That Damn Steering Lock!

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:
So here it goes.

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:
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.

Future Projects

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:

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.



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.




A quick look at Siebenrock pistons for a R75/5

These piston and cylinder kits seem to be the rage right now. I used one on the last build and had very little problems aside from the pushrod seals being extremely difficult to install.
The pistons are made to mate with the R75/5 heads and you can use the same carbs (might need to change jetting).

Here is a quick look at the piston and how it compares to a stock R75/5 piston that i have lying around.


It is a lighter, yet wider piston. The piston on the right has the rings on it still. The siebenrock doesn’t have the rings on it.


I didn’t measure heights when i snapped this photo but they seem close.

The piston in the cylinder. The cylinder wall is very thin compared to a R75/5 cylinder.

I haven’t heard of any issues with these yet. Supposedly they give you a 20% gain in power… so that makes it around 900cc.
I’m pretty sure they are cheaper then replacement BMW parts too.

Cutting up perfectly good BMW parts

This breaks my heart every time I do this…. but it’s gotta be done.

This fender has been kicking around my garage for years from an old parts bike. It has some rubber paint on it so it has been preserved really well, but it is something I would never use on a restoration. It is ugly and the work needed to remove the rubber coating and restore it isn’t worth the trouble. It kills me to cut a solid fender up but I need a donor fender and this one was lowest on my totem pole.
The piece I will make will get trimmed down from this but the first cut hurts the most.


And, the bike I am building came with a set of /5 headlight ears without reflector holes. A rare breed. It saves me the trouble of trying to source a set. But cutting a set breaks my heart. It’s gotta be done for the upper triple plate modification.



Resurrection time! Another Cafe Build!

After the silver cafe bike left my hands for North Dakota, I started up a few projects for myself.
I have been receiving the occasional email from people asking me to build them a bike. I thought one of them was a total scam and after a handful of emails, a phone call and eventually a deposit to buy a bike, it turned out to be legit. The reason I thought it was a scam? This guy is in Israel! This makes North Dakota seem like small potatoes!
He wants a bike very similar to Shane’s silver bike so I’m excited to quickly repeat the process after taking so long troubleshooting and designing Shane’s bike.

I have no idea how we are going to ship his bike but we’ll figure that out when the time comes.

I found a R75/5 donor bike a few hours away and it is one of those bikes that I like to restore. It died years ago and needs new everything. The bike’s owner wants it completely brand new so that is what he’ll get. A dead bike that has been made brand new again. It would break my heart to tear apart a running bike so I am happy to resurrect this old gal and get another airhead on the road again.


The right side head is trashed. Exhaust threads stripped and broken fins. The headlight bucket has an extra hole or two in it that will have to be filled.
Oddly I found that some tanks fit this bike and others do not. I have never experienced tanks that scrape the frame near the seat but it turns that there were variances in frames and tanks back then. I sourced a toaster tank with side panels and emblems and luckily it fits. A few tanks I have in the garage do not. Who knew?
The sub frame was the wrong style so I sourced the correct one (SWB with tabs).
New exhaust has been ordered among many other goodies from Boxermetal and BoxerCafe.
Time to get started!