Seven years ago I dragged this 1978 BMW R80 out of a basement in Massachusetts. I immediately found out it had badly rusted cylinders and the pistons were frozen. I didn’t document what happened next, but the top end got completely rebuilt. The cylinders were sent out to be serviced and to accept R90 pistons, upping the compression to 10.5, and the displacement to 900cc. The motor purred like a kitten and ran beautifully. However, about 50 miles later the transmission failed and the bike had to be towed home. Since then the bike has been sitting on a lift with the transmission spread out on a bench.
The time had finally come to get this old girl back on the road. Let’s build a transmission!
My current two wheeled love affair is a 2002 Honda XR650R. I know I know I know, it’s not a vintage street bike – but I’ve certainly had plenty of those!
Adventure biking has really sucked me in lately and this is my do-it-all-everywhere machine.
I picked it up in Denver sometime in October of 2009.
and rode it quite a bit:
My ride report is in my signature.
I’m currently working on fitting the bike to my needs as best as possible. I just added an IMS desert tank:
I’d like to get some good pegs for it. Roc Stompa and Pro Moto Billet don’t make any, so I have to decide on the XR’s Only units or the IMS pieces. I also need some basic protection pieces: skid plate, bark busters, chain/case guard.
I’m going to be doing a rewire on it as well to improve the mediocre quality of the Baja Designs dual sport kit. I’ll be posting everything as I go along.
The 1985-86 Honda Shadow VT1100C used two ignition control modules, OEM part numbers 30400-MG8-005 & 30420-MG8-005. I want to know if the 1985-86 VT700 used the same modules. The modules were made by Hitachi but they no longer make them and Honda does not have any more in stock. I have spoken with various parts houses and salvage yards across the nation with no luck. I would like to know if the VT700 modules could be used because I have come across someone that has one for sale very cheap. The price of the VT700 would be less than the cost of the OEM modules (each module has a msrp of more than $300). The VT700 would cost me $500. If the modules are the same, it would be a deal worth making. Any comments? Any idea if the modules are interchangable? All help would be much appreciated. Chief
Hi Chief –
The Ignition Control Module on the VT700 is part number 30400-MK3-721 (replaces 30400-MK3-004)
Doesn’t look like you have a match.
Keep your eyes on eBay – You’ll find one eventually. It could be pricey though.
When I’m old and grizzled I want to be just like this guy.
Phil Funell from British Columbia. He’s somewhat famous in the BMW circles and attends all the ralleys. He has lots of great stories and tons of fantastic home brewed bike contraptions. In this video he talks about taking his bike across the Ice Road in the middle of winter.
Here is one of his crazy contraptions! He has more…..
Hi, Great Bikes you have!! I like your Yamahas the best. Do you sell them, or just keep them after you get them fix up? How big is your shop?
BIG ED XT&TT 600 FAN!!
I get a lot of shop questions. I’ve had lots of different work spaces over the years.
When I lived in a small apartment I worked out of here:
It was small and cozy, but I was able to get a lot done. I sealed it in with a tarp in the winter to try and keep it somewhat warm – but it didn’t work well.
Sometimes I have the bikes inside:
Then I upgraded to an excellent garage.
Man, I loved having that space. My landlord wasn’t thrilled though, hah!
When I’m on the road I work where-ever I can.
And there are lots of times I’ve worked out of storage units.
I pretty much just work where ever I can. I wish I had a great garage right now, but I don’t.
And to address your other question. No, I don’t keep them. I wish I could, but mostly I fix them up, ride them a while, then sell and buy something else.
I just found my old XR650R up for sale on a Russian Auction site. That’s me in the photos.
I sold it last year to an exporter who ships bikes to Japan. I’ve sold many vintage bikes to such outfits, but never encountered an exporter who dealt in dirtbikes (or modern bikes for that matter).
Speedway racing has really taken off in Japan and the bikes are just flat out incredible. They are one of the only series that allow for twin cylinder motors. Most of them are these AR600 race motors built by Yamaha specifically for the track.
I’ve been trying to figure out why they use external dampers on the forks. Seems strange to me. Any ideas?
I watch way too many motorcycle videos online, here’s a few I like.
The Higgspeed expansion chambers for GT750’s give the most incredible sound! I want!
Another incredible sounding bike – the Honda RC166 250cc 6 cylinder.
This is some serious touring on tiny little Honda z50’s. American’s get too fixated on the size of their ride~!
This is a gorgeous BMW /2
Some day I will own a CJ750 Side Valve with a sidecar. Not the matte military versions though.
Haha! Cool trick!
Here is Motolaw’s vid:
Amazing motocross national battle between James Stewart and Ricky Carmichael. The whole racing season that year was incredible because of these two. I remember watching this race on ESPN (or where ever) at the time and being transfixed by this battle. The best motocross season I’ve ever seen. I wish this video was in HD.
Anyone else like watching Japanese speedway racing on Youtube?
Their speedway bikes are crazy. Most country race regulations only have single cylinder speedway brackets, but Japan obviously allows twins – 2 strokes no less! Check out their custom bent handlebars!
Got this bike with 18k. Well taken care of but smashed headlight 12 years ago. In the process of locating light assembly and parts to get it running. The tank is a toaster but not original to the date 1971 so I want to get the original 6 gallon and paint it white. Any thoughts?
Hey Boxer – awesome bike! The /5’s are my favorite airheads by far. When I was cruising around on my R60/5 I always secretly wished it was an R75, however I did always like the super simple Bing carbs on the R60.
Your bike looks beautiful. I’m with you though – I prefer the 6 gallon touring tank to the toaster tanks. The tank will be hard to find, and expensive. There are many guys you prefer the toaster tanks and may be interested in swapping. The only two places you’re likely to find some tank options are on ebay and on the BMW motorcycle owners forumshttp://www.bmwmoa.org/. Your search will be long and difficult, so I wish you luck.
You are right that the perfect tank for your bike is a white 6 gallon. Personally, I would only want a tank with original paint, even if the paint was beat up. I love the look of a nice old worn original paint job.
How does the bike run? I notice you have the spark plug leads disconnected and the carb is being tinkered with.
Yes we finally finished all the body Modifications this Bicycle! we have stretched it further and lowered the seat, moved the peddal cranks forward, adding a freewheel so when und3er petrol power feet and enjoy the ride.
Where the peddals used to be is right side of bike 2 chain wheels one connects to relocated pedals the other to rear 7 speed freewheel. Okay here is fun part starts… on the othe side of bike on this same axle location (Bottom Bracket) is another freewheel with innerchangeble gears 18, 20, 22T this connects to engine, letting engine coast while peddaling. Neat huh?
Engine is an Automatic so I can shift now with hand lever (located high beside tank to clear legs ) I need to get wiring Diagram for this bike to enable me to add Rectifier and Battery (6Volt) and to wire in all our lighting we have done.
I will try to attach picture of bike before engine is added Tank is from a Honda Boss and also uses Honda Front fork/suspension rear is still “Hard Tail” Writing on Tank in Thai says “Thai One On…”
Maybe this will get picture loaded ….. if this system is simple….ha! I must be simple minded!!
Well almost finished. Still need help with wiring.
Is system AC ar DC Voltage?
Is Light system AC or DC voltage??
Is system full wave or 1/2 wave rectification??
All of these I need answers for to rebuild wiring circuits and harness ( would like to boil the Ba-ls on the Mechanic who removed all these components instead of repairing. Shure bike will run off magneto… but it would really be nice to know I have lights, don’t have to worry about the time and who is riding the Chopper… Ya Know what I mean??
Here is the tricks to a safe motorized ride. (At least they worked for me)
(1 at crank, 1 at engine connection to bike gearing, last at rear wheel)
we moved crankgear and pedals (BB) forward 18.5 inches lowered seat 14″, used original BB for double gearing.. Left side freewheel to connect to engine… Right side stacked gears (2) 1 on inside connects to crank gear freewheel/Pedals. 1 on outside connects freewheel at rear wheel.
Stacked gear is attached to solid hub so either motor or pedals will coast or connect with rear wheel. Our engine Yamaha Y80M is a kick start semi automatic 3 speed… needs no clutch. If you need to pedal to start engine then install solid hub on left side instead of freewheel. Then you must have clutch and a way to lock it engaged to be able to use pedals, when released it engages motor.
I used 100% Motorcycle sprockets and chains. I chose to use 420 style links as it seemed here I had the option for a 43t chainwheel for my crank. 428 style link chain/sprockets did not seem to have this option. I also found 4 bolt freewheels that my sprockets bolted rightup to. (See photos)
All I have left to do is exhaust and seat. Minor adjustments in wiring as I changed from 6V to 12V, Kept Neutral light, added highbeam indicator, changed fuse to Master plugin and 4 circuit fuses.
2: Tail Light,
3: Indicators includes horn,
4: Brake Lights
Hey. Bike me!
I have owned nearly every make and model of vintage Japanese motorcycle as well Europeans and more modern bikes. I do everything from simple fixes to full restorations. I also travel by motorcycle and race off-road. This is a blog about my bikes.
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