My '69 R69US

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Tenni126, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    So, I thought about starting a build thread back when I started this thing, but I knew it'd take f o r e v e r due to the cost of getting it done right, my active duty lifestyle, wife, kid, blah blah... so I've sort of waited till I had a little more progress to report. Plus, I needed to see the light at the end of the tunnel to believe I'd ever get it done at all.
    Anyway, what I gots is a '69 R69US. I got it from a buddy who bought it in a real estate deal in 1980. Since he never registered it, technically I'm the second owner. :evil
    First off, I'm primarily a Guzzi guy and only ended up with an airhead by chance. I traded a California for a nice '74 R90/6, and after a bunch of work (including swapping in a complete K100RS front end) I found I actually kinda liked the old BMWs. Now I have been after this guy since I saw the bike in the corner in about 2003 to sell it to me. After several failed attempts (most involving lots of whiskey) to convince him to sell to me, I gave up for awhile. Finally, I convinced him to have it restored if he wouldn't sell, so at least it wasn't rotting away. We ended up talking a guy I knew who had a shop (Dyna Reno) into putting it together, but unfortunately he passed away before he could get it done.
    Frustrated, I offered to trade temporarily my R90 for the R69US, with the deal that he'd have a BMW to ride, and I'd have space to work. In other words, he gave it to me.
    So I traded this:

    [​IMG]
    For this:
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    It was pretty rough, but mostly everything is there. The paint was done when I got it, but it was missing things like the toolbox door, R69S fender script, turn signals, things like that. After much lost sleep, I decided due to the relative rarity of the bike and the unknown service history, that I'd farm out the mechanical restoration of the motor and trans to the experts. So, off to Vech for rebuild. I got this shiny thing back after much money later.
    [​IMG]

    Against some advice, and in line with others, I had the frame and other hard parts powdercoated.
    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    After selling my old DR650, I sent the wheels off to Woody's for respoke and sealed bearing conversion.
    Shiny...
    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    Once those major parts came back, I was left with tons of time-soaking small stuff not worth photos. You know, wire wheeling all the hardware one nut and bolt and wave washer at a time, converting the stupid original ball bearing steering stem setup to tapered roller, spending literally hours trying to find a good picture of how the friction steering damper goes together. Looking for sh#t I had misplaced in during the cross-town move my wife made while I was on deployment. Lots of beers just looking at it convinced I was in over my head. The usual.
    Anyway, here it is right now.
    [​IMG]

    As you can tell, it's getting closer! I'm down to a milk crate of parts. Mostly Denfield racks, carb parts, things like that. I'm hoping to have the funds together to send the trans off for re-work in the next month or so. Ride by the end of the year? That's the current goal...
    #4
  5. caponerd

    caponerd Kickstart Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,980
    Location:
    Halfway between Munich and Redditch.
    That's gonna be a nice one!
    #5
  6. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    97
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    San Diego CA
    Thanks! I figure that by having the motor and trans done properly, it'll be good to go mechanically and by having a notable shop do the work it resets the lack of maintenance history should it ever come into question. All the rest of my ham-fisted work can be easily redone to restoration level should I decide to do really do it up right some day, but for now I'm trying to put my OCD tendencies aside and just get it back on the road as efficiently as possible.
    #6
  7. AustinJake

    AustinJake DR650 - Versys

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,305
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Beautiful!
    #7
  8. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    Well, after nearly four years, I finally started her up, sans mufflers (didn't show up until yesterday) and did some initial carb tuning. Amazingly it settled into a decent idle almost immediately!!! I still have to rig the front and rear brakes, track down the signal for the generator light, hook up the speedo light and lots of other little things, but it starts and runs at least. :clap:clap:clap
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Evo1

    Evo1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Oddometer:
    134
    Location:
    Sydney
    Beautiful bike. Congratulations!
    #9
  10. nobbylon

    nobbylon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    241
    looks great, I really admire your patience!
    #10
  11. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2013
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    2,575
    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    Looks like it's coming together quite nicely. A very attractive bike indeed.

    You need to tuck away all the cables so it looks a little more tidy. I'm not so sure I'd keep the mirror down like that, if the mirror gets bumped or moved without notice, it may damage the gas tank when you turn the bars.

    You're doing a nice job.
    #11
  12. daveoneshot

    daveoneshot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    530
    Location:
    Vermont
    Projects like this give inspiration to all of us !!
    #12
  13. Thorazine

    Thorazine Likes exhaust fumes

    Joined:
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    1,467
    Location:
    Lanesplittin Valhalla--Southern California
    I love the R69s, and you've done we'll--a slap on the back for ya.

    But I'm still not sure I understand the 'trade' you and the PO made. Did you make a straight across trade for your R90, meaning this is yours, and the R90 is his now?

    Either way, the bike looks great. Nice work.
    #13
  14. Thorazine

    Thorazine Likes exhaust fumes

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    One more thing: if you get this beaut running soon, there's a Tech Day in La Mesa Sat. April 12. You can come and show it off :D or you can just come and hang out with other Airheads.

    PM me if you need more details.
    #14
  15. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    Will do!
    As long as I get the rear engine mount stud in time, and provided I can get the front brakes working properly :shogI should be able to make that.

    The deal with the R90...the black bike belonged to a friend of mine. I have been after him for years to sell me the bike since it just sat in the corner of his garage, all torn apart and sitting in 70's era tupperware. He spent so long saying no, it became sort of a running joke. After I got married and moved to SoCal, my available space for toys was far less than the 2 acres I had in Nevada. One night, after a fair amount of whiskey had been consumed, I proposed that he keep my R90/6 up there and that I would take the bones of the R69US and start putting it together. It solved the problem of storage for me, gave him a BMW to ride when he didn't feel like taking the ST1300 into town, and got the R69 back on the road. I kept both titles, so really he gave it to me. But R90 is his as long as he wants it, though I reallllly miss having it around.
    #15
  16. Thorazine

    Thorazine Likes exhaust fumes

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    Hey Tenni. Check your PM. In case anyone's still interested in the La Mesa Tech Day, PM me.

    There's another one in Murietta just north of the 15/215 split on May 5. PM me for info on that too.
    #16
  17. Renner

    Renner combustophile

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    Jul 11, 2007
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    sunny SoCal
    'hope to see you there. :freaky






    .
    #17
  18. Thorazine

    Thorazine Likes exhaust fumes

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    Yeah. It would be real cool to see some inmates in meatspace. I may not be able to make it to La Mesa, but I'll definitely be in Murietta. If I make it to La Mesa, I'll be sure to wear one of Nealart's shirts http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955775 The Big Daddy Roth one. Hope to see any of you there or in Murietta.
    #18
  19. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    I'll make it out to one of them. Going to stay local until the parts stop falling off. Maybe then I'll look at some freeway time.:lol3
    #19
  20. Tenni126

    Tenni126 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    97
    Location:
    San Diego CA
    So this weekend I found some time and re-torqued the heads, reset the valves, tightened a bunch of stuff, and re-adjusted the carbs after the first couple hundred miles. Really starting to like this thing!!!:clap:clap
    Took it up to freeway speeds today, and it purred right along at 70-75. It's about as fast as my DR650, but smoother. So, not all that fast. But still fun. Rear brake needs adjusting, but I have to chase the threads on the rod. And I reaaally need to save some scratch for a solo saddle, cause that wide touring one I found on ebay is ugly, and the foam is degrading quickly. Also, the forks are pretty far out of alignment with lots of sticktion. It's so weird...I never had that problem on any of my other old bikes. My R90/6 is the same way, and it's got an '86 K100 front end on it. Soon as the hardware store gets more round tuits in stock...
    Anyway, I'm glad it's holding together and it really is turning out to be a pretty neat machine.
    #20