High-Mileage Classics: 230,000-mile 1981 BMW R80/7


| 5/3/2011 11:49:58 AM


Tags: ,

bmw r80/7 
Derek Pugh's 1981 BMW R80/7 has logged more than 230,000 miles. 

After losing my fillings on a BSA, I looked around for an old Beemer and found a 1981 BMW R80/7. It had Akront wheels, an S-type fairing, a new seat and Krauser cases. As I drove away, the vendor shouted, “It’s hard to bump start.”

It wouldn’t start for two months. Firstly, the fuel was old, secondly, the battery had boiled dry. A new battery soon had it running again, but it sounded like the bike I’d just sold. After removing the drain plug, black sludge glooped out and the oil filter was a soggy pulp. Removing the sump, there was a perfect three-inch tower of gasket goo and other nasties underneath the pickup strainer.

All cleaned out, fresh 20/50 oil and filter and restart. A cacophony of noise assaulted me; most un-Beemer like. The valves were an easy place to start, but first one has to torque the head. My heart dropped when a nut pulled out its stud. Removing the cylinder, things fell onto my foot. The piston rings had long broken up, but the bore was perfect. I heli-coiled the thread, and after removing a burnt hamburger from each piston it was back together for sunny rides. Not.

With the valves quiet, a ring-clatter-ding from the front required attention. The timing chain could be folded over. A service kit solved that. Apart from a whine from the gearbox, the bike was sounding better. Assured that changing the box would take an afternoon (hah!), I obtained a good used item and set to it.



Removing the rear wheel revealed a dry bearing with a spinning outer race. The old trick of center-popping the hub and red stud lock secured the new bearing set. After taking off the gas/oil shocks for painting, I discovered they contained neither. Ho hum; a pair of Hagons sorted that one. I removed the block holding up the swing arm, but it remained horizontal; the taper bearings had given up the ghost long ago.

Wideload
5/12/2011 5:08:24 PM

A few months ago, my wife read Jim Alaimo’s article offering his step-by-step process to rebuilding classic bikes on the cheap. She said “why don’t your projects turn out like that?” Then I read Derek Pugh's vivid description about restoring his old Beemer - I felt vindicated. wideload


David Seymour
5/12/2011 12:24:46 PM

Of all the bikes I've owned a 1972 BMW R75/5 was the nicest.I purchased it for $1,000 in Glendale, Arizona with 64,000 miles on the clock. You ride 12 months a year in Arizona, and every day I rode the bike it always made me think " this is a good motorcycle ". I used to do 70 mph. coming back to Phoenix at night from Flagstaff through the mountain curves of I- 17 effortlessly. 50 mph on a Japanese bike would scare the you know what out of you. I wish that I could have a great bike like that one again. MC/Dave




The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $4.95 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $29.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds