- Pre-build Inspection
- High Level Project Plan
I purchased this “project bike” in November 2021. It is a 1983 R80ST which is the first year the ST model was available.
It is a “project bike” with 64,137 miles on the odometer that was acquired by Clem Cykowski in 1997, so it’s not run for almost 25 years. Clem was the former owner of BMW of Denver, and a friend of mine ever since I bought my first BMW, a 1975 R75/6, from him. Clem died in July 2021 and the bike was in his estate. His daughter agreed to sell it to me. My plan is to rebuild it as close to original as I can and then auction the bike with all proceeds going to the Motorcycle Relief Project.
Clem’s son-in-law provided me with a folder Clem had that contained information he kept about the bike.
It shows an odometer verification document indicating he purchased the bike with 64,137 miles on it in 1997.
That matches the odometer reading on the original speedometer I found in Clem’s storage room.
There is a copy of a “Vehicle History Report” from BMW indicating it was manufactured in January 1984 (I found it was the 3rd bike built in January)
VIN And Other Identification Information
The VIN number (6207317), as I explain below, indicates that it is the 317th US model imported and was the 4th R80ST built in January 1983. The first bike imported into the US was VIN 6207001 made in October 1982.
The full 17 digit VIN number is found on a sticker attached to the lower right frame and it is also stamped on the lower right frame tube just to the left of the sticker.
The engine block has the last seven digits of the VIN stamped behind the oil dip stick.
Bob Fleischer has a web page that explains the BMW identification codes and how to decode the 17 digit VIN number (WB10 343 0 8 D 6 207 317: I added spaces for clarity).
From Bob’s information I conclude the following:
- “W” manufactured in Europe
- “B” made by BMW-AG, in Munich, West Germany
- “1” motorcycle
- “0” two wheeled motorcycle
- “3” product line type: R65
- “4” Engine Type
- “3” Horsepower (30 KW class. Actual it is 37 KW or about 50 Hp)
- “0” Not Used
- “8” Check digit to verify the preceding digits are correct
- “D” 1983 model year
- “6” Assembly plant (Munich, West Germany)
- “207” Unknown meaning
- “317” Vehicle manufacturing sequence (i.e., the 317th US manufactured bike)
There is also a stamped set of identification codes on a machined flat area on the left front of the engine block under the cylinder.
Bob indicates that the top line is decoded as follows:
- “83” Year of manufacture
- “02” Production week (2nd week of January)
- “9720” Serial production number (meaning unknown, but may be the assembly line and unit produced since beginning of 1983)
The bottom line is a code known only to BMW.
From this I conclude that this bike is a 1983 model and is the 317th imported into the US manufactured the second week of January 1983. From Phil Hawksley’s site, I learned that it is the 4th ST bike manufactured in January 1983.
Found Parts In Clem’s Store Room
There are some invoices in Clem’s folder indicating some of the new parts he recently purchased in preparation for working on this project bike.
- 31 42 1 235 573 Panel (Headlight and front turn signal stalks)
- 63 12 1 243 533 Headlight (Complete)
- 63 23 1 244 020 Bracket (Rear turn signal brackets)
Although many parts were not on the bike, we found a number of them in a storage room Clem had that was filled with parts and motorcycles.
I found the following in the storage room
- Gas tank,
- Left side battery cover,
- Useable 32 mm carburetors from an R100/7
- New front headlight bracket, headlight assembly, and turn signals
- Handlebar controls
- Handlebar combination switches
- Instrument housing
- Original speedometer
- Tachometer (likely a new one)
- Original ignition switch with keys
- Right crash bar
- Airbox cover and clamps
- Original tool box and tools (missing rear wheel 17 mm lug nut wrench)
And there was also a “grab bag” of miscellaneous hardware and small parts in the bottom of a box that had a piece of paper in it with the VIN# of this bike. That said, some of the parts don’t go on an ST model.
This is what I saw when I inspected the bike. It helps me decide what needs to be done and to develop the high level project build plan.
Pre-build Inspection Video
Here’s a short YouTube video walkaround showing the condition of the bike before I start the rebuild project.
VIDEO: 1983 BMW R80ST Pre-Build Inspection
There is evidence of several oil leaks.
I will replace all the engine seals including:
- Front crankshaft seal
- Front cam shaft seal
- Inner timing cover gasket
- Rear crankshaft seal
- Oil pump cover O-ring
- Oil pan gasket
- Push rod tube seals
- Oil pickup gasket
I will pull the heads and check the valves for wear since the bike has over 64,000 miles on it and the engines prior to 1985 are know to have exhaust valve and seat problems due to no lead fuels and the metallurgy BMW used for the valve seats.
I will inspect the cylinders which are Nikasil and the pistons, and replace the rings. I assume the cylinders will not show appreciable wear as that’s the purpose of the extremely hard Nikasil plating on the aluminum cylinders. I will likely replace the pushrod tubes with stainless steel ones as the original ones are likely rusty.
I will inspect, and likely replace, the timing chain and the crankshaft timing chain sprocket which are likely worn with this much mileage on the engine.
I will clean up the engine block, top cover and inner timing chain cover to remove the corrosion. I will repaint the top engine cover, inner timing chain cover and the valve covers.
I will inspect the alternator, diode board, wiring and starter motor. I may replace the alternator and diode board and likely will replace the wiring harness. Since the ignition coil is missing I will need to install a new one.
The carburetors originally used with the R80ST (64/32/351-352) were not with the bike. I did not find them when looking through the spare carburetor’s in Clem’s storage room, but I did find a pair used on an R100/7 which uses 32 mm Bing constant velocity carburetors (64/32/323-324). The internal passages and parts should work with the ST 800cc motor but I will replace the jets and air slide to match those used with the ST motor.
I plan to remove the air box pulse air system as this increases the exhaust temperature around the exhaust valves.
The gas tank is missing the petcock (the ST model tank has a single petcock) so I’ll install new ones. I’ll rinse out the inside of the tank to remove and debris in it, but the red lining is in very good shape so I’ll leave that alone. There are a couple dents and worn paint and so I’ll have it painted
The bike came with a header pipe on the left side, but I believe it may be one from a GS model which does not fit the ST. In any event it is rusty as is the muffler and the collector box is missing. I’ll replace the entire exhaust system.
I haven’t inspected the clutch yet, but I will likely have it refurbished or replace it. If the clutch throw-out rod piston and seal are worn, I’ll replace them too.
I will open the transmission and replace all the bearings and seals. I’ll inspect the gears and shift dogs and replace any that are damaged. I will rebuild the shift cam assembly with new springs, roller and bushings.
I will rebuild the front forks. I may install fork gaiters instead of the seal caps currently on the bike, but I’m not sure right now as the ST used the seal caps. The gaiters protect the fork tubes from stone chips.
I will clean up the control assemblies and repaint them. The bore of the front brake master cylinder does not look to be corroded but the plunger assembly is missing, so I will rebuild the front brake master cylinder.
I have the original instrument cluster housing, speedometer, tachometer and ignition switch.
33-Rear Axle and Suspension
I’ll replace the rear swing arm bearing and clean up the rear drive housing and likely replace the rear shock. I’ll inspect the rear drive splines for wear and hopefully they are still serviceable. I’ll paint the swing arm as it’s rusty.
The front brake caliper is on the bike but the front brake rotor and brake lines are not. I’ll rebuild the caliper and install a new rotor and brake lines. The front brake master cylinder needs to be rebuilt and a new plunger installed.
I’ll inspect the rear brake drum and replace the rear brake shoes.
The rims need cleaning and polishing and I likely will have the spokes replaced. I’ll check the condition of the wheel bearings and replace them if they are worn. I’ll replace the tires and tubes.
46-Frame, Fairing, Cases
The file Clem kept for this bike included pictures he took when he used the BMW frame jig to verify the frame is straight by measuring the distance and angle from the steering head to the swing arm pivot bolts. I borrowed that jig from him to use on one of my projects. So the good news is this project bike has a straight frame.
There are rusty areas on the frame, sub-frame and battery box. I’ll have all those parts painted.
The left crash bar was on the bike but not the right side crash bar. We found the right one in Clem’s storage room. The mounting brackets are pretty rusty so I’ll replace them
The front fender and the right side battery cover are missing so I will have to find replacements for them. I have the original rear fender and left side battery box cover.
I’ll have the gas tank, battery box covers and fenders painted and pinstriped in the original Metallic Silver paint scheme with red pinstripes.
This bike had no fairing or panniers. I may add some paniers.
The original ignition and a set of two ignition keys came with the bike. The ignition key fits the lock in the gas cap. But, the ignition key does not operate the fork or seat locks. I’ll try lubricating the fork and seat locks to see if the keys will work. If not, then it’s possible the ignition switch was replaced at some point. If that’s the case I’ll see if a locksmith can cut a key to fit the fork and seat locks.
I also have what I think are a set of original mirrors out of three included in the sale.
I have the original seat buy not the mounting hardware. The seat looks like it may have been embossed with flower designs by a previous owner. Unfortunately these seem to be worn through to the seat foam so I’ll likely have to recover the seat.
I also have the original tool box and tools.
The main wiring harness came with the bike, but it’s in rough shape. I’ll replace it with a new harness available from Euro MotoElectrics.
The handlebar combination switches came with the bike too. I’ll test them out to see if they are still working. If not, I can buy replacements.
I’ll test out the other sub-harness’ and replace any that are missing or don’t look like they will be reliable.
The relays, voltage regulator and ignition control unit came with the bike.
The ignition coil is missing so I’ll install a new one.
When I first saw the bike, it didn’t have the instrument cluster.
But we searched through Clem’s storage building and found the original speedometer and what may have been the original tachometer, although the tachometer looks to be in better condition than the speedometer which has a dented bezel. I’ll have the speedometer refurbished and calibrated.
There was no headlight or mounting bracket on the bike when I first saw it. But we located an invoice for a new headlight and bracket in the folder Clem kept for the bike and later found them along with new front turn signals in his storage room.
High Level Project Plan
Based on the initial inspection, I put together the following high level project plan. That said, as is the case on on my projects, I learn things as I do the tear down that will change the overall plan. But, I like to layout a flow for the work before I start as building the plan helps me think through the work before I do it.
Disassembly To Frame
|Remove wiring and electrical components|
|Remove main wiring harness|
|Remove rear lighting sub-harness|
|Remove rear turn signals and brake light housing|
|Remove voltage regulator|
|Remove ignition control unit|
|Remove fuse box|
|Remove rear wheel|
|Remove rear shock and swing arm|
|Remove swing arm bearing|
|Remove battery and battery box|
|Remove clutch throw-out arm|
|Remove engine heads and cylinders|
|Remove engine from frame|
|Remove side stand|
|Remove crash guard|
|Remove front wheel|
|Remove front brake caliper|
|Remove front forks|
|Remove steering stem and bearings|
|Remove rear sub-frame|
|Remove center stand|
Carburetor, Air Box Work, Gas Tank Work
|Purchase new air slide and jets|
|Refurbish carburetor bodies|
|Remove pulse air system from air box|
|Purchase new air filter and air box cover clips|
|Purchase new petcocks|
|Purchase engine gasket kit|
|Remove engine top and front covers|
|Disassemble heads and inspect valves and seats|
|Remove connecting rods|
|Refurbish connecting rods|
|Inspect cam followers for wear|
|Replace or Refurbish clutch|
|Replace oil pump cover O-ring|
|Replace rear main seal|
|Remove engine electrics|
|Alternator, diode board, wiring|
|Remove inner timing cover|
|Remove timing chain and crankshaft sprocket|
|Purchase new timing chain, chain tensioner, crankshaft sprocket|
|Replace timing chain, chain tensioner, crankshaft sprocket|
|Purchase new cam shaft seal|
|Install cam shaft seal|
|Install inner timing cover|
|Inspect engine electrics and replace components and wiring as needed|
|Clean and polish engine block|
|Remove oil pan and oil pump pickup|
|Replace oil pump pickup gasket|
|Strip & Paint|
|Engine top cover|
|Inner timing cover|
|Strip paint from oil pan and polish|
Exhaust System Work
|Purchase new exhaust system|
|Purchase right battery cover|
|Purchase exhaust cover (part# 46 63 1 451 460)|
|Purchase new mounting hardware|
|Install exhaust system|
|Inspect gears and shift forks|
|Replace any damaged parts|
|Refurbish shift cam assembly|
|New cam roller|
|Replace all bearings and retaining clips|
|Install gears and shim the cover|
Rear Drive Work
|Inspect rear drive splines for wear|
|Inspect shaft seal for leak and replace if necessary|
|Refinish rear drive housing|
|Install rear drive|
|Remove steering stem and steering head bearings|
|Inspect and test handlebar combination switches|
|Purchase new handlbar|
|Purchase new throttle, choke, clutch and speedometer cables|
|Clean and paint handlebar levers and controls|
|Repair and calibrate speedometer|
|Assemble instrument cluster|
|Install new steering head bearings|
|Assemble steering stem, handlebars, controls and mirrors|
|Install cables and route|
Front Forks Work
|Remove front forks|
|Check fork tubes are straight|
|Clean and vapor hone fork sliders|
|Purchase new fork internal parts|
|Install and align forks|
|(See Painting for additional work)|
Front Brake Work
|Inspect front master cylinder, replace if scored|
|Rebuild front master cylinder|
|Purchase new plunger and seals|
|Purchase new brake lines and hoses|
|Remove front brake caliper|
|Rebuild front brake caliper|
|Purchase new brake pads|
|Purchase caliper rebuild kit if required|
|Purchase new front brake rotor|
|Install brake rotor|
|Install new brake lines|
Rear Brake Work
|Remove rear wheel|
|Remove brake shoes|
|Clean and polish hub|
|Install new brake shoes|
|Install rear wheel|
|Remove tires and tubes|
|Inspect spokes, replace if rusted|
|Clean and polish front rim & hub|
|Clean and polish rear rim & hub|
|Vapor hone front and rear wheel hubs|
|Install new spokes and true front wheel|
|Install new spokes and true rear wheel|
|Install new wheel bearings|
|Set bearing pre-load|
|Mount new tubes and tires|
|Replace foam and get new seat cover installed|
|Purchase seat mounting hardware|
Swing Arm Work
|Remove swing arm|
|Remove swing arm bearings|
|Purchase new bearings|
|Remove drive shaft|
|Powder coat swing arm|
|Install drive shaft|
|Install new swing arm bearings|
|Install swing arm|
Frame, Body Parts, Painting Work
|Purchase new rondels and decals|
|Get key that works the fork and seat locks|
|Front & rear fenders|
|Left & right battery covers|
|Front fork sliders|
|Transmission case and cover|
|Engine covers (but not engine block)|
Electrical System Work
|Purchase new wiring|
|Rear lights harness|
|Front brake light switch & harness|
|Clutch switch & harness|
|Engine electrical componet wiring|
|Purchase new electrical components|
|Oil pressure switch|
|Purchase new battery and (+) and (-) cables|
|Replace engine alternator & diode board wiring|
|Remove starter motor|
|Test starter moter|
|Install main harness|
|Install headlight connections|
|Install tachometer connections|
|Install turn signal connections|
|Install relay connections|
|Install voltage regulator connections|
|Connect to rear lights sub-harness|
|Connect to engine electrics wiring|
|Test electrical system|