00 BMW 1983 R80ST Pre-Build Inspection and Project Plan

Provenance

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.

Clem's R80ST File

Clem’s R80ST File

It shows an odometer verification document indicating he purchased the bike with 64,137 miles on it in 1997.

Odometer Verification

Odometer Verification

That matches the odometer reading on the original speedometer I found in Clem’s storage room.

Original Speedometer With Damage To Bezel

Original Speedometer With Damage To Bezel

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)

BMW Vehicle History Report

BMW Vehicle History Report

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.

17 Character VIN# Sticker Under Engine On Lower Right Frame Tube

17 Character VIN# Sticker Under Engine On Lower Right Frame Tube

17 Character VIN# Under Engine Stamped On Lower Right Frame Tube

17 Character VIN# Under Engine Stamped On Lower Right Frame Tube

The engine block has the last seven digits of the VIN stamped behind the oil dip stick.

ST US Model Engine Serial No (317th Imported To US)

ST US Model Engine Serial No (317th Imported To US)

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.

Engine Block Stamping, Front, Left Under Cylinder

Engine Block Stamping, Front, Left Under 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.

As Delivered To My Workshop-I Removed The Rear Fender

As Delivered To My Workshop-I Removed The Rear Fender

One of Clem's Store Rooms Full of Parts and Surprises

One of Clem’s Store Rooms Full of Parts and Surprises

I found the following in the storage room

  • Gas tank,
  • Seat,
  • 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
  • Mirrors
  • Airbox cover and clamps
  • Original tool box and tools (missing rear wheel 17 mm lug nut wrench)
Found Parts And Rear Fender I Removed Before Transporting To My Garage

Found Parts And Rear Fender I Removed Before Transporting To My Garage

Original Gas Tank

Original Gas Tank

Original Seat

Original Seat

Original Left Battery Cover

Original Left Battery Cover

R100/7 32 mm Carburetors That I Can Adapt For the R80ST

R100/7 32 mm Carburetors That I Can Adapt For the R80ST

Original Left Handlebar Control

Original Left Handlebar Control

Original Right Handlebar Control: Throttle and Disk Brake MC

Original Right Handlebar Control: Throttle and Disk Brake MC

Original Left Handlebar Combination Switch

Original Left Handlebar Combination Switch

Original Right Handlebar Combination Switch

Original Right Handlebar Combination Switch

Instrument Housing; Original Speedometer. Likely New Tachometer; Original Ignition Switch

Instrument Housing; Original Speedometer. Likely New Tachometer; Original Ignition Switch

Original Tool Box

Original Tool Box

Original Tool Kit (Missing Rear Wheel 17 mm Lug Nut Wrench)

Original Tool Kit (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.

Miscellaneous Parts Found In "ST" Parts Box

Miscellaneous Parts Found In “ST” Parts Box

Pre-build Inspection

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

11 Engine

There is evidence of several oil leaks.

Oil Leaks

Oil Leaks

Oil Leaks Push Rod Tube Seals

Oil Leaks Push Rod Tube Seals

Oil Leaks

Oil Leaks

Oil Leaks Oil Pan And Bottom Of Transmission

Oil Leaks Oil Pan And Bottom Of Transmission

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.

12-Engine Electrics

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.

13-Fuel Preparation

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.

Air Box Cover Missing Showing Pulse Air Box Pulse Air Components

Air Box Cover Missing Showing Pulse Air Box Pulse Air Components

Air Box With Pulse Air Components

Air Box With Pulse Air Components

Pulse Air Line Goes To Fitting On Exhaust Port

Pulse Air Line Goes To Fitting On Exhaust Port

16-Fuel Supply

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

Gas Tank Is Missing Petcock

Gas Tank Is Missing Petcock

Gas Tank Lining Is In Pretty Good Shape

Gas Tank Lining Is In Pretty Good Shape

Gas Tank Dent

Gas Tank Dent

Gas Tank Worn Paint

Gas Tank Worn Paint

Gas Tank Worn Paint

Gas Tank Worn Paint

18-Exhaust System

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.

Left Exhaust Header But Not Clear It Fits The ST Model

Left Exhaust Header But Not Clear It Fits The ST Model

Left Header Rust

Left Header Rust

Muffler Rust

Muffler Rust

Muffler Rust

Muffler Rust

Muffler Rust

Muffler Rust

21-Clutch

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.

23-Transmission

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.

31-Front Suspension

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.

32-Steering

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.

Left Handlebar Control

Left Handlebar Control

Right Throttle and Front Disk Brake MC

Right Throttle and Front Disk Brake MC

I have the original instrument cluster housing, speedometer, tachometer and ignition switch.

Original Instrument Housing

Original Instrument Housing

Original Speedometer, Tachometer, Ignition Switch and Instrument Housing

Original Speedometer, Tachometer, Ignition Switch and Instrument Housing

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.

R80 GS Frame With Rear MonoShock

R80 GS Frame With Rear MonoShock

Rear Drive

Rear Drive

Swing Arm Rust

Swing Arm Rust

34-Brakes

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.

Missing Front Disk Brake Rotor

I’ll inspect the rear brake drum and replace the rear brake shoes.

36-Wheels

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.

Front Wheel

Front Wheel

Rear Hub

Rear Hub

Rear Wheel

Rear Wheel

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.

Frame Jig Verification Right Side Of Frame Is Straight

Frame Jig Verification Right Side Of Frame Is Straight

Frame Jig Verification Left Side Of Frame Is Straight

Frame Jig Verification Left Side Of Frame Is Straight

There are rusty areas on the frame, sub-frame and battery box.  I’ll have all those parts painted.

Sub-frame Rust

Sub-frame Rust

Rust On Bottom Of Battery Box

Rust On Bottom Of Battery Box

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

Left Side Crash Bar

Left Side Crash Bar

Right Crash Bar Found In Clem's Storage Room

Right Crash Bar Found In Clem’s Storage Room

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.

Original Rear Fender With Cutout On Left Side For Exhaust

Original Rear Fender With Cutout On Left Side For Exhaust

Original Rear Fender, Front

Original Rear Fender, Front

Original Rear Fender, Top

Original Rear Fender, Top

Original Rear Fender, Rear

Original Rear Fender, Rear

Original Rear Fender, Inside

Original Rear Fender, Inside

Original Left Battery Cover

Original Left Battery 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.

51-Vehicle Trim

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.

Original Ignition Switch With Keys

Original Ignition Switch With Keys

Original Ignition & Gas Cap Key

Original Ignition & Gas Cap Key

Ignition Key Fits Gas Cap Lock

Ignition Key Fits Gas Cap Lock

Original Fork Lock

Original Fork Lock

Original Seat Lock

Original Seat Lock

I also have what I think are a set of original mirrors out of three included in the sale.

Mirrors

Mirrors

52-Seat

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.

Original Seat

Original Seat

Seat Embossing Or Wear?

Seat Embossing Or Wear?

Seat Embossing Or Wear?

Seat Embossing Or Wear?

Seat Embossing Or Wear?

Seat Embossing Or Wear?

Seat Embossing Or Wear?

Seat Embossing Or Wear?

Seat Pan In Good Shape

Seat Pan In Good Shape

I also have the original tool box and tools.

Original Tool Box

Original Tool Box

Original Tool Kit

Original Tool Kit

Original Tool Kit

Original Tool Kit

61-Electrical System

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.

Headlight End Of Main Wiring Harness

Headlight End Of Main Wiring Harness

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.

Original Left Handlebar Combination Switch

Original Left Handlebar Combination Switch

Original Right Handlebar Combination Switch

Original Right Handlebar Combination Switch

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.

(L to R): Original Relays, Voltage Regulator and Ignition Control Unit in Bracket

(L to R): Original Relays, Voltage Regulator and Ignition Control Unit in Bracket

(L to R): Original Relays, Voltage Regulator and Ignition Control Unit in Bracket

(L to R): Original Relays, Voltage Regulator and Ignition Control Unit in Bracket

Handlebar Combination Switches Plug Into Sockets In Main Wiring Harness

Handlebar Combination Switches Plug Into Sockets In Main Wiring Harness

Handlebar Combination Switches Plug Into Sockets In Main Wiring Harness

Handlebar Combination Switches Plug Into Sockets In Main Wiring Harness

Original Fuse Box

Original Fuse Box

Original Fuse Box

Original Fuse Box

Loose Red Wires

Loose Red Wires

Loose Yellow and White(?) Wires

Loose Yellow and White(?) Wires

Rear Lights Wiring Plug and Loose Wire

Rear Lights Wiring Plug and Loose Wire

The ignition coil is missing so I’ll install a new one.

Coil Wires Go To Missing Coil

Coil Wires Go To Missing Coil

62-Instruments Dash

When I first saw the bike, it didn’t have the instrument cluster.

Delivered To Brook's Airhead Garage

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.

Original Speedometer With Bezel Damage

Original Speedometer With Bezel Damage

Found Tachometer Looks To Be Newer

Found Tachometer Looks To Be Newer

63-Lighting

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.

New Headlight Bracket Found In Storage Room

New Headlight Bracket Found In Storage Room

New Headlight, Bracket and Front Turn Signals Clem Had Stashed Away

New Headlight, Bracket and Front Turn Signals Clem Had Stashed Away

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 relays
Remove voltage regulator
Remove ignition control unit
Remove fuse box
Remove rear wheel
Remove rear shock and swing arm
Remove swing arm bearing
Remove transmission
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 handlebar
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

Disassemble carburetors
Clean carburetors
Purchase new air slide and jets
Refurbish carburetor bodies
Rebuild carburetors
Remove pulse air system from air box
Repaint airbox
Purchase new air filter and air box cover clips
Purchase new petcocks
Install petcocks

Engine Work

Purchase engine gasket kit
Remove engine top and front covers
Disassemble heads and inspect valves and seats
Rebuild heads
Remove connecting rods
Refurbish connecting rods
Inspect cam followers for wear
Remove clutch
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
Valve covers
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

Transmission Work

Disassemble transmission
Inspect gears and shift forks
Replace any damaged parts
Refurbish shift cam assembly
New springs
New cam roller
New clips
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

Steering Work

Remove handlebar
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
Disassemble forks
Check fork tubes are straight
Clean and vapor hone fork sliders
Purchase new fork internal parts
Assemble forks
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 caliper
Install new brake lines

Rear Brake Work

Remove rear wheel
Remove brake shoes
Inspect drum
Clean and polish hub
Install new brake shoes
Install rear wheel

Wheels Work

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
Balance wheels
Install wheels

Seat Work

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
Powder Coat
Frame
Sub-frame
Swing arm
Center stand
Battery Box
Painting
Gas tank
Front & rear fenders
Left & right battery covers
Pinstripe
Vapor Honing
Front fork sliders
Transmission case and cover
Engine covers (but not engine block)
Wheel hubs

Electrical System Work

Purchase new wiring
Main harness
Rear lights harness
Front brake light switch & harness
Clutch switch & harness
Engine electrical componet wiring
Purchase new electrical components
Oil pressure switch
Neutral switch
Voltage regulator
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

4 thoughts on “00 BMW 1983 R80ST Pre-Build Inspection and Project Plan

  1. Awesome! Will definitely follow your work. About 5 months ago I found a G/S Paris Dakar in decent shape that had been sitting for over 20 years. Enjoy the “ride”!

    • Olaf,

      Thank you and best wishes on your project. I hope a lot of the work I do is applicable to the R80 G/S models.

      Best.
      Brook.

  2. This is great Brook! I have been considering converting a ST to G/S given that its much cheaper to source. For now, I am happy to see you work on this 😀

    Also, a big thanks for making these detailed write-ups, they really helped me to fix up my old GS that was destined to the parts bin.

    Best,

    Abhiram

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