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Old 10-29-2013, 10:02 PM   #1
xombiexplox OP
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Inexperienced but proud owner of a '74 R90/6, want to make it a café racer project!

So, this is my first motorcycle ever and the first time I've ever taken on something mechanical and manly.

I'm wanting to clean it up nice and lose some weight (on the bike) and add some power! Do you guys have any recommendations for a COMPLETE first timer?

I'm buying tools this weekend, and I've already got the hardcover Haynes service manual. Now that I've got the bike and the drive, the hard part's over right?? ;)


xombiexplox screwed with this post 10-29-2013 at 10:06 PM Reason: typos
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:19 PM   #2
Yeahoo Whoyah
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Don't touch it, leave it alone, just ride it. Period.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:33 PM   #3
RecycledRS
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Welcome to the forum. This place has all expertise you need to help you restore, maintain and modify your new ride. You have ready recieved your first of many opinions on " cafeing" this good looking bm. My vote would be to first get it running properly and then see if you haven't grown to love it.
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Old 10-29-2013, 10:50 PM   #4
KhaoSanMan
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Have fun! Happy to help if needed. Welcome to the forum.


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Old 10-29-2013, 10:57 PM   #5
Kai Ju
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To those that are imploring the young lady to leave it stock...it's not.
Dyna ignition booster if not the complete thing, Excel rims, Mikunis, aftermarket shocks, albeit short ones. I'm sure there is more but the point is it's her bike, to do with as she pleases. (I'm making the assumption that the OP is astride her bike)
I would start with longer shocks, if you can reach the ground with ease, and lower bars.
Start with that as well as getting to know the bike by doing maintenance such as oil and filter change, valve adjust, checking the timing etc.
If after you know your bike and feel comfortable wielding a wrench, have at it.
As has already been said, lots of info, and opinions, to be found here.
I would also recommend attending a tech day if there is one near you coming up. Unlikely due to the time of year but you never know.
Also, guys will trip all over themselves offering to help so let's see what happens.

More than anything, welcome to the world of Airheads, and the asylum.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:04 PM   #6
xombiexplox OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RecycledRS View Post
Welcome to the forum. This place has all expertise you need to help you restore, maintain and modify your new ride. You have ready recieved your first of many opinions on " cafeing" this good looking bm. My vote would be to first get it running properly and then see if you haven't grown to love it.
Yeah, thanks! I have been reading lots of similar comments on here, so I'm prepared for that. I just got my permit, waiting to go to a safety course and I'd like to tinker for the next few weeks until I get that license.

It runs fine in my understanding of this machine, only problems are:

- Odometer stopped working. Not sure if a mechanical failure, or maybe it's due to the weird spindle/rotating-looking thing near my rear hub. The previous owner replaced the hubs recently (he says) and now it doesn't look like it's attached to anything.

- Small amount of leaking fluids. Some drips down my kickstand and near that side, it's a greenish color. Also, a darker colored liquid is dripping closer to the center. Only a few drops a week but it's concerning for me.

What I really want to accomplish is a complete tear-down, clean and lube everything, sand and paint the frame, maybe rewire all the electronics, new front and rear suspension, new cafe-ish seat and drop the handlebars.

As I have hardly any tools at the moment, and only a few weeks until I finish my safety course I'd like to have things finished by the time I'm legally able to ride. I think I might have to just stick to adding some clip on bars and tidying up the electronics.

I'm really excited though! Thanks
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:07 PM   #7
xombiexplox OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KhaoSanMan View Post
Have fun! Happy to help if needed. Welcome to the forum.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Ju View Post
To those that are imploring the young lady to leave it stock...it's not.
Dyna ignition booster if not the complete thing, Excel rims, Mikunis, aftermarket shocks, albeit short ones. I'm sure there is more but the point is it's her bike, to do with as she pleases. (I'm making the assumption that the OP is astride her bike)
I would start with longer shocks, if you can reach the ground with ease, and lower bars.
Start with that as well as getting to know the bike by doing maintenance such as oil and filter change, valve adjust, checking the timing etc.
If after you know your bike and feel comfortable wielding a wrench, have at it.
As has already been said, lots of info, and opinions, to be found here.
I would also recommend attending a tech day if there is one near you coming up. Unlikely due to the time of year but you never know.
Also, guys will trip all over themselves offering to help so let's see what happens.

More than anything, welcome to the world of Airheads, and the asylum.
Thanks guys! I'll check around for some type of workshop around here, but Oahu is small so I'll keep my fingers crossed!
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:08 PM   #8
Brun
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Very nice. The bike is pretty good, too.
I can tell you are already grinning, and that is good.

I suggest you also get the Clymer manual - it is much better, with pictorial step-by-step instructions, perfect for the airhead neophyte. The Haynes is worth having just for the coloured electrical diagrams. Both books have some errors, so be mindful.

Old BMWs are the perfect bike to be learning manly mechanical stuff on. I'll second or third the request to not convert it to a cafe until you have ridden it well and learned a few things about it. If you change the bars to the 'Euro' type (narrower and lower) you will find it is a very capable sports/touring bike. I'll never understand why the american market was lumbered with those huge bars - they turn the bike into a cruiser, which is just wrong.

The other matter worth dealing with quickly is the front brake. You may have already noticed that it doesn't work very well, even when properly set up. The good news is that a handlebar mounted master cylinder will make it work really well, for a lot less cost than refurbishing the existing under-tank master cylinder. Check out this thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=742109

Have fun. Fondle that bike and get to know its little quirks. And do feel free to ask questions.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:13 PM   #9
xombiexplox OP
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Originally Posted by Brun View Post
Very nice. The bike is pretty good, too.
I can tell you are already grinning, and that is good.

I suggest you also get the Clymer manual - it is much better, with pictorial step-by-step instructions, perfect for the airhead neophyte. The Haynes is worth having just for the coloured electrical diagrams. Both books have some errors, so be mindful.

Old BMWs are the perfect bike to be learning manly mechanical stuff on. I'll second or third the request to not convert it to a cafe until you have ridden it well and learned a few things about it. If you change the bars to the 'Euro' type (narrower and lower) you will find it is a very capable sports/touring bike. I'll never understand why the american market was lumbered with those huge bars - they turn the bike into a cruiser, which is just wrong.

The other matter worth dealing with quickly is the front brake. You may have already noticed that it doesn't work very well, even when properly set up. The good news is that a handlebar mounted master cylinder will make it work really well, for a lot less cost than refurbishing the existing under-tank master cylinder. Check out this thread:

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=742109

Have fun. Fondle that bike and get to know its little quirks. And do feel free to ask questions.
Thanks! Yeah I've definitely noticed the front brake needs work. Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction!
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:53 AM   #10
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Subscribed, well, just because...
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:23 AM   #11
ozmoses
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xombiexplox View Post
Thanks guys! I'll check around for some type of workshop around here, but Oahu is small so I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Maybe inmate BigBamboo is a good (local) resource for info?
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:01 AM   #12
disston
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No idea where she is. Do you really think she's on the Big Island in Hawaii?

Most of us riding these bikes are the older conservative crowd or the younger Cafe crowd it's true. The older ones tho stick around and answer your questions. We will try to dissuade you from cafe-ing this bike right away. There is plenty to do right now and you should know the bike before you take it apart. The bike is designed to be maintained in it's current form. Everything on the bike is serviceable as it sits on the bike and for some major service parts come off. We will teach you this, the procedures and tell you when it is time to take the transmission off, when it is time to replace the rear seal, etc.

The bike looks like it has had a lot of work put it into the current form and it served very well for some years. However it has seen many, many miles and the work to bring it back to pristine shape has only begun. The wheels are excellent. That is a big job and they will shine with just a little washing and polishing now. You should try plain wax and avoid "Chrome Polish" compounds for the most part. "Polish" is abrasive and over use removes the chrome.

You are missing one of the eyebrow shades for the tachometer. You say the odo doesn't work? Does the speedo work? If so the problem with the odo is internal, in the speedo unit. If the speedo also doesn't work the cable may be at fault. The speedo cable is on the right side the rear of the trans and is held on by the bolt that holds the battery ground cable on. Sometimes things around the battery cable are a little different but I can't see what's happening in the picture, it is behind your right leg.

You have /5 aluminum front turn signals. I don't see any rear turn signals. Maybe they are incorporated in the bags which are off the bike? Working turn signals are a safety feature and should be maintained.

These bikes are big. They are heavy. The large handlebar helps to steer and handle the bike. It actually looks after market but I'm not sure. There is a stock Magura bar that is called the USA bar and that may be it. But none the less it helps wield all that weight. The most radical weight savings will take off only a couple of pounds unless you spend some big bucks. The machine can also be hot rodded and made a bit quicker. The end result will be it is still a 37 year old big heavy bike that almost any Japanese $3,000 250cc machine can walk away from.

Good Luck with it. It does look like a special machine that somebody has put a lot of thought and care into.

edit; You say it is a 1974 machine? The left handlebar switch looks like the '75 or '76 switch? The title may be off or the switch style could have been changed but you can look the Vin # up on RealOEM.com It will tell you when the bike was built, new model year starts with Sept the year before (back when this machine was built) The # is stamped into the engine block above the dipstick and is also on a tag riveted to the front headstock. Check the numbers in both places, they should match.
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disston screwed with this post 10-30-2013 at 09:07 AM
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:18 AM   #13
hardwaregrrl
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Originally Posted by xombiexplox View Post
Thanks guys! I'll check around for some type of workshop around here, but Oahu is small so I'll keep my fingers crossed!
Charlie, last time i checked this was Hawaii.

Welcome to the madness, xombieplox! And to search the airhead archives here put it in google and enter "advrider" after what you're looking for.

hardwaregrrl screwed with this post 10-30-2013 at 09:24 AM
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:49 AM   #14
disston
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Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
Charlie, last time i checked this was Hawaii.

Welcome to the madness, xombieplox! And to search the airhead archives here put it in google and enter "advrider" after what you're looking for.
Sorry. I missed that. It wasn't in her profile and I didn't see it. Duh. Still Oahu doesn't really make you a neighbor of Big Bamboo on Hawaii. The islands work that way, ya know?

There are others in Hawaii. Who's on Oahu? They should have enough Airheads for an ABC Chapter or at least a Tech Day?
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:01 AM   #15
Domiken
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Looks like a fun project, good luck!
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