1975 BMW R90/6 - Rocinante

Three qts of fresh oil and a new filter for the ol' horse. The old oil was fairly dirty but I couldn't see any metal in it. The inside bottom of the oil pan cleaned up quickly/easily and didn't have a bunch of sludge.

The pan itself is a bit more beat up than I'd like but it's superficial so I'll live w/ it.

Nice, I like the mirrors, they fit it well. I need to get my but in gear and get my timing belts done on the GL. Spring has sprung and I want to get riding. I was supposed to get it done yesterday but I spent 6+ hours on my knees bleeding and fixing seized brakes on the Pilot and when I woke up Sunday my back said no F-in way was I fixing a bike.
Thank you for that. I think I mentioned before that I searched for hours, literally, before I found those mirrors. They were made to go into 1" dia bars so I knew when I bought them that they'd have to be modified to work. I thought I had it all figured out and turned them over to @Hurco550 to do the deed and his approach was better than mine by far. They're rock solid, aren't going to move, and they look great.
I mentioned earlier that I couldn't get my front brake to bleed. The banjo/bleeder I got leaked and wouldn't hold pressure. It wasn't terribly expensive and, I believe, was aluminum so I guess you get what you pay for.


I ordered a replacement made of titanium, probably overkill, but what the heck. It fit up well and I was able to get the brake working very quickly.


I got the LED tail/brake & turn lights wired up in one of the panniers and once the other one is done I can get the rear lights connected up.
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NOTE TO SELF: When you tell yourself to do it right the first time: solder and heat shrink the wiring on the airhead, listen to yourself and just to it. Don't talk yourself into to using crimp connections. Got it dumb ass???

OK, now that I'm done w/ the chastisement... I've been working on the new tail/brake and turn lights that are on the Wixom bags. The left one is now working and I'm on to the right one, which I will do the way I know should be done and then I'll go back and redo the left one again and get it right. Good thing I'm an old retired guy and have lots of TIME for such sillyness. Though being an old retired guy, you'd think that I would have learned to do it right the first time long ago! Must be I dun picked up that there "stoopid virus" goin' 'round.




Still have to decide if I'm going to continue grounding (-) through the bag's connection to the frame or run four wires to the tail light and ground there instead. If I have to keep making all these big decisions I'm going to have to give myself a raise!
Connections soldered, heat shrink wrapped, then finished in cable wrap.


Then installed:


Everything tested and working. Now back to the other side and do it right.
Lol. Been there. I should take a pic of my GL. I did half like that, then ran short of time and just said f@ck it I need this done and the othe half is so mickey moused crimps abd bullets and all black wire. But I had a deadline and that was 2016 and it still runs knock on wood. Someday I will fix the ghetto half.
Lol. Been there. I should take a pic of my GL. I did half like that, then ran short of time and just said f@ck it I need this done and the othe half is so mickey moused crimps abd bullets and all black wire. But I had a deadline and that was 2016 and it still runs knock on wood. Someday I will fix the ghetto half.
I hear ya. When it comes to wiring, though I sorta believe in the Law of Mr Murphy. It's only going to give out at the worst possible time; either when it's raining and dark or when you are proudly showing off your finally finished pride and joy to friends, etc. I figure that I've got the time so I might as well do it right. It's been a personal battle w/ myself in the cold; I'll be out there working and start getting wooden feet and instead of just waiting for tomorrow I start trying to rush things to Git R Done!
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I just keep beating away at it...

These are the little pigtails for the tail light end of the tail/brake and turn sets in the Wixom bags. Though I plan to leave the bags on all/most of the time it's pretty obvious that they'll need to be easily disconnected when necessary. I'm sure somebody else might do it differently but I think my method will end up being clean and secure.

Back of the tail light bucket:


Inside the bucket. It's gunna get crowded in there: these six wires from the panniers, four more from the stock turn signals, and then at least five more from the wiring harness.


And then all of them will connect to the appropriate terminals on the back side of the tail light.


Simple, right? EDIT: For what it's worth I had to modify the wiring for the pannier tail/brake light wires because the spring clips on the back of the tail light (shown above) didn't have room for all the wires. Got it set up and everything works great.
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The wires are pulled into place and I'm ready to hook everything up and put the tail light in. Still have to re-do the pannier wiring on the left side.



All this has to get stuffed in there w/ some kind of order and coherence, I decided to save that for tomorrow... because:

For those of you following this questionable odyssey you may notice that the old horse has her feet (hooves?) on the floor. She decided to take a little tumble this afternoon. I was working on that tail light wiring and it JUST. TIPPED. OVER. I wasn't even touching it at the time. Of course I made a rather rude and slightly colorful exclamation and thought the worst. After a quick examination I felt lots better because I could see there was surprisingly little damage! One of the rings attached to the table for the tie down had come apart, which means it would have fallen over anyway and I could have walked in the door to a rather unpleasant surprise, though, believe me, it was unpleasant enough standing there watching it go. I eventually got some help and we held it up, pulled the table out from under it, and tilted her up onto the wheels.


Damage? A slight bend to the mirror which I've fixed. The tach/speedo was crooked and I thought the bracket for it was bent but the tach/speedo had just twisted; I loosened the bolts, slid it back into place on the bracket, and tightened the bolts. Also 2-3 tbsp of gear lube leaked out of the transmission breather. That's it. If the tank had been on it may have gotten dented and if the fairing had been on it would have been destroyed. Perhaps I should go buy a lottery ticket. EDIT: I did, but didn't win anything.
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Oh been there, done that 2 x and it sucks. I made out riggers for my table to put on to prevent that when doing top heavy jobs. Yours was a strap failure but still it always sucks.
Yeah, it sux, but at least, as they say, all's well that ends well. Though I'm not into luck, superstition, or omens, I did go and buy a lottery ticket earlier today. Now they just have to draw the right numbers.

Since there was no real damage it did work out ok for me. I was able to put the table away (Saving for the next project?), cleaned up, and I even finally got out the steam mop and did a long overdue thorough cleaning of the rubber belt strips I put on the floor.


I think I'm pretty close to getting a first ride in. That's exciting. I'd really like to be able to do the DGR w/ Levi this year. I ought to have it going in six weeks, I'd think... I'D HOPE!! Once lights are working I can get the fairing on and finish getting it tuned.
No posts for a while and now no pix, but I've been spending time and have made some progress.

I had an operating brake light from the rear brake peddle but not the front lever. Replaced the switch on the MC, which I should have done as part of the rebuild, and that's working as it should be. Also I finally got the wiring and lighting in the panniers the way I want it all; it's neat, tested, and working. There's still no headlight and tail light, but that's coming. I've gotten hands on a large detailed and laminated wiring diagram that'll help me get things sorted. The guys over at the Vintage BMW MC web group have suggested it may be the headlight relay. That makes sense so I've been attempting to trace things along that direction. There's no hi or low beam and no tail light but the headlight powers up when you push the Flash function. The Flash isn't wired through the relay. I just keep plugging along w/ it... almost done.
BMW part$, holy cow. I started looking for a replacement headlight relay and found them in several different places priced from $35 to $99. One of the guys from the Vintage BMW group sent a message saying that he gets his at the link in his message. Amazon, 2 for $9.99. Yeah, ordered... they'll be here tomorrow.
Well, it's been a bit of time. I've been dealing w/ the phantom electrical issue that kept things stalled. Putting the long story into a much much shorter format it was determined that I needed a new headlight relay, specifically a SPDT 30, 85, 86, 87, & 87b. I'll admit to not knowing much about relays, though I've learned a bunch through a lot of research since. The relay that it was suggested to me is a SPDT 30, 85, 86, 87, & 87a and it turns out there's essentially a 180 degree difference and, of course, it didn't work well and made things very confusing. A couple of guys on the Vintage BMW Owners site worked w/ me to figure out what happened and I got the 87b in and installed. For what it's worth, my research proved that the 87b is relatively rare but the dual 87 works in a slightly different mechanical way but gives the same results as an 87b, just a tidbit thrown out there for those who may find themselves in the need for a BMW headlight relay.

So where do things stand right now? Here's a pix taken a few minutes ago:


All that's left is to get my right muffler back on, try and figure out why the left carb is being so uncooperative, and get the timing set. And I'm still hoping to find a solo seat at a price I want to pay. I'll get there.

Oh yeah, I also got slowed down a little by the EF-1 tornado that went through the neighborhood last Thursday. Fortunately it passed by less than a block from here and we sustained no damage. There was a fair amount of damage in town but no loss of life.
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looking awesome. summer is just around the corner!
Thank you! It's coming along. Pretty soon I'll be able to get some glamour shots and call it done... for now. I still want to find a solo seat and a small rack for over the rear fender but that'll come. I found a guy on the Vintage BMW Owners group that's got a new seat he is willing to sell for what I'd call an OK price; better than most retail outlets, but still more than I'd really like to pay. However he's in the Pacific northwest so the shipping costs would wipe out most of the savings.

I spend a decent afternoon w/ her today. I finally get the carb intake snorkels hooked up correctly. Like many things BMW, if you know the exact correct technique it's not all that difficult, otherwise it's a royal pain, IF you can even get it done right at all! Also I decided that I don't like the retention bar I did up for the battery so I'm in the midst of reworking that little detail. And for some reason it looks like after finally getting my headlight gremlin out of sight the lights in the tach and speedo have quit. Not good... I have to take the fairing off to get at the spaghetti bowl of wires that's the inside of the headlight bucket. Grrrr

Here's a pix of the great wiring diagram I got. 11" X 17" laminated, and accurately color matched w/ the real wire colors.


It also shows the number of connector on the board that the wire goes to and the terminals on the board are also color coded w/ the wire colors that should go there. Solid color wires are straight power or ground and the stripes a switched or fused.


BUT, once it's all on place it can be a little tough to find those terminals, see what color they are, or even find the fuses w/o really searching for them. It all seems to work though and is quite a bit easier to understand than some I've seen.


Oh yeah, one other thing caused difficulties for a while. When this bike was delivered new it had a big, fork-mounted, Vetter style fairing on it and they probably took off the original headlight harness to get the fairing headlight wired as it has both headlight and turn signals in it. Some time later that fairing was removed and they must have used the headlight wiring harness from a different year or model to hook it all up. All the correct wiring is there and works but is different colors than the original, which made it all that much more difficult to trace things. That also explains why the bike has a set of the (much nicer) earlier model metal turn signal housings on the front and the year-correct, cheaper-looking, plastic housings on the back. I had been kinna wondering about that. A little BMW amateur detective work, I guess.
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