'88 BMW R80 cafe

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by MIOB, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

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    My bike is being discussed in the BMW caferacre thread on this forum. Personally I don't want to spoil that great topic by placing too many (offtopic) posts about one bike, so I though I'd better start a new one.

    I've rebuild a cx500 into a chopper with a friend of mine, that was my (our) first project and it turned out great, way, way above our own expectations at the start. That triggered me to buy another CX500 for my Girlfriend and mildy rebuild that one into a caferacer. Then it wa time for me to build a bike for myself. I bought a crashed BMW R80:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The previous owner had replaced the R80 engine with a R100 engine (:clap ), installed a Wilbvers rearspring and technoflex front springs. He also painted the engine black (that was a question from someone. I do not know what kind of paint he used, I just know he did a very crude job, there is (was) even paint on the carburators)

    I then bought clipons, bar end indicators and a Acewell 3853 tacho. I'm a student so I'm on a VERY tight budget, but I definetly wanted the Acewell because I think a caferacer should be as clean as possible and the acewell allowed me to have just 1 meter with everything (revcouter, speedo, warninglights) and more in just 1 unit.

    [​IMG]

    I Then bought a tank on some sort of motorcycle fleamarket. The tank said Thompson Suzuki. All I know is that it is a english tank (I had to buy Triumph petcocks). It looks a lot like some Rickmann tanks, but I just dont know what type it is.

    [​IMG]

    Sadly the tank wasn't in a very good shape, I loved the originbal paintjob (and the wear on it), but it had to go to make it water (fuel) tight.

    I found some Iron tubing in someone else's trash (Told you, low budget ;)). Togheter with soem meshed aluminium I turned it into the rear end. I had some caravan upholstery shop make me a leather cushion for it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This was all done in a bit of a rush to get my bike running befor I went on a 4 week fieldwork exercise for my study.

    After that I decided taht IO wanted to make it lighter and more compact. I removed the airbox and placed the battery there. Placing it under the gearbox is not an option woth my exhaust set up. I replced the airfilter with velocity stacks (it runs GREAT on those). To prevent the backwheel from trhrowing mud directly into thos velocity stacks I turned an old CX500 frontfender into a rearfender.

    [​IMG]

    After that I started to have a problem with my gearbox. There was a very loud ratle, both while riding and at idle. I decided to gamble and buy a used gearbox with kickstaret from germany. I wanted the kickstarte for a couple of reasons. The first being the very weak (but cheap and smaller) battery I installed. I only had 1 chance at starting the bike... (though I had never needed more) and secondly: I could sell some stuff (like the starter) and save some weight.
    I also wasn't too happy with the handling, I just knew it could be better, so I made framebraces. Since they had to be low budget and had to be removable (to replace the battery or engineparts) I used exhaustclamps to fix them to the frame (another reason being that according to the Dutch law you can hardly welt anything onto the frame). The framebrace work a lot better than I could ever imagine, the bike feels a hell of a lot tighter now.

    [​IMG]

    Further improvements since than are: A new (Ural) headlight, I turned the original foodpegs around so I can use them as rearsets (not having enough many to buy any), bending a piece of threaded bar to be used as a conrod (I had to do that to remain able to use the kickstarter, it is a temporary fix and I'm looking for something better, one of the users of this forum has already send me a personal message with a great suggestion) and I replaced the exhaust.

    [​IMG]



    for teh sound and a vid of a working Acewell tacho:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFJ1REB1Cao

    My plans for the future:
    - installing sportier clip ons, I got fully adjustable Tomasselli clip ons on the way form Germany
    - making a front fender
    - finding a way to lower the front end. I dont want to just shorten the legs, since I wouldn't be able to make them any longer when I've overdone it.
    - ride it, a lot!
    #1
  2. RecycledRS

    RecycledRS Along for the ride

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    It all makes sense once you hear the story behind it. At first I didn't understand why the clamps holding the brace. Makes me think its a good option to test various braces without actually welding them in. Thanks for the insight in all you have done so far.
    #2
  3. Justinmarque

    Justinmarque Thumper>Airhead

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    I like the rear seat cowling. The mesh looks great.
    #3
  4. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Great bike!! lots of interest and comments generated over a bunch of threads, so this is fun to "get it all together".... Thank You!

    I would love to see any photos of the ends of the frame braces: how you made the braces up, and how you attached them to the frame.

    Dank u :evil !!
    #4
  5. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

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    geen probleem :)

    (no worries)

    I'll take a pic of the clamps, but they are just normal exhaustclamps like this one (bit smaller size though):

    [​IMG]

    The U schaped part goes around the frame, I welded the other part to the braces. It's because of these clamps that I didn't expect too much form the braces, but as I said: I can recomend a mod like this to anyone.

    By the way: suggestions on how to lower the front end without shortening the legs or buying the legs of a K series (for example) are very welcome!
    #5
  6. JohnTM

    JohnTM I suck toes

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    Great job! :clap

    I love the look of it, and I'm impressed with how much you did for so little cash outlay. :thumb
    #6
  7. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    In the TRUE spirit of what the cafe is/was/started out to be.....:wink:
    #7
  8. Kismet

    Kismet vagrant philosopher

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    Love it.

    Absolutely love it.

    Much easier to read in english, although I loved it in the Dutch thread, as well.

    :clap

    Be nice to figure out the tank's origin...it defines the look.


    Thank you.
    #8
  9. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

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    Thanx. I agree with you that a tank almost always defines the looks.

    The closest thing to my tank I've seen so far is the tank in this post on the same dutch forum:


    http://www.motor-forum.nl/forum/list_message/11638869#11638869

    (unfortunately it is not possible to directly link to the picture here)

    It's close, but not the same. I know that the tank on this picture is a replica Rickmann tank (english as far as I know), so I'm reasanobly sure that my tank will be some sort of Rickmann tank too.
    #9
  10. Nick Makwell

    Nick Makwell Bavarian Murder Weapon

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    Thanks for starting a thread MIOB - you've done a brilliant job!

    I have saved all the pics you've downloaded and plan to blatantly steal some of your ideas!!!
    #10
  11. richarddacat

    richarddacat I can't be satisfied

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    :thumb

    cool bike with a lot of ingenuity and craftmanship.

    apparently you can't slide the forks up through the triple tree or you would have figured that out.

    I was considering the same and was considering having my SanJose triple tree milled out so I could slide the forks up. The SJ tree uses pinch bolts on top like the lower. Maybe that's an option for ya. :dunno

    did you keep the stock tire size? the rear appears larger.
    #11
  12. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

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    No, unfortunately I can't, but it is exactly what I wnat. If I had a triple tree that alowed me to slide the fork up and down I could experiment al I want and when I find I nice set up I'll know how much I'll have to make the legs shorter.

    I tried triple trees of a R45 and several K series. They all don't fit or all demand too much (expensive) modifications. That's why I was hoping someone here could give me some tips.
    #12
  13. igormortis

    igormortis Cafe Reise

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    I believe it was a thread on here somewhere that mentioned using a lower clamp as a top clamp. Not sure of any other details - maybe someone else can chime in.
    #13
  14. Nick Makwell

    Nick Makwell Bavarian Murder Weapon

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    How did you attach the rear inner fender? I think you said its from a Honda CX500?
    #14
  15. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

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    Done it. Works great and very stiff.
    You'll need a machinist to thin out the area where the nut goes on ... both sides if I remember correctly. also need to open the hole up for the bottom flange of the nut.
    Well worth the favor I called in from a machinist buddy.
    AND you can now slide your tubes through to lower the front end.
    Robert
    #15
  16. manther

    manther Adventurer

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    What are frame braces and how do they improve performance?
    #16
  17. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

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    YEs, it's the front half of a CX500 front fender. I welded a bracket onto the monolever and bolted the fender on it. (I had to weld it on the monolever because I wanted the fender to be as close to the tire as possible/save).

    The fender should actually have been half an inch wider, this one is just that little bit narrower than the tire, but I had this fender lying around.
    #17
  18. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

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    Sounds like it's worth looking into. I'll have to find someone who can do all that for a reasanoble price though.

    Thanks!
    #18
  19. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

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    On the last three pics in the opening post you can see some steel tubing just above where it says 'bmw' on the engine. Those are the braces. They improve the stiffness of the frame.

    I know these braces are heavily debated (I thing it's that San Jose(?) BMW shop in the US that sells different braces for the BMW aswell?). Some people say they are just deadweight, others say they are brilljant. All I can say is: I'm not a very sensitive person, not at all. You could add 10HP to my bike and I'm not sure I would notice, but I did notice the braces. The bike steers a lot thighter, more precise. Before the bike would go within a few inches of the line I wanted to ride around a corner, now it will be ON that line all the way. The braces I made aren't even the best think possible, they way they are attached to the frame (because of the Dutch laws and my budget) isn't Ideal, but still they work really nice.

    I hope my explanation is a bit clear, english is not my first language and when it gets's really technical it does give me some problems.
    #19
  20. RecycledRS

    RecycledRS Along for the ride

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    I wish I could speak or write your language half as well as you communicate in English. I have trouble expressing myself in my own language! Thanks for sharing your bike build.
    #20