[Q] Rebuilding a BMW basket case

Discussion in 'Classic Motorbikes' started by sean_q, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. sean_q

    sean_q Guest

    [repost from Reeky]

    This ad recently appeared, almost exactly what I need to rebuild
    my older (non-runing) Dnepr MT-10/36 into something useful:

    : BMW R 75-5 which is 90% complete with many additional parts
    : and extras, including period hard bags, etc. Current BC registration.
    : This bike requires complete restoration, or could be parted out.
    : All for $1,500 OBO.

    I called the seller and told him what I wanted to do, which he
    said was not only doable but someone else local was working on
    a similar project as well. He emailed:
    Both motors are partly disassembled (top ends, anyway; crankcases
    are intact). There are nearly enough parts to build a running R75
    as well as the Denpr (but only one set of carbs). There's also
    two swingarms (different lengths), driveshafts and differentials
    (and an extra low-ratio rear end out of an R45 for use with a sidecar).

    I called my favorite indie repair shop and the owner said (at first)
    that he wouldn't touch it... then changed to "maybe" when I mentioned
    that I had a Clymer (for older BMWs) and a Haynes 1970-1990 manual
    covering the R75.

    Well if even these pros (specializing in Japanese bikes) hesitate
    then why should I think I can re-assemble the motor and install it
    on my own? I've only ever taken one bike motor apart and
    re-assembled it (my Honda S90, long ago). However, I do have time
    and the use of a friend's garage. Am I dreaming or what?

    Update - the seller emailed me some pix. It's basically
    a basket case. Parts piled up on his basement floor.
    Just looking at the pictures scares me.

    This is gonna be some learning curve. And an exercise
    in meditation. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Reconstruction.
    However, the motivation is that I want the end result.
    Oh, groan. I really didn't have enough projects.

    ps. the /5 series BMW were built in the early 70's. I hope
    that qualifies them for this forum...(?)

    sean_q, Mar 23, 2011
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  2. Don't touch it.

    Old airhead BMWs are very simple engines but do require a lot of special
    tools. You will only find out which ones you lack when you try and
    attach component A to component B.
    You're also forgetting the Gold Rules Of Basket Cases:

    1 Whatever you are told, it is never, ever, ever all there. 2. The
    reason why it's in bits is because it was knackered to begin with.

    See What do I need to look for when buying a ShiteOldBike? on the ukrmc


    Leave it.
    The Older Gentleman, Mar 23, 2011
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  3. sean_q

    Gyp Guest

    It's the sort of job a shop would be reluctant to take on unless it's
    something they are familiar with.

    Very stop start as they try and understand the jigsaw, go in search of
    parts that are missing and may only be available pre-loved, all the time
    working it out and tracking down bits needs to be charged to the customer
    (which might come as a bit of a shock), but perhaps more importantly, all
    the time when they're waiting for bits to turn up will leave the bench and
    ramps tied up when they could be earning.

    And with all the old & s/h bits, are you going to expect them to warranty
    Gyp, Mar 23, 2011
  4. sean_q

    Gyp Guest

    On 23/03/2011 07:29, The Older Gentleman wrote:

    I've got to do some work on my 22-year-old complete. working, MOTed
    SOBMW and I had a quick look at the faq
    This made me nod, as this is exactly what needs sorting on mine :-
    Of course, if I manage to get that out (rattle gun I reckon) I've still
    not got the tools for getting the top of the forks off. I'm tempted to
    take it to my local independent workshop, but I'b be surprised if
    they've got the tools either, so despite mine not being 90% complete and
    in a basket there's a possibility that they might no-bid also.
    Gyp, Mar 23, 2011
  5. sean_q

    Krusty Guest

    They're probably worth more than the rest put together.
    If the motivation isn't that you want to spend months doing the work,
    forget it - you'll never finish it.
    Krusty, Mar 23, 2011
  6. You speak the truth. I sold a nice condition Craven topbox, that was
    fitted to an MZ I bought, for over £100 on eBay. It went to a buyer in

    A few months ago, I picked up a super nick three-piece Craven set at
    Kempton Park jumble. Rack, panniers and topbox, for £120. They sold
    for over £300 and went to Greece.

    Craven kit is hugely in the want by classic bike fiends, because it's
    "period" stuff and will look right on just about anything made between
    about 1955-75.

    If it's the Craven stuff that was made especially for BMWs, like this
    sort of kit:


    then you can more or less write your own cheque.
    [email protected], Mar 23, 2011
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