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

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Snow, delays, batteries and a sunset

Sunday, Jan 10

Went for a short drive with Mariko, to check out her 4WD in a more extended manner on what I hoped would be snow covered road.  The area I picked did have some snow on the roads, but not much, more muddy than anything else (which is also a good test I guess) as the weather had been warm the last few days.

Aside from a slight rattling noise when engaging the clutch before bleeding down the speed, no issues encountered.  The PO told me he'd heard some noise too, especially in Low Range but I guess we'll see if its something to worry about.

I dropped Mariko off at the mechanic's shop on Monday, the 11th.  They estimated at the time it would take perhaps 3 days.

Wednesday, Jan 13

I'm not known for patience so it probably won't surprise you that I was disappointed to be called and be told by the shop that the carburetor rebuild was delayed.  

Looks like they have to replace the e-choke component involved with the radiator ( the fluid temperature tells the choke to activate or shut down ).  Also, apparently the float has to be replaced.  The delay involves finding the right parts for this old carburetor model: Hitachi DFB306-832.  The parts are due in Jan 21, Thursday of next week but they'll call me if they arrive earlier.

On the positive side, its good they found these problems now and are working to fix them.  Hopefully, it'll mean a more reliable key component to the Samurai being a dependable vehicle.


I'd been exercising both Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol and Brigitta, my '87 Airhead Beemer the last few days.  They've not gotten ridden much since the last three months or so as I was away camping.  Scarlett gave me no issues the couple times I rode her around the area.

Brigitta, on the other hand gave me the dreaded clicking noise of a dead battery.  This is even though she started fine at home, and no issues all the way to the RV storage yard where I'd been doing some work on the URRV.  

Sighing heavily, I got the jumper cables from the URRV, hooked her up and she started right up and caused no issues all the way home.  I looked up on her maintenance records when I'd last changed out her battery and it was over 10 years ago!  Dang.  Just goes to show how little she'd been ridden in the last ten years!  So a replacement battery is ordered and on the way, a PowerStar PS-NH12-18, which is equivalent to a BMW 51814 which is suitable for R Bikes.

More battery issues, the small lithium battery on Yagi, my 2006 Yamaha TW200 failed completely same day.  The battery had been stuck on 14.1 volts for over a day, so I'd disconnected the charger and reconnected...not bothering to check the voltmeter readout.  

As I was checking Brigitta, I finally noticed the voltmeter showing weird readings, changing rapidly, and reporting only 6.4 volts with the multimeter!  It was toast.  

Luckily, I still have the Yuasa YB7C-A  battery that had been installed in 2016 and which I'd changed out proactively when I brought the TW home.  I ordered a replacement battery as they're not too expensive and it should be here Friday this week.


Jan 12

We had us a pretty good sunset, with some nice clouds being lit up by the sun's rays once it had sank below the horizon:

Wrote this blog entry to keep my mind off the delays involving Mariko's carburetor, yesterday I washed part of the garage floor and mowed/mulched the large amount of fallen leaves that were in the back yard.


Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Replacing Fuel Lines on Brigitta and a look at past and present cousins....

 Today the weather had finally warmed enough to allow me an easy and almost iceless exit out of the neighborhood while riding Brigitta, my '87 R80 Beemer.

I rode her the nine miles to the RV Storage Yard and as I parked her next to the URRV, noted the smell of gas.  Oh Oh.

A quick look showed drops of gas emanating from the vicinity of the right tank petcock!  I had recently installed a couple of worm gear clamps  (none had been there before Fiona's immolation); and apparently the clamp's pressure caused an existing split in the rubber to leak gas.

See the split in the rubber fuel line, it's
on side closest to my thumb

Needless to say, visions of another engine fire pop into my head and I hurriedly shut off the right side petcock.  The leaking stopped of course and after retrieving what I had gone to retrieve from the URRV; I rode the few miles to the BMW Motorcycle Dealership.

Got me 3 feet of braided fuel line, borrowed a scissor from the parts clerk, and within five minutes had replaced the leaker with new fuel line.  Leak resolved!

While at the dealership, I saw this R60 /2 in very good condition sitting in the showroom.  I didn't ask if it was for sale so no need to ask me the price.

Now, with the above R60's 600cc engine representing one end of the spectrum....I present to you what is probably a new R18 that was sitting in the parking lot...with its 1800cc engine:

Those are some huge jugs eh?  Not being misogynistic here, that's what the engine's cylinders are called by some riders.

I believe the R18 is BMW's attempt to get some buyers away from the Cruiser crowd of motorcycles such as Harley-Davidson.  It doesn't hold any appeal to me but having 1800cc on tap would be so nice on those long trips involving interstate highways.

Asked to make a choice, I would go for the R60 /2.

Once I got home I also replaced the left side petcock's feed line even though it wasn't leaking, just so they're both same age you see.  I kept the old one as a "get me home" spare and will store it in the toolbox under the seat.

As a test ride, I rode to the Home Depot to get a wire brush Dremel bit and once I was back home I spent a couple of hours cleaning the burn stains on most of the moto tools, my hand started cramping up so will finish the rest tomorrow.  

Thursday, May 17, 2018

In the first half of May....

A little bit of catch up being done with this posting, no real events but one and that one is on hold in terms of being posted due to issues beyond my control.

The R3W steering damper has worked out great for Scarlett, I've had zero instances of "head shake" and she takes bumps and pot holes with steadiness and surety now.

We had us some rain on May 3 and here's a pic of Scarlett getting wet under rainy Colorado skies; a rather uncommon occurrence I assure you.

Rainy Sunset

The next day, the fourth, proved somewhat better in terms of sunset conditions:

 Hazy conditions for the capital of the Stoner State

May 5th through the 6th, I went through what was to me a refresher Basic Rider Course for riders of Three-Wheeled motorcycles.  Much more to follow but for now, just a pic of me during the class:

May 7th's sunset was pretty good:

May 9th's sunset was better:

The sunset on the 10th was the best of the month of May so far:

Some mechanical notes for record:

Replaced the clutch cable on Brigitta, my '87 R80 Beemer, I discovered the end at the handlebar lever quite frayed!  Luckily, I had a spare but am still tweaking the adjustment a bit.  Quite different from a URAL's clutch cable adjustment on the gearbox side.

Scarlett: After much fiddling with the original issue being a high idle when engine was hot and unable to get it to idle at 1000 rpm AND be balanced per the Harmonizer tool; I opted for correct RPMs and skewed balance at idle.  The left side throttle body is somehow letting air in (checked all components, no luck); which causes vacuum higher on the right.

Once off idle though, and through the gears, the throttle bodies are balanced withing 4 mbars of center!  She sounds better too, not racing when at idle and engine warm.  Hopefully, I'm not doing long term damage.

Thinking of going camping again at the Hugo SWA (State Wildlife Area) this Sunday, but not for certain.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Headlight Weirdness by Brigitta, Resolved.

Back when I replaced the speedo/odometer on Brigitta, my '87 R80, I happened to notice that sometimes my headlight remained on even when the key was off!  Weird.  At the time, I attributed the headlight behavior to me messing about the wiring involved around the headlight area.

It sort of remained in the back of my mind however, and this morning I took a closer look at things.

One obvious thing as I moved her front wheel back and forth, the headlight would come on when the wheel was turned all the way to the right!  Yep, with the ignition off.  Heck, with the key out!  Obviously, a circuit was being completed somewhere, independent of the ignition switch.

Off came the headlight so I could get at the ignition wiring.

Ignition switch wires

Saw some bare spots on the wires, thought it'd be an easy fix.  Trouble was though, as I checked things by wiggling on the connectors, the headlight didn't come on.  Hmmmmm.

I followed the wires into the plastic tube which housed all four wires, wiggled that and the headlight would come on when I moved it in different directions!  Aha!  

So I removed the battery's negative cable from it's grounding point on the engine case so I could work on things without making sparks fly.

Started off peeling the plastic tubing away, and exposed burned/melted red and green wires.  Red of course is hot or power, green is usually ground.  The insulation had burned/melted off both wires in multiples spots, allowing the wire underneath to touch and complete a circuit when bent a certain way.

I kept peeling away the outer plastic further and further along, more burned and melted plastic insulation on the red and green wires!  Two attempts at just patching what I had exposed just resulted in the headlight being on all the time when I would reconnect the negative cable on the battery.  Not good.

Off came the negative wire again and off came the gas tank, I pulled the connectors off and pulled the wires out of the headlight bucket, continuing to free it from cable ties until I reached a four connector plug into the main wiring harness.  

Once the cable was free, I removed the entire outer tube.  I ended up removing all the melted red and green plastic, leaving both the hot and ground wires complete bare.  Once I had all four wires separated and cleaned off, I used electrical tape to re-insulate the now bare hot and ground wires, ensuring there was no contact between them anymore.  Each wire I re-insulated, I tested by touching the grounding strap on the battery to ground, no spark meant no contact!

Tidied things up with more electrical tape, re-forming it into a single wire bungle which I threaded back along the cable path and into the headlight bucket.  Got everything connected back up, negative cable in place, no headlight coming on when swinging the front wheel all the way left and right!

Tested the ignition switch, lights came on when I turned the key as expected and she fired up when I pushed the starter button so the connectors were correct on the ignition switch.

No more mystery headlight turning itself on for no reason!  I did take more pictures, but bare wires are just that, bare wires!  I lucked out, the melted wires had connectors on both ends which were in good shape, and it was a relatively short run of wires, perhaps 18 inches; so not a lot of ruined insulation to remove, not a lot of new electrical tape used to form new insulation.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Brigitta gets a ride in the Trailer

Yep, once again, Brigitta, my '87 BMW R80 Airhead had to be taken home by trailer.  Last time, the transmission input spline had worn away to the point it no longer engaged.  Today, it was a flat rear tire.

I was motoring home eastbound on 17th street heading away from Downtown Denver, as I neared Peoria Street, I hear a loud noise and it felt like my rear tire had clipped some object on the road.  I distinctly remember seeing a dark object flying across the street in my left side mirror.

Nothing felt wrong at the time so I didn't stop.  I continued for perhaps two miles, the rear of the motorcycle feeling a bit "squishy"....I stopped after turning right onto Smith Road from Peoria and checked the tire.  It felt soft to the touch so I knew it was low on air.

I rotated the tire at least twice looking for punctures and finding none.  I was perplexed since my air gauge reported zero pressure in the tire!  I broke out my electric air pump and aired up the tire, it never got above 20 PSI even though I let the pump run for at least ten minutes!  Weird.

I decided to head back towards a gas station I'd seen on the way to Smith Road, thinking perhaps my air pump wasn't up to the task of inflating the rear tire to 32 PSI.  And yes, the mystery of where the air had gone and my not seeing any punctures nagged at me.

I rode slowly, the rear end feeling quite squishy, for perhaps a half mile and then I spied an air fill up station at a 7-11 convenience store so I stopped there.  After $1 and five minutes of pumping air into the tire, it still wouldn't rise above 20 PSI.....hmmmm.  I rotated the tire some more and this time I managed to hear air escaping and found this:

One heck of a cut isn't it?  No way I could repair that with my
tire puncture kit!

Apparently the tire has some strong sidewalls, this is without any air!

First move was to call roadside assistance, after navigating through the automated voice prompts, finally got a live person and they promised to send a tow truck my way.  I called Martha to let her know what was going on.  

I got a text message soon afterwards advising it would be about and hour and 45 minutes before the tow truck would arrive!  The neighborhood I was in proved a bit "sketchy" for me so after talking it over with Martha, it was decided they'd hook up the trailer and come get me.

I am happy to report that Miles was able to move the trailer out of the backyard and hook it up with some assistance from Sean, our next door neighbor to make sure all hookups were correct!

A bit over 30 minutes later, my rescuers arrived in the form of Martha and my youngest son Miles, driving Schnitzel the BMW X5 and pulling the Aluma trailer.  Yay.

The following shots were I suspect gleefully taken by Martha as Miles and I rolled Brigitta onto the trailer and I tied her down with straps.

 Miles and I felt all 532 pounds of Brigitta, not counting the stuff in the cases, as
we rolled her up the ramp and onto the trailer bed.

 Here I'm position Brigitta onto her center stand in preparation for the straps.
A later discussion with Oscar over the phone reveals that perhaps the best way is to not use
the center stand but to tie her down on her two wheels, using of course
four straps to the four corners of the trailer.

I am going to have to research proper tie down of two-wheeled motorcycles to be sure.  Still, she was tied fast while on the center stand and her front wheel was in contact with the trailer bed.  I also made sure to secure the center stand to the front wheel so Brigitta wouldn't come off her center stand while being moved!

Upon a safe arrival home, the boys held Brigitta steady while I removed all the straps.

 We carefully rolled her backwards down the ramp, me using the front 
brakes to keep her from gaining any speed or getting away from us.

Safely on the ground, we pushed poor Brigitta into the garage,
there to await Friday when I can remove her rear wheel and tire
and take it to performancecycle to get a new tire.

I am kind of bummed that this happened on what was basically a brand new tire with less than 2000 miles on it!  But, the fact that it held up enough to allow me to slowly ride it to the 7-11 is truly a fortunate thing.  I am glad I stopped to check instead of ignoring the squishiness and attributing it wrongly to bad pavement conditions!

So, a successful test of the Chang Rescue Team in coming to pick me up!  I had intended a rehearsal to work out procedures but I think we'll call this one good.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Brigitta's Odometer found to be "wonky"

Wonky: A highly technical term used to describe a situation or behavior where the subject is displaying strange behavior.

Yesterday, while tooling around on Brigitta, my '87 R80 Airhead Beemer, I finally realized through more careful observation that the odometer reading was inaccurate.  It was roughly displaying 9.4 miles traveled for every 1.8 miles actually ridden per the tripmeter.

The last known accurate reading is for 102,351 when maintenance was performed on Brigitta's finned exhaust nuts by yours truly on March 30 of this year.  Sigh.  Currently, the odometer was displaying over 8000 miles racked up.....not even close to accurate.  Basically 5600+ miles too much.

The speedometer seems to be working fine (to be again verified via GPS when the roads are clear) and the trip meter seems to be fine.  It's just the odometer, which is after all over 27 years old, that has failed.

As the saying goes, the cheapest thing on a BMW, is the owner.  I am going to hold off on sending the speedometer unit out for repair.  I'll keep track of mileage for service interval purposes by the bicycle computer I installed this morning.

This is the same Vetta C5 Bike computer I'd used on Natasha when her speedometer needle was doing the wild swings during cold weather.

NOTE: For future reference: you must use a value of 1925 when calibrating the bike computer to the front wheel measurement for Brigitta. (From center of front axle to ground)

Warning, BMW Airhead purists....non-BMW compliant mods ahead.  Viewing the pictures will probably offend your sensibilities.

 Vetta C5 installed on handlebar

 Vetta Magnetic Sensor secured to right front brake fitting.

Yes, I know it's ugly, but it works.
Magnet secured to one of Brigitta's front wheel spokes.
A more aesthetic solution to be found....perhaps.

It's snowing outside, so not a good time to go out and test the bike computer's functioning.  I did rotate the tire by hand and was able to spin it as fast as 5 mph per the bike computer so I know it's "seeing" the magnet via the sensor pickup.

Update: 15MAR: I transposed the numbers, it's actually 1925 for my R80's measurements.  The cyclometer works great but I found one limitation that caused me to order a newer one today.  It tops out at 100 kph in terms of displaying current speed.  As Brigitta can do much more, I ordered one that maxes out at 200 kph, well above Brigitta's capacity for speed.