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The original headlamp has been replaced by a vintage "Puch" head light nacelle with a Puch speedometer.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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Airhead Fishing in NE.

Whenever my work takes me to an area for a few weeks I always run some Craigslist Ads in search of old motorcycles.
Fishing for BMW's is a favorite pastime for me.
I have a couple of bites here in NE.
I found a guy who has a bunch of old bikes, one a nice old Norton Commando, a couple of years worth of dust on it but very straight. But that is over the top for me. I want old crap that is cheap.
The Norton owners Brother in Law has an old R100 that I want to take a look at. Sounds like it is partially apart so that is good for me.
I also just had an inquiry from a guy with a 600 more info than that so I'll be checking out both those potential catches.
The 600 BMW seller gave me a call and it appears he has a "rat bike" that he built years ago based on a 1972 BMW R60/5 chassis. He had a rebuilt later model 600cc engine (dual plugged) and has a later model 5 speed behind it.
Basically he built 3 bikes into one. Not sure of the overall condition of it as it has sat for over 5 years in a garage about 35 miles from here. Unfortunately he left it with a tank of gas which is too bad.....Hopefully it will be a good score if I can get it cheap. I have made arrangements to take a look at it this Sunday morning.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Scottsbluff to Denver and back on the R100S Hack

We had a 3 1/2 day weekend so decided to get one final sidecar trip under our belts while we had the time. I have a Brother in Denver that I haven't seen for quite some time so Denver was our goal. Only 200 or so miles so this was an easy run. We left Friday afternoon with the intent to get at least a hundred miles or so.

We took all the back roads heading down and had very little traffic on the rural highways.

We saw a lot of old abandoned farm houses along the way. That reminded me of the Texas Panhandle country, with old abandoned buildings at every turn.

While still in Nebraska there are lots of sandstone formations along the way. Upon entering Colorado the country turns to open country with hills here and there amongst the farm land. Sunflowers appear to be a popular crop these days. We saw miles and miles of sunflower fields.

Getting close to Denver we finally got a view of the mountain ranges to the West. My Brother has a beautiful unobstructed view of the mountains from his patio. Don't got no mountains in Nebraska.

The ride was uneventful except for a "clutch slip" about 50 miles from Scottsbluff. Pulling a long uphill grade the engine gained revs, so I down shifted and again the engine revved up.

I pulled over, thinking I likely have oil getting into the clutch area and slicking up the clutch plate. I saw no major oil leaks, (other than the small one from the right cylinder base) so decided to proceed. The thought crossed my mind to head the 50 miles back home but what the hell....mechanical mishaps are part of the adventure so onward we go......

Never had any more clutch slippage so who knows....?

My rear tire was down to the end of its' life so I threw on my spare K-Block tire thats been sitting. Just bungied it to the rear rack, not very pretty but it didn't mind hanging off the hack.

We got home just fine on the bald rear tire. Tireswear quickly on my tug and I usually only get 3000 miles or so. I'll mount the square profile K-Block tire next to see how long it will last.

We rode back to Scottsbluff via Cheyenne Wyo. and took a "new to us" route home. Sunday was a great day for a ride with a little cross wind for part of the day and we arrived home by 4:00 PM.

Today I spent working on the R65. I ran it from Scottsbluff to Billings a couple of weeks ago and had a problem upon arriving in something was dragging in the rear.

I drained the final drive and transmission oil looking for metal debris. The oil drained clear and clean so no major failures there.

I removed the final drive to find the nut that holds the input gear loose. It had walked nearly off the pinion stud. I don't know how this could have made the friction I was feeling when I coasted but it was the only thing I could find wrong.

Then I found I had no spare gaskets for the final drive so went ahead and used some silicone gasket material when I reassembled the unit.

I gave the rear wheel bearings a shot of grease and put everything back together with fresh gear oil. I took the old girl for a few mile ride and things appear to be fine.

I also had a drip leak underneath, upon checking the oil pan bolts I found they were barely finger tight. Hopefully tightening them will solve the leak underneath.

I also had a small leak appear at the rear wheel at the final drive seal, which also can lube up the rear brake shoes...not a good deal...... I cleaned up everything and did find a small piece of debris in the seal area. I added some additive to the gear oil that is supposed to swell the seal a bit to help with minor seepage so we'll see if that will work. I took some sandpaper to the brake linings to remove the oil which had seeped onto them.

I have never taken the time to look this bike over, other than checking the fluid levels and tire pressures so this little R65 maintenance day was overdue.

I layed some clean cardboard under the bike so we'll see if any oil leaks reappear.

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.