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Old 05-19-2009, 07:18 AM   #1
wolfy317 OP
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Breathing life back into an airhead.

Hey all,

I've been on and around the forums for a bit but realized I haven't really posted a thread about my bike, and figured ...why not?

So I've got a 1971 BMW R75/5 LWB with R90s heads and carbs. The bike was given to me when I turned 15...nearly 15 years ago. about 5 years ago I moved out of town and left the bike with my dad because the wife and I didn't have room for it to go with us. Well the bike sat for 5 years and now we've been trying to breathe some life back into the bike becuase I'm ready to ride. Here's some pictures of the process/progress.


Here's the bike when we started out:



After pulling the tank, carbs, and rear fender/subframe:



Pulling the back wheel to replace swing arm boot, and re-pack the bearings in the wheel:



Decided to go with a more classic look before we put it all back together...:



The bike is all back together....too bad it was all for not :) The Carbs were shot. Corrosion on the actual casting forced us to rethink our situation:



So we decided we would swap to the original 750 heads and the 32mm Bings that were stock. So we did this:



Then I got ahold of another set of Del'ortos, so we decided that while we had the heads off we'd clean them up good and get back to business:



I decided to do some sprucing up here and there while we cleaned and blasted the heds. I changed out the hand control for a nicer pair and then painted them and got the longer stem mirrors. I also decided to put the exhaust pipes and the fork caps on the polishing wheel to clean it up a bit more.









I also pulled out the old alternator rotor and replaced it with a fresh one from Motorad Elektric in Alabama. All we have left is the rebuild of the Del'Ortos and then to test out the charging system and we should be good to go.








So yah, I got a little picture happy. My plans for the bike are to slowly go cafe racer, though I don't plan on doing anything that requires any real modification. Just a shorty front fender, cafe seat pan from caferace.com, moving the front turn signals back to stock location, a cafe racer fairing, and getting some of the Albert Headlight mount mirrors. Enough rambling on my end. Hope you airhead lovers enjoy.

Allen
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:32 AM   #2
Chobro
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Thumb

Cool!
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:49 AM   #3
bpeckm
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Very nice! Seems quick when it boils down to half-a-dozen pictures, but those pics represent a lot of work That is a bike to be proud of... the slash 5 is just such a classic, and the 75/5 is the best of the lot.

I particularly like your color change... personally don't care for that BMW blue, so your cream color is just beauty in my eyes...

What did you do to the engine cases and particularly the front cover? They look really nice and very even-colored, or at least the photos do....




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Old 05-19-2009, 08:02 AM   #4
CurlyMike
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Very nice. Funky grips. Nice resurrection. Like the color you re-painted it. Check your PMs for a question...
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:24 AM   #5
wolfy317 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeckm
Very nice! Seems quick when it boils down to half-a-dozen pictures, but those pics represent a lot of work That is a bike to be proud of... the slash 5 is just such a classic, and the 75/5 is the best of the lot.

I particularly like your color change... personally don't care for that BMW blue, so your cream color is just beauty in my eyes...

What did you do to the engine cases and particularly the front cover? They look really nice and very even-colored, or at least the photos do....
honestly all I did to them was sandblast em. I'm trying to figure out a way to get the engine block to look as clean as the covers and airbox do, but short of taking it out of the frame and dismantling everything again, I can't think of a way.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:39 AM   #6
Airhead Wrangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy317
...short of taking it out of the frame and dismantling everything again, I can't think of a way.
People are going to start thinking I work for simple green because I've advocated its use a bunch, but give it a try on your engine cases. It will have a very mild etching effect, so don't leave it on too long, but it will remove grime like nothing else short of blasting. Get the concentrate, cut it 50/50 with water and spray it on with a spray bottle, let it sit a bit, but don't let it dry out, then rinse.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:20 PM   #7
wolfy317 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler
People are going to start thinking I work for simple green because I've advocated its use a bunch, but give it a try on your engine cases. It will have a very mild etching effect, so don't leave it on too long, but it will remove grime like nothing else short of blasting. Get the concentrate, cut it 50/50 with water and spray it on with a spray bottle, let it sit a bit, but don't let it dry out, then rinse.
Thanks for the tip, I'll be giving that a try very shortly!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaddleSoar
Very nice. Funky grips. Nice resurrection. Like the color you re-painted it. Check your PMs for a question...
Btw those handgrips are the old school pedone grips, i just cleaned em up with soap and water and voila!!! like new.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:23 PM   #8
Zagando
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Job well done.

Will you eventually polish the rims? That would be spiffy as hell.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:27 PM   #9
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I sort of liked the blue, but eh.

I'm of the group that never understood why germans brought out all those strange golds, browns, and off whites.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:11 PM   #10
bluezer
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aluminum cleaner

Read recently that Brewers supply houses have a powdered aluminum cleaner for kegs and such that works well and doesn't etch. Haven't got my hands on any yet.
I just picked up a 1971 75/5 that has been done ISDT or GS style. Will try to get some pics up.
+1 on the color- always loved the /2's like that. Great looking bike.
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Old 05-19-2009, 05:40 PM   #11
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Don't know if brewing sanitizers will do enough degreasing.

I clean kegs first with oxyclean to get sediment and junk out of the bottom, then use sanitizers like you buy at the brewing supply because they are designed to not need to be fully rinsed.

For that reason I don't think they'll do a ton to the sort of filth you find on porous aluminum engine cases.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:31 PM   #12
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Yeah, I bought some of that brewers aluminum cleanser of some sort (PBW?), didn't do diddly...

I think you are right about the grease, etc... and that the stuff is pretty benign in not wanting to dissolve the aluminum...

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Old 05-19-2009, 06:39 PM   #13
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Yup, makes for tasty brew though.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:14 AM   #14
wolfy317 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zagando
Job well done.

Will you eventually polish the rims? That would be spiffy as hell.
well, I'd like to...but I honestly very much dislike spoked rims. I'd rather have some of those lester mag wheels and switch to front disk brakes...but that's really out of idea pool for the time being. I'm thinking of respoking the wheels with some fresh stainless ones, and then polishing the rim while the spokes are off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by P B G
I sort of liked the blue, but eh.

I'm of the group that never understood why germans brought out all those strange golds, browns, and off whites.
Well that blue is actually a paintjob i had done in 1998, and it is actually a Ford Purple from the mid 90's. Can't really see it in the pic though. The cream colored parts are actually the same parts that my dad had painted when he originally rebuilt the bike. I haven't had them repainted, just cleaned it up a bit. They looked nice and classic, so I put em back on for fun.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:50 PM   #15
wolfy317 OP
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Well, here's a bit of an update.

Got the carbs rebuilt and put back on the bike, ran into quite the hiccup from there though. The right side crank with the bike, and when I pulled the throttle cable up to see what was goin on, it fired, but spit quite a bit of white smoke, and and some oil out the tailpile. The carb won't hold an idle.
Got a few things to try, but am not looking forward to the prospects......the carb replacement is expensive, but I'd rather it be that than the something in the engine.

Al

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