Saturday, April 09, 2016

2016 Denver Area Airhead Tech Day

Beautifully sunny weather here in the great state of Colorado shone down today on the annual gathering of local area Airhead riders who gathered once more at Dick Paschen's place for a sharing of knowledge, telling of tales, kicking of tires and even some wrenching!

Dick is the Colorado Air Marshall for the BMW Airheads Club and has played the gracious and knowledgeable host for many years to this event.  He makes a great pot of chili, puts out coffee and water, and can be seen taking part in almost every repair operation that got underway.

Pretty good turnout in terms of riders, perhaps 60% were the expected "older" riders who've been around Airhead motorcycles for many years.  What was gratifying to see if lots more of the "younger" riders who are entering into the Airhead world to seek knowledge and help with their vintage motorcycles.

 One of the first arrivals was this beautiful R90S in the famed Daytona Orange Colors.
It came in for some front brake work and a check of the wheel bearings.  The motorcycle had
sat unused for 20 years overseas, and is now being brought back online by its new owner.

 Here's Dick Paschen doing the initial examination of the front wheel.

 Not every airhead rider was a gray-haired gentleman!
Good to see younger members to someday carry on the torch.

 Speaking of younger members, though technically an oilhead, this R Nine T
motorcycle next to Fiona shows much things have changed for 
BMW motorcycles.

 Some airheads came in on the back of pickup trucks, this one owned by 
Cort, got all sorted out while at the tech day, he left a happy camper.

 Some airheads needed a bit more "work" shall we say.
This particular airhead had sat under a tarp out in the elements for ten years!
Radar, the gentleman in the black cap and dark blue long sleeve shirt 
wondered how much of the engine would still move!

Some penetrating oil was administered and a short time later, much to the amazement
and delight of onlookers and owner alike, not only did the spark plugs come out easily, but also
the cooling fins on the header pipes and bonus: they were able to hand crank the
engine over using the rear wheel! 

 Here Cort, a new Airhead owner, learns to do the valve clearance 
checks on his R75/5 for the first time under the guidance
of Dick Paschen.

 Clem C., recently retired from decades of work at BMW of Denver
made an appearance and provided help as needed.
I must say, this particular RS was quite "clean"

 Matt Parkhouse, on the left, another local airhead guru and former 
Colorado Air Marshall made his normal appearance as well.

 Ed, the gentleman closest to the camera, drove all the way from the
Chicago area, with attending this Tech Day as one of his goals.  He
was visiting his daughter who lives locally, so it was all part of the trip.

Ed suggested I take a look at the rubber diaphragm on Fiona's carburetors
after I described to him the intermittent fuel delivery issues I'd been fighting.

Here's Matt Parkhouse demonstrating how to balance the carburetors
on an Airhead using the shorting plug method.  First time I saw
it, it was like magic, with the end result being a nicely idling and running
set of carburetors!

The crowd, which at one point I estimate was close to 25-30 people and perhaps 15-20 motorcycles, thinned out by around 3:00 PM when I took my leave.

Great gathering, lots of knowledge imparted, I got re-acquainted with Clem whom I've not seen for at least a couple of years (and whom I hope will have time to refurb the carburetors on Fiona soon).  Learned a trick to hopefully make the disconnection of tight fuel lines easier:

Place a suitable washer on the end of the fuel line, you can then
push on it to remove the fuel line without causing compression
of the tube which makes things tighter.

Fiona drew her share of curiosity and questions as well from some of the riders.  It was definitely a friendly crowd around her at times, no BMW purists demanded my excommunication for riding a Russian rig with a Beemer engine in it anyways!


RichardM said...

It looks like Clem has an RS. (short windshield, no glove boxes)

That is a really good turnout. Did you check the diaphragms on the carbs? Mine went bad after ingesting gas w/ethanol on my trip south.

redlegsrides said...

Actually, RichardM, he was helping the gentleman on the left who was the owner of the RS.

I've not checked the diaphragms yet, was talking to Clem and he says he might have a set of same carbs as what Fiona has now, if he does, he thinks we should just do a carb exchange as he'll already have refurbed those and I pay him for his time/effort.

Presently soaking the right carb in carb cleaner overnight, I've positively determined it's the one causing the engine to slightly stumble intermittently. One thing being the "too rich" condition of the plug, the other is you can "feel" the stumble when placing your hand near the exhaust.

Unknown said...

I tell ya, Dom, it wouldn't take much to fall head over heels for that orange R90S. What a gorgeous machine.

redlegsrides said...


Only soaked it for perhaps a couple of hours or more. The cleaner liquid darkened from clear to a light varnish like color by then. Forgot to remove the bowl gasket and the main jet holder's O-ring but it seemed to go back in OK.

Fired it up and engine sounded a bit smoother but still a slight hesitation on the right side. I hope to hear from Clem soon.

redlegsrides said...

Ry, the black and silver version of the R90S showed up as well but I failed to take its picture.

Nick Duffy said...
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Michelle said...

Thanks for the post, love reading your blog.