The V8 Bike Bus.

The V8 Bike Bus.

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573

Original Poster:

216 posts

159 months

Wednesday 11th September 2019
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I recently came back to the Bike Bus to find another e53 parked next to it. I thought this nicely illustrated what the pictures don't always show very well; That is, how differently it sits compared to a standard X5.



One weekend over the summer we used it to go camping in the New Forest. It's smaller size compared to the later X5s was quite apparent and as a last minute effort to get everything in, removed the spare wheel and stored all the sleeping bags in the spare wheel well and attached the Thule roof bars I had from a previous E53 and put the remaining stuff on the roof.



I've also tidied a few things. First up I changed the cracked towball cover for a new one.



...and fitted a new bonnet badge in place of the old weathered one.



In a departure from changing most things back to standard I decided the black grille suited the car. So I bought a black plastic grille to fit in place of the chipped, painted, standard one. Unfortunately BMW don't make a black one for the E53 and the aftermarket one turned out to be a piece of ill-fitting crap. So I ended up stripping and repainting the OEM one until I can find a better solution. Whilst it's not a perfect solution as it's likely to chip again, it looks much better for now.



The MOT is due later this month so the next priority is to get the missing cat replaced and the rest of the exhaust changed to suit my preference.

Swervin_Mervin

3,198 posts

196 months

Wednesday 11th September 2019
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573 said:


Looking good cool Particularly like the shot next to the std X5. I never thought I could like an X5's looks, not least a lowered one, but it just looks so right, and that gen is ageing so well.

iacabu

1,189 posts

107 months

Wednesday 11th September 2019
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I really do like your car op.

One exactly like this is top of my wish list right now, but i think I'd be daft to risk the running costs and potential bills that come with it. Not that I'm calling you daft wink I just couldn't cover a surprise £1000 service

ZX10R NIN

18,904 posts

83 months

Wednesday 11th September 2019
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It looks so much better lowered.

torx_whisperer

110 posts

151 months

Monday 16th September 2019
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Looking great - the little details will really finish it off. Actually really like the black grills. Mine has what I think are the original silvery / pearl coloured ones which need repainting along with the vents on the bonnet.

Would love to know where you got the wheel spacers and how they are holding up? I think that makes such a huge difference to the overall look of the car even though it's such a discreet little change.


573

Original Poster:

216 posts

159 months

Tuesday 17th September 2019
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They're H&R spacers. More expensive than lots of others in the market but they're fully TUV approved and made in Germany. I wanted to trust them to hold a heavy 20" wheel on a 2 tonne truck and most of the cheaper ones available didn't give me that confidence.

Exhaust place is booked up past my MOT date so I'm now considering alternative places to have the new exhaust made.

DoubleD

14,429 posts

66 months

Tuesday 17th September 2019
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This looks amazing. Im off to autotrader right now!

Macron

5,297 posts

124 months

Tuesday 17th September 2019
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Is the 4.8 in the E70 shape the same? Prices there are all over the shop, and of course big tax compared to most of these (pre Mar 06).


Court_S

3,319 posts

135 months

Tuesday 17th September 2019
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That does look well OP; the black grilles really suit it. The 4.8 makes a lovely noise.

573

Original Poster:

216 posts

159 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
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Macron said:
Is the 4.8 in the E70 shape the same? Prices there are all over the shop, and of course big tax compared to most of these (pre Mar 06).
Similar. I had a really nicely spec'd 4.8i Sport: HUD, pan roof, hidden towbar etc.



They're not as good a car as the 4.8is IMO. They're slightly down on power in comparison and the extra weight blunts the performance. It felt just like a diesel E70 feels but with a nice noise. The E53 feels special in comparison.

Macron

5,297 posts

124 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
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Top feedback, thanks, it has to be said the pic of yours hunkered down and the remarkably small size the E53 appears with everything having eaten pie since then is hugely appealing!

573

Original Poster:

216 posts

159 months

Wednesday 22nd January
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I've found a few pics of the Bike Bus have cropped up in various places. One of my favourites is this one someone took at Retro Rides back in the summer.



It's continued to truck on. I had a really good early-morning run to Dunsfold towards the end of the summer. My son was racing in the Greenpower electric car championship and I had to drop him very early on a Sunday morning. The V8 had chance to clear its lungs on the empty roads.



You may remember I'd always intended to change the exhaust. The system on there had two small silencers in place of the large standard one and small aftermarket back-boxes. It actually sounded really good, although slightly strange at idle as the two banks essentially fed 2 separate exhaust systems that didn't interact at all. I also hated the oval exhaust tips.



I also needed the gutted cat replacing before I could get an MOT. Eventually I got it booked into a Brighton exhaust place that was recommended to me. They fitted two new smaller, sport cats, an x-pipe in place of the 2 small separate centre-silencers and a pair of standard back-boxes that I'd bought.





I'd like this to be a recommendation for them, but when I went to collect the car they'd very obviously damaged the front lower corner, presumably catching it on the ramp.



They denied it and initially tried to say it was already damaged and I was trying to pull a fast one. They got aggressive with me but I refused to just pay my bill until they sorted something out. Eventually they decided to waive all the labour costs and I paid and left. I still wasn't at all happy, but decided to cut my losses and I'll get a smart repair done to the corner.

Next stop was a new set of tyres as the rears were getting low. The fronts had loads of tread but I wanted to change to a different tyre so did the full set. I wanted something that was available for both front and rear axle sizes (275/40/20 & 315/35/20) and that wasn't a run-flat and found options were actually very limited. I ended up with a set of Toyo Sports that I ordered online and then delivered to Wheel Works UK, a wheel refurbishment place to fit them as I knew I could trust them not to mark my wheels.



It was then ready for its MOT...



...which it passed with flying colours.

The new tyres have a wider shoulder and look chunkier and fill the arches even better than the previous ones.



I think it looks really good with the new tyres and exhaust tips. The new exhaust sounds good too, a deep burble with an air of menace without being too loud.



So I'm still enjoying it and it's still doing the job I bought it for perfectly. It's just the right size too. It's actually ridiculous how large a new X5 is in comparison.





bolidemichael

3,461 posts

159 months

Wednesday 22nd January
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It looks ridiculously good

raining_sulphur

192 posts

148 months

Wednesday 22nd January
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I second that. I love this and what you’ve done to it, fantastic looking machine now.

rider73

918 posts

35 months

Thursday 23rd January
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...bloody awesome....


Gary29

2,951 posts

57 months

Thursday 23rd January
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Just LOOK at that grill on the new X5, hideous!

Your car looks great OP, I'd love one.

SteveR1979

247 posts

99 months

Thursday 23rd January
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This car has had me looking at these for a little while now.

Absolutely stunning.

CornedBeef

356 posts

146 months

Thursday 23rd January
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That second to last picture from the rear, that looks perfect - love the fitment. I want one damn it

V8 FOU

2,728 posts

105 months

Thursday 23rd January
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I reckon your exhaust place ought to have some lessons in decent welding as well as customer care.....

bolidemichael

3,461 posts

159 months

Thursday 23rd January
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V8 FOU said:
I reckon your exhaust place ought to have some lessons in decent welding as well as customer care.....
Oi, don't burst the man's bubble! If you have some technical knowhow, at least be forthcoming with your observations... so that he might benefit from your insight.