Resurrecting a R100RT

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by nevada72, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,011
    Location:
    The Good Land
    Not long ago I was cruising social media and I saw someone's post - "Where's a good place to sell vintage bikes?" I wasn't in the market so I mentioned a few resources. It took maybe 5 seconds after posting those up that I decided maybe I'm in the market after all. So the next question - "What are you trying to sell?" Turns out a couple of old BMWs - one of which was an 83 RT (other was a clapped out K75). You all know the next question. Suffice it to say that the answer was as such that I hooked up the trailer and went and fetched it.
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    It wasn't quite as described. It was a non-runner and had been tin this state for 4 years. The owner had essentially aged out of riding and let it sit. I checked the usual stuff and at least he did the right things with the tank and carbs, so I haggled a bit (to make him feel good) and split.

    Back at the garage -
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    Yeah......I know.....the blacked out stuff looks sucky. I figured it was a spray bomb job and I could get it sorted easily enough. I was half right.
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    They looked like hell under all that Krylon. So I had them powder coated. I'm not trying to make the bike look 100% original, just a close approximation. I also had the discs done. A local wrench/perfectionists put a lot of effort into those discs, which cost me more than the powder coating. Guess I should have asked first. But he does beautiful work. It's just out of context with the rest of the bike.
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    New rubber of course. Pretty much a given on almost any vintage bike. The battery was actually decent though.

    more coming......
    #1
  2. nevada72

    nevada72 Milwaukeeish

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,011
    Location:
    The Good Land
    I wrote this out of sequence. The wheels were actually the last thing I did. Up to this point the bike was a non-runner and I was operating on faith that the guy that sold it to me was being truthful. I knew it turned over, had spark and compression, so I was hopeful. But, when buying a non-runner I always want to make sure the bike will be worth the money spent past getting it running. I had the same guy that did the wheels do the carbs. The diaphragms were toast. and I suspected that the floats could use replacing so I went to the local BMW shop, handed him a wad of cash, and left with all the soft parts to do the rebuild. That shit is not cheap! Per his usual standards, the carbs came back looking like brand new. I figured if the bike had other issues making it not worth saving, I could sell the sweet looking carbs at least.
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    Sure enough, once the carbs attached and (clean - more later) fuel added, the bike fired up. It was pretty rough which wasn't surprising it had sat for 4 years at least. So I shut it down, curiosity satisfied, and set upon other tasks, otherwise known as spending more money in the form of fresh fluids for everything and an air filter.

    After all the fluids were changed and the air filter replaced, I set the valves. I brain farted it the first time and once started, the bike sounded like a Sanka can full of loose nuts and bolts falling down 20 flights of stairs. I opened everything back up, and sure enough, I had the right bank valves set at about 1/8th inch. :D I redid that to Snowbum spec's .004 and .008 intake/exhaust and went to start it. It did not want to start. Eventually it did, but damn......it was a lot of effort. So I went back and did some research. I read that loosening the valves a bit to .006 and .010 could help cold starting. So off came the valve covers once more. I was actually getting good at holding that little washer and nut on the tips of my fingers and swearing was now reduced to mild turrets levels when putting the valve covers back on. Tried it again and boom - started right up. A little noisy, but that is to be expected especially with the RT fairing bouncing all that sound around.

    At this point I felt good about a short cruise through the neighborhood. I let it warm up a bit and noticed that the fairing and windshield shook like a wet dog. The sound of that along with the somewhat rough running motor noises and uncharacteristically loud exhaust induced a look of disdain form the lovely Cheryl who was watching the spectacle from the deck. Undaunted, I headed down the driveway. The neighbors were looking too. The bike really did sound like shit.

    Cont...
    #2
    Jim K in PA and cafe that like this.