Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1973 Green BMW R75/5 "Toasted"

We made a very quick trip to Las Vegas today. Left at 7:00 AM and back to Yuma at 7:00 PM. Picked up this green gem from a guy in Vegas. I'm showing a night shot cause it doesn't look so good in the day light. The right side is also the "best" side. A previous owner had a left side crash which damaged the left side. The cylinder/head is missing on the left. From the looks of the left side muffler the old girl took a serious hit. The seller thought it was a 1972 model but the serial #'s tell me it is a 1973 model, although manufactured in September 1972.
Surprisingly the headlight assembly survived the crash as did a lot of other parts. The left side of the tank is beat up and the "toaster" panel is gone. This bike could be resurrected but the cost would be prohibitive. If I had been saving all the old parts I've had in the past year I could have easily repaired the bike. I just don't want to take on another major project / money pit. It would need a different engine, carbs, tires and a lot of misc. pieces to get it going. I would easily spend another $800.00 to turn it into a running bike. After the wreck it was involved in, likely the frame and/or forks could be bent too. So with that in mind it will go under the "knife" tomorrow and be dismembered. I found a pair of keys hanging from a wire and by chance they fit the fork lock and seat lock. Don't often find locks with keys. It has a nice aluminum fuel cap which will be used on the /6 police tank. The fuel cap is about all I need off the bike. I will save all the little misc. pieces and bolts. A previous owner was definitely a hack. It has a Suzuki (?) throttle control, rear tail light ingeniously grafted on and a home made trailer hitch also. The guy also drilled holes in the front turn signal housings and appeared to have bolted fairing / windshield mounts to the turn signals. That basically ruined the housings. He also has nice mini "ape hanger" handle bars installed too. Well, it will be a nice Ebay donor for sure!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Beijing China CJ Side Cars / 1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster

I've been communicating with a guy from China (originally from New Hampshire) who runs / owns a motorcycle business over in Beijing China. He purchased some parts through EBay from me. He custom builds Chang Jaing side hack rigs. Many of his projects use BMW engines as the CJ engines are quite crude. He imports many rigs and sells a lot over there. They take on many custom projects. He is looking for BMW engines so I will send a couple his way. I have three spare lower end engine assemblies which I haven't had any luck selling. He sends a loaded shipping container to China from the East Coast every couple of months. In return he will provide me with some misc. parts from China as I need them. He does some neat custom work with exhaust systems, engine component polishing, shifting mechanisms and so on. I'm not sure what I'll order from him but he does have some really nice old style "fluted" mufflers as used on the older BMW's. I don't really need anything right now so we'll see what comes up. We are running to Las Vegas tomorrow for business. While we are there I am going to pick up a 1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster which I acquired through Craigslist and haul it back to Yuma. Not sure what I've purchased so am interested to see my sight-unseen purchase. The bike had been laid over and sustained some cylinder head damage. I'll post some photos of the new "barn find" when I get it home.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunny Yuma, caught another fish on the "list".

Got back to Yuma Friday afternoon. Did a few chores around the place. Finished pulling weeds and then we installed new clothes line wire on our clothes line. Darian is doing laundry as usual. Took a few short rides with the side car around the neighborhood. Was going to mount the Luftmeister Side tank today but decided against it. Already have enough weight on the rig and haven't been able to find a replacement fuel cap for it. I went ahead and listed the tank on EBay so we'll see if I can retrieve my costs. I received a pair of BMW "Bar Backs" for the R75 via EBay but unfortunately they interfere with the R75/5 steering damper control so I won't be able to use them. I cleaned up a pair of stock BMW handle bar mounts to include in the sale. I see someone else listed the exact same bar backs this morning so decided to add the stock clamps with the listing. I also had an old R75/5 tool pouch which has been laying around for years so listed it also.
I've continued my "Craigslist" fishing expeditions in Yuma and Las Vegas for the past few months. Yesterday I got a call from a former Montanan who saw my "wanted" ad. He has a crashed 1972 BMW R75/5 Toaster for sale that has been in his shed for years. He purchased it years ago with the intention to restore it. Ends up that the restoration costs outweigh the value of the bike so he decided to sell it after seeing my ad. Not sure what all is there but the price is very right. I'll be back to Las Vegas soon so I'll pick it up and drag it back to Yuma. That will give me another project bike to either repair or part out. I'll probably part it out. One cylinder was permanently damaged when the bike went down. He said he had two fuel tanks and a lot of misc. stuff for the bike so we'll see what we end up with. My fishing trips seem to pay off if I keep at them. Just takes patience and persistance.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sows Ear to Silk Purse

I purchased an orphan Luftmiester saddle tank a while back for use with the side hack. It was ugly with many layers of paint. I used some chemical stripper ( my first time) to remove the paint. Ends up there were many layers of paint with a base layer of some sort of HEAVY rubberized factory coating. It was a nightmare to remove. Spent hours to get it all off and not damage the aluminum underneath. There were stress / tool marks from the original stamping so had to take varying degrees of emery cloth to remove the stamping / tooling scars, then used progressively finer paper to polish it. It came out pretty good although any minor dings in the aluminum now show up. I much prefer the look of the raw aluminum. The tank won't fit on the BMW as it interferes with the kick start lever. I might mount it to the left side of the side car. It has proper height to gravity feed to the carbs and will add another gallon capacity in a pinch. We travel a lot of back roads and gas stations are sometimes far apart.

4 (or more) hours of labor, two cans of caustic paint stripper, two plastic scrapers, half a dozen pairs of rubber gloves, various steel wool and sos pads, 4 different grades of emery paper, rubbing compound and finally Mothers Aluminum Polish brought forth the birth of a somewhat presentable aluminum one gallon fuel tank.

Now the next challenge if hunting down a proper fuel cap. First I'll try the IBMWR list and if that doesn't work I'll have to do some scrounging. Last resort will be having a machine shop fabricate one from billet. ($$$$)

Spent yesterday working on small projects around here. I have decided to keep this old Cop tank for now so ordered some NOS BMW Badges for it. Attempted to remove some ugly yellowish stains from the tank with rubbing compounds but to no avail. Whatever the yellow crap is, is there to stay. Looks like a paint job is in order at some point. Have an excellent painter in Dillon MT. who works dirt cheap. Maybe I'll drop it off to him at some point. I ordered a new pair of badges from Hucky's for $20.00. Also bought a set of new turn signal gaskets as mine are all rotten, $3.00 each.

I removed the bikes' windshield yesterday as there were two little ears which made contact with the headlight ear reflectors. This caused some undue stress on the windshield and a tiny crack appeared on the front of the windshield. I removed it and cut off the little ears with a grinder. The shield now is "relaxed" when mounted and not under stress. A new fork lock assembly is in the mail ($25.00), I am a bit nervous about leaving the bike outside all the time so the lock up will give a bit more security, for what it's worth.

An Internet acquaintance was involved in a hit and run accident a few days back and wiped out the front end on his 1971 /5. He luckily came out with no injuries, thanks to proper protective gear. I happen to have a 1971 front end (which I was keeping as a spare) and decided to sell it to him if he needs it. Most of my day was spent disassembling the front end and inspecting the parts. They appear to be in good condition and with seals / clean up they should be fine. The upper portion of the springs were rusted on one side. Upon draining the fork oil I found that the oil was very clean and the rust must have been a result of condensation in the housings. I've compiled so many spare parts over the years that it has gotten out of hand. I've run out of space to store everything. I'll probably regret selling off so many of my spare parts but oh well....If I need something I'll just have to hunt it down.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction

Ariel Square 4

GCS (Austrailian I believe)

Crocker Twin

NSU Sport Max Racer

1953 Zundapp KS601

Don't remember what this was, but was a small single. It was beautiful and $9500.00 would take it home.

This Vellocette sold for $29000.00 while we were there.

Excelsior Super X

Excelsior Super X Recent Barn Find. Complete and original. Sat in a coal shed under a tarp for eons. Was still owned buy the original owner when found.

1950's Motoguzzi & Sidehack. This is the only sidehack of this make in the US
Swiss made "Universal" Boxer Twin. 1950's
Steve McQueens 1949 Indian
1936 Brough Superior
1928 BMW

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Heinrich & other Fuel Tank Examples

When I picked up my $100.00 "craigslist" purchased BMW this how I found the bike. The old tank appeared to be pretty rough but upon closer inspection no dents were evident. There was one nasty scratch on the right side, no cap or tool box cover. The bike was pretty much beyond hope as the restoration cost would have been way more than the bike was worth. The chassis went to a fellow needing parts and pieces.
This is the /5 or /6 German Police Tank I recently acquired. I've decided to go ahead and restore the tank and hold onto it as a spare. I tried to sell it on eBay but the prices are down right now. I'm seeing dented up standard touring tanks going for under $150.00 and decent ones going for under $200.00. I won't give this one away. I ran it a few weeks ago and it only went up to $175.00. I had a $300.00 reserve on it. So I'll just keep it. I already purchased a key for the tool box. I'll eventually purchase new BMW Roundels, knee pads and get the paint redone in Black. The tank is actually pretty nice now though the paint is marginal and there are a couple of flaws in the metal work.
These tanks are pretty rare in the U.S. They are more common in Europe since that is where they originated. I have never seen another one other than in photos. This touring tank was originally a 6.2 Gallon Tank but with the volume loss from the tool box it is probably closer to 5.75 to 6.0 Gallon now.
This is my bike with the Heinrich Fuel Tank. I am still not sure of the capacity but have narrowed it down some. I think it is considered an 8.2 gallon tank. The similar ones without the tool box are sometimes 9 gallon. The toolbox displaces some volume. It appears that Heinrich made many different varieties of tanks and the sizes varied from one tank to the next. Searching the web I have found at least a dozen different makers (from the 60's & 70's) of after market BMW Touring and sidecar tanks. Some where steel, some aluminum and some were fiber glass. I recently saw one fiber glass one advertised but the seller recommended some sort of relining for the tank as the Alcohol in the newer fuels would eat up the tank over time. I think I'll stick with the steel varieties.

The photos below come from "Johns Beemer Garage" web site. He has an extensive gallery of BMW motorcycle fuel tank examples.
This is a near identical Heinrich found on the web. This one was referred to as a 9 gallon unit. It seems that many tanks look alike but when you really study them you can find subtle minor differences. The angles at the knee indents look a tiny bit different on this one. They have more of a radius at the knee indent areas.
I included this photo of a /5 because of its' braking set up. It has a Hoske Tank I believe. The front brake unit is a Munch unit from the German "Munch Mammoth". This brake assembly is very rare and probably impossible to come by now days.
Here is a /5 Police Tank with the radio unit still in place. I've read that about half the police tanks that surface are missing the tool box cover. The radio unit is very heavy according to the owner of this tank.
This is one of maybe 50 Aluminum Heinrich tanks which were produced. When I found mine I had high hopes that it was an aluminum specimen but that was not to be. There probably aren't too many of these aluminum ones left in the world. They would be very expensive if you were lucky enough to find one. There may be some painted aluminum ones out there hiding under multiple layers of paint.
This was referred to as a "Heinrich Fuhrmann 3 Tank. It appears to be identical to mine.
This is a 12 gallon Heinrich Tank on a later model BMW. This is probably the largest tank Heinrich ever manufactured. It is big.
This Heinrich is on a /5 BMW and appears to be the same tank as mine. It is setting on a real neat little cafe bike. Notice how the engine cylinders are offset when looking down at them. The riders foot pegs are also offset to match the cylinders. Most non BMW riders probably don't notice this trait of the BMW airhead.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Agua 2009 Birds Eye View


Scott, drying his newly painted toe nails by the fire. It takes a good 30 minutes to properly dry your polish. ( for those who are wondering / planning) His choice of colors matches his shirt. He is one of a few members of an obscure historical fraternity who were present. We had many planned events this year ...1) eating ...2) drinking .........3) drinking ...4)sleeping.....did I mention drinking? and of course the hot springs pool and the 2 night moonlight trail night hike. Darian and I decided to forgo the Moonlight Hikes this year as I would prefer to break my ankle in the daylight.
This morning a very curious site greeted us upon awakening. Somewhat like a crop circle, these chairs somehow managed to create a sculpture in the night. One poor guys chair was near the top so his departure was delayed.
A crowd gathered and gazed with amazement at the well designed geometrical structure. What strange creatures would do such a thing in the depth of the night.............We'll never know.
Upon departing the area near Mexico I just had to visit a well known local tourist attraction. In the recent past the "New River " has graciously been awarded as the most heavily polluted river in the country. It features Hepatitis, Typhoid, Amoebic Dysentery, E-Coli to name a few. Border Patrol folks who enter the lovely waters are considered heroes ( as they are transported to decontamination) no matter what they are going into the water for. Numerous Mexican industrial sites are just upstream. It is awfully nice of the Mexican people to import these treasures to our country. Illegals have been known to swim into big white blobs of industrial goodies and float into the country concealed in the white masses. We had hoped to take a dip just to say we have but our time was short so we had to pass. Maybe next time through.....
Posted by Picasa

Oops, forgot the kitchen sink

It's that time of year and the 13Th annual First / Last Chance Rendezvous again rolls around. According to Kelly P., the co-host / founder we have attended each and every one since its' conception. ( I think we missed the very first one) We took an extra day to make it a four day / three night affair. We took an alternate route which took us through Calexico Ca. / Mexicali Mexico. This road runs parallel to the Mexico border for many miles. This photo shows a Border Patrol vehicle with a "Tire Drag" which obliterates foot prints and tracks so they can more easily track the numerous illegal visitors coming into our country for a visit. About 500 yards towards those mountains in the background and you are in Mexico. Looks like they "Drag" the roadside every day as they were at it again when we passed through going home. We saw dozens of Border Patrol units on our way over and had to go through 3 different check points. They are always on the lookout for illegal people, drugs and whatever. Only one had a sniffer dog. Had a nice ride over (70 degrees) and arrived just in time to set up before dark. We packed everything imaginable with us including the portable bar for the annual A.M. Bloody Mary Breakfast.
Kevin / Scott set up their new condo and featured an "alternate" Condo Bar. Had a few kegs of home brew and every legal intoxicant known to mankind. I think there were also a few unknown to mankind. The Condo is well equipped to handle any sort of situation or need which may arise. We were invited a day early and arrived to find about two dozen additional folks who just decided to show up. so much for early arrival / choice camping spot. It didn't matter as there is plenty of room and sites were plentiful.
This is a view of the site from a vantage point early Saturday morning. Our tent is the orange one in the lower right corner. Must have had around a 100 people come and go over the weekend. The food was as good as ever and more was prepared than we could possibly eat. We were served three meals per day and all the beverages you could take.
Darian and Scott. Scott has been invited to St. Johns (in the Caribbean) for a month of part time artist work. The lucky dog. He is a very talented Glass Blower. ( This photo was taken Saturday afternoon , it was a bit breezy and a few clouds were present. All in all the weather was great. Rain was reported within a few miles but as always, it never reached our area. The boys provided enough firewood for a few more days so a large effort was made on Saturday night to burn it all up. It was ROARING all evening..........
Posted by Picasa

Gila Mtns.

Gila Mtns.