Showing posts with label Brigitta Misc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brigitta Misc. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Brigitta is Miss January 2018

Brigitta, my '87 BMW R80 Airhead Beemer was selected by the folks at airheads.org to be the picture for January 2018 in their annual calendar.

You have to be a member of airheads.org to buy it, so if you're already a member...



Here's the picture that was submitted for the contest to be on the 2018 calendar:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dawn Reflections

With the onset of Fall, I find myself commuting in pre-dawn darkness to Denver's downtown area.  I have been arriving just as dawn is breaking for Colorado and thought the light interesting in the way it starts to paint the buildings around me as I walk from the parking garage to the building where I work.

See what you think:

 The TIAA-CREF building where I park is reflected on 
the Key Bank Building across from it.

Republic Plaza Building, I work on the second floor.

All in all, not a bad sight to greet one's eyes while walking the block or so from parking spot to work.  I rode Brigitta, my '87 BMW R80 today, she's within 100 miles  from the 100,000 mile mark on her odometer.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Airheads, the nickname given to the motorcycles from the Bavaria of yore, with the twin opposed piston engine called the Boxer engine, which leaves the "jugs" out in the airstream.

Tech Day: A gathering of motorcyclists with similar motorcycles to share/learn knowledge related to the maintenance and repair of said motorcycles.

I was fortunate enough to attend another great Airhead Tech Day, once again hosted by Dick Paschen of Centennial. There was a great turnout of Airhead motorcycles and their owners, a lone K75, a couple of more modern BMWs and of course, Valencia, my Ural Rig. (Yes, she's an airhead)

Riders were walked through the process of checking valve clearances, bleeding brakes, changing engine and transmission oils and this year, the "Shorting the sparkplug" method of carburetor synchronization was demonstrated.

One airhead came in with no working front brakes, unknown last fluid change intervals and a sketchy throttle mechanism. He left with new knowledge of how to bleed brakes, change out his engine, transmission and final drive oils and while his throttle cam couldn't be fixed, he now knows what part to obtain from the dealer! He was a very happy camper.

Everyone who showed up didn't require work on their motorcycles. There was a lot of story telling and comparing notes on each other's motorcycles and just meeting and greeting like-minded lovers of these great classic motorcycles of the BMW marque.

As he did last year, Matt Parkhouse, the Colorado Air Marshall for the Airhead Motorcycle Club showed up and dived right into helping out where he could. Fellow airheads would gather around him constantly to watch his technique and listen to his stories and explanation of the workings of the motorcycle task at hand. Matt is one of the recognized Gurus of the Airhead community and we were quite lucky to have him there again.

I was shown the spark plug shorting technique by fellow Airhead Darren. It's such a simple process and when I got home to compare it against my manometer, it was spot on! I'll be securing a pair of those shorting adapters for my future use!

In sum, another great Tech Day. Dick Paschen made a great chili for folks to snack on, was everywhere at once offering advice, digging out supplies and sometimes even parts for folks to use and showing the great experience he's had with these motorcycles.

 It's this kind of willingness to help on the part of Dick and Matt and several others who were in attendance that make the Airhead community such a great thing to be a part of.














Sunday, May 01, 2011

ABCD on the Cache La Poudre Road

Here's my entry for Gary France's great one day photo contest:  ABCD, will you participate?

My friend Ken Phenix from Texas rode with me today up to CO14, west of Fort Collins, Colorado.  We cruised the Cache La Poudre Scenic Byway and took this show at the rock tunnel I've liked ever since the first time I saw it back in 2006.

I was originally trying to come up with something close to the lovely shot Gary has of himself flanked by distant mountains in the link above.  Didn't come close to the angles and perspective required though, I've so much to learn about such type of photography.

Still, here's my entry, for what it's worth.


Looking forward to all the entries from my fellow bloggers!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Meeting fellow Airheads at a Denver Tech Day

airhead:  An air-cooled BMW Motorcycle with the Boxer Engine.

Airhead: A rider of reliable and simple to operate and service BMW airhead motorcycles.


Today, Dick Paschen, a member of the Airheads Motorcycle Club, graciously hosted a Tech Day at his home in Centennial, CO.  Together with his fellow Airhead friends Nick and Don, they were there to help any and all fellow airhead rider who showed up to bring their machines up to snuff in general maintenance/service tasks such as carburetor tuning and synchronizing; bleeding of brakes, oil changes, adjusting brakes, and pretty much any of the tasks that most folks can do if they can handle a wrench and can tell right from left.

By the time I arrived, the tech day was in full swing and there were at least 15-20 fellow riders in Dick's driveway either being coached or looking on as fellow riders were shown how to adjust and work on their individual motorcycles.

I was very impressed at the expertise and patience displayed by Don, Dick and Nick as they each showed us how to do oil changes, valve clearance checks and adjustments, carburetor maintenance, throttle cable adjustment and synchronization.  Dick had even whipped up two batches of delicious chili, hot and not so hot, to keep us sustained as we tried and glean knowledge from them.  Knowledge which was freely imparted, with a good sense of humor and obvious expertise.

 Don W, a retired Railroad Signals worker/manager, shows a new airhead owner how simple it is to change out the fluids on the new-to-him R100 RT.

 Above and below, Nick, showed us the proper way to adjust the throttle cables on the carburetors and made it seem quite easy to synchronize the throttle cables with the use of a Twinmax.  Nick lives in Cedar Edge, near Grand Junction, CO on the western part of the state.  Lucky guy, he regularly rides the San Juan Skyway and its beautiful road and scenery.


 Don, demonstrates an easy way to keep the final drive fluid from dripping on one's rear wheel while draining the final drive.

 Here's Matt Parkhouse, the Colorado Air Marshall for the Airheads Motorcycle Club, checking over a very clean looking airhead GS.  I was in lust of that GS.

 Here's Matt Parkhouse again, overseeing an Airhead's adjustment of his carburetor fuel idle mixture screw.  Matt is one of the recognized "Gurus" in the Airhead world and we were fortunate to have him come by and impart his knowledge.

 Here's Dick, in the yellow t-shirt, our host, expounding I am sure enthusiastically on some technical point.  Now is that a wild paint job on that GS or what?

 Nick and a fellow Airhead discuss some feature on Nick's very clean and well-fitted out RT

As you can see, they had quite a good turnout today.  I'd say at one point we must have had 25-30 fellow riders looking on and learning.

 Brigitta, who needed nothing done, just sat and waited for me next to the '88 GS that showed up

 Identified by Dick as his latest midlife crisis, an Italian Cinquecento or 500 car.  Voted, Dick made sure to tell us, the year's sexiest car by TopGear!  He's an Air Force vet and had acquired the 500 while stationed in Aviano, Italy.  Dick's car brought back some fun memories for me of seeing these cars in the streets of Italy when I myself was stationed in Vicenza, Italy.

 Matt Parkhouse works on an airhead which arrived with the issue of losing power when warmed up.  A quick diagnosis and examination, some adjustments by Matt and the owner Mike P took her for an extended test ride.  He came back a happy camper, issue resolved!

 One of the basic tasks of airhead maintenance, the checking/adjustment of the valve clearances is demonstrated by our host, Dick.

 As the afternoon wound down, there was time to just shoot the breeze amongst the riders gathered for this Tech Day.  From left to right, Don, Nick, Matt, Dick and Dale from Boulder.  Dale was another rider who came in with a rough-running airhead and left with a big smile on his face and a smooth-running airhead.

 A very tough looking and capable GS (mostly) showed up in the late afternoon.  It was a very serious off-road motorcycle!  The owner had ridden in the annual Big Dog Ride that is done is some of the really serious mountain trails and passes here in Colorado.  The owner told me he'd bought the motorcycle from Greg Frazier who hosts the Big Dog Ride.  A better provenance for an off-road motorcycle, I can't imagine.

 Showing that the marque has some torch carriers in the making, this young man showed up in the afternoon and was helped by Nick to diagnose a brake issue related to the brake master cylinder.

Here's our host, Dick Paschen, flanked by his buddies Don on the left and Nick on the right.
A very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly trio of experience airhead riders that I was fortunate to meet and get to know today.  Now I know who to go to when I need help with Brigitta!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Denver Area Tech Day for Airheads - April 16, 2011

Do you have a BMW Motorcycle from the late 70s (or earlier) to really early 90's?  Want to gather with others who share your love of such simple and reliable steeds from Bavaria?  Come join us then at the planned Tech Day in the Denver Tech Center this coming month!


Tech Day: Where riders of a specific marque gather at a location to share their knowledge, experience and expertise with other riders as to the care and maintenance of their particular motorcycles.
It has been quite a while, that I know of, that a Tech Day for BMW Airhead motorcycles has been planned for the Denver Metro Area so I thought I'd help spread the word about one coming up next month.
From the host: Richard Paschen:
Bring your old BMW Airhead to the Denver Colorado Airhead Tech Day and Chile-Meat, 16 April 2011 at 0900hrs.  
We have never hosted a Tech Day before, nor even heard of one in the area so here we go!  The fun starts at 0900hrs and available for general use will be a double garage and large area of concrete driveway.  
Spring tune ups and refreshers will consist of setting valves, spark plug changes, timing, carburetor synchronizing, fluid and filter replacements, exhaust nut service as well as anything else you'd like to try.  
We will be able to collect your used oil for proper disposal.   We've got molly grease if you want to do a spline lube.  Tools on hand include a steering head wrench, hand tools, an exhaust nut wrench, timing lamp, torque wrenches, swing arm bearing puller, a small air compressor, an airhead manometer as well as a colormetric device, a multi-meter, grease, and anything else that you would like to bring along yourself.  
There will also be a Clymer’s Manual and a Haynes booklet on hand for reference and online access if you want to visit Snowbum’s or Dwayne’s sites.

As you may imagine, work is first come first served but we will try to group like things together as much as practical.  Shutdown will be at 5:00PM. If you'd like to try something ambitious please let us know in advance.  If you would like to offer some particular expertise to the others, let us know that too!  Parts, oil and oil filters and any tools you might need beyond those already mentioned are up to you.  If there is something nifty you’d like to share – Bring it!  

We'll have Texas style Chile, some sodas and water available.   Donations for anything other than that can be taken on the spot.

The address is:
7734 South Poplar Way
Centennial CO 80112
303 721 6993 H
210 365 0677 C

   This is off of Quebec St. between Dry Creek and County Line Rd near Quebec and C470.  Google it or call for directions.    
I am planning to be there to take photos of fellow Airheads communing with their fellow enthusiast, hoping to see a transmission input spline lube as mine will be due in about 8000 miles or so.  I hope to see you there.
Ride Safe.  Ride Aware.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

Traditionally, I would ride to the Logan National Cemetery in the west side of the Denver Metro area and pay my respects to the many veterans buried there on Veteran's Day.

Lacking my Ural sidecar rig, Natasha and having to work, will curtail that activity for me this year.

Picture from last year's ride to Honor an American Serviceman

Still, I ask you to remember and honor the veterans who've served this country so well, those that gave their all serving the nation in its many wars and in peacetime, and finally those men and women currently in harm's way overseas.

I thank all veterans for their service, and inter-service rivalries aside, couldn't possible imagine a better representation of what makes my adoptive homeland one of the greatest countries in the world.  A country I am proud to have served in my own meager fashion.

I leave you with this, easily found in a myriad sites across the Internet, which pretty much says it all:


It is the Soldier, not the minister

Who has given us freedom of religion.



It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.



It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.



It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.



It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.



It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.


It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,

Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.



Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

The National Colors fly at my house today, do they at yours?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First snow for the season, still no Natasha....but I did ride.

Yesterday's rain/snow mix resulted in about an inch of snow accumulation on the grassy areas of the neighborhood and not much of anything that I could see from my garage door.  That is, a nice icy cover of frozen snow on my driveway.

Normally, I would have laughed it off and fired up Natasha, my Ural Sidecar rig and ridden off to work at the normal time.

Sadly, she's still in the shop, waiting for some part.  I am told it's inbound (again) and maybe they'll even send the right part.  I am not so confident anymore and refuse to have my hopes dashed once again.

So, I decided to work from home, doing a bit of telecommuting.  But before the day started for me, a little bit of shovel work, along with a special tool for chipping away at ice and finally a bit of snow melt salt, and I had me a path out to the dry cul-de-sac:


As expected, the roads in the neighborhood and the main roads were dry though there was the occassional wet looking spot in the shade that made one wonder.  These I managed to avoid, for the most part, or made sure to just cross while making no turning maneuvers.  It was a short ride as the sun had barely been up an hour and had not done its magic.

As I worked the rest of the morning, dutifully I might add, I could hear the snow melting off the roof and making noises as it fell off the roof edges.

Lunch time came about and I headed out once more to truly dry roads and bright sunshine.  It was a balmy 29°F as I rode to the Beemer dealer to have my battery checked out.  You see, as I went to start the R80 Beemer I call Brigitta yesterday afternoon, she balked.  Mind you, it was hailing lightly and the clouds were fearsomely dark and the wind was waiting to snatch me up into the sky.  No pressure.

Oscar, my co-worker friend came to the rescue with jumper cables, I got Brigitta going and got home only mildly wet and slight chilled.  I thought my battery was just too old.

So there I am at the dealer and they graciously broke out the tester and hooked it up to Brigitta, the battery was pronouced "good".   Hmmmm.  They did suggest that I change out the oil as I was still running the 20W50 oil for the summer.  I had been planning to do this in about 1000 miles but elected to do it this afternoon.

It's good that I did!  I found the rubber donut seal had been slightly damaged by the metal o-ring type disk and hence the slight oil leakage I'd been trying to figure out lately.

The oil has now been changed, the battery is all charged up.  So of course we're expected to wake up to 1-2 inches of snow tomorrow, Thursday, Veteran's Day.  Sigh, I really miss Natasha.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Naked or Bikini?

Bikini fairing that is, get your mind out of the gutter.  : )

Recent events have led to my removing the S-Fairing that I'd mounted on Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Airhead Beemer.  Here's some links to the history of the fairing and me:  The start, the mounting, the farkling and the finish.

So last week, while doing preflight checks (motorcycling is as close to flying as one can get and still have wheels touching the ground), I noted my turn signals were not working.  Hmmmm, I checked fuses and yep, one was burned out.  No problem, dug one out of my spares and put it in and rode to work, figured it was just that fuse's time to go.

I get home from work and close to the house noted the dang turn signals were not working again.  That's not good, I thought.  Replaced the fuse and went for a short ride, this time I was watching the signals like a hawk and noted it went out while executing a left hand turn.  Aha!

Got her home carefully since when that particular fuse blows, it also takes out my brake light!  Put Brigitta up on her centerstand and starting checking wires for bare sports, looseness and such.  Got things to the point where it'd blow the fuse each time I'd move the wheel over to the left.  Aha!  Now I can replicate it, so I can narrow it down.

Much checking, wire bypassing/jiggling/examining later, narrowed it down to the wires leading into the left fork and through them to the front left turn signal housing.  To do all this, had removed the S fairing so I could see things better and also access the wiring inside the headlight bucket.

Carelessly, I had in the process of removing the S-Fairing, allowed one of the "hot" wires leading to the voltmeter in the S-fairing's dashboard to lie exposed against the steel braided sheath of the right side brake line.  You know where this is going right?  I turned on power to continue troubleshooting and the wire formed a hot contact with the brake line and smoke ensued!  Dammit!  It got hot enough before I pulled it off that it melted a hole in the rubber hose encased by the steel braiding and caused a leak.  Now I had no front brakes.

Berating myself as I continued troubleshooting the wiring issue, I could not find an obvious worn-through spot in the wires.  I did find though that in all my pulling and pushing of the wires, I must have moved them past the point where it was grounding and causing the short circuit. I wrapped them all in new electrical tape, put everything back together sans the S-fairing just in case I had to tear things apart again.

Whatever was shorting things out is no longer doing it.  I would have loved to have found a bare spot on a wire but I'll take the return of working turn signals and brake lights.

So, to the question posed by this posting's title:  Naked or Bikini.  I ask you, my faithful readers, which do you believe is best:  Run Brigitta without her fairing or "naked", or put the fairing back on?

Here's Brigitta "naked"

Here she is with the S-Fairing