Sunday, 27 April 2008

Oils hate me.... BMW

Rockster from BIKEME forums came around today to have a look over my BM. He used to own a Mono shock R80RT. He wanted to relive his days with his favoured RT. When he arrived he caught me in the middle of changing some oils in the bike. Or should I say he caught me getting the amount of oil for the shaft drive mixed up with the rear wheel drive. Yes I had tried to put 350 ml into the shaft drive. It poured back out. It is only supposed to have 150ml. What is it with me and oil? Anyway I reread the owners manual and got it right. Rockster showed me how to make a paper funnel out of a glossy junk mail advert so I could get the oil into the shaft drive without it going everywhere.

It was great to chat bikes and BMs and to hear about how he totalled his RT. Well it was great that he did but you know what I mean.

I couldn’t change the gearbox oil as I could fin the extender for the socket. So will do that one when I buy another extender. Engine oil will also be done then too. I asked Rockster to take my bike for a spin. I wanted another opinion about the front end of my bike.

So off he took with a big grin under his helmet. While he was away I took some photos of his R1150R Oilhead. This was until I heard this loud rumble coming. He was not even in sight yet when I heard my bike coming. He roared past me. What a lovely noise my bike makes. Chucks a U turn and back in my driveway. Still grinning too. Other than the rear brake and maybe a carbie tune he says that the front end feels really good and the engine sounds sweet. PHEW! That was so good to hear. I did do the oil change on the front end correctly then. Cheers mate for doing what you did for me today. I am greatly relieved.

I got to sit on the R1150R. At first it felt not right with those big wide bars. But the more I sat the more comfortable it became. Well of course it would it is a BMW.

So again mate thanks for the help and the test ride, all be it around the block. Thanks to for the spares.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

What the LT was made for... BMW...

The rain has gone. We have had weeks of it. Not that riding in the rain scares me. But with a bike that I am still learning to ride I have not taken it for a good ride. That changed today. I didn’t to get the LT out on the open road. I needed to learn to ride this bike where it is at its best, on country roads.

I headed north for the Old Pacific Hwy. First stop was Road Warriors Café at Mt White. By Brooklyn Bridge both bikes and cars are warning of cops up ahead. The Old Pac is posted at 60kmh. This is in the best sections. All the good corners. So it was a slow ride. I didn’t really mind as I was out to learn to ride the BM correctly. Brake before the corner. Set the bike up and then power through the corner. On the MuZ I could brake very deep into the corner and then crack open the throttle. Don’t ride a BM correctly through a corner and it will let you know.

So doing the Old Pac slow was good. I got to practice the above. There was lots of water run off from all the rain we have had. I rode through so much of this water on just about all the country roads I was to transverse.

So where are the cops I had been warned about? Are they hiding in the bushes in camo gear with their nasty space gun? No! Are mobile in unmarked cars with those tell tale aerials? No! They are about 500 meters up the road for Road Warriors. I get pulled over. As I am pointed at I glance at my speedo. No I am not speeding so what do they want? Oh they want me to count to ten out loud so they can test my breath. All clear. I have not drunk in over 20 years so of course it will be clear. Fancy breath testing on the Old Pac at 10am on a Saturday morning.

Road Warriors is quite. Saturday morning on a long weekend and there are not many about. Well there are a few Ducatis there. But when are they not there?

I have a cup of tea while I sit and ponder why Ducatis are only seen at Road Warriors. It is good to have panniers as you can carry all your own refreshments. These panniers are so much bigger than the ones that were on the MuZ. Good for when doing the grocery shopping as I can fit a big box of cereal in there standing up.

So cup of tea downed. More Ducati’s arrive. It is time for me to move on out. Where to now? I have a big tourer. I don’t want to go home yet. So I keep heading north. Peats ridge comes and goes. The roads around here are nice and smooth and have some lovely sweepers. Just like a super models legs. The BM is lapping up the sweepers. I can’t believe how well it holds the corner at speed. In fact I am going faster through these corners than last time I came through here on the MuZ. I must have the right about of throttle in the corners now as I am getting no weave or wobble at all. No wonder this thing is a big mile eater.

So where I am heading north to? I know. Jerry's Gourmet Kitchen at Kulnura. Road is starting to get a bit rougher now. The rain has chopped up the road and there are some nasty pot holes appearing. Gravel has been thrown into the mix as well. But the BM just keeps BMing away.

There are even less bikes at Jerry’s. I got talking to a guy on an Oilhead R1200S. He was really impressed with the bike. It was fitted with Staintunes and Öhlins rear shock. We had a good chat about bikes and the costs of servicing of bikes. After some of the figures he threw at me I am so glad I have a bike that I can do most things on. I can’t even begin to think of spending $2K to service a Ducati. You can have a good holiday for that amount of money.

We said our good byes and I headed off. Sorry we didn’t at least swap names mate. But it was good to meet you and chat. So where to now? Wisemans Ferry of course. Rough and bump road with lots of corner to test me and the BM. It was along this road that I saw the worse of the water run off. The pot holes could have swallowed a house. This road needs to be respected at best of times but even more so today. I spent most of the time in 3rd or 4th gear. The BM made me work for my ride on this road. This is a lot of bike to push along and even more so when dodging gravel, water run off and pot holes. I was getting a sweat up. Also the right hand mirror I had replaced had cracked at the mount and was flapping about. That’s how rough the road was.

The trees canopy the road in places, even through my ear plugs I could hear the Staintunes bellowing away. They sound so good even from up front. It was along this road that I really got to use the roll on power on the BM to overtake. I know it only bumps out 60bhp but in 3rd or 4th gear I could just roll on the throttle and off it would go around a car.

Up ahead I spy another bike. He is caught up with some traffic. I see him looking in his mirror as I loom up behind him. It’s a Café Racer of some sort. British too. A stretch of straight road opens up for us and he is off overtaking. Puff of blue smoke and a very deep rumble that can be heard through my ear plugs and hr is going for it. I follow suite and soon the cars are well behind us and we are at the Ferry crossing at Wisemans Ferry.

Other side of the river I take time out to removed the right hand mirror. I can save this from breaking off and repair it at home. I also have a spot to eat at the Pub and think about which road to take. Well it really doesn’t take much moving grey cells around to answer this one. River Road. But in reverse from the last time I rode it.

Water is glistening off the rock walls and then flowing across the road. In some places it is flowing fast and a few inches deep. The gravel is even worse on this road. First time today that the BM is unsettled by the road conditions. Plus I am pushing hard. Too hard at least twice as I run wide in two corners. Let this be a lesson to me. Slow down and be smooth with the bike. Some of the corners are very dark from the over hanging trees and there hides water waiting to make a bike fall down.

In no time I am at Sackville Ferry and now heading for the Putty Road. Today I won’t go up the Putty. So head back to Sydney and towards home as I have promised to cook dinner for us all tonight.

In total I did around 230kms. If Google Maps was working for me at the moment I would also post the route. I will try to do this later.

I am very pleased with the BM. It is a true mile eater. This made today’s ride all the better. I did learn a lot about the bike and how to ride it today.

Friday, 25 April 2008


Today in Australia and New Zealand we remember what war has cost us as nations... The ranks of our vets are growing smaller with the passing of each ANZAC Day. Yet we shall never forget what they have done for us.

For the fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Laurence Binyon (1869–1943)

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Get Forked... BMW

I spent today finding out how to and not to pull the front end down. First thing you do not need to spend $80 on a huge shifter to undo the top fork nuts. I bought one thinking I had to undo those nuts. Could not get them to move at all.

Found out you undo the fork sliders from the bottom via a hex bolt that is exposed after the axle is taken out. Drained the oil out of the forks. Then the sliders slip off.

Old seals came out real easy. New ones after a wee bit of time in the freezer were coaxed into place with a hammer and a small block of wood. I have 2 blocks of wood that I could not do with out. They are used for everything from holding wheels in place on the bike while taking the axle out to being used to knock things into place.

The handlebars had to be dropped out of the way to allow access to the hex bolt at the top of the forks. This then allows you pour the fork oil in.

Cleaned the fork legs up. Started to put it all back together. I used Shell 10 weight fork oil and put 315ml in. Got to refilling the forks and as I did this I noticed that oil was appearing on the concrete floor. The drain bolts had been already been put back in. The left one was leaking. Took the bolt out and found that some of the thread had been damaged. Found another bolt and not no drip.

Once everything was back together and I took the bike off the main stand straight away I noticed a difference. The front end felt so much firmer and didn’t droop so much with the weight of the fairing. Sitting on the bike the front end also feels much better.

The old oil that came out of a grey colour. The new oil that went in was a reddish clear in colour.

Tomorrow arvo I shall take the bike out for a spin and see how the front end really feels.

Thanks to spottedquoll over at BIKEME forums for the tips on oil to use etc.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Black is good... BMW

Some photos I took this morning. It is very wet and gloomy here is Sydney at the moment. So these are not the best photos.

I bought a replacement mirror for the one that broke off. I was able to get a 2nd hand one from The mirrors have to be tightened down otherwise they turn inwards at speed. So to adjust them you have to loosen the nut retaining nut, move the mirror and then do the nut up again. That done and new (old) mirror on and it was time for a ride.

I had my oldest daughter on the back and it was raining. So off west to Penrith along the Motorway we went. Wow is this bike built for this type of road. Roll on the throttle to overtake and off the bike shoots. No more having to book an overtaking move 2 weeks in advance. The MuZ could not do this for obvious reasons.

The weather protect from the fairing is outstanding. I made sure I just wore my Blundstone slip on boots and wet weather pants. If the rain got to my boots my feet would be fish-tanks. But not a drop got through. Feet tucked in behind the cylinders and fairing and they are dry and toastie. Summer will be a different matter.

From Heather my pillion she said the bike is more comfortable that the MuZ, but her bum got numb.

Enough of my rambles. Here are the photos...

Thursday, 17 April 2008

So the love affair starts.... BMW

I picked the BMW up this arvo. I know it is mine now. I broke the right hand mirror off on Canterbury Rd. I was trying to adjust the mirror and didn't know that it was really tightened down hard. It gave as I pushed it. Moved to where I wanted it. Then as I am riding along it flung itself off onto the road and was run over. At least the cops didn't mind me doing an illegal U-Turn so I could park and get the mirror. I shudder to think how much it will cost me to replace.

Handling is way different than the MuZ. I was used to the fat small front tyre. The front end seems to be squirming around on the BM. The steering head bearing seem ok with no chunkiness. It might just be me. I did find that the front tyre pressure was too high. So this might help. Will know tomorrow when I take it out for a ride.

The engine is of course like a tractor in sound and pulling. Man this thing has torque. I am not used to riding around in top gear at low revs and then opening the throttle and off it goes. Engine is making noises that I am not used to hearing. This will take time to get used to. Hopeful I can get at least 100k on top of the 148k it has before anything major has to be done.

The shaft has no where near the lift under acceleration that my Virago had. Must be some of that BMW trickery in there to stop this.

Gearbox is not like a Japanese bike one. It changes slower and is a bit clunky. Not that super slick changing as a Jap.

The bike has a Koni rear shock. Until I can fiddle with it and adjust the spring loading I will pass judgement on it later.

Nonfango topbox that has the stop light wired into it. Fits at least my open face helmet so far.

Heated grips that I put on by mistake and nearly fried my hands till I could work out what position to but the rocker switch to.

The mufflers are stainless Staintune ones and sound so good. Loud and grumbles nicely. It is popping on overrun a bit though.

I love the centre stand. It is so easy to get the bike up onto that stand. So easy to get off the bike too with the weight down so low. The side stand I hate. I can’t push it down as my leg gets caught up in the fairing lower. Therefore I can’t kick the stand out far enough to have the bike lean on it.

After owning it for 3 hours now I am happy. But riding it heaps more will show how much the BM and I will like each other.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Bye Bye MuZ hello BMW....

I have traded my MuZ in. This was a hard decision to make as I love the MuZ so much. I struggled to make up my mind to trade it in. I said I would then I changed my mind. I drove the people at the BIKEME forums mad with this too. Then this morning I made up my mind to buy a BMW.

I have found that the MuZ is not a good 2 up machine. The panniers make it so hard for a pillion to get their legs onto the rear pegs. As the Sport is a ‘single’ seat bike the rear pegs are just an afterthought. That is how it looks to me. Yes I could have used throw over bags. But the rear seat is not comfortable for my wife. After ½ an hour she is in agony. This ruins any ride of any good distance for us. I know that BMW have a good reputation for great touring seats.

But the main thing that swung me is that I sold the Virago and sidecar last week and had some cash. I can afford to buy a bigger bike. What bike. Well I have wanted a BMW for so long. A boxer was my main fantasy. So that’s what I have bought.

Here is the bike as seen in the bike shop add. Again I went to Better Bikes. Same guys I bought the MuZ from.

BMW R100LT 1994
Price $6490
Odometer 104845kms.

I will keep using this blog but change the look to reflect the new bike. All the MuZ articles will stay up here too. I still love the MuZ and know that people use the info on this blog.

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