Considering an airhead as a commuter

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

  1. Renner

    Renner combustophile

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    I would suggest replacement of the timing chain and tensioner just to put that unknown variable to rest, though it is unlikely to be worn if the bike truly has only 19,000 miles on it.

    1/4" gap of the doubled image isn't much and replacing the chain may help very little. Easy as it is to access the chain, you might just put it back together and enjoy the bike till later.

    Your call.
    #41
  2. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    I guess that has been part of my confusion. I have gotten both ends of the spectrum talking to people about how much overlap I should be worried about. First I was told 1/4 inch split between S's was too much at idle. This was also stated in the completely useless Clymer manual. The shop told me not to worry unless I got over 1/4 inch overlap of the dot at full advance. I am at 1/4 at full advance. If I am worrying about nothing, I am fine with that. I am starting to think there is a lot of issues with this bike for it to have that little of mileage on it, but much of it also can be explained by sitting so long and then being used by the last owner for a while after doing little to no maintainance on the bike.
    I think I worry most about the lack of tension on the chain since it seems like I could blow hard enough to push the tensioner off of the chain, but again this may be normal. It is always a fun feeling to spend money on parts to get new ones that act exactly like the old ones you pulled off. I guess that is how you get experience.
    #42
  3. durtwurm

    durtwurm Talented Amateur

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    Big John. I have read through this thread and it is a case of deja vu! Your bike sat awhile, and though in essentially good condition, has suffered from lack of ongoing maintenance.Notchy head bearing, bad seals, old tires. I have been there. Once you get it all fixed though, routine maintenance will keep it roadworthy for thousands and thousands of miles. Old airheads don't like to be" ignored"!
    #43
  4. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    Here is what the gears look like
    [​IMG]

    The tensioner pushed back
    [​IMG]

    Here is the wear on the inside of the tensioner
    [​IMG]


    Anyone with a little experience putting their eyes on the inside of the engine be able to give me an idea how bad the wear looks to them?

    Yeah, I have had a few people tell me that it will all be ok once I get everything sorted out. I think the bad part was that I just got finished doing a ton of work on the Shadow and traded for this bike that was supposed to not need anything but a bit of oil leak sorted out.
    #44
  5. Jasper ST4

    Jasper ST4 Guest

    It looks good to me. I would ride it!
    #45
  6. durtwurm

    durtwurm Talented Amateur

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    Look good! If you didn't see maintenance records whatever was said about the condition of the bike is irrelevant! Records are everthing when buying an old airhead.Still, I think you have an essentially good bike, that will run trouble free when it is sorted. Mine does.
    #46
  7. durtwurm

    durtwurm Talented Amateur

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    I note that your oil pan is clean,that is a good sign. Bikes that are parked with dirty oil will have congealed blobby oil in the pan.
    #47
  8. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    If the crank gear doesn't look too worn by those with experience, maybe I should just finish the pushrod tubes and put it back together. So is the concensus that 1/4 inch of overlap is pretty normal or at least not that bad at full advance? Ha, maybe I am too much of a perfectionist.
    My Grandfather was having trouble with a lifter in a desiel engine and was consulting one of his friends that did a lot of diesel work on what he could do about the tick, tick, tick noise. His friend told him just to drive it. He said, "pretty soon it will be making a whack , whack , whack noise and you will forget alllll about that light tick, tick, tick, noise."
    I guess I should focus on getting rid of the oil leaks, then the steering head bearings, then make sure the tranny splines are lubed. Maybe see if an electronic ignition smooths out the timing some later on down the road.
    #48
  9. mikertoo

    mikertoo n00b

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    Hahaha - I like your Grandpas story. It reminds me of a guy here... he was complaining about the transmission on his Japanese bike. I told him all he had to do was borrow a BMW for a couple days, and after that his tranny would be fine. ;)

    Frankly, the transmission is exactly why I wouldn't use my '78 R100/7 as a commuter - too clunky to enjoy riding excepy on the open road. I'm on the lookout for an SV650 now.

    miker/too
    #49
  10. dilandau

    dilandau Been here awhile

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    just wear big clunky boots and a big clunky helmet and clunky gauntlets and all the clunking sort of cancels itself out.

    so far 2 months in commuting with the r100 and it does the job! but it is mostly highway- about 50miles round trip.
    #50
  11. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    I like commuting the bike. Just wish it was back together so I can get back to commuting on it.
    #51
  12. Almiscarado

    Almiscarado Adventurer

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    I am working on a R65 to get her on the road and use it for commuting.

    Sometimes I wonder if it will be really reliable enough for the job... cracking coils, hall sensor madness, freakin diodes can go bad, ignition module can fry, hmm what else?
    But i am still in love with it and learning how to fix her by the side of the road :p


    (might be trauma, but my R65 was the first bike that left me on the road and I had to call for help -> bad crack-o-matic coil = no spark)
    #52
  13. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    Been working too much overtime. I finally got the timing cover back on with new seals. The quality department said they would recalibrate my span on dial torque wrench, so I figured that would be a good idea before I start torquing the heads anyways. Also pick up a motorcycle lift over the weekend so maybe I wont even have to do it on the floor.
    #53
  14. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    You're joking, right?
    #54
  15. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    I really did not intend to have my bike apart for this long. I did get a shiney new screw installed in my foot though to hold the bone that wasn't healing together, so I have a bit of an excuse. Here is a pic of my bike paitiently waiting on the new motorcycle lift. At least I got the lift set up in the garage.

    [​IMG]
    #55
  16. green hell

    green hell yawning or snarling

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    here's a good place for specific r65 stuff if you haven't found it already.

    i bought mine from an adv member this summer, and thanks to his efforts in maintenance and light restoration it's been exceedingly reliable and fun to ride.
    #56
  17. Big John Sny

    Big John Sny Been here awhile

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    Finally able to stand on my foot some so I got the cylinders done.
    [​IMG]
    The valves looked good. No valve recession.

    [​IMG]
    The carbon looked even across the piston tops

    [​IMG]
    Still plenty of crosshatch in the cylinders

    Everything went pretty smooth, but I started to run out of time on the second cylinder. Trying to keep track of all the rubber o-rings and make sure they stayed in place, I nearly left the piston circlip out.

    I used a thread file on the exhaust threads, but it still felt like the new nut was dragging a little, so a little more clean up and I should be able to finish the assembly. Then a tune up and hopefully riding this Sunday. At least it looks like it might warm up by then.
    #57
  18. Bigger Al

    Bigger Al Still a stupid tire guy

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    You're gonna love commuting on this bike! I'm in my 16th year of using my R90 as an everyday rider, and it suits the mission just fine. Yeah, there's some fiddling and fettling to be done, but that just enhances the experience, IMHO. There's something to be said for having an "appliance" bike for workaday stuff, but having a mechanical relationship with yours will be something special.

    40 degrees and raining today, but the Airhead is still going to carry me to work.:clap
    #58
  19. Claim Jumper

    Claim Jumper will work for knobbies

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    Cool thread! I have a nearly identical bike, except mine is a '77. Same color, same leaking gaskets, same low mileage (mine has 12,000 verified miles). I am treating the gas tank with POR-15 and will try and do the pushrod seals soon (if it gets over 20 degrees at night sometime). I already replaced the floats, rebuilt the petcocks and replaced the pan gasket. It is really uncanny how alike these bikes are, I must post a pic.
    #59
  20. Claim Jumper

    Claim Jumper will work for knobbies

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    Cool thread! I have a nearly identical bike, except mine is a '77. Same color, same leaking gaskets, same low mileage (mine has 12,000 verified miles). I am treating the gas tank with POR-15 and will try and do the pushrod seals soon (if it gets over 20 degrees at night sometime). I already replaced the floats, rebuilt the petcocks and replaced the pan gasket. It is really uncanny how alike these bikes are, I must post a pic.
    #60