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Thread: Another hello!

  1. #1
    SFBA Rider
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    Another hello!

    I recently made my first appearance over in general, but I figured this forum would be the second best place to drop by, considering my name!

    Currently I'm watching from the sidelines, and wanted some input as to the maintenance of older bikes before I buy. I've read some of the older threads and found some nice places for parts, but I wanted to ask what you would think of someone picking up a R60/2 or the like as a first project bike. (Especially where I am at in the San Francisco Bay Area, I am unaware of any dealers equipped to service such a bike locally.)

    I know maintenance will be key, but if I am more interested in a weekend rider out of it (and not a 100% all-original-bolts kinda guy, so replica parts would work for me). Or would you wave the entire idea off as sacrilege?

    Let me know what your thoughts are, I am not past giving up and moving to a R75 cafe racer, or even to a F650GS for daily riding. I'm not too keen on testing a R27/2's brakes to the limit just yet.

    -Slash2

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Welcome! An R60/2 is fine bike to start with. That's how I got into the old black bikes. A friend gave me a total basketcase.

    And while there aren't any dealers around that work on them, you can get some work done by Ted Porter. Also, there's a bunch of us that get together for Saturday breakfast at Joe Groeger's shop in Redwood City.

    There's a lot of quality repro parts available for these bikes, both from BMW's Mobile Tradition, and also from other vendors. You can find a huge list of sources at the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners club website. You can also get a great deal of information from the slash2 email list.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  3. #3
    OldAndBusted
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    i got a '55 R50 for my first project bike. first bike, actually. i like mechanical projects, and have put a lot of work into it myself. i love this bike. i highly recommend it.

  4. #4
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
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  5. #5
    tricyclerob
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    Welcome, The R60/2 is a great idea, esp. if you catch the sidecar bug. I don't worry about "sacriledge". My R69 is a rider. The paint is not perfect, with touch up here and there, but I've replaced all the nuts and bolts w/polished stainless to add a little "shine" so the paint isn't as noticable. I'm sure the purest would have a fit, but they ride theirs, I ride mine. I've had the entire bike apart so I could have gone the whole route with painted frame, new tin paint, etc.. but I wanted the bike to look like it's had a life. I look at the show quality restorations, and they are "a work of art", but I would rather have a bike to ride with out the fear of the first scratch. To remove the guilt of many "non-orininal parts", I saved and bagged every nut ,bolt and part that I replaced, just in case. Bottom line is, it's your ride, get a bike, get it running and have fun. If you are looking at an older bike[/2 type] try to find one where it is documented the "slingers" have been cleaned. Other than that, it's just "nuts and bolts", no vodoo, no magic. There are many sources for parts and help. Go for it! rj

  6. #6
    Little Egypt Airheads
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    My story

    I've just gotten into my first slash 2 quasi-project bike. The trouble I've encountered is deciding what all to do when you don't want a "trailer queen" but lots of stuff has to be disassembled to do a decent repair/resto job and most of it is uuuugggglllyyy. My scooter is a '66 R50/2 with only 17k on the clock so I don't think the crank has to come out for slinger cleaning yet. Other evidence is that I bought it from the second owner who'd only put 9k on it since he bought it in 1970! BUT, the exhaust pipes just gotta go ($200+), tires, too ($150+), head work & barrel honing ($200+), lotsa miscellaneous parts ($$$$+), paint ($800+), etc., etc. Even the durn handlebar risers (the originals are always rusty) cost $230+ to replace. These old bikes need some special tools, too, just to properly remove the exhaust nuts or the rear shock absorber cap nuts for example - thank goodness for Ed Korn at Cycle Works. Then there's some of the inherent defects in these ol' scooters to deal with. My bike suffers with the "butterhead" syndrome of the mid 60's when the metallurgy changed making the heads too soft so valve lash closes up and head bolts get stuck in the head. I just by chance discovered the wrist pin bushings have spun in the rod ends, another common problem with these bikes. This necessitates getting a special tool and replacing the bushings or the top end will burn up. Again, thanks to Ed for helping with that problem.
    No wonder BMW did a massive redesign for the slash 5 models. Word is that the slash 2's had so many problems by then it was better to modernize than to keep fixing up the older design. So it's kinda wierd that the earlier machines fetch the higher prices.
    BUT, with all the work and hassles on my 42 year old machine, when all is done I should have a very presentable bike, though not a concourse winner. It's also fun to work on and, I hope one day, to ride, too.

    Little Egypt Airheads
    '66 R50/2
    '76 R75/6
    '80 R100RT

    "I have achieved my 70 years in the usual way: by sticking strictly to a scheme of life which would kill anyone else." Mark Twain

  7. #7
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're into the second $5k of the 5/5/5 rule of thumb.

    Ed Korn's tools have helped me a lot, and his prices are pretty darn reasonable.

    The story on the "butterheads" is that the foundry that BMW was using changed the alloy without telling BMW. The LK long reach heads don't have the problem, so it wasn't a design defect.

    And by 1969, Honda had already introduced the 65hp CB750, so the 42hp R69S was pretty long in the tooth. BMW had put off making the change sooner because they weren't sure they were going to stay in the motorcycle business.

    (The current issue of the Vintage BMW Bulletin from the VBMWMO has BMW Mobile Tradition's Fred Jakobs' article on "The Crisis in the Motorcycle Market" regarding this era.)
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  8. #8
    SFBA Rider
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    Yeah, I mentioned before I was slightly put off by the expense of fixing an older bike. I can't say I'm not tempted to get one of the (plentiful) $500 CB350's out there and use it for a cafe racer idea.

    The initial outlay (at bare minimum) for a R60/2 is around 3.5k, 600 to ship, then maybe another 2-3k plus who knows how many man hours to get it into running order. Or pay someone else twice as much to do it for me. Like lbrackr756 said, not a concourse winner, just a daily runner. I'm not the type of person to get something that merely runs, then run it into the ground by not maintaining it.

    But if Safety First is the motto, the first things I'd need to replace would be tires, electrics, and breakdown and rebuild the shocks. So I would need a checklist of what-to-do before I even got the bike. Is there any good list for what to look at first (aside form rust ) when doing a cleanup?

  9. #9
    Little Egypt Airheads
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    Sounds like you're into the second $5k of the 5/5/5 rule of thumb.

    Ed Korn's tools have helped me a lot, and his prices are pretty darn reasonable.

    The story on the "butterheads" is that the foundry that BMW was using changed the alloy without telling BMW. The LK long reach heads don't have the problem, so it wasn't a design defect.

    And by 1969, Honda had already introduced the 65hp CB750, so the 42hp R69S was pretty long in the tooth. BMW had put off making the change sooner because they weren't sure they were going to stay in the motorcycle business.

    (The current issue of the Vintage BMW Bulletin from the VBMWMO has BMW Mobile Tradition's Fred Jakobs' article on "The Crisis in the Motorcycle Market" regarding this era.)


    Yes, good article. I'm hopeful to continue for some time with my "butterheads." Vech told me to put ss washers under the rocker towers to take up the slack. The holes for the head bolts can be drilled out, too. I figure it only got this messed up in 42 years and 17k miles so I'm probably good 'til the slingers need serviced anyway. Got the frame painting done this weekend (engine / tranny in situ and masked off). Looks a lot better than when I first got her!

  10. #10
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    Ed Korn's tools have helped me a lot, and his prices are pretty darn reasonable.
    I heard just yesterday that Ed Korn has sold his business. I do not know to whom.
    Jeff Dean − Tucson, Arizona − BMW MOA Co-founder (1972)
    http://bmwdean.com/2014-r1200rt.htm − MSF Chief Instructor (1994)
    Friend of the Marque (1999) − Prof. Gerhard Knochlein BMW Classic Award (2013)
    2014 & 2007 R1200RTs, R60/2s, R67/3, R51/3 ↔ 1949 R24

  11. #11
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwdean View Post
    I heard just yesterday that Ed Korn has sold his business. I do not know to whom.
    The web site has been updated. This is on the home page:
    CATALOG
    CYCLE WORKS, LLC
    5805 Haskins Street
    Shawnee KS 66216 USA
    Phone:913-871-6740

    dan@cycleworks.net

    NOTICE: Cycle Works is under new ownership effective Sunday, January 06, 2008. Customers should expect the same high standards and attention to detail theyÔÇÖve become accustomed to in their dealings with Ed Korn. Ed has worked extensively with the new owners to ensure this. Please use any of the contact information above to place orders, ask questions or just introduce yourself. We look forward to working with you.
    Note that the address and phone have changed.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  12. #12
    Tweaked, Not fried... :)
    Join Date
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    Do it!

    I think it is a wonderful idea to get a /2 for a project/daily rider! I have done the same, and as long as you are willing to do the grunt work of getting things sorted and/or replaced to safely and properly functional, a little "ugly" doesn't really matter!

    A buddy of mine calls a crusty bike an "oily rag" bike, keeps the surface rust from getting any worse and keeps the bike interesting! Patience in hunting down good parts goes a long way and is much less of a hit on the wallet! You can do just about everything with a bit of common sense and research.

    The final "fine tuning" takes talent and experience, so I am going to take mine to a local guru and pay him for that last tweak and once over. I am still way under the 5/5/5 rule, Although it is no means a concourse restoration!

  13. #13
    OldAndBusted
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducatimom View Post
    The final "fine tuning" takes talent and experience,
    having just done some work on a 70s honda, i can say that, aside from ignition timing, i would much rather tune my bmw. the carbs are soooo easy to get at and adjust. i love the boxer layout.

  14. #14
    Tweaked, Not fried... :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldAndBusted View Post
    having just done some work on a 70s honda, i can say that, aside from ignition timing, i would much rather tune my bmw. the carbs are soooo easy to get at and adjust. i love the boxer layout.
    Egads! Yup, the BMW is soooooo much easier!! Little Crusty is running pretty well (strong and even on both sides) but I am thinking a laying of the hands by my local guru will only sweeten the pie...

  15. #15
    SFBA Rider
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    Well, there are a couple out there that I've seen, but all have dual bench seats. I need to find out more about installing a solo saddle.... best link I found was here:

    Link

    If anyone knows of a good kit, please let me know... I'm hoping someone in the states has stock.

    Edit: Someone suggested using a Ural kit? That seems a bit odd. I am wary since it uses a rubber block, and not a damper+spring. Is the hardware even compatible?

    Edit2: Bench Mark Works had a kit, but again, the only one I can see uses a rubber block. Did the R50 / R60 not use a shock?
    Last edited by Slash2; 01-12-2008 at 07:45 AM.

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