Bamsefar needs attention (R1150GS)

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by tagesk, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    When I turned 40, and everything looked bleak, my wife (Capa della Famigla) bought me a two years old R1150GS.
    We call him Bamsefar. Here he is together with two other family members.

    [​IMG]

    The reason we ride BMW is (more or less) the same as [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]John Sutherland and his wife, Sylvia (from Pirsig):[/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica]Most touring cyclists know how to keep their machines tuned. Car owners usually won’t touch the engine, but every town of any size at all has a garage with expensive lifts, special tools and diagnostic equipment that the average owner can’t afford. And a car engine is more complex and inaccessible than a cycle engine so there’s more sense to this. But for John’s cycle, a BMW R60, I’ll bet there’s not a mechanic between here and Salt Lake City. If his points or plugs burn out, he’s done for. I know he doesn’t have a set of spare points with him. He doesn’t know what points are. If it quits on him in western South Dakota or Montana I don’t know what he’s going to do. Sell it to the Indians maybe. Right now I know what he’s doing. He’s carefully avoiding giving any thought whatsoever to the subject. The BMW is famous for not giving mechanical problems on the road and that’s what he’s counting on.[/FONT]

    Bamsefar has taken us to the most remote corners of Tuscany, on the highest passes in the Alps, on the Autostrada,
    and in general behaved very well. Now he has 80.000 km (about 50.000 miles) on the meter. He has been serviced at
    BMW Lucca every 10.000 km (6.000 miles). No complaints.

    But age is starting to take it's toll. In fact, he needs considerable more attention than fuel and service at 80.000 km.
    I can either compile a list for my dealer and let him take care of it. Or I can figure out how to deal with it myself. The
    thing is: when I stopped turning up at my regual job my boss responded ending his habit of sending the pay check.
    This means I probably can't afford having BMW to do it all. I have to turn myself from Sutherland to Phaedrus.
    Yes I really like that book.

    Here's the strategy: I've compiled a list of "issues" and how I plan to deal with them. That I hope that you, with
    your combined experience and wisom, will tell which plans that are OK, what I have misunderstood, and suggest
    better ways to deal with a particular problem. I hope this strategy is OK with you.

    We'll start with the 80.000 service. I have the "Maintaince schedule". There are two issues I don't know how to
    do (but I'll read the manual to see if it is covered): check "rear wheel bearing" and "swing arm bearing". For the
    valve adjustment I have "Oilhead Valve Adjustment for Dummies". As far as I can tell this is well within what I'll
    be able to do.

    Now, there are a list of other issues. We start with the shocks (here represented with the fron one):

    [​IMG]

    The shocks (and springs) have been with me for 80.000 km. I have been told elsewhere that by now
    they are absolutely worn out. As proof of this I offer this picture from above the rear wheel:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see the wheel has made it all the way to the top (at least once).
    There are dealers for both WP and Øhlins in town. But what type of shocks do I need? For example, l
    ook at this one. Sorry it's in Italian (I live here), but how can this be a rear shock to my GS? I have the
    wheel I turn to keep the bike levelled when the Wife climbs on-board and brings along all the suff that
    fills up the side cases when she's with me. Where is that thing on this shock, or do I attach the one I
    have?
    I don't go off-road, I don't need anything fancy, I don't need 16 ways to modify the setup as I'll never
    use it (I just want to ride, remember). On this issue some advice would be most welcome.

    A smaller issue: When it rains the water doesn't drain. The hole is visibly clogged and there is rust further down:

    [​IMG]

    When I remove the tank to get to the battery and things, can I also get to this pipe? I'll try to
    insert a thin wire to see if I can open it, but if it fails?

    Some times there is an unhealthy sound after the engines fires. As if the starter doesn't let go.
    I guess the starter is behind this plastic cover:

    [​IMG]

    I found "BMW R11xx Sticking Starter Service" by RightSpin. I'll buy a puller and then give it a try.

    Then there is this one:

    [​IMG]

    There is no heating any more on the right side (but the left one works). Can it simply be taken
    apart and then determine what to do? There is also another problem on this picture: The breaks
    are not firm. If I pump them and hold the break line with my other hand I can feel that the line
    flexes (it "grows"). This will most likely go away if I change the lines to newer ones, or what?

    Then we have these guys:

    [​IMG]

    The breaks are pulsating. The bike has fallen twice: Once due to user error and once hit by a car. For
    all I know, one of the discs (rotors you call them, I think) might not be "flat". The pads are OK. Suggestions
    most welcome.

    Finally, as you can see I have both fogs and driving lights:

    [​IMG]

    They are controlled by means of two Autoswitch so I can control them individually (the driving lights
    have double relay: One that triggers when the normal driving lights are switched on, and then one
    controlled by the Autoswitch). The fogs are always on during the day to make the bike less hard to
    spot (and avoid) in Italian traffic. In any case: I'm getting old and need more light. I'm thinking on
    wither replace (one of) the driving lights with a Hella HID or replace the original light with a Touratech HID.

    Finally: I hate this thing:

    [​IMG]

    I know there as many remedies to this as there are riders. As I'm 6'8'' I'll first try to saw off the "lip".
    It might lower the turbulence sufficient for my helmet to stay above. I'm not trying to start (yet) anothe
    thread on how to deal with this problem.

    Oh well - that's it. I guess it will keep me busy for some time to come. I solicit your comments and, always!, your advice.

    [TaSK]
    #1
  2. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    As my "thing" to remove the oil filter has vanished, and while we wait for a new one to arrive, I decided to give
    the starter a try. As you might recall, it is "sticky" (when the engine starts the starter doesn't let go and is pulled
    along for a few seconds). I used the detailed descriptions I found here and here (the latter, or a similar write-up,
    should be available in the wisdom-department).

    [​IMG]


    With my new puller, getting the ring back on was not a problem at all. At the point shown in the picture I used a flat screw
    driver and a small hammer to force it in.
    When the oil-filter thing arrives I'll change the oil and filter, and when the engine cools down I'll change the spark plugs and
    do the valves.

    I also gave the drain hole in the tank (at the top) a try, but to no avail. I filled it with solvent and managed to remove quite
    a lot of "debris". But it is still clogged. I'll look for drawings to see if I am able to get to it from within the tank in some way
    or another.

    [TaSK]
    #2
  3. databeemer

    databeemer speed

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Perth Hills, Western Australia
    I also have a R1150GS, it has done 110,000, I am still just doing the oil/filter and plugs, I have owner 8 of these "tractors" since 1979 and apart from on the older models doing the points, I do minimalist maint and have never had anything serious to repair
    #3
  4. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    How on Earth did you find the first ever post I made here on ADVrider?
    The bike is doing fine; it now has 160.000 km on it.

    [TaSK]
    #4
  5. databeemer

    databeemer speed

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Perth Hills, Western Australia
    did you do all that maintanance you spoke of?
    #5
  6. tagesk

    tagesk Tuscan rider

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Tuscany, Italy
    Yes, and more (I had a Really Dead GS).

    [TaSK]
    #6