1975 BMW R90/6 - Rocinante

That looks a lot like the 18 year old old gas that came out of the CB, I thought it was rust but really was the glazed gas. After I got it all out the tank was clean as a whistle under it all.
I'll get it. The thing, otherwise is surprisingly good for it's age. Today was "bath day" and the old girl got a trailer ride to the car wash. After a complete dousing w/ de-greaser and a thorough washing it's looking better than it has in decades. Post bath glamor shot: (Thanx for the use of the trailer, @Hurco550!)

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I sat there looking at it this afternoon and working on those front turn light housings w/ Mother's aluminum cleaner and I was very tempted to put it up on the table and start at the front and work my way toward the back w/ the thing. I'm starting to really visualize what I'd like to do w/ it, piece by piece, part by part. I spoze I'd better stick to the plan and get it started and running... but, hey, it's an airhead w/ fewer than 42,000 well-maintained miles, of course it'll run, right?
Looking pretty clean. A nice set of Lester wheels and a hoop fork brace would liven it up.
Looking pretty clean. A nice set of Lester wheels and a hoop fork brace would liven it up.
Thank you. It's got more cleaning to go yet and that's my least favorite part but I'll get there. I know of a set of Lesters that, last I heard, is available and I really hate keeping spoke wheels clean, but I read an older review of airheads that claimed Lesters aren't really the "cat's meow" for handling and I guess they're pretty heavy, so I've reconsidered. As for a fork brace, yeah, if I can lay hands on one I'll use it.
I worked very near the Lester factory in Bedford, Ohio when they were still making wheels. They are a bit heavy and I've heard some BMW wheels had issues. I ran them on Harley's and Honda CB750s with no problems. The reason I mentioned them and the fork brace was a chance encounter riding the Arkansas Ozarks a few years ago. We stopped at the Ozark Cafe in Jasper, AR to eat and a guy on a BMW parked beside us. Very nice rider condition black R90/6 with Lester wheels and a hoop fork brace. When he said it was "for sale", my loving wife had to drag me away. I really wish I had bought that bike but I was knee deep in other bikes at the time.
I will say that if a set of the things walked up to me and said, "Take me home, please." I might listen.
(EDIT: They did and I did.)
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No pix today; forgot and hardly exciting anyway. I got the front fender off and fairly well polished. It's clean, shiny, and presentable though not in as decent condition as the tank, there are a few small chips in the paint along the edges. No dents or serious scratches, though. I'm seeing, though not surprised, that the greatest weakness of the thing is the fasteners; nuts, bolts, and washers. They are there and aren't too tight or rounded off, but most are exceedingly corroded and unsightly. I've found a source for a decent-looking set of stainless fasteners for it, nearly 500 pieces, that I'll get before reassembly starts.
I remembered to snap a pix today anyway. Another coat or two of wax on the front fender and then I started in on the bottom fender brace:


I was sitting out on the patio toiling away on the fender brace w/ a wad of NeverDull and Mrs Ridesolo asked why I wasn't using aluminum foil and glass cook top cleaner... duh, I forgot! Very quickly it was done and sparkling. As a reminder here's what that brace looked like before.


I picked up a better cylinder guard from @Hurco550 that he's not going to use and got his loaner front brake caliper to use until I get mine rebuilt or go "big brakes." Ordered the new petcocks as well. Boxer2Valve has already sent notice they've been shipped. The progress isn't moving along at warp speed but at least there's progress.

Oh yeah, one more thing... I tried the aluminum foil and glass cook top cleaner on the front spokes. Yup, it works. Not the best pix, but it sorta shows what a few seconds of lackluster effort does. I'll still have to pull them off and clean them up one at a time, though.

AND a gallon of vinegar is happily soaking away the gas tank along w/ a ball chain holding 48 (NOT 49 and certainly not 47) 8mm 1.25 pitch nuts. Every little while the thing is getting a shake and then laid back down on a different side for good coverage. Hopefully that'll clear out the last of it.
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After looking for petcock parts and determining it would be more economical in the long run to just get new and putting in the order, I decided that perhaps it would be worth checking into rebuilding the old ones anyway to keep either as spares or perhaps to sell as rebuilt originals.


Most of the various replaceable parts are available but closer inspection showed that the best bet is to just be happy I ordered new and carry on.



As for parts you can't order, at least not anywhere I could find, I found out the S fairing that came with the bike included all of the hardware required to mount it EXCEPT the brackets required to hold the clock and volt meter in place. The parts diagrams show them but they aren't available. So I made my own. .No great skills/experience and no fancy machines in the shop but I guess it'll work for what's needed. (Back in the day I was an MG owner and had several of these just laying around but those days are gone as well as the parts.)

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Inside of the tank came out great! The pix isn't all that informative but it's nice n clean inside; ready to go!


And it's ready for the new fuel valves:


Got the rear fender and battery tray out today. The fender will clean up nicely and the battery tray will need to be blasted and painted.
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If you run an Odyssey PC680 (which you know I think you should) it'll need a little plate made for the bottom as it's slightly thinner than the factory battery. Bring the box over and we'll make you one up in a jiffy. I made one out of aluminum for my /6.
If you run an Odyssey PC680 (which you know I think you should) it'll need a little plate made for the bottom as it's slightly thinner than the factory battery. Bring the box over and we'll make you one up in a jiffy. I made one out of aluminum for my /6.
It's ordered.
And it arrived:


@Hurco550, I've got a bit of aluminum angle here that I only need to cut an inch or so shorter, I'm assuming it just goes in w/ a couple small bolts or pop rivets?
Spent some time trying to shine up the things that are suppose to shine. A few scratches and rubs, but generally it's pretty good for its age. I'm liking my decision to leave all this as-is rather than repaint.

I made a bottom out of a nice perforated piece I had laying around. Pulled out the sandblaster and got the rust cleaned up and then threw on a coat of rattle can magic.


I keep chipping away at stuff.
And here we sit... I went out of town for a few days and then got tied up w/ the project of getting the trailer ready for this winter. I've cleaned up the shop, better organized the parts, and have done more reading, searching for parts, watching YouTube, and making decisions about the build; I've got a plan for wheels that I'm very happy about, the lighting is going to look more or less original but will be modern in function, big brake conversion on the front will happen, and I'm going to go w/ a complete stainless fasteners set when I start reassembly. Still looking for a solo saddle/police seat if anybody happens to come across one. I'm not leaving town until the end of October so I may still pull the cylinders and do a top end seal/gasket job on it. (Since we didn't go south the last two winters we've had so much to do to get ready to be gone for months; house work, trailer work, personal business to attend to, and too many medical appointments. The list goes on...) Bottom line is that I haven't died, quit, lost interest, or set a torch to it. Oh yeah... and all of the pretty, and now shiny stuff; tank, fenders, side covers, fairing, and Wixom bags are carefully stashed away safely in the attic. I think that's the place where they are least likely to get rusty, dusty, or have something fall on them. When Mrs Ridesolo asked what they were doing up there I had to let her know what it would cost to attempt to replace such nice, original pieces.
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