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Old 01-26-2013, 02:01 PM   #1
CanadaBiker OP
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My first ride on my 'new' R00/7.

It was bitter cold out, (25 F) but I finally got my new-to-me '77 R100/7 running today and was itching to go for a boot! I've never ridden a bike like this and was very anxious whether I would like it or not. I got back into riding a couple of years ago--I raced motocross and had a few early sport bikes when I was younger, but I knew this bike would be very different.

I restored a '73 CB550, and I loved that bike, but I realized I dug long-ish back road touring so I wanted something bigger. Plus I wanted something that could make loads of torque at lower RPMS. For a short time, I had a F650GS twin, but I pined for another classic. Found this one in a barn locally. It had been well taken care of, and stored correctly. I did a few things: rebuilt the front brake, new pads, and speigler line. Changed trans, shaft, and final drive oil. Greased rear hub. New battery, petcocks, and I cleaned and set the carbs. It fired right up, idled great, but it did have the 'blubbers' accelerating past 50 mph for about 10 miles, then that went away and never came back.

So my first riding impressions: What a strange bizarre motorcycle. :) It runs great, but vibrates and undulates like a beast, until it hits about 55 mph, then it settles into beautiful harmony! (It was like a 'smooth' on-off switch at 53.85 mph. :)

It has a 32/10 final drive which I understand is rare on this bike? What really surprised me is just how fast the bike is. I can roll the throttle at 60mph and it launches forward like a bullet, and before I know it, I'm at 95. It really stunned me! It's almost disconcerting how quick it is, when compared to the strange feedback that a bike like this gives. Going 90 on this bike is a world of difference than going 90, say on my 650 Twin. Night & day! Way more butterflies in the chest--if that makes sense. And since I'm not used to a bike like this, I'm not yet confident that the entire thing won't just explode. Not that it feels like it, but my head keeps reminding me I'm going too fast on a very old motorcycle!

I wonder how I'll like the 32/10 on the big highways. I couldn't really tell today, 'cause it was so bloody cold, I couldn't really concentrate on the the big picture. I do love the sporty feel from 50 to 80 though. Way more fun than I thought it would be in that range. I thought I might want to go to a taller final drive, but I'll have to put on some miles to really see how it feels.

It likes to be shifted into 2nd gear early, and I quickly learned that adding a bit of pre-load on the shifter, just before shifting helps a great deal. I've still got to get better at downshifting. The front brake was really very decent, almost great--almost! I think it's as good as the single disc on my CB550. I was pretty diligent when I rebuilt and adjusted the pads, and I think I got them parallel to the disc. I worked the eccentric bolt back and forth to see it go in & out of parallel, and I think I got it as close as I can. Any hints to double check parallel, or is it just by eye? Also, will the pads grab just a wee bit better as they break in? If they worked ever-so-slightly better, I'd be completely fine with them.

The rear brakes feel very good, and they worked nicely when I dragged them in the tight corners a bit to shift weight...and especially in this weather when the the roads might not be perfectly dry and can get slippery.

I love the riding position, the bars and seat feel great. The left peg and shifter might feel a little cramped, and I wonder if the tab on the shifter sticks out far enough, maybe I'll get used to it. (it has the direct shifter and not the linkage style. I know someone who I think has most of the parts needed to change it to the linkage style....)

I have a million other questions as I continue to work at various service items, but I'll save those for other threads. (I'm pretty sure it desperately needs a fork rebuild and new springs)

Overall, it gave me a great big unconscious smile. Just amazing, and weird, and different. I'm so excited to get back out there, and get past the initial strangeness of it all, and then hammer at the back road miles!
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
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25 degrees and you ran her up to 90?......did your balls pop back out yet?

...nice bike...congrats!
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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Congrats on the new bike. First ride on an airhead? And an R100 at that? Here's some tips you may not know about.
The R100 bikes are not the smoothest boxer. They'll shake more than the smaller displacements and feel a little lumpy at low revs/idle. But all airheads like to rev! I'll bet at the 50 mph mark you went above 3500 rpm. Don't lug it. Short shifting for me is anything below 4000 rpm. Check the carbs again for balance- that may also be part of the issue. Sounds like it may be balanced for speed but need work on the lower speed circuits. And yes, the preload on the shifter makes for way smoother shifting.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overdog View Post
25 degrees and you ran her up to 90?......did your balls pop back out yet?

...nice bike...congrats!
Yeah is was fracking cold. I wore long-johns under my work pants, and my carharts over them. I also wore a balaclava, and a dickie under my full face helmet. I have cold weather snowmobile finger gloves, and they are pretty decent, but my hands got cold by the end. I only lasted about an hour, and didn't go too fast.


Quote:
Originally Posted by squiffynimrod View Post
Congrats on the new bike. First ride on an airhead? And an R100 at that? Here's some tips you may not know about.
The R100 bikes are not the smoothest boxer. They'll shake more than the smaller displacements and feel a little lumpy at low revs/idle. But all airheads like to rev! I'll bet at the 50 mph mark you went above 3500 rpm. Don't lug it. Short shifting for me is anything below 4000 rpm. Check the carbs again for balance- that may also be part of the issue. Sounds like it may be balanced for speed but need work on the lower speed circuits. And yes, the preload on the shifter makes for way smoother shifting.
This was basically my first ride on an airhead. I rode my dad's 81 RT a few miles a couple decades ago, but I was too young to have any appreciation of it.

I'm not sure of my RPMS at 50 'cause my tach is screwey. I tried fixing it myself, but the flat 'watch spring" was in pretty rough shape. I will have Wirespokes do a reno on it for me. (I wonder if I could go to an electronic tach, and swap out my white numbers face)

I plan to sync the carbs, and have a closer look at the points. I may do the Boyer ignition as well. I installed a Dyna on my CB550 and it worked great. I had thought I would keep the points on the R100, but the advancer springs are pretty weak and need replacing. I thought if I was going to do new points and an advancer unit, then maybe that's getting close-ish in price and effort to the Boyer. (I know the debate on points vs electronic, and I'm neutral on the whole topic)

Even if I could get it just a hair smoother at lower RPMS I would be happy. Maybe adressing the ignition and balancing the carbs will go a long way.

I can do most service, but the fork rebuild has me somewhat apprehensive.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:22 PM   #5
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Great bikes!

Yours looks to be in top shape.

Wait 'til it warms up, you'll find out the worst part of the ride is when it ends!

A 15 minute errand turns easily into 100 miles minimum.
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Old 01-27-2013, 07:40 PM   #6
akabeton
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Very Nice

Nice looking bike, in great shape.

Spring is on the way , or so they say :)
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overdog View Post
25 degrees and you ran her up to 90?......did your balls pop back out yet?

...nice bike...congrats!
That is seriously funny

Great build!

Airheads need a ride of about 500 miles to get the true feel / bug!!

Great effort and flook forward to reading more progess!!
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:25 AM   #8
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I'm also new to Airheads. I came to the same conclusions you did on my first ride back in November. I have a 79 RS. It feels like a turbo is kicking in at 50-ish. Syncing your carbs will help with the low end vibration, but this flat twin is a different breed indeed.

Noticed you're in S. Ontario. We should hook up when the weather is pleasant for riding.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:30 AM   #9
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Awesome! Yep, check the carb sync, that may help with the vibration. You've already figured out to preload the shifter, that's good. They all need that.

These girls have their sweet spot in the RPM range, usually somewhere in the 4500 to 5500 range. When you hit that spot, it's like all the planets have aligned.

Good on ya!
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headtube View Post
I'm also new to Airheads. I came to the same conclusions you did on my first ride back in November. I have a 79 RS. It feels like a turbo is kicking in at 50-ish. Syncing your carbs will help with the low end vibration, but this flat twin is a different breed indeed.

Noticed you're in S. Ontario. We should hook up when the weather is pleasant for riding.
Yeah I need to sync the carbs and double check my timing.

I'd be up for a ride for sure...if it ever gets warm again. I hate the winter blues. uggggg
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:48 PM   #11
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Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Washington, the state
Oddometer: 79
My ride: 1977 R00/7

I was out of bikes for many years, 25 plus. Purchased a well taken care of 1977 R100/7. Rode her short distances for the first year and enjoyed it. Did some mechanical stuff the next winter and then begun really riding her. At a BMW Rally I rode the new models, wow, really cool but when I walked back to my R100/7, and then rode her home the 500 or so miles, well, I really connected. The seat is perfect for me and I really like the handlebars, I can run most all day long and be alert and comfortable. So, now I find my self riding 10,000 miles a year and I never commute to work, just rallies and general riding. I replaced the plastic bags with the metal ones, I have an upgraded charging system so I can run heated gear, keeps me comfortable and happy. I could afford a new bike but have chosen to run this 1977 model. That sounds kind of cold. Last year on the way back from Mexico I stopped at a hotel, it was cold and normally I camp, I asked a guy with his two Harleys if he thought this was a safe place for the night, he looked at my bike and told me to park that black bitch between his Harleys and she would be safe. So now she does have a name. I also have a 1972 R75/5 and feel comfortable riding her pretty much anywhere. The main reason I take the Black Bitch (slash 7) is because of the custom seat, all the difference in the world after a couple of hours. At least to this mid 50 yo rider anyway.
Regards,
Kurt

PS: the 32:10 final drive is very common on this model. They like to cruise at 5,000 give or take all day long.
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Old 01-30-2013, 02:33 PM   #12
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Thumb

...it's perfect just the way it is...beauty!
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:56 PM   #13
vagueout
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My first bmw was a well worn 100/7 i bought in early 82, after ten years of english bikes it was like breaking out of jail, freedom to ride and ride..... Maintenance and repair was a rewarding joy it was such a good machine to cover big distances here in australia, the feeling of independence was above uplifting for me. And of course one would never find one like the o.p.'s in that condition here in australia, they were ridden into the ground with distance.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:03 PM   #14
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R100/7

I have the same bike. Pretty much stock. I rebuilt the front end and overall it is a great bike for longer backroad rambles. I doubt I will ever sell it.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:18 PM   #15
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Yep, I have a 1979 R100/7 and they are cracking bikes. Mine was a ride-to-work bike for eight years and the engine was carefully put together and twin plugged by a local expert. At high speed she's like a turbine. Mine is in light metallic blue although I always wanted a black one with white pinstripes.
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