1. eNewsletter Sign Up

My Barn Twins

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by fxray, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. fxray

    fxray Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,445
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    ^^^I hope it doesn't offend any of the sag/preload/stiction-analysis purists, and I really do plan to check all this sometime, but so far the bike just seems to ride really well and not have any issues. I am probably just not sensitive enough, I suppose.

    My float bowls did arrive from Moto-bins, and I returned the borrowed one to James.A, not that the weather has been very conducive to riding. Thanks again, Jim!

    I messed around with the old, leaky bowls, and learned a couple of things. The standpipe tubes are 2 mm O.D., and the hardware and hobby stores around here don't seem to stock metric sizes. I turned to the supplier who rarely lets me down, McMaster-Carr, and bought four 300 mm long sticks of tube for US $4.09. I also bought some Loctite Green Threadlocker, the wicking kind, which cost about $14.00 for a tiny bottle. There was also a little bit of shipping cost, so by this point, the experiment was a bit more expensive, and I was mainly just trying to satisfy my curiosity. Still, that green Loctite seemed like a good thing to have aging on the shelf. :lol3

    [​IMG]

    Of the two float bowls that had been on my bike, one had the standpipe cracked nearly all the way around the bottom, where it joined the bowl. The other had a hairline split up one side.

    I started on the one that was cracked around the bottom and tried to drill out the old tube. I was using a 5/64" drill, which is just under 2 mm (actually 1.98 mm) in a pin vise and was making slow but steady progress. That was working, but I chucked the bit into an electric drill to speed things up. This, of course, broke the very tip off the drill, and wallowed out the hole a little.

    Figuring that float bowl was probably now in the "toast" category, I decided to try removing the rest of the brass tube with a hammer and a small, flat-ended punch of just the right diameter tip.

    [​IMG]

    That worked pretty well. The part of the hole that I had not ruined with the broken drill bit was still a light press fit for the 2 mm tubing. Based on that, I used the punch and knocked the tube out of the other bowl. Actually, I just broke the tube loose using the hammer and punch, and then pulled it out with pliers. After all this destruction, I found a write-up here, where I think his tube removal method looks like the way to go.

    {Later Edit: I tried his method on another float bowl and it works very well. It is the easiest way to extract the old standpipe without damaging the bowl.}

    The next thing was to figure how long to cut the new tubes. On all the old float bowls, my two, and the two borrowed ones that I still have, the standpipes stood taller than the top of the float bowl, but the height varied by as much as two millimeters. On the new bowls, the standpipes were flush with the top of the bowl. That makes more sense to me, so that is how I placed the new tubes:

    [​IMG]

    The standpipe needs to be tall enough that fuel will not slosh over the top and run out onto the rider's shoes, but if the tube stands above the height of the bowl gasket, the fuel is likely to leak through an aged gasket before it reaches the top of the standpipe. Of course, if the float and needle valve are working right, the fuel level should never get this high anyway.

    I measured 26.4 mm from the internal base of the tube to the top of the bowl. The housing thickness is about 7 mm, so I cut the new tubes 34 mm long. I found that a Dremel cutoff wheel was easier for this than using a small tubing cutter. I also used the Dremel to deburr the ends of the tube and then used a seal pick to make sure the I.D. was not swaged shut.

    The brass tube is a little more stout than it looks, and it did not try to buckle when I pressed in the new tubes. I did that in a vise, pressing the tube till the vise jaw touched the top of the float bowl:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then I added a drop of the green Loctite at the outer end of the tube.

    [​IMG]

    I blew a little compressed air through the tube from the other end, to make sure I had not closed the bottom end with the Loctite.

    This is not the real purpose of the Loctite 290, but reading the spec sheet, it should work just fine. Use it at your own risk. Actually, I think the press fit of the tube, without any sealant, would probably work just fine, but I did not try that.

    Talking with my machinist friend (retired like me), he suggested that if the tube winds up needing a bit more diameter to have a good press fit, it would be easy enough to tin the O.D. with some solder before pressing it in. That sounds like a good idea, but I did not try it yet.

    On the bowl that I had messed up with the drill, I cut a 34 mm length of tube and pressed it into place. Then I added a dab of JB Weld on the outside of the bowl. JB Weld is supposed to resist ethanol, but their website says, "When fully cured, J-B Weld is completely resistant to water, gasoline, and about every other petroleum product or automotive chemical. For wet-surface or submerged water or gasoline repairs, try our SteelStik or WaterWeld."

    The WaterWeld looks impressive. They say it is good for repairing fuel tanks. I may need to get some and finish this experiment.

    Here's how it worked out. I gave the Loctite and JB Weld a couple days to cure, then I put the two bowls onto a paper towel and filled them with ethanol. The one on the left is the one with the Loctite 290, and on the right is the one where I messed up the bowl and then tried to repair it with JB Weld.

    [​IMG]

    The one on the left held O.K. for several hours. The one on the right leaked immediately. You may be able to see the damp spot on the paper towel, but I emptied the fuel into my lawn mower before I took the picture. I don't blame the JB Weld for the leak -- I think it was the way I applied it and then blew air through the tube to clear it. I think the air found a tiny path around the O.D. of the tube in one spot, and blew a path through the JB Weld. I may have another go at it, or just pitch this bowl. The other one will go into the spares box.

    The bowls are different left versus right, so this spare will only work on its intended side. I'd like to fix the other one as well and have a set.

    On another note, I drained my transmission and removed the shift lever. I hear you saying, "Why didn't you just lay the bike over with its right valve cover resting on a blanket to keep the oil from running out?"

    I guess that concept is still too foreign to me, and I also thought it might be good to see what ran out of the drain plug along with the oil. There was some fuzz on the magnet, and some sparkle in the dregs of the drain pan, but nothing too serious looking. This was new oil, with less than 200 miles on it.

    I polished the seal area of the shift lever with emery cloth and then finished up with a strip of Crocus Cloth. The fresh seal seems to have stopped the drip, but I think there is still a little weeping of oil from somewhere in the vicinity. I can't tell this for sure, and I have ridden on some wet roads, so it may be road oil.

    I also got the new seal for the tool tray and had another go with the 3M Super Weatherstrip Adhesive. I think I didn't give it enough curing time before installation, and it was trying to creep back apart. I remembered that I had once cornered the market on H.F. spring clips, so I put one or two of them to use:

    [​IMG]

    It all worked out O.K., and I think I'm finally done fooling with this thing.

    [​IMG]

    I have been a member of the MOA for three years now. You do not have to own a BMW to join this national group, but the local group does require owning one. To date, they have taken my word for the fact that I had an old Airhead hidden away in my basement. They have been tolerant as I have joined in on some Sunday rides with my Honda, my Triumph, and even my Harley (I did notice some upturned noses on the Harley days). But finally, I showed up riding on an honest to goodness BMW this past Sunday! The bike got rained on while we were eating breakfast, so it is partially broken in.

    Today, the bike and I returned to the scene of the crime to visit PO#2 and the building where this barn twin sat for so long:

    [​IMG]

    I have some pictures of PO#2 posed with the bike, but will withhold them till he gives permission to post them. I also want to ride the bike over to see PO#1 and to visit the dealer who sold this bike back in 1974. That will wait till the rainy season passes.

    Meanwhile, the jugs, heads, and tappet blocks are off the '92 Harley FXRS, and are at the Powder Coating shop. I have all new valves, valve springs, and piston rings on order (because nobody stocks such things), and have a new top end gasket kit (aftermarket) on hand. It is my studied opinion that amongst all the stupid things that Harley Davidson does to try to run their company into the ground, their refusal to support bikes older than 10 years of age is the worst. Buying Harley parts is a daunting task. A lot of the aftermarket people are even more ignorant than I am, which I find sad.

    I used to own stock in Harley Davidson -- no more! I also used to own three of their bikes. I am down to one and don't know how much longer I will keep it. It is crazy that I can buy parts for 40+ year old BMW, Honda, Yamaha, and Triumph bikes, with no sweat. Trying to buy Harley parts is a whole 'nother experience.

    I had a discussion about all of this with the service manager, whom I have known for over 25 years. He told me that I was the first person who had mentioned the words "Evo" or "80 incher" or tried to buy parts for such a bike for at least a couple of years. We are not talking Shovelhead, Panhead etc, but the Evolution engine that once saved their sorry butts and kept the company alive. While there was once a waiting list to buy them, there now must be a million Harleys for sale on Craig's List. Lack of service could be one small part of the problem.

    Rant over. :gerg
    tac650, Cogswell, ME 109 and 2 others like this.
  2. jagarra

    jagarra Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Reno,NV
    Ray,

    Nice to see you are still at it, tidying up the last few bits of the restoration. I think I have a spare tray floating around if the need ever arises. On mine I don't use the rubber top seal, it has a rubber cover that snaps over the tray to keep the junk out. I have a LaPera solo HD seat on mine that I made mounts for to fit my R90/6.
    It's really nice that the European manufactures supports these models for such a long time, it makes tackling a redo on an older bike much more successful, especially getting the correct spares that were used OEM. Not to be ignored, when I have had to chase spares for some of the Kawasakis I have had, I was able to get some items from the dealer, but availability was never as good as BMW has been in my experience.
    I never knew that about the Harley support, guess that explains why I see so many 10 year old bikes with low miles on Craigslist for pretty decent prices.

    gg
  3. fxray

    fxray Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,445
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    ^^^Thanks, jagarra, but after all the cutting and fitting on this old tool tray, I'm determined to use it now. It finally fits very well. I'd be interested in pictures of your tray with the rubber cover though, and the solo seat you have. I have come to like that look on these airheads, with a rack behind the seat, or even just the bare rear fender.

    As for the Harleys, it amazes me that I used to see literally acres and acres of Evo's parked at GNC races and other events, and now there are mechanics at Harley dealerships that have never set eyes on one. Where did all those bikes go? They must all be socked away in barns and garages across America, or sent overseas in cargo containers.

    The rain finally quit today, and the roads were actually dry, but the sky still looked a little ominous:

    [​IMG]

    Actually, I think the camera misfired and took that picture on its own, but I decided to try to work it in anyway. :D

    Thursday is "Meet the Geezer Cruisers for Lunch Day". This is where a loose knit group of retired old guys ride off somewhere for lunch, often at least 100 miles from home. Only one of them is younger than me, so I call them the Geezer Cruisers. Actually, I admire guys who are still on two wheels and are in their late 70's or early 80's. I hope I can do the same.

    Today we stayed close to home. Like a kid with a new toy, I was the only one who showed up on a motorcycle. There were a few pirates hangin' out there, but I don't think they rode in either. In fact, they weren't doing much of anything at all.

    [​IMG]

    Arrrrrrgh, Matey:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I had a chilly but nice cruise around some back roads after lunch and headed for home. Here's a picture along the way, of Farm Creek. In my younger days, I used to ride my 175 Kawasaki for miles through that creek. I think it was a 1971 or 72 model, and had the air intake up under the seat. You could ride with the engine almost submerged, or so they advertised. I wouldn't have done it with the creek ripping along the way it was today. We've had a lot of rain.

    [​IMG]

    That little bike quit on me once, and of course it was where the banks were too high on both sides to get out. I remember having my carburetor somewhat apart and laid out on a flat rock with water running all around. Finally I gave up on it. My buddy back then had a 125 Suzuki, and we tied our two belts together so he could tow me out. By the time we got back to the road, the Kawi started up again just fine (of course!).

    I learned a little about troubleshooting when I took that bike to the dealer. He found the problem in minutes by letting it run in the parking lot while he squirted it here and there with a garden hose. When the water hit a particular wire on the bike, it would shut off, proving that most carburetor problems are electrical in nature.

    The R90 is doing pretty well. I still have a small oil leak on the lower left side (maybe the oil pressure sensor). It is blowing back and coating the side stand foot when I ride, but not dripping on the floor where I park the bike.

    Also, I need to adjust the float levels by dropping the bowls and measuring the fuel level. I know there is a discrepancy there from what I observed while installing my new float bowls. Also, the engine wants to cut out at higher speeds (70 mph or higher), which is a sign of misadjusted floats. I'll address that and then use the Harmonizer again.

    I enjoy riding this bike enough that I'm thinking of getting a jacket and gloves that don't say Harley Davidson on them. Meanwhile, its function over form.
    Cogswell likes this.
  4. James.A

    James.A ILL Airmarshal

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    242
    Location:
    Central ILL
    Ray, there is a way to set the float levels that does not involve measuring the fuel in the bowls. I'd be happy to demonstrate. It is the kind of operation that is not easily described in the written word, and I no longer have a picture to illustrate it. Hell, maybe we can team up for a float level setting pictorial to be shared here.
    dcoop and PapaDontPreach like this.
  5. jagarra

    jagarra Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Reno,NV
    Ray,

    Here are a few pictures of my R90 and of the seat and box/cover.
    R90B.JPG

    Bow in place with cover CoverIn Place - Copy.JPG BowwithCover.JPG CoverNumber.JPG

    I have more pictures of the mounts I made. I used only existing holes, no cutting or drilling except for one bolt for rack on fender.
  6. fxray

    fxray Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,445
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    Hi James, I'd be more than happy to discuss that with you, even though I already adjusted my float levels. I didn't find it too difficult to measure the fuel level, but would still like to know what you have in mind. I haven't tried the bike yet after this adjustment -- probably tomorrow. I am in the process of checking valve lash, head nut torque, etc. again. I'll put up something when I see how it worked out. Maybe we can talk over the weekend.

    I will say that, if Snowbum's target of 24 mm of fuel is the right target, it is a wonder my bike ran at all with the way I had it. After this reset, it may go so fast that I'll be scared to let it out.

    That turned out rather well then, didn't it? So where did you find that cover? It looks store-bought. {Edit} O.K., I see the BMW part number. I didn't know there was such a thing available. Thanks.

    With those throw-over canvas bags, what, if anything, do you use to keep them out of the wheel?

    Is that a Soft Tail rack? You have a really nice bike -- dual disc brakes up front; isn't that sort of cheating? :lol3
  7. jagarra

    jagarra Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2017
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Reno,NV
    Ray,

    Yes the rack is for a Harley. I didn't want a real BMW unit, I would have to drill 4 holes in fender, so I opted for a Harley one. Made a bracket for the front that used the fender bolts with a nutsert to attach the rack, then drilled 1 hole in fender for the rear. The bike looks Okay from about 25 feet, still in original condition with all it's scratches, rusty spokes and rust on various places on the frame, real 44 year patina.
    To keep the bags out of the wheel I made some skirt guards like there used to be on girls bike, mine is a simple L shaped unit going from the side reflector hole to one up close to the top shock mount that was handy, corner of bag is hooked to guard. I replaced those bags with some vintage leather ones last fall.
    Dual disc lowers off a 74 S model, 40mm calipers with a 16mm undertank unit, lots better than the original set up, which was really wooden feeling. Those covers, when you run the number on google, comes up for the R100 models, I bought them from my favorite BMW breaker on e-bay. Cheating to stop is OK in my book. :D
  8. fxray

    fxray Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,445
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    ^^^Thanks, jagarra. That's a good description of what you built. I appreciate the pictures. It sounds like a really well set up machine!

    I just got back from a little midnight test ride after resetting those floats. Where the bike used to run out of steam at about 75 mph, or buck and spit at a steady-state 70-ish mph, it now just rares back and launches itself from that point when I twist the throttle. It is transformed! Tonight I just wanted to see if it ran any better. Tomorrow, I'll recheck balance with the Harmonizer. If it's any better than it is right now, I won't be able to stay off the thing. :wings

    The oil leak is from the oil pressure sending unit, leaking through the body. I've read the Snowbum bit about cleaning and using wicking Loctite and JB Weld on leaky neutral switches. I suppose oil pressure switches could be done the same way.
  9. ME 109

    ME 109 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,648
    Location:
    Albury Australia
    Just jb weld. Sand it all up including the base of the terminals, everywhere you'll apply jb weld, clean, and apply jb weld.
    Where ever the loctite can get, oil will have got there first...
    Make a 'cap' of jb weld.
    'jb quick' is the four minute set that I use.
  10. James.A

    James.A ILL Airmarshal

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    242
    Location:
    Central ILL
  11. James.A

    James.A ILL Airmarshal

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2016
    Oddometer:
    242
    Location:
    Central ILL
    That rubber cover for the tool tray is a /7 and later part, although it may be an R90S part. Here's why. The contoured fuel tank from 1974 R90s and all /7's is longer than the large or small tanks from /6 and earlier airheads. The dimensional difference creates a gap between the tank and seat that allows rain running off the tank and or seat to fill the tool tray on a bike with the later style, contoured tank. On your /6 the tool tray is fitted entirely under the seat. On a /7 or R90S, the space between the tank and seat is over the tool tray. The tank is longer, the seat is shorter. This is the case for all later , twin shock airheads.

    The rear sub-frame structure places the tool tray entirely under the seat on mono-shock airheads. (not sure about R65, GS or G/S bikes)
  12. fxray

    fxray Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,445
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    ^^^Good explanation, James. Thanks for filling in the gaps in my knowledge of these old bikes.
  13. Disston

    Disston ShadeTreeExpert

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Oddometer:
    15,891
    Location:
    Silver Spring, Md
    Float bowl problems are not really the most common. They happen but not a lot and not to every bike. Most float bowls go thru life never having a leak. So just saying an extra bowl or two can sit on the shelf for a long time before you will need it. It is tho a good spare because when you need one you need one. I have a single spare. Have had it for 15 years. Not sure anymore which side it is.

    This is how I adjust float level. I turn off the petcocks and remove the float bowls, being careful to not spill the gasoline in the bowls I eyeball the levels to see that they a close. Each bowl will be about half full. Then I put the bowl back on one side and lift the float with my finger on the other side and turn the gas on on one petcock. I lower the float I'm holding with my finger a check that the gas stops flowing when the line on the float is level with the edge of the carb body. I perform this test on each side.

    To adjust the float level use a screwdriver inserted from the rear to bend the metal part that contacts the float needle. Twist the screwdriver to make adjustment. Or push up on tab if adjustment needs to be made the other way. Here's the important part, the floats are held in place and pivot on a small rod. Careful to not bend the float pivot rod when making adjustments.

    The float pivot rod is knurled on one end and this feature makes for a tight fit in the stanchions where they sit. The knurling can be worn or the tiny holes in the stanchions can be enlarged so the rod isn't firmly held in place. If the rod comes out and moves to one side the float can get hung up. The rods, holes and stanchions all have a part to play and need to be in proper working order.

    If the float rods need to be removed it is important to make sure they are punched out in the direction that sees the rod knurling not be passed through both sides. The knurling will enlarge the holes making for a loose fit that can come out when riding causing a hung up float.

    I could go on but that is enough for now. Maybe you got all this stuff already but I get carried away.
  14. washpark

    washpark Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Park City, UT
    Oil pressure sending unit is about $10.00 from EME. The new ones are clean and shiny like everything else on your bike. I just bought one to replace the VW bug one I bought four years ago at AutoZone when I could not wait two days to get the bike running.
  15. fxray

    fxray Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,445
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    Thanks washpark. I have an oil pressure switch on order from Moto-Bins. I wasn't so much trying to dodge buying a new one as I was wondering if the typical new one is also a leaker without the JB Weld treatment. Snowbum says on his page that he won't bother to put in a neutral switch without doing the JB Weld bit. Maybe the pressure switches are better quality. If not, they are at least easier to access.

    It sounds like you got a good one, anyway.

    disston, when I had my carburetors apart for cleaning and rebuilding, I set the (new) floats with the line on the float parallel to the gasket surface on the carburetor body. My problem with this is that even if the float is positioned perfectly, you don't know where the fuel level will end up. Different floats have different densities, etc. If you measure the fuel level directly, then you know.

    It's pretty easy to just measure the depth of the fuel, as per the Snowbum page. With the petcocks shut off, I dropped one bowl and measured the depth with my vernier caliper. The probe is small enough that it doesn't displace much fuel volume. I measured by touching the tip to the floor of the round part at the bottom of the float bowl. Then I slid the body of the caliper down till it just touched the top of the liquid. It's easy to tell when it first touches because a meniscus forms against the body of the caliper. Here's picture where the body of the caliper hasn't yet touched the top of the liquid.

    [​IMG]

    That first "as found" measurement was mostly for curiosity sake. After I measured the depth, I dumped the bowl of fuel into the gas can. Then I held the bowl in place on the carburetor, without bothering to fasten the bail. I turned on the petcock and gave it enough time to fill the bowl and for the needle to shut off the flow. Then I shut off the petcock, removed the bowl, and measured again.

    Snowbum recommends a depth of 24 mm for the 32 mm Bings, and 28 mm depth for the 40 mm carburetors. I have 32 mm carbs, so my target is the 24 mm depth (assuming he is correct).

    What I found was 19.5 mm depth on the LH carburetor, and 15.0 mm on the RH side. So, not only were they both way too low, they were mismatched side to side.

    I couldn't believe the actual measurements were so different. I swear they looked perfectly level when I eyeballed the line on the side of the float:

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, the floats were seating the needle when the fuel level was still too low, so the tab that pushes the needle was too high. I didn't disturb the pivot pins; I just reached in with a small pair of needle nose pliers and pinched the tab down. Then I measured again. It took about 5 tries to get the RH side set to 24 mm. Actually, it came to 24.4 and I called it close enough. The other side was easier.

    Each time, I was dumping the gas into the gas can, holding the bowl in place, filling, measuring, etc. It is really pretty quick and easy to do, and the measurement is very repeatable.

    I ran the top end again, checking head torques and valve lash, and did some other fooling around. Before I realized, it was right at midnight, but I had to have a test ride to check out these carburetors. I figured I could also test my headlight again, so I put on a helmet and gloves and headed out of town.

    What a difference. Where it used to stumble and fall on its face at speed, now I could twist the throttle and it would just launch. Now if I can learn to stay out of the throttle. :augie

    I rode the bike to the MOA group breakfast today, and won't say how fast those boys were going at one point. Let's just say that if I hadn't reset the floats they would have run off and left me. They didn't. :deal
    spo123, ME 109 and bpeckm like this.
  16. Geezerrv

    Geezerrv Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    Oddometer:
    577
    Location:
    MO Ozarks
    Glad you're down to riding and having fun now!
    fxray likes this.
  17. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,929
    Location:
    Road Island
    I rode the bike to the MOA group breakfast today, and won't say how fast those boys were going at one point. Let's just say that if I hadn't reset the floats they would have run off and left me. They didn't. :deal


    Yeehaw! These engines love to rev, even though they feel so torque-y down low. It's just a fun run up the scale!!!

    :1drink
    fxray likes this.
  18. washpark

    washpark Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Oddometer:
    74
    Location:
    Park City, UT
    Getting the r90 ready for the road today when I noticed the front brake light switch was not working. It appears to be a problem with the switch at the end of the master cylinder. Snowbum says we can use VW part number SL143 from NAPA for $13.26 or I could order one from BMW for $32 plus shipping. So I am getting rid of one VW Bug part and installing another.
    fxray likes this.
  19. fxray

    fxray Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1,445
    Location:
    Illinois, USA
    washpark, that's one more of those 1974 one-year-only sort of things. Although I have the first year UTMC, my front brake light switch is the /5 style switch up on the handlebar. My master cylinder is just solid cast iron where your switch is screwed in.

    On my Triumph, the brake light comes on with the front brake only if I step on the rear brake at the same time. There is only one switch, and it is on the rear. I think that's mostly what the rear brake is there for, because aside from turning on the brake light, it doesn't do much else.

    How similar are the VW and the BMW oil pressure switches? I'm curious why you didn't just keep using the VW one if it was working?

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

    Geezerrv and bpeckm, thanks for your comments. I still have to pinch myself sometimes to see if I am dreaming, or if this old bike is really finally back on the road.

    I remember about four years ago, my wife went over to the barn with me to look at this old bike. I got her to sit on the seat with me while I made vroom vroom noises. She said it wasn't too uncomfortable, but not to even think about dragging it home.

    Fast forward to today, and she finally went for her first ride on the pillion seat. She was uncomfortable without anything behind her to keep her from falling off, so we went back home and I got out the old Reynolds back rest. In only a couple of minutes it was reinstalled and was giving her that false sense of security that she craved, so we went back out for a little bit longer ride.

    She asked me why I didn't just leave it on there all the time. I told her that with only four little bolts, it transformed the bike from rather sporty looking to rather geriatric looking.

    "Oh," she said, "you mean like us?"

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I guess it isn't terrible, but it will probably be on there only when she is planning to ride. It does look like it would work to tie on a pack or a tent and keep it in place though.

    She declared this bike more comfortable than the Harley, mainly due to the width of the seat.
  20. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,929
    Location:
    Road Island
    Aaah.... the seat back!

    Behold a picture of me giving my mother a ride on a friend's /5 with that same seatback.....
    [​IMG]

    It was Mothers Day, I think the year she turned 80 (?). Her father was a DDS who worked in the ER and absolutely forbid her to ever ride even a bicycle! So I talked her into a ride on the back of the bike, and as my Dad said... "not sure if that's pure terror or pure joy...." Bless 'em, my Dad's about to turn 97 and my Mom just turned 90.
    spo123, thirsty 1, Bigger Al and 6 others like this.