I bought a 1978 BMWr80/7, ex-plod. It's not my first air-cooled BMW... It had been off the road since 2006, if the roadtax and MOT certs were to be believed. I think it passed through a few hands before it got to me .. so I cannot quiz the last person to run it. It's pretty tidy and very original. I cleaned out the carbs, sorted out the perished rubber bits, evicted the electrical gremlins, rebuilt those dreadful ATE brakes, changed the alternator brushes, checked the rocker clearances and changed all the fluids and have it running, charging and lighting up. BUT. it's terribly over-advanced, if my strobe is telling the truth, and the exhausts glow red. It has the F-mark (which is the advance firing mark) up at idle and then advances way beyond that ! It's running points and it looked that the last time it was running it had a new ATU (seems new and the receipts and the date it was last on the road give it about 800/1000 miles with that) which doesn't have too much play. I cannot get the S mark (the idle mark) up statically at all, with my little bulb, and I've lengthed the points plate slots as far as possible. It just wants way more retarding .. A quick check down the plug holes reveals the OT (TDC) mark on the flywheel seems aligned when the pistons are fully out. If I remember, it's pretty tough to get the flywheel wrong by a little bit (i.e. the timing marks by a few degrees) The timing pieces have been apart a few times and I cannot see anything untoward, but I've got some new points and ATU springs in transit. It starts really easily and sounds very mechanically quiet (I previously had an R80/7 and R100/7 for about 10 years - so I'm kinda familiar with noises). I don't see any receipts in the big pile, which I got with the bike, which indicate an engine rebuild before it came off the road. It looks like some servicing last up .. but it's _possible_ it did have something serious done (timing chain ?) and someone has mis-timed the crank and cam . I've misaligned the cam/crank on a CB550, in the past, by ONE tooth and it would barely run thus I'm not enitirely convinved that ripping open the timing chest is quite needed yet as this does run. I've read snowbum, airheads and other sites, and have a lot more background. Anyone got any ideas ? is there a way to check the cam vs crank timing without pulling the front cover ?