. I purchased a 1984 R80 that ran pretty well but had this problem. I purchased it from someone I knew and took him at his word that the bike was just tuned, valves adjusted etc. If I were to look at a bike from this era again I would either want to buy it cheap enough to get head work done or at least pull the valve covers and see where the exhaust adjusting screw was at. On my bike they were adjusted out as far as they would go and had inadequate clearance. Overall that should be a great bike.

Chuck
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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How much is he asking?

Ask him what type of oil he used, name, brand, type and weight?
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Old 04-30-2013, 03:47 PM   #5
mismith356 OP
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Thanks Fellas. I am headed to go see it Thursday evening. Seller is asking $2800....I am not sure that's reasonable but we'll see...initial pics log decent.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:02 PM   #6
mismith356 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookalatch View Post
Exhaust valves and the seat can undergo "plastic deformation" in the 1981-84 models. I purchased a 1984 R80 that ran pretty well but had this problem. I purchased it from someone I knew and took him at his word that the bike was just tuned, valves adjusted etc. If I were to look at a bike from this era again I would either want to buy it cheap enough to get head work done or at least pull the valve covers and see where the exhaust adjusting screw was at. On my bike they were adjusted out as far as they would go and had inadequate clearance. Overall that should be a great bike.

Chuck

I've not heard of this before. I'm going to try and read up on this a bit.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:39 PM   #7
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You're in FL and i'm assuming the bike is too (as i am). 'Stored for x years' in FL = humidity = moisture in the cylinders, unless the thing was stored in a walk-in reefer or deep freeze. I'd squirt a wee bit of ATF or even a lesser lube in the jugs before nailing the starter button on this sleeper.

Yes, jugs are Nikasil, but you don't know what's accumulated in there yet from the sitting years
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:56 PM   #8
B_C_Ries
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$2,800 is alot to spend if you do not get to hear it run.
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:40 AM   #9
boxerboy81
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http://www.motorcycle.co.uk/articles...airhead-boxers
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Old 05-01-2013, 07:18 AM   #10
Hookalatch
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Plastic valve deformation

Quote:
Originally Posted by mismith356 View Post
I've not heard of this before. I'm going to try and read up on this a bit.
Google BMW Airhead plastic valve deformation and you will get lots of information. Not everyone agrees on the cause but the results are the same. Here is a typical example

"Pre-1981 models were designed to run leaded fuel. With the phaseout of lead in gas, the problem of VSR (Valve Seat Recession) became acute. In 1981 BMW addressed the lead issue by changing the valve seat metallurgy. Many respected and knowledgesble people believe that the material BMW selected was incorrect, leading to another, similar problem, called VFPD (Valve Face Plastic Deformation). BMW re-addressed the issue in 1985, changing the valve seat material once again, and releasing new valve seats for fitment into earlier models. This "final solution" was the one that seems to work. Many older 1970's era airheads can go very high mileages with little or no VSR, due to the lead impregnation of the seats from way back then. The residual lead seems to provide protection for the life of the seat, until it is recut, at which time VSR may occur on a rapid scale. 81-84 models need to be addressed/updated at some point but the time and mileage can vary widely. Watching for changes in the valve adjustment over time is the accepted method of determining the need to update the valves and seats."

Chuck
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:06 AM   #11
mismith356 OP
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Well...ideally the bike will be running when i look it over, seller said he was going to try to get it running anyway. I am not looking for a project but rather a reliable work horse. I am trying to find an experienced airhead to help me in looking it over....but am a little uneasy at this point.

Thanks for the links and details.

Will keep you all posted.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:03 PM   #12
Moonshiner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mismith356 View Post
Well...ideally the bike will be running when i look it over, seller said he was going to try to get it running anyway. I am not looking for a project but rather a reliable work horse. I am trying to find an experienced airhead to help me in looking it over....but am a little uneasy at this point.

Thanks for the links and details.

Will keep you all posted.
Well, it IS a 30 year old motorcycle, and it IS a BMW airhead, so there WILL be some things that you'll have to do, some of them on a regular basis, i.e. valve adjustments, carb sync's, spline lubes, etc. These are just scheduled maintenance items, but you'll also have to do some of the things the other posters mentioned in regard to getting her ready for steady street use.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, just trying to be realistic. I've never owned an R80, but have heard many good things about them. $2800 is too high for an R80 that's been sitting that long. I'm not sure what the right number is, but $2800 is too high, IMHO.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:37 PM   #13
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I picked up an 83 R80 (@90,000 miles) that had been sitting for 10 or so years a couple of years ago. Flushed the tank and carb bowls with clean fuel, changed the oil and filters, fitted a new battery and it started second kick. It's not the smoothest runing motor but all I have done since is replaced brake pads, brake fluid, overhauled the carbs and put new tyres on. It's been the runabout, go anywhere / any road bike since and hasn't let me down so it is possible to get a reasonable bike from a "barn find".
If it isn't running the price has to be low, there are a lot of variables in the statement "was running when parked" and a lot of that decision comes down to your mechanical skill and the gut feeling you get from the seller. In my case the seller was a long time owner of the bike and had service records up to it's time of parking, he also had a very good explanation as to why it had been in storage as against the "I dunno" comments you get from some sellers.

Good luck, the R80 is a fun bike as long as you don't expect power, handling or chick pulling qualities!
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hookalatch View Post
Google BMW Airhead plastic valve deformation and you will get lots of information. Not everyone agrees on the cause but the results are the same. Here is a typical example

"Pre-1981 models were designed to run leaded fuel. With the phaseout of lead in gas, the problem of VSR (Valve Seat Recession) became acute. In 1981 BMW addressed the lead issue by changing the valve seat metallurgy. Many respected and knowledgesble people believe that the material BMW selected was incorrect, leading to another, similar problem, called VFPD (Valve Face Plastic Deformation). BMW re-addressed the issue in 1985, changing the valve seat material once again, and releasing new valve seats for fitment into earlier models. This "final solution" was the one that seems to work. Many older 1970's era airheads can go very high mileages with little or no VSR, due to the lead impregnation of the seats from way back then. The residual lead seems to provide protection for the life of the seat, until it is recut, at which time VSR may occur on a rapid scale. 81-84 models need to be addressed/updated at some point but the time and mileage can vary widely. Watching for changes in the valve adjustment over time is the accepted method of determining the need to update the valves and seats."

Chuck
'81 to '84 BMW's are more likely to have VSR than other model years BUT . . . .

With the phase out of lead in gas VSR did not become acute. Most all engines had no issues with unleaded gas. It was the owners of the engines often encouraged by the owners of machine shops that had acute issues with VSR and unleaded gas.

BMW's solution to a problem that did not exist did have some VSR issues.

Many older BMW's can go for many miles without VSR issues but some some older BMW's had VSR issues. Many '81 to '84 BMW can go for many miles without VSR issues but many did have VSR issues. It all depends on the individual bike. In my experience of being around and/or working on airheads for almost 40 years now including doing around 200 airhead valve jobs myself plus doing a lot reading on the subject, I think lead has almost nothing to do with the issue. Lead was put into gas to raise its octane rating. IMO if you read between the lines you will see that the industry needed to come up with an excuse for putting it in lower octane rated fuels and that's where the lead is good for valves story comes from. Valves and seats lasted just as long before lead in gasoline and now even longer without it. In general, THAT is a fact.

We need to watch for VSR issues in ALL of our airheads and especially '81 to '84 models. They really are prone to have it but you might get lucky! IMO, you could be wasting perfectly good seats dealing with the issue before it arises. Some people have their intake seats replaced all for VSR paranoia. There is unquestionably no need for that. BMW's stock iron intake seats which all models have are rock solid lead or no lead. BMW's exhaust seats, pretty much like all exhaust seats (especially air cooled exhaust seats) are NOT rock solid lead or no lead.

supershaft screwed with this post 05-01-2013 at 04:22 PM
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