Thursday, 17 May 2012


I bought a BMW R80 on Ebay last weekend. I have always wanted one after touring south africa on a BMW slash 5 about 7 years ago. The only trouble is there so bloody expensive. After being out bid on about ten bikes in the last few months, all going for stupid money, I managed to find one that looked so crap I thought surely no one would bid on it. They did bid, but not too much. I won the auction for the princely sum of £525, a bargain compared to the prices they seem to be fetching right now.

It has a cut down GPZ fairing, with home made brackets welded by a blind man. The rear seat hump is made from strips of aluminium pop riveted together. The area between the seat hump and the back light was covered in duck tape. When I was looking at the photos on Ebay I joked that the back end was made of cardboard!!

Blimey! I was right.

I was going to take the bike out for a spin as it came Tax'd and Mot'd!! But my friend Duncan would not let me, as the bike in its current state was cheapening the brand. We had to do a 60 minute make over like they do on Tv so we could redeem the brand of BMW!

It actually took 6 hours!!

First we stripped and removed the rear sub frame, grinding the brackets off that had been welded on by the blind man to hold on the hump (The hump could be entered into robot wars if I fit a hammer and some wheels to it)

We then cleaned up the sub frame (when I say we, I mean Duncan) and sprayed it with primer and then with Halfords finest black gloss.

The rocker covers were also cleaned up and painted. Fairing was removed and new brackets made for the indicators. Duncan also kindly loaned me a single seat he had made for his R80.

Brand redeemed! Now off for a ride

Once the honda is finished the BMW will be properly stripped and re-build

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

I could not find anywhere on the bike to put the original rear brake reservoir as it looked rubbish. The original is a rectangle shape with the pipe coming out at an angle and was just plain awkward to position anywhere.

I remembered I had a spare reservoir off a Yamaha R6 knocking about from when I converted my old TRX850 to R6 blue spot front brakes. This fitted perfectly and looks much better. I also fitted a braided hose on the rear and this has made a massive difference.

I needed something to plug up the rear subframe holes. I saw a BMW on Bike Exif a while ago that had used bar end weights to fill the holes left at the end of the frame, CLICK HERE

I have a pair of old blue aluminium anodised bar ends so decided to use this handy tip for removing the anodising,



This is them fitted to the rear sub frame holes.

Now to go and find some steel!!
I spent a rainy bank holiday finishing off the exhaust hanger. I ground the corner off then filed off some of the grind marks, which took ages! I then got bored so started polishing the thing up with a hard polishing mop on a bench grinder. I used to be a polisher when I left school and forgot how dirty you get after just half an hour!! As you can see from the photo below it's not perfect as you can see some of the grind marks but it will do for me!

I then ground off the rectifier plate with the handy dremel tool. I will relocate the electrics under the seat as there should be just enough room.

The battery holder was all part of the inner mudguard so I have cut that down until I have been left with just a battery box. This will still be in its original position under the seat.

I then drilled a couple of holes in the seat so I can mount the seat to the rear subframe as there are 2 holes already pre-drilled. I have a large collection of fasteners that I made and collected over the years working in different engineering factories. The nuts holding the bolts in place are all metal lock nuts for the aerospace industry, they are guaranteed to never shake loose!!

I made a template for a steel cowl to go around the rear of the seat to neaten things up and mount the rear light too, but the piece of steel I have is an inch to small!! When I get some more steel, that will be the next job and relocating the rear brake reservoir.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

I managed to get some time on the bike so I pulled out the swing arm and rear shock to give them a good clean. I was expecting everything to be seized solid and was pleasantly surprised that everything came apart quite easily.
The gaping hole left after it came apart too easily! No centre stand so I had to use an old scissor jack, which worked better than a centre stand!
I spent about 30 minutes with a wire brush and a dremmel to get rid of all the crud and rust off the swing arm and shock. The small pile of rust and crud on the picture below is just a fraction of what came off it!
I wasn't going to paint the swing arm as it would look too new and not in keeping with the general scruffiness of the bike and my laziness!!
I also cleaned the chain and sprockets up as they look ok to still use. I also cleaned all the old oil off the rear wheel with petrol, making sure none of it got on the tyre!

I ground off the bits of metal on the rear foot peg holder/exhaust hanger so it's now just an exhaust hanger, I kept it as I like the holes, which is something I might do to the side panels!
It's not finished yet hence all the grind marks and marker pen as I might just take the corner off so it doesn't look too square. I forgot to take a before and after shot so all I have is after!!