Caterpillar to Butterfly?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Hookalatch, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    583
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    Got a new battery, popped it in, bike fired right up. Got the timing set, front cover on, and took a few pics before the first run down the road,

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    It is hard to appreciate the color in a photo. It changes and picks up gold highlights depending on the angle viewed and the direction of the light.

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    I took the bike out for a quick 25 mile putt down the road and I am very pleased so far. I writw a more complete ride report after a little more seat time.

    Chuck
    #21
  2. brittrunyon

    brittrunyon R 100 GS F 650 GS

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    The High Desert of New Mexico
    Beauty!
    #22
  3. richarddacat

    richarddacat Rollin' and Tumblin'

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,117
    Location:
    Heart of Tennessee
    Looks like new and beautiful :clap, just needs a big white "T" on it somewhere. :rofl
    #23
  4. Boxer Metal

    Boxer Metal Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
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    3,609
    Location:
    Chico, California
    That turned out really nice. Nice seeing you today at the BMW dealer.
    #24
  5. Malindi

    Malindi Zen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,527
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    How did you do the pin striping?
    #25
  6. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    583
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    The pin stripping, powder coating, and machining the heads were the only tasks I didn't do myself.
    The pin stripping was done by Howard Zeller http://zellerpinstriping.com/Home_Page.php. He is now in his 70's and has been doing this for 57 years. Rock steady hand.

    Chuck
    #26
  7. pbarmy

    pbarmy Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,818
    Location:
    Great Black Swamp
    Great Job!Like I say,"Where were the purists when I was trying to sell my R/T?":lol3
    #27
  8. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,623
    very pretty indeed!

    Did you tighten the locknuts on the shifter shaft? I do believe the "correct" pump is painted black.:deal I also believe I got my carb air tubes on upside down which is why they are giving me so much grief...

    Pinstiping is terrific. I'm looking for something similar, but simpler, in a gloss black stripe over satin black paint. Have to find someone around here that can do it.

    So what else was in you aluminum brightening compound. I know if you go too strong on the phosphoric it can give blothchy results. (like using Aluminum Jelly) Yours looks perfect.
    #28
  9. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    583
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    Got a chance to put about 1500 miles on Klonis now and wanted to make a couple of observations. Original plans for a multi-day ride had to be changed to a few day rides and a couple of overnighters. My son Seth's wife Pamela joined us on the first trip. She had only been a passenger a couple of times before for short rides and was a real trooper for this ride. We took CA Hwy 36 from Red Bluff to Fortuna and returned the next day.[​IMG]

    The second overnighter involved traveling some of the best roads in Northern California, eventually hitting the coast at Crescent City. Unfortunately we picked the hottest week and hottest day of the year to make the trip. It was over 100 degrees all the way until we were within 3 miles of Crescent City. The bike performed perfectly the whole time. It was really too hot to stop anywhere until we were actually on the coast.

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    The riding experience of this bike now compared to its former life as an R80RT is like night and day. This bike is really, really fun to ride. The bike has way more power, is 40-50 pounds lighter on the front end, the brakes actually work, the handling is greatly improved, and I love the riding position.

    Chuck
    #29
  10. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    583
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    The biggest change to the bike besides cosmetics is the power. Its not really fair to compare a fresh big valve, 40mm carbed 1000cc engine to a 88K worn R80 engine with bad valves and low compression but that was the change. My son's first comment after his first short ride was "the thing actually responds to the throttle now".

    To me the change in handling was as dramatic as the change in power. Again the comparison is not fair. The whole bike, especially the front end is way lighter. New wheel, swingarm, and steering head bearings, new tires, and an aftermarket fork brace all helped a lot I am sure. I love the riding position the new handlebars created. I worried that the riding position would be tough on an old guy like myself. I am 6' 2" (and shrinking) and find it very comfortable.

    I often see people recommending changing the rear drive ratio when upping engine power because the stock R80 ratio is lower geared than necessary for the bigger engines. I thought for the roads I generally ride on keeping the stock R80 gearing would work great. So far I am very happy with it. It is turning the same RPM it did when it was 800cc. The 1000cc engine is supposed to vibrate more. I am not noticing that at all. Perhaps because this is a well tuned engine with balanced carbs. I never attempted to tune the R80 engine in the short time I ran it.

    At 60mph the engine is turning 4000rpm. It feels smoother than the newer R100GS that was my last Airhead. The acceleration is brisk. We averaged 60-65mph on our trips. WE got 41-43 mpg which was much better than I expected with this gearing. I plan to keep it this way for now.

    Chuck
    #30
  11. Malindi

    Malindi Zen Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    5,527
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    So .. hum ... as someone who is going to start on an R80RT restoration, you got me wondering.... I love what you ended up with. From what I can tell, the following mods were made:

    - Dropped mega-barn door assembly
    - Dropped in-dash volt meter and clock
    - Relocated ignition to somewhere else
    - R90S fairing
    - R90S indicators
    - R90S mirrors
    - Shorter cables
    - Different horn
    - Re-routed brake lines
    - Different handle bars (which ones?)
    - Same headlight and bucket?

    Anything else big and obvious I am missing?
    I might just have to do something similar and shed the weight up front....
    #31
  12. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    583
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    I am using a BMW "S" fairing and it had provisions for both the clock and volt meter. Both of mine work now and were not working on the RT. The ignition switch bolts right into the left headlight ear/headlight. You will need the headlight ears to mount the headlight. Alternatively, you can retain the spider-like fairing/headlight mounting bracket and modify it to mount the "S" fairing. Some people have done it this way. That moves the fairing slightly forward.

    The turn signals themselves can be sourced from a number of bikes, even /5's metal ones. The mounts for the turn signals for the S fairings are about 1/2 longer than the standard mounts and are scarce used. All the control cables and upper brake lines are stock RS parts. I used aftermarket lower brake lines to eliminate the steel lines from the splitter. The horn will work in the stock location, I just have no need for a horn so left them off. The handlebars are Flanders bars for Airheads and are listed as sidecar bars. The R90S mirrors are no longer available. These are BMW mirrors but I forget what they originally fit. I got these thru Tom Cutter but any BMW dealer can get them.

    Good luck and have fun with your project. I had great fun doing this one and even more fun riding it.

    Chuck
    #32
  13. Malindi

    Malindi Zen Adventurer

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    Thanks! :thumb
    #33
  14. Malindi

    Malindi Zen Adventurer

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Hookalatch,

    How did you get the exhaust and headers so clean, or are they new?
    Thanks
    #34
  15. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    583
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    They are the original headers, They were badly stained with baked on oil and other debris. I used red scotch brite pads to completely clean them up. When I finished it looked like I ruined them. It appeared like I had removed all the chrome and had taken them to bare metal. I even took them to a re-chroming shop and they said it was down to bare metal and re-chroming was in order. My financial situation prevented that and I figured I couldn't hurt them any worse so I started in on them with fine sandpaper 1000, 1500, and finally 2000, Then used paint rubbing compound on them. They came out not quite as shiny as great chrome but pretty nice. Time will tell how well they hold up.

    Chuck
    #35
  16. Malindi

    Malindi Zen Adventurer

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    Boy, this sure was a labour of love ... :-)
    I'm busily adding up all the bits I want to replace by going through RealOEM.com from front to back ... makes it easier to not forget stuff. It's not going to be cheap ... :huh
    #36
  17. Rapid Dog

    Rapid Dog bikes, booze, broads...

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,354
    Location:
    Strangel Living West of Hell, SoCal
    ...turned out nice, good job man!
    #37
  18. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    583
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    The sounds from the Hoske mufflers I recently installed are sweet music, at least to my ears at any rate, Hearing an Airhead run with these mufflers is what actually stimulated my whole project. In my original plan the mufflers were going to be one of the first things I was going to do to the bike. It seems a little ironic that adding those mufflers to my project was the last thing that got done. But I finally got a set and have had a chance to put a few miles on the bike with them installed.

    The Hoske's are much shorter (and much lighter) and initially I thought they looked a little funny and made the ass-end of the bike look a little ponderous. I can see why the Cafe crowd likes to shorten the back end. It was raining when I installed them so I fired the bike up inside my shop. Oh no, those suckers were louder than I remembered.

    I am getting used to the new look to the exhaust now and am starting to like the look. The exhaust didn't sound near as loud once I opened the shop doors and the noise while riding is sweet music indeed. They are probably too loud for many of the BMW group and may be a bit much for someone riding right behind me but I am loving the sound.

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    Chuck
    <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} </style> <![endif]-->
    #38
  19. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
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    Location:
    Melbourne, Oz
    Luverley.

    These bikes do sound nicer with a throatier note. I have Jim Cray Keihen's and luv 'em.

    They're not for everyone though.

    Rockers are on wrong...will look even better when fixed.
    #39
  20. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    583
    Location:
    Cottonwood, CA
    I think you are indicating my rocker covers. For some reason I get a small oil leak I can't seem to stop without using sealant when mounted differently. Maybe I didn't give the gaskets time to swell. I try changing them again next valve adjust.

    Chuck
    #40