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78 R100/7 Newb - Advise and now the next steps

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Dub_ADV, Jan 5, 2020.

  1. Dub_ADV

    Dub_ADV Back in the saddle again.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Looking at a 77 R100/7. (Sept '77 based on Vin) The bike is super clean with 12,665 on the odo. I know value is a loose term and we all have limits of what to pay, etc, but I am looking more to see what some of you guys think or would offer for it if you were looking at it for yourself.

    The story.... The owner of the bike passed and left virtually no trail of info on the bike. No paperwork has been found yet other than the title. The owner was a mechanic. Yeah, we are mechanics, right? All I can sleuth about the guy is that he took care of the bike and the bike is very clean, the tools from the shop are still there (also (used but) clean and organized, and my brother bought a 98 ranger from the estate that was owned and maintained by the same guy which was mint both physically and mechanically. His buddy bought a 98 cherokee in the same condition.
    As stated, the bike is clean with low miles. I opened that tank to take a peak and it was drained. I was told by his son (who is managing the estate, and happens to be my brothers boss for the last 30 years) that his dad drained it when it was last parked. The last known registration on the bike (fork sticker) says it was reg'ed and street ridden in 2005. I was told that it was regularly started and kept up with since then to his passing even though not street driven for any distance. It has been sitting for the last 3 years with a drained tank. There was a battery in it but it was not connected. I did not attempt to do anything physically to the bike. This was purely an exploratory visit to see if I wanted to pursue the notion any further. I kinda do, but I am looking for thoughts based on my non existent knowledge of old airheads. I am not looking for a cheap bike where I will need to chase with large amounts of further $. I do like the vintage aspect of the bike and would like to keep it relatively intact as it is pretty complete and in great shape. (No cut up cafe project here) Actually, I want to put some miles on her and she would not be a hanger queen.

    Based on the info info I have gathered, I will give the guy the benefit of the doubt and assume that the bike is in as good of shape and well maintained as it seems but did make a few observations that may or may not be relevant to someone more knowledgeable.

    1. The inside of the tank had what looked to be red primer inside. There was zero rust and it was totally drained. It had a stale gas smell but was empty. The was zero visible rust or pitting inside the tank. Is the red primer original and is it primer or a factory protectant of some sort?

    2. The fuel lines were pliable (not hard and stiff). The filters had a noticeable (natural) level line inside them (like a glass that was filled with water for a long time leaves a line on the surface - hope that makes sense) That does not worry me at all but was an observation. I did not drop the bowls but whether wet or dry inside, will probably need to be rebuilt.

    3. The rear boot at the swingarm has some seepage. There is no drip or marks on the floor but there is crud on the center stand and the lever as seen in one of the pics attached. I believe this is normal and the boot may be loose or possibly stiff but it seemed pliable with just visible inspection but want to verify.

    4. The oil was fresh and clear so it was changed after it was last parked.

    5. There was only one "set" of keys, the main ignition one "folded" and there were 4 other keys. I did not try them but looked to be for all of the luggage.

    6. The footpegs and brake pedal were like brand new with no visible wear so I will go with 12K miles rather than 120K. I did not see the physical title to verify any details but was told they had it and were still digging through paperwork to see if there was anything else to go with the bike. I am if sure of anything further will surface but I am sure that they will get it to me if it does as I specifically asked if they would (and he is my brothers boss, etc)

    7. No real rust of any kind and the bike has been kept indoors all of its life.

    8. It has an EZ Berg seat and no original seat. Was told this seat was put on top of the original seat pan. There is an orange sticker under the seat pan with the owners name/town written on it in pencil. I have seen pics of other bikes with this sticker so I am not sure exactly if that is relevant or not. Interested in info on seat options/sticker relation info. I sat on it and the seat actually felt super comfy so I am ok with it for now no matter the history. The seat has chaffed the paint on the tank but is not visible until the seat is raised.

    9. Luggage (Krauser?) is all clean and functional with extremely minimal "pitting" of the chrome. Straps and bungee are all in good shape. There is yellowing of the emblem on the port case and no emblem at all on the starboard. There is an indention there but no visible sign of adhesive residue so I am not sure if there should be one there or not. The son didnt know anything really about the bike.

    10. No real paper trail or records. I usually walk away from bikes like this or offer pennies on the dollar as it can be a crap shoot at best. After a quick look, this bike seems to hold up to scrutiny better than most but there is no real obtainable story as the owner is deceased and his son is not really in the know. Wish there was at least a Haines or Clymer in the toolbox or on the bench but it remains hidden atm. Only the bike can tell the story and without digging in a bit deeper, she remains a bit of a mystery. The visible appearance tells a lot... but what lies deeper in her heart? Lemons or Love? Hmmm.

    11. Tires. While they look essentially brand new, I am not sure just how old they are. We got chatty as I went over the bike and on the way home I realized I failed to look for the tire code so I will need to verify on my next ride out there (with trailer in tow)

    12. Did not hook up any electrical. I wasnt sold on the bike just yet and did not want to waste this guys time. (We both had to travel to meet where the bike was) The battery ends were clean with no visible corrosion, rust or patina creep. Again, based on the rest of my detective work, I will assume at the moment that the electrical system is sound as well.

    13. Tool kit. The storage tray and the tool kit were intact and complete along with a tin of patches and misc stuff. Always a good sign to have the kit still with the bike.

    14. The Luftmeister fairing. Love em or hate em, it is matching and clean with just a single small rub on the paint that is not bad. The liner, trim and interior are intact and in great condition with no cracks albeit a bit dusty. The windshield is decent with a slight stress line leaving one of the bolt holes. Oh, and the stalks are still there. No voltmeter or clock however. Not sure what the options were at the time. I have seen some with and some without.

    I do want to bring a battery, compression tester, circuit tester, tools with me on the next trip and dig a bit deeper but will have cash in hand so I wont feel as bad for doing so.


    So based on this info... what other concerns or thoughts do you guys have? What should I look for or dig a bit deeper into on the next trip?

    Based on this info and the pics, what kind of price would you be looking to pay.

    It is just a stock /7 so it is not an elusive unicorn. It is just a clean stock bike that looks to be adult owned and (rarely) driven.

    Thanks,
    Dub

    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,716
    Location:
    Seattle
    That’s a nice looking bike. If it was manufactured in Sept 77 then it is a model year 1978. Which means it would have EPA emissions restrictions.

    the red primer in the tank is the original tank liner.

    Don’t be fooled by clear oil on the dipstick. Over three years (or 15, for that matter), all the nasty stuff would settle to the bottom in the pan. Regardless, this guy appears to have taken meticulous care of the bike.

    I have an EZBerg for my short wheel base /5 and don’t like it at all. I run a reconditioned stock seat. I found the EZBerg to be to small of a pocket for my rear end. The LWB may affect that feeling.

    I doubt he replaced the tires after 2005 based in your story. They should be a planned replacement - same as any “barn find”.

    Luftmeiser fairing - I have a R75/6 that looks very similar to this one. I gave the fairing away to someone that “loved” it more than me.

    Paper trail - even with a paper trail that ended 15 years ago it would be a bit of a crap shoot. If the owner was around to speak with the bike likely wouldn’t be available. You’ve seen his shop, the bike, and have 2 anecdotal stories about vehicles he maintained. That should be enough to keep you in the game.
    #2
  3. brg

    brg 1977 XT500, 2000 ST1100, 1995 r100r Mystic

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Oddometer:
    711
    Location:
    southern ca
    Being the cheapest thing on an airhead is the rider, me included, I would offer $1200.00 and maybe pay up tp $1500.00 and think it would be a good deal. Looks pretty good, non original saddle and no front turn signals, not too much of an issue. I would make sure the engine isn't stuck before handing over any money though. It's always a crap shoot buying a non runner, but at 12-15 hundred i don't think you would get hurt. Keep us updated. Good luck going forward.
    #3
  4. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    If he likes the fairing it’s got turn signals.
    But I would tend to agree with you on pricing. Even a well kept non-runner will potentially have significant unknowns and sitting in a garage having the motor turned over every so often will do nothing for the external rubber bits.
    #4
  5. redlabelmoto

    redlabelmoto Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    Seattle
    #5
  6. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    5,026
    Location:
    Oaklandish
    Not a /7 expert here. But been caring for an airhead for 30+ years.

    1. Sounds like the OEM tank liner. On bikes this old, it often is falling apart. Pull the petcock and look. Sounds good though.

    2. I'd plan on replacing all the fuel lines and the carb o-rings. You should drop the bowls just to see if they were drained when it was parked. A little bit of crap is to be expected, a lot of nasty hardened goo can be a PITA.

    3. The rear boot is a common failure point. Probably some very small cracks. An inexpensive part to replace yourself, but you have to disconnect the drive shaft and getting the bolts back in is tough unless you have very skinny fingers.

    4. A good sign, but new oil and filter necessary anyway. Also plan on replacing transmission, drive shaft and rear end oil. Also plan to drain and refill the forks.

    5. The folding keys were original. New blanks are something like $35. Flat keys blanks are available at any good locksmith. Just had one made for $7.

    6. Can't date a bike by the footpegs, too easy to replace.

    7. Always a good sign.

    8. Again, if the seat is intact and comfortable, use it. Don't be too surprised if the old foam just collapses one day.

    9. Emblems can be replaced if you care. Check the on-line parts fiche.

    10. The title is the only importance piece of paper and you mentioned they have that.

    11. Anything older than 5 years should be tossed. Your life rides on it.

    12. You won't know the condition of the electrical until you fire it up and ride it. Some electrical won't start to give trouble until it heats up.

    13. Agree. Always a good sign to have the kit still with the bike.

    14. I'm not a fairing guy.

    If it has been sitting a long while, rings may stick so compression may not be great. Running it for a while can often clear that up. You might bring a few ounces of gas with you and ask if you can try starting it. Just funnel a few ounces directly into each fuel line to the carbs. Put in the battery and see if it will fire up. It may run. Expect lots of smoke, but that is okay.

    The bike is 43 years old. Expect all of the rubber parts to be bad even though the bike doesn't have that many miles. Some are inexpensive and easy to replace. Others, like the rear main seal, are significant endeavors. Check for oil around the bottom of timing cover, along the oil pan, around the pushrod tube seals. Look along the underside of the engine/transmission for leaks. If it stinks, it's gear oil not motor oil.

    With the bike on the centerstand, if you can fire up the engine shift the transmission up and down through the gears.

    Last thing I can think of is valves. I'm not sure what year BMW switched over the valve seats to ones designed for unleaded gas. I thought it was 1978. Earlier valve seats were assumed to be coated by the lead compounds to prevent wear, but unleaded gas doesn't do that. So new materials replaced the old steel seats after about 1978. Expect that at some point a valve job will be required and the seats as well as the valves will need to be replaced (added costs).

    Price? What is it worth to you? Any bike that old should be considered a project bike. The good condition just means that those parts can likely be reused.

    A friend just picked up a 1982 R100RS with 24k miles, not running, for $1000. Took a few hours and a new battery but we got the thing to fire up. Actually sounded pretty good for not having been run in a number of years. I would say the bike was in fair, not great shape.
    #6
  7. blaine.hale

    blaine.hale Long timer

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
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    You're going to be over-saturated with information here, which is not a bad thing but I think it's overthinking things. That's a great bike, for the price. Looks original and unmolested. The addition of the Krauser luggage is a big plus, in my book. You can sell those for several hundred, if you wanted to recoup price. The fairing is absolutely worthless. Not many people care for those lumps.
    So long as the motor isn't seized, you could get it back on the road very easily and very cheaply. Fluids, possible carb rebuild, cleaning and tuning.
    If this bike came up for sale around me, I'd scoop it up in a second because I could get that thing running for very little and sell it for triple in Atlanta.
    #7
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  8. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    where did you see an asking price? That is the unknown. OP is asking what to offer...
    #8
  9. blaine.hale

    blaine.hale Long timer

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    #9
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  10. UnclePete

    UnclePete Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Oddometer:
    979
    Location:
    Plumas County , CA
    Some really low numbers are being tossed around for a seemingly well cared for and properly stored bike .
    Maybe it's a regional thing , but $1500 seems like a very good deal .
    I would give the guy the cash , take the bike home , check a few things , and probably have it running the same day .
    #10
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  11. Dub_ADV

    Dub_ADV Back in the saddle again.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for all the input so far. I do appreciate the input and thoughts from everyone so far. At this point, I agree that it is a worthy project and also feel I can get her up and running without a lot of effort or expense.

    I also agree on the fairing. I like the functionality of a fairing but this thing is not really to my taste either. I would be looking for something a bit smaller and cleaner looking. I do like the "s" style and even the Vesco Rapid Transit. I will probably just take it off and run it clean for the summer.
    #11
    brg likes this.
  12. seaswood

    seaswood seaswood

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Oddometer:
    712
    Location:
    Ocean motion
    Only one way to find out, one bike I bought had new tires but many years are not good to rubber had to replace tires. If you do not mind doing your own work for all basic maintence of which I would do before getting too over excited. It will also give you better idea of what you bought.
    But a clymers of some sort of maintence manual for 1000 cc BMW 1970's motorcycles, I use mine all the time.
    #12
  13. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    Location:
    Melbourne, Oz
    This should be in your garage already. That's a good get.
    #13
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  14. brg

    brg 1977 XT500, 2000 ST1100, 1995 r100r Mystic

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Oddometer:
    711
    Location:
    southern ca
    Usually these bikes at this age will need at a minimum, a top end reseal and a RMS with a oil pump cover "O" ring, and a boot on the drive shaft, and probably a fork rebuild and steering head bearing service. All of this is well within the scope of a moderate skill level home mechanic. That's the beauty of airheads, very user serviceable. This could be done in a few weekends, for maybe $500.00 or less depending what you find along the way, rough guess. You could do it over time as your schedule permits, once sorted they are a very reliable motorcycle. Gobs of great info available here and elsewhere on the Internet. The one your looking at looks to be a great candidate and if it was near me I'd be trying to work a deal for sure.
    #14
  15. Kyle B

    Kyle B "Dirty Jobs"

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    Lost in the hills of SW VA/ Winter in SW Florida
    Pick it up and get it running. These guys just like to work on their bikes. It probably needs a battery and gas!
    #15
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  16. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer Supporter

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    Based on the photos, and the clear and specific descriptions above, you'll be fine with this bike, and it is a steal at $1500. If you pass on it, let me know!
    #16
  17. tlub

    tlub Long timer Supporter

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    I've said this to others before, but I'll repeat it. The seals in that engine may be good at first, and not leak anything. But IMHO, a bike I got like that (sat inside for 18 years, my late brother's) was pretty oil-tight for about a year, then they all pretty much let loose. Front and rear, transmission input seal too. Even if it is fine now, plan on a complete reseal in a few years.
    That being said, I think 1500 is a pretty good deal.
    #17
  18. lucky6600

    lucky6600 Long timer

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    $1500!

    I hope the OP is taking the fairing off in his garage now, along with the seat.
    #18
  19. 2ThumpinPumpkins

    2ThumpinPumpkins Been here awhile

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    Apr 18, 2017
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    359
    Dub, if you change your mind about that EZ Berg seat, send me a PM.
    #19
  20. tennessee thumper

    tennessee thumper Long timer Supporter

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    I'll echo tlub on seals. Just got a 75 90S. While it was driven with some regularity, nearly every original seal is in need of replacement.
    #20