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Thread: 1988 R100rt

  1. #1
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    1988 R100rt

    What do I need to know about problems with a 1988 R100RT? (I am going to look at one in the morning.) I think I recall starters were a problem. And maybe the missing circlip--how does the missing circlip play out?
    Thanks

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    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be concerned about the starter...I'm not sure when the Valeo starters were used instead of the Bosch's. Starters can be overhauled and they're relatively easy to get to. Most any starter shop can do it.

    Yes, the '88 probably is missing the circlip in the tranny. Supposedly, without the circlip, one of the bearings can move from it's position and create some problems, requiring an overhaul. Here's an article on the subject of transmissions:

    http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/transmission.htm

    I wouldn't be too, too concerned about it. I've read posts where the missing circlip never caused a problem and others where it did. It probably is better to have it, as BMW finally put it back in late in the run of Airheads, I think in the '94 timeframe. But I believe you're going to get plenty of warning with visible slivers of metal showing up on the magnetic drain plug. Unfortunately, fixing a transmission really requires special knowledge, but there are probably 3-5 places that can do a great job.

    I'd just be more concerned about the general care and maintenance of the bike's past and go from there. Things like tranny and final drive spline lubrications, regular oil changes, etc.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Huckleberry, Gilera &Toad kstoo's Avatar
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    some reassurance

    I am not the original owner of this 1988 R100RT (her name is Sharona) but I have put on about 30k of her current 80k miles so we have a little history. I did not meet the original owner, there was a brief PO between the OO and me. But I do have some of his reciepts and it looks like the only thing that he wrestled with is some electrical problems which I seem to have solved with a Thunderchild diode board. Other than the electrical problems she has behaved very well.
    I am concerned about the transmission circlip problem but when I tried to research that I just got confused. Are ALL post 1984 transmissions without the circlip? At 80k+ miles I am not having a problem so far.
    http://pweb.jps.net/~snowbum/transmission.htm
    Other than that concern, I think that the "newer" saddlebags are crappier than the good old Krauser style luggage but, mmm, they are ok. I like the low windshield adjusted down for everything but bad weather and when I put it up there is too much buffeting. I just this very day have installed a Laminar Lip but can't test it today and, being January, might not get to test it real soon.
    I did get out on my R100 today though. I was wondering why there was so much traffic out in the country where I sometimes ride and then I realized that there were rubber-neckers coming out to gawk at the tornado damage that came through here last week. Just go away!
    I like my 1988 R100RT. Sometimes I wish that she was an RS but she can behave like one if I ask her to.
    1980 R100T (Gilera), 1982 R100RT (Toad), 1975 R60/6 (cern?¡calo)
    Adventures at the Cave

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    Thanks! I'll let you guys know if I buy it.

  5. #5
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kstoo View Post
    Are ALL post 1984 transmissions without the circlip? At 80k+ miles I am not having a problem so far.
    A service bulletin came out dated June 1986 that indicates the transmissions no longer will have the clip or the groove on the output shaft. No information was provided as to transmission numbers or models. Subsequently, a bulletin came out dated 12/8/97 which indicates that the groove and circlip were back. It stated that this would be on transmissions 240765 and forward.

    Matt Parkhouse mentioned in the March 2005 ON that the circlip disappeared around 1984 and brought back around 1994. I would appear that if "around 1984" is correct, then possibly some of the early '84 models (those made in late 1983) might have the circlip...maybe some of the ones in early 1984 had it still. But it's probably safe to say that 1985 and on bikes were without the circlip.

    I think that's why Snowbum is looking to get info on tranny numbers to help zero in on when the change happened.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  6. #6
    Registered User beemerguru's Avatar
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    With that many miles..it might be prudent to pull the tranny and have a pro pop the cover for a couple reasons: one to see if the bearings are moving (you can usually tell when it starts poping out of gear) and two, to replace little spring so you can shift! That spring goes and you are stuck in whatever gear you're in till it's fixed. Unless you want to lay the bike on it's side, move the shifter and let gravity move things till you can at least get 3rd so you can ride home ;-) Rare for a tranny with that many miles not to have something a little bit worn.

    Also see when the heads were last off...especially if you still have the emission plumbing hooked up. Easy way to tell if there MIGHT be a problem is drop the valve covers and see if the front halve of the head is a golden or dark brown..means tooooo much heat and the possibility of valve recession. If this has been fixed sometime in the past,,good for you!
    Greg Hutchinson
    R80G/S (4) 633CSi with 450K mile
    '68 R60/2 '88 K100RS Special Edition
    http://gregsgssite.shutterfly.com/

  7. #7
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
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    I think overall the later Airheads were trouble free. It depends a lot on the overall condition of the bike, how much it is being ridden, mileage and service intervals. I have a 86 and nothing stands out. Overall it is a solid bike. I also think it depends on the price. Somebody else found an airhead for $500 that was running and all there.... a rarity and a steal. Somebody else bought one for $500 and everything needed to be replaced... Depends on the condition. What did you find?
    Keep the rubber side down!!
    1986 R 80 RS
    1992 R 100 R
    BMW MOA Life member; Ironbutt Member; Airhead Member

  8. #8
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    I went ahead and bought it. One owner, like new bike with 12,000 miles. Owner gave me all service records. Everything is there, including unused tool kit and tire patch kit.

  9. #9
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    what did you end up paying for it?

    with such low mileage, if records don't show any recent wheel bearing work, i would get those checked over, for sure. one of those very common wear items that we don't commonly think of. Swingarm and steering head bearings should also be serviced (probably just clean out old gunky grease and replace with new greasy grease), but likely don't need replacing.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  10. #10
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    It came with a color-matching Velorex sidecar professionally mounted with a subframe. I'm sure I paid top dollar--I would be embarassed if I paid too much, so I better not say.
    Thanks for the bearing advice. Steering head had an adjustment at 10,000 and wheel bearings probably got a look then when the new tires were put on.

  11. #11
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    i wouldn't be measuring bearing life (or tires, for that matter) on that bike in miles, but in years. the answer to "at what date?" were these things done is more important than "at what mileage?"
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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