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  1. #1


    I'm considering purchase of a used R-model transmission from Fred Rowland's "Cycles Re-cycled" in Morganton, North Carolina. Anyone have experience or recommendations about this idea in general, or this business/individual in particular?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Club President HankPfister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia
    I've delt with Fred on several occasions. Have had good experiences. He shipped promptly, and the items were "as described".
    I have stopped by his shop also, once when in the area. He was very friendly and helpfull. He has several out buildings full of Beemers in various stages of dismantling. Good luck with your tranny problem.
    Hank Pfister
    Copper Hill, VA
    2007 R1200GS, 1973 R75/5/Dnepr, 1984 R100RS/Motovation.

  3. #3
    A definate "thumbs up"!
    Fred gives good service

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by brooksie
    A definate "thumbs up"!
    Fred gives good service
    I also give him a big thumbs up. I have had a couple of different experiences with him and they always have been very positive.


  5. #5
    There can be problems with transmissions that may not be readily apparent in riding the bike or inspecting externally (e.g., spinning input/output shafts & shifting gears). Difficulty in shifting or in turning shafts, however, may well be a good indicator of near-term problems.

    A few years back I purchased a 77R100RS for a very good price. When I agreed to buy the bike I didn't even know if it would run (it was a real good price though!) I found that the bike would run and the braking and shifting were good enough for me to ride it home (only 7 miles away).

    I got home and promptly drained all fluids. From the transmission I found a finger-nail sized piece of metal. Normally one should only see very small amounts of metal as very fine pieces on the magnetic drain plug. A larger piece of metal is not good. As the bike had 75,000 miles on the clock, it was time for a transmission overhaul.

    I used the Ed Korn videos to help me understand the procedure for disassembly and re-build. See:

    It turned out that the bit of metal was from a broken "dog" on the intermediate shaft. Two of the four dogs were broken. (A dog is an engaging part for co-axial gears). The bike would still transmit the driving force from the engine to the drive-shaft, but the likelihood of a failure of the other dogs was high and possibly soon!

    I found a good, used intermediate shaft for well under half the cost of a new part (new $575). The intermediate shaft is not rebuildable (at least I haven't found anyone that could do so).

    While the transmission was apart I replaced bearings, seals, and gaskets. I also installed the so-called "shift kit" designed to reduce false neutrals. There is a spring in the shift mechanism that is prone to early failure; that part was replaced as well. The Ed Korn shim kit was rented. I borrowed the special tool to enable the precise measurement for shimming from the dealer that I purchased the bike from.

    Harbor Freight was the source for the press to replace the bearings and for the depth micrometers for the shimming. I was pleasantly suprised that the inexpensive depth micrometers were quite precise and well made instruments.

    I was inexperienced in heating the transmission; a necessary activity for disassembly and re-assembly. I bought 4 special markers called Tempil-Stiks from MSC. These markers are a type of crayon whose wax will melt at a specified temperature. I obtained markers with melt points at 175, 200, 225, and 250 degrees F. The desired temperature for the transmission assembly / disassembly is 212 degrees F. For the markers see:

    Subsequently, I've found that I did ok in my transmission work (i.e., bike runs and shifts well after the fact :-).

    So if the purchased used transmission is for a good price (I wouldn't bid over $200 on e-bay for a used transmission) or has some sort of "guarantee" then it is likely a worthwhile investment. If one can do the rebuild oneself, then new bearings, seals, gasket, and other parts may be needed at a cost of $175 or more. Labor for someone else to do the work would be more.

    There are some experienced fellows on the AirList that rebuild transmissions and seem to get good recommendations from folks. One frequent AirList contributor has put together much more information on AirHead transmissions. See:

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