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New Member 89 R100RT

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Bryan Dagg
(@bryan-dagg)
Posts: 5
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Just purchased an 89 R100RT and looking for any advice from the collective.  Currently has 86,000 miles and is running well.  My main bike is a 1200 GS ADV and it's great for touring. The plan for this bike is to remove the fairings, clean her up, trim her down and use it as a city runner.  Would appreciate any help and suggestions.  I may also have some items for sale.

1. Any common knowledge on issues with this year/model?

2. Suggestions on where to purchase parts?

3. Has anyone updated the electronics during a rebuild?

 
Posted : 10/23/2021 08:57
Larry A. Chabira
(@2659)
Posts: 14
Active Member
 

mono shock bikes are a great place to start . while they are not as handsome as the 70s bikes , they have a good solid reputation for reliability .  I have converted 6 or so over the years,  There are several ways to remount the headlamp and use some turn signals,  I usually have some of those parts for sale on ebay.  And i have pics of conversions , I'm lamontsanfurd on Ebay.     and email  is

lamontsanford@sbcglobal.net

 
Posted : 10/23/2021 10:36
Bryan Dagg
(@bryan-dagg)
Posts: 5
Active Member
Topic starter
 

@2659 Thanks for reaching out.  I'll check out the eBay page.  Definitely interested in the conversions.  

 
Posted : 10/23/2021 16:31
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2552
Member
 
Posted by: @bryan-dagg

Just purchased an 89 R100RT and looking for any advice from the collective.  Currently has 86,000 miles and is running well.  My main bike is a 1200 GS ADV and it's great for touring. The plan for this bike is to remove the fairings, clean her up, trim her down and use it as a city runner.  Would appreciate any help and suggestions.  I may also have some items for sale.

Welcome aboard !

There's not really a direct or easy way to "spiff up" one of these bikes. Due to the fairing, the headlamp is mounted to the frame under the fairing. You'd need to buy and install all the parts to fork-mount the HL shell. The headlamp shell itself is identical to the un-faired bikes... but it's going to be a LOT of work and money to do a clean job. In the end, you'll probably wish you'd have simply bought the un-faired bike. 

Most people that "spiff-up" an RT find it's simpler to convert it to an RS model. To complete that you only need the 3 main upper fairing parts, smaller RS windscreen, and the RS fairing frame. All the lower fairing and wiring is the same between the RT and RS.

1. Any common knowledge on issues with this year/model?

• Most of the issues we encounter are related to long periods of storage, especially storage with ethanol fuel in the carbs, not any issues in design or neglect by BMW. You can go to this link which review the top 80% of issues encountered in those situations...

https://www.airheads.org/community/wrenching/new-owner-primer-tips-to-get-your-airhead-back-on-the-road/

• The main issue with the "single-sided" bikes is the cost of replacing the rear shock when it's pronounced dead at 50K miles. There is mild sticker shock when you go shopping for these, so have an EMT and oxygen ready. You must also change the final drive oil religiously and keep check on the rear wheel for any rear wheel bearing wear. 

2. Suggestions on where to purchase parts?

BMW Germany fully supports the Airhead product line. Your local BMW dealer can order any parts you might need. For on-line ordering I typically use Max or Bob's. They both have on-line parts fiche that makes ordering easy. Your Airmail news letter will have lots of other sources. You can also post in the Buy & Sell forum of this board.  You might also want to "bookmark" Motorrad Elektrik at http://motoelekt.com/

3. Has anyone updated the electronics during a rebuild?

It is common to update the bulbs to LED, especially the H4 style HL bulb. (The turn signal bulbs must stay incandescent.) Other than that, the electrics are fine. If you update to an AGM battery, then you will need the higher output voltage regulator that Motorrad Elektrik offers.

This type file can't be viewed on this board. Please stick with a simple JPG format, because we would love to see your new bike.

 

Hope this helps.

This post was modified 3 years ago by Richard W

Owning an old Airhead is easy.
Keeping an old Airhead running great is the true test.

 
Posted : 10/23/2021 18:00
Dave Jensen reacted
Bryan Dagg
(@bryan-dagg)
Posts: 5
Active Member
Topic starter
 

@wobbly Sorry for the late reply!  Thanks so much for all the info sir.  We have jumped right in and begun tear down and cleanup.  Going to be doing a full electronics upgrade.  Having a bit of a difficult time finding a good wiring diagram specific for this model.  Even Clymer and Haynes seem to be different.  Any tips on finding the correct wiring diagram?  I have ordered an original manual but not in yet.  

 
Posted : 11/01/2021 12:12
Bryan Dagg
(@bryan-dagg)
Posts: 5
Active Member
Topic starter
 

@2659 Hey Larry.

Do you have any pics of your conversions?  I'm looking at doing a complete wiring system using Motogadget M.Unit system and having a difficult time finding a correct wiring diagram for the 89 R100RT.  I've got both the clymer and haynes manuals.  Have you used and of the motogadget products.  Trying to understand what I should remove and replace before tearing things apart ;). You can follow our build @mytwowheeltherapy

 
Posted : 11/01/2021 12:33
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2552
Member
 
Posted by: @bryan-dagg

We have jumped right in and begun tear down and cleanup.  Going to be doing a full electronics upgrade.  

What in the heck is a "full electronics upgrade" ? Exactly what improvement will this new system bring to your bike ? Sounds like a plan to spend lots of money for zero improvement. The stock electronics are really, really good and do not need replacement. 

If you think you have issues now, wait until after this upgrade when no one will be able to figure things out. 

Owning an old Airhead is easy.
Keeping an old Airhead running great is the true test.

 
Posted : 11/02/2021 06:32
John Ehrhart reacted
Robert Whigham
(@1872)
Posts: 126
Estimable Member
 

Another source of parts is Rubber Chicken Racing which has an add on this page. He knows airheads.

Bob

 
Posted : 11/05/2021 10:22
John Griffin
(@john-griffin)
Posts: 17
Member
 

Hey Bryan,

Welcome!

- Regarding wiring diagram, there's a great foldout in the back of the Owners Manual (at least on my '82 RT)

- Also, google and you'll find pdf of BMW Factory Service Manual, which has detailed wiring diagrams

- (BTW, the BMW FSM is infinitely better than any Clymers, Haynes, etc, IMHO)

- Regarding "electronics", probably better to keep what 'ya got - unless you plan to completely ditch the instrument panel, etc ...

 

j

 

 
Posted : 12/11/2021 08:34
Bryan Dagg
(@bryan-dagg)
Posts: 5
Active Member
Topic starter
 

@john-griffin Thanks for the info sir.  Well on my way with the retro mod build with my son.  We've decided to completely remove the wiring and replace with the motogadget M-Unit system.  Updated ignition system, new gauges, lights etc.

 
Posted : 12/16/2021 06:36
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2552
Member
 

Before and after JPEG photos, please.

Owning an old Airhead is easy.
Keeping an old Airhead running great is the true test.

 
Posted : 12/17/2021 05:58

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