Buying My First Airhead and Getting Spooked!

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by neepuk, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

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    I think you missed the humor...."see my signature below:d"
    #21
  2. neepuk

    neepuk Such a drag...

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    Either I missed the humor, or you did.... ;)
    #22
  3. batoutoflahonda

    batoutoflahonda Long timer

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    Good that you read the threads. Gives you an idea where the problem areas lie. I've had mine for about 6 years. Did the same as you, read the threads and came up with a plane. Every year I toss 500 bucks at it in an upgrade, and ride it. A rolling project. It's only left me stranded once (bean can) and it is my touring bike, and when my new bikes are broke. I have a 2012 Multistrada sitting the garage. Last year I took a trip from the Seattle area to the Appalachians on the G/S. Every one asked "why not the Ducati". I said i can fix the G/S at NAPA. I tell every one the Ducati is a toy, the G/S is a legend.

    Sure the old BMW is temperamental, usually it's something I screwed up. Or it's just being a bitch. One of the only bikes I ever talk too. Usually it's talking it out of speed wobbles. Which is one of the things I love about that bike. You gotta ride it. It's not like a gold wing, where you are just sitting on it. I am actually less tired riding it because I have to ride it.

    So go ride the piss out of it. And remember, it doesn't break down. It has ceased it's forward progress. Check out this clip. This is the beginnings of BMW's reputation. This was a time where if a bike just finished a race, you were doing good. 90mph on the Isle of Man, 1939. What balls!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. type918

    type918 Adventurer

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    I've been waiting a long time for this thread! It's easy to get spooked by the vast amount of information (and misinformation) but the riding is what it's all about (as everyone here knows).
    #24
  5. chollo9

    chollo9 Screwed the Pooch

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    Rebuilt my R90/6 engine last winter. Found all kinds of issues, some little, some scary, some PO related. BUT, it ran reliably, though weaker than it should have, which is why I took it apart. My point is that even in rough condition, airheads usually still keep ticking, and that's their strong point. Go forth with confidence!
    #25
  6. Uncle Pollo

    Uncle Pollo Long timer

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    I flog my bike around town in the most brutal of ways and is YET to fail me.

    90k miles.

    Change the oil(s) once in a while.

    slap some 60$ tires on it and reuse the tube

    flog another year.
    #26
  7. SRanger331

    SRanger331 stuff

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    Hell, I don't even bother carrying a tool kit.
    #27
  8. dm635

    dm635 I Roll

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    I've read lots of posts indicating you'll invest 1 to 2K in your new to you bike. I didn't. Mine supposedly had under 15K on the clock (ODO was scrambled) and all I did was catch up on all the maintenance items, fluids, points, bearings, tires etc..., and have managed at least 7K on the bike,a set of tires and it's running fine. 7K racked up after going into the ODO mechanism, twice. Now that was tons of fun. I do all my own work and don't have to pay someone else. And that can keep costs way down. Mine came to me in good running condition to start with.
    #28
  9. Beezer Josh

    Beezer Josh Moto-Amish

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    I don't think that's unique to BMW riders!
    #29
  10. neepuk

    neepuk Such a drag...

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    I can see easily dropping a grand right away... Thinking about taking care of a couple of the obvious deficiencies over the winter. May or may not upgrade the electrical charging system to the Motoraad Electric Omega, will likely get the Motoraad Electric Bean Can replacement ignition, and I'll certainly get some new tires.

    See, these damn threads have me spending money I may not even need to spend!

    I've signed up for the Colorado Classic 1000 in June, looking forward to doing the 1000+ miles in a day. I'll need the bike to be ready. Realistically the bike is ready now... Conflicting thoughts, aargh.
    #30
  11. dilandau

    dilandau Been here awhile

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    you can end up doing a bunch of "upgrades" and spending lots of dosh- then something completely different will go south that renders all the upgrades useless until you spend more $. If its working just ride it, and spend the money when you need it.
    #31
  12. russbryant

    russbryant Long timer

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    Looks like the naysayers haven't found this thread yet :rofl

    The only thing I think you really need to check when you get it is the driveshaft. It's easy to check, just put the bike on the center stand and put the transmission in neutral. Slowly rotate the rear wheel. It should be very smooth and not notchy or clunky. That's it. If it's smooth, just ride it and check the driveline every once in a while. The rest is a fix as needed basis but changing the fluids is a great bonding oppertunity so do that unless you know for sure they were done recently.

    Enjoy the bike.
    #32
  13. dm635

    dm635 I Roll

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    I myself could have easily dropped a grand or more depending on how far I wanted to go. My bike will always be a rider, no garage queen here and that goes for cars as well. Volvo's & Bimmers.. My bike has cleaned up well, but came with plenty of scratch's and patina. That's how it goes keeping it original. Son thinks I should definitely get rid of the Brown finish. Is it his, NO. If I change it it will be all new panels and tank a different color hanging onto what it came with. I really like smoke Red. And as my son says about the Brown, I'm not that crazy about the it, but IT IS original as it came and I'm fine with it. It's 33 years old and what's not to love once fired up working the throttle going through the gears. Hop on and ride. Color has nothing to do with enjoyment and enjoy it I do.

    I did upgrade forks to dual calipers. Hanging on the old ATE and loving the Brembos. Got an airhead riding bud and my neighbor has purchased an RT. Lets ride my friends.
    #33
  14. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Not so much unique, but more that for some reason there was quite the early adoption of the Internet by BMW airhead riders.
    #34
  15. neepuk

    neepuk Such a drag...

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    When someone puts "final drive rebuilt" in their ad with regards to selling a GSPD, what would you presume or expect to have been done...

    Obviously I'm going to do the basic, does it all rotate smooth as silk, test but I'd just like to have a bit more knowledge at the time of delivery and final payment as to what real expectations should be. I'm spending a good chunk of change on the bike. Getting excited, picking it up middle of next week!
    #35
  16. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Generally it means that the old U joints on each end of the shaft have been taken apart new bearings and circlips added so you can replace them, often zerk fittings are put in the joint can be greased.

    Stock BMW shafts were not rebuildable
    #36
  17. mesher

    mesher Adventurer

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    'Rebuilt' is one of those words which has become largely meaningless, thanks to overuse by advertisers and people with no mechanical knowledge. It can mean anything from 'checked' to 'serviced' to 'disassembled and inspected for wear' to 'all worn parts, seals and gaskets replaced'.

    I would think that appropriately dated paperwork (receipts for parts and labor) would be the only way to know that it means the latter.
    #37
  18. Gripsteruser

    Gripsteruser Got a handle on it

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    I think it refers to the gearcase that the rear wheel mounts to.
    Could be anything from new bearings and reshimming to simply changing a seal. Important question is what qualifications the rebuilder had - i.e. what's the quality of the work?
    #38
  19. neepuk

    neepuk Such a drag...

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    Thanks for your answers, guys. I get a really good vibe from the seller that he's taken very good care of the bike during his short-lived ownership but there have been other owners... I think, unfortunately, the paperwork trail is pretty limited so I'm just going to have to finalize this purchase without actual proof of past care. Such as life...

    As I mentioned in the first post of this thread, I'm a pretty mechanically inclined person. I have a pretty good understanding as to the basics of what would need to be checked out during a motorcycle purchase. If you could enlighten me to any GSPD specifics that would be good to go over, other than the previously mentioned final drive inspection, I'd greatly appreciate the info.
    #39
  20. akabeton

    akabeton Adventurer

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    I bought a 1995 GSPD a couple of years ago with 15,000 miles on.the clock, it now has 33,000 miles.

    During that period I have:

    Replaced the tyres.
    Replaced the battery.
    Replaced the rotor ( alternator )
    Replaced the starter

    Not very expensive items, and with the hand holding provided on here relatively easy fixes.

    I do check the drive on a regular basis as described earlier.

    Other than that I ride it and enjoy it immensely, I am sure you will do the same.
    #40