Considering an airhead as a commuter

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Big John Sny, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    885
    Location:
    Irving, Tx
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    I still can't upload the photos, but let's see if this works to add pic. The oil spot was in the parking spot before I got there.
    #21
  2. Kismet

    Kismet vagrant philosopher

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    387
    Location:
    rural WI
    You did VERY well.

    While hardly the expert some of the other posters are, I've never had a problem with single discs...while living in Chicago city-proper, nor out here in the rural roads of Wisconsin. When my 90s was killed, I put a second disc from it on the slash 7, but really didn't notice any great difference. Your riding style may influence your decision.

    Pick up a Clymers manual or ...er...Haynes...or both.

    If you like the bike, you will love the bike. One of those things.... And in that era, the airheads were individualized by most owners...Brown side stands, different fairings, handlebar swaps, etc. I haven't done it, but I think the airheads most benefit from the enhanced generator modification. Goes from 280 to...er? 400. Don't think it causes other issues. Folks here will be able to advise you better.

    Congratulations.:freaky
    #22
  3. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    Just for commuting purposes, as long as you can keep your revs up above 2500 or so I'd say the stock charging system is fine. Make sure all your connections are clean and you shouldn't have any problems with its capacity unless you're planning to run all sorts of lights and heated riding gear. I ran the stock system for a while and had no problems with it. I found though that I was doing a good chunk of my riding after dark and wanted more light...enough to blind deer. Though I could probably just barely squeak by with the stock charging system, I didn't want to tax it too hard. I installed an enduralast and totally forgot about it. It does it's job and doesn't require ANY maintenance.
    #23
  4. bmwblake

    bmwblake upside down parker

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    i commute on mine. stock system does fine, though i do use a battery tender every couple of days for good measure.
    #24
  5. Hanover Fist

    Hanover Fist Adventurer

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    Jun 9, 2009
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    South Texas
    You should have a 5-speed.
    #25
  6. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

    Joined:
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    I had my mechanic rebuild the master on my 76 R90/6 single disk and massage the system, and find it pretty acceptable. There's a really good visual on www.realclassic.co.uk here: http://www.realclassic.co.uk/bmwr8009031000.html in which the blokes in boiler suits explain the mysteries of the ATE front brakes.

    RealClassic is almost as much of a pisser as the Asylum.

    Capital Cycle has the rebuild kits, should you need one.

    Brakes only slow you down, anyway.

    Dude, who stole your fifth gear?

    Dr. :eek1
    #26
  7. Jasper ST4

    Jasper ST4 Guest

    I bought mine while I lived in Fresno and never owned a car there. I went everywhere with it including college, work and grocery shopping. Even went drinkin' with her but don't recommend it, I'll spare the sorted details. I didn't have a battery charger in those days either.
    #27
  8. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    Ha, I found my 5th gear on the way home from work yesterday. It wasn't stolen. I just misplaced it. The guy I got the bike from only had it a little while. He is the one that told me it only had 4. I guess I will believe anything. The turn signal think may have to do with the alarm system that has been added. I did notice the light turns off after about 20 minutes of riding and then works perfectly.
    #28
  9. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    Jackson's Bottom Oregon
    Perhaps the missing fifth gear is also an anti theft thing as well... the creep won't be able to ride as fast getting away.
    #29
  10. WooPig

    WooPig Gravel Traveler

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    Aug 3, 2006
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    ArkLaTex
    Yeah, that looks real good. You're commuting in style now.
    #30
  11. Reryder

    Reryder Onward through the fog...

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    Location:
    Cairns, Oz
    Braided stainless steel brake hoses improve those brakes quite a bit, as does rebuilding the calipers and greasing up the pistons real good (with silicon brake grease).
    #31
  12. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    I went the motorcycle shop that was rumored to have been doing the service on my bike. They were very helpful. I now know my bike really does just have 19,000 miles on it, but I also know that it has had nearly no riding and had no service probably since 95. Although the tires look ok (especially the front one that looks new) they haven't even built that model of tire in over 8 years. It did seem to ride good, but was getting pretty bad mileage. The guy that owns the shop started up an R90 he had there and let me hear what a properly tuned bike should sound like and mine didn't sound that way. I have a little work to do before I continue commuting on it, but I have put about 400 miles on it so far (including 150 miles Friday before finding out about the tires) and I really love how it rides. Now to change all the fluids, change the tires, and do a tune up, but hey, then it will ride even better.
    #32
  13. Hanover Fist

    Hanover Fist Adventurer

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    South Texas
    Not sure if you have rebuilt and thoroughly cleaned the carbs yet, but that did WONDERS for my mileage. I was astonished at how much crap had gotten into all the nooks and crannies.

    As a part of rebuilding the carbs you will also have to rebalance them. In getting the rebalancing correct you will also likely get it to run much more smoothly (both at speed and at idle).

    I also now understand my bike much better now that I have had the carbs apart. The black magic that goes on inside a carb is much less mysterious now.

    So...um...rebuild yer carbs.:D

    HF
    #33
  14. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    Ok, I am finally tearing into this thing to stop all of the oil leaks. After sending it to the shop, I was told that the double S was as good as it was going to get without going to an electronic ignition or replacing the timing chain if it is bad (the dot is still about 1/4 inch apart). While it was there I was told that there were two biggers issues with the bike to focus on first. The oil leaks (pan, timing chain cover and push rod seals) because the internal pressure of the engine was important and that the steering bearings needed to be replaced because it got notchy when they tried to adjust them. I never have felt any steering wobble, but I don't want to wait till it starts. I figured I would start with the oil leaks. Got all the gaskets. That stung the pocket book, but not as much as it sounds like the steering bearing are going to. Any advice before I start to tear into this thing? I figured I would do the cylinders like I have done my porches and VWs. I got the rotor tool and know to pop the tool with a hammer when it is snug and not try to press/turn it off with the tool. No sealant on the pan gasket. Any bad mistakes in the clymer manual? Does it ever hit a point where I am going to be able to ride the bike more than I work on it? I guess at least I will get a good look at the timing chain when I pull the cover.
    #34
  15. kadesean

    kadesean eyesuck

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    Muskegon, Michigan
    If you have a shop that you know and trust, good for you. There is an excellent airhead resource in Pantego (Arlington). Boxers by Bruce is the name and Bruce is the proprietor. Check out http://www.boxerbruce.com/ I've ridden across country with Bruce, he is a stand up guy. Look him up if you need airhead help.
    #35
  16. dilandau

    dilandau Been here awhile

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    Aug 29, 2009
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    oakland, ca
    nice move brother. I am in the same boat. I went and bought myself an 80 r100rt (sans fairings) to replace my kawasaki vulcan (vn750 - very similar to a shadow) for my daily commuter. I've only been at it for about 2 weeks- and i sold the kawk, so no going back.

    so far:

    Much more comfortable - no longer is all the pressure of the ride on my ass.
    Much better at lane splitting- happily blows by and handles through traffic.
    brakes SUCK! 3 times now its been a good thing that i always aim between cars-- because otherwise i would have slammed right into the back on one ( SFbay area traffic is second only to LA). and i have dual front brakes and a disk in the back.

    for a heavy bike with a decent power band-- the brakes, no matter what people say, are inadequate for modern traffic at speed.

    I say this also owning a ducati sport, with floating cast brakes etc etc-- once you ride a bike with brakes that actually work-- you realize how terrible the bmw brakes really are.

    Im on a mission to upgrade my r100 - doing research now, but once i arrive at a plan i will keep you posted.
    #36
  17. baldwithglasses

    baldwithglasses Godspeed, Robert

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    800
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    Hell naw, it's Kennesaw!
    I've been driving the dogshit out of my R65. The bike got lots better once I replaced the charging system with a real charging system.

    With decent organic pads the brakes become almost useful.

    Hope to add heated grips and/or poagies for the upcoming cold weather...
    #37
  18. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    885
    Location:
    Irving, Tx
    Started the teardown. Left exhaust came off fine.
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    The right side started to turn with the first whack, gave it a second and decided to cut off the nut.
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    I figure I will buy a new nut, clean the threads with the thread file and decide if they are too far gone or not.

    I pulled the old pan gasket because it was pushing out everywhere. The old one was a soft rubber the new one is more of a hard fibrous material.
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    At least the pan was pretty clean when I pulled it down.
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    Everything on the front pulled pretty easy. The rotor rotor popped off with the first good whack.
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    I was ready to heat the timing cover and pull it when I realized the shop did not give me the new cam seal, so I bolted the pan back on and stopped there to keep the bike from sitting with it open for a week or two while I try to locate the cam seal.
    [​IMG]
    #38
  19. Blane

    Blane Been here awhile

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    East of Slowdessa
    Nice ride. I live in Dallas and use my r75/5 toaster as a commuter a few times a week. A good source for small parts is Hucky's BMW (http://www.bmwhucky.com). I'm in the process of reconditioning another /6 motor and I got all my gaskets, seals and small parts from him.

    Enjoy the ride.
    #39
  20. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    Thanks, I have been wanting a more convienient way to get parts. Boxers by bruce and Perry's are both open pretty much when I am at work.

    Ok, I pulled the front cover. I hadn't got the cam seal yet, but I figured I would see what the chain looked like since the timing has been doubled. Hair dryer worked great for heating up the cover. I was going to put a little torch to it, but like avoiding open flames when possible. Heated it up for a minute, bumped it at the top and off it came.

    Now, how to tell if the chain or tensioner is bad. Surely there will be some kind of tension spec, deflection of chain spec, Something in the Clymer manual, right?

    Nope, and don't call me Shirley.

    So, How tight should it be? The tensioner is just one big flat spring on the left side of the engine (left while sitting on bike) with a guide on the end of it. There is no fixed guide or coil spring like the later models. It does not seem to have very much tension at all. I can move the guide off the chain with my pinky. I guess there would not be much more effort at this point to replace the chain and tensioner, just the cost of parts, but I would hate to replace, just too replace. It wasn't that hard to get the motor down to this point.
    #40