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Virginia Motorrad

Business card

 

Some interesting photos...

If you live near Charlottesville, you might have seen a card or ad like this one. I provide BMW repair and service in the Charlottesville area for post-vintage BMWs, including routine service, clutch/engine/transmission work, tires, oil leaks, and general mechanical restoration. Sometimes fully-refurbished transmissions are available on an exchange basis, and I accept mail-order component repair work for transmissions, cylinder heads, carburettors, final drives and so forth.

Find me:

Virginia Motorrad
1117E East Market Street
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Virginia Motorrad is just downhill from stop 11321 of the Charlottesville Transit Service, served by every downtown bus route including the Free Trolley, which covers downtown and the University, and passes the Amtrak and Greyhound stations.

I stock parts for routine service for most bikes, as well as cables, brake pads, and other parts that might be needed on short notice. Filters, oil, spark plugs, and other small parts (crush washers, bulbs, etc) are on hand. Labor is billed at $75/hr, and this includes all time I spend on your motorcycle, whether it's troubleshooting or ordering parts. You'll get full documentation of all work done.

I won't work on loud bikes. If there is any doubt, call me first so you don't waste the trip.

Tires

Due to the wide range of tires available I only stock a few models. I can order tires that you want, but you may also order your own (cheaper for you). Have them shipped directly to me, attention your name, and I'll hold them until you show up. Mounting and balancing will be charged at the shop rate but wheels off the bike will usually be about $30. Wheels on the bike will be slightly higher.

There are several good online tire stores. Note that for K1200LT you need to be sure to order the correct reinforced tire. Check your owner's manual or consult the BMW approved tire list.

New tires I usually keep on hand are:

Shipping:

If you're trying to ship stuff to me:

Virginia Motorrad
670 Rio Road East
Charlottesville, VA 22901
attn: [your name]

For heavy items like transmissions, I find FedEx Ground to be the cheapest.

You need to be VERY careful when packing transmissions and similar items. You have to assume that the package will be thrown considerable distance no matter which carrier you use. A box within a box is the best way to go. Make sure that the contents are not loose within the box or they will make their way through the wall eventually.

Cylinder heads should be individually wrapped, taped, and then bound together so they don't bang edges against each other during handling.

See this page for more information on packing heavy components for shipping.

Shop Policies

Parts

I use BMW parts and sell them for BMW's list price. If you have a preferred aftermarket part (brake pad, oil, filter, etc) feel free to bring it with you but I won't have it on hand here. I'll use new-in-bag BMW parts that you provide, but please don't call me asking for part numbers that you'll need so you can buy them yourself. You are on your own with any parts that you supply, with regard to the procurement, the application, and the suitability.

Keep in mind that parts sales are part of any shop's pricing structure. Without the parts sales component, there may be a different price structure.

Quotes

Unless I explicitly say otherwise, work is performed on a Time & Materials basis. I do not give quotes for any nonstandard work; I might give you an estimate but the actual cost may be higher or lower.

Payment

Payment is due at time of pickup, but if your bike is here for an extended period of time for reasons beyond my control, you will need to settle your account when I have completed the available work. Cash, check, PayPal or Credit card are OK.

Bike condition

You can save yourself some money by bringing a clean bike. If it's too dirty to work on I have to clean it and that happens on the clock. It doesn't take a whole lot to make it too dirty to work on.

Please bring the bike with as little gasoline in it as possible if the work involves opening or removing the tank (up to a gallon is usually OK). If the work involves removing the tank and especially removing fuel lines on a fuel-injected bike, I will remove excess gasoline. Not being in the gasoline storage business, I will probably not save that fuel for you but just put it into some other vehicle (like mine). I really would rather just buy it at a gas station because I hate handling gasoline. There are three gas stations less than a mile from me and I'll make sure you can get to one of them.

Typical service costs

These are just estimates! I have not yet seen your bike! Contact me if you want details.

Oil change: K or Oilhead, typically about $70; $40 in materials plus a bit of labor. Airheads will be a bit less due to lower material cost. In any case, time is billed normally so the cost will be higher if bodywork or accessories must be removed.

BMW Service (6k service) is about an hour or two, but the engine needs to be cool for valve checks (if needed).

Full service for the R1100 (24k maintenance plus annual and biannual service) usually runs 5 or 6 hours and will cost about $500. The full service is detailed in your manual and includes:
  - engine oil change
  - gear oil change
  - brake flush
  - fuel, oil and air filters
  - chassis lube (yes this is actually real, not like cars)
  - alternator belt replacement
  - valve clearance adjustment
  - throttle synchronization
  - spark plugs
  - battery check
  - several general inspection points

Full service for R1150 will take seven hours or more and cost around $600 depending on how many infrequent items (plugs, fuel filter, alternator belt) are due.

Additional wear parts needed might include (parts + labor):
  - brake pads (up to $200 for all three calipers)
  - throttle cable ($40-ish)

And just to cover all bases, in case you aren't shocked yet, non-routine problems that do crop up on the R1100 can include:
  - right-side paralever bearing ($70)
  - front master cylinder ($300)
  - right-side throttle body ($150)

For Oilhead work requiring transmission removal and reinstallation (clutch replacement, spline lube, rear main or transmission input seal, etc), figure that the transmission R&R alone will take six to eight hours. Airheads and non-ABS K bikes require less time.

Basic Airhead top-end work (pushrod tube seals, cylinder base leaks, rings) will be at the least four hours but if you bring me a motorcycle-shaped lump of corrosion it could take days. Carburettor strip/clean takes about an hour each.

FAQ

"My bike has 22,000 miles. Should I bring it in now for the 24,000 service?"

If you are going to be on a trip when the bike reaches 24k, it's fine to bring it in early, but otherwise I really prefer that you wait until you reach the next service milestone. Habitually advancing the service schedule leads to "service creep" where you eventually have to come in early. That causes problems (or at least wasted money) when there are items that have 24k or 36k intervals. You don't need to be a slave to the odometer, but as long as it's convenient for you I'd rather you stick pretty close to the published schedule.

"I have a Yawazuki 500..."

No. Local dealerships and independents include Jarman's, Morris Cycle, and Tuning by Bee. Harley-Davidson has dealerships in Orange and Staunton. I simply don't have time, training or special tools for other bikes.

"My old /2 has been sitting outside by the dryer vent for the last 19 years. It ran just fine when I parked it. Want to take a look at it?"

It's sometimes hard to imagine the internal damage caused by improper storage. Just about any outdoor storage in this area causes condentation inside the engine. I can restore these bikes but restoration is expensive regardless who does it. It's hard to do anything for less than $2000. Realistically, a typical "derelict bike" will need two or three times that. However, since this varies tremendously based on the exact condition of the bike, you'll need to bring it here and we can discuss it. It's really hard to assess a bike's condition over the phone.