The BMW Repair is Becoming Something of a Saga…

The restoration of the BMW has become a bit of a saga with emotional ups and downs over the past week and, as a result, the bike is still out-of-service. It’s like there’s a little dark cloud hanging over that bike and, well, me… since I’m still the root cause for most of my own problems with the bike.


The first carnival ride is associated with the headlight. As previously mentioned, the cost of a new one ($650) was a bit of an eye-opener and caused me to go in search of a second-hand unit. I had two different folks offer up used ones for a third or less than the cost of a new one. One of the units looked to have some road rash on the lens, whereas the other one looked pretty good. The would-be seller was in the process of getting it mailed-off and sending me an invoice on PayPal with a target date of June 12th and son-of-a-gun if I haven’t heard from him since then. I’ve “poked” with a couple of emails to make sure the deal was still on but haven’t heard back. He’s also been silent out on the BMW forum since the 11th. So, I’ll cool my heels for another week or so and may start looking at one or two other used headlights that may be available in the interim as my back-up.

DSCN1275The second carnival ride has been with the city case lid & painting process. I should probably note, whoever painted the original city case lids did an amazing job, on par with the best paint jobs I’ve seen on customer motorcycles and high-end cars. Trying to achieve that level of finish quality without a paint booth, top-flight spray equipment and heat lamps for baking the paint was going to be impossible. So, my goal was to get it “good enough.” That was probably my first mistake because I’m rarely happy with “good enough” and tend to screw things up when I overreach. The second mistake was not sanding the dimpled finish on the case lid smooth, assuming the primer + color coat + clear coats would fill in enough to allow me to wet-sand and buff the finish smooth. Well, that was true… to a point. There just wasn’t enough clear coat at the corners and edges for the amount of wet-sanding and buffing that needed to be done and I found I was back down to the color coat in a few spots. While that wasn’t a real problem, I turned it into one when I decided to scuff the lid and prep it for another color coat to be followed by more clear coat and used a two-year old can of the ColorRite Pacific Blue paint instead of ordering a new one. Sadly, the old paint and the newer paint / clear coats didn’t play nice together.

When I considered how much time and effort it was going to take to strip all of the paint off the lid I decided to simply order a second lid and start over… or not. I may just put the unpainted cover on to see how that looks and skip the paint. If it looks OK I’ll get a new left-hand cover and be done with it. The color-matched cases look nice, but this ain’t no show bike.  Of course, just getting the lid will be a bit of a challenge as we’re down to one car this week as Debbie’s little Honda S2000 required a bit more than a simple oil change at 120,000 miles.  It’s been with Alan Cox Automotive since Saturday awaiting delivery and installation of new front tires, front rotors, new brake pads, a water pump and timing belt and a cam O-ring.  Yes, the year of heavy vehicle maintenance continues as both her little Honda and my Toyota Tundra hit those 120,000 milestones. Fingers crossed, we will be over the hump and good for another 100,000 miles on both cars after all of the big-hitter repairs / replacements are completed.  I say that because I’m pretty sure the right front wheel bearing on the Tundra also needs to be replaced: it was the only part of the front end that wasn’t swapped-out for new back in May.

More to follow.


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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