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Eddie’s BMW R80 / Velorex 562 build

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  • #10313
    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Time to bring this a bit more up to date.

    Suspension ‘Fails’:
    While I was riding with the monkey, I took a slow roundabout a little too aggressively. The sidecar wheel made a horrific sound, which I found out was the wheel contacting the wheel arch. I have tried to space this out, but am limited by room on the axle spindle. So I’ll have to cool it a bit.

    Underside of the sidecar guard

    Which brings us to the another issue. The 15mm sidecar axle, & the orginal 1988 Velorex shock. The shock has no damping, which is probably because of all the rust pits (and paint overspray) on the shaft. I think the damping oil abandoned ship years ago. Bum.

    Shock tower & axle

    Exhaust ‘fail’:
    The headers on the existing R80 exhaust are rusty.

    I’ve tried to fit an R100R exhaust system, which should fit more discretely to the frame. I’ve stripped the chrome covers off the rear exhaust, paring it back to HPN style stainless. Unfortunately the headers don’t work with the current sidecar subframe. So until I manufacture a Mark II version, we’ll need to stay with the R80 system.

    Subframe & clamps – work to do:
    Whilst the current front subframe is STRONG, I think it is needlessly so, so will be pared back substantially.

    I am also noticing the clamp on mounts move, so am keen to see welded up mounts ASAP.

    One advantage of a sidecar on a Boxer is that you can tilt it over onto a jug to clean the undercarriage.

    Cleaning the underside of the chair

    Had another go at getting the Cold Kiwi mud off. Tried some Chemtech CT18 Superwash. Brilliant. The sidecar is a bugger for nooks & crannies that you just can’t get with the carwash brush. This dealt to it (in conjunction with the waterblaster). Spray on, wait ½ an hr, blast off.

    Other Maintenance:
    Fitted some plugs to get rid of the last of the clean air systems out off the heads. These are oil sump drain plugs off an R1100.

    SAS removal. Bashplates

    Also put in a new oil breather hose.

    Increasing the rugged factor:
    I’ve done some stuff to bring the ADV quotia up.

    Fitted a new Heidenau K60 Scout on the current rear rim. That should improve traction in most places, without being too bad on the wear front.

    We now have a spare rear rim with an only slightly worn Mitas C02 tyre mounted, to increase the potential roost factor in muddy conditions. 14mm middle knobs. They are supposed to be quite hard wearing too, especially as the knobs wear down.

    Knobbie rear

    The underside of the tug is now sporting a bashplate on both the sump & a shortened centrestand bashplate. The guard is sitting on Nylon spacers. We’ll see how those cope with the temperature of the sump. If they start to melt, I’ll swap them out for spacers made from pipe offcuts. I also need to get some countersunk bolts to give smoother surface.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Replacement sidecar shock
    Picked up some cheap Progressive 412 shocks off a Harley FXR. These aren’t adjustable for damping. They are the right length (285 mm eye to eye), & the springs are supposed to be right for the chair, but needed new 12 mm bushes made up to fit it (currently 13mm to suit Hardley configuration). I have fallen in somewhat because these don’t fit the well of the swing arm (the body of the shock is too fat), & the bottom mount on the shock is slightly offset. I may get the swing arm modified to fit.

    Replacing the sidecar swing arm bearings:
    I have also replaced the swing arm pivot bearings. The old ones were obviously the originals (note the CSSR marking). The inboard bearing was fine, the outboard is getting notchy & needed replacement. The inboard bearing was held in place with two circlips, one on each side of the bearing.

    Sidecar swingarm bearings

    Swingarm tunnel, showing circlips grooves

    Replacing the sidecar left side indicators:
    I’ve replaced the left indicator light(s) with an LED trailer light, & a small LED light on the front of the sidecar mudguard. The prior incandescent was just too dim. To run the LEDs, I replaced the blinker relay with an LED rated unit. Interestingly I still had to wire in a resister on the left side, because otherwise all four indicators would flash.

    The wiring has been run in a channel in the sidecar mudguard.

    Trimming the sidecar screen:
    I’ve trimmed the sidecar screen down & made it ‘squarer’. Modernises the look, & is better for drag, visibility, & clean air for the monkey. I taped both sides of the screen, marked what I wanted to cut, & had at it with the jig saw. I then cleaned up the cut with progressively finer sandpaper.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Replacing the sidecar wheel:
    I broke the sidecar wheel on the way to Matamata to attend a funeral. By the time I got the breakdown truck in there was only 13 of the 36 spokes unbroken. Dunno what happened, but it happened during the trip. I’d replaced the sidecar swing arm bearings just before the trip, checked the wheel bearings, & did a quick check over the spokes. Due for a WoF, & I was doing work to ensure no issues when I found out about my Uncle.

    At the time that I checked the wheel bearings I was surprised at the amount of ‘flex’ in the wheel. But the spokes appeared still good at that stage.
    – The wheel appeared to be off a small Suzuki road(?) bike given the cush drive & 16″ size.
    – The wheels aren’t built for the lateral force that the sidecar puts on them.
    – The spokes are a 90 degree pull from the hub. That can’t help.
    – Maybe just a bit too light for this application.
    – Could be ancient.

    I’d also given the unit a hard time. Perhaps cumulative stress. Maybe lost a spoke or two, & the collapse from there snowballed…

    Axle & wheel upgrades:
    I’ve replaced the sidecar wheel with a front from a (’88?) Honda VFR400 NC24, so contemporary with the sidecar at least. 250/16 rim, running a 100/90 16 front tyre. Cheap. Looks strong enough. There is a decent amount of meat in the hub to be able to support a bigger axle. It runs 20x42x12 bearings stock.

    Here’s a link across to the organ-donor website, which gives axles sizes for loads of bikes.

    I wanted a 17″ cast wheel, but had issues getting an appropriate one with enough meat in the hub to allow the bigger axle.

    The new axle is stepped 25mm & 20mm. Press fit into the swing arm, but with a nyloc nut on the inboard end as a ‘belt & braces’ locator. Much sturdier than the weedy 15mm it replaced. BTW that was bent…

    Replacement axle

    The replacement wheel has been milled out to take the 25mm ID bearings on the swing arm side, & 20mm on the outside. The bearings are 6005 (25x47x12) & 6004’s (20x42x12) respectively. The wheel needs a clean & repaint. It’s been powder coated before & that’s starting to bubble.

    Replacement VFR400 NC24 front wheel

    The new wheel looks nice on the new spindle, but maybe has been spaced slightly too far out on the axle for the existing guard. I may need to have this tweaked.

    Sidecar in it's current configuration

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider


    Spent some time Saturday realigning the sidecar, given I’d replaced the bent 15mm axle with a straight one. I’d noticed the chair tyre was scuffing badly, & sure enough the toe in was well out (inward). Currently set with 3.5cm toe in, which still might be too much.

    Sunday was supposed to be a great day, so booked in some ride time (for testing purposes only of course).

    Andy Mac expressed some interest, but wasn’t keen on one of those an all day ‘get home after 8.00 rides’. Arranged to meet at 9.00am at Rimutex.

    He was kept entertained going over the Rimtutakas by the sight of a certain sidecar, waving it’s wheel in the air on the exit of a lot of left handers. It was being pushed. Probably needs a bit more ballast in the chair. I’d manage to mostly hold it down going into & thru the left hand corners, but once I got the power on, it came up all by itself…honest
    Passed a sidecar going in the other direction. What are the chances?

    Slabbed it to Carterton to Wild Oats for a coffee & muffin. Nice sitting in the sun.

    Given there was a forest fire out towards Riversdale, & there was heavy rain cloud that way anyway, we decided to flick thru Bideford. Saw 120 on the GPS thru there, but not a lot more spare Hamsters left to power the treadmill.

    At SH52 I convinced Andy that given we were so close to Pori & Puketoi Rds, it’d be rude not to poke our noses up there. Have to say the chair doesn’t like the camber of Pori Rd going up (sloped in towards the hills, to the drainage ditches). Going down is much more satisfactory.




    Did Puketoi Rd as an in & out. That’s in good condition at present. Dry. No slips.



    Castlehill Rd had a no of Horsefloats & a bit of other traffic on it (oncoming). Otherwise fast & flowing on the sidecar, albeit a bit barren following the logging operations.

    Lunch at Tinui, then out Te Mai Rd, to access the Pack Spur to Mataikona Roads. First we had to find it. The road in has suffered heavy corrugations as a result of the logging operation at Te Mai Station.

    Pack Spur Rd is a paper road which runs up to & alongside an Airstrip & through some private land, including a forestry block. It has had recent work, with big chunky gravel laid down. I assume this is to give an alternative back entry route into Mataikona. It gave a fairly jarring ride on the sidecar though, so I rode part of the airstrip to avoid this. I need better, longer travel suspension to soak that up.


    The big gravel stopped at the Forestry section. This has also had work, so was easy compared to other times I’ve ridden it (pine needles over clay in the winter). We were also descending (rather than ascending) the track, which is easier.

    There are a couple of small (easy) stream fords towards the end of this section.



    Andy decided to see if one of his friends was home at their forestry holiday home. This was an interesting wee track with another couple of stream crossings. Unfortunately he wasn’t home. Nearly tipped the chair over on the exit to one of the stream crossings.



    Took a run down to Castlepoint Beach looking for gas (‘small’ tanks are a problem for me – I keep running out of fuel).

    The gas pumps at Castlepoint beach store are no longer operational, but there is 24 hr ‘pay at pumps’ gas at the nearby Whakataki Hotel a few kms down the road. Just 91 & diesel though.

    Castlepoint Beach is brought to you by the letter ‘O’. I need a more aggressive front tyre to give me more bite in the soft stuff. Steering was an issue.


    Flicked down Homewood Rd to ride the forestry (now that the fire was controlled). Still quite slippy (small pea gravel, hard base). Proportionately, the sidecar spent a lot of time sideways thru there. Andy showed off his off road riding prowess just in front of the Homewood Station homestead.


    Across Rimutakas & home sometime after 8.20pm. 517.2 kms. Just running onto reserve again.

    • Bike: 1988 FXR with Sabstion
    Rank: 125cc Rider

    Interesting….thanks for posting

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    MAINTENANCE 22/12/15:
    21,338 Kms
    Engine oil & filter change
    Gearbox oil change.
    Checked the value clearances. Inlets both marginally tight.
    The F/D has minimal movement.

    Bought a (new) Kenda 244 semi knob in 350/18 sizing. I intend to mount this on the front for greater bite in the loose stuff. $10 + $9 shipping on Trademe. If it’s any good I’ll get some more to stash.


    I’d taken the sidecar off for various maintenance reasons, & decided to see what it handled like as a solo. It rode okay, better than I expected, albeit that the increased rake made it slow in the steering. The loss of trail didn’t seem to make it as unrideable as I’d feared. The steering head bearing are a little tighter because of pressure on the stem, & this resulted in a slow weave if you didn’t keep control of things. But that additional friction helps when it’s coupled to the chair – no head shakes at all.

    The suspension was fairly hard though…

    The stock BMW R80 mono (TIC) brake lines are routed as:
    – A single brake line from the brake master cylinder down to behind the right fork leg:
    – A steel line from the back of the fork to the right front caliper:
    – A steel line that loops from the right front caliper to the left front caliper. This runs under the front guard, & when new sits in an indent in the front guard, just in front of the fork brace.

    To change tyres, both calipers need to removed & the lines spread. Over time this distorts them. My concern with the loop line has always been the potential for this to be taken out by larger road debris. As it happens, the line has distorted on the tug, & worn. You can see the split in the line in the attached photo. Fortunately this occurred in the garage, when I was changing tyres.

    Spliot brake line

    I have replaced all of the lines with new stainless brake lines. They are in the front of the wheel because the guy that made them up was concerned at the routing to get them behind the forks. I’ve made up some brackets to stop the lines from fouling on the gaiters.

    Golden Boy front

    The front tyre has been changed from a Mitas H06 350/18 (which I found good) to a Shinko (Golden Boy) SR 244, 350/18. Purchased on Tme for $10, new. Looking for better front end grip in loose stuff. Looks like it’ll wear flat, which is good for sidecar stability. I’m staying with the front guard & brace combo for now. The Golden Boy front slides on the seal, especially on right turns, which is not really what I’d hoped for.

    Gerrie Jacobs
    • Bike: DR650
    Rank: 250cc Rider

    Awesome machine you have there! Thanks for posting.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    The care & feeding of an Adventure Riding Addicts wife
    (or a ride in the sidecar to White Rock Station). 10/4/16.

    Back in the day, Mrs Box’a’bits was on the back of the bike everywhere we went. We didn’t own a car. I taught her to ride a scooter, & she still doesn’t drive cars to this day. A large chunk of our social life was bike based. Eventually we even toured off shore by bike. But once our daughter was born, for risk management purposes much of that stopped, except for the occassional sunny day short jaunt.

    Some years ago, I got into Adventure Bikes, & tried to recreate the joint enjoyment of touring. But unfortunately she’d moved on, & didn’t especially enjoy gravel, where the bike moved around underneath her. I blew it with an over ambitous trip one Easter. The last trip down south suffered because with camping gear & luggage the rear shock was overloaded, & even I was struggling on anything loose. Standing to help shift the load was strictly verbotten.

    Last August, I thought I’d try an (adventure riding) rig instead. Seduction by stealth…

    This has definitely been a winner for short trips on sealed roads, but we hadn’t yet explored any gravel or anything loose (aside from a quick squirt & slide in carparks).

    A few months ago we did a sunny day trip over to Martinborough for coffee, picked up a kg of mushrooms at Parkvale, & she enjoyed an hour or so’s shopping at Gladstone. She enjoyed the Rimutakas at speed (well, as fast as I was prepared to go in the sidecar, which is still a heavy steerer anyways..). Happy days.

    Yesterday we decided to have a day trip to White Rock Station. Saturday was supposed to be the day, but she deferred because she wanted to see the rehersals for ‘The Wizard of Oz’ ballet at Te Papa. Sunday was supposed to be wet, but with the magic of transient NZ weather forecasts, by Saturday night it was looking like patchy cloud, & a little NE breeze. So it was decided…

    By morning, the enthusiasm seemed to have waned somewhat. She wanted a sleep in. Then she needed to go to the farmers market to pick up the weeks veges. She was supicious of exactly how many kms we were commiting to. And how long it would take. Given I am pretty much a ‘jump on the bike & go now’ kind of guy, my patience was eroding, so I decided to vacate the premises & go & organise a picnic lunch.

    We left Casa del Box’a’bits at about 10.30am, pretty much in silence. But the Rimutakas improved things, despite being able to see that the weather wasn’t going to cooperate from ½ way up the motorway. A fairly clear run, once we dispatched the cars at the bottom. By mid way down the Wairarapa side I eased off a bit. Wrestling sidecars is hard work. And as if to ensure that my ego was totally crushed, the van we passed at Upper Hutt had caught us.

    A coffee was in order. So we stopped at the Everest Cafe in Featherston. This was totally refurbished last year, & I can recommend it. A watery sun appeared, the coffee, hot chocolate, & scones were excellent, & all was good in the world.

    Extra gas at Martinborough (still getting used to the ‘limited’ fuel range of the ‘little’ tank on the BMW tug), then on the road to White Rock.

    At the summit of the Range behind Martinborough, we had a brief pit stop to take in the 15 turbine (though I really only saw 5) Hau Nui wind farm. Looking at the weather, we had showers over towards Ocean Beach, & possible showers heading our way. It was cooling. We debated changing the destination, but I made an executive decision to continue with the plan.

    At Tuturumuri (at the beginning of the gravel) I was advised that there had been no mention made of gravel in the ride briefing, & just how many kms of this could she expect? She didn’t appreciate the jarring of these types of roads you know. You could almost see a certain body language adopted to say, well I’m stuck here now, & I’m not going to enjoy this.

    Confused signage

    We had a couple of stops along the way, first just outside Riversdale Station, at the confused sign, & again at the ‘pass’, where you get the first views of the Ocean. I was careful not to go nuts with the slides.

    White Rock Pass

    At White Rock we discovered that the milo container (which was riding in a larger container in a pannier) hadn’t survived the corrugations, & had redistributed itself all thru that box. A sticky mess, but not the end of the world.

    Picnicing at White Rock

    Sidecar at White Rock

    Picniced, then wandered along the beach. No seals. Very disappointing.

    White Rock

    I reminded Mrs Box’a’bits we’d been here before, for the ‘Not the Leeming Run’ back in the mid 90’s, when we rode the XR350 down to White Rock Station, across Ngapoki Station, & around the coast. That ride included crossing a steep & active slip face, & over a sand scree. We camped closer to Cape Paliser, in amongst the scrub. Good times…

    Ngapotiki Station Gates

    Had a slightly more flowing ride back. Noted the chair slides easily on the throttle to the left, but with the additional weight of a passenger it understeers, & doesn’t drift to the right as easily. A brake slide transitioning into a throttle on drift would likely do it, but decided not to practice that this trip.

    The stock on the road behalved themselves – Mrs Box’a’bits was somewhat concerned about them.

    Re-traced our tracks back to Martinborough, topped up with coffee & hot chocolate at the Village Cafe, then back over the hill. Home by 5.20pm. Mrs Box’a’bits declared herself tired but happy, so it seems we had a success. I’ve suggested we camp at Martinborough or Gladstone one weekend, to give a base for exploration, so there is some hope for future rides. Certainly Mrs Box’a’bits is keen to get across to Parkvale Mushrooms again, so there is a potential motivation there…Some cheap intercoms would help I think.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Changing the shock on the Velorex 562

    One of the issues when I got the rig was that the sidecar shock had no appreciable damping. The shock shaft was rust pitted, & had the residue of the rattle can paint job on it. It was evident that most of the shock oil had abandoned ship some considerable time ago. I guess it was comfortable for the sidecar occupant riding on soft springs though. But as a result of the total lack of damping in the sidecar shock, the whole rig rolled in corners like a big old american car (and likely for the same reasons). So not good for stability or rider confidence. And not something I was prepared to tolerate long term.

    I’d already replaced the chair axle with a much more sturdy one (as the stock 15mm one was bent & didn’t inspire confidence), & also replaced the sidecar wheel, as the GN250 one that was on the chair when I bought it had lost all of the spokes on a ride a few months ago (way too light for how aggressively I ride this thing). The tug front suspension had also been stiffened. The rear shock is adequate.

    Stock set up

    The stock Velorex shock length is 285mm eye to eye, with the pivot bolts all 12mm. The original shock is quite skinny, & has no damping or preload adjustment capabilities.

    The swingarm is also quite rudementary, basically two steel plates, with a shock platform & bump stop welded into the underside. The bottom shock mount results in a pinch point which restricts the width of the shock body which you can use.

    Velorex swingarm

    My research indicated some Harley shocks would work, & so I looked for some discarded or upgraded shocks. But I was a month or so late enquiring about this. Wellington Motorcycle (the former Harley dealer) dumped a large number of these when they shifted to Gear St.

    I did manage to pick up some fairly newish ‘Progressive Suspension 412 shocks off a ‘90 FXR. But it turned out there was a number of issues with these:

    – The shock body was slightly too large to fit into the swingarm. I could have relieved the swingarm slightly to manage that – the large, proud welds to the bottom shock mount were the major issue;
    – The preload adjusters fouled the swingarm. I was prepared to cut the adjuster rings to lose this facility;
    – The Harley shocks use ½“ pivot bolts (effectively 13mm). That was pretty easy to remedy – my machinist was able to turn up some replacement shock bushes in the correct sizing;
    – The progressive shocks had chromed top covers, which wouldn’t work with the top of the shock tower. Easy enough to remove.
    – Unfortunately the deal breaker was when I realises that the shocks had an offset bottom eye to accomodate the Harleys unusual shock arrangement. This would have meant that they would have cocked as the shock travel was used. Perhaps another Harley shock would have worked, but once bitten…

    Research also indicated that the Honda VT400, VT750, & VTX1300 & 1800 shocks would work, with work. These bikes are all fitted with convential twin shocks, which aren’t adjustable for damping, but offer 5 position spring preload adjustment. The shocks meet the 285mm eye to eye length criteria. The shocks are canted forward somewhat on the Hondas, & give circa 130mm of rear wheel travel. I’m unsure what the standard Velorex shock travel is supposed to be, but because of the stubby swingarm, & the shocks upright siting, it’ll be much less than that. The shocks are encased with chrome covers, top & bottom, which need to be removed to fit into the Velorex shock tower & swingarm arrangment. Underneath the chrome covers is a standard shock.

    VT400 shock

    Motomart (the local Honda shop) was advertising a brand new VT400 shock for not very much (so the price was right), so I thought I’d give that a go. Once this was to hand I carefully cut the chrome covers off (cut off discs on a Dremell). I thought I’d buggered things up at one point when I got oil droplets flung onto the case – but that was only shipping oil from the red paper that separates the bottom case from the shock body.

    I did go too far in fully removing the bottom case completely – In hindsight I realised I needed the adjustment ring in place, given this provided the spring base. If I was to do this again I’d carefully cut off the top & bottom portion of the bottom case & leave the adjustment ring intact.

    Cases from the VT400 shock

    As a result of that error then I needed to create a shock spring compressor to disassemble the shock head & spring, to allow me to recreate the adjustment ring. I did this using part of a preload adjuster off another old shock.

    Spring compressor

    Once the shock was reassembled I offered it up to the shock tower & swingarm. To fit it properly it was necessary to:
    – Grind some of the weld on the swingarm down. This is purely a cosmetic & fit adjustment – there is plenty of residual thickness in the swingarm;
    – Wind the shock spring preload up, so that the preload adjuster didn’t foul the swingarm. I may consider cutting this back a bit later.

    Shock bottom mount

    Shock fit issues


    The shock feels to have a higher spring rate. It’s progressively wound, so I am unable to calculate the rate based on spring width & coil measurements. The sidecar sag is less & the chair sits higher, which increases tug leant.

    Shock mounted

    Solo, on the motorway, the chair is more lively, reacting to bumps that the previous shock would float over. I also took it over the tight Paekakariki Hill Road. It was good in there, given the reduced roll, especially on right hand bends. Even did the stream ford at Battle Hill Park a couple of times just for fun.

    The Motorway nervousness might improve with:

    – A chair realignment to take account of the chair side having less sag;
    – Reduced preload on the shock (which would require cutting the preload adjuster);
    – Ballast in the sidecar (I don’t generally use that – it’s more fun for me without).

    Took Mrs Box’a’bits out for a ride to Eastbourne Sunday afternoon along a nice windy coast road. She reports the shock hasn’t impacted on her comfort, & it feels as if the rig is much more stable because the roll is much reduced. From my perspective, the shock has made a big improvement when the chair is loaded.

    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: BMW R100GS, Ducati Mark 3 250 narrow case
    Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    @jake-maryniak was in Wellington briefly yesterday and saw you heading along the motorway on it.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Yes, now that I know what bike he was down to pick up, I think I recall seeing him as well.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Maintenance 20/4/16:
    23,916 kms

    There has been an annoying rattle from the left head since I put the the GS motor in the rig. It’s been intermitant, but more prevalent when the oil is hot. It’s not the cam chain (timing is rock solid).

    I decided to look at the shimming on the rockers, & also the condition of the rocker bearings. The rockers did have verical play of about between 0.15 – 0.20mm. The only shims on hand were 0.30mm, & so I left these as is. Potentially the easiest way to check / remedy rocker bearing noise was to swap the rockers from the R80 motor across to the R100 motor. The R80 motor was known to be quiet. Given I thought the play was in the inlet, that’s the side I did. The exhaust appeared okay. Reset the clearances & test rode. Result! Noticeably quieter.

    Newlands access track:
    As part of the test loop I thought I’d ride down the Newlands / Ngauranga Access track. This runs from Newlands down to Ngauaranga Gorge. Unfortunately this track slopes into the hill on the right side. This puts the chair somewhat above the tug. Given the tug isn’t ballasted, this was an issue, as the chair approached tipping point a few times in the ride. I was riding it with my bum well over towards the chair to try to shift the balance point left.

    Nguaranga Power Line Access Track

    I’m intending to have a go at Takapari Rd tomorrow with support from DazzaDM. Maybe I need to look at this (ballasting). We’ll see.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    MAINTENANCE 25/5/16:
    25,512 KM

    Following on from the heavy April ride schedule, there were a few areas of damage / concern highlighted from the various rides I’d done, or at post ride cleaning.

    – I’ve been unsuccessful at removing the intermitant rattle from the left head. Annoying, but probably not life ending. Likely reflected off the sidecar & back at me:
    – I’ll pull the head & barrels off, to ensure that it’s not surplus silicon blocking oilways, given the findings on the right side.
    – This is also a good opportunity to check the health of the bore & valves;
    – I’ll shim the end float out of the rockers & see if that improves things;
    – I’ll also pull the timing chest off, & look at replacing the cam chain & associated mechanism.
    – That’ll also give me the opportunity to paint the outside of the timing chest, which is looking manky.
    – To do these bits of work I need to remove the chair. I need a dolly to make doing this (& then reattaching it) less of a drama;
    – I’d managed to put a small dent the left header just by the crossover, likely at Takapari Rd. Given I’ll have to replace this at some stage, & it probably doesn’t affect performance significantly, I’m not too worried about that now. The left header is also leaking somewhat from the patch I did pre the wedding. I need to seal that;
    – The gear change oil seal is seeping;
    – The seat back of the chair needs some remedial stitching;
    – The chair needs a realignment. 2 issues here – the bottom rear sidecar clamp needs to be welded in place. And the bottom rear subframe clamp needs to be tighter, or to be welded in place to stop it moving;

    Sidecar dolly:
    I’d purchased a cheap furniture dolly from Mitre 10. I still needed to chock the sidecar up with wood offcuts, & this tended to move / slip at inconvenient times. Given I‘m fencing at the moment I had some 100×50 offcuts from the rails. I’ve made a cradle, which is screwed & glued onto the furniture dolly. The indents positively locks the sidecar frame in place. And this now means I can move the sidecar around the garage independent of the tug.

    Gear change oil seal:
    This has been seeping. Leaned the bike over onto the right side (so the gearbox oil didn’t dribble out). Unbolted the left foot peg, & then withdrew the allen headed bolt that holds the gear change mechanism into the gearbox internals. Removed the change mechanism & footage as a complete assembly. Levered out the oil seal with a screw driver (being careful not to mark the case) & then pushed in a new seal. 2 minute job.

    Bloody thing is leaking worse than before. I’ll have to have another attempt at this…

    Head & Barrel:
    When I went to remove the bash plate (need the exhaust off to allow the head & barrel to be removed), I noted the left rear bolt head was deformed, & the bolt itself had assumed an ‘S’ shape. Good job the bash plate was there. I’ve replaced all of the bolt with a cap headed allen bolts.

    The barrels may have been rehoned at some stage. No wear lines like on Gus. The ridges visible in the photos cannot be felt. There are some odd marks which I assume occurred when the barrels were honed. I didn’t check ring end gap. But the compression pre pull down has been healthy.

    The pushrod rubber seals were degrading & breaking up. I’m pleased to have replaced these now. I don’t believe these were stock BMW parts. Unfortunately I suspect one of the replacement seals is the same aftermarket part as these. I’ll have to watch this.

    There was far less silicon present than on the RHS barrels. But more round the stud o-rings.

    The cam followers look good (inlet, then exhaust).

    When I pulled the RHS down, I was worried that there was some pitting on the cam. I have now had a better look, in better light, & believe that it was dirt (carbon) in the oil film that I was looking at. Looks fine now.

    There was some carbonised residue on underside of the top inlet stud, which may have partially blocked this. I’ve scraped this off. No idea what this might have been.

    The piston wrist pin hole shows some wear, but consistent with mileage. No slop.

    The valve seats look fine (inlet, exhaust).

    There was movement if the valve stems & guides were assembled dry, but no movement if there was an oil film. Happy with that.

    The rocker end float needed to be reshimmed.
    LHS Inlet shim was 0.60mm, incr to 0.75mm
    LHS Exh shim was 0.60mm, incr to 0.75mm
    RHS Inlet shim was 0.65mm, incr to 0.70mm
    RHS Exh shim was 0.65mm, incr to 0.75mm

    Cam chain:
    Obviously the bow wave for North Range Rd was higher than I thought, because the starter void has had a good wash with mud…and then the tideline settled 1/2 way up the bean can.

    The two bolts at the top of the timing chest have been an absolute arse to remove. Finally got one, but the other I had to drill the head off. I assume that the head had corroded onto the case, because the stub was finger tight.

    Pretty pleased I did the cam chain, because the crank sprocket is missing a tooth, & there is quite a bit of wear on the back side of the sprocket. The tensioners are also starting to break up. Looks like one tensioner was installed ‘cocked’ because of a forgotten washer. Maybe just the chain was replaced last time?

    Missing tooth

    Comparing old & new

    I got the cam chain replacement kits from Motobins. This included seals (including bean can o ring) & gaskets (main timing chest gasket & the 2 smaller gaskets for the top of the timing chest), cam chain, sprocket, crank nose bearing, & tensioners (including a new spring & circlip for the tensioner).

    The crank sprocket wasn’t going on easily. I heated it is a can of oil, & used ‘freeze spray’ refrigerant (from Jaycar) on the crank nose, but could only get the sprocket on 3/4 of the way. Eventually resorted to drifting it on using an off cut from part of Mandy’s old scooter frame (which was the appropriate ID for this).

    I tied the tensioner (with new spring) with a cable tie, to give me some slack in the chain.

    I used the old cam chain joining link, threading this from the front of the chain, in order to join the chain. Then rolled the engine round until I could pushed the new one in from the back. Unfortunately when I rechecked the cam & crank sprocket alignment, I was one tooth out, so had to do it again.

    Notice the paper towel pushed into the back cavity, to stop the joining link or spring clip flicking into the sump…

    The crank nose bearing was heated in oil, & slipped nicely into place in front of the crank sprocket with no issues.

    I put a light smear of locktite 518 on both sides of the timing chest cover. Possibly didn’t need it, but I hate it when the paper gasket seeps. I heated the timing cover in the oven at 100*C, which had the side benefit of curing the new paint. That slipped over the nice bearing nicely, with only a few light taps to seat it. I’ve robbed 2 bolts from the R80 motor to replace the 2 that were difficult to remove. I’ve greased the top 2 bolts in an attempt to avoid the corrosion the last 2 suffered.

    Reassembled the bean can, alternator, & diode board onto the timing cover, then fired the bike up to check everything worked as expected.

    Mitas C02 Knobby:
    I was going to use this for the Ocean Beach ride, but unfortunately discovered that it rubbed on the swing arm. I’d put it on the spare rim, & fitted it up to the bike. It appeared fine, but then when I went to ride it, heard the rubbing, so close but no cigar.

    Last weekend I borrowed Andy’s Tread Doctor knobby knife, & have shaved a little off the right side. It clears fine now. I have the say that tool is a useful bit of kit. I’ll have to get one some time. It’d be nice to have sharp knobs on some of the rides we do.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Okay, time to bring this up to date again.

    Reading back over this thread I realised I’d missed talking about work I did in Mar, just before my brothers wedding. I needed to seal the oil leaks & tidy the cosmetics, as he’d asked me to bring the rig up to be used as a prop for his wedding photos.

    MAINTENANCE 21,338 KMS (Mar ’16):
    Sealing the right head:
    And the award for the over use of silicon in the worst possible places goes to…

    The head gasket & pushrod seals on the right side had been leaking enough to annoy me, so I have replaced them. There was red silicon everywhere when I pulled the heads & barrels down. I don’t recommend the over use of RTV, & certainly not on the pushrod seals. I am concerned that that goop may have gone thru the oil passages. A light smear on the base of the barrels is fine.

    The good news is the barrels looked nice. The valves aren’t recessed (but I didn’t pull the valves to look at guide clearances). The pushrod tubes are good stainless ones. The cam followers surfaces also looked good.

    Painted the rear mudguard. That’d suffered from years of wear under the seat. Once the stickers came off, & I sanded it back, it came up really well with some Duplicolor bumper paint.

    Also painted the starter cover & the airbox with some said black paint.

    The left header had developed a hole & wear right on the joint with the collector box. I attempted to patch weld that. What is it about exhaust welding that causes the weld to break thru just as you are finishing the last weld? Not proud of the repair, but it’s temporary anyway. Painted the headers after the repair (the chrome was shot years ago).

    MAINTENANCE 26,664 KMS (JUL ’16):
    New stainless headers:

    Given the issues with the headers, I replaced them with some new keihan stainless pipes ex Motobins. Nice to take advantage of the Britex turmoil. Brought the cost down to just under the GST threshold.

    Chair suspension:
    Noted a few weeks ago that the preload adjustment collar on the shock on chair had caught on the swingarm, & had twisted then broken. I knew that the adjustment collar had limited clearance, & had run the preload down as much as I dared. Obviously that was marginally too much. It was only a piece of muck metal, rolled to shape, with a tack weld holding it closed (stock Honda, hiding under the removed chrome covers), so I wasn’t 100% surprised it let go (at the weld). The spring dropped, & was now resting on the spring holders & the swingarm. Perfectly safe, but I didn’t really want passengers in there until it was made good.

    I repaired the old preload adjustment collar, but just wasnt happy with it’s strength. Photo is of it after initial straightening & a tack weld to help it retain its shape.

    So I’ve made a new preload / spring retainer out of a piece of Mandy’s old scooter. That was slightly small, so I cut it, inserted another peice of metal., & welded the two together. Not the prettiest weld, but strong, & overall much heavier metal. No adjustability – I figured I didn’t need it.

    Getting it onto the shock required my makeshift spring compressor being put back to service. H&S nightmare, but it worked.

    Tug suspension:
    Tried for a WoF a couple of weeks ago. Because of work commitments, it had to be at VTNZ on Saturday. I thought I was going to piss in because of the work & new parts I’d thrown at it. But – Wrong! This tester has a thing about bushes (he failed the car the week before – but that’s another story), & he definitely didn’t like the bottom one on the rear suspension of the tug. I’d noticed a while ago that the rubber/ urethane was starting to perish, so perhaps he had a point.

    The good news is that the Koni mono shock takes the stock BMW bush top & bottom, so getting the replacement part was okay (I’d been concerned that I might struggle, & wasn’t really looking forward to having to buy a replacement shock just yet). So a just a delay of 10 days waiting on 1st class post from Motorworks. Not as good as Motobins 5 days Fedex, but cheaper.

    Today I removed the shock & pressed out the inner bush & rubber, using a socket as a drift. Photos shows the surgically clean conditions under which I operate. I have a tool for every purpose. I’ll have you know that vice is probably an antique, & was my great uncles. No 30 tonne presses here…

    On the outer bush I ran a bead of weld inside the bush in order to shrink it, & then it popped out of the shock end fairly easily.

    Pressed back in the new bush using the vise & a bigger socket.

    VPS Bark Busters:
    Adapting to winter riding / commuting. Fitted hand guards (so the warmth from the heated grips isn’t robbed by the airstream), & an led position light for the sidecar.

    Rear tyre:
    The Heidenau K60 was a good tyre, but was on wear limits, so has been replaced with another K60 Scout. Did 6,730 sidecar kms, which is really 5,633 adjusted kms (the sidecar runs an R65 final drive, so the speedo over reads).

    While I had an order in at Motorworks (for the shock bush) I also took the opportunity to get a new gear shift lever rubber, fuel cap rubber seal, & some new fuel tap internal filter socks (these sit inside the tank). I’ve also replaced the external fuel filters (sourced locally). The external filter originals were really old & were starting to restrict fuel flow.

    • Town/City: Wellington
    • Bike: BMW R80 G/S, R100GS & M72 Sidecar, Gilera Runner ST200
    Rank: 1200cc Rider

    Good lord, time flies. Time to bring this back up to date. The sidecar sat neglected for a few months while I concentrated on another bike. But back into focus now.

    After losing a carb float bowl on the Hinakura / Admirals Rd loop, I decided I needed some way of retaining them. It’s only the 2nd time in 26 years of riding BMWs I’ve lost one, but the consequences of doing that in the wrong time / place could be dire, either:

    – The float bowl getting damaged or destroyed by following traffic, or;
    – Total loss.

    Not a total disaster – if either happened, I could tie the float up, so that gas didn’t go to that carb, & limp home on one carb & one cylinder. But if I was on a longer trip… I’d rather mitigate the risk now.

    The float bowls are held on with a wire retaining clip. This is normally positively located on the float bowl by some indents at the bottom of the float bowl – but because these carbs are high mileage, the indents have worn.

    The most recent incident was caused when the float bowl clip was caught by the bottom buckle on my boots.

    I have made up some leashes, to stop the float bowls falling completely away from the bike. This was based on similar leashes made up by Solo Lobo (Advrider), which were in turn based on leashes that used to be commercially available elsewhere.

    I used:
    – Some light stainless wire, purchased at $2.00/m from a Marine Shop;
    – Electrical eyelets
    – Electrical wiring joiners
    – Stainless screws
    – Heat shrink
    – A 3.00mm nail to punch out the blanking cap in the float bowl

    I removed the float bowl, & carefully drilled a (3.00mm) hole at the bottom into the capped portion at the side of the bowl. The other side of the float bowl is open, & is used for the enricher circuit – you definitely don’t want to bugger that up. I used the nail to tap out the steel cap.

    I crimped the eyelet onto the stainless wire, soldered the crimp to make that more secure, & put some heat shrink over that to tidy it a little. I then cut the wire at 110mm, & threaded the end thru the hole at the bottom of the float bowl & out the top. I crimped 1/2 of the joiner onto that, & soldered this & then applied more heat shrink so that wouldn’t rattle.

    Then pulled the joiner to the bottom of the bore, put a little silicon into the hole to keep the water out, & pushed the cap back in place at the top.

    Finally, I drilled out the blank screw holes on the carb, to the depth of the screws, & screwed the eyelet to the carb.

    MAINTENANCE 27th Aug ’16- 27,650kms:
    I’d heard some off noises from the bike, metal on metal drumming, & had some vibration from the footpegs. Went looking for engine or gearbox damage, dropped the oil to check for metal filings, all clear, after a few more days riding it appears that it’s just a baffle loose in the collector box.

    – Engine & gearbox oil change.
    – New clutch lock out switch. A PO had bypassed that by stuffing a loop of wire into the connector by the frame spine, & then taping it up. That bodge had moved, so you needed to be in neutral to start the bike – a bugger if the bike stalled at the lights.
    – New oil pressure switch. The existing switch was a fitting for a gauge that didn’t work. So no warning if oil pressure dropped. A pain to replace because of the location right by the sidecar subframe.
    – New speedo cable. The old one was scavenged off the bent bike, & was too long.
    – New fuel tap. A PO had mostly stripped the threads on the old one, & that died when I went to replace the internal filter screen.

    MAINTENANCE 4th Oct ’16 – 29,388 kms.
    Reset the front upper mount after this slipped on an aggressive ride in the South Wairarapa.

    New front 100/90 18 Trail Wing TW18 – these come as OEM rear tyres on the DR200, but aren’t aggressive enough for most farmers – so are sold off cheap. The price was right. The tyre is uni-directional & has a similar tread pattern to the 350 18 Golden Boy that was on there before. It’s slightly bigger & has a rounder profile (possibly because of size). Hopefully it has better wet grip than the Golden Boy did.

    MAINTENANCE 24th Oct ’16 – 30,289 Kms:
    Replaced the left switchgear with a 2nd hand unit from R Twin Works Ltd. $165 ex Germany, off a low mileage bike. SG looks almost new. Includes an on/off headlight switch, which the last one lacked.

    Also just ordered another two cheap TW18 100/90 18″ tyres (new OEM off a DR200). The one I’ve not long installed on the front of the chair has much better grip than the Golden Boy, & seems to be wearing well. Quite an aggressive tread pattern when used as a front. May as well get them while they are cheap. $30 Each for these. I’ll stash them until I need replacements.

    MAINTENANCE 28th Dec ’16- 31,1xx kms:

    – Engine oil & filter change
    – Changed the pushrod seals on the left cylinder, as this had been is leaking.
    – Noted that a stud from the timing chest area has moved & has pushed against & marked the skirt of the barrel. Never seen this before. I have carefully dremelled that back
    – Changed the tub wheel bearings – there was play.

    Due for a new tug rear & sidecar tyre

    Maintenance 06th Feb ’17:
    Tightened all of the sidecar linkages, as some slop was developing. The frame is getting rusty from the commute. I’ll need to paint at some stage.

    Replaced the clutch lever pivot bush – the old one (on the right) was well & truly munted.

    Maintenance Sept 17 – 32,xxx kms:
    – Refitted the carbs back from Gus. Setting appear perfect – running nice tan plugs
    – New K60 rear tyre
    – Flushed the throttle & clutch cables
    – New battery 51814 Motobatt
    – Registration & WoF

    MAINTENANCE 14th Oct ’17, 32,450 kms:
    When getting the recent WoF, some play in the front wheel was noted. I thought, ‘easy’, I’ll throw some new bearings in there. Unfortunately the bearings had spun at some stage, & the play was between the hub & bearings. The bearing actually fell out when I went to check them. The bearings themselves were fine.

    JS has taken a bit more out of the the hubs, & spun up some bronze sleeves to remedy this, & to restore the interference fit. A nice tidy solution. I’ve put some new bearing in as well, well packed with additional grease, in an attempt to keep water out.

    I also asked JS to make up a new front mount for the sidecar. This removes the huge bars Eddie built. The issue with prior system was it still used the universal clamp fittings, which are prone to slippage (removed in the photo as we recycled the mount into the new system – but you can see it the prior post). Whilst very robust, the bars main mounts were the engine mounts. The top mounts were u-bolts. In hard cornering you could feel that connection moving.

    JS’s mount is much simpler, & leaves me room to install a top mount oil cooler at some later stage.

    As an interim measure, the removal of the bar allows me to reinstall a crash-bar with a GS oil cooler mounted on that. I have the system from Rufas.

    I’ve done a quick realignment post fitting the new mount – but it probably needs more attention.

    Need to install the LED voltmeter I bought recently – to match the bigger one on Gus.

    I’ve new front brake pads & a rear rack due via Fedex Monday. 2x new side car tyre sometime after that (GN125 cast offs – classy). But only $25 ea. Yes, I’m cheap.

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