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I thought it would be interesting to start off this section with a photo of the first US F750 built by my father.
Over the next few months, the pics I will be posting are from a current project that represent the realization of a childhood dream. It all started a few months ago when we came into possession of an original never used factory frame that was "pulled from the dumpster" almost 50 years ago by the late Todd Schuster.
I will post more pics and information about the project as we move forward.
Over the years my dad had mentioned that Todd had some of the old stuff hanging in his garage. When Todd passed a connection was made with Reggie Parsells, the person who Todd left his estate too. Along with the assistance of another local BMW fan, John Smeltz, we expressed our interest in some of the old BMW stuff. Reggie knew of my dads friendship with Todd and agreed that we could have the following items. When I met Reggie to pick up the parts, I promised him that I would do something meaningful with this stuff.
The list of items I received included the following:
1. One original never used BMW factory race frame
According to my dad 4 frames where delivered 2 of which were made into racers. At this time one is in the Barber Museum and last I knew the other was owned by gentlemen in Florida. Some years back it was up for auction, but didn't sell. I am not certain if the same person still owns it. As noted in this thread, I now posses one of the four frames. We do not know where the fourth frame ended up
2. One original C&J frame that my father had built in the US.
This frame was clearly built up into a bike at some time since it had a complete swingarm, rear sets, triple clamps, fairing stays, Krober ignition boxes and some other bits. The frame appears to have been modified at some time, but we don't know who did this work. Additional bracing was added under the tank from left to right and a diagonal brace fore/aft. I don't believe the bike was ever raced after these mods were made since they were unpainted. We don't know which of the two original bikes this was, but there were several guys that raced both of them. We have no information on where the other frame/bike ended up.
3. An original factory aluminum tank
The tank was modified to fit on the above modified C&J frame. Unfortunately weather took it's toll on the tank and there is a significant amount of pitting (more on this at a later time). The original fuel cap was on the tank, it's in great shape, just needed new o-rings.
4. Two original seats (#59 and #84) and the original mold
Both seats are in excellent condition considering their age. The mold is the original that my dad made. This might come in handy should we need to make a new seat.
5. One set of Ceriani forks
These are in excellent condition and even had oil in them
6. One brand new "inside exhaust" fairing and mold
In the past my dad had commented that Todd had the original molds for the fairings they had made. What we did not expect was to find a brand new fairing inside the mold that had never been used. Later bikes used a Harley XR750 over the exhaust fairing, but this one is truly an original made from the mold my dad build.
7. Tank for Rob North framed BMW F750
The tank is crushed in on one side, but retains the original paint. We aren't sure which of the two Rob North framed bikes this came from, but we know that the one in Barber Museum and the one owned by Irv Seaver BMW in California both have good tanks on them. This tank is now displayed in my shop along with one of the seats.
I'll put a few pics in a follow on post.
Dad and I had some discussion back and forth. My initial thinking was that we should try to build up the C&J frame since it had actual racing pedigree. This would mean sourcing a lot of parts and machining an R75 crankcase and cylinders to make a narrow (small block) engine. Dad liked the idea of starting with the factory frame since it was essentially new except for some surface rust. As dad started to look closer at the C&J frame it became clear that it was too far rusted to build up a safe bike. So the decision was made for us, we will be using the factory frame. Knowing that we'd be building a bike that didn't have racing pedigree we take some liberties. Essentially we are building a custom bike that will utilize the old parts we have and some modern bits. If some day in the future I decide to build up an original engine, I'll drag out the C&J frame so see if it can be salvaged, but for now, this is the path we are going on. A custom F750 (eh, er, well 860) built by the man who built the original ones. What more could I ask for.
Dad agreed that he would start on the frame and as soon as I could get up to his place I would do the engine. However, due to covid I've held back from traveling by plane to his house. He's gotten first shot so a few weeks after he gets his second I'll head up there and start on the engine, unless he starts without me. Bottom line, dad's essentially done all the work to date. My job so far is to bankroll the project.
As we started to put the plan together here is what we've decided for the big ticket items.
1. I bought a 1982 R65LS that is/was in excellent shape to be used as a donor bike. The engine on these bikes is already a "short block" so we'd have a good basis to work from. Well also use the ignition and starter motor. We are too old to be push starting the bike so we won't be cutting the top of the engine off. As a result I've already modified the aluminum tank to cut off the lower part. We are also using the triple clamps and forks instead of the Ceriani forks.
2. We will be installing an 860 big bore kit onto the R65 engine. We haven't decided if we'll use the R65 heads or some others that we have. That decision can come later, I think we'll start with the R65 heads.
3. I sourced an R75 front hub which has already been laced up with 17 in rims. We are using a custom set of dual disks with Brembo 4 piston calipers that were "left over" from one of the Team Honda superbikes. The rear has also been laced with a 17 inch rim. The race swing arm is actually a bit narrower than the stock ones, so using smaller rims actually will let us put a slightly wider tire on the rear.
I'll post pics as we make more progress, but here are a few of it in it's current state.