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Advice on preparation for long trip.

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Jerry Bearden
(@jbearden)
Posts: 17
Active Member
Topic starter
 

I'm trying to prepare for a long trip from Atlanta to the western states, hopefully including the national rally in Great Falls. My bike is a 1994 R100RT with 80k miles on it. It's basically in stock condition. The transmission was rebuilt w/circlip modification & clutch/rear main seal replaced at the same time-done by Nathan @ Boxerworks less than 5k miles ago. I just replaced the rear shock. I've owned it 7 years and it runs well & handles beautifully. I have added a Cyclops LED headlight bulb & Skeen visibility lights on front & rear-should I add driving lights?

Beyond normal fluids, valve adjustment, fluids, filters, spark plugs (plug wires fairly new) what should I do as preventative maint? At 80K miles should I replace the cam chain & should the gears be changed also? At the same time, what about tensioner, seal(s), etc. Do I need any special tools? Alternator brushes while in there? Any other likely failure items?

What tools (have full factory kit) & spare parts are recommended?

I've always run BMW factory oil but the price went from high to outrageous. My dealer recommended Liqi Moly oil, so I used it last oil change. I know it's a good oil but is there another high quality oil with the zinc additive that's more easily found on the road?

I appreciate any suggestions. Being in my mid-70's with a so-so heart, this will likely be my last trip of significance if I can pull it off, so I need the bike to be as reliable as can reasonably be expected.

Many thanks,
Jerry Bearden #811

 
Posted : 04/09/2020 00:18
James Strickland
(@8053)
Posts: 419
Reputable Member
 

Well Jerry, When I leave my home territory for a multiple day trip, I carry a spare alternator rotor and diode board along with the tools to swap them out. Your OEM tool kit has almost everything you need except the special tool for the rotor. For the diode board, I take a 1/4 drive, metric socket set with the universal joint type adapter along with the ratchet and straight extensions. Since your bike has tubeless rims, get a tire plugging kit and toss that in as well. I also take along an extra length of fuel hose although you can buy fuel hose at any auto parts store. With regard to motor oil, you can usually get Valvoline VR1, 20w50, racing oil there also. I have a few liters of Spectro left and then I will switch to the Valvoline just because it is readily available at Auto Zone or Advanced or O'Rielly auto parts.

former Airmarshal, IL.

 
Posted : 04/09/2020 10:06
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2529
Member
 

Jerry -
Sounds like you have a big adventure planned. Wish I was going with you. One of the leaders within our local group has cancer and was planning a last trip, but due to the current China Virus it's been delayed, so I'm sure jealous.

1. One of the big things I note is that you have no kick starter, and at our age pushing a bike off by running is simply out of the question. So my first suggestions revolve around always having an electric starter: I'd buy the best AGM battery I could get my hands on. (Personally I like the Odyssey PC680, but do your own research.) Then I'd inspect both ends of both battery cables (and treat with No-Ox-Id). Then I'd replace the mechanical Voltage Regulator with an adjustable electronic unit, such as the one sold by Motorrad Elektrik. Then I'd replace the 2 German fuses with the more common American type of colored-plastic fuses, because you won't find the German fuses on the road. Finally I'd replace the alternator brushes, just because.

2. Any electrical power you stop consuming goes to the aid of the battery. You already have a nice LED head lamp, which is a major step in reducing the electrical load. But what about the tail lamps ? Red LED bulbs inside the tail lamp will make riding safer (because they are typically twice the brightness) AND save more power.

And these new running lamps, are they all LED ? And how are they connected to the electrical system ? Who did the work and how do they get their power ? Do they have their own fuses ? Do they turn OFF during cranking ? The BMW electrical system is not designed for add-ons, so I'm always interested in how people make these physical connections. Are the wires taped or heat shrunk ? Are the terminations connectors, or bare strands wrapped around another wire ? I ask this because the last thing you want is to burn up a harness because some electrical tape un-wrapped and blew off, allowing bare wires to touch the frame.

You can run a little test. Remove the 2 system fuses from the little fuse box on the LH side at the rear of the tank. Turn ON the ignition and see what happens. Any electrical device that turns ON, apparently does not have fuse protection, and as such stands to burn your harness up. In other words they add as much to your liability as they might to your safety. One item you need to electrically protect is your dash clock by adding a fuse onto the RED wire going to that item.

3. The last area is parts you may need on the road. Sure you can have parts dropped shipped to you, but what about Saturday at 6PM ? I'd carry parts like 2 float bowl gaskets, 1 carb diaphragm, a 3.00x18 inner tube (you can use front or rear), clutch cable, throttle cables, and things of that nature.

Just some ideas. Hope this helps.

PS. You are not too far away from me. If you need me to check anything, please get in touch.

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

 
Posted : 04/09/2020 10:09
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2529
Member
 

Since your bike has tubeless rims, get a tire plugging kit and toss that in as well. I also take along an extra length of fuel hose although you can buy fuel hose at any auto parts store. With regard to motor oil, you can usually get Valvoline VR1, 20w50, racing oil there also.

Excellent points....
• Tire plugging kit. And now they have these CO2 bottles to inflate tires. Those are smaller and easier to use than a portable tire pump.

• Locally, you can get Valvoline VR1 "racing oil" in 20W50 at O'Reilly Auto Parts and other places in Georgia.

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

 
Posted : 04/09/2020 10:31
Jerry Bearden
(@jbearden)
Posts: 17
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks for your reply, James.
I've debated with myself about the spare rotor/diode issue & wonder if it might be better to just upgrade with a higher output aftermarket unit-haven't decided.
Had figured on the 1/4" drive socket items plus some 3/8" drive tools.
I have a plugging kit but plan on getting a better one. Good idea on fuel hose.
I considered the Valvoline VR1 oil earlier. Do you know if it has a good zinc content, which I understand is important on our air cooled engines. Availability is a plus.

Thanks, Jerry

 
Posted : 04/10/2020 23:32
Jerry Bearden
(@jbearden)
Posts: 17
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks for your reply, Wobbly,
I installed a new Odyssey PC925 a couple of years ago. It's larger than the PC680 (the holddown j-bolts are just barely long enough). Since the PC680 in my R65 lasted well over 6 years, I think I'm ok there.
The Skene lights are multiple LEDs & are bright. they also have a slight flicker to catch your eye better. I installed them on both airheads myself. I pulled power from a switched pin near the relays. It came with PosiLock connectors which give good connection & no electrical tape is needed. The controller (very small box) taps into the tail, brake & turn signal circuits, so I have extra bright tail & brake lights. The appropiate light converts to a turn signal when signals are on, so all these lights are duplicated, although more brightly.
The current draw is very low-even the R65 doesn't notice it.
Great idea on inner tube, etc. I've already gotten a spare clutch cable & throttle cables are fairly new. I have some spare OEM fuses but may convert them as you suggested if I can get to it. I just got a set of carb diaphragms/gaskets to install-will carry an old one as spare (are still good).
I think I rode through your home town last summer. I'll try to drop by if I'm up there on a weekday.

Thanks again, Jerry

 
Posted : 04/11/2020 00:20
James Strickland
(@8053)
Posts: 419
Reputable Member
 

Thanks for your reply, James.
I've debated with myself about the spare rotor/diode issue & wonder if it might be better to just upgrade with a higher output aftermarket unit-haven't decided.
Had figured on the 1/4" drive socket items plus some 3/8" drive tools.
I have a plugging kit but plan on getting a better one. Good idea on fuel hose.
I considered the Valvoline VR1 oil earlier. Do you know if it has a good zinc content, which I understand is important on our air cooled engines. Availability is a plus.

Thanks, Jerry

Y'know, for many years I made a hobby out of buying rotors and diode boards when ever one floated up on e-bay or any of a number of internet classified listings. As a result, I have an "inventory" of these parts. I usually take several to rallies because there is almost always some one who arrives with a non-charging bike. I make sure to buy at a price that allows me to ask for $40 for a part and not lose money in the process.

As for the motor oil, any oil that complies with the API rating SF or SG will have an acceptable ZDDP content.

former Airmarshal, IL.

 
Posted : 04/11/2020 09:46
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2529
Member
 

I installed a new Odyssey PC925 a couple of years ago. It's larger than the PC680 (the holddown j-bolts are just barely long enough). Since the PC680 in my R65 lasted well over 6 years, I think I'm ok there.

Jerry -
You are good on the battery, but maybe not on the battery charge voltage. Call Odyssey and ask them what the charge voltage should be on that battery. It's in the neighborhood of 14.3V, I bet. Then, put a VOM across the 2 battery terminals and run the bike up to 3500 RPM and read the charge voltage.

The OEM voltage regulator is set for older "flooded cell" type batteries which charge at a lower level. Now with an AGM the voltage requirement is higher. It was all written up on the little booklet included with the battery. This is why I suggested the adjustable VR from Motorrad Eliktrik.

I've debated with myself about the spare rotor/diode issue & wonder if it might be better to just upgrade with a higher output aftermarket unit-haven't decided.

The most wonderful thing about LED lighting is completely "un-sung". The very best analogy to the charging system is your personal checking account. There are 2 ways to get more money in that account: 1) add more money to the account, or 2) write fewer checks for less money.

In this analogy the battery is the bank account. She's the queen of the system and the one everyone is trying to make and keep happy. So you have the choice of 1) getting the super output alternator and rectifier and putting more electrical power into the battery, or 2) simply using less power. The biggest user of electrical power is BY FAR the lighting system. And the largest individual user is by far the headlamp.

Well, your new LED headlamp just dropped your headlamp wattage from as high as 100W (OEM 65W but most everyone upgraded their bulb to something higher) to 25W !! So right off you're using 60% to 75% of the OEM energy level !! Less power being used translates to half the power being created in the alternator and consequently half the power being passed through the rectifier. So in effect.... by converting to ALL LED lighting, you already have a more robust alternator and rectifier. This is one reason I suggested red LED tail lamp bulbs.

All the best.

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

 
Posted : 04/11/2020 13:23
Jerry Bearden
(@jbearden)
Posts: 17
Active Member
Topic starter
 

I checked the voltage at 3500 rpm this afternoon. At the battery I read 13.7-13.8 volts. Odyssey's website recommends optimum charging voltage of 14.7 & float charge of 13.6 volts. Motorrad Electric's electronic regulator is not adjustable & is set to 14.2 volts. Euro Motoelectrics has one that is preset to 14.3 volts & is adjustable but it has a disclaimer saying it is not recommended for Odyssey dry cell batteries & no warranty if so used. I think of the agm as a wet cell battery, not dry cell. Guess I'll have to contact Odyssey to clarify.

 
Posted : 04/12/2020 00:29
Jerry Bearden
(@jbearden)
Posts: 17
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Thanks James,
A good used rotor sounds like a good idea-maybe diode board also. What about you shipping one or one each via US Postal Service? Any idea of the cost?

Also haven't gotten answer about when the timing/cam chain should be replaced.

Thanks, Jerry

 
Posted : 04/12/2020 00:37
James Strickland
(@8053)
Posts: 419
Reputable Member
 

Please send me an e-mail directly so we can take this off the public forum and work out the details. Please include a phone number and when would be a good time to call. woodnsteel1@gmail.com

former Airmarshal, IL.

 
Posted : 04/12/2020 08:10
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2529
Member
 

Motorrad Electric's electronic regulator is not adjustable & is set to 14.2 volts.

My bad. Those are not the same product offerings I purchased from them 10 months ago.

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

 
Posted : 04/12/2020 10:49
Jerry Bearden
(@jbearden)
Posts: 17
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Odyssey answered my questions per my email of last might with a reply email this afternoon-hard to believe such fantastic response.
Anyway, their recommended charging voltage is 14.2 to 14.7 with 14.7 being optimum, so 14.2-14.3 is ok.
They also confirmed that their batteries (agm) are not dry cell that the notes on the adjustable regulators had hinted of on Odyssey batteries, so I'm ordering adjustable ones for both of my airheads.

Hope this info is useful for someone else.

 
Posted : 04/12/2020 23:48
Jerry Bearden
(@jbearden)
Posts: 17
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Many thanks to all of the very helpful replies & suggestions. I feel much better about heading out now.
I just now found out that the national rally in Montana has been delayed until June of next year. Having to rethink my summer now.
Be safe everyone.

 
Posted : 04/20/2020 15:20
Jason Nicks
(@jnicks01)
Posts: 75
Trusted Member
 

Not sure if i'm too late on this one, but regarding the regulator. EME sells one that was about $25 that is adjustable to 14.7 or above. Very nice in my opinion. That is what I use with my PC-925. I charge it with an approved charger when it sits. 3 years and going strong.

 
Posted : 05/05/2020 16:11

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