End Game

February 23, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

The Life and Times of Leiser Blitz, a 1977 BMW R100RS          (Part#5)


(previous Part#4)  Final Assembly


- The End Game -

  • Early in 2015 as we began to see this bike come together so nicely we decided that we would have it ready for the 41st Annual Finger Lakes BMW rally, where this bike will be reunited at the rally with it's original owner. Truly a great goal for us to shoot for, even as some items during this build became taking a bit longer than we had anticipated (mostly because RJ's persistent quality control).
  • The first time she started on the third push of the starter button was a thrilling moment.
  • The bike came off the lift on 28 June 2015, when RJ took her for her first run down a couple of side streets.
  • 5 July 2015, I took it for my first ride, impressive, smooth as silk, even in it's "temporary skin (Lew's tank, no fairing), it looks pretty darn good.
  • Yet another milestone: Bike received its' Historical Plate 15 Jul 2015.  Insurance, registration, title work, paid the taxman.


  • Got to get myself a set of carb sticks - or make some?  Sure could use some advice on this ...


  • The motor looks so nice and clean - amazing


  • A moment of reflection - anticipation of riding this bike is killing me.  Have not ridden an R100RS, EVER.   


  • Boys will be boys ....


  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ....


  • Yes Lew - THAT is in fact THE look for you!  LOL - oh my - my brother! I love this guy.


  • Some more tinkering, fiddling, adjusting, re-adjusting.  Attention to detail is second to none.


  • RJ spent hours designing the fairing brace, that proved to be a PITA with the Heinrich tank. Not sure how UncaNorm had this setup back in the day, when he clearly was running the Heinrich with the stock fairing.


  • I couldn't begin to guess how many times we had the fairing on, Heinrich Tank on, Lew's stock tank on, another fairing on, no fairing on.  Just when the bike was beginning to look like "something", we'd peel the skin back off and make add'l final adjustments.


  • While RJ worked through designing custom components, I tended to some more of the "cosmetic" tasks, cleaning and light painting. 


  • Slowly things are beginning to take shape ...  What a good looking bike this will be (IMH and biased Opinion)


  • Oh my, THAT is SHARP!


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  • Thankfully RJ is incredibly patient and willing to do things right, this fairing brace caused us a bit of grief to get it to where he was happy with it.     

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  • We fitted the bike with K75S bars, the stock R100RS bars just seemed too aggressive to me

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  • RJ brought over his Heinrich Fuhrmann tank to see how it would look.  

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  • That is one fine looking machine!  I am biased - but holy smokes does that look sharp ....


  • Seriously?  WTF!  


  • UncaNorm had a 100k BMW mileage award affixed to the seat cowl.  We needed a clever way to "hide" these mounting holes, RJ came up with the brilliant idea of re-purposing a component from Lew's gas grill, and adding the Party Riders Patron Saint Bill Zuber!  Too friggin cool.  

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  • My first outing on the R77 took us to a local establishment, J&B Moto Co. in Wrightsville, PA. Chatted with the fine folks there a bit, saw some neat rafe racers, these guys do great work. 

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  • Gretchen Crane personally designed and handcrafted four of these most exquisite clay tumblers which are absolutely stunning.  The design and colors are perfect, each tumbler is personalized with our name and it holds exactly one 12oz beer, although we also use it now for our morning coffee at rallies. She came down from New York when the build was officially completed (8/30/2015) and presented them to us, which was one of those "I will never forget" moments.  The joy and delight of receiving these is clearly evident in these pictures below. Well done Gretchen! The 4th tumbler was delivered to the original owner at the 41st Annual Finger lakes BMW rally, where he got to see "his" bike in it's resurrected glory.  He was impressed!
  • During this rally, Lew apparently sat his tumbler with beer down at a vendor's table. I guess he purchased something, walked off, leaving it behind. In the meantime, his tumbler gets sold!  Lew had to hunt down the new owner and purchase it back from him - that is just too funny, and you just can't make this shlt up!  


  • RJ attempting to guess what gift he will be bestowed upon. 

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  • This is friggin priceless, so glad I had the camera at the ready to capture this moment of pure joy!

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  • Of course we couldn't wait to test the tumbler's 12oz volume capacity and to ensure there were no leaks other than the big hole on top. What a day! 

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  • Home for now (I had built a little "carport") at the house where I was renting.  



  • Just for general interest, I'm posting this image of R77 #260 (11/76).  It has the matching SN fairing decal on the right "lower".  (As does R77 #208).  Mine is in the main fairing as seen on one of the shots above.


Created this video during the bikes FIRST official "destination" ride to the Prospect Diner. 



- All That Was Done -

  • Installed new tachometer seal
  • Assembled fairing, orig. headlight glass, checked, cleaned and repaired wiring harness's where needed.
  • Installed fairing, few adjustment issues (finally resolved)
  • Checked Carbs with vacuum tubes (almost dead on right from setup)
  • Installed steering damper, after cleaning and re-greasing it
  • Multiple Testrides
  • Re-routed various cables, to enhance fitment of Heinrich tank.  
  • Switched coils (ask RJ why)
  • Fit throttle cable "bend relief"
  • Installed new throttle cable boot
  • Below tank fairing bracket re-design
  • Designed and installed refurbished Sidecovers
  • Cleaned and sealed Heinrich and stock tank
  • Instrument cluster mounting bracket re-design, re-design - lol
  • painted mirror bases (Dupli-Color Avignon Blue Metallic)
  • Painted steering damper adjuster nut cover
  • Fitted modified right carburetor lid (choke cable retention tab removed)
  • Installed RJ modified Krauser luggage rack
  • Removal of Krauser Bag Latches to be used on BMW bags
  • Removed heated grips, installed some very comfortable ones Lew gave me (ask what kind)
  • Shortened rear blinker bar to fit bags without touching blinker housing
  • Mount marine hardware for bungee cord retention
  • Painted lower center fairing piece (around shocks)
  • Poss. conversion to Electronic Tach
  • poss. fixing of MotoMeter Voltmeter with correct white face dial
  • replaced fork oil with Dan King recommended oil (which is?)
  • inserted 1.5 in spacers into fork tubes (PVC pipe)

- Possible "Stictation" Issue to be resolved, front end feels bumpy when going down fairly decent roads

  • Removed fork spacers, installed Progressive Heavy Duty springs
  • Fitted and installed Krauser latches to BMW Touring Cases, and mounted them to Krauser bag frame
  • Still working through fairing alignment, RJ continuing to design under tank fairing brace to fit Heinrich Tank.
  • Adjusted dead front spoke, front wheel, re-balanced and mounted wheel

- Multiple test rides (approx 30 mi. total).  Bike is strong, pulls hard, sounds and runs well.  Beginning to embrace the old school concept more and more. 

  • Researching speedometer glass replacement, also need the rubber sun shield around each instrument (Capital Cycle)
  • Custom under tank fairing brace completed and fitted
  • Instrument cluster dissasembly, general cleaning, replaced bad high beam bulb, fitting speedo glass (lexan?)
  • partial rebuild on Karcoma straight petcocks and installed into Heinrich
  • Installed Oil Shim
  • Front brake adjustment (squeels a bit)

- Few more test rides, including one to J&B Moto Company, neat bikes they are building:  http://www.jbmotoco.com/

  • Fitted completed under tank fairing brace and installed Heinrich Tank
  • RJ made crafted a nice piece of Lexan to replace the missing and tired looking instrument cluster glass. Got new rubber sun shields for Tach and Speedo
  • Installed accessory plug for Battery Tender / USB power for iPhone/GPS
  • Installed upper fork fairing "spider"
  • Adjusted Front Brakes
  • Checked and added a little oil
  • Checked valves
  • Installed new - old valve covers
  • Installed very clean looking RAM mount for iPhone/GPS
  • Original Odometer failed.  Rather then fixing, decided to get another instrument cluster (1975 vintage) that had about 5k miles more the original (62k vs. 67k).


- Final Credits -

  • UncaNorm and Shari Strawser
  • Gretchen and Chris Crane
  • George Bressler
  • Joe Mirenzi
  • RJ
  • RJ's welder
  • Lew Sellers
  • Lew's dad for the many tools we used
  • Lew's family
  • Mark Thrift
  • David Lichtenwalner
  • Frank Podgewaite
  • Dan King
  • Randy Long
  • Todd McDannell
  • The many mystery guests: Elsie, Mike & Desi, Goodie, Matt, Mark
  • The fine folks at the Prospect Diner
  • Ace Hardware
  • PEZ Visitor Center
  • Various Breweries and Beer Distributors
  • eBay
  • The writers and editors of the many technical manuals we referred to 


Final build stats:  an estimated 492 hours and of course over budget.  Was it worth it?  Holy crap yes!



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