Thursday, December 8, 2011

"WW2 BMW" .....NOT

Our trip into the mountains of CA didn't end up too sucessful in this latest quest.
What was described as a WW2 BMW side car rig ended up being an old Russian bike.

I'm not sure of the year as I'm no expert on these bikes. It was obviously old and had a dismembered flathead side valve engine.

The side car frame was probably the most valuable part of the find.

The side car tire:

Pretty husky old frame with leaf springs.

The remains of the rusty old drive train.

Someone had written "BMW" on a Russian piston.

She had the manual "nuetral finder" lever...maybe had a reverse too?

Poor old thing.....the frame is remarkably like my old Zundapp KS601 I sold this summer.

So, I'm back on the hunt for my next great "find".

BMW R100S Clutch and top end assembly

I retreived the newly rebuilt cylinder heads in San Diego yesterday so decided to assemble the engine top end this morning. When I originally pulled the R100S engine apart, years ago, it had cylinder base metal gaskets installed. Unfortunately I tossed them thinking that new ones would be used. I then found out that the base gaskets were not used on these engines. The later engines had an "o-ring" groove on the cylinders for sealing. This engine had no o-ring grooves so sealant was necessary to seal the cylinder to the engine.
I want to reduce the engine compression a bit so I purchased a pair of earlier base gaskets and then trimmed down the interior diameter to fit over the engine cyliders. All I have is a small Dremel type tool so I spent probably an hour on each gasket, trimming down the interior diameter to fit over the cylinder base.
Hopefully the base gasket will not reduce the compression too much. I saw signs of detonation on one piston so reducing the compression should hopefully make the engine run a little cooler and get rid of any "pinging".

The base gasket in place prior to cylinder head installation.

I cleaned up the pistons / ring grooves well before installing them in the cylinders. There are also a couple of o-rings on two of the cylinder studs. I made sure they were properly in place before installing the heads. I previously had pinched one of the o-rings causing a minor cylinder base leak.

Brand new Black Diamond Valves, Valve Seats and o-ring valve guides.

I actually spent more time modifying the base gaskets than it took me to assemble the engine top end.

I then turned my attention to the clutch assembly. I ordered a set of special bolts needed to back off the pressure plate assembly. Once the clutch came out I was in awe that it even worked. Two big chuncks were missing from each side. The pressure ring / pressure plate are grooved and worn down. This unfortunate developement will require replacing everything in the clutch the tune of $500.00 or so.....

Suprisingly the fly wheel has been lightened and balanced.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dream on.....?

So...we'll be digging through old dirty shipping containers tomorrow to unearth an old WW2 motorcycle and sidecar...anyway that is according to the present owner.

I have no idea what we will find....or even if it actually is a WW2 German motorcycle.

Apparantly this bike / sidecar was sitting in an old semi trailer for eons, where the previous owner stashed it. The semi trailer was an on old 40's "art deco" looking rounded affair that someone wanted so bad that they purchased a shipping container and hauled it to the property to replace the old "deco" semi trailer.

At some point the sidecar was removed from the bike so it would fit in its' storage space.

I talked with the owner this morning and he said we might have to do a little digging in the storage containers to find everything.

Sounds like fun to me!

Maybe it is an old Zundapp KS800?

Or maybe a old BMW R12?

Ooohhhh...or maybe an R75?

Or maybe an old Zundapp KS750?

Tomorrow will tell.......I'll have my camera and notebook handy to record serial numbers....or maybe I'll need my Chinese / Russian Dictionary.....

Update coming in a day or two...


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I've finally had phone contact with the landowner who claims to have a WW2 BMW sidecar rig.
The gentileman contacted me through a Craigslist "wanted" ad.

The currant owner purchased a large section of property which the old owner had spent years filling full of junk. The new owner has spent the past year or so clearing all the junk out.
An old semi trailer there held a bunch of old Harley Davidson parts / bikes which the guy sold.
Also in the trailer was this (supposedly) old WW2 BMW motorcycle and sidecar.
It is possible the bike could be an old Russian bike or possibly an old Chinese bike but you never know. The owner had a friend do a little research but never did pin down exactly what it is.
We have made arrangements to meet the land owner there next Tuesday to look things over.
The sidecar is separated from the bike and hopefully things aren't scattered too far and wide.

These kind of finds don't come along but once in a life time, if it is in fact, a WW2 Military sidecar rig. I'll definately take my camera but not the trailer on this trip.
The place is only about 2.5 hours from my house so I can always make a trip over with a proper trailer if the bike is a legitimate military bike and if we can come to a price agreement....a lot of "IFS"....
I'll update the story as things develope.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Rat Tug under the knife

I finally decided to address the oil leaks which have sprung up on the R100S engine. I've had a cylinder base leak for quite some time and recently the engine started losing oil from behind the transmission. Probably the rear main seal.(?) Started the "dissection" at around 10:00 AM and spent an hour or so just removing body pieces. The side car comes off pretty quickly due to the "pinned" connections. Fuel tank , seat, windscreen, saddle bags, exhaust system came off next.

I've removed parts from this bike enough times to have it down to a pretty quick scenario.

The transmission came off to reveal quite a clean area showing where the oil has been flowing out. On our last road trip the clutch slipped while pulling a long grade. A sure sign of oil on the clutch plate.

I ordered a set of bolts which facilitate the removal of the clutch assembly. The diaphragm spring must be released in stages to avoid warping things and also getting a face full of parts when it comes "springing" off.

I also wanted to address a cylinder base leak so pulled the top end off after removing the transmission. I found a "squished" head bolt o-ring which I botched when I assembled the engine a couple years ago. I will install a pair of metal base gaskets upon re assembly which will slightly reduce the compression ratio and assure cylinder base sealing.

My next surprise was finding a recessed exhaust valve on the right cylinder. This answers the problem I had with valve adjustment issues which were required too regularly.

The cylinders still look good but there is quite a bit of carbon build up on the pistons and cylinder heads.

I made a call to Mesa AZ. to an Airhead friendly repair shop. The heads will be shipped over to them for reworking. hopefully the rebuild won't break the bank.

I also placed an order for all the seals / gaskets needed and a new clutch plate since mine is likely oil soaked.

Todays progress took about 4 hours to completely tear the bike down. I'll likely remove the engine from the frame to allow easier acess to the clutch assembly. I'm fairly certain the engine will need a new timing chain but I'll address the oil leaks / clutch first.

The crankshaft must be blocked into place whill working on the clutch assembly. This requires blocking the crankshaft behind the timing/front engine cover to keep it from moving forward, which can allow a bearing to fall off it's locating pins which open a huge can of worms.

Any timing chain issues will be addressed after the rear engine seal issues are taken care of.

I've had some correspondance with a land owner an hour or so away who claims to have a WW2 German Sidecar rig which he may be willing to sell.

The story goes:

He bought this ranch property years back and there was some old Harley stuff and an old WW2 German sidecar rig in an out building. He sold the Harley parts to some Harley guys and they offered him $2000.00 for the sidecar rig at that time. He decided to keep the sidecar rig for a possible future project. He never got around to the project so it still sits.

I'm hoping to make arrangements to get over to the place in the next week or so to see what he has. He has never tried to sell the bike and has never researched it.

Maybe it will be an ultimate barn find? Who knows.....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Title Woes

When I acquired this old R75/5 BMW in Nebraska the owner claimed to have a Title and all the missing parts....RE: Fenders, tail light, rear signals, Toaster Tank Panels, etc.
After hounding him for weeks the guy never came up with anything he said he had.
I spent a day and got the old bike running so at least I know the engine is apparently sound.
I've spent a few hundred dollars on parts but decided I'd better address the title situation before spending more on a bike I might not ever be able to license for the road.
I found the old registration taped under the seat but the registration was for a 1973 BMW and the V.I.N. numbers did not match the frame.(?)
I ran the serial numbers through a BMW data base and the bike started life as a 1971 R75/5.

I hounded the seller for a couple of months for the Title but after thinking it over, his Title was worthless anyway if the numbers didn't match. If I ever went to sell the bike and the numbers were wrong, I'd end up with a nightmare legal situation.
I went to the MT. DMV and picked up the paperwork to acquire a new Title. Then the bike went to the Montana Highway Patrol for an inspection and an NCIC V.I.N. check to make sure nothing came up as stolen. Luckily everything came out clean....the next step was contacting an Insurance Company to acquire a Bond to guarantee the title. ($100.00).
So the bond will be here today. Then I take the MT. State Police paperwork, the Bond and the Bill of Sale to the MT. DMV and they will issue a new Title and license plates. Total cost will be a $100.00 plus DMV fees. Not that bad of a hassle. I always read of folks having impossible title problems but MT. has a system that is pretty easy to work.

I'm looking forward to getting the old thing in running order, but first priority is to get the R100S sidecar rig repaired. It will likely need a new rear main seal, cylinder base reseal and probably a new timing chain.(?)
I'll be digging into that as soon as we get settled in Yuma, AZ.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Parts found a little at a time....

I've been scouring the internet / ebay for needed cheapo parts. Since this is a "Rat Bike" project I won't go over board with high dollar new parts, except in the mechanical department. Function will take presidence over asthetics. Found the light assembly below for $39.00. I will use the signals and the tail light lens. The Front signals on the bike are original 1971 alloy units with the yellow side marker reflectors. The proper rear signals would be similar with red side marker reflectors. Original units are pretty tough to find as they were a 1971 model year only signal. When found they bring big bucks. I might install black plastic units in the front and sell the alloy units.

These well worn BMW "roundels" came up on ebay for $45.00 so I sprung for them for the Toaster Tank. New reproductions would have run around $140.00 for everything. The seller of the R60 said he might have the Toaster Panels but so far he hasn't produced anything for me.

Since the R60 might be delegated for side car hauling for a short time I thought I'd better find a friction damper assembly since it was missing. $23.00 bought this one.

The lower keeper clip was missing but I had one laying around.

I removed the Krauser saddle bags and rack from the R65 to see if they'd fit....and they do. They sit a little further back than original bags would but that's OK. I mounted them on the bike while sitting on the trailer so I'll need to readjust them when the bike is sitting on the ground. I think the angle is off a little.(?)

I'll need to be acquiring tires for the bike at some point, and my R100S tug is about ready for tires also. I see some Toaster Panels selling on EBay but am not sure how serious I want to get about them. They'll likely go for around $200.00.

When we get to Yuma AZ. I'll get really serious about getting the bike in running order.

I have found a very low mile 1978 R60/7 locally which has been disassembled. $800.00 will bring it home so I might take that one on too. It is a Euro. Spec. machine with only 7000 Kilometers on the clock. Appears to be pretty good. I'm waiting for some better photos so I'll post some when I get them.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

R60 comes to life.

The other night I was snooping around on EBay and saw this seat at $.99 with a few seconds to a fool I bid $1.04. Low and behold I won the seat for that amount....without noticing that the shipping was $50.00. Crap! Darn impulse buying! More on the seat later....

Weekend before last I took some time to sort out the R60 a little bit. Removed the fuel tank and seat and decided to give a shot at starting it up. I knew the the wiring had been modified to fit the "Puch" headlamp so opened it up to check it out. The 1971 BMW's don't have any fuses in the electrical system so burning up wiring is common. I temporarily tapped in a 30 amp fuse to the main power source. I have no key so I figured out how to simply "hot wire" the ignition switch. I had an old weak battery so charged it up while I checked for open wires which were unconnected. Wanted to make sure nothing would short out upon bringing the electrical system back to life.

I looked things over and taped up a couple of unconnected light wires. Under the fuel tank , the dual coil system lives to power the dual plugged heads. This is a pretty expensive upgrade which a previous owner spent quite a few bucks on.

I hooked up the old battery I had which had charged to 80%....enough for this point. I made sure the crankcase was full of oil and rigged up a temporary fuel supply, in this case a large syringe body. I energized the electrical system and had no apparent shorts anywhere....I touched the electric start button and the engine turned. I pulled the carb tops and lubed the throttle slides and made sure they were free. So I went ahead and filled the syringe with a few CC's of gasoline and fully expected the carbs to leak but to my amazement, no leaks.

So here we go.....set the choke, hit the starter and the engine started up after a few seconds. She belched out a bunch of smoke from the oil I had squirted in the cylinders a few days earlier. After a few seconds I opened the chokes and the engine turned to a nice smooth idle. The throttle response was a little slow but it was running and sounded real good.

I ran it a few minutes and filled the syringe again to run it a few more. The engine sounds strong so I am happy that the thing will run!

A fellow rider on a motorcycle web site had offered me a free rear fender so I gladly accepted. I also had found a reasonably priced front fender on EBay about the same time so had fenders coming my way. They showed up today so I went after the installation when I got home from work. I had the proper mounting plates and bolts from other bikes I had parted out in the past so the installation went without a hitch. By chance both fenders are black so that is good.

The old girl is starting to look like a bike again. Neither fender is perfect but they look pretty good when mounted.

The seat was missing the hinges and luckily the $51.04 , $1.04 seat had both hinges in place. The allen screws were stripped so I had to drill out all of them, luckily I had old saved replacement screws in my bolt stash. New hinges run about $48.00 each so with the salvaged hinges I don't feel so bad about the crappy seat miss-purchase. I removed the backrest and after looking the seat over, discarded it in the dumpster. I placed the seat on the bike and the riding position was terrible due to the forward position....way to close to the fuel tank. I don't have room to haul around a seat I'll never use so good riddance.

Now I need to hunt down a tail light lense and a pair of rear turn signals. I'll be changing all fluids and filter, flushing the fuel tank and mounting some tires before she is ready for the road. I think it will be a nice low budget rider when it is done. Don't have any "toaster" panels or BMW roundels for the tank but maybe I'll hunt some down at some point. "Toaster" panels are terribly expensive so maybe someone will come along and swap me a touring tank for the bare toaster tank.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Another "barn" find....1971 Rat Bike.

We arranged to meet a prospective seller in a small town about 40 minutes from us this AM. We met as planned and drove 5 miles out to his relatives farm. He had pulled the old bike out earlier this AM. treasure found this time.
We talked about the old bike for quite a while. I could tell it was an early 70's short wheel base frame. A 1971 I figured. The fuel tank was a 1972 or 1973 "Toaster" tank, missing the side panels and BMW roundels. The engine had a kick starter so I figured it was a 1974 model.
He had new tires on it with less than a 1000 miles on them.....10 years ago. The battery was "new" too.....10 years ago. The owner has over $1000.00 invested in the bike but I could not give him anywhere near that amount. The engine turned over with good compression and it was "dual plugged" years back. I kept asking him for a price but he just couldn't come up with one. I through him a reasonable offer since I have no idea of the engines / drive trains condition. He said he has the fenders, tail light and turn signals somewhere and maybe the "Toaster" tank panels....also has a clear title so the deal was struck and we loaded it up on our trailer.

I made a $2.00 investment and took it to a car wash to remove a few years worth of dust and grime.

The after market mufflers looked odd. After looking closer I see that they are mounted on the wrong sides and upside down.

The original headlamp has been replaced by a vintage "Puch" head light nacelle with a Puch speedometer. Puch is an Austrian made motorcycle. The large over sized headlight began to grow on me right away.

The wash job removed some grime but there's more to go at a later time. Over all the main components of the bike look good. I pulled the carb bowls off and they are clean. The throttle slides are free. The tank interior looks a little crusty.

The Puch speedometer is in pretty good condition.

I spent a little time cleaning some alloy parts and they cleaned up well.

So now what to do with this? I think it will possibly be a runner so I'll take some time to get it running. I think I have everything needed to get it fired up. The wiring is pretty shaky so I'll need to sort out some things before hooking a battery to it.

I checked the engine serial numbers and the frame serial numbers and my guesses were correct; a 1971 frame, `1974 engine and a 1972 or 1973 fuel tank. It sports some high BMW handlebars of unknown origin.

So maybe I'll make a rat rod out of it or a cafe style bike or?????

Might be fun to get the fenders on and just get it running to ride as is.

No more bikes for a while as I am out of room now.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.