OTRA Day-4: R80 G/S & R65LS 40th Anniversary Rally

Today is day 4 of the ride.Β  Often on day 3 or day 4 of my long trips, I get challenged, either physically, mentally or emotionally.Β  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

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.Β  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?

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. πŸ™‚

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.Β  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 πŸ™‚

And, then Ohio DOT decides to cancel US-36. Yeap, “Road Closed”.

US-36 Is Closed :-(

US-36 Is Closed πŸ™

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 πŸ™‚

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!!! πŸ™‚

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

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 :-)

Light Weight Packing Requires Making A Clothes Line Every Day πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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, ZAZAM - So, Finally It Starts Working Again ..... GRRRRRR!!!

WHAM, BAM, SHAZAM – So, Finally It Starts Working Again ….. GRRRRRR!!!

Sometimes the old ways work best. πŸ™‚

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 :-)

Gonzo Making Nice to a Blonde Cousin, Born in Sweden, He Didn’t Know He Had πŸ™‚

OTRA Day-2: R80 G/S & R65LS 40th Anniversary Rally

Today is a shorter day, which is a good thing as yesterday was a bit long due to the time spent visiting the St. Francis Motorcycle Museum.Β  I stayed at the Super 8 in Belleville KS, which was pretty deserted. Nonetheless, a number of guests thought it was acceptable to turn up the volume on their truck radio in the parking lot at 12:30 am and stage a parking lot dance while singing along with the tunes.Β  What ever happened to being considerate and aware of your surroundings?Β  Any how, I have ear plugs for just such idiots.

On Sunday morning, I started for Hannibal, MO about 9:00 am. But before I left I got to use the wash cloth I packed to wipe the water off the seat.Β  Yes, I’m officially in the mid-west where a dry day is 60% humidity. πŸ™‚

[BTW, I pack a spray bottle of hydrogen peroxide and a wash cloth. I spray the windscreen and fairing with the peroxide and in 60 seconds or so, all the bug guts and goo dissolve and are easy to wipe right off. It doesn’t affect the paint or the plastic, so this is now in my “On The Road Again (OTRA)” kit.]

US-36 becomes the “Pony Express Highway” in the Eastern part of Kansas. In Marysville, there is a pony express stable, but being Sunday, it was closed. I got a picture of my “express horse”, Gonzo, in front.

A Pony Express Station From 1860 in Marysville, KS

A Pony Express Station From 1860 in Marysville, KS

I crossed over the border into Missouri. By this point, US-36 becomes a 4-lane divided highway with county roads cutting across it via the median.

Crossing Into Missouri at St. Joseph

Crossing Into Missouri at St. Joseph

Along the way, I rode through a large wind turbine farm among the Missouri corn fields. This reminds me of the eastern Colorado farmers who first let oil wells sprout among the corn and wheat in their fields and now are planting large numbers of wind turbines.

Wind Turbines Let Missouri Farms Harvest Wind & Corn

Wind Turbines Let Missouri Farms Harvest Wind & Corn

Then, I unexpectedly came upon the hometown of the great WW1 General, John “Black Jack” Pershing in Laclede, MO.Β  I was vaguely familiar with some of his story as I lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, as a young boy, not far from Columbus, New Mexico. Poncho Villa raided Columbus in 1916 shortly after New Mexico became a state in 1912. I believe this is the only foreign invasion of the United States. Pershing, who was based at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, went after him chasing him in Mexico (and it turns out Patton, who was a Lt. under Pershing, participated too) , but were not able to find him. So, now I know where he was born.

John "Black Jack" Pershing Home Town in Laclede, MO

John “Black Jack” Pershing Home Town in Laclede, MO

The next surprise was seeing the Missouri highway department harvesting hay in the median of US-36. Now that’s a cool idea IMHO.Β  Why waste that land when you can harvest feed for horses and cattle.

US-36 Median Grass Is Harvested by The Highway Department for Hay

US-36 Median Grass Is Harvested by The Highway Department for Hay

Hannibal, Missouri-Home of Mark Twain

I got to Hannibal about 3:00 pm and it was about 92 F, so I’m still riding in summer weather. I again stayed at the Dubach Inn and ended up in the same room I stayed in in 2017.

When I stayed here on the 2017 ride, I spent a lot of time visiting the Mark Twain Museum and wrote about that in my blog about that trip. This time, I decided to hike around town and see some of the sights I missed last time.

Gonzo Resting In Front of the Dubach Inn, Hannibal MO

Gonzo Resting In Front of the Dubach Inn, Hannibal MO

Dubach Inn, Hannibal MO

Dubach Inn, Hannibal MO

After getting a shower and having my traditional end-of-ride libation (Gin & Tonic) I headed out to explore. I found out that 2019 is the bi-centennial of the founding of Hannibal in 1818. Another unexpected discovery.

2019 is 200th Anniversary of the Founding of Hannibal, MO

2019 is 200th Anniversary of the Founding of Hannibal, MO

Hannibal also added pennants on the lampposts commemorating citizens who served in the military. I saw the same thing when I visited Omaha Beach in France where Allied soldiers were commemorated.

Similar to Solider Remembrance I Saw At Omaha Beach in France

Similar to Solider Remembrance I Saw At Omaha Beach in France

Similar to Solider Remembrance I Saw At Omaha Beach in France

Similar to Solider Remembrance I Saw At Omaha Beach in France

I found a lighthouse that is dedicated to Mark Twain and climbed up to it. I needed another shower after that. πŸ™‚

Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse

Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse

Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse

Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse

Mississippi River View From Lighthouse Hill

Mississippi River View From Lighthouse Hill

On my way back from walking along the bluff above the Mississippi river, I saw something along the side of the path. It was just my good luck to come along when I did I guess.

Hmm ... What's That?

Hmm … What’s That?

I guess this shows money really does grow on trees. πŸ™‚

My Reward For Climbing Mark Twain Lighthouse Hill :-)

My Reward For Climbing Mark Twain Lighthouse Hill πŸ™‚

And I came across this fellow. Some days are like that, but not this one for me. πŸ™‚

Some Days, You Feel Like This

Some Days, You Feel Like This

At the bottom of the stairway to the lighthouse I stumbled upon two plaques commemorating the building of the first Mark Twain memorial bridge in 1935 and the replacement of it by the current one in 2000.

Original Mark Twain Bridge Plaque

Original Mark Twain Bridge Plaque

Replacement Mark Twain Bridge Plaque

Replacement Mark Twain Bridge Plaque

The Replacement Mark Twain Memorial Bridge

The Replacement Mark Twain Memorial Bridge

Mississippi River View From Lighthouse Hill

Mississippi River View From Lighthouse Hill

Downtown Hannibal From Lighthouse Hill

Downtown Hannibal From Lighthouse Hill

Another block or two brought me to the Mark Twain Brewing Company. I stopped in and sampled a couple of their excellent beers and had my supper.

Mark Twain Brewing Company-Good Beer and Food

Mark Twain Brewing Company-Good Beer and Food

Tomorrow I cross the Mississippi and cross Illinois on my way to the east side of Indianapolis.

Here is a slide show of today’s ride pictures.

1983 BMW R100RS Remove Push Rod Tubes & Cylinder Studs

When BMW introduced the Nikasil cylinders in the US in the 1981 model year, they came with the 8.2:1 low compression pistons to help meet EPA requirements. So, my 1983 R100RS has low compression pistons. But, in Europe, BMW provided 9.5:1 pistons and rings for use in the Nikasil cylinders and they are still available.

The higher compression makes a useful difference in torque and horsepower:

  • The 8.2:1 compression pistons produce 53-Ft-Lb and the 9.5:1 compression produces 56 Ft-Lb and, or about +5% for the higher compression.
  • The 8.2:1 compression pistons produce 66 Hp and the 9.5:1 compression produces 70 Hp and or about +6% for the higher compression.

I intend to use this bike for two up touring and it has over 80,000 miles on it. So I am going to install 9.5:1 pistons sized for the “B” sized cylinders I have (part# 11 25 1 337 175) to get a useful boost in torque and horsepower.

New 9.5:1 Piston Kit For "B" Size Cylinder

New 9.5:1 “B” Size Piston Kit For “B” Size Cylinder

New 9.5:1 Piston Kit Contents

New Piston Kit Contents-“B” Size, 9.5:1 Piston (93.97 mm)

For the best fit and an oil tight motor, the recommendation from Tom Cutter at Rubber Chicken Racing Garage is to replate the Nikasil inside the cylinders and then hone it to get the proper clearance that matches the actual pistons. There is some variability in the pistons and this approach mates the cylinder dimensions to the piston dimensions for a tight seal.

Here is the link to the write-up of the procedure.

And here is a link to a short video I made of the procedure. It shows the “Risky” way to remove the push rod tubes–and the unintended consequence–and a “Safer” way to do it.

VIDEO: 1983 BMW R100RS Remove Push Rod Tubes & Cylinder Studs

And Now For Something Completely Different-2004 R1150GS Fuel Filter Replacement

I recently renamed this site “Brook’s Airhead Garage” in recognition that over the almost 10 years since I started it, 95% of the content is about how to rebuild, restore and care for BMW airhead motorcycles.Β  So what happens? A friend, Rohn, talked me into doing a 72,000 mile service on his 2004 R1150RS.

I too own a 2004 R1150, but mine is an RS. Generally I’ve had a dealer do most of the routine maintenance on it. Although, I have told myself that I ought to broaden my horizons mechanically and become more knowledgeable about it’s maintenance. Rohn’s request pushed me over the edge.

In researching the work required for this service and the history of work done on Rohn’s bike, I noted that his fuel pump is original. Mine died at about 75,000 miles in Des Moines, IA at the intersection of I-35 and I-80 in a construction zone on my way to Michigan. Unlike an airhead, there wasn’t a thing I could do to coax it back to life.Β  I told Rohn he might consider his fuel pump and the internal hosesΒ  a “preventative maintenance” item and he agreed to have me replace it.

In looking around for information on the internet, and YouTube, to prepare me for this work, I wasn’t able to find good instructions for replacing the fuel pump. There are several resources that show how to replace the filter, but the fuel pump seemed to be left out.

So, I put this material together to fill that gap.

 

“Motorcycles and Other Musings” is Now “Brook’s Airhead Garage”

I started this blog back in 2009 as a general blog space with the original name “Motorcycles and Other Musings” to cover the expected content. As is often the case with an idea, it takes it’s own course and becomes what it is meant to be.

This blog is 90% about BMW Airhead motorcycles I’ve worked on in Brook’s Garage which I had built in 2012.Β SO ….

I changed the name of the blog to better reflect what it has become over the past 10 years.

Same content, same author, same passion for helping amateurs keep their classic BMW airhead motorcycle(s) running smoothly.

I also updated my YouTube channel to use the same name.

–> Brook’s Airhead Garage-YouTube Channel

I have created over 50 short videos that are used in the documentation of the various rebuilds I have done. The number of subscribers for my YouTube channel is just about the same size as for this blog.

And, I’m starting to plan for another restore/rebuild project soon. The bike is a 1983 R100RS. I may do a “resto-mod” on this bike, or I may not. I’m still thinking about the direction I want to take.

Stay tuned …