Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

A place to post photos and discuss your car.
User avatar
1974Alfa5spd
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7426
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:36 am
Location: Hill Start Central

Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by 1974Alfa5spd » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:50 pm

No, I didn't buy a BMW and then wreck it in such a manner that two of the wheels became separated from the car. In fact I bought something that requires much more finesse to drive, and also has a six-speed sequential transmission.

I bought a bike.
Image

But not just any bike. This is a 2002 BMW R1150RT-P. It used to be a law-enforcement bike.

The Good:
-It's a police bike, so it has all kinds of goodies like switches that aren't used anymore(there's one switch on the left handlebar for the siren that's not wired to anything anymore. So I need to think of something creative to do with that), extra lights, a high-output 60A alternator vs the civvie 50A, and city bags that overall make the bike a whole 8" narrower.
-Since this is an air/oil-cooled engine, the oil cooler, which needs the air passing over it to keep it cool on the civvie, has an thermostatically controlled fan to keep it cool when the bike is stationary. Apparently it works wonders too, since people fit them to their bikes and in traffic where it usually climbs up and tops out the oil temp gauge, the fan keeps it dead in the middle.
-The PO (previous owner, that is) said he thought the clutch was "soft," but in the 30' I rode it to move it out of the street, the clutch feels exactly the same as my dads '97 R110RT. Maybe a little smoother since this is a hydraulic clutch and his is a cable.
-There's also the inadvertent benefit of the chances someone doing something stupid/illegal around you are so slim they're almost non-existent.

The Bad:
-It's been dropped once or twice, the right valve cover is all scuffed up and the crash bars have some places where the chrome plating has been ground off and the steel underneath has rusted superficially. The fairing at the bottom has been cracked a bit, again probably from being dropped.
-The corners of the mirrors have had their paint swapped off, but if you look at the mirrors on my dad's it becomes evident that's simply their life.
-The bags are a little faded and don't quite close right, but they're otherwise in decent condition, which is a good thing because they cost a small fortune to replace.
-It has two batteries. Normally that's a good thing, but unfortunately mine are pretty sad. After much stalling trying to get it up our driveway, the batteries began having a difficult time turning the engine over. So that means I have to actually buy two batteries.

The Nitty-Gritty:
-Well, it's the venerable BMW boxer-twin. In one form or another this engine's been around since WWI, and they're notoriously hard to break and incredibly easy to work on.
-It's got a 1130cc fuel-injected boxer engine making 95HP/74PFT and puts that through a single-plate dry clutch into a 6-speed overdrive transmission.
-A brochure I found says it's supposed to get somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-ish miles per gallon at 65MPH, but during a road trip my dad managed in the mid to high 70s with his, which has an engine only 45cc smaller. Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to take advantage of that kind of mileage for another six months or so until I can get my full endorsement. So I'll have to settle with the mid-40s. :)

A few final pictures:
Image
Image

I did take off the 49ers plate frame, otherwise people might think I'm a sports fan. Image
If they win this Sunday I might hock it up on eBay/CL and see if I can make a buck off of it.

User avatar
six
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 4674
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:45 pm
Cars: 2015 Chevrolet SS 6MT
Location: California, U.S.

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by six » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:36 pm

I got some lights you can put on your bike 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:
Image
2015 Heron White Chevrolet SS Sedan 6MT

User avatar
1974Alfa5spd
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7426
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:36 am
Location: Hill Start Central

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by 1974Alfa5spd » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:51 pm

six wrote:I got some lights you can put on your bike 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:
Man, if you can also tell me how to not get thrown in jail with em, I'm in. :lol:

User avatar
six
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 4674
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:45 pm
Cars: 2015 Chevrolet SS 6MT
Location: California, U.S.

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by six » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:06 pm

1974Alfa5spd wrote:Man, if you can also tell me how to not get thrown in jail with em, I'm in. :lol:
Hahaha, just don't turn them on :P :P :P :P :P
Image
2015 Heron White Chevrolet SS Sedan 6MT

Rope-Pusher
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 11001
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:44 pm
Cars: '08 Jeep Liberty
Location: Greater Detroit Area

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by Rope-Pusher » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:15 pm

Elwood: You don't like it?
Jake: No I don't like it...
[Elwood Blues floors the pedal and jumps over an open drawbridge]
Jake: Car's got a lot of pickup.
Elwood: It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas. What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?
[a brief thinking pause while Jake attempts to light a cigarette]
Jake: Fix the cigarette lighter.
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"

User avatar
1974Alfa5spd
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7426
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:36 am
Location: Hill Start Central

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by 1974Alfa5spd » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:58 pm

While removing the reflective tape someone plastered this bike in, I happened to notice something funny about the headlight. It didn't seem to be properly seated. With great difficulty I pulled off the cover on the back of the headlight and what do I find? The bail that holds the bulb in is no longer attached, and the bulb is just kind of sitting there. Who was the last person to work on the headlight? The BMW dealership. :evil: Worse still, it looks like they actually tried to glue the bulb in when they couldn't get the bail back on. Well, I guess I know how effective that was. At least I have the bail.

Interestingly, the bulb itself was sitting against the metal reflector it mounts into, and the vibration actually wore a gouge into the glass. Still, I'm glad I noticed that, even though that means I have to take apart the whole fairing to remove the headlight and do it properly. I hope the local auto parts store has a 55W H7U bulb.

Note to self: Leave bad yelp review for BMW of SF.

User avatar
potownrob
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7556
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:35 pm
Cars: '13 ES 350; '07 Altima
Location: Dutchess County

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by potownrob » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:05 am

nice bike, don't go racing on lombard street :)
ClutchFork wrote:...So I started carrying a stick of firewood with me and that became my parking brake.

User avatar
theholycow
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 16021
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
Location: Glocester, RI
Contact:

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by theholycow » Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:10 am

Bulbs of that design are prone to that sort of failure. My wife's Isuzu has 9003/HB2 bulbs which use the same retention system and have the same problem. In the junkyard I saw one car with a different system to retain the HB2, it was a cap that screws on instead of the wire bail.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

User avatar
1974Alfa5spd
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7426
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:36 am
Location: Hill Start Central

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by 1974Alfa5spd » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:05 am

theholycow wrote:Bulbs of that design are prone to that sort of failure. My wife's Isuzu has 9003/HB2 bulbs which use the same retention system and have the same problem. In the junkyard I saw one car with a different system to retain the HB2, it was a cap that screws on instead of the wire bail.
The European-style H4 headlights I fitted to the Benz also have the wire-bail retention system (at least on the fogs, I can't remember what the mains have), and they've been fine for 20 years give or take. The original lights the car came with were 9007s, which had a plastic ring that twisted and locked into the reflector. Admittedly, the 9007s were easier to service in the tight spots on the driver side, but their road illumination at night could only be described as piss-poor.

The problem appears to be that the bail came off and they couldn't get the hinged side back on because they couldn't see it (because I certainly can't) and in the interest of saving time, they didn't tear down the whole front fairing to properly hook the bail back on and instead just put a couple dots of glue on it, shoved it all back in and hoped for the best. It's not like I paid them to do this though. This was part of a $1,922.07 service that happened in September. :P

In fact, peeking through the service records I got with this, after it was decommissioned it had some electrical issues and a crank/no-start situation, totaling to some moderately expensive repairs. The service in September involved the routine 6,000 mile service, plus two new tires, and a replacement final drive, since the original was worn out and leaking. For $2,000 I made off like a bandit. :mrgreen:

User avatar
theholycow
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 16021
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
Location: Glocester, RI
Contact:

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by theholycow » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:41 am

After only 6000 miles, worn out tires and even a worn out final drive? Is that normal for motorcycles?
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

User avatar
1974Alfa5spd
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7426
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:36 am
Location: Hill Start Central

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by 1974Alfa5spd » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:55 am

theholycow wrote:After only 6000 miles, worn out tires and even a worn out final drive? Is that normal for motorcycles?
No, the 6k mile service is a 6,000 mile interval. It actually has almost 49,000 miles on the odometer.

User avatar
theholycow
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 16021
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 1:36 pm
Cars: '80 Buick LeSabre 4.1 5MT
Location: Glocester, RI
Contact:

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by theholycow » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:08 pm

Ah, that makes more sense for the tires at least.
1980 Buick LeSabre 4.1L 5MT

Put your car in your sig!

Learn to launch/FAQs/lugging/misused terms: meta-sig
watkins wrote:Humans have rear-biased AWD. Cows have 4WD

User avatar
1974Alfa5spd
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7426
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 12:36 am
Location: Hill Start Central

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by 1974Alfa5spd » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:15 pm

The final drive actually held up pretty well, just over 47,000 miles. It was when they replaced the rear tire that they noticed there was a lot of play in the bearings, and found the crown gear inside was chewed to hell. People usually have a problem with the final drive beginning to weep from the flex boots around 30k, so to have a nearly rebuilt unit in there means I'm set for a good long time. Probably longer than I'm going to have the bike.

User avatar
noob5,000,000
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 9376
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:57 pm
Cars: 1986 Mazda RX-7 x2
Location: Sterling Heights, Michigan
Contact:

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by noob5,000,000 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:36 am

Very cool! Don't kill yourself :P .
1986 Mazda RX-7 sport - slowly returning to the Earth
1986 Mazda RX-7 base - Project car, ???, In pieces, turbo parts around.

User avatar
94Corolla5Speed
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 6927
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:51 pm
Cars: 1994 Corolla, 1990 Miata
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: Alfa Buys a BMW; Loses Two Wheels

Post by 94Corolla5Speed » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:45 pm

Neato! I've always wanted a bike but I am terrified to get one here in the city. Way too many inattentive drivers to risk my hide. If I lived in a place like Colorado with really nice twisty mountain roads I wouldn't be able to help myself. I'd probably get something smaller though, maybe a Ninja 250 or a 600 bike. I'm a skinny guy so something as big as your hog probably won't jive so well :lol:

Post Reply