Infra's 1981 R80 G/S Maintenance and Improvement Thread

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Infracaninophile, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,518
    Location:
    New England, USA
    I am going to use the first post in this thread as an index to the major areas of work as I move forward. This post will continue to be updated as I move into the bike. A lot of the other great threads by other inmates here are just full of incredible information and ideas. Unfortunately, as the threads extend to multi-year maintenance and updates it is often hard to find specific parts. I thought doing an index in the first post might help if others wanted to refer to this thread in the future.

    Key Dates

    3-28-09 First Contact Established With Seller
    3-29-09 Q&A Email Sessions and Multiple Lengthy Phone Conversations With Seller
    4-03-09 Opinions Solicited From 5 Old Skool Inmates On The Deal
    4-04-04 All Information Gathered. Other Bikes Ruled Out. Offer Prepared.
    4-04-09 Deal Finalized.
    4-10-09 Buyer Departs With Truck and Trailer To CA
    4-11-09 Bike Purchased in Napa, CA
    4-13-09 Bike Arrives Home in Colorado Springs, CO
    4-14-09 Bike Is Insured, Registered, Titled, and Tagged In Colorado

    Maintenance Index

    Post #: TBD

    Improvement Index

    Post #: TBD


    This will be developed over the next few months. Yes, I'm still OCD
    #1
  2. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
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    I've never even ridden an R80 of any kind. Ever. I'm not even sure if I've sat on one. But I've wanted one for a long time now. Especially after reading the new English language edition of the BMW GS book I got a few months back. The problem with these bikes is that there just are not enough of them to go around. I search diligently on AdvRider, IBMWR, eBay, BMW MOA, Airheads, and CL's around the US. Solo Lobo is also a great source as he constantly finds good deals on all airhead GS and G/S bikes. Prices are high as it seems to be a certain case of supply and demand.

    In reading the Old Skool section you can tell that there are some users who have had one and moved on. Others who are still lusting for one (like me) and others that have both now. The R80 G/S, R80 GS and R100GS's are all very similar in that they're essentially bikes that have changed slightly over time. Some consider the changes (like Paralever) improvements, and others do not. I think there are some who think BMW should have stopped with the /2.

    But, who cares. I wanted one and was determined to be in that very lucky category of person who owned both an R80 G/S and a R100GS of some sort. I wasn't sure whether I had to have a PD version or not. Or even if I wanted a G/S or just a GS. But eventually I did decide I wanted to find a G/S and from there I'd see about the PD part.

    Since mid-January more of these G/S's floated by in the stream of bikes for sale than I expected. However, some were garage queens in the $9-15K range and I did not want one of these. There were a few others in the $4-5-6K range out there but many of them seemed like they were missing key original bits or had issues or the sellers just did not answer my questions about maintenance or history of their bikes. Some were downright dishonest in my opinion. Others were just purposely "vague". Others just could not communicate via email or PM. Weird. Other bikes were from areas of the country that are prone to rust or other things that I decided to pass on. But I knew that eventually the right bike would come along.

    And then there were three bikes all available at one time:

    1. Clang's stellar stock non-PD G/S for sale right in Colorado. I'd met Clang in person before at an AdvRider get together and he was riding an old R100GS. I knew he took great care of his stuff. He was local, the bike looked sharp, but it wasn't a PD and he was asking $6K.

    2. Someone (Solo?) posted in Old Skool about the blue G/S in Portland with the PD Tank. I emailed the seller right away and asked for his phone number. Told him I was very interested. He would not provide a phone but did answer my questions in a non-detailed way. He did agree two days later to give me his phone number and that we could chat. He stated he was also listing his bike on eBay. His asking price was $5K (I think) but he would not commit to that price in my emails. Something wasn't right. I got the felling he was making another deal while emailing with me but did not disclose this. This bike eventually sold to another inmate here (ZenBen?)

    3. Saw this ad in the Flea Market: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=447724. Not a regular inmate. Bike looked good. Began an email correspondence and then several lengthy phone conversations. All questions answered quickly and honestly. Bike was not perfect but had a PD kit from 1984 or so and also some extra goodies. Asking price was $6K. Bad news was the bike was in CA and over 1300 miles away. Seller was a biker and had multiple bikes in the staple at one time. SO also rode. He knew BMW's and also owned a Hex Head as well.

    A few initial photos he sent me of the 20 or so sent as soon as I requested them..

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    I was pretty sure this might be the one. I will continue with details on the deal and what I factored into picking this one.
    #2
  3. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2001
    Oddometer:
    7,518
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    New England, USA
    Once I saw the ad in the Flea Market here I also checked CL in that area and saw the bike listed there. The seller was a very low numbered inmate meaning he's not a regular here. I think he now has 6 posts total. I responded to the flea market ad and said I was interested. Was the bike still avail, etc. Got a quick response and began an email correspondence. Then several phone conversations where we clicked quickly.

    I learned the bike:

    - Had a fresh top end. Details: The heads were re-furbished & the exhaust valves were replaced. The rings & pistons were fine. It doesn't use oil to speak of.
    - Omega 400W alternator kit.
    - Has a bent right pannier rack.

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    - Had both original BMW panniers and one had a broken lock but closed just fine.

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    - Had the full PD Kit: Tank, solo seat, solo rack, skid plate.

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    - Has a 6-piston Harrison front brake caliper

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    - Needs fluids replaced.
    - All cables were replaced
    - Timing chain and tensioner were replaced.
    - Beginning to weep @ the front seal.

    I told him I was also looking at two other bikes at the time, but if his bike was in the $5000-$5500 range I'd like to chat on the phone. He emailed back and said $5500 was fine and gave me his phone number.

    He sent a bunch more pictures (about 20) and shared a few more facts:

    - Stock muffler will twitter at a certain RPM, pretty minor

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    - The Harris Billet Mini 6 is no longer imported & retailed for $800.00 back when they were available. It works like a champ & pads are still available. (I never checked into this)
    - He would lower the price from $5500 if needed and replace the Harris with the stock caliper if needed. I.E he was willing to work the deal.

    I sent him the following list of questions and quickly got the following answers:

    1. Tires: Are they Avon Gripsters or Tourances or ?
    > IRC GP 110 Front, Kenda 760 rear w/Heavy Duty tubes in both. I've been pleasantly pleased with both.

    2. Pegs: Looks like the right peg is a nice aftermarket and left is stock?
    > They are both Fastway F4 platform pegs; I have the stock ones some place too. These are WAY better.

    [​IMG]

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    3. Omega kit: 400W or the newer 450W? Did it come with the bike when you got it in 03 or did you do it?
    > Good Q; I did it & I don't remember the size. Ah...400W, found the receipt.

    [​IMG]


    4. Heated Grips? I think I can see the switch on the dashboard but no pics of the grips so I can't tell.. If yes, do they work? Colorado is cold.
    >Yes, BMW Grips bought new 89' era ones, they are grey. It's wired with a F650GS switch. All installed by Ozzie's & work perfect!

    [​IMG]

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    5. Shock: Original? Replacement? How is it?
    > Hagon, it works but is nothing special. It was one of the 1st things I replaced. Then added progressive fork springs too.

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    6. Spare parts? You mentioned in your original ad you may have some spares?

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    > Spare headlight.

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    > Stock front bezel(No Holes).

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    > Used Exhaust collector from an R80ST.

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    > Original windings & rotor

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    > Stock double seat w/dead foam but perfect black cover.
    > Double Corbin seat in almost new condition. Black with blue piping.

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    > New Clutch cable w/barrel.

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    7. Manuals? Owners manual? Service Manual?
    > Both.

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    8. Side Panels? The PD didn't have them but this is a regular G/S with the PD kit. No biggie, just asking.
    > Stock G/S Side covers; tabs are buggered up. If you try & run them you'll find out why almost every set out there has been repaired or are not in use. TOTAL PIA.

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    9. Stock tank?
    > Nope; never had it.

    10. Tool Kit?
    > Crammed full of Bavaria's finest, including the swingarm nut wrench & some other goodies.

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    11. Rotor Bolt:

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    12. Rear fender extender?

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    13. Title: Clear, non-salvage CA title in your name?
    > Correct Sir; in my safe.

    It was getting late so we arranged to talk the following afternoon. I called Jim and we spoke for over an hour. He answered every question, seemed like a solid bike guy, has a garage with 4-5 more bikes in it, and does most of his own wrenching. Almost too good to be true. I offered Jim $5500 to include the bike, the Harrison brake caliper, all the spare parts, etc.. and that I could send a $500 PayPal deposit immediately. He accepted. Money was transferred within 15 minutes.

    That's the deal.
    #3
  4. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    7,518
    Location:
    New England, USA
    Not much to report here. It was about 1325 miles from Colorado Springs, CO to Napa, CA. It's April which means it can still be winter in all of the states I was going to cross. My plan was to depart Colorado Springs and take I-25 to Cheyenne, Wyoming and then turn left onto I-80. Just keep going forever and eventually I had to go maybe 10 miles off of I-80 to get to the sellers house. I had planned 24 hours to do it.

    Left the house on a Friday around 1 PM and drove non-stop almost to Wells, Nevada and about 925 miles. It had been raining a bit and then it turned to light snow. Decided to catch some zzzzzz. Left I-80 at a small ranch exit and found a nice dead end spot near there in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Climbed into my sleeping bag in the front seat, leaned my two pillows against the window and fell asleep in about 2 minutes. Caught about 2.5 hours sleep.

    Got up and headed west again. Drove to Reno and started to call the seller. No answer. Hmmm. Drove on to Truckee, had some breakfast, got some nice Java and called again. No answer. Hmmm. Drove on to Sacramento and called again. No answer. Now getting worried. Drove all the way to Napa, got gas and called again. No answer. Using the GPS I found the seller's house and knocked on the door around 10 am. He was just sleeping. Damn California hippie dudes who sleep until 10. :lol3

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    Jim the seller was a great guy with a garage full of bikes. Even met his beatiful SO who ran out to Starbucks and brought us all Latte's and muffins. Man, not bad. Got the tour of the bike, took it for a spin, saw the title and all of the spare parts, and settled up. Price was $5500 total for the bike and all the spares. Jim helped me load it up and I was all ready to go.

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    Headed out of town about 1 pm and knew I wasn't going to make it too far as I had not had enough sleep. Thought I could make it to Reno or Lake Tahoe and stop early for the night. Back onto I-80 going east this time and made slow going in the Saturday traffic near Sacramento. Five or six lanes of traffic on a Saturday mid-day. How the hell do people live like that. It was killing my soul.

    Picture of grape vines as I exit Napa.

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    Turned off I-80 near Truckee and drove the 13 miles down to Kings Beach on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Grabbed a cheapie motel room right on the beach for $55 (including taxes). Grabbed a shower, used the hot tub, had sushi for dinner, called the wife, and hit the sack by 7:30 pm local time. I was pooped.

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    Motel manager let me park my bike right in front of the window of my room as I was a bit worried about it wandering off...

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    Got up on Sunday morning and hit the road by 6:30 am. Was determined to sleep in my own bed that evening and I had almost 1200 miles to go. Not much to say other than for whatever reason time seems to go a lot slower when you're driving during the day than at night.

    Picture taken just west of Evanston, Wyoming coming up the pass.

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    Arrived home at 12:30 am MT on Monday morning. No problems with traffic, tickets, or weather. I normally just cruise at the speed limit or no more than +5 on cruise control. The speed limit was 75 all the way with a few exceptions like CA which wants to limit cars with trailers to 55. Yeah Right.

    Being OCD and all I did track gasoline usage by recording mileages and gas consumed. Happy with the results of my Toyota FJ Cruiser which has the aerodynamics of a brick.

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    Just parked the trailer in the garage with the bike still on it and hit the sack. Total elapsed time was 60 hours or 2.5 days to go out and back. Not bad. I just wanted to get it over with and be home. Wife got me up at 6 am. the next morning to have morning coffee as she was going to work at normal time. Damn her....

    [​IMG]


    Tom
    #4
  5. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

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    Place Holder
    #5
  6. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
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    Place Holder
    #6
  7. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    and so it all begins...







    again :clap

    and good call on the index
    #7
  8. zenben

    zenben all roads are one

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    595
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    Yeah, I got that one. The seller was a little dodgy, but not misrepresenting the machine AFAIK. I think he just wanted a quick sale without drama.
    #8
  9. RomaDakota

    RomaDakota Illuminatus!

    Joined:
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    1,542
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    Goldilocks Zone
    Nice looking moto! Reminds me of mine :wink:
    I did a fly-n-ride for mine almost exactly a year ago. Bought in CA and rode back to KS. Besides a new rotor, have not had to do much. Fitting new panniers and shocks for the season. Congrats!
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Putts

    Putts Gettin' there.

    Joined:
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    11,430
    Location:
    Bozoman, Montana
    Looks like we're going to get the low-down on this bike.

    :lurk

    It's a beaut!
    #10
  11. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
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    New England, USA
    I'm not one to give names to my bikes.... But after reading a few threads here and all the s**t everyone gave Solo, I'll just be proactive and name mine now before someone else labels it.

    In fact, mine already kind of named itself: White Trash. It even came to me with a sticker on the front of itself announcing it's name. For those of you who do not live West of the Mississippi where Spanish is pretty common: Basura = Trash, Blanca = White.

    Looks like I can always get replacement stickers HERE :lol3

    [​IMG]

    Tom
    #11
  12. bgoodsoil

    bgoodsoil Dare to be Stupid

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    come out of a parking lot onto the road and while you're leaned over crank hard on the throttle. The rear wheel will feel like it's slipping sideways a bit--that's the famous jacking effect. Also, revving the engine hard while going over rough terrain puts downward pressure on the swing arm--it fights your suspension. I've heard it's most evident in hard throttle rocky hill climbs but I've never been able to try it side by side with a paralever. I can't feel anything under straight line accelaration but that may be because of all the boxes I've got on the rear.


    The monolever is not the holy grail of BMW final drives where performance is concerned but it does seem to be reliable. There's a lot of torque and flexing going through the big bearing at the back of the gearbox and they sometimes slip out and run in the flange--but it's rare and more of a failure thing. Not like the paralevers where it seems like the u-joints definitely will go.

    Lookin' forward to your opinions on the two since you can swap back and forth at will.

    you can say it--we bullshit and make fun of each other for playing Dungeons and Dragons and you don't want to have to sift through it all. It's okay. We're gonna do it in your thread too.
    #12
  13. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
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    BG:

    Actually..... There is an add-in for AdvRider that an inmate posted down in the cellar a few weeks ago. It allows you to selectively only see posts from the original poster for a single thread. It was meant to allow seamless reviews of Ride Reports, but it, ahem, does work here as well.

    If need be, I can find the link. I have it installed and use it on a regular basis. I can post a screen shot if you'd to see it.
    :wink:

    Tom
    #13
  14. bmwblake

    bmwblake upside down parker

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    i'm never gonna live down the D&D comment.
    tom, please post a link to that add on. it would be a great way to print out a few threads.
    #14
  15. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

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    Guys:

    Here is the link to the Greasemonkey add in. It does not work for Apples. But does work for IE and Firefox. I use Firefox and it rocks. Just follow the instructions. Look at the links in the sig line of his post.

    Links to the original post by Tbolt is: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9418597&postcount=8


    It is really the coolest thing to use when needed as it eliminates ALL replies but the original poster's entries. Meant for trip reports but works great everywhere.

    Tom
    #15
  16. bmwblake

    bmwblake upside down parker

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    thanks tom. that's cooler than a virtual dice simulator.


    #16
  17. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Road Island
    Brings to mind a real philosophical conundrum...........how much do we really want to know, vs. how much do we really want to laugh, snicker and smile while we search for what it is we really want to know.






    :eek1


    :D
    #17
  18. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

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    I just completed post #3 to show all of the details of the deal. It was a empty placeholder until now.

    Tom
    #18
  19. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

    Joined:
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    Roma:

    Man, our bikes are just about twins.
    #19
  20. bgoodsoil

    bgoodsoil Dare to be Stupid

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    yeah, that means you haven't bought enough farkles.
    #20