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R100GS Acerbis High Fender

Let’s get something out of the way right up front: If conditions are so bad that you’re worried about mud packing between the front fender and the wheel, you’ve got no business on that road with an R100GS. A high fender on an R100GS is just poseur hardware. But when your factory low fender gets mangled beyond recognition, you’re left with a choice between high and low. More out of curiosity than anything else, I chose high. Now I had to decide on which fender. If you look hard enough, you might turn up a used Paris/Dakar fender, but I wasn’t overly enamored of the bulbous tip at the front and lack of vents at the rear. You see, I’d decided to relocate the oil cooler so I could install an H.I.D. driving light on the right crash bar, and the new location was right behind the new high front fender. While I was at the Touratech-USA web site ordering the oil cooler relocation kit, I noticed that they also carried the Acerbis high fender. Surprisingly, it was modestly priced (~$40) so I snagged one. They call it the BAJA, and it comes in white. All the better for re-painting, I though to myself. I remembered my buddy Louis complaining that the high fender on his R80G/S caught the wind and made the bike weave at high speed, but that he’d installed a brace, also from Acerbis, that fixed the problem. I couldn’t find it at the Touratech site, but a call down to Mike at Fremont Cycle Salvage had one on the way.

When the ‘cooler and fender arrived I installed the oil cooler first. With that out of the way, I had to figure out how to get the brace hooked up to the lower triple tree. It was immediately obvious that none of the holes or slots provided in the brace would align with the threaded holes in the triple tree. So I was on my own to locate new ones. The brace had to be mounted straight, and use the existing threaded holes in the tree. What to do?

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New Keys for Your /5

I recently finished going through the process of reviving a 1973 R75/5. One of the challenges I faced was that of missing keys. Sure, the ignition nail key was there, but the keys for the seat lock and the steering head lock were missing. I needed to remove the lock for the fork in order to complete frame painting, and really wanted matching keys for both the seat and fork locks if at all possible. This precluded me from simply drilling it out. I was pretty sure that the locks were original to the frame, and that the keys should be the same for each.

So, here is what worked for me…

First, go to your local dealer and buy a few correct key blanks.
Remove the seat lock mechanism, and detach the lock housing. Don’t lose the small screw that holds the lock to the striker mechanism.
Take the blanks to a competent locksmith and ask them if they can make an impression cut key. Keep looking for someone who will give it a try. Now, just so you know, I was advised that they might damage the lock mechanism while making a key in this manner. If they (or you) are uncomfortable making an impression-cut key, the lock may be disassembled and the tumblers opened up for their key making efforts, but it is critical that they get the pins back together in the same order to have the fork lock work with this key.
OK, we’ll assume that you have a key that works with the seat lock cylinder. You will try it in the fork lock and, surprise, it won’t work!! Here’s what to do:
Look at the key that you have. You should see four valleys in the key blank, which were cut by the locksmith. You will also notice that they are evenly spaced along the key, and also that there is room on the end closest to the handle of the key for another cut to be made. Starting at the end of the key furthest from the handle, we’ll refer to these as cuts #1, #2, #3 and #4. The trick is that the seat lock uses four tumblers, and the fork lock uses five. You will need to cut the last one, #5, yourself.

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Bike Storage Preparation

It’s that time of year again, so I thought I would post the storage procedures that are contained in the 1978 BMW Owner’s Manual for those of you that don’t have access to such. The following is a reproduction of the storage procedures specified by BMW on page 35 of the 1978 BMW Owner’s Manual:

If you intend to lay up your motorcycle during the cold season of the year or for a long period, the following precautions will help to guard against corrosion and superficial damage:
Drain the oil when the engine is warmed up, clean the oil mesh strainer and oil sump.
Add corrosion inhibiting oil up to the lower mark on dipstick (app. 1 Liter = 1.05 US quarts). Run the engine for about 1 minute off-load. Remove the oil filter and close the empty filter chamber. When storing for more than 6 months, drain oil from gear-box, swing arm and final drive and add corrosion inhibiting oil. Contents: gearbox 0.4 liter (0.4 US quart), swing arm 0.05 liter (0.05 US quart). Place the machine on its center stand, engage 2nd gear and turn the engine at a fast idle for a few seconds.

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Cleaning Exhaust Systems

Cleaning Exhaust systems:
Pipes, headers, mufflers, etc., can all be cleaned with 0000 grade of steel wool. Use of 000 grade should be reserved for the worst cases. Exhaust pipes polishes to reduce bluing are available, most do little, and the bluing tends to come back soon. A particular problem is that exhaust systems tend to get oily grunge & other fun stuff such as burned boot heel material on them that gets thoroughly baked onto the surface. Late model Airheads have pre-muffler/collectorson which can can be ‘wire brushed’ with a steel or brass wire wheel/brush, but they are more abrasive to the surface. Brass bristled brushes are safer. Wire brushes may be your last resort if items are truly a big mess, this is particularly so if your items are chrome plated steel & are “rusting”.  Strong chemical means, which will not eat the metal like steel brushes will, work well for heavily baked-on oil/grease/etc. I HIGHLY recommend the entire process be done OUTDOORS.

Clean off any oil/grease you can, with a petroleum solvent. Kerosene; paint thinner; Stoddard solvent; MEK; Acetone; whatever you have. Wash with very hot water & strong dish washing detergent mixture. If the items are still mounted in your bike, you want to mask off, by whatever good means, the bike from the next step. You do NOT want any aluminum castings getting strong ‘oven cleaner’ on your castings, etc.

Obtain a spray can of OVEN CLEANER. Get ONLY the type containing sodium hydroxide (common household lye). Rarely, these days, you might find potassium hydroxide, it is also OK. NO OTHER TYPE of chemicals but these two provides seriously strong chemical cleaning against burned-on grease/oil. Sodium bicarbonate is NOT going to work hardly at all.

If you can, warm the parts to be cleaned. The hotter the parts, the faster the stuff works…but, NEVER higher than water boiling temperature. YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES!!  If any spray gets on you, WASH IT OFF, right now, NO waiting. KEEP IT OUT OF YOUR EYES. Try hard NOT to breathe the spray. Spray the surface generously. DO NOT BREATHE-IN, WHILE SPRAYING. How fast the chemical works depends on temperature and that it remains wet. It is OK to use a foggy spray of water to keep the chemical wet, if it is showing signs of drying. In particularly egregious cases you want a thick layer plus you want it covered so it will stay wet, perhaps overnight. The chemical must be wet. It is better to do this job with the parts off the bike, but that may be inconvenient. After a while, perhaps 15 minutes or longer, wash off very thoroughly with water. Use a stiff floor scrubbing type of brush or modify a stiff paint brush by shortening the bristles so it is even stiffer.   If the wet surface feels soapy/slippery, it is not washed off enough.

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Bike Storage Preparation

It’s that time of year again, so I thought I would post the storage procedures that are contained in the 1978 BMW Owner’s Manual for those of you that don’t have access to such. The following is a reproduction of the storage procedures specified by BMW on page 35 of the 1978 BMW Owner’s Manual:

If you intend to lay up your motorcycle during the cold season of the year or for a long period, the following precautions will help to guard against corrosion and superficial damage:
Drain the oil when the engine is warmed up, clean the oil mesh strainer and oil sump.
Add corrosion inhibiting oil up to the lower mark on dipstick (app. 1 Liter = 1.05 US quarts). Run the engine for about 1 minute off-load. Remove the oil filter and close the empty filter chamber. When storing for more than 6 months, drain oil from gear-box, swing arm and final drive and add corrosion inhibiting oil. Contents: gearbox 0.4 liter (0.4 US quart), swing arm 0.05 liter (0.05 US quart). Place the machine on its center stand, engage 2nd gear and turn the engine at a fast idle for a few seconds.

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