1997 BMW F650 ST Bluebird - Repair, maintain, ride.


Nick Ol' Eye
Friday we closed the office early. I ran home, threw the tank and seat back on the bike, put the bike in the back of the truck and brought it down to the inspection place. Ran over to the tax office to get my title transfer and registration done. The bikes finally road legal. Put about 150 miles on it this weekend without any issues.

Bike is super comfortable. I love the riding position. Seems like it might be running a little rich as I only managed about 100 miles before I hit the reserve on my first tank. Definitely needs an overhaul on the brakes and fork seals so I’m going to order the parts this week.


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Keep er' Between the Ditches
About time! So glad you didn't give up on this man. That'll be a noble steed for you!


Nick Ol' Eye
Rode in to work yesterday, and then over to my buddy's place to go and pick up a Porsche 914. On the way home last night, I noticed the headlight was getting dimmer and brighter randomly. Not proportionate to RPMs at all. Happened with both high and low beam. I've already verified that the VR is in good shape and charging well. Not sure what could be causing it to randomly change brightness.

I definitely want to replace the headlight with something brighter, its OK but there's no streetlights on a lot of the country roads around here so its pretty damn dark at night.

irk miller

You've been mostly-dead all day.
Most likely a loose or corroded ground to the headlight. I would first check the 3 pin connector that's attached to the back of the light itself, maybe even replace it. My old truck used to do this, as well. I replaced the connectors and good as new.


Over 10,000 Posts
+1 to what Irk said. Get an Led from Matt and maybe his aux lights they light up half the county lol.


Nick Ol' Eye
Sounds about right. I'll check into it. I definitely want to add some aux lights once I put some crash bars on there. Thanks for the input. I'm used to headlights dimming out at idle on the Honda twins due to crappy charging systems, so this confused me a bit.


Nick Ol' Eye
So I've been having a puddle under the bike since I took my last ride before the new year, I thought I had a slight oil leak and had been seeing a few drips here and there. When I got back I noticed a lot more fluid under there and upon further investigation, found it was coolant. Been so busy with the Bus and other projects that I haven't felt like messing with it until yesterday.

I dried everything off and checked all the hoses, they were dry. Felt around under the thermostat and got some moisture from the seal behind the thermostat. Drained the cooling system, pulled the thermostat and tightened up the bolts behind it, they were pretty loose. Wondering if they loosened up from heat cycling?

Anyways I refilled the cooling system and purged all the air, reinstalled the tank and she fired right up. Put a bit of cardboard underneath and I'll check today after work to see if there's any more drips.

There's fork oil all over the front brake rotor, I've known the seal has been gone for a while but I finally bit the bullet and ordered fork seals, front and back pads. Debating whether to do chain and sprockets now or wait until after the season, sprockets still have a good bit of meat on them.

Also, something thats been bugging me for a while is the sticking odometer. The trip works fine but the odometer will stick and only work intermittently. I think I'm going to have to pull the speedo and clean and grease it and make sure nothing is stripped out or broken.


Nick Ol' Eye
So this happened. Torn down for fork seals (check out the front brake pads), brakes and fluid flush, and chain and sprockets.

Rear tire is at about 60% I could replace it but I think I’ll get the rest of the mileage out of it.

I think I figured out that my oil leak is coming from the return hose from the OIF tank, those crappy worm gear clamps finally wore through the rubber, so I think I will replace the entire hose and better clamps.

Going to replace the coolant lines and clamps while I’m at it.

To do list:
-replace fork seals/dust covers. Fill with oil
-clean calipers and replace pads
-bleed brakes
-replace chain and sprockets
-replace oil lines
-replace coolant lines, re fill with coolant.
-re torque head
-clear out tank filler drain line
-install new grips
-remove clock and replace with VM and USB port
-clean and grease speedo/odometer
-replace bulbs with LEDs, possibly headlight
-mount panniers


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Over 1,000 Posts
Man I like this bike. In eschewing the beak, the front end has an Africa Twin vibe which is a great thing in my book. Once you tick off that to-do list mate you'll be tearing strips off the Texas highways and byways in style.

irk miller

You've been mostly-dead all day.
So this is what they look like stock. LOL. Jealous of the impending ride.


Nick Ol' Eye
Front and rear pads done. Rear sprocket replaced but need to get some new Nyloc nuts for it. Once I get the wheel back on I can bleed the brakes and final torques on all that good stuff.

Waiting on new crush washers and fork oil to button up the forks but the seals are done.

Made an acrylic plate I’m going to use inside the top case to bolt it down to the rear rack. Might need some longer bolts and fender washers. Going to wait to mount it until it’s on the ground and we can both sit on the bike. I don’t want to mount it too far forward that it sucks tor a passenger.

The odometer has been sticking since I got the bike and there were some notes in the service history about it. The tripometer works fine so I ruled out the cable, lower housing and gearbox inside the speedometer. Disassembled the speedo and found a couple of buggered up gears on the odometer ticker. The actual plastic gear on the ticker had a couple teeth missing to the point where it’s not catching and that must be causing it to miscount. I’m hoping to get a replacement before the ride.


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Nick Ol' Eye
Productive weekend, got the brakes bled front and back, chain and sprockets done and everything torqued up. Discovered my chain slider is non existent and the 2 chain rollers are worn over halfway so I’m going to try and get them in.

Bike is back on 2 wheels. Ran into some whack ass wiring while I had it apart that I want to fix.

Discovered why there was a huge gob of RTV on the right case cover. Cracked. Sucks as there’s none available on eBay right now so it looks like it’ll just have to get patched up for now until I can track a good one down.

The third photo is one of the wiring components I can’t exactly figure out. It’s definitely some sort of relay but can’t be stock the way it’s installed.

Red wire has a 30amp inline fuse and runs straight from the battery. One brown wire goes to the horn, one brown wire is cut and taped off. One or two wires go to headlight harness. I was thinking it may be an old alarm system relay that has been disabled?


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