Project Save-An-F650GS: Another Failed Fork

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by E365, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. E365

    E365 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
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    Just bought a 2001 F650GS with a failed fork on eBay. I thought it would be a fun project to save it, so I'm going through the process now of getting it road-ready again. I just finsished the MSF Safety Course this past weekend and this will be my first bike

    The plan:
    • New fork of some-sorts (duh)
    • Needs a couple new turn signals
    • All new fluids & filter.
    • New throttle cable. It sticks and I can see it's kinked where the cable exits the sheath near the throttle body.
    • Full inspection.
    • 25mm plastic ammo can panniers. Just ordered two on eBay for $41 with shipping.

    Here she is:
    [​IMG]

    Got it stripped down:
    [​IMG]

    And the temporary clamp job to make it more stable in the trailer. This method actually work very well - I trailered it 400+ miles and the forks never shifted.
    [​IMG]

    The bridge also is cracked.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And the steering as it sits now:
    [​IMG]

    I have already done a bunch of minor tweaks that needed attention. First was the lights - none worked. Turns out it was missing the 15A fuse for the lights. Voila! That's all it needed. Then the brake light was stuck on but I found the rear brake switch metal tang was bent out of shape. A needle nose pliers took care of that one. One of the hand guards was loose and missing a rivet so I replaced it with a #8 machine screw/washer/nut and painted the head black.

    The clutch lever has a TON of slop (vertically). I can see where the metal is wearing as the lever rubs on the frame. The first plan of attack there is using a couple thin nylon washer to space it out. If that doesn't help I think it will need some new parts.

    I also put in an NGK DPR8EIX-9 spark plug, but I see the previous owner already had one in there.

    More pictures to come, especially of the old, broken fork. I plan on pulling that tonight
    #1
  2. GAS GUY

    GAS GUY MILE EATER

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    You could always do the Yamaha fork upgrade.
    #2
  3. E365

    E365 Adventurer

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    I have been thinking about that. I need to find the time to dig through that massive thread - I haven't seen a good summary of what the buy.
    #3
  4. E365

    E365 Adventurer

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    The bits.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Seeing this sight I thought the upper tubes had bent. Nope, not the case - I ran a straight edge along them and they seem straight as can be. What's not straight is the upper and especially lower triple clamps. The lower is clearly twisted, even wouthout looking very hard.

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. cueball

    cueball should'a walked it first

    Joined:
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    lake serene, ms. at least it was 'til i moved in!!
    i have a pair of fork legs (uppers & lower in good shape) if you decide to stay stock. got a good rear shock also.
    #5
  6. E365

    E365 Adventurer

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    I got the entire front end torn-down now. A big part of that was coming up with a good tool to remove (but mostly to properly install/torque) the main head nut. I see the BMW one is now $100+ :(

    Here's a $15 option, but it takes some work. Start with a 4 Pin, 2.375" spindle nut available at any auto store. Grind off two of the pins and start heating the socket up with a MAPP gas torch. After it gets good and hot, start beating the socket on its side with a big hammer. Slowly but surely the socket will start to squish down. My measured target was 1.55" between the center of each pin. Once I got it the right distance I used a Dremel and angle grinder to make the rectangular pins round. It takes some fine tuning, but you can end up with a tool that fits well and has provisons for a torque wrench and angle gauge - I plan to use a standard torque angle gauge I already have at home.

    I'd have to think using a nice shop press would be much better than going the blacksmith route.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Torn down and ready for new bearings and fork. I just ordered a pair of Timken (Set 32) bearings from RockAuto for $30 with shipping. Also cleaned and inspected the head tube welds for any signs of damage from the fork failure.
    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. Diggar

    Diggar GP Winner

    Joined:
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    Firstly thanks for your story.It would be interesting to know wether there was pitting on the outside of the lower fork as my 2007 Dakar has shown signs of pitting and that this will lead to similar problems as yours.Still mate they are great bikes.
    #7
  8. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    The axle lug failures only affect the GS machines manufactured prior Mid 2002, there are no known failures on the F/G650GS until 2011 when there was a further fork change & on that year model only one failure is recorded.
    #8
  9. E365

    E365 Adventurer

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    Got it running and on the road. Having a blast riding it so far!

    The fork swap was pretty straight forward. I installed new Timken head bearings as well as Maxima 10 wt. fork oil.

    The sticky throttle turned-out to be a bent handle bar end - just the end 1" or so past the cutout for the heated grip wiring. I got that fixed but damaged the heated grip wiring in the process of removing the grip tube. I didn't understand how the system was put together at the time so I ripped the wiring. No big deal, I resoldered a new wire to that grip. I taped the old and new wires together temporarily near the head tube, thinking I would adjust the the length and do a nice solder connection later. Well I forgot I never soldered them together and ended up shorting the grip wiring and frying the stock resistor in the process. Kind of a pain, but I rebuilt the entire wiring harness and added an external resistor and now the system works again. While I haven't ridden it yet with the heated grips I can tell that will be a NICE feature here in Minnesota. :clap

    Other little bits I got done: New turn signals - a set of four, used generic ones (they basically match the stock lights) on eBay for $15. That leaves two spares. The bike only had one mirror so I bought a new pair of 8mm threaded mirrors on eBay. They seem to work just fine.

    I also fixed the aftermarket LED Gizmo Mill / Brake! tail/stop light I mentioned here. http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=832431
    #9
  10. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    Good to hear you have the beast up and running, I take it you fried the length of orange resistance wire in the electrical box for the 1/2 heat setting of the heated grips. As a matter of interest what occurred & what damage did it cause ?. There have been wiring fires over the years on other models with BMW's silly use of resistance wire in the wiring harness

    You can find the details on the heated grip wiring here http://www.f650gs.crossroadz.com.au/HeatedGrips.html

    There is also a mod there for interconnecting them external to the electrical box to make swapping bars and testing easier

    I have fully variable grip controller on mine and if you can find an early hard switched oxford grip controller it can be used with the stock grips
    #10
  11. E365

    E365 Adventurer

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    The Crossroadz website diagram was a HUGE help in rewiring the system. It was the only diagram I could find of the system. The resistance values of the grip heaters and low setting resistor were nice to have.

    When I turned the ignition on after forgetting to connect the new grip leads I got smoke coming from the junction box. I'm pretty sure the existing leads were touching which caused the problem. The heater switch was in low. After freaking out and tearing it down I did find the orange wire starting to melt from the white, three position connector - the mating plug to the black three position connector coming from the switch. As seen in the lower, middle picture on the Crossroadz site.

    I remade the harness using the existing connector plus I added a two-position molex connector for the new resistor. Then I can swap it out easily if it fails, or I didn't use a hefty enough resistor. I ended up using two, 1 ohm 10 watt resistors wired in series. This was recommended as an option on the HotGrips website. Not the same system, but I figure they all have to be similar. If it burns-up I plan on using a 2 ohm, 50 watt resistor with a built in aluminum heat sink.
    #11
  12. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    Glad the info I put up was of help, the use of resistance wire in a wiring harness as BMW do is not good but they have been doing it for years.

    The power consumed in the resistor wire is 10 watts, so if you use 2 x 1 ohm resistors in series instead of 2.5 ohms it will be a little above that due to the increased current on 1/2 heat setting

    Personally I would not put it back with a resistor to give 1/2 heat, there is so little power from tha alternator it is better not to waste any and having a hot component there is also not the best.

    There is a thread at F650 re a DIY heated jacket controller http://f650.com/forum/showthread.php?27538
    It is a little large as he tried to make one from a big controller from ebay, it is basically what you need to have variable control rather than 1/2 heat. I posted a pic for him to show how small you can make them with 99% efficiency. you can see the pic below. If you want one PM me and we may be able to work something out

    http://www.crossroadz.com.au/XRPics/HGrip1s.jpg
    #12
  13. E365

    E365 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the info Wayne! I'll have to test the high vs. low settings and see what I think. I'm in a cold climate so I could see only using the high. I should be getting in a few night rides this coming week in below freezing temps.
    #13
  14. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    Yes, in sub zero full heat is the go and then some at times

    I found in lesser conditions 1/2 heat was always too hot or too cold and every time I took a hand off the bars to change it big bumps would appear out of nowhere, the variable is great, I leave it preset to suit the season and just turn on/off with the switch

    In addition in summer to have the ability to use just a little heat to refresh tired hands or to dry out gloves proves rather handy
    #14
  15. E365

    E365 Adventurer

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    I tested the heated grips at 20F (-7C), 30 MPH wind and snow flurries a couple nights ago. :D I kept the grips on HIGH the whole time and could feel the heat coming through, but it still wasn't enough to stay fully warm. I think I'd need some better winter gloves to really stay warm. These were some gauntlet-type winter gloves with good dexterity, but they have never been my warmest gloves. My feet also got cold, but again these were not my warmest boots, just spring/fall hiking boots with wool socks.

    ---------------------------

    I did a little mod to my centerstand after learning the hard-way how easy it is to knock the bike off of it. It sure doesn't take much of a forward bump! I never had it fall over, but I did catch it a few times at the last second after it fell off.

    I added a couple hooks, one to the centerstand cross bar using a 3/4" conduit hangar and a eye bolt. The other hook was made with some scrap aluminum sheeting I had which attaches to one of the engine shield bolts. A simple turn buckle then locks the center stand in extended position. It only takes about 5 seconds to install/remove it - just a few turns of the buckle is all it needs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The down-side is that there are now two bits sticking down. The one on the frame shouldn't be an issue with the way the hook is positioned - favoring the direction of travel. The worse thing that could happen is it gets bent upwards slightly, against the engine guard. Then the hook on the stand itself is positioned far enough back that I doubt it will be an issue, for me at least - I don't plan on doing any hard core off-road riding. Mostly street and flat dirt/gravel trails.

    [​IMG]

    This also gives me good piece-of-mind when the bike is parked in the garage. It sits next to the car but there's not enough room to put the bike on the side stand. I'm afraid a little bump in the garage will have the bike tip over, then crash into the car. I could do without a broken window, dents and scratches on the car.

    Bottom line it that it's now secure as can be. I can even push the bike forward, sliding across my garage floor and it stays on the stand :)
    #15
  16. E365

    E365 Adventurer

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    Got it all decked out :D

    Cheap - was bent - BMW Adventure top box. Took a few hours of tweaking to straighten out and make it useable. Lockable pop-up camper latch on the back. Mounted to a factory BMW top/tail rack with u-bolts. I think I'll fab up something better than the plastic BMW rack. I don't think it's really designed for mounting a hard box (that's not a factory BMW box)

    Wolfman/BR Moto side racks with 25mm plastic ammo can panniers. Mounted with 3/4" u-bolts. Will maybe get Wolfman soft bags eventually. These ammo cans were so cheap that I had to try them out.

    Also had to get a Dakar beak. I'll admit that it's strictly cosmetic - it helps the look of the front a lot I feel.

    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. WayneC

    WayneC Long timer

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    Looking good there, great to see it back in service and with a little CBOA character
    #17
  18. Tom48

    Tom48 Been here awhile

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    Great. Easy to use.
    #18
  19. Gravel Seeker

    Gravel Seeker Thomas

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    Nice work :clap

    The easier route than the hooks is to just secure it with a luggage strap. Nothing left behind when you're out riding either
    Was sure I had plenty of pics, but this is hte best picture I could find. Strap around centrestand up around the sidestand base in this case

    [​IMG]
    #19