A quick bracket

Only a small amount of work on the BMW this weekend. Spent most of the weekend in a procrastination mood, lots of stuff I want to do and once I start to work I am OK. Having a fun project to work on was a way to distract myself so that I dont end up with non productive weekends.

Anyhow, I made a very crude bracket that holds the brake light and indicators as the genuine BMW parts are just eye watering expense I can do without. Attempted to get the wiring into some trunking as I dont like the insulation tape routing going on at the moment. Also refitted the indicators and the right if a little fast but ok, the left side sadly comes on but doesn’t go off. I will need to try and trace the falt so I can get it to a MOT soon.

Oil Cooler, and the Wireless Ignition.

After a few weekends away from this project due to owning a Land Rover and a weekend away in Wales on my other bike (KLR650). It was time to get back to work on the BMW.

Firstly some bolts arrived so I could replace the calliper bolts as the old ones had been rather well abused in a previous life. So with the aid of a clamp I was able to take out one bolt at a time and swap them over to nice shiny A4 Stainless (Marine Grade). I will admit now I am not sure I should be using stainless as I think it should be High Tensile but the bolts are only done up to 32Nm so nothing major.

With that done I turned my attention to the oil cooler. I had an issue due to the fact I have the wrong cooler, the one I was given with the bike was for a newer model of BMW and has it’s mounting points on the top rather than at the bottom. So I took the hit and bought a new one as well as the kit to relocate it to the centre of the frame. With a fair bit of swearing I manged to get it into location and avoid it hitting the mudguard.

But one slight issue. It hits the fuel tank as I was unable to mount it centrally to the frame as one of the swagged ends is rather close to the engine bars. I did take a file to the cooler in an attempt to avoid the issue but its still not right. Fettle for another day.

Now comes the bit I was dreading for a while, the ignition switch. I don’t have one as such. I have the bottom part of the switch which I was using with a screwdriver to work it. I had looked to fit a second-hand ignition switch but I wasn’t happy at the cost of them and they seemed to be rather hard to locate one. So I took the plunge and ordered a Motogadget M.Lock. Which is a Keyless ignition system which uses an RFID chip to activate it allowing me to feel a bit safer about the bike when it is parked up as the ignition doesn’t take much of an effort to brute force attack it and make it rotate around.

Along with the sensor and tags, there is a 40A relay to do the switching. I also opted to buy the addon part called the “m.lock Backup Capacitor”, reasoning for this is that this is a large twin and could possibly cause the “m.lock” to disengage as you attempt to start it.

Fitting it wasn’t too hard, I just took the main feed from the ignition system and fed it back into the 3 other wires that comes off it. The slight differnces are the Side Lights come on with the igintion. Plus the fun that if you have the lights on when turning off the ignition the “m.lock” will disengauge but the relay stays engergised so won’t turn off the dash lights until you turn off the head lights.

Its not very complicated and there are a few things that I could do better. For example I could feed the m-lock, the relay etc all from the ignitions source but I didn’t as I was being a mixture overthinking the task and being stupid. There is also lots of wire which I should be able to reduce once I have a permanent location for the RFID sensor.

As I was looking at the electrics I decided it was time to take a look at the wires under the head stock and start to work out how to fit the indicators. A moment of annoyance when I found some electrical tape hiding some twisted pairs of wires, now secured with a WAGO Electrical Connector as I don’t have enough room to get a crimp tool in there to do it properly. They are nice as you lift lever, poke the wire in, close lever and the job is done.

WAGO Connector, rated to 32A

I have bought a set of LED indicators as I am missing the BMW originals and didn’t want to spend the money on those. I have some nice bright and smart looking ones. I went about the front end first and fitted connectors so I can plug and unplug them as suited. As usual with me, I then took the time to reassemble to head cowl properly as previously I was missing quite a few of the bolts and nuts. A lot less wobble now. So work began on the rear indicators and having connected the indicator I was able to test that it works. Though as you can see by the video I still have work to do such as fitting the load resistors and finding a way to mount the rear indicator. But it was starting to get late.

One final video for this post. When I drained the oil a few weeks back it seemed to be rather thin and smelt of petrol. So I have replaced the oil but I am starting the bike up and letting it run for a minute or so just to warm it up and to move the oil about, once I have done a few more of these I will do another oil change and also change the filter. As you can see it is burning some oil off, there is a drip of oil coming from the collector box so I am hoping its just the petrol/oil mix being moved out.

Finally fitting the carburettors

Well, the carburettors took some time to properly fit. I got the bike running without having them connected to the airbox correctly. But now its time to get them fitting properly so I can get closer to getting the bike MOTed and using it.

The way in which they connect was a little bit of a mystery as the parts diagrams aren’t 100% clear on what bits go in what order. But with a bit of faff and some persuasion, it was made to connect properly.

Firstly I removed the airbox so that I could clean it out properly, also grease the bolts etc. Also refitted the top engine cover before fitting the carbs.

The order in which the airbox, carburettors and engine fit together is an aluminium stepped tube[14] fits into the airbox[3] then a rubber tube[7] (but not shown in the correct place on diagram) fits over the larger end if the ally tube. The other end fits on to the narrower end of the plastic tube[5] the other goes onto the carburettor. The outlet of the carb is connected to the engine with another rubber pipe[7] and a metal threaded adaptor that screws into the head.

I also started to clean the bike now that I have the engine watertight as such. Using some ally wheel cleaner and some ph neutral cleaner (you know the stuff that indicates red on contact with rust). With the use of a stiff wheel cleaning brush, I worked about the rear wheel and hub scrubbing it. Now it looks a lot better, still plenty to clean but it was a start.

Time to make a brake for it.

When I bought the bike I was told that the calliper had been taken off to fix a customer’s bike as it was quicker and easier than rebuilding the old one. But the seller did say he would send me the old calliper in the post. I had made contact but as they were busy it didn’t happen. As his shop is in Crediton (https://unionroadmotovelo.com/) and my dad was passing nearby he stopped off and had success, he collected the calliper and the right-hand side panel that was also missing. They had it all in a box ready to be sent, just busy and forgot.

The caliper was in need of new pistons and seals, so the kit was ordered. Plus a few more odds and ends.

I cleaned up the callipers as best as I could and had to take off some burrs which I can’t begin to guess how they were caused. I find an easy way to remove the pistons is to push a little air down the calliper using a compressor but only use a small amount. I put the compressor on for only 10 seconds as to avoid too much pressure or the pistons will try to hurt you.

The fitting of the pistons and seals is rather painless and took the time while cleaning to make sure all the fluid holes where clean and free. I also changed the bleed nipples for some tidier ones I had in the shed.

Of course, the next stage was to fit the calliper and bleed the brakes. Which owing to the two nipples for each side it was a breeze to bleed.

Though the two M10 x 60mm Cap head bolts needed to hold the calliper together are in poor condition I wasn’t able to find any replacements in Yellow Zinc like the originals would be. So I have ordered some A4 stainless but I need to think about the tensile strength needed for holding both sides of the calliper together. My plan is to use a G Clamp to hold both side together while I release one bolt and change it.

I will admit that I am tempted to swap out the twin pot calipers for the 4 pots ones from the newer R1100 GS as supposedly with a bit of machining on the mounts they can be made to fit the bike, while keeping the original disk.


Its the weekend and I can spend time doing some work on the bike. So after a little fettling, it was time to fit the carburettor and see if it would fire up.

Its goes Brum

So it starts and though it has a little bit of smoke its not enough to worry about for now as it has been been in a shed with a petrol/oil mix in the engine. We only started it for <1m each time as we wanted to allow oil to move around the system and we were feeding it petrol via a small bottle.

Flush with the success of it starting I popped out and picked up some replacement fuel pipe as the stuff on there is a little ropy. Below are a few pictures of my efforts.

Starter motor woes

So the other weekend I attempted to use the starter and there was just a faint click but no start so I decided to take the starter off and and see if I could spin it up on the bench. Its only a few bolts which are easily annoying to get to in the sense of they can be seen but you need to use a small spanner and make small movements to get the longish bolts undone. But once undone the unit just slides out.

I placed it in the vice and using a spare battery I tried to get it to move but sparks but no life. so I started to disassemble it partially and managed to find this,

This is one of the wires to the earth brush so as I had little else to do I tried to solder it with no luck so found a crimp connector and just made it work. I also greased up a few bits and cleaned and lightly oiled the starter solenoid. Then I put the shaft into the vice and with a bit of oomph I was able to rotate it and I did free it up but it is not brilliant. It would need a full strip and rebuild. But I refitted it to the bike and gave it a test as I just wanted to turn the bike over to get oil into all the right places and it turned over but the starter would stick from time to time but it did enough for me to hear it turn over and to feel puffs from the sparkplug holes.

Valeo D6RA Starter Motor

I went onto the internet and ordered a new replacement starter for ~£50, the BMW specific ones are over £150 but this starter is also fitted to a variety of French cars so are rather cheap. But I also ordered a set of new brushes on the off chance that the cheap starter isn’t the right size etc.

After testing the starter I know the battery would need a top up so I took the moment to fit the NOCO charger lead (not a fan of Optimates). The NOCO lead has a nice feature which is a lower power LED that flashes every few seconds with an indication of charge level.


The New Starter arrived during the week and it only took a few mins to fit,

The Rebuilding of the Carburettors

I bought some second hand carburettors on eBay due to the mis-match I have with the
carburettors supplied with the bike.

So after taking apart the carburettors to clean them I decided it would be wise to replace the gaskets but as I was unsure of the standard jetting required I bought a rebuild kit from Motorworks.

The carbs are Bing 40mm CV carburettors and are fairly easy to work on but design changes make it a bit fun to know exactly the ones you have so the drawings differ at times from what you have on you.

Knolling the parts before beginning assembly.

A thing I have learnt to do these days is to do something called Knolling which basically means to layout the items on the workbench in a logical way. Which I find handy for assembling parts as you can see all the parts and often you can also group similar objects together such as screws. The above picture is all the old bits and pictured below are the new bits.

The new parts all lined up ready for me.

As you might have guessed I am inside the house working on the kitchen table as I needed the light got this, and easy access to Tea. I also printed out the parts diagrams so I could work out the correct way to assemble them.

So the some of the bits have changed and but mostly staying the same.

It was a bit of a challenge to work out which o-rings went on the different parts but it was soon worked out. The only bit that caused me any real issues was the needle jet as that wasn’t held in the way suggested in the parts diagrams. As you can see in the images below there was a spring clip that latches onto the pin but annoyingly it wouldn’t fit into the tube and stay attached to the pin. So I put the clip and the retaining washer in and pushed it down with the end of a pen and once it had clicked into position I then dropped the pin in and was able to use the pen again to push it down and though I couldn’t be sure of which notch I got I did get midpoint and both are matching heights.

Now I have assembled the carburettors I need to fit them but that will wait for another day.

Not a productive day

This afternoon I thought as its dry I might as well have a look at solving a few of the puzzles on the BMW. During the week I ordered some parts one of which was the spacers for the front wheel.

After the removal of the wheel I went into the shed to look at the spacers and moments later the bike decided to have a rest, thanks to the engine bars and it being a saggy BMW I was able to pick it up once I got the wheel in there. But to my annoyance with the wheel bolted up the disc hits the fork. Need to think about it a bit more I suspect I am missing something obvious but the wheel maybe from of a newer twin disc bike and that means the wheel might be the wrong way around or the wrong sized hub.

Front wheel parts.

For a break, I took a look at how the carbs connect to the air box. Much head scratching later and I think I know what needs to be done but need some more jubilee clips.

BMW Air Cleaner Parts

Looking at the parts its not clear what bits are meant to be rubber fitting in or over stuff but some googling later and it looks like I must be missing part 14 which I thought was the bit already in the tube and visible on the one in my hand.

But now dad was home and we thought for the heck of it we would just turn it over off of the battery. I thought I better make sure there was oil in there….hmm I smell petrol. So we drained 4ltrs of petrol/oil mix and added some nice gloopy oil. Next, we tried to turn it over, click, click. The damn starter needs some TLC now.

Of bits missing…a evergrowing list.

So as I look closer at the bike the more bits I am finding that are missing.

  • Ignition Switch
  • Front Brake
  • Indicators
  • Screen
  • Carb Attachments
  • Spacers for the front wheel

Then there are the bits that are just wrong such as the rear mudguard that has been hacked short or where the seat latching mechanism has been replaced with some home made bracket and some self tapping screws.

The carbs that came with the bike.

But first I want to get this bike started so we started by taking a look at the carbs that came with the bike and…drat, they don’t match. One is from an older bike and one looks newish but one of the legs on the float has been broken and I know that usually means leaky carbs. So I ordered a secondhand set from eBay as well as a standard original screen. I did contemplate fitting some Dellorto PHM 40mm units but I was getting a little lost on what bits I needed to fit them and decided it was a lot of messing about.

So I went about stripping them and giving them a good clean ready to reassemble. Sadly one of the top cover screws was rounded off so I managed to learn the skill of drilling out the screw without damaging the top cover. Sadly my ultrasonic cleaner died when it came to the last carburettor body but its all rather tidy now. But as I didn’t know the jetting etc for the bike I thought oh well I would just order rebuild kit then I would know the diaphragm and gaskets were all good. Also ordered some secondhand spacers for the front wheel.

A Oops Moment at the bike show

Well the annual VMCC Autojumble at the Bath & West Showground in Somerset was upon us and me and my Dad went down for our regular rummage for bike parts (mostly Matchless stuff), normally we leave empty handed or with some random tools as they looked shiny.

But this year was different while walking around one of the halls I spotted a large fuel tank, upon closer inspection, it was determined to be from a 1991 BMW R100GS PD (PD for Paris Dakar) and the rest of the bike sat there next to it in a somewhat dishevelled state. I looked at my dad and said we have always liked these but they have always just been too damned expensive and this is likely to be another of those moments. Then we looked at the price and we both decided we liked the look of the price and I am in a position to afford to buy another motorcycle. So my dad did his thing of looking about the bike and checking that it was actually a PD and that there were enough bits to get it going again. The owner wanders over and tells us its been stored in a barn for 8 years and he admitted he has borrowed the odd bit from it for his customer’s bikes and he would send us the front brake calliper that he didn’t rebuild. A deal was done and I bought it on the basis I could take it away from the show and save him having to take it home.

The Fuel Tank and associated bike.

So the next challenge was to borrow a lorry from my dad’s work then to load up the boxes of bits and bike and get it home. Walking back and forth I managed to set off my watches “You have achieved your amount of steps for today”. My dad happily walked the bike down to the lorry and was rather smugly happy when people would ask if it was for sale and he could say “no we just bought it”.

Yup, its in a bit of a state.

So I got it home and had to take a bunch of pictures before I started to do anything on it.

At this point, I realised the bike was in a desperate need of a damned good clean. So out with some WD40 and a rag to see if I can clean this bike up a bit. But I wanted to jet wash it but decided better of it because of the engine is open to the elements etc. But I did take to opertunity to take the crappy indicators off and add some bolts to hold some of the panels on.

So its a bit cleaner but requires some fresh paint in places but the plan is to get it running then over the summer I can do the odd bit of restoration to it to bring it back to its former glory.