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Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

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vfiori
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2022 10:11 pm
Location: Yardley, PA

Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by vfiori »

Hello, I'm new to this site and new to motorcycles. I have a '74 R60/6 that my grandfather bought new and drove rather infrequently until the late '90s before he put it away. I was told he fell with it once and was too afraid to drive it after that. Based on the information I could gather, it hasn't been driven since. It's in surprisingly good condition except for some marks on the fuel tank from when the fuel tank was relined (I believe in the early '90s). I am dedicated to preserving this thing as it only has 660 miles on it. When I got it, there was fuel still in the tank. That gas was probably from the early 2000s as I have a memory as a child watching my grandfather try to start it but with no luck. The fuel was so rancid it smelled like fermented apple cider. Last year I started working on it. I had to recoat the fuel tank due to some rust (what a job that was). Replace the positive battery cable as it was internally corroded. Replace both fuel valves and fuel lines. And rebuild the carbs. Just to get it to run. I did give it a brief drive and fell in love with it. That was about a year ago. (Been busy with school, work, and other hobbies) Now that the weather is colder I got time to work on it. I've started changing most of the fluids as I imagine are probably no good from sitting all this time. I plan on doing the engine oil, trans oil, and final drive oil. Is there anything else I should change or look at? Any tips, suggestions, or warnings are greatly appreciated.

Here's a short video from when I had it running https://youtube.com/shorts/c8te9INmzkY?feature=share

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srankin
Posts: 726
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:45 pm
Location: Spencerport, NY USA

Re: Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by srankin »

Welcome to the forum and the world of airheads! you poor fool, just kidding.

So far from what I have read, you covered the big items that I would have suggested for bring a long time sitting bike back to life. At less than 700 miles, you sure don't have to worry much about worn stuff, I bet the points and valves are still in the dealer's set up still. That is if you had a good dealership set the bike up, lol.

Really the major concern I would have is the tires, I would replace them as 20years is a long time and tires don't sit well, at least look at the sidewalls and between the tread for signs of cracking, but really replace them and the tubes.

One spot to check is the speedometer cable grommet on the transmission, it should not be cracked, a fast check of other "plastic" parts may be in order. Most of this will be cosmetic except the grommet, a bad grommet can be a source of water getting into the transmission when washing sitting in rain.

As for the internal engine seals, well, it is a gamble wether to replace them as they can get brittle or degrade with time sitting or just start riding and look for leaks. Personally, I would start riding and keep an eye out for leaks.

The rear main seal located between engine and transmission is one seal prone to leak after sitting as well as the engine pushrod seals. If they start leaking you will see it soon. Really the same goes for any of the seals.

Oh last thing, Brakes, I don't know what shape the master cylinder fluid is in but I would check for signs of it leaking then if it is, rebuild. Regardless, I would empty the brakes, flush with new fluid and fill. Check to see the caliper works without sticking. Rust could form in the bore of the wheel caliper and the master cylinder. Brake fluid loves to absorb moisture over time. You have a drum on the rear, no problem there unless a final drive seal starts leaking wait to see if that happens.

Where are you located? I have a lift and tools plus I have a nearby airhead shop all near Rochester NY. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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vfiori
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2022 10:11 pm
Location: Yardley, PA

Re: Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by vfiori »

Thank you! I’m located in Yardley, PA. So not exactly across the country but still far. I have a small lift but it doesn’t look like it would work because of the exhaust. I’ve got tools covered thanks to my other hobbies. There is a guy that specializes in airheads about an hour from me but last time I spoke with him he said it would be a long time till he got to it.

I figured the brake’s would need to be done. I’ll add that to the list. Tires are in really good shape surprisingly no serious cracks or dry rot. I’ll probably replace them anyway. No leaks that I’ve seen yet.

The engine oil was dark but luckily did not seem to be full of moisture. Transmission fluid look good but will change anyway. I still have to check the final drive.
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srankin
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Location: Spencerport, NY USA

Re: Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by srankin »

Sounds very good so far, as said by the looks of things in the pictures and videos, it was probably stored alright. I bet the transmission drive shaft and final drive will show no signs of moisture but it is still a good idea to change them.

LOL, one hint it was stored properly is the saddle bag/pannier bracket on the mufflers is not rusted. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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vfiori
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2022 10:11 pm
Location: Yardley, PA

Re: Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by vfiori »

I might have spoke to soon. Transmission drain plug not looking to good.
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srankin
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Re: Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by srankin »

Don't get too nervous yet. I see a lot of sludge and metal, but remember this bike has been sitting for 20years so all the crap suspended in the gear oil has settled.

Clean the plug up, fill it and ride it or run it in gear on the center stand wheel off the ground. If you don't hear any strange grinding or bearing noises and it shifts in and out of gear, ride it for a bit then change the fluid and check the plug again.

Unless your grandfather was extremely hard shifting I would gamble the bits of metal you have so far are normal. Of course if he has 100,660 miles on it and not 660, I would be worried a bearing is gone or something is amiss.

Oh I forgot to ask, did the fluid come out looking good or did it look like chocolate milk? I would be worried if it looked like chocolate milk that means water was in it and then a bearing could be gone.

Treat it like a new bike with a break in interval for main engine oil and gear oils. They are cheap, and will tell you the status of things. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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vfiori
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Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2022 10:11 pm
Location: Yardley, PA

Re: Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by vfiori »

After posting that and thinking about it. I realized it’s probably not even past break in. I’ll keep my eye on it. The oil wasn’t really milky at all. Actually still clear. Thanks for the help.

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cbclemmens
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Location: Apollo, PA

Re: Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by cbclemmens »

Those filings on the drain plug are normal from break in, although the mileage is low.

I would change the fork oil also. It probably doesn't need it, but fork oil is not expensive and after 20 years it couldn't hurt. If you don't have a manual, check e-bay. Haynes has a decent one.

Good luck and enjoy that beautiful bike.

Craig

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srankin
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:45 pm
Location: Spencerport, NY USA

Re: Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by srankin »

I always forget the forks, good catch. St.
Owner of a 84, R80RT and 78, R100RS

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vfiori
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2022 10:11 pm
Location: Yardley, PA

Re: Getting an r60/6 running after sitting for over 20 years

Post by vfiori »

I was just about to ask about the fork oil. I have the repair manual that I got from boxer2valve a year or so ago. I had the original owners manual but seem to misplaced it, could of sworn I kept it with the original tool kit but must have moved it. I'll probably buy another.

Some good news! Something I didn't know but do now. '74 R60/6's don't have front disk brakes. They have drum brakes in the front and back so no brake fluid! After doing research online about the brake cylinders and looking at the repair manual I kept wondering why mine looked different. Then I looked under the tank and no master cylinder to be found. That makes things much easier.

Question, I saw in the manual that every so often the oil pan should be removed and cleaned. When would that be advisable to do? Also, I'll be keeping this bike in my garage that has a dehumidifier running 24/7 keeping the humidity at 50% (I'm a hobbyist machinist, I don't like my expensive tools rusting), How frequently should I change the engine oil, trans oil, and final drive oil?

A brief update:
Finishing up changing engine oil, transmission oil, driveshaft oil, and final drive oil. Just waiting on new washers for them. The paper gasket on the oil filter plate was like glued on. Ordered some crc gasket remover and these special die grinder discs to help remove the last of it. They're called 3m roloc bristle discs.

Last couple things to do:
Change fork oil
Make sure brakes are adjusted properly
Adjust carbs

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