The above ads are Google-sponsored. 
Nearly every page in this website has them at the top (ONLY!).
Clicking on ads at every visit helps support this website.
Clicking on something INSIDE advertisements helps even more!!

Thanks!...>>>and thanks also, for the occasional donation!

Are you donating to help support this website?
Want to know what happens to your donation?
>>>Want to how this website began & how it is run?<<<
What about the future of this website?
What about the advertising you see at the top of most pages on this website?

©Copyright 2015, R. Fleischer

This article covers a lot, including some history about BMW motorcycle technical help availability,.... and more.

This website was, and still is, designed, written, & maintained, by me, Snowbum.  The only "income" I get is the from people clicking & looking at Google advertising; and, an occasional sale from my page ...and from the rare donation.  I do NOT control specific Google advertisements, although I do not allow certain categories such as explicit sex least, that is what Google says my blocking selections does.

I am a bit overwhelmed by the comments I sometimes receive from those whom I have helped with this website's massive amount of technical information, or my participation on such as the Airheads LIST and other forums.   THANK YOU, whether you are just using the website; whether you are looking at the advertisements at the top of the page on every visit; or, whether you have donated directly; or, indirectly.

What happens to donations or to the Google advertising income?
It goes to help pay for various Internet and other costs involved with keeping this site running & available to you, AND, sometimes for certain testing.   Costs not re-covered come from my pocket....that will continue so long as I am alive and not incapacitated.

Besides paying internet service providers, and a bit of electronics occasionally (quite rarely) needed for the website, what else is paid for?
You may be surprised to find out that it may go towards purchasing items for testing.  Those items are almost always re-sold after testing.  The result is that much of the money is returned for further similar use.   Typically, I use the money about 3 or 4 times!  I avoid any conflicts of interest, etc., by never selling tested items to any person who is on any LIST or Forum I participate on. What about a situation in which the item is kept and not resold?  This does not happen often; and when it does I put my own money back into the pot, for continuing use.   Once in awhile something is purchased, tested, and the item fails, and has to be discarded, or, is returned to the manufacturer, usually with information I provide to help them improve their product.

Direct donations and/or clicking on advertising:
If you want to contribute/donate, there are three ways:

1.  Clicking on various Google advertising's; and, then clicking on something in the ads.  The income, while tiny, really does add up, and clicking does not cost you anything but a few moments of your time.  This IS the primary way this website is supported .
FYI:   In a typical MONTH, ONLY 380 people bothered to click on any advertisements.  

2.  You can contribute via PayPal. Go to   My PayPal account is the same as my E-mail address.  My e-mail address IS INSIDE AN IMAGE on this site (to help thwart spammers):

3. You could snail mail me a check, although this is not a preferred method.   Made out to:   R. Fleischer. 
Mail to:
2601 Alma Ave.
So. Lake Tahoe, California

If contributing by donation, you WILL get my thanks; providing you give me some way of contacting you.  Please furnish your E-mail address!    I also would appreciate you introducing yourself should we be at the same event. If you do not furnish an E-mail address, thanks will be coming via snail mail, providing your envelope containing your check has a return address.

I DO NOT sell nor pass out E-addresses! 
I DO NOT add your E-mail address to my address book!
I DO NOT keep track of who has donated!
I DO NOT spam folks!
I DO NOT say anything publically or privately, or on any forum of any kind, about your donation!
I DO NOT have ANY COOKIES in my website coding!
I DO NOT have ANY TRACKING BEACONS in my website coding!

These are absolute iron-clad policies.

I debated with myself for years before putting advertising on this website.  I did NOT want this website to be 'commercial'.   I wanted NO conflicts of interest.  I wanted the entire technical information portion of the website 100% free to anyone who wanted to look at it.  I eventually did put Google advertising on this website ....BUT ONLY at the very top of the pages, in such as way that you can not mistake it as anything but advertising from companies contracting with Google.

I have NEVER EVER steered you to any company or person where I might gain personally or financially.  I will NEVER EVER accept promotional fees, special arrangements, cross-website advertising, etc., from individuals nor companies, in return for endorsing them.  This is also an absolute iron-clad policy.

I have a for-sale/trade article That is the only article in this entire website where I have something to sell (or, trade or give away free!).  There are also items on that page that I am looking for.  I do have a link, ONLY, to my electronics business, which helps people who need electronic repairs to find my business.  I NO LONGER have a BMW business.

Due to how search engines operate (Bing, Google, Yahoo, ETC.), I would APPRECIATE ...if YOU have a website ...if you would put a LINK to MY website on YOUR website.  Putting links on Forums, lists, etc., can be helpful to me and others.  I would prefer that link to be EXACTLY this:   The sole purpose of using that particular link, and NOT a link to my Technical Articles List, is to be SURE the information is the latest edited version.

Nerdy:  This website is set up like a tree with branches, the top of the tree being the homepage, known in webmaster-speak as the index.html page.   Further almost every instance ...clicking on a link inside this website that points towards any other of MY pages will cause your browser to go the the internet to fetch that page, & NOT go directly to the page inside my site.   This provides information on what type of browser is in use, and what type of device (Smart Phone? Desktop PC? Tablet?).  That helps me code the website to be sure it is reasonably usable for you.

THERE IS ONE PROBLEM, THAT CAN NOT BE 100% DEALT WITH, EVEN USING 'NO CACHING' CODE.  YOUR BROWSER MAY CACHE (save)  AN OLD PAGE OF MINE. YOU CAN FIX THIS in Windows, BY PRESSING Ctrl, holding it, and pressing button key F5.  THAT WILL CAUSE A FRESH LOADING AND YOU WILL GET THE LATEST PAGE VERSION.  For a MAC, use Command + R, or Apple + R.   Refreshing in all common browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari, can also be done by clicking on the circular arrow someplace near the top of the page, usually to the left of the internet address (URL).  Once in awhile computers get confused, and you cannot refresh and empty the cache properly.  Using something like Ccleaner, available for internet download as a free program, directly from the makers, Piriform, will fix things.

No matter if YOU put my website address as a link on your site, or not, I WILL continue to recommend your site, or pertinent portions/articles, if I think it is good information, especially if it covers something I do not, or adds to my coverage.

This website was first placed on the Internet/WWW in 1999.  I was just entering my sixties.  At that time I did 100% of the website design & content by manual coding in HTML.  There were hardly any decent pre-packaged websites available back then, & I certainly did not use any.   This website still has some outdated code, which makes things rather messy and time-consuming to keep up, although I fix problems as I find them.  I now have some programs that check my coding or otherwise can be helpful (they can also be a big PIA!). Those programs are out of date, have bugs in them when used on today's internet, but I make them work OK.    I still do a lot of manual coding.

I originally designed this website to be simple, relatively easy to maintain, "usable" on any browser.  My ISP was, eventually purchased by Earthlink.  I had a 'free' 10Mb of space.  There soon came problems with that low amount of space, & limits of my control, and other technical problems.  I then purchased space/service with GoDaddy.  I also purchased my own domain name.   The website has been greatly expanded over the years, presently it is ~ 90 Mb.

The primary browsers in 1999 were Internet Explorer & Netscape Navigator.  Windows 95 &, & later NT2000, were still in wide use.  Windows XP did not appear until at the end of 2001.  Just about everything has changed since those days.  Browsers STILL, unfortunately, vary on how they display things to YOU, compared to what I see on MY screen.   Underlining & positioning of underlining is one of those variables, as are box & tables outline colors, displayed colors, layout, font sizes, text wrapped around images, etc.    I have to do hand-coding to try to avoid the worst problems.  My coding & YOUR browser ...ends up not being perfect.   The only way around it is plain text, with no features, and full-blown plain text would not even have photos!  ugggh!, I do not do articles in plain text.  My primary browser to check my site is Google Chrome, but I do sometimes check the site in Firefox and Internet Explorer (always the latest versions of any browser).  I used to check the site in Safari too.

From the beginning, I decided NOT to use 'drop-down' boxes, fancy graphics, lots of animations, ETC.  I wanted a simple website, easy to use, everything shown without drop-downs.  The philosophy has not changed ...although I now use simple things like tables/charts/etc. to some advantage, and have two animations.

The website is constantly being worked on; hardly a day passes without at least some work being done.  This has been going on since 1999.   The upkeep needed has finally greatly slowed now (February 2017) that I have finished all the cleanup and re-coding that was done starting in late Summer of 2015, which also included code being added to all article pages to attempt to have them display better on small devices, such as Smart Phones and Tablets. 

Javascript has been a particular problem.   In fact, all types of scripting can be problematical.  ONE unfortunate example was done on this website in 2012-2013.  I had added a very nice function click on an icon placed on every page & the user could automatically have the viewed page translated into nearly any language.  The Javascript had compatibility problems, so I removed it all in 2013.   If you now want a translated page function, I suggest Google's translator.  If you use Google's Chrome browser, it is settable to automatically translate any pages of any website within seconds after you put the page on your monitor screen.  

My original intention was that this website was to be THE repository, almost an encyclopedia for Airhead knowledge, so that these bikes could be maintained AND RIDDEN for MANY decades after BMW stopped producing them in 1995.  I wanted to have the vast majority of information ...& IN GREAT DEPTH.  Any needed knowledge in addition to what is on this website could be obtained, relatively fast, by posting a message onto the Airheads Internet Mailing List.  I also started to provide links, which I now do very extensively, to pertinent articles, photos, & videos, by certain other folks.

I am well-aware that this website is not used to the extent it should & could be.   MANY folks THAT DO KNOW about it, find it 'easier' to post questions to the Airheads List or to the Airheads Facebook Page; or other popular Facebook pages; & such as the Forums on BMWMOA.  UNfortunately, altogether too often the responses are not complete enough, or result in 'guessing'.  I also doubt folks use the Airheads LIST Archives much.    I wish they would use my website more, & use my site's SEARCH function more.  However, I am, more and more, showing links to others' articles, especially those with many photos and videos.  Thus, use of my site and those others I show, will almost always provide the best information, over-all, for practical usage.   I will continue to monitor and occasionally respond on some of the Facebook groups pages, but it is terribly time consuming.  I may quit them.

I put a number of my articles on the old website, under Technical Tips.  That site is no longer in existence, and the new website now has most, if not all, of those particular old articles of mine.  I last reviewed them in early 2016, after the new site was up and running.  I am serious thinking of putting the vast majority of my articles onto that site.

I very much DISLIKE Forum style discussions, and with the slow-to-download site, I am NOT, at least at present, after trying several times, participating hardly ever on the new .org site. THAT MAY CHANGE in mid to later 2017.   As it is, January of 2017, most Q & A I do are on the Airheads LIST hosted by ....and on the three main Facebook Airheads pages.  I dislike Facebook due to the lack of proper archives ....and that information provided benefits only a very few at any one time; BUT, many participate only on Facebook, I do participate least for now.

This website was NOT INTENDED as short simplified minimalist articles.  It was intended to cover things in depth.  Sometimes I do write simpler step-by-step articles.  This website is primarily designed to be a repository for deeply-detailed information.  Much more information than you may need at any one time is usually in an article. The disadvantage is that you might have to wade-through a lot to find what you want.  To reduce your searching efforts, I have included a VERY POWERFUL Search Engine; but it directs you only to specific articles.   However, once you become familiar with this website & the search engine, you will be able to find things easily ...and it returns answers that might be complete for you only in several articles, not in just one.  This also means the Search Engine, providing you ASK it for the right information, will return everything that might be pertinent.

I utilized many sources for the technical knowledge on this website.  Much came from my experiences, even as far back when the /2 models were sold new ...and, my involvement became much deeper when the /5 & /6 were the models being sold by dealers, as I was the Chief Technician & 'Head of the Shop' at a BMW dealership. For a long time I did trouble-shooting for several OTHER shops where they had 'problems'.   In other words, I was an independent 'Hired Troubleshooter'.   Ever since I started working on BMW motorcycles, & even to the present time, I made extensive notes & I used a very high percentage of these for this website.  Some information was from my experiences from being an Owner & Wrench on a number BMW bikes; and, from experiences at my own BMW repair, custom, modification shop.    I collected information & made notes from information from Butler & Smith (actually some came from The Flanders Company too).   Butler & Smith were the East Coast located BMW importers/distributors before the present BMWNA.  After leaving my position as chief tech, I retained access to BMWNA-provided Technical Bulletins.  I also obtained information from BMW dealerships, independent mechanics & shops, two official Friends Of The Marque, ....&... from owners.  I had direct access to BMWNA.   Owners' input can be quite helpful, and even a necessity, whether about some hardly-known tech or problem, or asking questions & asking for help, on such as the Airheads internet mailing list & other such places (there are various LISTs & Forums, & I participate on quite a few, but not all of them).

Even after 60 years of working on the bikes, I still learn things, & certainly I learn from teaching (Docendo Discimus).

There have been other sources come forward, ....especially the last half dozen or so years.  These 'other sources'; often professional wrenches; provide information, sometimes new ways of looking at things, & sometimes provide updated part numbers, information on parts fitment problems, etc.    Input from known reliable sources, such as "guru's", & other professionals, are often acknowledged by name in this website.   As noted, owners & riders also provide ideas for technical repair information/responses ...and I especially appreciate them contacting me when errors, even typos, are seen.

I had input from oil, tire and other manufacturer's from personal contacts & correspondence.  Information on fuels, oils & greases, etc., came somewhat from my own testing & experience, but I obtained MAJOR information from ENGINEERING folks involved.  This was also true for other items.  I also attended college-level & industry engineering level seminars, etc., on subjects like lubrication, etc.  Information from Engineers in various companies can be of particularly good use; many spoke freely.  Many could have been fired for providing insider information.

Many pages in this website, including, but hardly exclusively, and, will list or link to other people's websites or E-addresses.  This does not mean I necessarily endorse them or their information.   Some of these people I have worked with personally.  I have numerous links on this website to websites or articles where I have had no or very little input, where I find information that might be valuable to you. In some instances I even provide links to articles where I disagree.  I usually explain such.  In quite a few instances I have not done articles on some subject because they were already well or adequately done by others.   I WILL TYPICALLY TELL YOU where to find those articles, perhaps by a link and/or description.  In some not-so-rare instances I helped others do their articles, to be published in MOA-ON (BMW-ON), or other magazines, or on-line.    I also have done seminars at BMWMOA National Rallies, Airheads TechDays, taught at SuperTech, and expect to continue to do seminars, etc.

I have put MANY thousands of hours of labor into this website.  I continue to update & work on it.

The primary purpose for this site is still the same; to give YOU the benefit on my & others' many years of experience, & to 'pass-on' that knowledge.  My hope is that YOU will then pass on your knowledge (hopefully accurately!!!).

***There is a difference, often a huge one, between what I try to do for you on this website, versus some other sites (let alone commentary on various Forums and Lists, even some articles in magazines).  UNfortunately, a FEW independents ...and MANY dealerships ...try to sell you what they stock/sell, which may well NOT be what you SHOULD purchase.  Except for, I am not trying to "sell" you something.  I think I do a good job at avoiding personal or business bias in my information on this website.

This website has always been set-up for FREE ACCESS for everyone. I have NEVER blocked ANYONE from access; nor charged for access.

I also do articles for general information:
Two major examples on this website are , which includes a section on basic electricity; and, an article on basic oil and lubrication theory:

As the years passed, I incorporated sections of this website for K bike owners; Oilhead owners; Sidecar owners; & some things were written for general vehicle maintenance.  I do a lot of reading, attend TechDays, Seminars, etc.  I am active on some forums & some LISTS.  I am a Moderator/Administrator on some.   I have drawn the line, however, with the last of the early Oilheads & also for bikes after the K1100 (well, maybe a bit of K1200).  I will be NOT be working on nor doing technical writing about the newer/newest BMW bikes.   Very approximately, not much after the mid-nineties bikes.  Of course SOME articles are applicable to any bike, any year.  Except for my own bikes & my own sidecar rig, & a TechDay, & a very rare job for an old customer, I am no longer working on other folks' bikes, and will NOT accept such work.

I hope my articles do not come across as my being some sort of snobby know-it-all.

I also write under two pen-names for magazines.  NO, you will NOT be informed about those. If you happen to find out what that pen name is, and what magazines, please keep it to yourself!

What's up for the future for this website ...besides what I am doing in 2017?

I may do a few more basic step-by-step beginner's articles.  Those new articles would be specifically written to get those new to the BMW bikes a quick education on owning, riding, servicing.  In that regard, I may also continue to modify some of my existing articles to include such.   BTW ...this site has an article describing MY VIEW on what service jobs can be done by someone, depending on their level of knowledge:

I suggest you don't fail to scan the entire HomePage. See what articles are listed towards the bottom; after wading through my photos and other commentaries, jokes, whatever; ....MANY articles are NOT available from the Technical Articles List Page ....and are thus overlooked.

I will continue to edit, update & improve existing articles. I will occasionally, but rarely, add a new article when I see a need ...or perhaps YOU or others suggest something.   I will continue to purchase items for testing, although that is now being reduced and will continue to be reduced.  I then resell tested items to re-coupe some costs.  I expect to continue this until the donation & advertising clicks income fall off to where I would be expending a substantial amount of money.  YES, the over-all trend of donations & advertising clicks is slowly dropping off, due to Facebook pages and use of small screen devices, so purchase of items has slowed down.

I have thought about occasional hands-on CLINICS, which would be more intense than weekend TechDays or Seminars at such as BMW-MOA National Rallies.   I will NOT organize my own Clinics, due to my age.  Should there come about a yearly West Coast SuperTech, I am sure I would participate.    I may attend the Maryland-based SuperTech, perhaps in 2018.

I dropped the idea of purchasing a video camera & setting up some sort of studio here for making how-to videos, because others are doing it, some quite well, such as Brook Reams. Another reason is that that of trying to replace or edit them as time goes on.

I have come to realize that I MAY have been WRONG, in NOT doing certain articles on such as overhauling the engine bottom end, transmission & rear drive.   Each of these three items, but ESPECIALLY the transmission, would require a HUGELY LONG article, in order to fully treat the subject for all years, all models, and every little or major change that came about.   There are less than a dozen people that do these jobs properly in the USA/Canada area. 

Due to the lack of technical overhaul information that has been written & published, I had thought I might yet do these articles.  I made a final decision on that, at the end of 2016.  Due to my age, I will NOT.

I joined the ABC in the 1990's.  For many years I have participated on the Airheads mailing list (a FREE List type service hosted by  Long before any of the current "guru's" were on that list was just about only me that was, in practice, the only major source of serious technical information on that LIST.   Some on that LIST, including the Moderators & Administrators (I am one of those), used to have a fun 'monthly contest' on who posted the most lines of text.   I used to 'win' the contest nearly every month.  I'm verbose anyway ....look at the length of the article you are now reading!

It was a sometimes heady, sometimes frustrating, often rewarding experience.   It was really the beginning era of mass communications availability, ...including for such as maintaining Airheads.  As you can see, I tend to be verbose anyway; much of that wordiness is because I try to provide full information, including nuances, on anything I post about.  I view myself more or less as a TEACHER.  Perhaps a boring-you teacher?  YES ...I have teaching certificates & have taught in actual structured classes, at UCLA, & elsewhere's.  My courses offered a very brief synopsis, then came the detailed subject analysis, and then a wrap-up.    Fun fact(?):  Long ago I occasionally shotgun-fired 'problem questions' at students, to see what it took to overload them, that is, force them to THINK.

There are instances where I am not verbose, but overly succinct, or leave out information on purpose ...specifically pertinent are instances where I approach a subject in a way that is specifically designed by me to make the listener/reader THINK.  Thinking-through a problem is very important for the long-run approach to being a good technician.

Some well-informed & experienced people are participating on the Airheads LIST, relieving the load on me tremendously.  There are/were a few on the Kbmw tech list.   Not to mention those who have LEARNED, and who participate in the discussions.  I TRULY APPRECIATE THEM.  It strokes my ego to think that some of their knowledge came from me.    In truth, much of the old-timers knowledge has been passed on to me, too.   It is true that in many ways we learn by teaching:  docendo discimus

UNfortunately, the various Facebook Airheads groups pages have way too much nonsense, wrong advice, bad advice, 'argumentative help' etc.  Facebook pages also are filled with 'look at me' and even extraneous items, advertisements, etc.  It takes a lot of my time to wade through it all. It's difficult for those using Facebook pages to determine who really knows things.  I hope that matures, over time, BUT of 2016, and no change since, has gotten worse.   Facebook is, IMO, a LOUSY forum for technical advice.  Just try to find any advice a month later.  Just try to separate facts from blithering nonsense and 'guesses'.

I participate on the Airheads List; AirheadsBeemer Facebook & two other Facebook groups; two sidecar lists; the tech list; LeBlond Lathe list; Kbmw list, and quite rarely on forum,, and ....almost never on ADVrider, which I find to be another place for lots of nonsense & bad advice.  I do not participate on model-specific airheads sites, such as the R90S ....although I may, now and then, participate on the slash 5 site.  If I was still running a BMW repair business, I could NOT afford the time to do even 10% of what I do.

I have a commercial website, that is for my electronics repair business.   It does not have Google advertising on it.   As with my BMW site, there are no cookies & no web-beacons placed by me in that website.   I work a quite modest amount of time per week on electronics repairs for customers, mostly musicians.  The business is for sale, for about $12K to 15K, if you know anyone who may be interested.  Once sold, I will retire to doing more BMW technical articles, attending more BMW events .... & maybe some travel & fun!

What about the article? The article stands and speaks for itself.  It is peer-reviewed (and by recognized Doctor's, specialists in prostate cancer).  It is hard-core accurate information. I try to keep it current.

Sooner or later everyone dies.   All my assets, including this website, are held in a Trust.  My successor trustee and/or heir has instructions on what should be done with this website after I die (or, horrors! incapacitated).    The website will continue to be available on the Internet for some time.  The website will eventually disappear.   What will be done with the majority of the technical articles on this website has been decided. Technical articles ONLY will be made publically available.   The ABC (Airheads Beemer Club) Board of Directors has given approval.  I will give permission for them to publish the technical articles that they want, and I will begin to transfer them, one by one, removing advertising, chit chat, etc., by mid-Spring, 2017.  This is being done because neither I, nor Penny, want her to have to deal with the website.  I anticipate that the first test transfer will occur in mid-April of 2017, and I will work with their Webmaster. It may take a long time to transfer the majority of technical articles...perhaps 2 years.

The website ...BUT in its entirety (that is, as it stands presently, with the technical and personal articles), WILL ALSO REMAIN on the Internet until such time that costs to maintain its presence are higher than donations & Google advertising combined.  Sometime after that point is reached, the renting of internet space from the ISP ...and domain name eventually too, ...all ...will not be renewed, & the website will disappear. As a general policy, I pay for the costs for the website 2 years in advance.  Penny will NOT be paying for keeping the website on the internet, after I die.     NOTE that the very latest and best tech will continue to be on my website, although I will attempt to keep the website articles updated.


Use my website information wisely and morally, and pass on knowledge. PLEASE DO THAT ACCURATELY.

© Copyright 2015, R. Fleischer

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Last check/edit: Wednesday, March 22, 2017