Jump to content
kruuuzn

New airhead owner.

Recommended Posts

kruuuzn

I just lost a good friend and neighbor to cancer and he left me his beloved 1981 R100RS that he purchased new. This bike is so much different than my '04 RT that I'm going to have a lot of questions.

 

Is there some trick to getting this thing on the center stand? Holy moly, I'm 165 lbs and I can't even begin to get it on the stand. I thought my RT was a tough but wow.

 

Does anyone know of a way to brighten up the cast wheels? They don't look too bad but they're just a little dingy from age.

 

His wife could only find one key for the bike so I'll need spares. I haven't checked locally yet but will it be easy to have a copy made?

 

Thanks gang!

Share this post


Link to post
SteveHebert

Hey kruuuzn,

 

Very sorry to hear about your friend. What a way to keep honoring his memory though by riding his RS that he obviously loved for many years. That bike will be on the road longer, and will be much more reliable, easier to maintain and much less expensive than anything new. I currently have a 76 R75/6 that is a pure joy to ride. I also have an 1150RT. I enjoy the airhead much more.

 

The centerstand is a PITA for sure. He may have the Reynolds ride-off stand on there. If so, it will not allow the stand to fully extend down like your RT stand, and makes it difficult until you get a technique down. What I do is simple. Put the bike on the side stand, then get off and push the center stand down with your right foot. When I am ready to lift the bike, I try and lift and pull hard at the same time. Really push and stand straight up on the right foot and it should easily pop up and back. In theory, if it is a ride-off stand, you can just put the bike in gear when it is on the center stand and accelerate away. It does not work well for me.

 

The wheels just need some TLC. There are several soft scrub type products that I have used. Zuds works well for that.

 

Keys can be purchased from several vendors. Bob's BMW is easy to work with there. There is a code on the side of the key that they will need and that is it.

 

Enjoy the RS!

Share this post


Link to post
Michaelr11

kruuuzn,

 

Welcome. You'll get help here, but you should really join the Airheads Beemer Club, www.airheads.org.

 

There was an upgrade for the early 80's centerstand because it was so hard to use. There should be a tang on the side of the centerstand - that is used only to pull the stand down to the ground with your toe, don't try to stand on the tang. Once resting on the ground, place your foot on the left foot of the centerstand and allow all of your weight to drive straight down on the foot. At the same time grasp the lift handle on the left side of the bike with your right hand and use that to lift and steady the bike as the weight of your foot drives the bike upwards. The bike should rise up and then backwards as the stand comes over onto the flat of the feet.

 

You can get blanks and have keys made, or you can buy keys with the same code number as the key you already have.

Share this post


Link to post
mbelectric

Another important item would be steady the bike with your left hand on the left side handgrip.

 

Once the technique is mastered, you'll soon forget about a sidestand upgrade...I've never understood what all the bitching is about, and I've centered most of 'em...

 

If you are unsure, have a helper behind the bike to 'steady' only, the first few times.

 

Great bike and welcome "airhead". Post a pic.

 

MB>

Share this post


Link to post
kruuuzn

Thanks so much for your help guys.

I gotta tell you, I was speechless when he called me that night. I can't even begin to describe how honored I am to be the caretaker of this classic. I've never had the faintest notion of owning a second bike but this one will always have a prominent spot in my garage. My friend was also my next door neighbor and as I type this I can look out the window and see his house. This whole episode is still very emotional for me.

 

Phew, so, to the center stand again. I've still got it on the stand from the first time I put it up. I've been cleaning, detailing, learning about the bike, etc. When I go to take it off the stand what's the best way to do it? I had a heck of a time "rocking it down" to get it home this past Sunday.

 

Where have you found that Zuds product Steve? I'm looking forward to cleaning up the aluminum wheels, jugs, etc. I just can't get used to all of the bare aluminum on this bike. I guess the new clear coats have really spoiled me.

 

Thanks again gang.

Share this post


Link to post
mbelectric

Just noticed I said "sidestand" when I really meant centerstand. :dopeslap:

 

Anyway, to get bike off centerstand, I stand aside the bike slightly towards front, hands on each grip, right hand ready on the front brake, right foot placed just in front of left peg centerstand (in case she's on a slick surface) then a quick push forward, and she's all yours.

 

Again, if you feel uneasy, have help steady the rear of bike.

 

Practice makes puuurrfect.

 

Others may have a slightly diff technique.

 

If you have a lazy return spring, bump the stand up with your foot after bike on the ground. If you drive off with stand down, it'll sound like your final drive took a dump. :grin:

 

Not the same bike, but the same priciple:

 

 

 

MB>

Share this post


Link to post
mbelectric

Oh, and watch out for aluminum cleaning products around paint and rubber, and the starter case badges..

 

You'll ruin it in a hurry, some of that cleaning stuff is caustic.

 

MB>

Edited by mbelectric

Share this post


Link to post
Michaelr11

One more centerstand note. Your bike may have been lowered, or the shocks have sagged - even slightly. If the bike is now sitting lower than it used to, it becomes significantly harder to lift the bike onto the centerstand. Get a scrap piece of 2x6 board. Walk the bike rear tire onto the scrap so it is raised about 1.5 inches. The bike should go onto the centerstand much easier. Use the centerstand only for maintenance - use the side stand for parking.

Share this post


Link to post
lkchris

1981 centerstands were recognized by BMW as deficient and there's an improved version available.

 

In addition, the tabs on the frame are fairly weak so you'll want for sure to avoid ride-off stands and theoretically should never take bike off stock stand while sitting on it. This is unlikely, I recognize.

 

And for sure, centerstands are ONLY for maintenance and parking in your garage. They're an accident waiting to happen in any other use, and first principle of BMW rallying is never park next to a BMW on its centerstand.

Share this post


Link to post
Rinkydink

Congrats on your new acquisition. You should feel honored.

 

As far as putting it on the center stand it is more of a push with your right foot with all your weight and pulling up with your right hand....all in one deliberate motion. Get a friend to spot you and practice, you'll get the hang of it quickly.

 

Getting off the stand is another easy one. Standing at left side of bike, both hands on handlebars like you're riding it. Right hand over front brake with it turned slightly to the right so the bike will lean toward you when it comes off the stand. As soon as you rock it off of the stand gently activate the front brake to stop and your done...

 

 

Practice makes perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
notacop

My '78 80/7 was a bit difficult to get on and off the center stand, Kinda wanted to rotate in a circle. It's a real man's bike. The '78s had a spring loaded kickstand that would retract in a flash that put it on the ground.

If you ever get past the stationary part of the bike you will find the frame is hinged and will have you undulating in sweepers. The shaft drive will have a jacking effect as the throttle is applied and shut down.

Basically it's a neat old museum piece that your modern RT was designed to replace.

I wouldn't trade mt F800ST for a dozen of those old POS.

Share this post


Link to post
mbelectric
My '78 80/7 was a bit difficult to get on and off the center stand, Kinda wanted to rotate in a circle. It's a real man's bike. The '78s had a spring loaded kickstand that would retract in a flash that put it on the ground.

If you ever get past the stationary part of the bike you will find the frame is hinged and will have you undulating in sweepers. The shaft drive will have a jacking effect as the throttle is applied and shut down.

Basically it's a neat old museum piece that your modern RT was designed to replace.

I wouldn't trade mt F800ST for a dozen of those old POS.

 

Just about cover it Notacop? Anything else to add? Talk about pissin' on a man's cornflakes.

 

Opinions are like.... :grin:

 

I like my old one just the same. And the newer one's as well.

Each different in their own right, kinda like old friends.

 

Ride safely.

 

MB>

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
szurszewski
My '78 80/7 was a bit difficult to get on and off the center stand, Kinda wanted to rotate in a circle. It's a real man's bike. The '78s had a spring loaded kickstand that would retract in a flash that put it on the ground.

If you ever get past the stationary part of the bike you will find the frame is hinged and will have you undulating in sweepers. The shaft drive will have a jacking effect as the throttle is applied and shut down.

Basically it's a neat old museum piece that your modern RT was designed to replace.

I wouldn't trade mt F800ST for a dozen of those old POS.

 

Just about cover it Notacop? Anything else to add? Talk about pissin' on a man's cornflakes.

 

Opinions are like.... :grin:

 

I like my old one just the same. And the newer one's as well.

Each different in their own right, kinda like old friends.

 

Ride safely.

 

MB>

 

 

I had a 78 R60/7 for about 14 years, and now I have a 96 R1100RT. For almost six years I was lucky enough to have them both, but with little time to ride, little "extra" money and a tiny garage, I finally decided to let one go. It was honestly a very tough decision as to which one. In my opinion, they're both great - though you can't expect the same things from them.

 

With that in mind, I'd be willing to bet you'll love riding the airhead just for what it is, and even more so because it means, in a way, you can still keep riding with your friend.

josh

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
kruuuzn

I've finally finished cleaning and detailing and wow, this really IS a good looking old bike. Zuds worked great on the wheels. I'll post some pictures as soon as I figure out how the heck to do it.

 

I've got another question though; when the motor idles down (1,000 rpm) the red generator light comes on. This can't be good eh?

Share this post


Link to post
97oilhead

 

I've got another question though; when the motor idles down (1,000 rpm) the red generator light comes on. This can't be good eh?

 

This is normal, no worry. If it bothers you you might set your idle around 1100 to 1150 and the light will probably stay off.

Share this post


Link to post
Mighty Manfred

Welcome aboard! It is normal for the generator light to come on at idle. As long as you ride it, having that light lit while idling is no problem. I do not recommend setting the idle high enough to keep that light from coming on.

 

Also, check in on http://boxerworks.com/forum2 where you will find lots of airhead tech help and many helpful folk.

Share this post


Link to post
kruuuzn

Thanks again guys. The motor seems to idle nicely at 1,000 rpm so I'll take your advice and just chalk the red light up to "character".

 

Who makes the best repair manual for this bike?

Share this post


Link to post
notacop

Just about cover it Notacop? Anything else to add?

 

Well, the design is classic. I stuck an Elephant Ear front fender on it and a Ural sidecar. Looked good in Black with double white pinstripes. Ran better when I shoved a 1000cc engine in it.

It was easy to work on. You pick of the owners manual of Haynes or Clymers. I'd recommend all three for full coverage.

Some of you guys just can't take any less than rosy thoughts even though they may have merit. The old bikes are better museum pieces than modern touring choices. I put 100K miles on the bike and more on other airheads. The 800ST is still a better choice now.

You should really join the Airheads if you want know how. Besides they really know how to party!

Share this post


Link to post
kruuuzn

I promised you guys I'd post some pics:

 

photo-1.jpg

 

photo3.jpg

 

Ain't she a beauty?

I took a 60 mile shake down cruise on Sunday and loved every minute of it! Of course it isn't as refined as my RT, but it's just a cool old bike.

 

I gotta figure out why the front fender isn't concentric with the wheel though. That bugs the heck out of me. LOL

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
mbelectric

I gotta figure out why the front fender isn't concentric with the wheel though. That bugs the heck out of me. LOL

 

 

Nice bike there.

 

How 'bout the fork brace? Is it stock? Fender mounts to it.

 

Do you have the preload adjuster on the rear shocks? If so ratchet up a notch, she's droopin'..

 

MB>

Share this post


Link to post
kruuuzn

How 'bout the fork brace? Is it stock? Fender mounts to it.

I figured I would take it apart and see what's what. Maybe the fender brace is on backwards or something.

Do you have the preload adjuster on the rear shocks? If so ratchet up a notch, she's droopin'..

There's only two positions on the adjustment and I think I left it on the lowest (what I thought would be the softest) position when I polished the surface rust off the shocks. I'll go to the higher position and see if it makes any difference.

Share this post


Link to post
notacop

BMW has different springs you can put on the shocks. I got the stoutest ones they had when I mounted the sidecar on the bike.

A fork brace helped on my R-65 that helped the steering. The rear shock has a lever with 3 positions. Good, better and best.

Share this post


Link to post
lkchris
I gotta figure out why the front fender isn't concentric with the wheel though. That bugs the heck out of me. LOL

 

I think you've got the fender on backwards. Or maybe the bracket.

 

And when you reverse it, you'll probably want a front mudflap.

Edited by lkchris

Share this post


Link to post
kruuuzn

I'm thinking I'll want one on the back also. I'm open for clean suggestions.

 

The rear shock has a lever with 3 positions. Good, better and best.

 

Right you are. I moved it to the stiffest position. Is that what you call best?

Share this post


Link to post
NJNeal

Congratulations on the pretty airhead. Sorry for the way you got it.

 

Regarding the center stand, there IS an often overlooked maintenance procedure, basically inspecting, cleaning and lubricating the mechanism. If that's not been done each year, that would certainly explain the difficulty with its operation. I've never had any issues with my center stand, and trust it more than the side stand. They're not perfect, but I prefer it to the sometimes scary, self-retracting side stand (and that self retracting can be disabled). The full procedure for center stand maintenance can be found online or in your manual.

 

Regarding shocks, there is really good chance if those shocks still have the three-position setting, they're quite old and not providing much ride control. It's the first thing I'd look to upgrade (assuming the tires are in good shape).

 

And with all due respect to those who think that modern BMWs have made these airheads obsolete and make comments like "POS", it's just a completely different experience. An old airhead is a friend. It will never let you down with just a little maintenance. It will never require a $1000 final drive or an $850 ABS module.

 

I like them both, own both, will probably keep both.

Share this post


Link to post
lkchris
And with all due respect to those who think that modern BMWs have made these airheads obsolete and make comments like "POS", it's just a completely different experience. An old airhead is a friend. It will never let you down with just a little maintenance. It will never require a $1000 final drive or an $850 ABS module.

 

All true, but you really don't want one made earlier than 1981, as then you'll be dealing with points ignition and a really heavy flyweel and he-man clutch actuation. And, you won't get nikasil cylinders.

Share this post


Link to post
mbelectric

Not to start a pissing match, but:

 

Heavy flywheel for a reason. Not the motor you need a lighter flywheel with. If you think you need a lighter one, you've chosen the wrong motor to ride with.

 

Points ignition can be dealt with, a simple mod and you'll use the points for trigger only.

 

He-man clutch actuation...really? Never been a prob on mine...properly adjusted, cable good, mech greased, you won't think twice about it.

 

Again, not today's tech, but certainly liveable with.

 

And now, on with your regularly scheduled love fest with the airhead... :wave:

 

MB>

Share this post


Link to post
NJNeal
And with all due respect to those who think that modern BMWs have made these airheads obsolete and make comments like "POS", it's just a completely different experience. An old airhead is a friend. It will never let you down with just a little maintenance. It will never require a $1000 final drive or an $850 ABS module.

 

All true, but you really don't want one made earlier than 1981, as then you'll be dealing with points ignition and a really heavy flyweel and he-man clutch actuation. And, you won't get nikasil cylinders.

 

Nothing wrong with points. Easy to adjust. Failure rate extraordinarily low. And, if it fails, parts are easy to find, buy and replace. Heavy fly wheel equals an incredibly smooth running experience. And, easy to modify the flywheel for faster acceleration, at the expense of smoothness, if you like. Heavy clutch? Simple, $50 mod with a pulley affair, like the EZ clutch, and the effort is halved. Personally the clutch was never an issue for me. Last, benefits of nikasil are there, but earlier cylinders are quite serviceable. As it is, a pre-81 airhead is quite a nice ride, within its limitations.

 

Edited by NJNeal

Share this post


Link to post
kruuuzn

Does anyone have any experience with system cases like the ones on this bike? The first time I unlatched them a rectangular piece of rubber fell into my hand. This happened on both cases. I'm guessing they are some sort of rubber bumper that takes the slop out of the latch after it's fastened. Now when the cases are latched to the bike there's a lot of movement against the bracket.

After using the locking version on my RT these cases really make me nervous.

Share this post


Link to post
Paul Mihalka

Those bags have like min-brick shaped rubber pads that go in the tip of the latch and snug it up to the bag mount. Those thingies were falling out even before they were 30 years old.

Share this post


Link to post
kruuuzn

Ah yes, "mini brick" is a good description. They measure about 1/4" x 1/2" x 1".

Can they be glued back in place? I just cant figure out how the heck they locate in the latch.

 

Share this post


Link to post
notacop

I ended up putting BMW tie down straps around the bags to keep them on the bike. I've had the lids pop open on the street and the whole dang bag pass me in the twistys. I strap every bag on every bike I've owned after that, even the top box.

Yours will be a labor of love.

 

Oh, that glowing amp idiot light, that can be fixed with a better diode board. They Diode boards burn up like cigarettes. I put a Thunder Child diode board in my '89 GS and it was charging 12 volts+ at idle. There used to be an aftermarket 450-500 watt alternator unit. One of the beauties of the old air heads is getting them to idle as low as you can go.

Edited by notacop

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...