Yup, that’s my ’84 BMW R65LS… Bought new, over 100k miles, half that pullin’ a ‘hack. Heads have never been off, tranny never apart, still has 120 PSI compression (halfway to worn out) and the rear drive splines are at 50%. Well, I have fixed a few things- stainless exhaust to replace the rusted out original, a replacement flywheel @ 50k  to replace the ring gear that’d come loose, and a bunch of bulbs, tires, carb floats, etc.. Like an old R model Mack or a GP40 that’s had  different “heads” in the cab every day and night for decades, she just keeps on goin’. Rebuild or restore?… Why screw up a good thing! Having gotten the front turn signals to stay in place with a bit of JB Weld, I’ll probably put the rest of the fairing back on though. Debating if a bungie cord or duct tape would be best for that application…

And being relatively unmolested, this is currently my best running airhead. Long time readers will remember that last fall I slipped into the abyiss of Airhead rebuilding. Got the R100GS with the pulled head studs, etc. together by thanksgiving and it’s since covered about 700 miles. Still doesn’t inspire confidence though, with phantom clutch slip and a vibration at 4000 RPM that rivals an R65’s. Headlight adjusters are buggered and one fork seal leaks too.

Buoyed and cocky with that “success”, I tore into the R80ST. Now all the ST needed was a valve job and rings… But I couldn’t help myself. There was an Airhead “Transmission tech weekend”, and I signed up and hauled the tranny to KC for a long weekend of wrenching. Looked to be a success though, as the tranny shifts better than new… Which after replacing $400 worth of bearings and seals in a tranny I thought was OK, it better. Sent the heads off for the valve job, and spent six weeks in Florida. Heads took longer to return than I did, so I got bored and replaced the rear main, oil pump, etc. seals… Well it was leaking a bit. So the heads finally show up, and I put everything together. The ten mile test ride was a gas, so I head out on a forty mile test ride. Check component temps by hand, and oh, that rear drive is hot. Also got a gusher under the clutch housing…

Turned out the rear drive and shaft housing were just about dry. What can I say, when you take a machine apart and wait three months for parts to put it back together, you maybe forget things, or else I accidentally spilled the oil out with the rear end off or simply have a leak. Put fresh oil in, took a ten mile ride, and temps are normal. No unusual noises, hopefully I dodged the rear drive rebuild bullet. Pull the tranny, clutch, and flywheel… engine oil aplenty, but where from- the seals look fine. Still stumped on that one and may just have to  replace every seal and the oily PCV hose and hope for the best.

So, in summary: Six months ago I started with one bike that didn’t run and one that ran pretty darn well for needing a valve and ring job. Six months of what became a part time job rebuilding these bikes and a couple thousand dollars later I’ve got a not quite fully functional bike and one that don’t run at all. Suffice to say, a newish Guzzi is looking tempting…

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