Found a R69 under a pile of junk in a friends basement . . .

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Bleemus, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. Bleemus

    Bleemus Long timer

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    21k miles. No dents and his wife said "it ran rough when we put it down there 10 years ago."

    My friend loved to ride but he isn't mechanical at all so when something breaks he parks it till I fix it. I seem to have to fix his mowers and other small engines all the time. This gem has my interest piqued.

    I would like to surprise him by restoring this to running condition. New tires obviously, rebuild shocks etc. but since I have never worked on one of these old bikes I am wondering if I am getting in over my head.

    His wife thinks he would really enjoy riding again and is willing to make it look like it is still under the pile after I sneak away with it on a trailer so it would be a real surprise. Giving it serious thought.
    #1
  2. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

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    That would be pretty cool. The engine probably doesn't need more than a good carb overhaul and maybe checking the top end for valve condition, cylinder wall condition, etc. Plus tune-up stuff. They are pretty simple bikes. New rubber bits, maybe new cables, that's all doable by a person with basic mechanical inclination.

    If he were going to start riding it a LOT and the bike had led a rough life, you might think about the slingers but that would be a job for someone else. At 21k miles, I sure wouldn't worry about that.

    There are plenty of resources for your project. The vintage clubs, the /2 Yahoo list, here, Duane's website, and more.
    #2
  3. Whorepedo

    Whorepedo Been here awhile

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    More importantly... What are you and his wife doing in the basement without him? :evil

    ...kidding.

    Thats an awesome find! If you do pick it up to rebuild, a rebuild thread is a must. I love seeing them come back to life!
    #3
  4. Bleemus

    Bleemus Long timer

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    I was just helping her find something she lost long ago. Honest! :wink::wink::wink:

    Thanks Anton for the thumbs up. Looks like I am going to need to learn a new language if I take this project on so how about speeding up my education and telling me what a "slinger" is for this Airhead newbie. I am mechanically inclined but motorbike wrenching is a weak point as I am just getting back into riding after a long hiatus. Started the year right by getting a 99 f650. :1drink
    #4
  5. Beater

    Beater The Bavarian Butcher

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    WE require pictures. Seriously.

    Just the Bike. :lol3
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  6. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Pics, or it didn't happen.:deal


    Here's a "won't burn your eyes":evil article on slingers.
    #6
  7. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Slingers? You remember on the old Honda singles and twins from the '60's the oil was pumped into a cavity in the clutch housing in the way to the engine bearings where the centrifugal force of the rotating crankshaft "slung" out the particles in the oil, thereby cleaning it? Same principle, but the BMW slingers are harder to get at for cleaning.

    --Bill
    #7
  8. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Is it an R69 or an R69S? Either way, it should be owned by someone mechanical. Back when they were made, they were so much better than anything else on the market. These days, almost anything is better. They take a lot of tinkering but if you treat them right and keep their oil clean, they will last a very long time.

    It's not that uncommon to see these put away because they were running badly. The big thing here is the slingers. If the oil is left dirty for long periods of time, the slingers will clog with the filth in the oil. If some smart-ass decides to put some oil cleaning crap in the crankcase, again, the slingers will fill up. If the top end is rebuilt because the pistons started slapping or scoring,.... the slingers will fill up with ring and piston skirt. Any way you look at it, start with cleaning the slingers. That means pulling the crank and either cleaning the slingers or replacing them. Once this job is done and the oil kept clean, the motor will last a very long time.
    #8
  9. Bleemus

    Bleemus Long timer

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    It is under such a big pile of junk that I didn't get to go over it with a fine tooth comb but I did see the plaque on the steering column and I believe it said R69US.

    Looks like when I extract this antique I will be learning a lot about slingers!
    #9
  10. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    I would love to find something like that. Just like everybody else here.

    I'm no expert but believe an R69US Is pretty much the same as an R69S except it has telescopic forks like modern machines instead of the Earles fork. They may have only been produced in 1969 or at the most a couple of years only.

    One of the experts will know more than I. But I'll add one more thing, I know, you want this bike.
    #10
  11. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Ok, if it said R69US that means it has telescopic forks (already suggested) but it also means it's either a 1968 or a 1969. In '68 the tele forks were an option in '69 they were standard. The frame will also be missing the sidecar mounts.
    #11
  12. Biebs

    Biebs BMW Airhead

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    Follow Anton's advice with 21K you do not need to do the Slingers. Just do the basice to get it running - then you and the owner can decide what's next.


    Oh and heed this advice - do not put any kind of cleaner / engine flush in crankcase this will cause junk to break loose and clog the I believe hollow crank and lead to oil starvation bad stuff. Just drain and add new clean oil.:eek1
    #12
  13. Bleemus

    Bleemus Long timer

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    Okay. All great advice and at 21k I don't need to crack the engine to clean the slingers. So I am looking at two new tires, carb rebuilds, shock rebuilds. Things I think I can handle. There is a BMW guru north of me that is highly thought of in case I run into trouble. I will try to get some pics tomorrow. Thanks to all!
    #13
  14. ADK

    ADK master of the casual pace

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    check the brake pads also, the glue gets old and lets go.(possibly at an inconvenient time.)
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  15. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    I hear what you say about not putting engine cleaner in a machine with slingers. Since this bike has sat for some time (do we know how long it sat?) Would it be a good idea and permissible to take the oil pan off after draining the old oil and cleaning the pan before replacing it? I just think some settlement will be on the bottom of the pan that won't want to drain easily.
    #15
  16. Bleemus

    Bleemus Long timer

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    Ahh yes. A brake overhaul would be on the list. Not being able to stop this beauty would be a crime.

    I will admit that having to crack it down to the crankshaft was putting me off attempting this but now I a m feeling more confident. I have rebuilt carbs, rebuilt a few old VWs fully and feel that this is in my wheelhouse. Hope to get a few pics tomorrow to show all what we are looking at in full.

    Really do appreciate the feedback from the pros here. I bow before you sensei.
    #16
  17. Dewshan

    Dewshan Adventurer

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    What color is it? (Please say white!)
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  18. Bleemus

    Bleemus Long timer

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    So sorry. It is black.
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  19. Dewshan

    Dewshan Adventurer

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    Still very cool!
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  20. Bleemus

    Bleemus Long timer

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    The reveal . . [​IMG]
    #20