• Welcome to the Two Wheeled Texans community! Feel free to hang out and lurk as long as you like. However, we would like to encourage you to register so that you can join the community and use the numerous features on the site. After registering, don't forget to post up an introduction!

A story and an Airhead

Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
So a buddy of mine awhile back got into an accident on his street glide, and decided to step away.(he came out with only a few broken ribs, got hit by a car.) I have not been in the market for a bike, trying to spend time with my 4 year old, make enough money to let my wife stay home, take care of 325 acres and not go insane. I had been getting the itch, and put out feelers for a frame for my wrecked xr650l, and had a little slush money set aside. back to my buddy, he had told me shortly after his wreck that he had an airhead he was going to sell for about $2000, showed me some pictures and told me the back story on the bike. fast forward two months, saw him last tuesday and asked if he had sold it yet. he had not. told me to make an offer, and I told him I wouldn't insult him by offering what I could afford to give him. told him about my plans to find a frame for my xr and rebuild it. "well if you can do all that, bring me $500 and the bmw is yours". Well I am not one of the lucky guys who comes across great deals very often, and I have always loved 70s airheads. Im a young guy(26) but do not see me buying any of the current new bike offerings. so friday, with my begrudging wife in tow, took the pick up and trailer an hour into San Antonio and brought home what is probably the bike of my dreams.

onto the bike. which is the real story, its a true European bike. the po's buddy spend some time in Nigeria, where he knew some police officers. apparently bike maintenance was not a concept they were familiar with at the time. so bikes didnt stay on the road long, and the po's buddy got the permission to build a bike out of the junk yard. which he did. the bike then spent time riding around Nigeria and spent some time in Europe aswell. the frame is a 1976 R60/6, the motor is from an R80, or at least the jugs and carbs. bottom end may be different. so what does it need? tires, battery, carb cleaned and take cleaned. came with losts of spare parts, mag front wheel with disks, front fork leg and master cylinder to convert to disk. it has a rickmann polaris faring and semi recent paint. was last registered in 2008. has "maybe 3000 miles" since its last valve and points adjustment. has 27k kilometers on the clock. i have a tank cleaning and sealing kit from dime city cycles i got for my xr cafe project(another long story). bike came with carb gaskets. so i just have to buy tires and a battery and ride(read: it will take me about a year). if you stuck around to read all that, here is the bike.

if there are any airhead guys/experts in the stockdale/seguin/san antonio/austin area, please let me know. ill be rebuilding carbs, but will need help syncing
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
btw it is titled as a 1976 R80. i guess when he brought it over they let hime title it that way. only has a 6 digit vin Had to upload photos from my phone. For a young guy, I'm not great with the interweb.
4f07b744d3c1d7db409e22ad58074790.jpg
c647db7eecfda6c79b71baf9e1970b0d.jpg
f4e7f587051e74303016baf2f2a74820.jpg
5416f8bd85ce30c5d1be768ae3248649.jpg
4a7e1a05340e35ffb8d946191f988c2d.jpg
8c4a54bc1ec5d2e35f6379c37516f88b.jpg
78adf96f53839b0d1259aa86b480c5c2.jpg
21ee837132d530bafa7f810e471704c7.jpg
571ec11a7b2d8497dee36c07feef71fb.jpg


Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
196
Location
Near Waco
Hey, if you can post pics, then your a more adroit "surfer" than many of us. Looks a little rough, but nice. There is a internet group strictly for airheads (Airheads. org, I think). It's been around a long time and have a big body of tech articles available. I was a member for years, and at that time there were quite a few Texas airhead riders (there may still be, but I'm out of the loop). They also would have periodic "tech days", some with specific themes, some days would be devoted to whatever "issues" of the bikes presented there. You'll find that maintenance on those bikes is ridiculously easy, and the original tool kit gave the owners the capability to fix most road side problems and many maintenance projects. Buy a good manual (there are Haynes, Clymer, and the actual BMW factory service tech manuals to be found). If the bike hasn't been started in some time, DO NOT slap a battery and fresh gas in it and attempt to fire it up. There are procedures to protect reinitiation of operation; you won't be sorry.
I find my memory is defective sometimes, but there is a guy (Big Mike) in a small town east of San Marcos that specializes in airheads (in thornton, thorndale?). Sadly, Perry Bushong is no longer with us (the original Fort Worth BMW). Surely, there's some other airhead riders on here...
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
277
Location
Texas
Congratulations! That is a very interesting bike. I rode a R100GSPD for 15 years and I do miss its simplicity compared to the new BMWs.

Mikey, at Martindale Motorcycle Works is an airhead expert! Martindale is near San Marcos.

Martindale Motorcycle Works
632 NW River Rd
Martindale, Texas

(512) 357-2842

https://www.facebook.com/mmwtexas/
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
Thanks guys. I'll definitely give mike a call. Will be staying with spending as little money as possible. I plan on joining airheads.org when money allows. I'm decent with a wrench, just need to learn the ins and outside of the airhead. I owned a 96 r1100rt and even it had its quirks.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
Nice find. Are you going to leave it all dressed out or strip off the fairing and bags?
Plan is to keep the fairing and bags on. Riding my xrl and a "streetfighter" cbr600 taught me to enjoy having a nice break from the wind. R90s fairings dont quite do it for me. Plus I kinda like the look.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
196
Location
Near Waco
I'm with you on the fairing, my first BMW (R90/6) had a windjammer on it; it wasn't perfect but the wind protection was great. BTW, Airheads is a free group (or was when I was a member) although they had a nice newsletter (AirMail) for small dues contribution.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
I'm with you on the fairing, my first BMW (R90/6) had a windjammer on it; it wasn't perfect but the wind protection was great. BTW, Airheads is a free group (or was when I was a member) although they had a nice newsletter (AirMail) for small dues contribution.
Its $25 a year now. There is a free mailing list though.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2013
Messages
1,256
Location
Elgin
Plan is to keep the fairing and bags on. Riding my xrl and a "streetfighter" cbr600 taught me to enjoy having a nice break from the wind. R90s fairings dont quite do it for me. Plus I kinda like the look.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
Plus one on the looks! I think it's a beauty... I want on myself. But I want A LOT of things lol.
 

South Tex

Forum Supporter
Joined
Nov 10, 2017
Messages
471
Location
Kosciusko
Great project bike aspr.

Looks like your just up the road from me. Get a dual sport and teach me to ride dirt!
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2012
Messages
16,865
Location
Lampasas
Plan is to keep the fairing and bags on. Riding my xrl and a "streetfighter" cbr600 taught me to enjoy having a nice break from the wind. R90s fairings dont quite do it for me. Plus I kinda like the look.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
Good I like that you are keeping it that way. Even matches your trailer.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
Keeps us up to date on the progress on the BMW. Going to be a fun project.
Will do. I am currently trying to diy electrolysis clean the tank at my place. Once that is done I will head to victoria and try to fire her up. Will get tank set up pics when I'm finally home during daylight tonight or tomorrow.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Tracker

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
11,100
Location
down in a holler, Catawba County, NC
cool. what's the power source, voltage and material of the electrode in your experiment? Is there a 2-way transfer? Metal from the electrode to the inside of the tank and from the tank to the electrode?
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
cool. what's the power source, voltage and material of the electrode in your experiment? Is there a 2-way transfer? Metal from the electrode to the inside of the tank and from the tank to the electrode?
Power source is an old 12v battery charger. set on 6 amps but flowing around 4 amps. I believe it is a one way transfer. The flow of electricity is what is causing the electrode to pit, if my understanding is correct. It is just a mild steel rod from home depot. Stuck through the block of wood to isolate from the tank, bent to allow as much rod to stay in the solution as possible. I followed the instructions I found here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Electrolytic-Rust-Removal-From-A-Motorcycle-Gas-Ta/

I was very sceptical at first, just due to the nature of the process. First charger I used was on it's way out and didnt work. So got another old charger and had the first successful session through the night last night.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

Tracker

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
11,100
Location
down in a holler, Catawba County, NC
Power source is an old 12v battery charger. set on 6 amps but flowing around 4 amps. I believe it is a one way transfer. The flow of electricity is what is causing the electrode to pit, if my understanding is correct. It is just a mild steel rod from home depot. Stuck through the block of wood to isolate from the tank, bent to allow as much rod to stay in the solution as possible. I followed the instructions I found here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Electrolytic-Rust-Removal-From-A-Motorcycle-Gas-Ta/

I was very sceptical at first, just due to the nature of the process. First charger I used was on it's way out and didnt work. So got another old charger and had the first successful session through the night last night.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
any before/after pics?
 

DaveC

Forum Supporter
Joined
Sep 29, 2004
Messages
10,073
Location
On the fringe of the Hippoplex
I prefer muriatic acid, its quicker. rinse with water and then a pint of rubbing alcohol to remove the water , blow dry with compressed air. spray WD 40 to stop the rust until you can fill it with gas.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
I prefer muriatic acid, its quicker. rinse with water and then a pint of rubbing alcohol to remove the water , blow dry with compressed air. spray WD 40 to stop the rust until you can fill it with gas.
I have muriatic acid for a follow up. And going to coat with redkote immediately after

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
Progress. Alot of the surface rust is already gone. The overflow drain has some sealer on it, the methyl ethyl ketone before the muriatic acid will take care of that.
I know I'm going a bit overboard, but I only want to clean this tank once.
6635cd429972adac13232fec7c2211e3.jpg


Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
5f05e1607c7721bee041ab4642280a5b.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
Its clean enough to coat. Tank will need to be repainted. Had a small pinhole in the bottom, which ruined the paint since I stripped the old coating. Tank will be prime for awhile. If I paint it will be white.

The coolest part of the whole experiment is the anode. Here is another comparison photo.
d62e0f45e18b6cbb8cf1b748f189a2f1.jpg
aaeb6e2dfa7e53c50e9e54662b94644a.jpg


Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2007
Messages
472
Location
austin texas
Its clean enough to coat. Tank will need to be repainted. Had a small pinhole in the bottom, which ruined the paint since I stripped the old coating. Tank will be prime for awhile. If I paint it will be white.

The coolest part of the whole experiment is the anode. Here is another comparison photo.
d62e0f45e18b6cbb8cf1b748f189a2f1.jpg
aaeb6e2dfa7e53c50e9e54662b94644a.jpg


Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
The tank results are very impressive!
As to repainting the tank- An NTSB report on motorcycle safety said the SAFEST COLORS for a bike are...BLACK & WHITE...as the cagers never miss noticing a cop! I have 2 bikes painted to B&W and I've had cops salute me, and cars pull over to receive their tickets.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2015
Messages
1,653
Location
Fm 1681, Stockdale.
The tank results are very impressive!
As to repainting the tank- An NTSB report on motorcycle safety said the SAFEST COLORS for a bike are...BLACK & WHITE...as the cagers never miss noticing a cop! I have 2 bikes painted to B&W and I've had cops salute me, and cars pull over to receive their tickets.
I've been leaning towards white, or black. Classic BMW. Seeing how it began its life as a Nigerian police bike...

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

StromXTc

Forum Supporter
Joined
Dec 29, 2017
Messages
1,370
Location
George West
I've been leaning towards white, or black. Classic BMW. Seeing how it began its life as a Nigerian police bike...

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
Is that all you got for replying to the Nigerian prince e mail, an old beater and an empty bank account :mrgreen:
 
Top