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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.

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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.

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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

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

 

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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.

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

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


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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.

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ID plate

2014 April 11
by Dirty Fingernails

Time to stamp some new numbers on the R75/5 ID plate. The old one was just too nasty…

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Riveted to the frame.
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That Damn Steering Lock!

2014 April 10
by Dirty Fingernails

It is hard to explain the time it takes to build one of these bikes.
I totally forgot that the new BMW steering lock kit needs modifications. It was one of those jobs that should take 5 minutes and instead took over 45 minutes.
I first installed the lock and realized it wasn’t activating properly.
And then scratched my head and I remembered that I have to modify it as seen in this post:
http://beemersandbits.com/2012/07/steering-lock-install/
So here it goes.
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And then it came time to add the cover and quickly realized that it needs modifications as well.
Here is the front side of a new cover, and an old one I had cad plated:
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Here is the rear:
IMG_4192It takes a care amount of time to rout out the rear of the plate for the notch on the frame that guides the cover as you open and close it. It isn’t a perfect work of art but luckily nobody will ever see the rear of this cover.
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Powder Coating is back!

2014 April 7
by Dirty Fingernails

It is like being a kid on Christmas morning again! I love ripping the wrapping paper off these parts.

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Future Projects

2014 March 27
by Dirty Fingernails

While the R75 bits are out of my hands, it was time for a R90/6 day!
I bought two R90/6 bikes last summer from the same person. One had a title, one did not. Even though I had the title, the bike wasn’t registered since 1994 and after the North Ridge earthquake, it got parked and sat ever since.
It has a deep oil pan, lightened flywheel, dual plugged heads, beefy triple tree, fork brace, and a few other goodies.

I took it partially apart for transport to my house in my station wagon last summer:
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Once i got home, i took the whole bike apart. Then I tried to get it registered.
The DMV wouldn’t touch it because it was out of the system, so I slapped it together for a trip to the CHP.
I had the officer inspect the VIN of the other bike (without title) and he said it checks out as well.

The transmission and swingarm are empty. no carbs. no instruments. I basically had to make it look like a bike just so it could get verified.

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Then I went off to my buddy’s house to get his wrecked R60/6.
He pulled out into traffic and got hit by a lawyer in a Jaguar. The BMW cylinders saved his live. He walked away with just a scratch on his leg. On a different bike, his leg would have been crushed but the car hit the cylinder instead.
The Helmet he had on helped too.
I am going to get this looking like a bike again for him. We hope to have some fun with it in the process… we are thinking of blacking everything out, and making this a sleek, trimmed down cafe bike.

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