My wife finds it odd I spend this time at night writing up what I've done on the bike... She says, Why? Who reads it? She won't get it, but part of me just wants to download this information from my head and into this here post as quickly as I can. Get it out into the internet so riders/enthusiasts can gather ideas and learn from my experience. Hope it all finds you well and safe.
So Saturday was a huge day for me! No compromises, no outings and no nonsense - just me and the bike. Liverpool losing to Stoke was the only downer, but soon forgotten when I came into the garage and saw my other red beauty. I had been waiting for parts for what seemed like an eternity! I made one big order from DCC (Dime City Cycles) and the rest came from various online vendors around the country. The less interesting bits arrived first - gaiters (ok), then the license plate holder (nice), headlight brackets (cool) and then I had one big delivery on Friday with absolutely everything else (OMG!). It really felt like Christmas... except there was no tree, it was about 100 degrees out, and the green tree was my greenish door.
With the wife out of the house for the day, I blasted my favorite classic rock to channel some of the 60s energy and get that working into the bike. Lots of Zepellin, Doors, and old surf music. First part I had to tackle was the handlebars... Here's my handlebar info:
I wanted clip-ons to give me that aggressive riding position I love so much. As I found out, the fork diameter on the K100 is 41.3mm. What the heck!? Not 41mm, not 42mm, just 41.3mm. So that three tenths of a millimeter totally screws up my plans for clip-ons because hardly anyone makes these odd sized clamps. There are generic handlebars made in China that only go up to 38mm or so. Then you have tier two manufacturers like Vortex that make them in my range, and then you have some high end ones like Tarozzi or Rizoma which also make them in my range. Great, right? Not so much. They don't make 41.3mm clip-ons because hardly anyone uses clip-ons on BMWs that had 41.3mm forks. I called Fast from the Past because they import Tarozzi clip-ons, and they suggested I try the 42mm clip-ons with shims. I'd have to use a single .7mm (which doesn't exist, but .8mm does), or multiple shims (.2mm + .5mm). The clip-ons are about $120 plus shipping and the precise shim material is about $40 for an entire sheet. Expensive!! There is some benefit to clip-ons - raising the forks is becomes easier, clamp area on the triple tree can be used for something else, aesthetics... but too costly.
I did find ONE place that sells Profi clip-ons, which are specifically made for our BMWs, and that's "Spec 2" here in LA. However, if you call, some grumpy old man will answer the phone and tell they are too expensive before he tells you anything else. "How much?", I said. "$175 bucks and I've only sold one pair in twenty years. You going to make it two?" Nope, but I'm not one bit surprised with that price and attitude. Their website hasn't been updated in over 12yrs, so go figure. Here's the link if you want to take a look anyway: http://www.spec2.com/clips.html#clips
So I ditched the clip-on handlebars idea and decided to just go with the standard EMGO clubman handlebars (http://www.dimecitycycles.com/vintage-cafe-racer-caferacer-bobber-brat-chopper-custom-motorcycle-handlebar-parts-chrome-clubman-handlebars-23-12538.html). Cheap and proven.
Removing the grips, controls and handlebar was pretty easy - nothing to it. I noticed there was no glue underneath the left hand grip. Anyone verify if this is just me?
Planting and centering the new clubman bars was easy and I tightened the clamp just enough so I could get a feel for the ride position. They looked a little small at first glance from the seat. Secondly, I was stretched a little more than expected because of their drop. If I'm honest, I didn't like it... but maybe it's like a new haircut, you have to adjust to in order to appreciate it? Another thing... the emgo clubman bars come a little too close to the k100's tank. Not super close, but I could tell the bars were too small for the bike and handling seemed hard.
Then it was time to slide the controls in... boy was this a chore. The left side was tough and needed a lot of rotating and pushing to slide in. Once the I got one inch past the clamp, it went easier all the way up the bar. The right side was an utterly difficult and intense task that ended in utter failure. I went to bed that night pissed off and looking for ideas on how to get those controls on.
The next day I rang Steve who's in Northridge and built a nice k100 cafe racer. I went over to his garage and purchased *another* clubman style handlebar (not emgo) and a 6 3/4" chrome headlight that looked cool. The new bars had a more relaxed riding position, were wider and a little longer... a lot like the Lossa Engineering bars (http://www.dimecitycycles.com/vintage-cafe-racer-caferacer-bobber-brat-chopper-custom-motorcycle-handlebar-parts-lossa-engineering-chrome-clubman-handlebars-le-club-c.html) but only cost me $55.
After I placed the new bars into the clamps and tested them out, I realized these would be perfect! So so glad I found these bars! Same issue with the controls though - way too difficult to slide the controls in. So I posted my question here (http://www.k100-forum.com/t2604-help-installing-new-handlebars) and got some wise feedback.
Turns out that the BMW bars are 22m and not 7/8" (7/8" is 22mm). In addition to the 7/8" size, there is chrome at the surface which adds its own thickness and causes interference. So off to the hardware store it was to buy a very coarse (10), round paint stripper and attached it to my drill. It worked like a dermal tool and I shaved off enough to have the right side controls slide in ever so smoothly. Grips were also done, used rubbing alcohol to slide them in.
Here is a before shot of the original bars:
Here is the after:
Even though there are many options for each component, the headlight was a simple pick for me. Once I saw it, I knew it was the one. I already had the image in my head and it needed to be a big round headlight… like the one used on my old Monster. There are oval types, british (lucas style) and I ended up with a metric style one that fits the bike really well. One thing to keep in mind is the sizing and how it relates to the forks and headlight brackets. I used a 7" headlight in the end, but played with a 6" one as well… the width between the forks (from center to center) is 7", so a 7" was appropriate and more importantly, looked good to me over the smaller one.
The headlight bracket I bought was a $20 set made by emgo and they have three holes in the side for fitting the the headlight and additional pieces as well. These brackets were intended for japanese bikes with smaller forks, so I had to use some brute force and gently pry them open for a proper fitting. Then I had to round it a bit with a hammer using a sturdy table edge. Careful not to scratch these since they are exposed. I also had to buy new, larger screws to make up for the 5-8mm difference. Tightening them well sorted rest of the fitting.
Here's what the bracket looks like:
Here's what the headlight + bracket look like:
I recall reading somewhere that the bracket is intended up to 43mm use, so it still does work on these bikes with slight modification. There is another pair I really like that fit large forks and are chrome with rubber inserts, but I actually like these a lot now.
Speedometer / Tachometer
I wanted a speedo and tach for the bike. Steve told me he went without one, but I believe it would feel unfinished for me... so I found a few good alternatives to the stock speedo: Acewell, Koso and Vapor. There are others out there, but these seemed well rounded and used by other people around the internet. The Acewell 2853 is $200 and includes tach and speedo in one, using a nice lcd which flips depending on view. Same with Vapor, but costs $300 when all is said and done. The Koso people have speedos and tachs, separately which go for about $130 each and I would need to figure out a clean mounting solution for two units. Koso makes a really nice motoGP style speedo+tach but costs $350-$400. The Acewell looks retro and has a lot of functionality for what it is... take a look:
You can laugh at my bracket if you like.
I drilled some holes into this little plate and put them into the back of the triple tree. I also had to nastily curve the plate and make a center hole for the Acewell speedo. I called a few machine shops in the area and I have some plans to get a custom plate that will suite the speedo and ignition.
So this is what she looks like from the front:
My Duc had CRG lane-splitters which were very cool, but I wanted something different... I went with the DCC napolean style mirrors. Here they are installed:
Can you say Cafe?
So maybe you can tell the wiring is hanging down in the front... yeah, I need to do the whole electrical/wiring setup on this baby. The acewell needs to be setup and the blinkers need to be connected as well. I have space in the bucket to hide some wiring, but overall I'm going to have to remove the headlight again and do some soldering and testing for the acewell install. Luckily, someone on an airhead has already done this and I hope to get help from members on this forum... I would appreciate any of you with strong k100 electrical knowledge to lend a hand in offering any wisdom. For example, I can turn the bike on now... but the clutch has to be put in because I'm missing a relay that's normally in the instrument cluster.
So that's all for today folks... My seat arrives tomorrow and I will take pics of that and go into the details of all the neat and interesting points for making an knoscher airhead (from an R100) seat fit on a K100.