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What a long strange trip it’s been… This BMW R100GS spent three summers torn apart in three different locations with three pulled head studs. ‘Bout this time last year I installed HPD’s most excellent threaded inserts in all eight cylinder stud holes. Having found a couple voids in what should be a solid crankcase casting I didn’t have the greatest confidence in the repair. So I threw the GS back together with a suspect 100k mile gearbox that had just been given a $200 rebuild then run out of oil thanks to a leaking new BMW neutral switch.

Bolted the hack back on and did a cautious hundred or so break in miles within walking distance of home. Then threw my folding bicycle in the ‘hack and rode another hundred miles, no problems. By the time I headed south to my tin shack on the edge of the Everglades the reborn GS had covered ’bout 500 miles.

As the campaign season began this spring the miles piled on, even though I kept the GS restricted to a hundred mile range from home. Then came 25 or so blistering parades with oil temps up to 300 degrees. I noted some oil sneaking from the transmission, down the driveshaft tunnel, and out the rear drive’s vent. So I instituted every 200 mile tranny oil level checks ’til I could fix the leak.

In midsummer we had a two week gap in the parade schedule, so I removed and resealed the leaking tranny rear vent. Unfortunately the ever (not so) helpful “help” at the local NAPA gave me the “sensor safe” instead of oil resistant sealant I needed…  And after a few hundred dry miles the oil migration began again, but not as bad. More parades, then to get the troublesome headlight to illuminate more than inches of road ahead I undid the dropping of the forks in the triple trees that I did 19 years ago… And of course, the tranny oil migration intensified. Never ran anywhere near dry though, and strangely enough in the last 200 miles the oil level didn’t drop at all.

The GS ended up travelling about 5k miles on the campaign trail this year with a couple oil changes and valve checks but little adjustment needed along the way. Wore out both tires, will take care of that when I switch ‘hacks this winter. No breakdowns, and the R65LS + Motorvation Spyder hack kept as a spare was used but once- While I had the GS apart during the paradeless weekend, a surprise parade popped onto the schedule.

So the GS has been salvaged, perhaps proving that no BMW Airhead is beyond redemption. The GS’ sidecar will be mounted to the Guzzi Quota this winter, and the Spyder will migrate to the GS and become my backup ‘hack outfit. I need more ground clearance for the rural roads out here, so I may replace the current shortened shock with the original. I’ve got a rebuilt airhead tranny on the bench here, may as well give it to the GS as my other two Airheads are retired. Then maybe TwinheadlightErnie’s sump guards, an upgraded alternator from Euromotoeletrik, more lights, etc…. Let the belated farkling begin!

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