Sunday, April 28, 2019

BMW R80RT Badlands Cafe Racer Project Part 2

BMW R80RT Badlands Cafe Racer Project Part 2

In Part 1 of the MajorPandemic BMW R80RT Badlands Cafe Racer Project the background of the project was covered on why I choose the BMW R80 Airhead. Take a look at the previous Part 1 article here. In this article I will cover the interim status of the project, cost and the specific upgrades.

The Before Picture
The overall strategy for converting any groovy older bike to a sleek badass cafe racer is to strip off the bodywork, remove all the unneeded parts, swap out old giant subframe for a short cafe racer subframe and seat, add on clip-ons, billet rearset, update the electrics, and finish it all off with some pretty high-tier billet goodies. Add in inspection of all the seals, a new set of tires, swap out all the fluids and filters, some fresh powder-coat and paint, and some shock upgrades. 

Weight Reduction - As each discarded part was weight after pulling from the bike including all wiring and large parts including battery. The net result of this conversion was a 150-lb weight reduction over the original 517-lb weight. With the new Vonzeti subframe and seat and other net new components 32-lbs were added back, however it still remains just under 400-lbs. Honestly the bike feels feathery compared to its original mass and is significantly quicker. Although it only has 50HP and 43 ft/lbs of torque it feels quick after all the weight reduction.

Tires - Knobby Continental TKC 80s - $200 set. I love the look and also love the concept that the TKC 80 tire has no limits and still handles great on the road. The tire has proven itself globally as an all terrain on and off road tire even at 80+ MPH highway speeds and was perfect for my Major Pandemic Badlands Cafe Racer concept. They look awesome but was so difficult to install that I had to take them to garage to get them on. 

Tubes - Michelin Ultra Heavy Duty MX Tubes - $70 set. The 1983 R80 was not designed for a tubeless setup and I replaced these as they did look like they were pretty aged. Here I went wrong according to me local shop and should have just purchased standard tubes. They noted that I really get nothing other then some potential balancing issues problems. Unfortunately these things will probably last another twenty years.

Clymer Manual - $40 Clymer Manual was expensive, but the most important tool you can purchase when working on any bike. For the most part, these older carbureted bikes are both simple and frustrating at times with most issues caused by either rushing or overthinking the issue.

Motogadget m-Unit Blue (Bluetooth Enabled) $379 - As builder, if you are going to this level of care with a build then a complete Motogadget m-unit electrical system upgrade is smart to improve reliability & looks while increasing features to a very modern level in the process. It does requires a full rewire of the bike, but the wiring is world more simple than anything OEM. Really unless you are some type of self inflicting sadist, one of the m-Unit models are the way to go and the m-Unit Blue is so features rich I have no idea why they even sell any other models. The features are just too vast to list here to list. See my other article here on wiring a Motogadget m-Unit.

Motogadget M-Blaze Disk Bar End LED Indicators - At $223 for a set, these are extraordinarily expensive, but I will say are worth every penny. They are just freaking cool and disappear visually into the handlebar ends. I would totally buy these again.

Motogadget Multi Conductor Cable $18 & m-Unit Cable Kit $78 - Hands down this was some of the best money spent on the wiring. All this Motogadget wire coincidently matches up perfectly to all the listed Motogadget color code wiring diagrams. I would not wire again without these particular kits. The Multi Conductor Cable is a tiny little 3/16-inch bundle of nine tiny wires that the can be used to run the input controls on the m-Unit… and hide all the wiring with ease.

Revival Cycles LED Supernova Brake and Turn Signals - $30

Bikemaster 7” Headlight and Bucket - $80. Technically, I only needed the headlight bucket, but for the price it was the same price including the light as the other similar headlight bucket shell. I sold the headlight for $20 on ebay.

EMGO Universal Polished Aluminum Side Mount Headlight Mount Brackets - $36 - These supposedly do not fit 36mm stanchion tubes, however by mix and matching the included shims a workable tight fit is achieved. They are not super great quality, but they look great and do the job.

HogWorkz LED 7" Halomaker Headlight For Harley 1994-2019 - $270 This is crazy bright and the halo LED light delivers an amazing look like few other lights. 

Antigravity Small Case 8-Cell 240CA Lithium Ion Battery - $180 To further clean up looks, most builders opt for a tiny Antigravity lithium battery pack. These tiny battery replacements are about 1/10th the weight of OEM batteries and less than ¼ the size all while being easy to tuck out of sight. Upgrading to lithium batteries also has a cascading requirement to upgrade the rectifier so the new Lithium battery does not get overcharged. These old bikes are money pits, so be prepared.

Drag Specialties Battery Clear Cable - $33 - I wanted a clear 12V- main ground wire so it would disappear a bit visually. It did the job and looks good.

Custom 48” 12V+ Power Cable - This had not been received yet for this article. Expected price $40.

Waterproof Bussmann CB285-40 Surface-Mount 40-Amp Circuit Breaker - $28 The Circuit Breaker was added inline instead of a main fuse. For the record, I freaking love this circuit breaker especially through the wiring process. Instead of the numerous times of unscrewing or disconnecting the battery, I can just punch the breaker button and I am electrically safe to play around with wiring. When I am done, I just flip the breaker back on and I am ready to roll, plus on the road a blow fuse will never happen. I made a custom aluminum mount for it to sit in an accessible under the tank.

Antigravity Micro-Start XP-1 / XP-3 Battery Harness Kit - $19. I already own an Antigravity XP-1 Microstart, so it makes sense to add in the hardwired kit in case I do need a jump. I carry the XP-1 on every trip to keep my cell phone charged, however you never know when you might need a jump. 

Vonzeti Seat & Subframe - $453 After a month of agonizing over a myriad of upgrades, styles, and looks, the start of any cafe project is getting the seat and rear subframe right. I decided on a Vonzeti cafe racer T92 subframe, T67 seat, and seat base to deliver the cafe racer look. Vonzeti products are very highly regarded, all handmade with options for various seat fabrics, cowl colors, and are also available in completely custom subframe designs. I choose the T92 subframe and T67 seat but upgraded to a synthetic microsuede with a custom square sewn seat pattern. Vonzeti also sells a matching flat metal seat base which allows an otherwise rounded hollow seat cowl house ugly electronics out of eyesight under the seat and allowed the Antigravity battery, some wiring and the license plate lights to be hidden away. Vonzeti is based in England and will ship anywhere to most countries around the world. About two months after ordering, I had my custom made order in hand and it is gorgeous.

Horn - The dual OEM horns were tossed in favor of a single Denali Soundbomb Mini Horn $30 which is OMG freaking loud and still hides under the tank.

Revival Cycles Universal Under Tank Ignition 2-Position High Security Switch - $30 - Lets face it, thieves have gotten more bold and a lot smarter since the low security keys were made in 1983 for this original bike. This Revival Cycles 2-position High Security 7-pin round key ignition switch is not something thieves will be able to pick with a hair pin. I mounted this inside the engine casing, so you need to partially disassemble the bike to even get to it. 

Motogadget m-Grips - $35 - There are a lot of grips on the market, but I really like the clean premium look and grid pattern on these soft rubber grips. Motogadget does offer aluminum versions of these exact grips as well, however I knew whatever grip selected had to fit over the Demon Heat grip heaters I selected and still transmit some heat. Really happy with the quality and how these look. 

Motogadget m-Rear Bar End Mirror - $260 Set. Again the Motogadget accessories are not cheap, however they are amazing premium quality. These mount around the outside end of the handlebars and a perfect complement to the m-Grips, and m-Blaze LED indicators. They did take a bit of adjustment, however once set, they are everything I could possibly need for a peek behind.

Symtec Heat Demon Heated Grips - $54 - These were hard wired from the AUX2 output of the m-Unit Blue with a custom mount hidden just under the left side of the tank. Even if I forget and leave them on, the m-Unit turns of all the Aux 2 power after the ignition powers off. The High/Low/Off switch is easy to work with my left gloved hand and initiates an amazing night hot grips for cooler weather riding - even cool summer evenings they are really nice. I could ride on a wooden seat before I would give these up. 

Revival Cycles Rick’s Combo Regulator Rectifier - $129. The best electrical charging upgrade a vintage bike builder can do. This solved basically all my charging issues and still gives me enough power to run my heated grips. 

Oshmo for Motogadget /5 /6 /7 BMW Billet Triple Clamp - $299. 
Oshmo is not the fastest, but he almost always picks up the phone and delivers jewelry quality parts. Due to variety of specs, these parts are milled and finished in small batches … kinda like bourbon. This is an aluminum upper (top) triple clamp machined from 6061 Aluminum Billet has an inboard clamping feature that captures and clamps the stanchion tubes. The outer round contour follows the BMW factory profile for Airhead vintage look while the rugged design and clamping feature makes for a super rigid steering reinforcement component. 

Oshmo Rear Set Foot Controls - $369 - These are again amazing quality and look stunning. The only issue I had was that on the later BMW R series there is a brass bushing which is sweated into a mount on the frame. The Oshmo mount, unknowingly requires drilling out and removal of this brass bushing for installation. The rear brake switch also requires some relocation as well. 

Motogadget MST Tiny Speedster Speedometer - $277. Like all other Motogadget accessories this is a thing of beauty. Despite the tiny sub-2-inch size, the MST features high beam, oil pressure, neutral, and indicator lights, precision stepper motor speedometer, digital speedometer, mileage, trip, time and many other features. The only thing it lacks is a tachometer.

Bob’s BMW Repro Valve Covers - $120 - Not installed yet, but I have them ready for install. I wanted that older style peanut valve cover and for $120, it is hard not to opt for these newly precision manufacturers versions instead of used vintage parts for the same price. My plan is to mirror polish these.

Bob’s BMW - Exhaust Nuts - $60 - The old versions were in pretty good shape but had taken a few rock hits and I wanted these parts to look as new as possible. 

Monza Billet Fuel Cap - $184 - No vintage cafe racer project is complete without a vintage looking Monza style billet fuel cap. 

Exhaust - The net of the exhaust upgrades was a huge weight savings and an aggressive throaty sound with a look that screams MajorPandemic Badlands Cafe Racer. The Exhaust wraps are a project yet to come in Part 3.

19.5" "Mini" Norton Commando Style Muffler - $160
8" Stainless Steel Tie Wraps - $32
DEi Black Titanium Fiberglass Exhaust/Header Wrap - $79.95

Apex Cycles Master Cylinder Billet Brake Reservoir Cover - $20 - Probably the least expensive upgrade on the bike, but it really brings a bit of silver to the hand controls. The $2 master cylinder o-ring was also replaced at the same time. 

Misc Parts & Tools - $300 is probably a generous amount for all the zip-ties, wire split loom, degreaser, heat shrink, Chinese LEDs for license plate illumination, connectors, crimpers, and misc bolts and nuts purchased for the project.

Paint/Wrap & Finishing Touches - The next steps after all the components were fitted and needed mounting tabs were added, removing any extra OEM factory tabs were ground off to clean up the frame, the frame will get powder coated… but not for a while. In the case of this old BMW’s which has a few areas which have been brush painted over the years, powder coat will be a substantial upgrade to the finish. In an effort to keep my marriage intact, I elected to removed the seat and tank, wrap the engine with plastic wrap, did a light sand, and I touched up the frame with a quality semi-gloss black spray can finish. Not ideal, but it cleaned up the look of the frame enough that I did not swear every time I walked up to it. Eventually the bike will get a powdercoat, but for now… I ride. For the fender, seat cowl and tank, I also elected to shortcut the finish with a wrap. I saw a demo at the SEMA trade show on vinyl wraps and I have been wanted to try this ever since. Yes, apparently vinyl wrap deliver an amazing look even for the DIY’er. I used the VViVID Electric Blue Carbon wrap, 3M Silver and Black and after a dozen hours of Youtube how-to videos, I managed to work through this DIY wrap install with the help of a buddy. Although the pictures do not show it, I have added on new BMW badges on the tank.

Final Total for Upgrades - Just under $4500
Cost of the Bike - $1900
Stripped parts sold on eBay - ($600)
Net total on project $5800

Still To Do in Part 3
Polish all the appropriate billet pieces
Deep engine detail clean
Replace all the brake pads
Replace brake lines with some new awesome looking braided line
Brake line flush
Spark plug wire replacement and potentially coil replacement
Finish a few of the wire loom run.

Still To Do in Part 4
Bare Frame strip and powder coat
Full bearing replacement on frame and rims

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