Archive for June, 2010

Transform and Roll Out!

So I’ve been riding the last few days. The bike has been quite good to me. There seems to still be something going on with the charging system, as the battery isn’t being fully charged. But I guess this all comes back to BMW’s decision to put a weak alternator on the bike. Add 30 years of wear. Recipe for disaster.

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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Charging Issues Resolved.

Do you own a BMW R65 (or any older R bike for that matter)? Did you know the entire functionality of your charging system is contingent on the operation of one little bulb? Oh.. You did?.. Well, I didn’t.

So apparently BMW (in all their infinite wisdom) decided to make the little gen lamp a necessary part in the charging system of my R65. Without getting into too much confusing detail as to how it works, there’s basically a little bulb on your dash that says your bike is (not) charging (when illuminated). This bulb apparently provides light to a tiny magical gnome just below the light socket. When this light first comes on when you start your bike, it awakens him. He then summons the hamsters behind the front motor cover to begin spinning the wheels to charge your bike.

If you turn on your key and this light doesn’t come on, you have a problem. If you are riding and this light stays on, you have a problem. I actually didn’t hook it up when I installed the new harness. I just didn’t think it was necessary for the time being. OH WAS I WRONG. Reconnecting the bulb seems to have fixed the issue.

There is a nifty article over at on how to hack your charging system and make it work without the bulb. Which is a good idea. If you ever find yourself out riding and that bulb blows, you better get to a parts store quick.

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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Come on baby light my wires…

This post revolves mainly around the much-needed electrical work that has been patiently awaiting my attention. Through the use of secret internet channels (ebay) I managed to procure a headlight, left control assembly (horn, lights, indicators), right control assembly (run switch, starter button), and a big fat wiring harness. I still need to find a throttle and master cylinder / break lever assembly. But that’s another story.

As you can see the headlight is killer. It looks about 1,000,000,000^10 times better than that weird street-fighter thing that was on there.

So I’ve been carefully (but violently) ripping all the old wiring out. The old harness was chopped up to bits. Most of the connectors were cut off near the front and there were random wires and whatnots connecting the various doodads that should never have made it onto this bike.

As I went I made note of where things go to speed up the process. I also had a wiring diagram found at which proved invaluable.

New harness installed and new controls connected.

So that’s it. Of course the process took a minute or two. There were some confusing moments. And I did manage to blow at least one fuse before the end of the day. But In the end I had a bike that 100% working lights, and an actual starter button… did I tell you what I was using to start it before? Push button with one wire clipped to the battery and the other clipped to the starter solenoid.


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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

TANKS! (for the memories)

So now I’ve hammered in the dents a little less ugly (just a little) and added a few dabs of body filler (not a few).

As you can see it’s more like bondo with a few dabs of tank.

I’ve also gone through and stripped the paint off the tailpiece. Again, this guy was in pretty bad shape, so I had to do my best. This winter I plan to redo it from scratch. Hopefully by then I will also have procured a new tank.

Priming and painting.

Wet sanding is our best friend. Fine grit paper, bowl from the kitchen. Don’t worry I won’t put it back. (I might (I won’t)). The finish is really smooth and delicious.

Re-assembled. Notice The wires hanging all over the place. Also I haven’t done much with that front fender yet. Considering axing it completely.

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Sunday, June 6th, 2010 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

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