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Thread: new owner - lots of questions...

  1. #1
    learning...
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    new owner - lots of questions...

    Hi All,

    I am the proud new owner of a '75 R60/6. I bought it a few weeks back and with the strange CO weather, I've only had a chance to ride it once so far - we had 4" of snow yesterday!

    I've owned several bikes over the years but this is my first BMW and it seems a little quirky.

    Obviously its a pretty old bike, but the transmission seems agricultural to say the least. I can feel every gear engaging and downshifting makes me clench my teeth. How smoothly should these things shift?

    The previous owner is an enthusiast, owns several of these bikes and performed all his own maintenance. He rebuilt the carbs recently. The bike idles nicely and runs well, but it seems to bog down a little during the transition off idle. Normal, or do they need adjusting?

    How much valve train noise is normal? It has a pretty good tick to it once warmed up.

    Lastly, do the valve seats need lead substitute?

    Thanks in advance. I'm sure I'll have lots of other questions as time goes on.

    My first post ... lets see if I can attach a pic:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    learning...
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    that worked so well, I thought I'd post another:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    REBECCAV
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    Hi Peter -

    Nice bike. Of course it's quirky! It's 29 years old! Except I call it 'character' and 'personality'.....

    As far as being able to feel every gear engaging, I think that's pretty normal for an old airhead. Mine does that and I have learned to put a bit of pressure on the shift lever before I actually shift. It seems to help, especially when downshifting.

    Lead substitute: I use it religiously, compulsively and fanatically.

    It's good that you've had a carb rebuild done, but as far as the valve noise, it's hard to say. Bogging down on the transition from idle could be an issue and it could just be that these bikes take a while to warm up. My bike has never done that (which means that it will probably start doing that next week).

    Is there an airhead expert in your area besides the guy that you bought it from? If so, you might want to take the bike around and have a chat. Or you could just ride your lovely bike, enjoy it and not worry about it.

  4. #4
    Registered User donkey doctor's Avatar
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    Hello; I had problems with shifting too, but I found a way to shift without all the noise. It's hard to describe because up shifting calls for a different technique then down shifting. The off idle bog sounds like a carberation glitch interfering with gas supply or air inertia through a jet somewhere. I have a 77 /7 and it has the old valves and seats and it has 77,000 miles on it using unleaded fuel with no problems whatever. I have the two spark plug conversion done to it, so I use regular gas. I think that if you put a few miles on it, it's peculiarities will make themselves known to you. Some of them will moderate, some of them are the nature of the beast and you will learn to work around.

  5. #5
    learning...
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    Great info!

    I guess I'll go with the lead substitute - it can't do any harm can it. Any special type, or just what they sell at the local autozone?

    Would synthetic gear lube smooth the shifting out at all? I've got no idea whats in there at the moment.

    As far as the bogging goes, I don't think the bike has been used much over the last 6-8 months, so I'll probably try and put a few miles on it and see if it smooths out any.

    As far as a local expert goes - Anyone in Denver interested in coming over and teaching me about this bike? The fridge in the garage always has cold beer in it

    Thanks again,

    peter.

  6. #6
    WesPeterson
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    Peter if no Denver contacts turn-up from this posting definitely fish on the airheads mailing list http://www.micapeak.com/lists/AIRHEADS/FAQ

    Very active list - you will be able to get in touch there with the Colorado AirMarshall who will have local contacts and you can also get info there on Tech Days in your area. Be sure and check out www.airheads.org as well. I think BMWMOA's resident airhead guru Matt Parkhouse is in Colorado Springs.

    Good luck! Also, do you know when the last time was that your bike had a clutch/transmission spline lube? That can be a source of difficult shifting.

  7. #7
    learning...
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    Thanks Wes.

    What is involved in the spline lube? I see it mentioned as a regular service item in the clymer manual, but I haven't found the chapter that reveals the details. I take it everything has to come apart....

    peter.

  8. #8
    WesPeterson
    Guest
    Peter,

    Check out

    http://www.airheads.org/index.php?Te...utch%20Splines


    (if that link doesn't take you directly to a spline lube article, go to www.airheads.org and click on "Technical Tips" and scroll down for the article entitled "Lubing Transmission/Clutch Splines")

    this article maintains you need only pull the transmission back a bit but some maintain that best practice is to completely remove the transmission.

  9. #9
    learning...
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    gulp!

  10. #10
    WesPeterson
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    Just say loud and proud "I am Peter hear me roar!" and have at it.

  11. #11
    Registered User
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    fellow R/60/6 owner

    Hey, nice bike! I, too have a '75 R/60/6. I bought it new...it now has close to 100,000 miles on it (may more, speedo broke a long time ago). I was once told by a mechanic that test rode it after servicing that it was the smoothest BMW he'd ever ridden.. He was amazed, but it makes sense. That engine design wasn't really made for big jugs...the bigger the jugs, the more vibration. I rode an R90/6 once and was amazed at all of the vibration. Make sure you have the correct amount of dope in the tranny! My carbs have never been rebuilt, but now and then the slides get a little sticky, so I have to shoot some WD40 down there and hit it with a little wet or dry sandpaper.

    I've had good service out of my bike. It's ridden every day (at least when there's no ice on the road) I've been able to ride it all winter down here except for just a few days. All those miles and the points have never even been adjusted...I just adjust the valves every year or so.

    The transmission-they always shifted with a "clunk". Don't be namby-pamby when shifting. Kick it into gear, up or down. You don't have to pull the clutch in all the way when shifting (except for first gear). Just a half inch will do on the upshift.

    Hey boxie girlie, what's the stuff you use to make your gas leaded? I haven't used anything for years, but I used to...

    Again, nice bike, mine used to look so clean, now it's rust but trusty and happy to be ridden all the time!

  12. #12
    REBECCAV
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    Re: fellow R/60/6 owner

    Originally posted by Joe Dabbs
    Hey boxie girlie, what's the stuff you use to make your gas leaded? I haven't used anything for years, but I used to...
    Dunno the brand - it's just called 'lead substitute'. You can get it at any place that has auto parts and supplies.

  13. #13
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    They shift better if you wind them up a little.

    IMHO, of course.

    dave
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  14. #14
    dlearl476
    Guest
    Originally posted by KBasa
    They shift better if you wind them up a little.



    dave
    No offence, but they shift A LOT better if you do it properly. Start here It's all about finding the proper rpms.

    Beautiful bike. Have fun with that.

  15. #15
    rocketman
    Guest
    The /6 gearbox should be a five speed, and while they are smoother than the /5 4 speed boxes, they do make some noise. IÔÇÖve seen lots of discussions on how to shift these bikes quietly, I think the most important aspect of shifting is to do so smoothly and not grind the gears or try to "smash" them from gear to gear. Doing so can round the corners of the dog-tooth gears that engage the drive gears and that can lead to the bike popping out of gear. A good smooth positive motion, not real fast nor real slow, of the shifter with the clutch disengaged works best for me. Give it a monument after pulling in the clutch to reduce the load on the trany, i.e. pull, shift, engage. DonÔÇÖt try to ÔÇ£speedÔÇØ shift, these bikes just arenÔÇÖt meant for that.
    Another thing youÔÇÖll find with these bikes, they love to rev. you can run them close to red line all day long. Keep it above 3000 RPMÔÇÖs, lugging the engine will cause fouled plugs and carbon built up in the heads, the power band really kicks in around 4000+ and youÔÇÖll find it runs smoother at higher RPMÔÇÖs, under 50 you should never be in 5th gear. Keeping the RPMÔÇÖs up will also help to keep a good charge on the battery.

    In the /6 series BMW went back to needle bearings in the valve rockers arms, and generally the /6 bikes are quieter and need adjustments less often. Learn to do this yourself, itÔÇÖs one of the easiest procedures to learn and one of the most often performed next to oil changes.

    For most of us airhead riders the tick tick tick of the valves and the ÔÇ£clunkÔÇØ of the shifter are the sweetest sounds on the road, about as distinctively BMW as youÔÇÖre gonna find. They will grow on ya in time.

    ShouldnÔÇÖt bog off idle, but cracking the throttle could cause some hesitation, unlike the CV carbs on the 750ÔÇÖs and above giving it too much gas too quickly can cause this, esp when the bike is cold, these bikes can take a good ?¢ hour to warm up to prime operating temps. Find someone to help you learn how to adjust them, again it not difficult to learn and the slide carbs are easier than the CV units.

    One other pointer, try to find out when the timing chain was changed, generally anywhere after 40 or 50 K miles on the timing chain can lead to erratic idle, increased noise and other problems. They donÔÇÖt break, they just stretch beyond the point that the tensioner can keep it tight and excessive play causes problems with timing etc.

    Have fun with the new ride, ride the piss out of it, and it will just keep going and going and going.


    RM

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