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skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
Joined: 11/25/2016
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Last month I finally picked up the bike of my dreams ... a 1975 R90S. It was a one owner bike purchased from the Mid West with 65K miles on it. As far as I can tell it's all original with a couple of upgrades to include an electronic ignition, dual plugs and several frame and front end modifications. It is rider and runs strong. It doesn't smoke. Everything appears to be fine.

My intention is to take the bike apart, go through it as much as I can then restore it. This is going to be a rider not a show bike so I want it to perform as well as look original. The plan is to change it from Silver/Grey to Daytona Orange.

So, this blog is to document what I do to the bike step by step. Im open for suggestions as well as criticism on anything/everything Im doing. Some will say leave it alone and ride it. I understand but if Im going to ride this bike I want to know everything is up to date and safe. If Im going to take it completely apart why not powder coat the frame, take care of some of the rust and make it look like it was brand new.

The bike came with a detailed maintanance book. Most of the services and modifications were documented. To confirm the last service I went through the bike and discovered all of the fluids and filters were new and/or fresh. That made me very happy. Now its time to get to work looking at the rest.

Let the journey begin.

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wa1nca
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VBMWMO #8374
Ashfield Ma.
Joined: 09/27/2012
Posts: 358
Great winter project

Enjoyed your last restoration on your r/60

Make sure you don't put any part upside down and that all the bolts are tight

Good luck with your new bike

Tommy

My new project
67 Sears Allstate 250
Puch made in Austria
Moto Giro fun ride

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Tommy Byrnes
54 R51/3 55 R50 64 R27 68 R69US 68 Sears Allstate 250 (Puch)

skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
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Timing chain

Since the bike has 65K miles on it the first thing we noticed was a noisy timing chain. So .... after a call to Capital Cycle we started going into the front of the bike to replace the chain.

Overall everything looked pretty good. The chain was WNL but loose and needed to be changed. We also discovered the plug wires from the coils were not "crossed" to each cylinder. Both wires from each coil went to the same cylinder. Easy fix.

Going into an unknown engine the first time is kind of scary. So far so good.

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skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
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restoration

wa1nca wrote:

Enjoyed your last restoration on your r/60

Make sure you don't put any part upside down and that all the bolts are tight

Good luck with your new bike

Tommy

Tommy ..... thanks for looking in. Restoring that R60/2 is what started all of this. Im addicted but its a lot of fun and I learn sooooo much in the process. I need a new hobby when I retire in 3 years. I think found it.

I promise I will check every bolt and direction on this build.

wa1nca
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VBMWMO #8374
Ashfield Ma.
Joined: 09/27/2012
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Im addicted

I know
This is my 5th bike
Not a BMW but it was my Dads and found it after 22 years storage

I thought I might be bored after retirement but now find I seem to create more and more projects
Wish I could posts more on this bike but this site is for BMW's
Tommy

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Tommy Byrnes
54 R51/3 55 R50 64 R27 68 R69US 68 Sears Allstate 250 (Puch)

khittner
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VBMWMO #8223
Joined: 02/15/2012
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I would paint, and not

I would paint, and not powdercoat, the frame. It's your bike, and your "rider", but paint, while more easily damaged, is correct and more easily repaired than powdercoating.

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Konrad

skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
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paint

khittner wrote:

I would paint, and not powdercoat, the frame. It's your bike, and your "rider", but paint, while more easily damaged, is correct and more easily repaired than powdercoating.

I understand/respect your point about keeping it "correct" but its not going to be a show bike. Its going to be a rider. I painted the frame on my first total restoration (Honda CL350) and it looked great but its just not as durable as powder coating.

Can the average person really tell the difference looking at a restored bike if its frame is painted or powder coated?

Twocams
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The average person isnt going

The average person isnt going to care if you painted or not. And frankly I wouldnt care if no one liked the powder coating. But im 68 now and dont give a ratsass what people think of a lot of stuff. If I like it or you like what you have done thats all that counts anyway. I think what other people think is over rated anyway. And all this thinking is hurting my brain now. IMHO

twocams

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69 R69S 03 K1200GT
92 R100RT

skychs
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Advice

Twocams wrote:

The average person isnt going to care if you painted or not. And frankly I wouldnt care if no one liked the powder coating. But im 68 now and dont give a ratsass what people think of a lot of stuff. If I like it or you like what you have done thats all that counts anyway. I think what other people think is over rated anyway. And all this thinking is hurting my brain now. IMHO
twocams

That was great !!

I understand. There is a ton of crap to consider but I have to be open to "all" suggestions. Unfortunately the color scheme (Dayton Orange) and having the frame powder coated decisions have already been made.

When I posted my R60/2 rebuild I can't tell you have valuable the input was in determining what-when-where every nut and bolt went. Im looking for the same input here and Im open to any suggestion no matter how big or small. I could not do one of these restorations without the help from this group and others so I am very grateful.

Now my brain is hurting just thinking about all I have to do ...... Smile

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Yes this is a great group of

Yes this is a great group of people. They have helped me out several times. And lots of help on my engine rebuild on my R69S.

twocams

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69 R69S 03 K1200GT
92 R100RT

skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
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R90S

With the timing chain in ...... (wow, its quiet now) ..... its officially time to start taking the bike apart. Everything came off without any issues except the front fairing. It apparently need some special attention so I worked around it. Since I don't have a maintenance manual yet I will search the internet later this evening.

The fenders, tank and side covers are actually in very good shape. The seat panel is the worst in regards to fading but so far I can't find anything wrong with anything. The new body was supposed to come in today but the gentleman Im buying it from had to take his dog to the vet. My fingers are crossed it will all be in my garage by tomorrow afternoon. Im really looking forward to the Daytona Orange.

So .... a couple photos from today.

Edit .... the fairing is off. It took some pulling but its off. Overall its not in very good shape.

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skychs
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Restoration

Time to reflect .....
I kind-of know whats in a total restoration. I did frame up restorations on a CL350, a CL77 and a 67 R60/2. As Im taking this R90S apart Im noticing one big difference .... a huge electrical system. Wires here. Wires there. Wires everywhere and its a little intimidating.

Do I jump right in and just go for it or am I in over my head? It can't be that complicated can it?

Twocams
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As you take the wires off

As you take the wires off mark them where they came from. I like using the blue painters tape. But also there are the round card board circles with the string attached to write on. Take lots of pictures/buy a box of zip lock bags. Have fun its not a race......or is it. I took 2 1/2 yrs to do my R69S but I was working part time and needed that money to do mine. S Security check was for other things.

twocams

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69 R69S 03 K1200GT
92 R100RT

khittner
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An R90S is more complicated

An R90S is more complicated than your earlier projects. Electric start, more instruments, more lights, warning lights, safety features (low hydraulic fluid, oil pressure, clutch/ignition interlock, etc.), and more electrical infrastructure to make that all happen. And that's before any aftermarket farkles, "improvements", or 40 years of possible PO "make-do/good-enough" fixes have been found. Your bike certainly looks like it's in nice shape and has been well cared for, but there may be some things in its maintenance history that'll need to be undone or re-done to return it to reasonable reliability. And, besides, it's all 40+ years old, and a lot of it may be about due/overdue for replacement "just because". Can you do it? Sure. And the reality is that, unless you're inclined to pay some pretty decent money to one of the few specialists who've been around since that bike was new, and who have retained/obtained real working expertise in the arcane techniques necessary to make/keep these things running optimally, you're going to have to do it. The local roundel-equipped "unit-mover" may be a source for parts (and the value of the marque's continuing commitment to keep parts for these things in a supply chain really can't be understated), but your bike is older than nearly everyone at that dealership, and keeping your bike operating probably isn't a metric that matters much to them.

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skychs
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Body work

Thanks guys ...... Looks like Im going for it. I have all winter to complete the project.

PLUS ....... today some inspiration arrived. A complete set of painted bodywork parts. OMG. I can not believe the quality of this guys work here in Richmond VA. Unbelievable !!!

The old bodywork is now officially for sale.

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khittner
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That's going to look very

That's going to look very nice. The painter knew smoking and striping details. Is this Holt, or someone else?

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skychs
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painter

Sonny Naylor in Glen Allen VA. It takes him awhile but the wait is worth it. Considers it an art which it really is. He is the go to custom motorcycle painter here in Richmond when it comes to the R90S.

http://www.naylorfinishes.com/index.html

skychs
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Progress

I had a good day yesterday and today. The bike is down to the engine and frame. The electrical harness was a mess but its out. Im going to leave everything in the headlight bucket for now. No real issues to speak of. I found one little crack in the frame around the rear brake pedal assembly. It should be an easy fix.

The engine should come out Saturday when I can get some help. Until then I will drop off the swing arm to have the bearings, seals and final drive removed.

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Twocams
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That will be a Kool bike when

That will be a Kool bike when you get done. Is that where the master cylinder is going to stay under the gas tank? I know thats where BMW put it.

twocams

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69 R69S 03 K1200GT
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skychs
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Brakes

Twocams wrote:

That will be a Kool bike when you get done. Is that where the master cylinder is going to stay under the gas tank? I know thats where BMW put it.
twocams

Unfortunately that is where BMW designed it to go. The gas tank is so easy to remove it’s really not a problem. The only issue I see is brake fluid dripping on the main frame. As you know brake fluid is toxic and eats things like paint. The worst area for corrosion and rust was below that reservoir. After it’s cleaned up and powder coated I’d like to find something to wrap the frame below the reservoir to keep that from happening again. Anyone have any ideas.

Edit ..... the wire harness also runs underneath that reservoir. Now that was bad engineering.

skychs
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Progress

Its been a busy morning. Tear down is officially complete. The engine came out of the frame today so now its time to go over the frame and look for issues. So far the only crack I see is around the rear brake assembly hole. Easy fix with a good weld.

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Jim K in PA
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Pocono Mountains, PA
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Cracks

That's a common spot for cracks. Check the subframe too. Up on the cross brace near the seat locking pin.

You're making great progress!

Jim K

1975 R90S sidecar rig (heavily modified)

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Pocono Mountains, PA
1966 R60/2

skychs
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inspection

Jim K in PA wrote:

That's a common spot for cracks. Check the subframe too. Up on the cross brace near the seat locking pin.
You're making great progress!
Jim K
1975 R90S sidecar rig (heavily modified)

We went over the frame and sub frame very closely and the only crack we saw was the one near the rear brake assembly. Easy fix. We also had to weld back in the side kickstand peg. When we pulled the engine the darn thing just fell out. No wonder it was so flimsy on the side stand. I will probably end up with a Brown side stand.

skychs
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Powder coat

Yesterday I dropped all the parts to be powder coated at the shop. Frame, sub frame, battery box, center stand, swing arm, luggage rack and both ears. Im trying a new shop this time. Was quoted $300 for everything. From my experience thats a good price.

Question ......
When I took off the stem ID plate there was an H O stamped into the frame. Does anyone know what that is?

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schrader7032
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San Antonio, TX
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Frame made by Hans Obermeier?

Frame made by Hans Obermeier? Laughing

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'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

skychs
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Progress

Last week I got into the front end. What a mess. The fork seals looked ok but the bushings in the bottom were broken or missing all together. The bottom of the shock was also full of muck and in desperate need of cleaning. Apparently the PO added an extra spring to the bottom of the shock. Im not sure why but that may be one of the reasons for the hard ride. A complete rebuild is on order here.

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skychs
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Frame

The frame came home today from the power coater. For the $300 price and the initial inspection everything seems to be very nice. The only sloppy work I can see so far is on the saddle bag racks and thats not too bad. Overall, very happy.

First order of business is getting the drive shaft back in the swing arm then its time to rebuild. Let the fun begin.

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Jim K in PA
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Looks great! Those springs

Looks great!

Those springs are period accessory "anti-dive" springs. I also see you have a reinforced swingarm. Both are possibly from San Jose BMW/CC products.

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Pocono Mountains, PA
1966 R60/2

skychs
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parts

Jim K in PA wrote:

Looks great!
Those springs are period accessory "anti-dive" springs. I also see you have a reinforced swingarm. Both are possibly from San Jose BMW/CC products.

Jim ..... you are correct. The swingarm was modified at San Jose BMW back in the day. No entry in the logbook so I can't say when but it does reference the shop several times.

The anti-dive springs were installed 6-2-1985 at 33,550 miles along with a fork brace. IMHO the ride was horrible. Very stiff. The plan is to remove the anti-dive springs and install some nice Progressive springs with a 5-10 weight oil.

I havent forgotten about you regarding the bodywork. A local mechanic is looking at the parts tomorrow.

Jim K in PA
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Fork brace

I guess the fork brace was removed at some point? The pictures above show the stock stainless steel unit.

Depending on your weight, consider stock replacement fork springs. The progressives can be stiff too.

No worries on the parts.

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Pocono Mountains, PA
1966 R60/2

skychs
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forks

Jim K in PA wrote:

I guess the fork brace was removed at some point? The pictures above show the stock stainless steel unit.

Depending on your weight, consider stock replacement fork springs. The progressives can be stiff too.

No worries on the parts.

The fork brace was sill on the front end when I rolled it into the garage. Right now the plan is to leave it off and see how the front end handles. If it wonders all over the place I will reinstall it to see if there is a difference. Im getting new IKON's for the rear. Not sure about the front yet.

Jim .... all the parts went local yesterday. I appreciate all the help/input. If your ever in this area please stop by and say hello.

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skychs
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Rolling chassis

The swing arm came back from the mechanic with the drive shaft installed so the rear end is back together. The front forks are in. I now have a rolling chassis.

The last photo is a tool I picked up this week. I wasn't too sure how it would work but I have to say it works well.

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khittner
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Your aftermarket fork brace

Your aftermarket fork brace is a Telefix. Opinions may vary, but some seem pretty confident that the devices tend to engender more fork stiction than anything else. The /6 and /7 airheads' forks and frames are pretty "flexible-flyer-ish" from the get-go, and these reportedly didn't do much to change/improve that. The PO of one of my 90S bikes had installed one, and I thought it rode badly; removing it (and selling it to the first "go fast" wannabe) improved the ride on my bike, FWIW.

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Fork brace

Thats what Im thinking as well. Im not racing the bike. I doubt I will need all the extras the PO installed. A good set of springs on the front and IKON's on the back should make it a sweet ride.

skychs
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photos

Im sorry. I had to do it. Once it became a rolling chassis I had to grab the tank to see what its going to look like. I just sat there and looked at it for several minutes with a huge grin on my face. Im really starting to enjoy this build. Im sure the grin will be gone when I start on the electrical system. Smile

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rayburtappraisal
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Warrenton VA
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Looks Great!

Do you mind if I peek over your shoulder on this? My 76 R90S has been sitting in the garage with the front end off for the past two years. Started to work on the front forks, then "stuff happened" and it has been collecting cobwebs ever since. Trying to pick up where I left off and your progress to date has been very helpful.

skychs
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forks

rayburtappraisal wrote:

Do you mind if I peek over your shoulder on this? My 76 R90S has been sitting in the garage with the front end off for the past two years. Started to work on the front forks, then "stuff happened" and it has been collecting cobwebs ever since. Trying to pick up where I left off and your progress to date has been very helpful.

The fork gaters just came in so I have to pull the front end one more time. How can I help you. More photos? If so ... what specifically?

ksiemon
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Observation /

Observation / Comments...........

Looks like your "kickin but" on your project! Great work so far! I know this is your first /6 and "S". I don't know if your trying for a spot on resto or just putting back as you got it. And I may have missed your comments on other posts. You have a aftermarket top triple clamp, and also a newer braced swing arm. These were a popular and unnecessary "Handling Upgrades" done in the 70's. The same with the fork brace add-on. If your vintage racing.......then yes, it'll help. Also the "S" and "RS" bikes never had gators, but a lot of BMW guys liked the looks. If you like your mods, then buy all means keep them, It's your bike! Duel plug heads same thing. In the day they helped with "detonation" when premium leaded went away. The other mod they did was to put a /6 base gasket in to lower compression. Mine still has points and single plugs, stock compression and runs fine on todays fuel. Koni shocks were to stiff for me. (I was like 150lb in the day) so I just ran stock stuff. I did use them on my 79 RS when riding two up and they worked great. Gave them to a friend who needed a set. And yes there are plenty of springs out there to fit your needs. Running stock stuff now.I do like the shock covers. Check your throttle cables where they run in the elbows coming off the carbs. They rub there and will break. Mine was made into a R45S in 79 in Florida. I do like the looks of the elbows. All you can get from BMW is a straight carb top nipple and cable to fit. Moto-Bins in the UK has the ones for yours if you need to replace. If you have the $$ just get a new master cylinder from Moto-Bins. Mine finally gave it up last year. I did rebuild it but still has the old tank (reservoir) I checked every where for one, none to be had. Should have just got the whole unit new. I love that it was covered under the fuel tank. All the racer ass's bitched in the day there was "no feel" because of the cable. Again more BS. I also have a K100 I purchased new. About 4 years ago the front master cylinder took a crap. Guess where the fluid went? on the painted radiator shroud. My 43 year old S and 39 year old RS all good, as far as paint damage, no free lunch! My seat finally needed over-hauled
and got a base and foam from Two-Valve. The cover came from Meyer in Germany. If your mirrors are shot like mine were ( it got all fogged out) plus blasted buy the miles, Meyer also has curved Bumm ones. 89 euro's each.

Wish you the best! You'll love it when done. And all motorcycle people love the "S" bikes. They were really ahead of there time!

The biggest Modification I ever wanted for my S.... I got in 1995.........The God Damn 55 MPH speed limit repeal!

skychs
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R90S

Ksiemon .....

Thanks for all the input. I learn a little bit more every day.

This restoration is for one purpose .... (ok, maybe two) .... it’s to restore a vintage bike back to its original condition “and” make it a daily rider. I’m not going to race it or enter it into any fancy show. I’m going to ride it, admire it and take it to the local bikes nights for fun. The extra modifications were a sign of the time but to be honest, the ride sucked. My /2 rides better. I can’t do anything with the reinforced swing arm or the dual plugs but the triple clamp and fork brace are probably coming off.

I’m 200+ so the new Koni shocks should be fine. The throttle cables have already been upgraded and the bike has an upgraded electronic ignition. In regards to the front master cylinder the plan is to rebuild it and hope for the best. Oh, I’m getting a new seat from Sargent and the original mirrors need some paint but are in great shape.

I hope that addresses everything. I can assure you it will enjoy most of its life over 55 mph.

ksiemon
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More......

The most important thing as you know..... is..... make it yours! Didn't want to bum you out, just make it the way you want. If you change
the top clamp your going to need new (used) head light ears. They were cut down to install the top clamp. The stock clamp is less than a 1/4 thick and is steel. There are some on ebay now. It'll be $100 (ears) $20 clamp. The other stuff can also be changed if you want down the road. Swing arms with shafts are cheep. All /6 bikes used the same. Just plug your lower spark plug hole, go back stock. Now if your "S" road like crap, and a bike that was designed in the 50's rides better than one in the 70's.... both ends are screwed up! Stiff aftermarket springs, too heavy oil in the forks. much the same in the rear. Those aftermarket fork braces did mis-aline / bind the fork travel. The previous owner (or mechanic) when changing the clamp, swing arm screwed with the bearings. The swing needs centered in the frame and the bearings torqued to the correct spec. Same on the front end. If you don't get the steering head torqued correct that bike will wobble like a drunk! Your going Ikon in the back? What about the front? I've been down that road. I bet it's got way to stiff springs in the front!

What service books did you come up with? If you want to look at the factory stuff I will help you. Let me know!

skychs
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Small progress

(While Im waiting on parts for the front end) ........ Today I worked on the front wheel. I took the 11 year old tire off, removed the rotors and started cleaning everything up. The rotors cleaned up well but the rim is a mess so I took it over to a shop to get it bead blasted. The PO had wrapped duck tape around the rotten rim strip. As soon as the front wheel is back I will start cleaning up the rear wheel.

The best part of the day for me was the arrival of the ikon rear shocks. I dropped everything I was doing to get them mounted and they look nice.

Photos from the day.

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Jim K in PA
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Pocono Mountains, PA
Joined: 08/19/2016
Posts: 7
The Ikons look great! I am

The Ikons look great! I am going to get a set for my '76 R90/6.

Are you going to stay with the later drilled rotors, or look for some solids (only used in '74)?

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Jim K in PA
Pocono Mountains, PA
1966 R60/2

skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
Joined: 11/25/2016
Posts: 255
progression

Jim K in PA wrote:

The Ikons look great! I am going to get a set for my '76 R90/6.
Are you going to stay with the later drilled rotors, or look for some solids (only used in '74)?

Jim, Im going to stay with the rotors I have. They are in great shape with plenty of life left. Is there an advantage for the solid rotors?

Anyway ..... I got the front wheel back from the blaster. When I first saw it I was starting to worry. It looked really rough but believe it or not it starting cleaning up very well. I took a dremel to the hubs and Mothers polish to the rim. I added a new rim strip and slapped on a new Metzler Lasertec tire. Everything cleaned up well. Once everything is back together I will get out the polisher and finish up the rim. Wow, it was a long day. Back to work tomorrow.

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Jim K in PA
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Pocono Mountains, PA
Joined: 08/19/2016
Posts: 7
Nope - drilled rotors are

Nope - drilled rotors are preferred, in my opinion.

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Jim K in PA
Pocono Mountains, PA
1966 R60/2

skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
Joined: 11/25/2016
Posts: 255
Wheel

Thanks Jim.

Now I may have a stupid question. Obviously the front tire is directional. The front wheel however has no indication of direction of rotation. Is that correct? I can install the wheel either side? I hope so. Its late. Im tired. My fingers are crossed.

schrader7032
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VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6546
The wheels are completely

The wheels are completely reversible. Snowbum has some discussion near the top, below the pictures:

http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/section4.htm

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Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

ksiemon
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Joined: 03/09/2013
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Front / Rear Wheel Direction

There is a arrow stamped on the inside (I think in the lip) The service book is very clear on making sure it is going in the right direction if your building it from scratch. (section 36 page 36-31/1) Mine has it and it is going the correct rotation / direction.

skychs
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VBMWMO #9221
Joined: 11/25/2016
Posts: 255
Wheel

Well ........
Since there is probable doubt the only thing to do now is remove the tire and inspect the wheel. If there is an arrow on the wheel I will let everyone know. If it’s there, it’s there for a reason and I will respect it.

I’m out of town until Sunday night. This is going to drive me nuts until I get the answer.
Thanks guys.

skychs
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Joined: 11/25/2016
Posts: 255
Wheel

skychs wrote:

Thanks Jim.

Now I may have a stupid question. Obviously the front tire is directional. The front wheel however has no indication of direction/rotation. Is that correct? I can install the wheel either side? I hope so. Its late. Im tired. My fingers are crossed.

Sorry. Not sure how this was reposted. Unable to delete.

ksiemon
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Rim Arrows

Just shot these pictures of a front and a rear rim, so theres no confusion. The front doesn't have spokes, Rear does. Both arrows and part #'s BMW stamp are buy the valve stem hole. I just remember them from over 30 years ago when I was cleaning up my front rim. it's pretty hard to reverse the rear.......but I'm sure there are plenty of duel disk front wheels that got reversed, spoke or Mag. FYI on the disk bolts....Mine have never been touched. Bolt heads are on the left. All the factory literature I have show the bolts going in on both sides. All the single ones show nuts on the disk (left side) So mount them the way you like. Nothing in the service manual on the correct way the bolts go in.

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skychs
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Posts: 255
Arrow

Ksiemon ......

Thanks. If the arrow is near the stem hole it shouldn’t be hard to find and I may be able to get to it by just breaking the bead on the tire and looking in.

In regards the rotor bolts .... on my bike they were inserted on the right side of the bike with the nuts on the left. I did note that when I took it apart.

This build has given me new insight to the term “attention to detail”.

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