OK, I promised/threatened to start this thread with the catchy title a couple of weeks back. Time has come to get it launched even though there is still some work to be done. Background: In November, 2007 I bought a very nice 1983 R80 ST. Paid a somewhat premium price (not unreasonable) for a low mileage (34K miles) bike in very much unmolested condition other than a good quality repaint in the original red color and the tank had been professionally cleaned and relined, all by the second owner most likely. I bought it from the third owner who had bought it in Ohio, flew up and rode it back to the Tampa area in Spring of 2007. He was selling off a collection of BMWs as part of a lifestyle change. I test rode the bike thoroughly and was happy with it. An interesting side note: one of the POs had compiled several 3-ring binders full of every airhead tech article and airhead mailing list message all sorted by topic - just no receipts or notes as to what may have been actually done to the bike. I rode it for many more hundreds of miles, including entering it into the Riding Into History show in St Augustine in May 2008. Soon after that I started to hear the dreaded gear whine from the transmission in all 5 gears. After consulting much of the collective wisdom here and a few other well known internet sources, there was nothing to do but park the bike until the gearbox could be opened. That drug out through the summer of 2008 until I could fabricate a flange puller and block out the time to do it in the Fall. Probably early October I opened it up and immediately noticed tell tale signs that the transmission had sat with water in the oil for some period of time. The net result was that several matched gears were pitted halfway round their circumference indicating the bike was merely sitting for a long period not racking up miles. NOTE: So much for low mileage bikes - there can be demons lurking in that low mileage status. I contacted Anton Largiader and had several productive discussions with him about what I observed in the transmission. In the end, I sent it to him for a more experienced opinion. At first it looked salvagable, but as Anton got deeper into diassembly and cleaning it became apparent that fixing the transmission to anything near satisfactory would likely be economically not feasible. Dealing with Anton was a great help, as I had opened and inspected the transmission myself. Then getting his insights into what I saw and what we had to deal with was as good as taking a vo-tech class. We ended up agreeing to send all the parts back to me for my continuing education in 5-speed boxes. Dealing with Anton was a pleasure and a real learning experience for me. Next step was to gamble on an Ebay 5-speed from an established BMW parts breaker. Scored one for a reasonable price that was supposedly from an '84 R100 with nearly the same mileage as my R80. It looked good. Was a bitch getting the output flange off compared to the first tranny, but that's material for another whole thread sometime. Got the flange out and my heart sank - a big spot of bright red rust on one spot where the output bearing and shims sat. Not another water damaged transmission I thought to myself. Actually, not. I pulled the rear cover and found only one more small spot of bright red rust on one gear cluster inside the box. It appeared all of it was new flash rust that had occurred from a small spash of water that probably got in through the speedo drive after the bike was stripped for parts. It all cleaned right off with no pits. Checked all the bearings and found just what I expected for a 34-35K mile transmission - output shaft bearings very loose, one or two others headed that way. Good news! the first gear and fifth gear were in great shape on the shaft with very little axial play compared to the original transmission. Nothing to do but the standard bearings and seals R & R and put it back in service after a thorough cleaning. Oh yeah, the circlip issue. This transmission did not have a circlip, but had the groove in the shaft. Hallelujah! So ends the first installment of this tale. Pictures are to be uploaded shortly and added in here soon. Once again, full credit to Joerg and his excellent page on the 5-speed overhaul and also to Anton for taking the time to go over what we both observed in this transmission. Stay tuned.