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Thread: vintage road trip

  1. #31
    On the Road
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    Quote Originally Posted by flash412 View Post
    Darryl, you must be right. Anyone would have to be crazy to think that they could ride a BMW motorcycle made before 1996 anywhere more than to the corner bar. Nope, the only way to get a BMW motorcycle anywhere is in the back of a truck.

    My pal Dave Tharp rode is 1923 BMW R32 from Denver to Durango and back when the national was in Colorado back in the 1980's. Yup, parts are impossible to find. Funny thing, though, he didn't need any. Oh wait... of course... back in the 1980's there were still BMW dealers in every town that stocked every part for every bike. I forgot. Sorry.

    Fear of having something go wrong is paralyzing to some people. The others? We just go ahead and do whatever it is we were gonna do and deal with what MIGHT happen when and if it actually does happen.

    BTW... I would stick a failed rubbing block back onto the points arm with some five minute expoxy, Superglue or Devcon and be on the road in no time.

    What do you do when your Hall sensor fails where BMW closed the nearest dealership present nearest one is now 300 miles away? No, really, what if there is no cell phone service where the bike quit? Are you paralyzed by fear like a rabbit in the headlights or do you figger something out? My point is, old bikes are actually EASIER for an owner to get going when something goes wrong than the current "no user serviceable parts inside" models. Parts is parts. Some parts are critical and hard to get. Then again, getting struck by lightning is pretty critical, too. How much time do you plan to spend worrying about that? Terrorist attack? Asteroids? Eboloa hemorragic fever? For every part you can name that would spoil a trip on a /2 I can name one or an oil head. Your dick must be bigger than mine since you like oilheads. I concede. You win.

    The fellow asked about making a trip that is about 1000 miles each way. Add in some touring and you have a 3,000 mile round trip. What... is it unheard of for a /2 to make it 3000 miles without blowing up and crumbling into a heap? I thought the oil change interval was 3000 miles on /2 and they go twice that far between valve adjustments. THAT is why I don't see what the BFD is.

    Heck, last summer I rode my seven year old Cagiva on a trip of about the same distance as Old and Busted's trip. Do you know how many Cagiva dealers there are in the USA? (I sure don't.) It doesn't matter. I maintain my bike in my own garage. If something breaks on the road, I fix it. If I MUST have Cagiva parts for that, then I will just deal with it. Worst case... there's always a truck somewhere that can be hired or some storage arrangement that can be made. I guess I could always set fire to it and walk away.

    I took that trip with a pal who was riding a seventeen year old Moto Guzzi. Do you know how many street corners in the USA have Moto Guzzi dealers on them? I mean REALLY... is the BMW MOA's vintage guru suggesting it is folly to ride a /2 on a 2000 mile round trip? Or, Darryl, is it just that you have some issue with me personally and find you must disagree because I think Old and Busted riding his bike is a great idea (not a BFD) and said so out loud?

    I ride an F650 when I'm not riding my Cagiva. I regularly ride it to a rally 1000 miles from my home. I think the closest I come to a BMW dealer once I am more than 100 miles from home is about 200 miles. SO WHAT? Dealers don't stock jack**** for a 1998 F650. The difference between having a problem on my F650 that requires BMW parts (Aprilia, actually) and a problem on a /2 requiring BMW parts, is what? In either case parts have to come from someplace that has them that ain't nearby. Rather than tremble in fear of the unknown, I generally ride home from the Jailbreak in a day each year, roughly 1000 miles. It ain't no big thing. A /2 would likely be more a bit more comfortable though somewhat slower on the same trip, requiring two enjoyable 500 mile days, easy.

    BTW, Daryll, I'm not the luddite you seem to think I am. My Cagiva is fuel injected. So is my pickup truck. Unlike BMW fuel injection, there IS information available for Cagiva owners and for Toyota owners. THAT is the main issue I have with BMW. BMW's refusal to allow it to even be possible for anyone but a licensed BMW dealer work on the fuel management system or properly bleed BMW's ABS brakes just plain sucks. Who is BMW trying to be, MicroSoft? (We all know how much everybody loves MicroSoft.)

    Old and Busted, ride your bike. Have an adventure, just like everyone else at the rally. The cell phone and credit card crowd that wouldn't know an oil slinger if it bit them in the ass will look at you with awe and admiration for your "accomplishment." Meanwhile, the old farts who maintain their own bikes without help from a dealership will look at it as just another guy riding just another cool old motorcycle to another rally 1000 miles from his home, just like thousands have done in the past. Us old farts may even have more intersting stuff to talk about with you than which latte machine is compatible with CANBUS and how much the dealer charges to install it, or which BMW Motoman(tm) logo sweater pills up the least when actually worn under a riding garment.

  2. #32

    vintage touring

    I had some of the same reservations about taking off on a 1000 mile trip one way on my 1975 R90 S which I had owned for a short time. I had ridden it enough to know about what to expect in terms of oil usage which was minimal and that it started quite well if you got the technique down even on a puny battery. I rode it the afternoon before departure and then loaded up the side bags and a top bag except for the comb and toothbrush. Next morning at 5am I was in the shower and at 6am I fired the old gal up and warmed her up just enough to kill the choke and get a decent idle. Closed the garage door and climbed aboard and hit the light switch to find that overnight my headlight had stopped functioning.
    After a short deliberation with myself as to whether to unlatch my bags and put them in my truck and carrry on or not, I decided to pull her back into the garage and check things out. I narrowed it down to the handle bar switch or the headight relay. Since the relay was quicker to deal with, I tried that first. It took care of the problem.
    That got my confidence up so, armed with my laminated wiring diagram, some wire and crimp connectors and spade terminals as well as a spare starter relay, headlight relay, points, tire patch kit, a quart of oil, my tools, tire pump, rain suit,
    a pair of spark plugs, mini volt meter, a few metric fasteners, and a couple shop rags and a few clothes, I pulled out on the road just as if I had good sense.
    What I had determined as I was diagnosing the problem was that I could always thumb my way in, rent a vehicle and haul the bike, fix it, put it in storage til I could come back and get it or a multitude of other things IF I needed to but I would deal with that when the time came.
    As it turned out I made the 1000 miles in about a day and a half with no problems at all running 75+ most all the way and did some riding around while I was there visiting friends and relatives and then turned around and rode the 1000 miles back home with never a missed beat. I was surprised that I never had any problem of any kind in over 2000 miles after my driveway experience and the bike used about a pint of oil. Now I have no qualms about starting out to wherever I desire armed with a few spares that I know are likely to cause an occasional problem and take it as a little challenge to see if I can do it. I have ridden a lot of miles along with my fellow Beemer friends with their K's, F's, oilheads of recent years and have yet to have any of them leave me behind due to mechanical failure or lack of speed. When we arrive guess what the folks are looking at and taking pictures of and asking questions about. On two occasions I saw people stop at gas stations where I had filled up, stopping to take pictures of the bike.
    Several people don't believe this Daytona Orange machine can be 32 years old. It does my heart good to leave stock Harleys in my mirrors.
    I'm looking for an older bike rather than a newer one. I think I could use an R69S if I can find the right one.
    I guess I'm just crazy but I seem to enjoy it.

    1975 R90 S times 2

  3. #33
    Registered User AntonLargiader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Charlottesville, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by flash412 View Post
    is the BMW MOA's vintage guru suggesting it is folly to ride a /2 on a 2000 mile round trip?
    In his post he describes a nice long trip through a remote area on his /2, with none of the "paralyzed by fear" thoughts that you came up with.

    We took the /3 down to Asheville for the RA rally, it did just fine but as Darryl says, we'd be on our own if something went wrong. Which is normal; as far as I'm concerned we're ALWAYS on our own, no matter what we're riding. BTW it had no functioning charging system for the entire trip.

    I've been stranded three times by newer bikes (HES failure, fuel pump failure, and FD failure). The HES failure I could have easily fixed on the spot had I known more about it at the time. The FD failure, no. I had a friend ship me a final drive and I was off and running again. The fuel pump can be easily NAPA-substituted with a minimum of ingenuity. The HES is a known weakness, the pump is not, and the FD was not (on that model). Two are preventable, one (the pump) isn't.

    I've been stranded twice on older bikes; once by a rotor failure on an Airhead and another time by a catastrophic transmission failure. The first was random (and able to be limped away from) and the second was foreseeable but absolutely not field-repairable. Both are known weaknesses for their time; the tranny is preventable and the rotor is not.
    Anton Largiader 72724
    Tech articles - YouTube
    Virginia Motorrad Werkstatt BMW motorcycle service and repair in central Virginia

  4. #34
    Registered User Rapid_Roy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Waukesha, WI
    Quote Originally Posted by OldAndBusted View Post
    i'm considering riding a 1955 R50 out to the wisconsin rally (from vermont) and wondered what technical issues i ought to be aware of here (or if it's just a bad idea). maintenance i should do before i go? tools/parts to pack for the trip? things to watch out for? for example, i wondered if, being the middle of summer, i would be in danger of overheating it, if i ended up stuck in traffic somewhere. it's the first air cooled vehicle i've owned

    i'm currently in the middle of stripping the engine down to clean the oil slingers. also, i plan to do the obvious stuff like new brake liners, clutch plate, tires, etc. as well as packing extra spark plugs, oil, maybe extra light bulbs, bunch of generic tools (no original tool kit came with it sadly)...
    Good Luck. I am bringing my 1955 R50 also. I will enter it in the Vintage display. Perhaps we can compare notes. You will be riding much further, as I live in Wisconsin. Have a good trip.
    19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.

  5. #35

    Trips on old bikes

    First off, I am an Airhead: 1967 R60, 1979R100RS 1995R100GSPD

    But back in 2004, planning for Alaska after the Spokane rally, my wife and i purchased an F650Gs for her, and since I was not sure that I would like to pay big bucks for a BMW GS type, bought a 1989 HONDA TRANS ALP!! You know the rest of the story: 13,000 miles, 4 oil changes, two sets of tires, etc. And not one damn thing went wrong!! { Plus the bike DRAWS bikers to it} Will never get rid of it.

    So go out there and take what the trip gives you. It could be worse, you could be on a couch somewhere not able to ride.

    Jim Faucher
    beer garden co-chair

  6. #36
    i did it, and made it back home safe, but i'm glad i brought tools with me

    headlight dimmer switch needed opening up. contacts weren't making contact and the headlight was going out. high-beam on the bulb burned out in the first day. left it out in the rain overnight once and got some water in the float bowls, but not the tank, somehow. one spark plug cap came partially disconnected from the wire, which was my fault. biggest problem was that one of the washers on the bolt that connects the lower left rear shock to the swingarm just disappeared. dunno how such a large flat piece of steel could break in half neatly and disappear, but it did. the shock rode on the head of the bolt for a while and caused the aluminum lower cover to scrape on the inside of the upper shock mount. luckily nothing else fell off or broke as a result. the biggest trouble i had was from my homemade saddlebags, which tried to detach themselves from the bike several times. they ended up being re-duct-taped to the frame about 4 times over the trip. added a couple quarts of oil over the 2 week trip.

    pics here:
    they're in reverse order, so the first ones are on page 20.

  7. #37
    Registered User 130253's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    "The Atomic City", Paducah Ky.

    Old and Busted

    Great Job! Wonderful Photos! You are what its about, the journey!
    My compliments!

    Mark Evans
    Mark Evans
    1974 R 75/6
    "Life is a state of mind"

  8. #38
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Surf City, USA (Santa Cruz, CA)
    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    It sounds like your bike should be in sound condition by the time you're ready to head to WI. I'm sure it goes without saying that it would be wise to rack up some mileage closer to home, if nothing else than to instill a bit of confidence in the bike's roadworthiness and experience in what to expect from it.

    I didn't mean to sound like a worry wart, but you are pretty much on your own when you ride a pre-70s bike around. [...]

    I took my R60/2 on a 6 day camping trip to Death Valley a year ago and had a great time with it, even if it looked like a rented mule. You should have a good time with your R50 as well!
    Quote without comment.

    Congrats on what looks to have been a really great trip, one you'll surely remember for a long time! I hope it generally put a smile on your face, and on a lot of people you met along the way.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylRi View Post
    Congrats on what looks to have been a really great trip, one you'll surely remember for a long time! I hope it generally put a smile on your face, and on a lot of people you met along the way.
    absolutely. it felt kinda odd getting back home and sleeping in the same place more than one night in a row. i was surprised how comfortable i felt on the road, given it was the first time i'd ever been on a trip more than a day long alone, and only started riding last fall.

    it was quite an ego trip, too, because everywhere i stopped for food or gas or anything, i'd get a couple people asking me how old the bike was and then telling me how big my balls must be for riding it that far

    i'd love to do it again.

  10. #40
    On the Road
    Join Date
    May 2006
    South Eastern Kentucky
    Great pictures!!! Looks like you had a great time. I really like to see the older bikes on the road.

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