Assessing the work ahead

I took the seat off the R65 today so see what was under there… I gave the throttle cables a little lube with “Cable Life” and then opened up the throttle control cover to see what shape the cam gears are in. They’re worn, but working well and replacements are available.

The wiring loom looks like it’s in good shape but everything is dirty and dusty. I disconnected a few connectors, sprayed them with contact cleaner and a bit of dielectric grease then plugged them back in. Some of the connectors didn’t want to come apart so I didn’t force them. Everything appears to work except for the neutral switch, which is a reasonably big job.

The speedometer is not rising above 45 MPH even though the odometer is adding miles properly. I looked under the cover but wasn’t willing to force the speedometer cable off the connector. It’s pretty corroded.


Long Term Maintenance

About 30,000 miles ago I replaced the swing arm pivot bearings on the BMW. These are the little tapered roller bearings at the joint between the swing arm and the final drive on the rear end. Originally, there was a movement away from the bearings because they got flat, and someone at Rubber Chicken Racing sourced some oil-lite bronze bushings that would be a direct replacement.

The problem I’ve had is that they’re constantly wearing even though they were installed as the instructions specified. This means heating the adjustable post on the inside of the swing arm, re-torquing the post and adjusting the locknut. Normally it wouldn’t be such a big deal, but the pivot has to be heated to about 200 degrees before it loosens up.

This also means that the “rear end” of the bike always has a little play in it, becoming especially noticeable when leaned over in a turn and opening the throttle from closed, or closing the throttle from open, upsetting the chassis and forcing a steering adjustment. No fun.

Also in the works, a pair of Wilbers shocks.

Before you get uptight about how dirty it is in there, consider that this bike gets ridden. There’s no time for polishing.

Preparations are always interesting.


With the announcement of an upcoming trip, the preparations always take some interesting turns. How will I set up the Autocom if I’m going to ditch the tank bag? Such quandaries include matching new equipment with the old setup and creating new cords because nobody makes them. It’s never anything a little creativity, skill, and Internet searching can’t overcome, but in the end it’s time consumption exceeds the allotment.