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  1. #1

    Frame - Issue

    Hi All-

    I have begun work on my recently purchased 81 R65.

    While working in the bike this past weekend, I noticed for the first time that the fork stop on the front of the steering head has been damaged, allowing the fork to continue movement. Mu first concern is possible frame damage. The steering head gussets all appear straight and without damage. The stops on the lower triple tree also look fine. So no other apparent damage. Or course the front end could have been replaced, etc., so I am still concerned about frame damage.

    It has been suggested that I have the frame inspected by a service facility that has the ability to inspect the frame on a gauge/jig, etc. I have made a couple calls to BMW shops in the area, but no one seems to have this ability.

    I am located in Wisconsin. Anyone know of a service shop in the state or adjoining state that would be able to provide some help?

    Thanks for any feedback you can provide!


  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    San Antonio, TX
    Tom -

    The only places that I've heard of that have a reputation for BMW are in California. Two are listed in the Suspension section in the link in my signature line. Those same two places are listed on the IBMWR services page:
    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
    Two suggestions, both in adjoining states:

    Steve Strickland, at Motoworks Chicago, is my current go-to airhead mechanic (312-738-4269). I think he'd be able to either make a determination of your frame's straightness, or will know someone regionally who will. It may take a bit of effort to get to Steve directly---Motoworks is a busy urban multi-line dealership and shop, and there's at least one layer of "service writer" bureaucracy that you'll have to get through to reach Steve.

    Alternatively, Charlie Johnson, who's been a long-time independent expert BMW mechanic in suburban Minneapolis (952-449-0357), can undoubtedly do the same, and doesn't have the dealer-type intermediaries.

    Konrad Hittner
    East Lansing, MI

  4. #4
    Thanks, Konrad! I will follow up!

  5. #5
    3 Red Bricks
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Pleasanton, Ca.
    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Tom -

    The only places that I've heard of that have a reputation for BMW are in California. Two are listed in the Suspension section in the link in my signature line. Those same two places are listed on the IBMWR services page:


    The Frame Man in Sacramento is no longer in business.

    I used to have them do all my wheel and fork straightening. They were great.

    The owner passed away and evidently his widow did not want the business to continue even though some of the employees wanted to buy it out.


    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
    3 Marakesh Red K75Ss
    Mine, Hers, Spare

  6. #6
    John D'oh
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Close to Fort Worth Texas

    Steering stop damage

    Several crash angles result in steering stop damage. Things to check: gussets must be flat, no dents in down tubes (which should appear uniform on both sides from top to forward engine mount ), engine mount through bolts should not bind. Look for cracks in paint around steering head and at the lower terminus of the steering head gussets. If it looks ok in these particular areas it is probably fine. Fabricate a new stop and have it welded in place. Have the welder heat the entire steering head area to relieve stress. Also, check triple clamps - top plate holes must not be oval and plate must be flat. Stem must be square with bottom clamp and fork lock must align with hole in stem to work properly. Check your handlebars too. After reassembly (or before you start down this road to repair), test ride on flat pavement at various speeds... if you have to keep pressure on one side of the bars to go straight the frame or fork assembly is tweaked. The frames are mild steel and the structure is robust and will deflect momentarily before it actually bends. Otherwise, there are plenty of empty frames out there now from bikes that have been disassembled, not wrecked. You can buy one for less than $100.00 with paper from your state- transfer it into your name immediately and move your parts to it.

    Addendum: an accident that wipes the steering stop would definitely result in a bent front fork assembly. Fork tubes and wheel for sure and top triple clamp. Sometimes axle and cast clamps on sliders are damaged. In some cases a control handle will contact the fuel tank leaving a small dent. Most dealers I remember didn’t own a frame jig - I’ve only seen one at Perrys shop in Ft Worth Tx. They preferred to replace suspect frames due to liability issues so finding a shop these days with the tools is unlikely.
    Last edited by Na Cl K9; 10-31-2019 at 01:23 PM.
    John D'oh

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