An 800's Rebirth/The build of MechanicO

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Fin333, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. Fin333

    Fin333 Been here awhile

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    Been quite a few years since I owned/rode motorcycles. Life, job, and other distractions just took over. But growing up with dirt bikes I missed the adventure and fun that only a moto-bike can give. That, and I love to take a perfectly good device and modify it into something it is not. So thus became my build thread:

    The Build of MechanicO

    MechanicO had a hard start to life. We had yet to meet and already he was down and out. Not even quite a year old MechanicO had some bad luck and ended up on an auction on the internet. As you can see he had a front end issue.

    My goal with this thread is to walk you through a rebuild of a 2013 BMW F800GS but also show how I wish the bike had been made originally. This is how I generally do these projects; buy the newest technology but has been wrecked and I can get inexpensively. When you get them this new they are not hacked away at by every past owner. And screws and such are not rusted on. It is a great "blank canvas" to start with and allows you all kinds of liberties because it is already dead. You can't make it worse. Sure it might come to life and attack the villagers and then they arrive with fire and pitch forks, but you still get to create what you want.

    Full disclosure, I started this last Spring but am just now getting to this thread. So for a while here I will be just catching up to where I currently am. And also want to mention some of the help I got from the some of the members here has been fantastic. In the effort of collaboration, I wanted to share what I learned about these bikes.

    So with that, let's start the build......

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. GPHusky250

    GPHusky250 Been here awhile

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    Steering head or frame tweaked?
    #2
  3. Fin333

    Fin333 Been here awhile

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    Nope and that is the only reason I bid on it. The bike was at an auction outside of Baltimore. I found him on the internet several weeks before and figured it was the perfect project bike.

    [​IMG]

    I already knew I wanted to put a new front on on him so a "pre-removed" front end was perfect. However, it all hinged on the head-tube being straight and non-damaged. Now, this is where some excellent German engineering comes in. As you can see in this shot:

    [​IMG]

    The top triple clamp did its job; split opened and released for the accident. Otherwise, it would have take the head-tube with it and been a much harder fix. Also, you can see here:

    [​IMG]

    The steer tube also bent and failed during the accident. Also saving the head tube and frame. All good engineering in my book.

    So I also had a friend who lived in the area go over and inspect the head tube and frame for any damage. You just need to look for cracked or chipped paint. That is the give away. I also got a 2 minute Go_Pro video of the entire bike so confidence was high on buying it.

    Think I can still use those head-set bearings?
    #3
  4. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    :clap The good thing about winters is that people start updating all the threads they did not have time for in summers. On the other hand, if you had posted about it earlier, I may have had a few parts for you. So, did you go all out for WP suspension and a new front end? That's a lovely bike, most of the bike is intact, except for the front end damage (which is cheap in the grand scheme of things).
    #4
  5. Fin333

    Fin333 Been here awhile

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    Correct, it is now winter time here and time to catch up with the story.

    The real crime would be to put the factory front end on. So yes, I'll show you what we did for that soon.

    But here is a few more shots of him in the shop after winning the bid and waiting a few weeks for a trucking company to get out here with my new friend:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see a better shot of how the top triples reacted.

    [​IMG]

    The forks also played a part and certainly did a lot to keeping the frame intact

    [​IMG]

    It is sad to see a great bike like this in this kind of shape. I know you can part this out and make some money, but that is not why it was made in the first place. It should and needs to be on the road.
    #5
  6. 70East

    70East Been here awhile

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    Hay, that rim can be straightened.

    Subscribed
    #6
  7. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    Yeah, right. So can the triple clamps :D
    #7
  8. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    Little JB weld an they will be fiiiiine.
    #8
  9. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

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    Looks like a fun project. Do you think the frame is straight with that hard a hit to the steering head? That would be a bummer to rebuild her and find out she tracks like a drunken horse because the steering head axis has a slight tweak.
    I have tired fixing bent frames before with the guys with frame straightening and alignment machines with no luck.
    #9
  10. wipe-out

    wipe-out Been here awhile

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    :lurk unleash him! :clap
    #10
  11. Rgconner

    Rgconner Long timer

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    Gentlemen, we can rebuild him... we have the technology.

    We can make him better than he was. Better...stronger...faster.

    Dun nuhnuh nuh...
    #11
  12. Fin333

    Fin333 Been here awhile

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    Indy Unlimited: That was always a concern that the frame was bent but honestly the fact the other parts all came apart (triple clamps, fork, etc) tells me the energy went into those and not the frame. And having a friend inspect was invaluable. But bottom line, it is always a gamble and it paid off in this case.

    And a full set of Zega Pro luggage as well! They still had the instruction sheet in one of them. Never used. But also had to get keys for those.

    So along those lines the dash took a big hit as well and was pretty smashed up

    [​IMG]

    However, I was able to take it apart and rig it so I could at least power it up and read some of the data. Now I knew it would be a low mileage bike but had no idea this low

    [​IMG]

    Wow, this poor guy took the hit WAY early in life. 704 miles total. I was ecstatic though that I essentially had a new bike. FYI: I was able to start it and it ran (in shop) just fine. Unfortunately, it did not have any of the keys, so I had to do a song and dance with the local BMW dealer to get a set for the bike. Actually it was pretty easy and they where very cool with it. You just need the title and your ID. They send it off to BMW USA, they confirm with the kaiser, you get keys. Less than a week I had them. I worked with Foothill BMW down in Denver and they where great about it.

    So I started taking him apart to see what other damage we had. Basically take the triple clamps and everything after that, toast.

    [​IMG]

    Even the bars and risers where deformed. The controls where all good so nice there. Funny enough the radiator took a big hit but did not leak. But it was so deformed it needed to go. Better one already in plan.

    [​IMG]

    Next I'll show what I have planned for the entire front end.
    #12
  13. Benfatti

    Benfatti Adventurer

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    I'm psyched! Can't wait to see what crazy ass improvements you make to this sweet moto! :clap
    #13
  14. 70East

    70East Been here awhile

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    How far back are you going to take it apart and look for damage?

    I wonder if it belonged to an inmate here?
    #14
  15. dpm

    dpm Been here awhile

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    I wouldn't be so sure the gamble paid off until the frame was actually measured. Heck even a plumb-bob down to the floor would be a start...
    #15
  16. Reaver

    Reaver How Did I Get Here?

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    I've seen quite a few of these wrecks check out ok. I've rebuilt a few myself. My 650 tumbled over and over smashing everything before I bought it. Rebuilt it, never measured for straightness and now have ridden it across 9 Countries with no issues. Its a tough frame. You'd see paint missing and rust starting at the bent areas, like Finn said.

    Sure it's possible, but I wouldn't worry so much about it.
    #16
  17. Camel ADV

    Camel ADV Long timer

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    What are your fork/triple plans?
    #17
  18. mosey.levy

    mosey.levy Long timer

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    So how much did you buy it for and how much do you plan on investing in it?
    #18
  19. Fin333

    Fin333 Been here awhile

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    70East: For what I am calling "Stage One" I leave the motor and rear drive all intact. Would be great to find the previous owner and make sure they are OK. And I could sure use a spare set of keys.

    dpm: I agree, but risk is what you take buying one of these project bikes. They never let you take it apart, frame align it, etc at these auctions. If that makes you uncomfortable, then a restore like this is not for you.

    Reaver: followed some of your builds and such. Fantastic:clap You where one of the guys who gave me confidence to do this. Thank you.

    mosey.levy: Let's say less than $4000 all things considered. If anyone is interested on how you locate these (salvage bikes), there is one auction site that is by far the best and I usually see one or two 800's on there at anytime. The good thing is you are at a serious advantage when you are buying to fix and use yourself and not resale. There are a lot of guys on there who are buying so they can flip and make a buck. Fair enough. But they always need to add a margin to what ever they sell for so they cannot buy it too expensively. Thus all those guys have very low big thresholds.

    Camel ADV: Coming up......
    #19
  20. Fin333

    Fin333 Been here awhile

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    OK, so now to the front end and let's start with the forks. No questions here, the WP 4860's. These forks are legendary in there years of use. Millions of bikes with millions of miles have used these and they work VERY well. There is a reason KTM spec these on the majority of their bikes.

    • Large diameter tubes
    • Long travel
    • Rigid
    • VERY adjustable
    • Easy to rebuild
    • Large axle size
    • Every shop in the world knows these, can tune these, and has parts

    I did some research and I decided to get the "open chamber" type. With out going to far into it, open chamber type is simpler and easier to work on and tune, but the newer closed chamber type are a bit better performing but at the sacrifice of easy to work on and in my opinion, durability. I am WAY over simplifying this but I wanted easy to work on and tune, so went open chamber.

    So off to E-bay! Got the below set of WP 4860 for $300. They had come off a 2006 KTM 450 SX. I really did not care what bike they came off of and if they needed work. I planed to rebuild them fully myself and modify travel as needed for MechanicO. I tend to not like used equipment as you then have to deal with what the past owner(s) did to it. But had no choice as a new set of these from WP is off the charts. And trust me, these forks had some monkeys working on them, more later.

    [​IMG]

    I plan to rebuild them later on after I finish the triple clamps. So that is next....
    #20