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Thread: newly acquired '58 r50... help with starting

  1. #1
    Registered User ramoneo's Avatar
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    newly acquired '58 r50... help with starting

    ...a very proud owner of my first BMW- a pair

    '58 r50
    '63 r50/2

    ... had been looking for the past year for a classic, got close to pulling the trigger on several, glad I waited. Found a gentleman South metro looking to sell a couple together- couldn't resist. Both ran last fall, no gas in tanks, one has dead battery. Will test this week hopefully both in running condition.

    Need help with starting procedure, aka 'tickling' carbs. What is your 50deg cold-starting procedure? I know there's numerous ways to do it and each bike is different, just wanted to get as many ideas here as possible so I can hopefully ride this week.
    '57 r50
    '61 r50/2
    '03 Ural GearUp
    '03 Indian Chief

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Here's my "cold" method, which I would think is the situation you're talking about.

    - ignition off
    - push and hold each ticker for 3-5 seconds...this is where you can adjust the amount of "flooding" involved
    - kick the engine 4-5 times, throttle closed
    - key on
    - hold throttle open about 1/4 of the way (this is where the internal cruise control on the /2 throttles is really nice)
    - find the beginning of the compression part of the kick stroke and give it a good kick
    - be ready to work the throttle and stab at the ticklers quickly

    My R69S doesn't have the air lever on the air filter, so I don't have that "complication" for trying to start. I suspect this is for seriously cold weather...the manual in the link below says below freezing.

    http://bmwdean.com/1966-owners-manual.htm

    Occasionally, the kick starter internal gear can end up in the wrong spot and the kick lever will become rock solid. Be mindful of that. If you sense that, stop kicking (of course), pull in the clutch lever, and kick through once...that should relocate the segment gear to a better spot.

    Hot is a different routine, but you asked about "cold".
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> 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

    I have studied the art of /2 starting

    With all due respect I have found the R 69S to be a cantankerous old fart when it comes to a cold start and I live in South West Florida. Sorry but mine is a pig when it comes to getting up and running after only one week of neglect. I have a couple friends with them and its the same kick a few, idle a few, stall and try again. Yup they are in tune but they are just cold blooded machines that can't stand cold starts. My R 60US is a one kick wonder regardless of how long it sits, two minutes, two weeks or even several months I turn on the gas (no tickle) and one or two kicks shes good to go. Its almost like Fuel injection.

    My "55 R 50 that I rescued from a Harley guy was the same way as the R 60US, that is before I took it part to fix the "redneck restoration" it was wearing, still getting corrected. Turn on the gas and give the kick start a little shove and fired right up.

    For either bike you will not need a charged battery for it to run, you just need a battery (that is not shorted out) to complete the circuit.

    After you have cleaned the carbs really good, I mean pull the slides, jets, floats and all the little plugs and cleaned them along with the gas tank you can add some fresh gas.

    ***I personally would pull the valve covers & front cover and check valve clearance and points and timing but you may skip that if you just want to take it around the block a couple times.***

    For a 50 degree start on an R 50 or R 50/2 and assuming its in good tune and all is mechanically sound I would:

    1. Turn on the gas
    2. Count to twenty
    3. Bounce the carb ticklers about four times each
    4. Set the choke lever on the air filter at full choke
    5. Set the throttle at 1/4 ( barely open)
    6. Rotate the motor to the top of a compression stroke
    7. Put the key in the run position and give it a good swift stab on the kicker. DO NOT BOTTOM OUT THE KICK LEVER ON THE FRAME OR BUMP STOP!!! That is a bad habit and will cause problems.
    8. If the bike starts be ready to close the throttle a little and open the choke lever on the air filter. Gentle throttle movements will keep it running and happy.
    9. If it doesn't start or dies right away you will have to make adjustments to your starting procedures as needed.

    Try less choke and no throttle or a little change in each but try not to get in the habit of flooding it out (holding down the ticklers) to get it started as all that will do is wash the cylinder walls clean of oil and carbon deposits and screw up your compression, trust me I know.

    Just in case you are wondering "What the heck are the Ticklers?" they are the small black knobs an the carb tops right across from the fuel line spigots and are spring loaded.

    Every bike is different and it takes time and patience to figure out how yours will start and run when hot or cold, enjoy the process of learning and never get bored with the results


    9

  4. #4
    Registered User ramoneo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69zeff65 View Post
    With all due respect I have found the R 69S to be a cantankerous old fart when it comes to a cold start and I live in South West Florida. Sorry but mine is a pig when it comes to getting up and running after only one week of neglect. I have a couple friends with them and its the same kick a few, idle a few, stall and try again. Yup they are in tune but they are just cold blooded machines that can't stand cold starts. My R 60US is a one kick wonder regardless of how long it sits, two minutes, two weeks or even several months I turn on the gas (no tickle) and one or two kicks shes good to go. Its almost like Fuel injection.

    My "55 R 50 that I rescued from a Harley guy was the same way as the R 60US, that is before I took it part to fix the "redneck restoration" it was wearing, still getting corrected. Turn on the gas and give the kick start a little shove and fired right up.

    For either bike you will not need a charged battery for it to run, you just need a battery (that is not shorted out) to complete the circuit.

    After you have cleaned the carbs really good, I mean pull the slides, jets, floats and all the little plugs and cleaned them along with the gas tank you can add some fresh gas.

    ***I personally would pull the valve covers & front cover and check valve clearance and points and timing but you may skip that if you just want to take it around the block a couple times.***

    For a 50 degree start on an R 50 or R 50/2 and assuming its in good tune and all is mechanically sound I would:

    1. Turn on the gas
    2. Count to twenty
    3. Bounce the carb ticklers about four times each
    4. Set the choke lever on the air filter at full choke
    5. Set the throttle at 1/4 ( barely open)
    6. Rotate the motor to the top of a compression stroke
    7. Put the key in the run position and give it a good swift stab on the kicker. DO NOT BOTTOM OUT THE KICK LEVER ON THE FRAME OR BUMP STOP!!! That is a bad habit and will cause problems.
    8. If the bike starts be ready to close the throttle a little and open the choke lever on the air filter. Gentle throttle movements will keep it running and happy.
    9. If it doesn't start or dies right away you will have to make adjustments to your starting procedures as needed.

    Try less choke and no throttle or a little change in each but try not to get in the habit of flooding it out (holding down the ticklers) to get it started as all that will do is wash the cylinder walls clean of oil and carbon deposits and screw up your compression, trust me I know.

    Just in case you are wondering "What the heck are the Ticklers?" they are the small black knobs an the carb tops right across from the fuel line spigots and are spring loaded.

    Every bike is different and it takes time and patience to figure out how yours will start and run when hot or cold, enjoy the process of learning and never get bored with the results


    9

    Thank you for this 69zeff65- exactly what I needed to know. Yes I was wondering about the ticklers.

    So far some stuff coming in the mail for both bikes:
    NGD B8HS spark plugs
    Valvoline VR1 30w eng oil
    CRC GL-4 Gear Oil
    New batteries
    Carb cleaner

    Planned on cleaning out the carbs before riding. Will ride til the snow falls here- hopefully not too soon. Any recommendations for winter storage (3-4mo)? Drain carbs, Sta-Bil, Seafoam?
    '57 r50
    '61 r50/2
    '03 Ural GearUp
    '03 Indian Chief

  5. #5

    Stabil works OK

    All you really have to do to drain the carbs is to leave the bike running on the center stand (or upright with while holding it if no center stand) and shut off the gas at the petcock. As part of your prep to ride you may want to make sure your fuel petcock operates and is not leaking. Depending on which fuel petcock you have, Everbest or Karakoma the leaking can and should be fixed. Karakomas can be rebuilt for about $10 in parts or replaced for about $50. Everbest are the bullet shaped ones that are a little tricky to rebuild and to some are not worth keeping.

    Try to find Ethanol free gas for the bikes if you can, if not they have some pretty good products out there that help to reduce the Ethanol caused problems. I would remove or at least disconnect the battery for storage and throw a trickle charger on them every week or two. It would be ideal if you could take them out for a ride every 30 days or so during the Winter.

    A couple great sources for parts is Bench Mark Works and Huckys BMW (on line). Vech at Bench Mark knows the /2's inside and out.

  6. #6
    Registered User ramoneo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69zeff65 View Post
    All you really have to do to drain the carbs is to leave the bike running on the center stand (or upright with while holding it if no center stand) and shut off the gas at the petcock. As part of your prep to ride you may want to make sure your fuel petcock operates and is not leaking. Depending on which fuel petcock you have, Everbest or Karakoma the leaking can and should be fixed. Karakomas can be rebuilt for about $10 in parts or replaced for about $50. Everbest are the bullet shaped ones that are a little tricky to rebuild and to some are not worth keeping.

    Try to find Ethanol free gas for the bikes if you can, if not they have some pretty good products out there that help to reduce the Ethanol caused problems. I would remove or at least disconnect the battery for storage and throw a trickle charger on them every week or two. It would be ideal if you could take them out for a ride every 30 days or so during the Winter.

    A couple great sources for parts is Bench Mark Works and Huckys BMW (on line). Vech at Bench Mark knows the /2's inside and out.
    Sounds good.
    So no Sta-bil or Seafoam for winter storage?

    Premium gas options near me:
    1. Shell 93 octane Non-oxy ~$4.50/gallon
    2. BrandX 100 octane racing fuel ~$7.50/gallon

    Recommendations?
    '57 r50
    '61 r50/2
    '03 Ural GearUp
    '03 Indian Chief

  7. #7
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Have to ask, owned vintage before?
    Nice find

  8. #8
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramoneo View Post
    Premium gas options near me:
    1. Shell 93 octane Non-oxy ~$4.50/gallon
    2. BrandX 100 octane racing fuel ~$7.50/gallon
    No need for premium gas on a low compression R50. I'm sure the lowest octane will do.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> 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!

  9. #9

    I would agree on the low octane fuel

    It seems my /2's run just as well on any of the low octane fuel, it just happens the Ethanol free stuff is 90 octane but I add a lead additive to help with valve lubrication and longevity. If the bike is going to be parked for a length of time Stabil or Seafoam wouldn't be a bad idea but more importantly you want to run your carbs dry prior to shut down. The Ethanol fuels tend to collect moisture and evaporate only to leave what I call "white rust" or a fine corrosion in the carb bowls and passages, it can also cause the floats to develop little leaks.

    When you rebuild the carbs make sure to remove and clean the jets (test the flow and pattern with a squirt of carb cleaner through them) and make sure all passages are clean and free of dirt and crud.

    Enjoy riding before you put them awway but be gentle and don't push to hard until you have a chance to check everything on the bikes. A couple things to be aware of long term are
    Wheel bearings
    crank shaft slingers
    drive train seals
    drive train bearings
    engine electrics
    brakes
    There are a few more essentials to think about and look after during ownership. There are excellent resources available on line and through the vintage BMW club so you can learn to do most of your own work and know when to step aside and let an expert take over. Vech over at Bench Mark Works has a good staff of knowledgeable technicians who can guid you, you may get lucky and catch him at a free moment.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by 69zeff65 View Post
    With all due respect I have found the R 69S to be a cantankerous old fart when it comes to a cold start and I live in South West Florida. Sorry but mine is a pig when it comes to getting up and running after only one week of neglect. I have a couple friends with them and its the same kick a few, idle a few, stall and try again. Yup they are in tune but they are just cold blooded machines that can't stand cold starts.
    Either you haven't found the magic routine for your bike or something is wrong. The routine varies from bike to bike. It took me a couple of years to get my routing dialed in. But once I got there....



    That was a cold start. For a warm start my bike liked to be kicked without turning the petcock on or giving the carbs any tickle. Just ignition on and kick with the throttle barely cracked. Once it started I turned on the fuel petcock.

    Note Well: the amount of time tickling was important. 2 seconds and the bike wouldn't start. 5 seconds and the engine was flooded. Mine liked 3-4 seconds per carb.

  11. #11
    Registered User ramoneo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wezul View Post
    Have to ask, owned vintage before?
    Nice find
    Yes I called him today to thank him again. Also I'm sending him back 8 ratchet straps he loaned me.

    Owned vintage bikes... somewhat= vintage mopeds yes. Cleaned carbs before yes. Also own a '03 Ural gear up (might as well be a vintage with how much attention these russian bikes need).
    '57 r50
    '61 r50/2
    '03 Ural GearUp
    '03 Indian Chief

  12. #12
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
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    Keep us up on what goes on, wont you.
    Cool, thanks

  13. #13
    Registered User ramoneo's Avatar
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    Photos here...

    I'm finding out this afternoon how well they run...if they start at all. Wish me luck.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    '57 r50
    '61 r50/2
    '03 Ural GearUp
    '03 Indian Chief

  14. #14
    Registered User ramoneo's Avatar
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    More photos...

    More pictures...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    '57 r50
    '61 r50/2
    '03 Ural GearUp
    '03 Indian Chief

  15. #15
    Registered User ramoneo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramoneo View Post
    ...a very proud owner of my first BMW- a pair

    '58 r50
    '63 r50/2

    .
    Just received confirmation from BMW Archive that the first bike (pictured above) is

    '57 r50 born Jan 29, 1957

    ..and the other one (not pictured yet) is

    '61 r50/2 engine on a '66 r60/2 frame


    Nonetheless... they both will be taken care off.
    '57 r50
    '61 r50/2
    '03 Ural GearUp
    '03 Indian Chief

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