The first engine start is always a major milestone on a project. I usually perform this earlier in the build than I am on this project. But, my gas tank and the other parts that I had painted have been delayed coming back, so I’ve done everything else I can do until I got the gas tank in hand. This Friday, I picked it up and installed it.
I made a detailed check list prior to starting the engine so I wouldn’t forget something and improve the likelihood the engine will start.
Here is a link to the procedure I followed to prepare for the engine start, and how I performed the all important initial bedding in of the new piston rings with the new Nikasil coated cylinders.
Since I am converting this RS model to an RT, the handlebar throttle and choke cables have to be longer and I show how to change the handlebar cables in the Bowden assembly. I installed them when I installed the handlebar perches as shown here.
I had the air box powder coated. Although the carburetor rebuild was a couple years ago, I rode the bike less than 1,500 miles after the rebuild and they have been off the bike for about two years. I inspected the o-rings and found they are in good condition so no need to do another carburetor rebuild.
Since I modified the engine to boost compression from 8.2:1 to 9.5:1 and had the heads bored for dual spark plugs, I have to change the carburetor jetting. This engine has the same configuration as the engine in my 1977 R100RS that has the CFO (California, Florida, Oregon) configuration, so I use the same carburetor jetting.
When I first got the bike, I rebuilt the carburetors and “updated” the pulse-air system that fed air to the exhaust ports as shown here.
I am not using the stock side stand for three reasons: the bushing and bolt are trash, it’s in an inconvenient location hidden by the cylinder and lower fairing panel when extended making it hard to deploy, and the bike came with a Brown’s side stand which mounts further back on the frame so it’s easy to deploy. The left exhaust header bracket is secured to the Brown’s side stand bracket so I installed the side stand when I installed the exhaust system.
Brown’s Side Stand
Brown’s Side Stand Installed
I had the center stand repaired and powder coated. I replaced the pivot bolts and bushings due to wear and tear.
Center Stand Wear and Tear After 82,000 Miles And 37 Years
Putting the mufflers on this bike is exhausting. [laugh track]. Okay, I just couldn’t resist that one.
I decided to replace the exhaust system due to the amount of corrosion I found on the original one. This year/model bike has two cross-over pipes while the earlier year airheads (before the 1981 model year, or before 09/1980) had a single cross-over pipe beneath the front engine cover. The rumor is the second cross-over pipe improves engine performance over the single pipe models. I got the exhaust system from Euro MotoElectrics
I also install the Brown’s side stand that came with the bike as it attaches to the left side header bracket and the front hole of the side stand bracket uses special bolt and nut supplied with the side stand. There is also a toothed washer for the rear hole that mounts on the rear engine stud with the standard nut to keep the side stand bracket from rotating on the engine stud.
Here is a link to the detailed installation procedure and a short video summary of the installation.
Installation of the steering damper mechanism is straight forward. One thing that you can get wrong is aligning the number on the damper rod with the correct position of the damper rack it adjusts. I show how to get that orientation correct.
Here is the link to the detailed procedure and to a short video summary of the installation process.