R65 on the Road Again....issues?

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martinwR65
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R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:04 pm

I'd welcome some opinions on a couple of issues if anyone has the time? As a long time Jap biker, I have thoughts on these things, but I'm keen to discuss :smile:

My 78 R65, which I recently sought advice about (stripped plug thread and missing airbox bits...thanks for the replies on those) is now back on the road and I've managed to clock up a few miles on it. I have a couple of problems.....(insert joke)....no, the bike...

1. The engine runs on a bit after closing the throttle. I've fitted new carb/head rubbers, and stripped and cleaned the carbs and fitted an overhaul kit from Motorworks. I've timed the ignition and balanced the carbs and otherwise serviced the bike. Now on other bikes I've worked on, I'd be looking for an air leak between carb and head, or an internal leak inside the carb (split diaphragm?). I did notice that after fitting the new diaphragms, the slides were slow to return when raised manually. This makes me wonder about the quality of the (pattern?) diaphragms; are they known to be iffy? Certainly for a Jap bike I'd always be reluctant to use pattern diaphragms.
Or is it some other cause? I notice of course that there are no return springs, which can't help.

2. The clutch is very grabby, and squeals a bit, especially after about 20-30 minutes riding. New clutch plate? Or just grease the splines? There seems to be a lot of backlash in the transmission, which worries me. Is that a bad sign?

3. The (single disc) front brake is, erm, not great. It will stop, but needs a very firm hand. The caliper has been rebuilt, new fluid and new hoses, and a new EBC disc and new EBC pads. It still doesn't inspire confidence. Are they all like that? It's done enough to bed in I think, but isn't improving now after an initial period. The lever doesn't come back very far, not enough really for a small hand like mine. Shall I fit the second disc?

4. The handling. It's generally stable, but weaves a little and feels like it's about to topple. Something has play in it I think, steering head bearings or swinging arm? Any thoughts? The front tyre is a Conti Go and the rear is an ME77, half worn. I've got the pressures fairly high, which seems to help. Of course I'm working my way through the whole bike, so I'll find it eventually, but again, I'd appreciate the opinions of those more knowledgeable on this model.

Any thoughts and opinions gratefully received! Thanks :)
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby windmill john » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:58 am

I have the same model, albeit 1980.

Get your return springs fitted.
Like you I thought of inlet stubs re fast idle. Given up worrying but you could check your bob weights.
I got some harder diaphragms, it's hard to say if they are are the issue, but since fitting them and at the same time new floats, my idle is not perfect. But it is good enough that I've stopped stressing about it..... except when riding :wink:

Clutch splines may need lubing. Slip can be checked by snapping the throttle open at speed and seeing if the bike pulls or the revs go up without pulling.

People will discuss the master cylinder size, can't remember but they are 13mm or 16mm. I had the correct one but the brake did feel wooden, very little movement.
What I did which sorted out the pull perfectly (this is what I did and I stress it was personal) I filed down the brake lever where it meet the M/C piston. Make sure you keep it round and smooth. This was a brilliant fix which meant the lever was closer to my hand before braking.
Note, I have a drum brake fitted now.

If your rear tyre is worn, it will cause it to tip into corners more.
Grab yourself a Clymer manual and check your head bearings. If these are loose you will a slight weave/uncertainty in straight line riding. Swinging arm? Get it on he main stand and grab the rear wheel and see if you can detect any movement. But I'd look at head bearings and tyres.
http://www.kittos.co.uk
Best roads: 623 Burgos to Santander. A back road to Metz; can't remember which!
Schorsch 1978-80 R65 - bit of a Shetland pony; frisky and naughty.
Friedrich 1993 R80RT - a Percheron, but can still mix it with the rest.

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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby barryh » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:02 pm

1. The carbs if original will be flat tops and they never did have springs fitted. No harm in trying though but before you do just try dropping the idle to 800 RPM and see if it fixes the problem.

2. A grabby clutch is not unusual when a bike has been out of use for some time but would normally improve. Getting worse after 20-30mins is odd though. There are a number of things that can cause excessive backlash in the transmission. There are spring loaded shock absorbers in both the gearbox and the drive shaft which could be faulty. Some backlash in the final drive is normal but there are also splines between the final drive and rear wheel which can wear.

3. The early model with ATE caliper has a particularly low master cylinder to caliper piston ratio which gives it a very firm lever but not a very inspiring brake. The master cylinder changed from 13mm to 12mm in 81. That doesn't sound much but it ups the ratio from 15.3 to 18 although 18 still isn't wonderful. Basically BMW were excessively conservative by modern standards. So you either need a smaller master cylinder or a 2nd disc which would normally be matched with a 16mm master cylinder giving a ratio of 20.25. Some have used smaller than 16mm for an even higher ratio with good results.

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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby windmill john » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:49 pm

I thought he meant throttle cable return springs, not the slide ones!
http://www.kittos.co.uk
Best roads: 623 Burgos to Santander. A back road to Metz; can't remember which!
Schorsch 1978-80 R65 - bit of a Shetland pony; frisky and naughty.
Friedrich 1993 R80RT - a Percheron, but can still mix it with the rest.

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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby barryh » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:45 pm

I thought he meant throttle cable return springs, not the slide ones!
Ah ! No throttle return springs would cause a problem. They are a bit on the strong side but taking them off altogether would be going too far.


This thread might have hit on a reason why experience with after market diaphragms is variable. Perhaps they work OK on normal dome top Bings with the slide return springs (and there are two strengths of those) but might struggle on flat tops where slide return is by gravity alone. Come to think of it one of the few poor reports I've read on after market diaphragms was on a flat top equipped bike.

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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby windmill john » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:03 pm

It's a good point Barry. As these diaphragms have not detached yet, I'll leave them. But the next time I replace, I'll go back to the other type.

However, saying that, being a bit stiffer, I have a feeling they may not detach so readily from under the top plastic ring; the other type did about once a year, mostly one side.
http://www.kittos.co.uk
Best roads: 623 Burgos to Santander. A back road to Metz; can't remember which!
Schorsch 1978-80 R65 - bit of a Shetland pony; frisky and naughty.
Friedrich 1993 R80RT - a Percheron, but can still mix it with the rest.

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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby CharlieVictor » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:23 am

He's got a few problems too...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W79x_WuvQ5Y
1978 BMW R100S "Naked"
1999 W650 "Twin with a kick"

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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:39 am

Well, thanks for the replies, here's an update:

Yesterday I stripped, cleaned and lubed the bobweights. This made an instant improvement to the idling, although still not quite right. Using the gears/clutch to bring the RPM down shows that it's the ignition to blame, and tweaking the carbs makes no difference. The bike idles well around 8-900 rpm. After a long fast run, the idling is slower to return than I'd like, but most of the time it's tolerable.
I have ordered a Boyer Bransden ignition system, which I know will split opinions, but I've used them a fair bit in the past with no issues, so I'm comfortable having a go. (Also ordered an Electrex reg/rec so a wiring session on the cards for me). The BB will eliminate the bobweight issue.

The brake might have improved marginally; still not great, but ok for general pottering. I might have a look at filing the lever slightly, as described John, but wouldn't that also create some free play in the mechanism? The back brake is weak too, even a really hard stomp won't come close to locking the back wheel. Is that normal? A more powerful back brake would provide some reassurance!

The clutch definitely has improved with riding, although it still squeaks a bit when warm. Less grabby though now, you were right on that, Barry. I have scheduled in a spline lube session and will investigate the condition of the plate.

I've had a really good look at the back tyre, and will get a new one. It's not totally worn out, but is very old, so any comment on the handling will wait till that's done. The front is a Conti Go! (stupid name, sounds like a shopping moped from the 80s) so I am tending towards a matching rear. There's no obvious play in the steering head or swing arm.

Starting isn't great.....it always starts on one cylinder...doesn't seem to like much choke...

All told though, I've been out for a couple of decent rides on the bike now and am really enjoying it! I've fitted half-rise bars, and it's extremely comfortable, purring along at 70mph/4000rpm very smoothly like it would do it all day.
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby barryh » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:45 pm

Yours being a 78 bike has just rung a bell when you mentioned it doesn't like much choke.

Frankly I considered the enricher on my 79 to be completely hopeless having an all or nothing type of response. I avoided it like the plague in the summer.

You can improve it. If you've had the enrichers apart you might have noticed the first of the four fuel holes is undrilled. BMW issued a service bulletin to modify the enricher discs which involve drilling out the blank hole 0.6mm and enlarging the counter bores on all of the fuel holes. It assume that was done to make operation more progressive. It certainly made an vast difference to mine and it actually works now.

When you get it right starting should be instant, you hit the button and it should start with no perceptible delay. Mine does that on a daily. basis
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby windmill john » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:42 pm

Filing the lever only introduces a gap between the lever and mechanism, so no worries.
Rear wheel can be locked up, so strip it, clean it.
Remove the brake pivot and clean the shaft, lube etc. Check shoes.
Don't be one of those people who poo poos rear drum brakes, it only provides generally, 25% of overall braking, up to 50% in bad weather. Look at Moto GP, rear tyre is off the floor when they are braking.

A couple of points you mention still point to a good carb strip and clean.

This is an Airhead, if you don't have issues with carbs, your lying :smile:

I love my R65. A very different ride to my R80RT.

Schorsch, my R65, can be very frisky :grin: I alway used to ride my BMs sedately, thinking that is the only way, but even though they are simple mechanically, heavy and look quite agricultural, they handle verrrrrrrrry nicely. At the end of the day, Schorsch the original, that's Georg Meier did win the 1939 'TT I think minutes faster than any other \:D/ I believe Norton may not have been there that year, but don't start me off, I'm not into racing, so my knowledge is limited.
http://www.kittos.co.uk
Best roads: 623 Burgos to Santander. A back road to Metz; can't remember which!
Schorsch 1978-80 R65 - bit of a Shetland pony; frisky and naughty.
Friedrich 1993 R80RT - a Percheron, but can still mix it with the rest.

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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:22 pm

You can improve it. If you've had the enrichers apart you might have noticed the first of the four fuel holes is undrilled. BMW issued a service bulletin to modify the enricher discs which involve drilling out the blank hole 0.6mm and enlarging the counter bores on all of the fuel holes. It assume that was done to make operation more progressive. It certainly made an vast difference to mine and it actually works now.
Many thanks Barry, I will have a look at that.
Filing the lever only introduces a gap between the lever and mechanism, so no worries.
Yes, but still adding play into the system? Wouldn't the lever then rattle about? So the first bit of pull on the lever is you taking up the play?
I've put a wanted ad up for a second caliper!
Rear wheel can be locked up, so strip it, clean it.
Will do.
A couple of points you mention still point to a good carb strip and clean.
Yes, I'll be having another look. Thanks.
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby windmill john » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:54 am

I never noticed any rattle in the brake lever.

I saw your ad wanting a second calliper. I have to say when I had one disk on Schorsch, I thought the braking was good enough, but that is a personal opinion of course. Just trying to save you money.
http://www.kittos.co.uk
Best roads: 623 Burgos to Santander. A back road to Metz; can't remember which!
Schorsch 1978-80 R65 - bit of a Shetland pony; frisky and naughty.
Friedrich 1993 R80RT - a Percheron, but can still mix it with the rest.

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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:56 pm


I saw your ad wanting a second calliper. I have to say when I had one disk on Schorsch, I thought the braking was good enough, but that is a personal opinion of course. Just trying to save you money.
Maybe when I have serviced the back brake, I will agree with you! :)
At the moment, I would go as far as saying that, by modern standards, the braking is not 100% safe (on my bike, with me riding). I have smaller hands, and find that it is a stretch to reach the lever and it requires a lot of effort for an emergency stop. Even with maximum effort, there is zero chance of locking the front wheel. (Not my aim of course, just a measure of braking ability).

Now this is well and good most of the time, but what about an emergency stop? Or even unexpectedly heavy braking due to the actions of another road user?

Now, bear in mind my other bike is a 1979 Suzuki GS750 based special, modified with 4-piston Tokico calipers, and it's braking is superb, powerful but with lots of feel, so you can brake really hard with just the right amount of effort, and even in the wet, little danger of falling off.

Of course, you couldn't just have loads of braking power with a fairly narrow tyre up front, but even so, and by the standards of the 1970s, the standard GS750 twin-disc, sliding-caliper front brakes, not renowned even in their time as being the best, were superior to my R65s.

BTW, as an engineer and an experienced motorcyclist, I'm sure the brake is working as intended. The disc and pads are new EBC, and the caliper has been rebuilt.

Anyhoo, I rather doubt that anyone has spare ATE calipers lying about, so I'll probably just live with it, and look at dressing a little off the actuation point.

[Incidentally, I improved the braking of my GS1000S in a similar manner; I moved the master cylinder/lever assembly 15mm up the handlebars, as far as it would go, thus presenting a 'nearer' part of the brake lever to my fingers, with a marked improvement in braking).
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby windmill john » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:31 pm

I would say the braking, the actual stopping of the bike is very good on the R65, with a couple of caveats.

It takes a lot more effort than on some bikes.
The reach is crazy! Hence my little mod mentioned, which even though I protect myself by saying it is not standard, will please you no end.

I am a very experienced rider of many years, have ridden a number of sports bikes and also dirt bikes; oh and Vespa, great fun.

If I were to choose a best front brake for feel, then it would be my old GS850; Oilhead I stress, not the old Suzuki :grin:
It was very soft, some would say spongy, it came back quite far, comfortable \:D/ but would stop on a sixpence; non ABS.
http://www.kittos.co.uk
Best roads: 623 Burgos to Santander. A back road to Metz; can't remember which!
Schorsch 1978-80 R65 - bit of a Shetland pony; frisky and naughty.
Friedrich 1993 R80RT - a Percheron, but can still mix it with the rest.

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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:51 pm

My tribulations with the back wheel are detailed elsewhere. :cry:

The back brake shoes and drum are both polished up to a fine shine, hardly surprising it wasn't very effective. I think the shoes have become contaminated and it's had years of polishing in, so they will be scrapped.
The drum should be skimmed, but there doesn't seem to be much meat there (I can't measure it as I don't have internal calipers big enough) so I might just abrade it.
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:21 pm

Another issue. Whilst fitting the Boyer kit, I noticed that the front coil was loose. On close inspection I found that the bracket had broken and the coil was swinging in the breeze! The bracket had corroded through. As this is an earthing point, I can't imagine it was doing anything any good.
Image

So I ground off what was left of the brackets (rusty stumps) and rubbed them down smooth. A quick coat of Kurust and Smoothrite will do for now, as I plan to have to whole frame refinished next summer. I've ordered some 28mm P-clips which should enable me to fit the coil back close to its original position.
Image

As I'm fitting both a Boyer Bransden and an Electrex RR, both of which require some wiring mods, I've taken the loom apart and removed the wiring for the special equipment and hazard warning plugs, and also the buzzer relay. Together with the diode box and regulator wiring, that's quite a lot of junk removed, and this bike needed a good tidy up anyway; its wiring was quite scrappy. I had to reroute the earths to the rear coil anyway, as the standard mounting point has disappeared! I can now more tidily do the mods for the 2 new boxes. The Electrex RR is going behind the LH side panel. There's already one unused bracket there, and a P-clip will provide a second mounting point.

New tyre, tube, bearings, seals and sleeves arrived today. Also brake shoes. Just waiting for the wheel at the powder coaters now. Any tips on refitting the bearings?

Something else that arrived today was a RHS caliper! (Thanks T).
3. The early model with ATE caliper has a particularly low master cylinder to caliper piston ratio which gives it a very firm lever but not a very inspiring brake...... So you either need a smaller master cylinder or a 2nd disc which would normally be matched with a 16mm master cylinder giving a ratio of 20.25. Some have used smaller than 16mm for an even higher ratio with good results.
I was thinking of trying the double disc set up with the normal (13mm) master cylinder. As it's got very little travel now and feels wooden, I thought maybe with twice the area at the caliper end, it would need twice the travel to actuate the brakes, and have twice as much feel. Worth a try? I can always change the master cylinder later.
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:52 pm

Here's an update for anyone who's still paying attention! :)
Fitting of the Boyer Bransden ignition and the Electrex R/R is complete, along with re-mounting the front coil and tidying the wiring.
I have to say both jobs were straightforward enough. The bobweight spring tabs needed bending out of the way as detailed elsewhere, and I had to fabricate some mounts for the R/R to go under the LH sidepanel. I'll make something a bit more permanent when the frame is powder coated next year, but these are solid enough.
I've bypassed the charge light, as the 1.2W bulb isn't big enough and I couldn't find a 2W bulb in that type. I think I can live without a charging light.
The bike fired up straight away, and wow, there's a huge difference at low revs. The idle is ridiculously steady and the pick up very lively. I haven't had the bike out for a run yet as the back wheel is still away.
My old timing light is inadequate so the timing is still roughly set. (It's always worked fine on my other bikes, but I can't make out the timing marks with any accuracy. Anyway I've ordered a better one with a separate power supply.)
The charging voltage is about 12.7V at idle (bit on the low side at 7-800rpm at that time), rising to steady 14V at anything above about 1500rpm. So that's working.
In other news, one of the pistons in the RH caliper I bought proved to be a bit stubborn, so I drilled it and tapped an M8 thread in it! I was going to put a screw in, but the tap alone ended up pushing the piston out with little effort. Yet 100 psi of air only made it bobble slightly, which is why it's important to bleed your brakes I suppose! Some pics:
Image
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:06 pm

Ok so progress is happening! :) Out today for the first ride of any decent length - 130 miles. Pic taken near Dufftown.

Image

Firstly, note absence of front mudguard, sidepanels and seat hump. These, together with the original tank, are still away at the 'not recommended' painter, and I should be collecting them next week after 10 weeks. The tank fitted is an eBay purchase; if I'd got that first I wouldn't have bothered with getting everything painted.£100 with a tap and filler cap, very good condition.

I picked up the wheel from the tyre fitter this morning, and after putting the bike on the centrestand on wooden blocks was able to persuade it in to it's rightful place. I've also readjusted and greased the swinging arm bearings. All told the handling is now decent. Stable and reasonably planted. I've still to have a look at the front end - forks and steering head bearings, so there is more to learn there I feel.

The back brake is now good, with new shoes fitted. I have a RHS caliper and all the bits lined up ready to fit too.

The clutch is still a little grabby and abrupt, definitely not as it should be, so I will investigate that at some point.

The Boyer Bransden ignition is excellent. There is no sign of the running on problem, the idle is steady and the pick up is great. Highly recommended! :grin:
I need to clean and readjust the carbs to complete that side of things. Starting from cold is still a 1-at-a-time affair. Perhaps cleaning the carbs will reveal muck from the breather, as discussed in the other thread?

All in all, a very satisfactory day.
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby Galactic Greyhound » Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:12 pm

That's a nice pic!

Re the 1-at-a-time starting, first check the jet at the bottom of the Starting Carb Well in the Float Chamber is not blocked for the side which is not firing up.
Also check that the dip tube which goes into the well from the Carb Body is also not blocked/damaged.
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:32 am

That's a nice pic!

Re the 1-at-a-time starting, first check the jet at the bottom of the Starting Carb Well in the Float Chamber is not blocked for the side which is not firing up.
Also check that the dip tube which goes into the well from the Carb Body is also not blocked/damaged.
Thanks! :)

I will check those out.
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:03 am

I was thinking of trying the double disc set up with the normal (13mm) master cylinder. As it's got very little travel now and feels wooden, I thought maybe with twice the area at the caliper end, it would need twice the travel to actuate the brakes, and have twice as much feel. Worth a try? I can always change the master cylinder later.
I can answer my own question now! \:D/

Thanks to a forum member, I acquired a RH caliper. I've stripped and cleaned it, and fitted new pistons and seals. I then ordered disc, pads, hose, brackets, pins, bleed nipple etc. I got the longer twin disc bolts off eBay at £3, as against £20 from Motobins! I assembled it all today and got it bled, and with the standard single-disc master cylinder the braking is now excellent. I'm amazed at the difference; somehow, it's more than twice as good. Even right away, without bedding in the new pads, the difference in power was startling. After a short ride it got better.

The lever action is much better than before, as I'd hoped it might be. It feels 'right' as you'd expect it too, versus the wooden feel of the stock arrangement. Braking is two finger light, even one finger if you want, but plenty of feel. The lever doesn't have too much travel as might have been a concern, in fact as I said, it feels about right, much the same as any other bike.

So, a good result. :smile:
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby andyb » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:09 pm

May have been a mistake on my part, but I went from twin discs on my R100R to a single disc - and changed the MC. The twin disc set up was almost too good and I was worried about locking the front wheel. It felt too grabby. The single disc seems adequate, but does need a bit of a pull.
Advantages.....simpler, less weight, less drag on the wheel, seems to work!
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby martinwR65 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:55 pm

I'm glad you're happy with the single disc Andy, and I wish I had been really. It would have been far cheaper!

I've had other bikes with a single disc, my 2004 Bonnie for example, which never felt less than adequate, so I'm not against a single disc per se. My R65 had a poor front brake IMO. Sorry if that's heretical.
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby IanB » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:13 am

Another issue. Whilst fitting the Boyer kit, I noticed that the front coil was loose. On close inspection I found that the bracket had broken and the coil was swinging in the breeze! The bracket had corroded through. As this is an earthing point, I can't imagine it was doing anything any good.

That happened with me on my '78 R65 which I was lucky enough to buy new - and not that long outside the warranty period, as I recall. My own assumption is that it is primarily a fatigue fracture rather than just corrosion, and it seems to happen to many of these machines. The dealer was adamant that I had crashed the bike, and they were really quite rude about it. I think the mark 2 versions have a bent bracket with an upstand at one end rather than a plain flat one, and are much less prone to the problem.
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Re: R65 on the Road Again....issues?

Postby windmill john » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:52 am

My 78-80 R65 also broke its front coil bracket five years ago. Since then it has had a large jubilee clip round it and the frame.
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