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Torn apart and giving the engine a bath

2015 April 28
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The manual available for this bike is old, with terrible photos. So I am snapping shots of everything while I take it apart. How would this happen in the film days??? Expensively I guess…
Pixels are cheap.
More Photos to come…

Bridgestone 175 rear brake hub.  Looks like it will polish up OK.

Bridgestone 175 rear brake hub. Looks like it will polish up OK.

Bridgestone 175  rotary 2 stroke engine getting a bath in on the parts washer.  It was filthy.

Bridgestone 175 rotary 2 stroke engine getting a batch in on the parts washer. It was filthy.

Bridgestone 175HS rear sprockets.  I can't wait to clean these up.  They are a nice feature on the bike.

Bridgestone 175HS rear sprockets. I can’t wait to clean these up. They are a nice feature on the bike.

The Bridgestone 175 Hurricane Scrambler

2015 April 22
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by Dirty Fingernails
1967 Bridgestone 175 HS

I have no idea what draws us to certain bikes… but I saw this for sale, cheap, and I had to get it.  I think the toaster tank had something to do with it.    It is a 1967 Bridgestone 175 Hurricane Scrambler.

I’m waiting for a bunch of custom BMW parts (in development), that this seemed like a good place to put that antsy restoration energy.

Supposedly, Bridgestone made such great bikes that they were pressured by other Japanese motorcycle companies to stop making motorcycles, otherwise the other companies would stop buying the Bridgestone tires.


1967 Bridgestone 175 HS

1967 Bridgestone 175 HS

This bike arrived a bit rougher then I expected.  With some help of a mechanic genius at the Oshmo shop, we got it running.
It had a weak spark so I waited about a month for some parts to arrive, replaced the coils and with the help of my daughter, we got it fired up with one kick.

I have no idea why I am going to sink time and money into this bike… but she is going to get torn down for a complete restoration with some custom bits thrown in.

Stay tuned for some 2 stroke updates…

Bling Bings!

2015 April 18
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by Dirty Fingernails

I wish these were going on a bike I was building. These are for a customer who sent his engine down for a rebuild. They sure do look purdy!

Bings all polished up ready for rebuilding.

Bings all polished up ready for rebuilding.


Check out

2015 February 2
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by Dirty Fingernails

Just an update… I have 3 bikes in the works but they have been taking longer then expected.  I’m trying to customize many features vs buying the available parts out there.
And, I’ve been busy over at helping to develop some Airhead aftermarket parts that look good, and function, for customizing these old BMW’s.

Recent additions are rear sets, and top clamps…  more ideas to come!!

Black Rear Sets for 1970's BMW motorcycles

Black Rear Sets for 1970’s BMW motorcycles



Airhead Oil Change warning and other ‘used motorcycle’ purchase issues

2014 August 4
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by Dirty Fingernails

“Ran When Parked”

“Just needs gas and a tune up”

Ahhh… the phrases I am seeing in the ads when people are selling a complete hunk of crap.   I bought the last restoration candidate knowing I was going to do a full rebuild but the owner’s ad and conversations were trying to sell me on the fact that the bike could run with an afternoon’s worth of work.
WRONG.  I found all sorts of surprises when rebuilding that engine (and elsewhere throughout the bike).
The bike was an R75/5.

One issue was a deep in the engine when taking out the cam shaft.  The lobes were severely pitted rendering the cam useless.  The bike still would run but doing a complete rebuild was necessary to make this bike ‘right’.  I have a stash of spare parts and happened to have an extra cam shaft lying around. Here are some photos of the bad cam.  If you ever get this deep into the engine block (or at least have the cylinders off), take a look at the cam lobes.  If they are pitted, the lifters probably need replacing too.



Here is a simple oil filter change fault. 
If you don’t know the history of the bike, it is good to do a complete fluid change as soon as possible. When replacing the oil filter, make sure that the entire old oil filter comes out.
In this case, the gasket and end of an old oil filter were jammed into the rear of the oil filter galley. I’m assuming that an old filter got removed, those parts were left inside, and new filters were installed on top of them, thus jamming them in there even further.  It took me nearly 20 minutes to devise chopstick like tools, with hooks on the end, strong enough to pull this stuff out.


Just another reason that the used motorcycle market is overpriced on 30-40 year old machines.  Unless you know the bike has ZERO issues like this deep down inside, the cost of repairing these motorcycles is much too high compared to the asking prices these days ($4000 for an old Honda? why?).

In addition to the engine needing a rebuild, the steering bearings were rusted (which is dangerous), the splines and driving dog were almost gone on the final drive and rear wheel, and LOTS of other repairs were necessary.  Again, I planned on doing all the repairs anyway but beware of the “Just needs a battery and a tune up” ads.

Ed Korn Cycle Works Swingarm seal removal tool

2014 June 28
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Removing these seals is a frustrating process.  Prying them out usually doesn’t get you anywhere.

I bought Ed Korn’s tool a while back and it can be used for pulling both the races, and the seals.

Here is how you use it to pull the seals.

Here is the tool assembled



I first cut out some of the seal’s rubber with a razor blade.
It was easier to get the tool installed that way.




Then you tighten the threaded rod with the allen fitting at the end of it.  By doing so, it expands the nut against the screws and presses them outward so they ‘catch’ under the metal part of the seal.

Then you install the collar, plate and washer and nut.


Once you begin tightening that nut, it will pull the seal out into the collar.
You can then loosen the nut, and break the old seal free with a few taps with a hammer.




Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin rode BMWs

2014 May 2
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by Dirty Fingernails



I love this photo. Nice pair of /5 BMW’s too.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 12.13.49 PM