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Written by BMWVMCA NEWS   
Saturday, 11 June 2011


A Weekend at Barber Motorsports Park 


     George Barber of Barber's Dairy in Birmingham, Alabama founded Barber Motorsports near Birmingham, Alabama some years ago.


     The Barber Vintage Motorcycle Festival and Races has held six of these events over a three-day weekend -the last six years. This year probably hosted the largest turnout with ancient motorcycles and owners from all over the United States and Canada. Motorcycles include British, Japanese, Italian,  American and our own beloved BMW airhead twins of all eras.


     Many of the BMWVMCA-vintage bikes are in attendance.  I personally viewed Brough Superiors, Scott, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Moto Guzi, Ducati and many BMW motorcycles. Most were running examples of the best of the older motorcycles.


     The Barber Motorsports Museum also features these same cycles but even rarer models of: Vincents, Matchless, Brough, Indian, Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Moto-Guzi, and BMW cycles. These are RUNNING examples and this museum may be unique. Also featured are examples of automobiles from an international array of manufacturers: Jaguar, Lotus, Maserati, Ferrari, Cooper, Aston-Martin, MG, Austin-Healy, Porsche, and Mercedes, with early representatives of BMW cars.


     The vintage races include time trials and sidecar races with motorcycle races included on Saturday representative of all makes, primarily Japanese, British, Italian, and German motorcycles. Trials and warm-up sessions are events occurring each day. Access to the race pits and bike stands require an additional free pass which is readily attainable by executing a waiver for the participant.


     The BMW older twins are well-represented in the racing events. The /6 and /7 R-75 and R-100 series bikes lend themselves well to racing modifications.  Because of its design, the R-65 frame is used widely with larger engines placed in a forward position for increased balance for racing applications. All of the frames seen are reinforced for additional racing stress with suspension modifications done to increase reliability and performance at racing speeds. The R-100s were pushing redline at 110-120 MPH in the straights with the loudest engines on the track possibly being these same R-100s. Sitting on one of these race bikes while watching from the pit area is infectious....taking a bit of self control not to join in...the sidecar races are unique with the passenger ( the Monkey" ) leaning out to establish centrifugal balance somewhat similar to sail craft racing…


     In addition to approximately 350-400 vendors present, there are some unique affiliations in attendance.


     Rick Jones, Motorrad Elektrik, and Nathan Mende of Boxerworks were there. Rick is the Alabama Airmarshal and tented his exhibits near AIRHEAD CENTRAL or the Airmail store vendor location. { I managed to get a black Airhead T-shirt which went well with a reasonable rare find-a genuine black leather  Chicago P.D. Motorcycle jacket/complete with correct 70s period markings. The same style as worn by Dan Ackroyd /John Belushi. It helped when riding my black  R-75 through the vendor area to part pedestrians like the Red Sea. The Harley riders still waved until they got a closer look....} There were two of the Chicago Police jackets...only one fit. Oak and the Chicago Club would have liked that..


     Many vintage BMW parts and complete motorcycles were for sale-in various states of completion. At least one early sidecar rig was offered on what appeared to be an R-50 or R-60.


   The Poverty Riders International of Tallahassee, Fl. provided a strong support group. Barley therapy was of high content quality with Jill being a wonderful hostess. The Florida crew included Kevin Reimer who entertained a few of us with his experiences traveling to the National on his R-27 on one of the oldest bikes traveling the most miles. Another ancient BMW rider placed ahead of Kevin, and he said that his R-27 was in 2nd place for an entrant cycle. The BMWVMCA is an interesting bunch when many are also Poverty Riders. The PRI gang has some really interesting BMW airheads-both bikes, and owners.


     Barbers is a real adventure for the serious ancient airhead aficionado and BMW enthusiast.


     Birmingham-Leeds is easy to get to as being West from Atlanta on I-20 or down I-65 from Tennessee.


     All roads lead to a really neat  vintage weekend at Barber's-Plan on it next year!.  VRRRRRROOOMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!


Ridge Marriott

 More from Barbers 


     While at the Barber's Vintage Festival last week, I had the pleasure of chatting with Richard Sheckler and Jack Wells. I had met Jack last year at the MOA rally in Johnson City but I hadn't met Richard before, so it was nice to put a face with the name (and get a little hands-on lesson in wheel trueing at the same time). I've been a member of several BMW clubs for a long time but there is one that I had not joined because I really didn't know much about it and that is the BMW Veteran Motorcycle Club of America (BMW VMCA). However, after talking with Richard and Jack, and looking at several copies of the BMW VCMA News, I joined on the spot. The tech articles, photos, event announcements, personal stories, letters, and color covers are outstanding and I came away convinced that the VMCA is absolutely devoted to sharing knowledge about our machines and keeping them on the road. Check out the club website and if you're not a member, give it some thought.


 Richard Green

      The VMCA sets up a display in the events field just west of the museum every year, courtesy of Barber Motorsport.  This year,  we were next to the BMW Club of Alabama. Richard 

Why do rear main seals howl?    

     The material Silicon and the LH helix were specified by both BMW and the suppliers Goetze and KACO due to the application, namely: The material of the flywheel seal flange {C45V75}; the finish of the sealing surface Rz2,5÷4µ; Oil temperature ÷150°C; Revolutions 7500 1/min; Rotating speed 20,4 m/sec Negative pressure in motor case ÷600mm (water manometer)

     Field trials and tests from BMW and their oil seal suppliers came to the conclusion that the material specifications and LH helix are necessary requirements in this application.


     The only down side of the helix is its tendency to "sing" when it is cold and dry. As you all know, oil or any other liquid or lubricant does not adhere to silicon. When the motor is in operation, reaches operating temperature and the oil seal receives sufficient oil splash, the singing tends to go away.


     As Mark Huggett GmbH is the supplier of gasket sets to BMW Classic we produce and pack our gasket sets according to BMW specification. As both KACO and Goetze no longer produce these seals, we had to have this seal produced under our own brand name with an OEM producer.


     Our 11 11 0 001 122 therefore sings just as much as the Goetze or the KACO seal ring used to.


     Due to popular request by the market, we also produce the identical oil seal in Viton and sell it under the number 11 11 0 001 122.1. Naturally, Viton does not tend to run dry like silicon.


Mark Huggett


 Shop Press

     I bought an extra transmission and wanted to rebuild it. From Ed Korn’s videos it seems I will need a shop press for bearings.


     Barrington manual says a 12-ton press is required for transmission bearings.


     I’ve asked a couple people and they've told me a 6-ton would suffice. I like the table-top 6-ton hydraulic presses out there. They're smallish and not too expensive.


     What would you gentlemen recommend? Would there be work down the line for other things in our /2 parts that would require a 12-ton or greater? Is a 6-ton good for other things or is it too underpowered for anything on our bikes? I've seen in past emails a 40-ton press was required to take off the timing gear from the camshaft, so I know it won't suffice for some things but I'm trying to see if I could do some or a lot of press work with a 6-ton.


     If 6-ton is not enough, I may get a 12-ton, but if I need more than that for other things I would probably skip on getting a press and send the work out.


 Zeno Lee


       Recommend you invest in a 20 ton press. They aren't all that expensive, and if you want to perform some heavier work such as breaking drive shaft couplings loose, you will have the tool to get the job done. A 6 ton press won't do it.

      You might also consider a heavy arbor press. One would fit on your work bench, take up much less room than a hydraulic press, and can be moved (with some grunting) out of the way when not in use.

      Check craigslist for used tools.


 More Letters 

     I put my engine bottom end together, rolled it over about a dozen times by hand.  There is dirt or smudge of some sort in the oil used to lube/assemble the pistons in the cylinder bores.


     The oil I used was clean, everything was clean. What’s going on?


Farkle Fumblefingers

Lonesome Carcass, Ohio

      That ‘smudge of some sort’ is what happens when new parts rub together, or in your engine, ‘wear in, break in.’  The smudge is made up of very fine particles of cast iron from the rings and cylinder wall.

      The photo reveals the cylinder wall was freshly honed to scuff up the previous glaze. The piston rings, which have spring tension on them, are pressing against the cylinder wall.  When the piston moves in and out (up and down for a single), the irregularities in both the wall and rings wear down and leave the deposit you see on the photo. 

      This is normal and should be expected.  The greatest amount of normal wear takes place in an engine during the first five minutes of run time.

      When assembling an engine, it is good practice to leave a strong magnet in the oil pan to collect such iron residue.

       It is also good practice to drain the oil after running the first five minutes and pour in  fresh oil.  The magnet will not catch all the ferrous residue.  Some of it will collect in the slingers, and be waiting for you when you tear your engine down again.

      The initial break in oil should be light, and can be a multi grade such as 5W-20. Remember, it gets drained when the first five minutes of run time are up. Use a zinc additive each time oil is poured in.  This protects the faces of the cam followers. The second oil should be a single weight such as 30W.

       More wear will take place while the engine is fresh, so drain again after the first twenty miles of  riding while shifting up and down. Change again after the first one hundred miles (160 KM).

 Why doesn't the oil we buy already have ZDDP?

      ZDDP is a zinc compound added to oil to aid in lubricating parts that have considerable force against their mating surfaces.  In our engines, these parts would be in the valve train, specifically the faces of the cam followers against the camshaft lobes.  Consider that the valve springs exert as much as 350 pounds  (159 KG) of force against a very small contact area, enough to cause spalling.

      ZDDP additive reduces the tendency toward spalling.

     In recent years, the EPA or some such organization has determined that too much zinc in the environment is not such a good thing.  Therefore, the amount of zinc added to modern oils has been reduced. Besides, most modern engines don’t need as much zinc as our old timers, so says the EPA.

      Vech’s advice: “In cooler climates than Mississippi, 30W. But down South, in August, when it’s 100 degrees F (or above 85 degrees F) I run straight 40 weight Rotella T”.

      For more thoughts on oil, read the letter from Rick Haas in the previous issue, V6N2.


 Early Case Differences

      Take a look at these two photos: The upper shows the BMW offset to the right of the spark plug lead hole in the case. The B.M.W. also has a period after each letter. 


      The lower photo shows a more familiar layout with the BMW logo directly below the spark plug lead hole and above the serial numbers, which before the introduction of the Earles twins, is on the left side of the crank case.

      These two engines are exactly 1000 numbers apart.



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