BMW R80GS Finnduro is on the road

Monday the 1st of August was finally the day my rebuilt BMW R80GS “Finnduro” aka Basic replica of sorts got on the road for the first proper outing. What a soothing experience it is to ride with an airhead boxer humming and growling beneath you! The first ride theme was set already moths ago: ride and find 13712794_1250562151623715_1946899118_nwild flowers to bring on to my sister’s grave. Forever in my heart, sis.

Russian adventure 2016

I spent five days riding in the North-West region of Russian Karelia with likeminded adveture riders, scouting some historic WW2 sites along the then famous Rukajärventie service road.

Husky 701 Enduro was a perfect companion, with added 5 litres of fuel in a rear bag, with really good 2 x 15 litres enduro rear side bags from  and a small tank bag & rucksack with water bladder and rain covers.



Badged Motoren Werke








Badged and taped. Fresh out of garage, aallmmoosstt there with the Replica project, now with Basiquesque meet Finnduro decals with Basic/Kalahari font themes mixed. It’s going to be a fine motorcycle, if I don’t mind me saying myself!

New legs

Boxer got some new legs installed. They’re Marzocchi USD45 out of a Husqvarna TE, fitted and shortened stroke, with the Husky front wheel and triples, too. It’s only missing top outer steering bearing race still, but otherwise it’s starting to get close to test ride. Hmm, probably need the front brake lever and fluids as well!



So, I got the boxer to run on my first try, but it clearly wasn’t running properly and would hardly take any throttle. I was thinking maybe the ignition timing is off, better check that. A strobo-lamp attached to the spark plug wire soon told it’s clear tale: igninition timing seemed to be in spec, but more alarmingly the right side spark plug wasn’t firing at all. I knew the suspect, I had been warned before: the ignition coils of the 1990 GS’s were prone to crack, and will cause problems when wet, or start to fail in other ways. They should be replaced with later improved coil models from BMW. As they OEM’s aren’t exactly cheap, I decided to order a used later design model off eBay Deutschland, and try with that. At the same time, I’ll replace the spark wires, plug caps, too. I have all the parts now, but have lacked time and energy to finish up with the installation and re-run. Busy work and now a flu have kept me outside the garage.

Fire in the hole!

The Boxer is alive, fire breathing son of a gun again!

Battery charged, some oldish fuel added in the new G/S tank for appetite, ignition switch attached, and then a very careful turn of the key… Ignition lights are on!

Apply some choke, thumb on the starter button – what’s going to happen I wonder, it’s been nine months since the last time it ran.

Press on the button, and this:


Free wheeling

A Big step forward, the Boxer is standing on its own now. It feels so nimble and small, sitting on its seat.

Toying with ideas on how the front end could look like, I like the simple big ass round halogen there, the original headlight cowl has always kind of hurt my eyes. We’ll see… 🙂


Baby step by basic step

Some assembly required, they say. A motorcycle of airhead caliber is pretty simple machine actually, but assembling it takes hours after hours of small and big screws, washers, zip ties, cables. Actually trying to find all the right little bits, at a right time, and to fit into right place – I should have been a lot more methodical at disassembly!



Proof of concept, I had to try these on, cheering up an otherwise rainy gray Sunday. Blue & White, classic airhead stuff, and matches oh so well with  Finnish flag and finnduresque!


Head on.

Cylinder stud repaired, new gaskets all around, cleaned and valves lapped, carbs rebuilt as well – and now thrown together to 1/2 of an airhead. Oh, new spark plugs too, and just noticed I’ll be needing a new coil, the old one has a cracked cover, typical for the original piece, resulting in cutouts in rain.