Colorado Airhead Beemer Club April “Tech Day & Chili Meat”

On Saturday, April 22, 2017, the Colorado Airhead Beemer Club (CO-ABC) held a Tech Day at Dick Paschen’s house. The day dawned with rain clouds, mist and for those who rode, a chance to clean the dead bugs off our riding suits.

Dick is the air marshal for Colorado and has been hosting these for a number of years. He always provides great hospitality, access to his tools and good eats and coffee to fuel the faithful. This year was no exception.

I saw around 25-30 airhead riders over the course of the day. Interestingly enough, a number of bikes needed carburetor balancing. Matt Parkhouse (author of the monthly airhead column in the BMW MOA magazine) attended and rapidly performed many of these adjustments. Also, Clem Cykowski (retired owner of BWM of Denver) came by and provided assistance where needed.  The always willing Don Wreyford helped sort out a front disk brake problem, valve adjustments and helped several others with their “problem de jour.”

Tim Balough from Alma and Brian Eagleson from Salida rode over to spend the day with those of us living on the front range. Tim is going to host a Tech Day in June in Alma, so make plans to attend. You won’t be disappointed.

If you want to keep up to date on what the CO-ABC is doing and get details about Tim’s upcoming Tech Day, join the CO-ABC MeetUp group here:


Here is a picture album of the photos I took.


Maryland Airheads SuperTech 2.2

Out of the blue last November, I received an email from Maryland Air Marshal, Will Andalora, asking if I would be willing to be their special guest at the 2017 SuperTech 22.  To say the request was unexpected is an understatement. I called Will and after he assured me there was no mistake, it was me they wished to invite, he talked about his expectations and I accepted the invitation.

Will encouraged me to come out early so I could see some airhead sites before SuperTech started on Friday night. So, on Wednesday morning, I flew from my home in Colorado to Baltimore where Mark Lipschitz picked me up and took me to his home. I met the merry band of Maryland airheads who put this extravaganza of Air Head goodness together; Will Andalora, Mark Lipschitz, Bill Lambert, Jim McKinna. Also joining us was Chris Kennedy who puts on the “Techno Barn” Tech Day. They came over to Mark’s house where we enjoyed home cooked specialties of the house. By the end of the evening, I felt like family.z

Thursday was set aside to visit two museums catering to BMW motorcycles, ephemera, lore and to experience the passion of those who love collecting all things BMW Motorad and hearing the stories of how they came by the many items they had collected. The first stop was Jim Hopkin’s home. Jim has pursued photographs, clothing, pins, badges, trophies, bikes, toys, sculpture, and paintings all accompanied by fascinating accounts of his hunts around the world for this cornucopia of BMW motorcycle objects. Jim has one of the original M2B15 flat twin BMW engines supplied to the Victoria motorcycle company for use in their KR 1 motorcycle in the early 1920’s, letters, awards and trophies from racing legends, women riders and racers, and those who guided the destiny of BMW’s motorcycles.

BMW First Flat Twin Engine-M2B15 Used by Victoria in Their KR 1 Motorcycle

1920’s Race Leathers

airheaeds pre super tech
Motley Airhead Gang Poses at Jim Hopkins’ Museum for A Group Mug Shot

Here is a slide show of the pictures I took at Jim’s place.

And a short video of a neat toy BMW that reminded me of toys I played with in the 1950’s.

And a video of a distinctive sculpture Jim commissioned. The artist uses junk from automobile junk yards.

We then met Bob Henig, owner of Bob’s BMW, for lunch followed by a tour of his museum. Bob’s collection of BMW motorcycles is on two floors. I’m working on rebuilding a 1977 R100RS and he has one in his collection so I took some photos of the details I wasn’t sure about.

Bob Henig Leading the Way into His Vintage BMW Museum

Bob has an R32, several famous race bikes, iconic models and even a single wheel MV Agusta.

First BMW Bike, Model R32
1925 R32 in Front of the Iconic K1

1984 Krauser MKM 1000/4
1984 Krayser MKM 1000/4

1970 R75/5 Land Speed Record Bike
1970 BMW R75/5 Land Speed Record Bike

1950’s MV Agusta 60 cc Monomoto Superleggera
1950’s MV Agusta 60 cc Monomoto Superleggera

Here is a slide show of the pictures I took at Bob’s museum.

Friday afternoon was spent setting up for SuperTech at the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas museum including unloading all the cut-away models Bob Sipp brought and getting a guided tour of the machine tools museum. This collection goes back to the beginning of the 20th century. The tools work and many are powered by overhead shafts with belts and pulleys.

Site of SuperTech 2.2 Meeting
Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association Facility in Maryland-Home for SuperTech 2.2

Just a Few of the Many Machine Tools in the Working Museum

Here are two short videos of the inside of the machine shop. The second shows the overhead shaft and pulley system operating.The overhead shaft and pulley system used to distribute power to the old machine tools that did not have separate electric motors. This was a common method of distributing power in factories at the end of the 19th and early 20th century.

SuperTech has a fantastic collection of cut-away models. This is just one them, a beautifully done cutaway of a Bing carburetor.

One of Three Bing Carburetor Cut-away Models Bob Sipp Brought

Friday evening starts the festivities for the 65 attendees who came from as far away as California with pizza, BYOB, lots of introductions, conversations and a short presentation about how my motorcycling life led me to start rebuilding airhead bikes in earnest in 2009 and documenting the work on my web site, “Motorcycles and Other Musings”.

Some of the Airhead State Flags From Those in Attendance
State ABC Flag Display

Friday Night Pizza & BYOB
Friday Night at the Hotel for Pizza, Beer and Comradery

The format for Saturday included technical, product and riding adventure presentations. The new Kat Dash instrument flex-boards (Kat and Paul Connell), how ethanol affects our bikes (Bill Lambert), the mental preparation for a good ride (Mike Friedle), understanding electricity and wiring systems (Bill Dudley), high mileage riding (Ed Fule), stump the expert (Tom Cutter), a seminar on the on-board toolkit, bike parts and roadside flat tire repair.(Will Andalora), bringing an R75/5 back to life (Dave Fish), details about new replacement wiring harness (Todd Millican) and the story behind the “Motorcycles and Other Musing” web site (Brook Reams). Dinner was served, BYOB was consumed and conversations broke out like daffodils after the spring thaw.

Me and Ed Fule with Our Presenter Aprons
The Author and Ed Fule Wearing Presenter Aprons and Enjoying the Spring Day

Paul and Kat Connell Making Their Presentation in Stereo
Paul and Kat Connell’s Presentation Was in “Stereo”

Dave Fish Rode This Bike To SuperTech
Dave Fish Rode his Presentation Bike to SuperTech

Sunday morning started off with a presentation by Jim Hopkins of the story behind his museum. He captured the imagination and commanded the complete attention of everyone in the room with his slides and storytelling.

Jim Hopkins Presentation on His Museum and His Passion
Jim Hopkins’ Stories Command the Rapt Attention of the SuperTech Audience

At the wrap up, the coveted Dung Beetle award was presented to our Airstore manager Dave Cushing.

Coveted Dung Beetle Award
The Coveted Dung Beetle Award

This is a slide show of pictures I took during SuperTech 2.2

BMW Fairing Plastic Repair with Plast-Aid

My R1150-RS had a minor tip over, but it broke the upper fairing and also cracked one of the tabs that the left, front turn signal screws into. 🙁

Cracked Upper Fairing

Cracked Upper Fairing

Broken Tab for Turn Signal Mounting Screw

Broken Tab for Turn Signal Mounting Screw

I used Plast-aid to attach the wiring bulk head connector in a Windjammer II fairing with great success. Vetter used ABS plastic in the Windjammer fairings. I believe BMW is using ABS or a similar plastic for the body work, so Plast-aid will work well with it. It worked so well on the R1150-RS repair that a few months later, I used it to repair a number of cracks in BMW touring cases (aka, Krauser panniers).

Repairing Broken Screw Tab

I use a washer to help reinforce the srcew tab. Plast-aid will mechanically bond to steel, particularly if it has been roughed up with 100 grit wet/dry paper.

Tab Piece, Washer for Reinforcement and Mounting Screw

Tab Piece, Washer for Reinforcement and Mounting Screw

I mix up a small amount of Plast-aid. It changes consistency as the chemical reaction progresses. I wait a minute or two until it is the consistency of pancake batter. While I wait, I put some of the liquid component on the edge of the tab and the remaining edge on the fairing to promote good adhesion. When the Plast-aid has stiffened a bit, I put some on the edge of the broken tab. I hold it against the remaining tab surface of the fairing until it stays put, about 2 more minutes. I use the rest of the Plast-aid, smear some on the washer and the apply it to the back side of the tab for reinforcement. I hold this in place for another couple of minutes and I’m done.

Reinforcing Washer Glued On

Reinforcing Washer Glued On

Repairing Cracked Fairing

The fairing crack repair needs reinforcement. I use a small piece of fiber glass mat and shape it to fit behind the crack. There is a small brace above the crack that reinforces the other screw hole for the turn signal and I anchor the fiber glass against it and down across the crack.

Fiberglass Cut to Size For Reinforcement

Fiberglass Cut to Size For Reinforcement

I mix up a larger amount of Plast-aid and apply some of the liquid component along the edge of the crack to improve adhesion . I put some on the edge of the crack, aline the edges so they are tight and put some masking tape over the crack to hold the pieces together.

Masking Tape to Hold Edges Together

Masking Tape to Hold Edges Together

I put the fiber glass into the Plast-aid when it is the consistency of Elmer’s Glue to soak some into the openings of the fiber glass. I put it on the back side of the fairing, and add some more Plast-aid using a Popsicle stick. I have to hold the patch in place for a minute or so using a finger and the Popsicle stick. When it becomes very firm and the fiber glass stays put, I’m all done.

Plast-aid Soaked Fiberglass On the Back Side of Crack

Plast-aid Soaked Fiberglass On the Back Side of Crack

Here is the final repair. It will need to be sanded, some bondo used to fill in the scratches and painted. But that’s a job for another day when I setup my temporary paint booth again.

Final Repair-Just Needs Painting

Final Repair-Just Needs Painting

Blog Metrics and Plans for 2015

Blog Metrics So Far

So, I’ve been pretty inactive in this blog since July of 2014 when I finished the rebuild of “Grover”, a 1973 BMW R75/5 that I worked on over an 18 month period.  But, you haven’t. As the picture below shows, monthly visits to this site have gone way up since I started posting my progress on that project starting in December of 2012 and continued to stay high after the project completed on July 4, 2014.  The material I’ve posted is averaging 5,500 to 6,000 visits a month.


I never expected that much interest, but it shows the power of the internet as a low cost way to find information anywhere in the world.  In looking at statistics about where people come from and sites that have linked to this content, folks in Australia, Brazil, England, Finland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, and Switzerland have visited.

The top 11 most popular write-ups with their [number of visits] are:

The carburetor rebuild work is actually represented twice; the highest hit rate was for the work write-up and the other was for the blog post announcing the availability of that write-up.

Plans for 2015

I’ve had a list of bikes for my next project and have been cruising Craig’s List, BMW MOA, and Google searches for one of the following bikes.

  • R69S
  • R90S
  • R80/7
  • R80RT
  • R80ST
  • R100RS
  • K75S

This week, I’m finalizing the purchase of a 1983 R100RS with 83,000 miles. My plan is to rebuild this bike and document my work as I did for the R75/5 project.  So, there will be more blogs and write-ups coming soon. 🙂

I’ve become pretty active in the Airheads Beemers Club in Colorado (ABC-CO). I helped start a MeetUp site to promote all things Airhead. If you live in the state, or are passing through, please join one of our “Parking Lot Universities (PLU)”, “Ride-to-Eat (RtE)” and our annual Tech Day which is held in April.

One idea I have is to create some PLU activities using my garage (so more of a BGU) so Airheads who want to learn more about the R100RS can participate, grab a wrench, or just hang out as I work on this project. It should be fun.

2014 Cannonball Rally Comes to Colorado

The Cannonball Rally is a ride across the United States for vintage motorcycles.  This year, the rally is open to bikes built in 1936 or older. There are some 120 entries and the route goes from Daytona Beach, FL to Tacoma, WA, a distance of more than 3,900 miles.

The rally comes across Colorado. On Saturday, September 13, the riders stayed in Burlington, CO on the eastern plains. On Sunday they stop for lunch in Colorado Springs and then continue to Golden, CO for dinner. On Monday they continue west over the Rocky Mountains stopping in Leadville before ending the day in Grand Junction.

On Sunday I rode Grover, Rochelle’s 1973 BMW R75/5, and she rode Elmo, her 2002 F650GS down to Colorado Springs. We met another BMW rider, Sawyer and his friend Ashley, on a  green 1972 R75/5 toaster tank bike. We took a nice ride over the Palmer divide on our way to the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum (aka, Pikes Peak Harley Davidson). We arrived when the first rally riders were scheduled to arrive only to find about 20 rally bikes were already there.

There are six BMW bikes in the ride along with a lot of Harley’s, and some more exotic bikes such as Henderson, Moto Guzzi, Sokol, India, Brough Superior, Neracar, Moto Frera, and Sunbeam. I chuckled at one point as a rider put a pan under their parked bike to collect the oil leaking from the engine. Several bikes arrived in a swirl of blue smoke as oil was blowing on the headers.  The oldest bikes are 1916-1917, so nearly 100 years old. It is impressive to see these bikes and their riders do a cross-country rally on iron that old.

We had to head back early due to another commitment, so we weren’t able to ride with the Rally riders on their way to Golden.

Here are the pictures I took at the Sunday lunch stop.