R80ST Resurrection

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Airhead Wrangler, May 16, 2008.

  1. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    I got a new bike this winter and have mentioned it a few times here and there, but thought I'd do a proper thread on this thing. Well, through luck, destiny, karma, kismet, fate, happenstance, etc I had an '84 R80ST in like new condition fall into my lap this winter for free. A neighbor had seen me riding around the neighborhood on all manner of two wheeled vehicles and said they had an old bmw in their garage that they had bought new in '84. The guy wasn't much of a rider then and couldn't even recall what model it was when I asked. He said the mileage was really low, but didn't know exactly. He said I could take it free of charge if I wanted it. He just wanted it out of his garage. He had bought it just after getting married and only got a year of riding in before his wife got pregnant and he was forbidden to ride it anymore. He kept the bike though and it's been sitting in his heated garage for 23 years under a dust cover. I told him I'd take it sight unseen, as I'm always up for a project, no matter how ratty it may look, but this thing blew my basket-case-barn-bike expectations out of the water. Here it is as it was given to me:
    [​IMG]



    Here's what the odometer looked like at the time:

    [​IMG]


    I had instant wood.

    It needed a good amount of work to get on the road again. New battery, new plugs, new tires and tubes, new fluids all the way around (the old oil came out looking like honey though - looked brand new). There was old gas in the tank and the petcocks were left on - for 23 years. The fuel lines and carb bowls were packed solid with gas gum and the needles were corroded down to to the size of big sewing needles. New fuel lines and 3 cans of carb cleaner later it was running, but it was only getting about 20 mpg. Then came a complete carb rebuild and rejet from the stock 135 mains up to 150s (which were stock on the '83s, but the '84s got leaned out to meet emissions). The carb rebuild and rejet worked wonders. Next step before puting any real miles on it was lubing the clutch spline which was bone dry. In order to cure the ST of its low range, I got an R100GS tank off of san francisco craigslist in great condition plus it looks a lot better on the bike than the stock tank. On the highway she's getting around 40mpg now, so I can now top 200 miles on a tank no prob. I racked up about 1500 miles on her and did a couple of oil changes over the course of those miles just to get whatever old oil was left in there out. I also changed the fork oil and added some fork boots while I was at it. Then came the Jesse bags. Great looking bags, with a pretty janky mounting system. The mounts look like they were made by a wildwest blacksmith or something - pretty rough. Not only that, but the mounts for the ST are also intended for the R100GS which has a wider subframe. "Oh just put some more washers in there to shim it out," I was told. Also, nobody thought to mention to me that the mounts require you to remove all the body panels and exhaust shield. Their response was "oh yeah normally people just buy a second set of body panels that they can modify to work with the racks." They should try buying body panels for an ST. THEY DON'T EXIST. Luckily, I kind of prefer the naked look without body panels. Normally I don't tolerate that level of idiocy when I pay $1000 for something so simple, but I didn't have a whole lot of choice. Not many companies still make bags/mounts for these older airheads. Next on my list of things to do is to replace the stock rear shock which creaks like a barn door. I'm thinking of going with a YSS or a Wilbers. Any input on either of those? Also, I think I'm running the stock coil, but I'm not sure. These bikes came with the infamous grey bosch coils that are so prone to cracking, but the coil on mine doesn't really look grey. It's black. It also doesn't say bosch anywhere on it. Anyone have a pic of the bad coils I can compare to? Anyway, here's the bike as it looks today:
    [​IMG]


    Cool neighbor, this bud's for you...
    #1
  2. Mugwest

    Mugwest .

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    Oct 18, 2005
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    3rd Ring of Buzztopia
    A suggestion: rub this in our noses a little more.












    Damn dude-- good on ya :freaky

    this is the 2nd biggest score of the week around here. Must be some kickass Star shining on some inmates
    #2
  3. tathambenjamin

    tathambenjamin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
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    563
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    Dekalb, IL
    That is amazing. You have inherhited my dream airhead. Please keep us posted on what happens with this.......:clap
    #3
  4. opposedcyljunkie

    opposedcyljunkie Heavyweight Boxer

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    By the Lake
    helluva nice neighbor you have there. and his wife must really hate the bike to also agree to giving it away :deal
    #4
  5. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

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    Incredible.








    The whole story. Incredible.
    #5
  6. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    Nov 19, 2004
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    Madison WI
    Nice bike! Free airhead and a good one at that, you don't hear that too often. Me I like the look of the stock tank etc. but that's just me. Sorry to hear about the Jesse's, but that's a story we've heard plenty before. I think any panniers that would fit a g/s would have fit and there's still quite a few of them.
    #6
  7. PGK

    PGK Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    24
    Nice find! That is an amazing barn-find story. Talk about something falling into your lap.




    Lost me here.


    I just sold the two sets I had on ebay....wish I had seen this thread 2 months ago.


    I'm glad to see R80ST's still have a following, there seem to be a half-dozen or so people on the boards here who ride them. Definetely the best least-known BMW.


    I've also got an ST that I'm resurrecting, which I also got for free, but it's a little more involved.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I'm making a few small changes of my own though....
    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    Shoreline, WA
    Nice bike neighbor :thumb

    Perhaps we'll run into each other 'round town some time.
    #8
  9. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
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    Shoreline, WA
    These ones?

    15 46631242204 Battery Cover Right Prime Coated BUY 1 $71.00
    15 46632302102 Battery Cover Left Prime Coated BUY 1 $122.00

    they are listed on MAX BMW's on-line fische, and should be a credit card charge away!

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    Location:
    England. Somewhere on the Canal.
    That is a nice ST, and it is funny how we are so many miles, and an ocean apart, but our bikes have gone the same direction with the same colour tanks! my tank was given to me by someone who drops in here from time to time, and it really makes these bikes look great.

    I have also added a screen now, and this looks pretty cool too...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not to shabby.
    #10
  11. Zebedee

    Zebedee Been here awhile

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    863
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    ... I was born a ramblin' man
    If it was karma that brought the bike to you, keep on doing what you've been doing.

    Good luck with running that baby in. She's a beaut :thumb

    Cheers

    John
    #11
  12. JWhitmore44

    JWhitmore44 pistolero

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    That is a sweet deal. I'm not sure which tank I like best.:ricky

    Hey Kev, cool fly screen. :thumb
    #12
  13. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    Thanks, I want to fit a pair of spot lights next on the crash bars :evil
    #13
  14. Spicy McHaggis

    Spicy McHaggis Darth Peach's cracker...

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    Grand Haven, Michigan
    Let me be the first to say...

    YOU SUCK. :ricky

    Nice find...!
    #14
  15. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Ok, maybe this belongs in ride reports, but I finally managed to get a 700+ mile trip on the beemer and have nothing, but praises to report. It kept up with a Ducati admirably, considering its 16 year handicap. The trip went through wide open prairie, twisty mountain roads and a good gravel section where it finally was able to outpace the Ducati. While it can't cruise at 100+ like the ducati can, it can definitely hold 90 all day. Somehow I didn't experience the big drop in mpg that most people report at those speeds on a R80st. I was getting in the 38-40 range the whole trip, which although low for the average bike, is pretty decent for an ST. Here are some pics.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. DucatiPete

    DucatiPete In denial

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Melbourne, AU
    Things like this don't happen in the REAL WORLD (ie anywhere near me).

    You lucky, lucky bugger!
    #16
  17. mark1305

    mark1305 Old Enough To Know Better

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    I can tell you were cruising big time - those are some blue looking headers in the pics :eek1

    Great looking bike!
    #17
  18. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    Mark, those headers were blue when I got the bike. That immediately stuck out to me too. The bike's an '84 so I chock that up to a combination of the pulse air system (which I plan to remove sometime soon) and the lean jetting. The '84s got dropped down to 135 mains from the 150s that came stock in the '83 in order to meet tighter emmission standards. This created a big drop in power at larger throttle opennings. I've switched up to the 150s and the performance difference was definitely worth it. Hopefully the bike isn't running dangerously lean anymore. Headers that blue on an engine with a compression ratio as low as ours says "DANGER" to me. Hopefully I fixed it.
    #18
  19. Wirespokes

    Wirespokes Beemerholics Anonymous

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    Where were those pictures taken?
    #19
  20. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

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    Charlottesville, VA
    [​IMG]

    Nice deal on the bike. Totally jealous here!!
    #20