Sunday, June 21, 2009

New Bike--BMW

Well, Craigslist comes through again. Found an ad for a 1982 BMW R100RS, one of the bikes I've always admired from afar, but never seriously shopped for. The nice lady bought it from her aged uncle, the original owner, for her first bike. It's heavy, tall, long, old, and a bit rough. The nice lady was none of those things, and wanted a bike that was easier to ride. I trailered my '03 Honda 750 Shadow:

Trailered because the BMW may or may not run--mysterious battery/charging problems. Plus, it was going to be a couple of hours in the dark through deer country to get home, on an unfamiliar bike with electrical problems.

She liked the nice, low, easy-to-maneuver Honda, didn't have a problem with the "Rebuilt" title, and we made the swap.

I spent part of Saturday cleaning, waxing, and dinking around. Also discovered that Uncle Fred's electric vest is several sizes too small to zip around my muscular figure, and that the bike he put 48,000 miles on is hideously uncomfortable. I removed the very nicely-done rearset pegs and controls, put on the stock stuff, and it's transformed! Very, very comfortable, now.

I always thought of myself as a kind of sporting rider, and here I am REMOVING rearsets. My knees are 85 years old (according to my orthopedic surgeon) and just don't bend that far. (The rest of me isn't nearly that old, and the knees have never been out of my sight, but who am I to question a doctor?)

Also confirmed that the BMW factory is located in a part of the world where 85 degrees is considered blisteringly hot. The R100RS has the reputation for being very nice when it's cold and rainy. I can't speak for that, but I have proven empirically that the fairing routes a lot of engine heat to the rider. Not really what you want when it's 101. Taking off the fairing lowers pretty much fixed that, and I think that when I rebuild the forks, I will leave off the rubber booties and let a little more air in to evaporate the sweat on my hands.

Heres the sinister black beemer as it stands now:

Trying to decide what color to paint it. It's a well-done package in black, but it's not really what I want, and the paint isn't in great condition. I was convinced that Britsh Racing Green was it, then a dark metallic green, and now I'm actually thinking a candy-apple red. Gonna have to narrow that down a bit.

Probably will powder-coat a bunch of the brackets and bits and pieces like the valve covers, and maybe polish a few choice aluminum parts.

Not sure I want to take it apart for that--I'm kind of enjoying riding it too much.

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