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peteremc
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Custom restoration - R65LS
01/28/16 at 04:19:17
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I started this topic over in the technical tips area by mistake, but it will now reside here and I hope to update fairly regularly.

So, I thought I would introduce this project before leaning on the contributors for what might be lots of information in coming months!

This story begins back in 1984 when I bought a near-new R65LS. Pretty sure it was an '83 model, but it was very low kilometres and a very good price. Fell in love with the looks, handling, low maintenance, etc. Sold it in 1986, to move to a remote area in Australia - no sealed roads I'm afraid. This was the first of a string of airheads in later years including a couple of R80s (interspersed with a number of other brands and styles of bikes) but nothing else seemed to measure up.

Fast forward to about 2005 and skip the adventures and assuming family responsibilities in between, and an '82 R65LS came up for sale locally. Very low kilometres and very good price, so I had to have it. Ran like a dream for several years, rode it a lot, but it eventually assumed it's place as one of the bikes in a stable which grew to 4 bikes at one stage. I'm a bike tart, as long as it has 2 wheels I'm interested, but I still have my preferences.

Then came an unfortunate driveway incident which tipped it on it's side. I still have that nightmare because I was driving the vehicle and as I was reversing down the driveway (where, earlier in the day I had parked the bike) and from the driver's seat I couldn't see the bike until I just caught it toppling over in the passenger rear view mirror. Only suffered panel damage, but a couple of gouges in the fairing kinda spoiled the looks. Not sure why, but it then spent a couple of years at the back of the garage, unridden and unregistered, while I played with other, more shiny toys.

Late last year I decided to do something with it and always had a custom in mind. As soon as I started my research, I realised I mustíve been the only person on earth who was oblivious to the craze of doing cafť-racer-scrambler-bratbike restorations on these things. I discovered a world of parts and nice bits for the 80ís air head. This suits me fine. Iíve always wanted another cafť racer (my very first bike was a Ducati 350 and later progressed to a 450 Desmo Ė damn, why did I sell that bike?).

So, the 1982 R65LS is in bits Ė see attached photo.

To the point of this first post. I have the motor on the bench and the cases have generally cleaned up very nicely, but the fins have years of build up between them. I've searched the forum and can't find anything specific, so if anyone has a good method for cleaning up between the fins I'd really appreciate it.

More photos and updates will follow. I promise.
  

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peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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marcmax
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Any day on two wheels
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #1 - 01/28/16 at 10:40:38
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Just curious. That doesn't look like an R65LS fuel tank. How does that fit with all the under tank electronics?
  

Keep your bike in good repair: †motorcycle boots are not comfortable for walking. †

1982 R65ls † † † †1984 R65ls † † † †1991 K75
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peteremc
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #2 - 01/29/16 at 17:55:50
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Ahhhh ... well spotted and a very good question! The tank is from an '86 R80 (I think). There were a range of other models that also had the electrics all mounts on the right side of the frame and therefore the tanks were made to accommodate this.

I've been told variously that:
(a) ANY R65, R80, R80RT, R100, R100RT, R100RS Monoshock model from 1985-1995 will fit.
(b) any tank from a r80g/s, r80st, r100gs, r100r. they all mount with the metal hook thingy and possibly an R80RT
(c) ALL twin shock R65, R80 G/S, R80ST, R100GS, R80GS, R100R, R100Mystic

I picked up the first and now very rare tank that came up that had the correct shape underneath to accommodate the electrics. The front mounts just fine using the original rubber mount (just had to take a couple of mm off each side to make it fit) and I have purchased an equally rare rear mounting bracket for the '86 tank - which is still in transit because I had to buy it from the US of A. I may have to drill the frame to make it fit but I may be back to this forum when it arrives for mounting tips.

Cheers


  

peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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peteremc
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #3 - 02/06/16 at 04:15:44
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Well, I saw my wheels and top and front engine covers which have been bead blasted and my frame, sub-frame, centre stand and swing arm which have been sand blasted and primed and the rear sub-frame shortened by 3" (behind the shockie mounts). Gotta say that my original plan was to paint the wheels, but when I see how good they look, I'm very tempted to leave them original. Decisions, decisions....

Sorry guys, but I didn't take any photos.

Well, hereís a bit more information:

The motor (I believe) has done about 74,000 klms and runs like new as does the gearbox, so Iím not touching the internals of either. Iím led to believe that this bike has spent a lot of time off the road, both before and after I bought it. I have the motor and gearbox sitting on the bench.

I have had the rear main seal and clutch plate replaced while the motor is out. Pushrod tubes were weeping woefully so rubbers have been replaced. I have installed an aftermarket set of the older style rounded valve covers, just because I think they are damn sexy.

I may offend some traditionalist here and I'm sorry but I find that the LS tank is just dead boring so Iíve purchased a 1986 R80 tank. Unfortunately, these tanks are becoming very rare, so I grabbed one that came along. Only to find out it has holes at the right rear base of the tank and a lot of corrosion along the join around the base of the tank. The poor old thing has been cleaned up and any weak spots beautifully braised by the shop doing the work on the frame. Unfortunately, they missed a small dent in the tank which needs to be fixed, so I've left it all with them and will collect all bits on Wednesday. Then off to talk with the painter.

The original colour of the bike is red and my plan is to reverse the original colours i.e. frame, sub-frame and swing arm will be painted in BMW red and a lot of the other bits either gloss or satin black, but with red highlights wherever I can work them in.

Iíve shaped a cafť racer style seat from styrofoam, measured to fit the rear sub-frame which is being shortened by 3Ē. It will probably be changed a bit and fibreglassed later after I can see the size and angle of the tank on the frame once the final fitting arrangements are determined. The front tank mount works OK. All I had to do was to shave a couple of mms off each side of the rubber mount. I purchased a rear tank mounting bracket which was on ebay in the US for 40 US$ but the seller accepted an offer of 20 US$ which saved me a bit of money.

I have purchased a new set of dual brake rotors as mine were not in great shape and under spec. Thank you Motobins for the specials available on the week I was looking (hope that doesnít breach any forum rules!). I was surprised by the state of the rotors for the mileage and this makes me wonder about the life of this bike and whether the mileage on the speedo is actually genuine.

Will be replacing whatever looks worn as it goes back together. New bearings everywhere!

More info and photos as I progress Ö.

  

peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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peteremc
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #4 - 02/20/16 at 05:21:00
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Iím learning (fairly quickly) about the planning required to sequence tasks correctly when doing a restoration. The custom component gives me a bit of leeway, but still have to get it right. So, letís just say 2 steps forward and one step back at the moment, and true to many tasks like this, it will take a fair bit longer than I ever imagined.

Looking at exhaust options today and decided to cut out the balance pipes. A couple of discussions on this forum convinced me that they provide very little benefit in performance terms. I will get the engineering shop to cut them out and plug the holes, maybe with bits of the balance pipes. Not bothered by how neat the job is, because Iíll probably wrap them anyway.

I was wondering if I should save a bit of money and re-use the mufflers that were on the bike as I was happy with the nice low rumble sound. Just wasnít happy with the look of them. (See attached photos)

Unfortunately, they were very badly painted in flat black probably from a rattle can with inadequate preparation. Then I flipped them over and had a close look and found out that they are a set of Staintune sports mufflers.

To replace these now with new ones would cost me a kidney or my first born. This just creates another dilemma. Do I use them and accept that Iím in front in terms of ďopportunity costĒ or sell them to someone else, buy some cheaper ones and pocket the difference in cold hard cash to help fund the project. Any offers????

Spoke with the painter this morning and should be able to get frame and sub-frame painted (in one colour) fairly pronto and then the other bits (in a different colour) are less urgent as most are bolt-on bits like guards, engine covers, etc

Going the right direction, just more slowly than I thought. One reason is Iím trying to fit this around a more-than-full-time-job. Spent Friday night cleaning engine cases and barrels with a beer or five. Thatís dedication.

More posts as things progress.
  

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peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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peteremc
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #5 - 03/13/16 at 03:16:02
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Well, I hope the project is about to get a bit of momentum. Unfortunately, I have to have a (sometimes more than) full-time job to pay for follies such as this.

The natural impact of getting underway may be a number of queries on the forum to draw on the substantial experience and knowledge available. Some may be very basic (to those who know), but please bear with me. I am a health professional, not a mechanical one. I have a very little experience in projects like this, basic skills and knowledge, but certainly willing to learn. I have a bit better than basic tools, but willing to get what I need. I have a pretty fair space to work in.

After a couple of false starts and too much interference from my job, this week I finally picked up my frame and rear sub-frame, swing arm, engine covers (front & top), centre stand and wheels. Alloy bits have been bead blasted and others sand blasted.

First question: The attached photo shows where the swing arm bolts in. This has been primed. I had help with removal of bearings and races (swing arm and steering), so don't have those bits handy, but I seem to remember there may have been bearing races in where the swing arm bolts in (outside the thread which shows as not being primed). Am I correct? Is this an issue I should be worried about and may have to correct?

More photos to follow in separate posts, because they are a hefty file size.
  

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peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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Barry
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #6 - 03/13/16 at 16:27:06
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The bearings don't fit in the frame but inside the swinging arm itself. †The thread in the frame is for a bearing pin which the inner race locates on and there is a lock nut to provide adjustment for centering the swinging arm within the frame and to set the bearing preload. A black plastic cap fits in the recess shown in your pic. †
  

Barry Cheshire, England 79 R45
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peteremc
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #7 - 04/30/16 at 07:58:28
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Well after lots of preparation, research, cleaning and polishing parts and reading manuals (and spending money!) I have some visual progress (as opposed to all the stuff you don't see before the shiny bits all come together).
I have a BMW red frame. Henna Red. The original colour of the 1982 R65LS.
I have a pretty clean looking motor and gearbox in place.
I was to put it on its wheels tomorrow but in replacing fork seals in what I thought were a great set of forks, I found large and very worrying pieces of plastic debris in the bottom of one of the springs. More work to be done there.
Tomorrow I install the swing arm.
The seat is from Thor the mad German from Orlando, Florida who makes them for sub-frames shortened by 4 inches. Mine is shortened by 3, so it's a bit long and some modifications will be done while I fix my forks.
The tank is sitting there on custom mounts.
You can probably see the satin black wheels in the background of one of the photos. Verrry sexy.
The seat, tank and front guard will be painted next - probably in black pearl, a colour used by both Harley Davidson and Audi, I'm told.
Getting there, bit by bit.
Not a traditional restoration, but a lot of learning and fun along the way.
  

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peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #8 - 04/30/16 at 08:37:46
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peteremc wrote on 04/30/16 at 07:58:28:
...I was to put it on its wheels tomorrow but in replacing fork seals in what I thought were a great set of forks, I found large and very worrying pieces of plastic debris in the bottom of one of the springs.


Nothing wrong with the forks. Those 'plastic' bits are the remains of the damper rod's nylon-ish "bumpers". Earlier bumpers were made of a hard rubber than was dissolved by modern fork fluids. Replace both sides. And flush clean the lowers prior to reassembly.

Rubber baby buggy bumper from my 1981 R65:


  

Monte Miller
Denton, TEXAS
1978 BMW R100S
1981 BMW R65
1983 BMW R65
1995 Triumph Trophy
1986 VW Cabriolet
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peteremc
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #9 - 04/30/16 at 18:53:07
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Thanks Monte, I assume your photo is the bottom end of the damper rod with the damper rod seat in place. I've looked at both the Clymer and Haynes manual (my new best friends) and can't see the bumper on either parts diagram for the LS. Also watched Chris Harris on Youtube and no bumpers appeared on disassembly or reassembly of R65forks. When you said "replace" did you mean just replace the forks without bumpers or replace the bumpers themselves. If it's replace bumpers how are they identified? Is there a part number? I have a decent order sitting with Motobins and I may catch it before they ship (to Australia) if I need these parts
Many thanks
  

peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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peteremc
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #10 - 04/30/16 at 21:19:29
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Also, at risk of starting another "what's the best oil/tyres/shockies/etc" thread what would you use to flush forks and clean parts?
  

peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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peteremc
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #11 - 04/30/16 at 21:24:21
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Now I see what I'm dealing with. Monte, looks like yours were in relatively good shape. I popped out the damper rod seats and the remains of the bumpers (both sides) pretty much fell off and disintegrated just like this.
  

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peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #12 - 05/02/16 at 04:45:49
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This is where I'm up to this afternoon at the end of a long weekend. Swing arm and final drive all in OK, shockies mounted (mainly to support the swing arm at this stage and may be replaced). Fighting with the damn centre stand springs, which I find impossible to mount, otherwise would be further progressed.
Fork stanchions being sent tomorrow for rechroming due to rust spots that are going to eat seals in no time. Predicted 2 week wait, so the front end will be a while yet.
Cheers
  

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peteremc

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2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #13 - 05/02/16 at 21:57:24
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Looking good!
That red on the frame looks very close to BMW "Hell Red" - what is it?


In relation to your forks, BMW had several goes at changing the fork internals. To make matters more confusing some Dealers "upgraded" R65 fork internals to R80ST standard because the bits were, back in the day, fairly cheap.

Although it is theoretically possible to shock damage the damper rods and cause the tops to pull out, I do not personally know of it ever happening. For many years the bigger RED stop was simply not available and you simply did without it.

The compression stop is quite superfluous as the rod will lock hydraulically before that stop is assaulted.

On principle, and seeing that is once again available, I have fitted the RED stop to both my R65 and the wife's R65/80.

In relation to the RED stop, avoid BelRay fork fluid like the plague - it contains a "secret;' ingredient called "seal swell" and I suspect it is this ingredient that causes the RED stop to liquify far faster than it would otherwise do so.


FWIIW after a long and careful study of fork fluid viscosity (as opposed to the utterly useless "weight") I believe that depending on the weight to be carried a mix of Castrol Fork 5 and Fork 10 provides satisfactory and repeatable performance. Best of all you can buy it, albeit at an expensive price, from Supercheap.


PS - If/when you destroy one of more of the piston rings on the damper rods, I have spares.
  

1978 R100RS| 1984 R65 | 1984 XT350 | 1992 KLE500 | 2002 R1150GSA
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peteremc
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Re: Custom restoration - R65LS
Reply #14 - 05/03/16 at 03:47:41
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Thanks Tony. I'm really enjoying this project now it's all coming together.

The colour is Henna Red, the original colour of this bike, a 1982 R65LS. I checked the details and got the paint code and had the painter get the exact paint. My homage to the bike I dismantled to do this project. The frame was black and the rest was red, so Iím just swapping them over. Only a couple of people have seen this bike in photos and it depends on your computer settings as to how you see it. Someone thought it was orange, but trust me. Itís very red.

Iím really surprised at how much they played with these forks within the same model. I also have a couple of Harleys and they used some parts on some of their models for up to 40 years! Some didnít work very well, but they used them anyway.

I will try to get some of the red stops and thanks for your advice on the fork oil. When this bike was on the road I used 20W and found it fine. Iíve been told I like my bikes set up fairly firm (front and rear) compared to a lot of people and I think thatís probably right because I weigh in at about 78kgs. I might try something a bit lighter this time.

Thanks also for the word on those piston rings. Weíll have to arrange to catch up at one of the local bike shows for a yarn when one comes around.
  

peteremc

1982 R65LS (Custom restoration complete)
2000 FLHRCI Harley Davidson Road King Classic (Hotrod)
2015 FLHTK Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Limited (The Tourer)
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