This bike has 83,000+ miles on it and the wheel bearings are of unknown condition. So I replace them and set the wheel bearing preload. I also had the wheels powder coated after I removed the old bearings, so I had to also remove the disk brake rotors. I show how I remove, refinish and install the disk brake rotors in this document.
I’m going to replace the main wiring harness. This requires removing a number of connections inside the headlight shell, pulling the old harness out of the headlight shell and then installing the new harness and connecting the wires to the proper terminals on the wiring block, the headlight relay and the turn signal relay. You do not have to remove the connections from the left and right handlebar switches to replace the main wiring harness.
Bur, since I am converting this 1983 R100RS into an RT configuration and the RT handlebars are much longer than the RS bars, the stock RS handlebar switch wires are too short; 230 mm (9 inches) vs.the RT switch’s 520 mm (20 inches). However, someone replaced the left handlebar switch with an RT length switch, so that’s fortunate. But the right handlebar switch, that was also replaced at some point, has shorter 380 mm (about 15 inches) wires; they are longer than RS wires, but still too short. Since BMW does not sell the RT switches anymore, I will lengthen the wires in the right handlebar switch cable.
My system administrator made a major update to the software that supports “Brook’s Airhead Garage” yesterday evening. We don’t expect any problems, but if you notice something amiss, or experience unexpected behavior, please leave a comment for me and I’ll have the administrator look into it.
It’s Thursday, Day 6, and I’m at the Holiday Inn in Kulpsville, PA where I’m staying for the rally. Things get started this evening with a fireside meet-and-greet and continues Friday and Saturday. I plan on leaving Sunday for the ride back home.
The weather for the past three days has been perfect for riding; upper 50’s in the morning and barely 80 by late afternoon, low humidity and that rare delight of the East coast, robins’ egg blue skies. It looks like the rally will have perfect weather.
Yesterday was day 5 of the ride. The previous night, after I slapped the Zumo “up side the head” and it started to work again, I plugged it into the laptop to charge it’s battery. When I disconnected it and turned it off, once again, it took a dirt nap and refused to power back on. Oh well, now that I found the option to keep the iPhone in portrait mode and prevent it from rotating the screen, it’s been working reliably. But, being paranoid at times, I wrote down some directions in case the iPhone goes on strike and I need to figure out where I’m going for the day’s ride.
A Cool Morning and a Dead Garmin Zumo-Oh Well Steve Jobs to the Rescue 🙂
I wasn’t looking forward to Wednesday’s ride as it’s on I-70 and then I-76, aka, The Pennsylvania Turnpike. Exits are few and far between, but there are gas stations in the rest plaza’s, all Sunoco stations. I wonder how much it cost Sunoco to get that monopoly?
Pennsylvania Turnpike Rest Stop
And, it’s a toll road. It cost me over $40.00 to ride 200 miles or so. That was a bit of a shock. The good news is I’m not using it on the return ride as I’m going to go more southerly and pick up US-50.
I got off the turnpike for awhile to take advantage of an interesting coincidence: Denver, Reamstown, Honey Brook and Stevens are all within a few miles of each other. Since I live in metropolitan Denver, my last name is Reams and my first name is Brook–and I’m such a sweet guy (Quiet Rochelle!!) :-)–and my daughter-in-law is a Stephens (well that spelling is close enough), I wanted to visit them all. It broke up the unpleasant, multi-hundred mile drone of riding the Pennsylvania super-slab with the unrelaxed, constant attention I had to pay to the herds of lumbering 18 wheelers.
Reamstown and Denver Are Close Together
Reamstown Fire Department
Reamstown Fire Department
Gonzo and I Just Missed The Reamstown Days Celebration
Welcome To Denver, My Home Town Back East 🙂
Welcome to Honey Brook, Brook
Stevens Road in Stevens, PA
I stopped by to meet Randy Long, of Long’s Mechanical Services, who just finished rebuilding the heads for my 1983 RS/RT project. This is the fourth set of airhead heads he has rebuilt for me. When he called to tell me he was shipping the heads back to me a few weeks ago, I let him know I was heading to the rally. He graciously extended an invitation to come by and meet him.
This is an indication of the number of heads he rebuilds: quite a collection of old valve seats from BMW, Harley, Triumph and all the UJM brands.
Have a Few Old Valve Seats
I took the back roads to his house and along the way, I spied a horse drawn wagon reminding me I’m in Amish country. And, what a delight to get back on a windy, two-lane road on a sunny 75 degree day with clear blue skies. This ride rejuvenated me from the sour mood my long slog along the Pennsylvania Turnpike had induced. 🙂
I’m In Amish Country
Now, That’s What I’m Talk’en About-A Nice Road and A Great Day For A Motorcycle Ride 🙂
After I left Randy’s shop, I swung by to say see Tom Cutter, proprietor of Rubber Chicken Racing Garage, who is going to the rally and will be speaking. He invited me to drop by, spend the night, get some laundry washed, and then we could ride together to the rally on Thursday afternoon. And of course, Tom has a GS. So Gonzo had the opportunity to get to know the kind of airhead bikes he will be surrounded by this weekend. 🙂
Gonzo Getting To Know His New R100GS Friend
Tom and I took the leisurely route through the back roads for an hour and then we parted company as he is staying at the VIP hotel, and I’m in “other hotel”. When I got to the Holiday Inn, I parked Gonzo next to another R100GS, but this time so they could talk to each other 🙂
Today is day 4 of the ride. Often on day 3 or day 4 of my long trips, I get challenged, either physically, mentally or emotionally. My wife, who has ridden with me on almost all of my long distance rides, and I, have come to refer to days that are a bit trying of our patience as “day 3” of our ride.
Since I started out, my new Garmin Zumo 396 LMT has been flashing a number of annoying announcements. The most common has been an alert that it can’t provide fuel mileage estimates if the unit is not in the motorcycle cradle (but of course it is in the cradle) and every now and then, it flashes a message that it has detected that I removed it from the cradle and it will power off in 15 seconds, but, it’s still in the cradle.
After I stopped yesterday in Nobelville, IN, (a suburb of Indianapolis), I opened up the headlight shell to check the new wiring I installed to power the Zumo. I crimped the female spade connectors a bit to ensure they would be tight on the spade terminals, reseated the fuse, and went off to eat dinner and write my blog for the day.
I parked Gonzo in front of my room. Sometimes he wants to sleep with a night light on when he’s in a strange place.
Gonzo Sleeping With The Night Light On
This morning, I woke up about 6:20 am. I had set the alarm for 7:30 anticipating leaving by 8:30 am. But, I was wide awake and at 7:00 I rolled out of bed, got dressed and went down to see how Gonzo was. He was fine, but shivering as he was covered in dew. I forgot how a typical summer morning in the mid-west starts with water all over your bike from the high humidity.
Can You Say Humid?
Can You Say Humid?
The good news is all the bug goo and guts come right off on the wash cloth without having to use the hydrogen peroxide to dissolve the bug gunk.
As is my usual drill, I checked the tires and the oil. The tires needed a pound or two and the oil was fine. Then, I installed the Zumo in the cradle and … Nothing. Nada. Zip. I tried the ON/OFF button multiple times, but no happiness. Ok. I must have F’ed something up when I crimped the terminals yesterday. So, off with the headlight cover, remove the headlight and check my work. Well, everything is perfect. WTF? Okay, I can plug the Zumo into my laptop USB port to give it power, so let’s see what that does. So, I go back up to the 4th floor into my room and I plug it into the laptop. Repeat performance of plugging it into the power cradle on Gonzo … Zilch, Nada, Zip.
Okay, lets just get breakfast and think things over. By the end of breakfast, no new ideas occur. So, I pull out my iPhone, and figure I can use it for any navigation I need should I get confused. The route today is as simple as 1, 2, 3: (1) Find US-36 East of Nobleville and follow it to Ulrichville, OH; (2) Get on US-250 and follow it to Wheeling, WV; (3) get on I-70 East and get off at the Triadelphia exit where I know I can see the hotel.
So, I put Gonzo back together, get everything packed up and loaded on the bike, and now it’s almost 9:00 am. So much for getting an early start. Ah, yes, this must be “the third day”, even though it’s really the fourth. 🙂
That said, thankfully it was 65 F this morning instead of being in the 80’s at 9:00 am as has been the case on the last three days. And, it stayed below 80 all day, except for the last couple hours when it got up to 82 F. I felt much less tired, sore and weary at the end of the day today. Heat and humidity really sucks a lot of energy out of you even when you stay hydrated.
Although I got turned around getting off I-69 one exit too soon, and then after getting back on and taking the correct exit for Pendleton, IN, again getting turned around by missing the clearly marked turn for I-36 E, I finally get my poop in group with the assistance of Google maps and my iPhone. But, putting the phone in the map pocket of my tank bag makes it almost impossible to see it. I need to find a cell phone mount so I can attach it to my RAM mount on the handlebar. Ok, keep my eyes open for a motorcycle shop as I wander my way through Ohio.
I see a Harley dealership and stop in. But, the cell phone mount they have doesn’t use a RAM ball, so no cigar. Another 100 miles or so and I see a UJM shop, Mid-Ohio Power Sports in Mt. Vernon. They show the corporate logos for Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki. Bingo, they have a mount that will work. So, I now have iPhone GPS via Google maps. Except, every 15th or 20th bump and the screen decides to rotate 90 degrees due to the orientation sensor getting confused. Then, it gets over the trauma and rotates back to the proper orientation. I now am very practiced at figuring out turns even if the map is rotated 90 degrees to my direction of travel 🙂
And, then Ohio DOT decides to cancel US-36. Yeap, “Road Closed”.
US-36 Is Closed 🙁
But, that turns out to be fortuitous. The detour onto a state road, OH-715, is a fantastic motorcycle road. But, this adds more time to my schedule. On the other hand, what else was I planning to do today, but ride Gonzo in Ohio 🙂
I rejoin US-36 and proceed until I get to Ulrichsville, OH, where US-36 unceremoniously ends becoming US-250. And, as was the case in 2017 when I rode on US-250 down to Wheeling, WV, it’s a roller coaster ride with all the corners and sharp turns you would expect in the Colorado mountains. What a HOOT!!! 🙂
I cross into West Virginia at the end of US-250 and pick up I-70 for a few miles until I get to my hotel in Triadelphia.
Entering West Virginia
I get checked in, unpacked, take a shower and call Rochelle to tell her I’ve arrived. Then I hang up the laundry to dry.
Light Weight Packing Requires Making A Clothes Line Every Day 🙂
BTW, did you know you can travel for weeks on end with only two shirts, two briefs, two pair of riding socks, two pair of pants and a credit card? I have acquired light weight, fast drying versions of these. I just wash out the pair I wore that day in the bath tub or shower and hang them up to dry. Usually they are dry by morning, even in high humidity climates like the east coast, but it’s nice to rotate through the pairs and pretend they are fresh out of the dyer. 🙂
After I finish my traditional motorcycle touring, end-of-day Gin & Tonic, I decide to fix the Garmin Zumo the “old fashioned” way … I slam it face down on the top of the desk in my hotel room. I plug it into the USB port of my laptop, and bingo, IT’S ALIVE!!!!
WHAM, BAM, SHAZAM – So, Finally It Starts Working Again ….. GRRRRRR!!!
Sometimes the old ways work best. 🙂
I’ll give it a try tomorrow and see if all the gremlins have decided to go bother somebody else. If not, I can mount the iPhone and use it.
After I come back from dinner, I see Gonzo is making nice to a slinky, sexy Swedish blonde cousin who just parked beside him. For those who didn’t know, BMW bought Husqvarna in 2007 and then sold it in 2013. Maybe he won’t need a night light tonight after all?
Gonzo Making Nice to a Blonde Cousin, Born in Sweden, He Didn’t Know He Had 🙂