1983 BMW R80ST Charity Rebuild: Project Index

Background

It’s been two years since my last project, the 1984 R100RS that I converted into and RT configuration which I named Cookie Monster. I name most of my bikes after Muppet characters based on their color agreeing with the color of a Muppet. I do that because I love Jim Hensen’s genius and I don’t like to take things too seriously. 🙂

Over the last dozen years I have rebuilt four BMW airheads so this will be my fifth project.

  • 1973 R75/5, my wedding present to my wife (Grover)
  • 1975 R75/6, my first BMW that I later converted to the “R90S” style (Silver Ghost)
  • 1977 R100RS, a first year RS (Gonzo)
  • 1983 R100RS, converted to an “RT” configuration (Cookie Monster)

I gave the R75/6, my first BMW, to my youngest son after I put a little over 100,000 miles on it. In the past five years, he put another 100,000+ miles on it. 🙂

DISCLAIMER

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Please be advised that there is no representation of the accuracy of any of the information presented on these web pages relative to BMW motorcycle maintenance or modification and that the material is presented for information purposes only. In no case will I be held liable for injury or damage (consequential or otherwise) resulting from or arising out of alterations you make to your motorcycle. The reader should recognize that motorcycling is a dangerous activity that can result in injury or death, and that the alterations portrayed on these web pages can and will change the behavior and performance of your motorcycle, possibly with fatal results. You are encouraged to seek qualified assistance before undertaking any of the procedures outlined here, and are here by notified that, should you decide to proceed, you do so at your own risk.

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A Rebuild To Support The Motorcycle Relief Project

I decided that I would not keep my next project but would auction it off (likely I’ll use Bring A Trailer (BAT) for the auction) and donate the proceeds to a local charity that supports military and first responders who are battling PTSD; the Motorcycle Relief Project.

So, which model could I use for this project?  I have wanted to rebuild an R80 G/S but the price for them has gone way up, so that’s not a feasible choice. I have a friend that picked up an R80ST. The ST model was built as a street version of the R80 G/S. The ST was introduced in 1983 model year (October 1982) and discontinued at the end of the 1984 model year. Consequently there weren’t many of them built and only approximately 1,000 were imported into the US (First VIN# 6207001, Last VIN# 6207980).  Nonetheless, they have not skyrocketed in price, so rebuilding an R80ST for a charity auction provides me some experience working on a “G/S like” model but at a cost I can afford.

Euro MotoElectrics Providing Parts At No Cost

In support of my goal, Euro MotoElectrics (EME), has graciously agreed to provide parts at no cost as they too support the mission of the Motorcycle Relief Project.

List Of Contributors To This Charity Build Project

The following contributed parts and/or services to me to help complete this charity build project. I am grateful for their kindness and generosity.

Person Company Supplied Contact
Norman Schwab Euro MotoElectrics Numerous Parts www.euromotoelectrics.com
Eron Turnipseed Indivdual Front Fender & Fork Brace Private Individual
Stephan Gaulin Toaster Tan Top Brace & Steering Stem Nut [email protected]

Brief History Of The Genesis Of The R80ST Model

The genesis of the ST model was influenced by Tom Cutter who now owns Rubber Chicken Racing Garage. Back in the early 80’s, he had a dealership in Staten Island, New York. The R80 G/S was selling very well in large part due to the rough condition of the streets in NYC. Tom built lightly-modified R80G/S with street tires, handlebars and an R65 front fender, then the body shop at BMW of Staten Island painted the bodywork in whatever BMW car color the customer requested. Tom was invited to meet with BMW marketing and engineering people who were proposing a similar model, the soon-to-come R80ST.

The R80ST was introduced in October 1982 at the start of BMW’s 1983 model year in only two colors; red metallic and silver metallic. It was discontinued in September 1984 at the end of the 1984 model year.

R80ST-Red Metallic

R80ST Red Metallic

R80ST Silver Metallic

R80ST Silver Metallic

BMW imported almost 1,000 ST models to the US, so it wasn’t . Tom received the first US bike (VIN Number 6207001) at his dealership and he kept it for sometime.

The trade press reviews of the R80ST were positive. The ST uses the original G/S chassis including the rear monoshock but a shorter shock than the G/S and has wider rims for street tires. The front fork is from the R65 while the engine and transmission are from the R80RT. Reviewers found it handled very well, the transmission had very smooth shifting and it was a fun bike to ride.

Serendipity Strikes And The Universe Whispers To Me

I bought my first BMW, a 1975 R75/6 from Clem Cykowski, proprietor of BMW of Denver. When I went road racing in the summer of 1976 on my R75/6, Clem gave advice and offered use of a service bay when I needed to change tires and prep my bike before Sunday races. He was very generous with is time and knowledge. We continued to be friends over the years and when I started rebuilding airheads, Clem provided me with knowledge, advice, used parts and loaned me specialty tools. Sadly, Clem died on July 27, 2021.

In early November I posted a note to the Colorado Airheads Beemer Club asking if anyone knew of an ST that I could get for this project. Almost immediately Matt Iles, who owns Iles Motosports, an independent BMW service shop and who also worked with Clem for several years, sent me a note that Clem’s estate included an ST “project bike”. In general, “project bike” means a non-running bike with parts missing. I contacted Clem’s son-in-law and his daughter and we struck a deal.

Getting to rebuild a bike Clem acquired in 1997 and stashed away for a future rebuild project struck me as the universe whispering to me “this is meant to be”.  And using the completed R80ST build for a charitable contribution to the Motorcycle Relief Project seems in keeping with Clem’s generous nature and is therefore a fitting tribute to his memory.

What I Started With

Here is what the “project bike” looked like when I first saw it.

As Found: Left Side View

As Found: Left Side View

As Found: Missing Carburetors

As Found: Missing Carburetors

As Found: Missing Exhaust Collector Box

As Found: Missing Exhaust Collector Box

As Found: Missing Right Side Exhaust Header & Crash Bar

As Found: Missing Right Side Exhaust Header & Crash Bar

As Found: Missing Front Disk Brake Rotor

As Found: Missing Front Disk Brake Rotor

As Found: Electrical Relays & Missing Gas Tank

As Found: Electrical Relays & Missing Gas Tank

As Found: Missing Air Box Cover & Seat

As Found: Missing Air Box Cover & Seat

As Found: Engine Emblem Paint Gone

As Found: Engine Emblem Paint Gone

As Found: R80 GS Frame With Monoshock Intact

As Found: R80 GS Frame With Monoshock Intact

Rear Fender With Paint Code 545-Metallic Silver

Rear Fender With Paint Code 545-Metallic Silver

With the help of Matt Iles and Clem’s son-in-law, Michael, we combed through several storage rooms Clem had to try and locate as many of the missing parts as we could.

One of Clem's Store Rooms Full Of Surprises And Goodies

One of Clem’s Store Rooms Full Of Surprises And Goodies

Foraging For Missing R80ST Parts

Foraging For Missing R80ST Parts

We found the following pieces and there may be more which will turn up as I help Matt and Michael inventory what’s in Clem’s storage facilities for future sale.

  • seat,
  • gas tank,
  • carburetors (64/32/323-324 that will work with a different air slide and jets)
  • headlight and mounting bracket
  • front turn signals,
  • left side battery cover,
  • speedometer and tachometer,
  • dash and original ignition switch with key,
  • tool box
  • left side crash bar
  • airbox cover
Gas Tank, Seat and Other Found Parts

Gas Tank, Seat and Other Found Parts

New Headlight Bracket

New Headlight Bracket

Useable Carburetor From R100/7: 64/32/323-324

Useable Carburetor From R100/7: 64/32/323-324

Useable Carburetor From R100/7: 64/32/323-324

Useable Carburetor From R100/7: 64/32/323-324

We loaded the bike and parts into my son’s pickup. I had to remove the rear fender to fit into my son’s pickup truck to avoid damaging it.

My Son, Branden, Lashing Down The Bike After Removing The Rear Fender

My Son, Branden, Lashing Down The Bike After Removing The Rear Fender

My Son, Branden, Lashing Down The Bike

My Son, Branden, Lashing Down The Bike

Found Parts Loaded Up

Found Parts Loaded Up

And here it is after arriving at Brook’s Airhead Garage.

As Delivered To Brook's Airhead Garage

As Delivered To Brook’s Airhead Garage

As Delivered To Brook's Airhead Garage

As Delivered To Brook’s Airhead Garage

Found Parts and Removed Rear Fender

Found Parts and Removed Rear Fender

Project Pictures & Videos

You can find the all the pictures for the project here on my Flickr account:

And, the videos that support this documentation are on my YouTube account in this playlist.

I’ll add to this collection as I document the project.

Rebuild Procedures Index

This section provides links to write-ups about how I do the work on the project.  As in the previous restoration projects, procedures are organized by the parts fiche numbering system BMW uses to identify sub-systems. This helps organize the content so it’s pretty easy to find any procedure you are interested in. The “00-General” is used for information that supports the entire project that is not specific to a particular Fiche sub-system.

00-General

11-Engine

12-Engine Electrics

13-Fuel Preparation

18-Exhaust System

21-Clutch

23-Transmission

31-Front Suspension

32-Steering

33-Rear Axle & Suspension

34-Brakes

36-Wheels

46-Frame, Fairing, Cases

51-Vehicle Trim

52-Seat

61-Electrical

62-Instruments Dash

 

Revisions

2022-01-04  Add document to 61-Electrical.
2022-01-11  Add document to 46-Frame, Fairing, Cases.
2022-01-16  Add document to 31-Front Suspension and list of contributors.
2022-01-17  Add link to YouTube playlist.
2022-01-21  Add document to 33-Rear Axle & Suspension
2022-01-22  Add document to 13-Fuel Preparation

2 thoughts on “1983 BMW R80ST Charity Rebuild: Project Index

  1. Brooks, sounds like a worthy project! I also have a 1983 ST, that the previous owner has modified into a more G/S model. I have just changed it to the taller 5th gear, which is a mod that it really seems to want on the highway (haven’t ridden it yet, but soon!) My first time inside an airhead transmission, and I wouldn’t have attempted it without your wonderfully detailed walk-throughs.

    I did a lot of work on my 83 RS alongside you with yours, it’s on the road again after many years.

    I did not know the history of the ST development, very interesting. The ST has always been an interesting sidebar of the many iterations of BMW bikes, although never a great seller.

    Anyway, I will definitely be following along with this one, can’t wait to see it on BaT!
    I can’t thank you enough for the resource you are creating here!

    • Chris,

      Thank you for your kind note. I think the ST model is an interesting bike and I too look forward to when it’s running and I can put a 1,000 or so miles on it to be sure it’s up to snuff.

      Best.
      Brook.

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