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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Bits and pieces...

My number plate for the Salt Bike...

Got a few odds and ends sorted last night, and a mystery solved...

Rules spec that I need a steering damper on the bike. A steering damper "damps" any quick back and forth oscillations of the steering head/handlebars, just like a shock absorber does for up/down motions in a car.
Problem was, few folks I spoke with on the forums knew where the damper was to install on the R65, and I certainly didn't know. Photos I came up with showed dampers installed alongside the tank, like this:

Now, there was an obvious "boss" under the steering head for an attachment point, but I couldn't make that line up with the outside frame at all.
Then, one cool cat with an R65 LS sport model sent in pics of his stock damper, and it appeared it was connected underneath the tank somehow. Hmmm...
So, I poked around and discovered this mounting point - so obvious now I can't believe I didn't know what this was for:
Arrow shows mounting plate, that the horn also attaches to

Ok then! So, I measured the longest and shortest distances between that mounting plate, and the steering head mounting boss and ordered a damper that fit within those dimensions - an "NHK ODM500" model for $80 from Jim Hinshaw at
Along with some sundry M8 1.25 nuts and washers from the big box store, it bolted right up in minutes and works great:
ODM500 damper mounted in the OEM stock position

Here's the OEM BMW part "Pin Steering Damper control bolt screw" before being seated in place
The red stuff on the threads is thread lock I applied, just in case...

Looking from the front of the bike towards the rear, you can see both mounting points for the damper

Someone asked me recently what the heck "sprue nubs" were. Well, here they are:

Mold release nubs on front tire, aka "sprue nubs"

Rulebook also requires metal valve stems and metal valve caps. Not one to settle for mere compliance, I picked up this nice bit of kit from "No Loss Valve Caps". They're bronze, gasketed valve caps with flexible retainers, making them harder to lose.
No Loss bronze valve cap from Aerostitch. If you're running TPS sensors, however,
those valves are aluminum, so you'll need to use the Nylon versions to prevent galling

Bronze No Loss valve cap in final installed position.
I put "silver" anti-seize on the threads, just in case.

Final bit of fun stuff I got to play with, are a pair of wheel chocks from China Freight. I scored each of these with subsequent 20% off coupons, so they were a good buy at about $46 ea.
These will allow us to "lock" the bikes securely in an upright position for travel in the cargo van with a minimum of tie down straps:

There was quite a bit of play in the setup once assembled, so following some forum advice, I shimmed up the excess play with some PVC pipe and washers:

You can see the originals come with a lot of play. Now that the play is all but removed, these work great.

Next time, I'll have some updates on mounting the number plates and drilling bolts for safety wire...

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