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Thread: When did snowflakes come along?

  1. #1
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    When did snowflakes come along?

    I have a '78 R100/7 and I purchased it with snowflake wheels on it that I think were original. Mine was a later '78 than others. However, I have seen some '78's that came with spoked alloy wheels.

    Does anyone know when or why they switched from spoked to snowflakes, even on the same model and year?

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    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Pretty sure it was the '77 models...none were used on the /6s. Here's a brochure for the 1977 line from the ephemera website:

    http://www.omnilex.com/public/bmw78/772w.jpg

    According to the spec page from that brochure, the mags were extras for the R100RS only.

    http://www.omnilex.com/public/bmw78/773.jpg

    In the 1978 brochure, they were standard on the R100RS and spokes were standard for the rest of the lineup.

    In the 1980 brochure, they were standard on the R100RS, RT, and S models; spokes on the others.
    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!

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    And boy are they tough to clean. This early winter riding up here on the wet coast means you get caught in the rain suddenly from time to time when you head out for spin on a nice day. It's happened to me twice in the last couple of weeks on my RS. I made a mistake though and did a "thorough" cleaning using Simple Green. At the time I thought it was doing a way better job than soap and water and hours of tedious scrubbing all those surfaces. But it has left stains and discolouration that I can't seem to remove now. It seems to have ethced in water stain looking blemishes.

    Then I came across the warnings about Simple Green here (too late!) and the link to Brook Reams site. He seems to really favour the Autosol lineup of magic chemicals. But he also does his magic when things are completely disassembled.

    I'm really not sure what to do next. They sure look great cleaned up and polished but I don't know how many more wheel cleaning sessions I can handle. Three different brushes sitting on a stool or on your knees and a couple of hours later they really don't look any better! Arrrggghhh.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Pretty sure it was the '77 models...none were used on the /6s. Here's a brochure for the 1977 line from the ephemera website:

    http://www.omnilex.com/public/bmw78/772w.jpg

    According to the spec page from that brochure, the mags were extras for the R100RS only.

    http://www.omnilex.com/public/bmw78/773.jpg

    In the 1978 brochure, they were standard on the R100RS and spokes were standard for the rest of the lineup.

    In the 1980 brochure, they were standard on the R100RS, RT, and S models; spokes on the others.
    Kurt,

    I am not sure if I am reading your spec brochure correctly or not, but under the optional section, it seems to say that the snowflakes were offered, but was that ONLY for certain models, and not the /7 ??

    I am going to try to upload a copy of a brochure I got somewhere that shows a standard '78 R100/7 with the flakes. It is entirely in German, so I would not know what is stated. I am just wondering if there were a clear-cut date/model/time when the snowflakes were offered as standard or...maybe they were always optional on all models?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Quote Originally Posted by happy wanderer View Post
    And boy are they tough to clean. This early winter riding up here on the wet coast means you get caught in the rain suddenly from time to time when you head out for spin on a nice day. It's happened to me twice in the last couple of weeks on my RS.
    I'm really not sure what to do next. They sure look great cleaned up and polished but I don't know how many more wheel cleaning sessions I can handle. Three different brushes sitting on a stool or on your knees and a couple of hours later they really don't look any better! Arrrggghhh.
    I don't think these are simply aluminum, because they seem to have some sort of coating on them, and not just paint. The coating is pretty thick and over the years, mine seem to have allowed some of it to crack and peel off. I would like, someday, to get them powder coated, and actually got the price of $85.00 each if I completely disassemble. Included would be sand (or whatever) blasting.

    May do it someday, because they have a dynamite silver that would make them look great.

    As to the design, I love the design, just not the finish.

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    Jimmy -

    That complicates things. The brochures that I was refering to were US while you have German brochures. We know that there are differences between US deliveries and the rest of the world. Add to that a dealer could make a change on the floor in order to sell a bike. As with many things, it's probably impossible to know for certain what really happened. Tom Cutter was working at Butler and Smith during this time...he would probably have the best insight as anyone...but it would also only be from the US-bike side.
    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!

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    Kurt:

    I am pretty sure you got it right. No snowflakes on /6 and for the 1977 models (which were introduced in 1976) snowflakes on the RS only. Later models had snowflakes when the rear was a disk brake, like the R100S "Sport" in 1978 for example. Then the snowflake became standard in early 80s.

    Jimmy: You will have to find someone close by who can read German....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Jimmy -

    That complicates things. The brochures that I was refering to were US while you have German brochures. We know that there are differences between US deliveries and the rest of the world. Add to that a dealer could make a change on the floor in order to sell a bike. As with many things, it's probably impossible to know for certain what really happened. Tom Cutter was working at Butler and Smith during this time...he would probably have the best insight as anyone...but it would also only be from the US-bike side.
    I noticed other anomalies too. Rear fender is silver, not primary color. Also side panels are black instead of bike color. Also, the rocker covers are painted.

    My particular bike has snowflakes, and fenders, side panels and tank are all painted bike color. I have painted rocker covers.

    I am pretty sure it was a US sold bike (I don't know where) and I would bet that you are correct in that dealers did do some "customizing" with some stuff.

    Thanks for your input. I was just curious.

    When I worked at the Honda dealer, Honda was unpredictable. They would be changing things all the time. For example, at that time (dark ages) Honda only offered 8 models, from 50cc up to 305cc. On my 305 Superhawk, there were already 8 or so different front forks. As a dealer, there was no way to stock all of the differing parts for all the different models. But, however, Honda had a super distribution system. The dealer could order a set of front forks, for a specific serial numbered bike, and the forks would be there in a couple of days. Same with cylinders, carbs, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    Kurt:

    I am pretty sure you got it right. No snowflakes on /6 and for the 1977 models (which were introduced in 1976) snowflakes on the RS only. Later models had snowflakes when the rear was a disk brake, like the R100S "Sport" in 1978 for example. Then the snowflake became standard in early 80s.

    Jimmy: You will have to find someone close by who can read German....
    My rear snowflake ('78 R100/7) was a drum brake, like the pic of the one showed in the German Brochure I uploaded. I can't remember where I got that brochure, but I CAN read in the upper left hand corner that even in German it says 1978 R100/7 !!

    I would like to think that mine was purchased new as I still have it, but who knows?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    I am pretty sure it was a US sold bike
    You can verify that by matching your VIN with that on Phil Hawkley's website:

    http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/chassispage...hassis1000.htm
    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!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    I noticed other anomalies too. Rear fender is silver, not primary color. Also side panels are black instead of bike color. Also, the rocker covers are painted.
    No, that's just reflection off the black plastic (not painted) rear fender.

    Rocker covers were black on all R100s '79 on, and I think this may be a '79 bike. '79 was the year of the wild paint jobs.

    My '78 R100S came with snowflakes--there were some mid-year changes and my S came without S fairing and with gauges in pods and was Red Smoke. It had unpainted black battery covers, too. This was (probably) a USA-only configuration as USA dealers assumed fitment of a Vetter or Luftmeister fairing.

    Translation from German is often kind of funny, and in the early paper parts catalogs, Snowflakes were called "cast iron wheels." They weigh like they really are, especially compared to wire wheels.

    Why did all models eventually have snowflakes? Because USA dealers wanted it that way. In the '80s when the R100CS arrived, USA dealers refused the spoke wheels again. Those sold elsewhere with spoke wheels provide the only source of spoke wheels designed for the new Brembo brakes.
    Last edited by lkchris; 11-11-2013 at 12:21 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Rocker covers were black on all R100s '78 on.
    Not sure how universal that might be...my '78 R100/7 has the non-painted valve covers. I'm second owner (only by about 2 years) but am inclined to think they're original. My bike is also an early '78 model being built in 9/77. Could it be that my bike got left over covers from '77? Maybe the black covers didn't come out until January 1978? It's all difficult to know for certain.
    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!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    No, that's just reflection off the black plastic (not painted) rear fender.

    Rocker covers were black on all R100s '79 on, and I think this may be a '79 bike. '79 was the year of the wild paint jobs.

    My '78 R100S came with snowflakes--there were some mid-year changes and my S came without S fairing and with gauges in pods and was Red Smoke. It had unpainted black battery covers, too. This was (probably) a USA-only configuration as USA dealers assumed fitment of a Vetter or Luftmeister fairing.

    Translation from German is often kind of funny, and in the early paper parts catalogs, Snowflakes were called "cast iron wheels." They weigh like they really are, especially compared to wire wheels.

    Why did all models eventually have snowflakes? Because USA dealers wanted it that way. In the '80s when the R100CS arrived, USA dealers refused the spoke wheels again. Those sold elsewhere with spoke wheels provide the only source of spoke wheels designed for the new Brembo brakes.
    I think you are correct about the rear fender. That "silver" look is actually a light reflection of the black plastic.

    However I an not so sure about the snowflake wheels only being on the '79. If you enlarge the poster I uploaded, the picture description clearly reads 1978, not 1979.

    Also, Kurt, you may be correct about the painted/non-painted valve covers. Per an earlier thread about 2 months ago, I know my '78 was built 4 or 5 months after yours. I am sure that that they did use up certain inventories. I had thought that the valve cover difference was that they offered non-painted valve covers on the non-sporty models like mine, but I am pretty sure mine did come with the painted valve covers (unless it didn't !!!).

    jlc

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by happy wanderer View Post
    And boy are they tough to clean. Arrrggghhh.
    IKEA sells ANTAGEN Dish-washing brushess ($0.99) brushes that have made the cleaning of my snowflake wheels much easier and quicker . Fortunately, I have had no discolouration issues.
    Paul
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    Max BMW fiche shows all naked R100's, thru 1984, with aluminum, not black, valve covers.

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