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Useful URL/sources for BMW motorcyclists;
parts, links to people, websites, companies, services.  
Several useful sub-sections.

© Copyright, 2013, R. Fleischer


Also see:; which has a LOT of information! It has a long list of where to go for specific things & services, that are not shown below. 

For MANUALS, a specific article, #80, should be looked-at.

I have NO financial or other interest in ANY company, product, or person I recommend!

Useful URL/sources for BMW motorcyclists; parts, links to people, websites, companies, services:

Sub-section, BMW Parts:
I have NO financial stake or other interest in ANY company or product I recommend!

Antique BMW's:  Anything before 1970 models are regarded as in this category, by ME.  Parts sources are varied.  All sorts of companies around the world may have new or reproduction or used parts that you might otherwise might find them difficult to find.   A little known source for parts (and, $$ restoration services!) is BMW themselves.  Previously called Mobile Tradition, the new name is BMW Group Classic.  For the really old BMW's, particularly before 1970, there are internet clubs or model specific websites to e-mail owners back and forth to gain information on items, sources, etc.  Same for various Yahoo Groups and    Antique bike owners tend to collect listings of sources.

It is OFTEN to your great advantage to speak to someone in ANY parts department or company that KNOWS your bike!  Many a time these folks will steer you in the correct direction.  BUT: Just ordering from someone via a part number YOU provide (or they provide!), might get you into trouble.

Below are Internet sites that, somewhat differently, give you part numbers, or allow you to look up part numbers from sketches; also these have prices, etc.  Each of these websites does things if you need some sort of tech or  information on a part, you might want to try them all.

Sometimes we do need to enter known part numbers, not just search for the proper part number.  When entering part numbers into most sites they do NOT want hyphens nor spaces between the numbers groups.

Here are the websites I use now and then for finding part numbers or for entering part numbers:   Useful, sketches, but I don't use it but rarely, finding it much more of a PIA than using maxbmwmotorcycles, below:   If that link does not work for the fiche, just use the main page and find the place to click.  I find this website to be very useful....and I DO USE IT A LOT.     I use it rarely.  BUT:  This website works nicely by model, year, and you can go back as far as 1948 if you use the Archive feature. 

Every one of the above websites uses some form of the BMW parts catalog with useful sketches (often referred-to as the ETK catalog), but they are not all the same, nor do they all work the same.  I suggest you try each of the four above & give a hard look-see at the illustrated parts listings, & then decide which one of them you like the best. You MAY have to use more than one, or all of them, for some part to get the full information on that part.  The maxbmwmotorcycle site,, is the one I find the most easy to use and the most useful.  Most of the time it displays various notes with the part number charts, telling you things you need to know about DATES for changes, etc.

All will sell you parts, of course.   Keep in mind that there are Independent BMW repair places, such as Beemershop and RubberChickenRacingGarage, that have super-knowledgeable folks, who can properly guide you, and save you a LOT of time...and money!

Motobins of England; and some of the German sites, may be useful at times.  Many times Motorbins is cheaper, even after freight is considered.  If you want GENUINE BMW parts, be sure to inquire about THAT. Do NOT forget your local dealer, who may well offer a discount if you are a good customer & you ask!    If that local dealership has a knowledgeable parts person, you are doubly benefit. Keep in mind that any local dealership, or independent service that you develop a relationship with (particularly on a first-name basis) is likely going to be the place you will get the best service from, for parts, and sometimes advice on parts, etc.  In general, the independents, such as Tom Cutter, Ted Porter, Bob Clement, Anton Largiader, me, etc., will have the best information, and know things the dealership parts folks may well have no idea about.    These folks can give advice the dealership parts person may have NO knowledge-of.  That can be very valuable.   This site contains all sorts of information on BMW bikes, including Airheads.  It is in German, but you can click and use the translator.  HUGE amount of information.

Sub-section:  BMW SERVICE....and many parts too; Technical information, service, how-to's, etc:  I have NO financial stake or other interest in ANY company or product I recommend!

On the West coast, in California, is Ted Porter's Beemershop.  Very knowledgeable about parts & service.   ALL BMW bikes, old and latest.  Website may now have some repairs articles. Large inventory of parts too.  Excellent top end work, transmission overhauls, etc.

East Coast area:  Tom Cutter's Rubber Chicken Racing Garage.  Meticulous workmanship on BMW motorcycles.  Airheads, Oilheads, ETC.  Some modest tech info on website.

East Coast area:  Anton Largiader:   Another knowledgeable source, and his website is loaded with tech info.  
You can also use the following, which produces a list of articles that you might NOT find so easily from the above primary URL:

East Coast area:  Bud Provin:  Another knowledgeable source with a LONG background on our Airheads.

Bob Clement in Montana.  BMW Montana;  Bob's Motorwerks.   (406) 445-2044

Murphs BMW  in Eugene, Oregon.  Another old-timer.

ALL these, above, are my short list of truly knowledgeable 'wrenches' for repairs, overhauls and parts sources.

The PRIMARY question-answer source for AIRHEADS technical information, is the Airheads Beemer Club mailing LIST, also called the Airlist.  Information on subscribing is at the top of my technical articles list page: .    I say PRIMARY, because while my website is intended as a major reference source, the LIST covers anything & everything Airhead, & you can usually get a reply rather quickly.  Once a LIST member (free), you have access to the list archives.  A MAJOR reason to join that LIST is the LARGE number of Airhead owners on it; and the various Guru's who will reply. Many of the non-guru's are also knowledgeable!     For those who are already Members, here is the archives address:

Some of the LIST 'guru's' tend to discourage direct inquiries (I do! as they would benefit only one person), but at least one does not: Oak Okleshen:    Oak writes a new technical article, published every month in the Airheads Beemer Club magazine called AIRMAIL.    See for information on joining the Club.   Oak has an index of past articles available.   He also used to do SUPERB repair work!  I worked as a BMW wrench and also for a BMW dealership as the Head of the Shop.  Later, Oak became MY personal mentor/guru/advisor.  While he quit working on Airheads for other folks in 2016, he MIGHT still be doing a you contact him to do repair work for you, be sure to ask how realistically long the job will take; Oak is doing less and less....(we all get old and have ailments).

The primary source for technical help for Classic K bikes, is the KBMW list on Yahoo Groups.

I have additional listings under S, for Service, in my REFERENCES article.

Sub-section:  BMW Electrics....and other parts in a few instances:  I have NO financial stake or other interest in ANY company or product I recommend!   

A source for all sorts of parts including electrical items for all BMW motorcycles & some Guzzi & even    They are at 18195 Augusta Drive, in Monument, Colorado.  (719) 487-9397.  They stock electric's items, including ignition items, starters, alternators, parts to repair these ETC.  They also stock fuel filters and much more.  They also repair these things...and also sell the EnDuraLast Alternator (it is THEIR product); and, many items that are NOT available from BMW, such as internal diodes & regulators for the oilhead and K bike alternators, ETC.   Compare their prices with BMW dealership prices on BMW-sold parts.   They carry Bosch repair parts, Valeo repair parts, and new Valeo starters (both 8 and 9 tooth, with the updated magnet structures); and have always provided prompt shipping.

NOTE!   For genuine Jeff Lee products (dba Emerald Island), such as the ignitions, alternators, etc;  see, ONLY these two sources:       Ted Porter's   and   Rick Jones'
  Rick sells an Airhead electrics and charging manual that is very worthwhile.  You may have head of these Jeff Lee items under the name Omega alternators and Alpha ignitions, and there are other things, such as LED tailight conversions, etc.  These are the genuine items, not cheaper imperfectly-fitting and not as reliable products made in 'China'.

There are other sources for some types of electrics, such as Thunderchild,

Jim Davis, owner, Eastern Beaver Company;    Motorcycle Relay Kits, Modulator Kits, Powerlet, Centech, Posi-Lock, and other parts.   A knowledgeable guy, with a somewhat different viewpoint at times.  Quality products, some of which are VERY handy.

Here is the URL for the Chicago Region BMW Club, the source for their various repair manuals.     The tuneup manual; 10K manual, tire manual, etc., is still available.  The Electrics manual, now priced at $30 (?),  is simply THE best electrics manual for airheads, and Oak was primarily responsible for that manual.  HIGHLY recommended.  This is THE Airhead electrics manual to own.  It covers EVERYTHING, almost anyway.   That website also has some information on the background of that Club, and the background on Oak, etc., and those various manuals. There is a CRITIQUE of the Electrics School manual on MY site:   If you own one of these manuals, I suggest you use my critique, to update your manual.

Sub-section:  A few more references:    The military bikes.   This is Phil Hawksley's website.....lots of good information there.   Yeah, a K bike group.  A good one.  I participate on that LIST.    Forum style.  K bikes.   Active, lots of opinions, watch for awhile to sort out who knows, who guesses, etc.  Has factory bulletins for the pre-/5 bikes.  This URL for them has a LOT of literature, all sorts of things, definitely worth a long look-see.  This one is NOT just for the pre-/5.  This one may not be linked from the main site, so be sure to try it, and scan down to be sure it is the much longer list of things.   This URL link will take you to the Mark Huggett BMW Mobile Tradition site.....a source and reference for, especially, OLD BMW parts, restorations, work, etc.  Vintage BMW group.  BMW Veteran Motorcycle Club of America.  Vintage BMW club.  Sometimes you must drop the /v7/ to get to the site.  Covers all years of BMW bikes from the first bikes to the last bikes. Has a forum, and a fair amount of 'stuff'. Some VERY knowledgeable folks here, and they have a magazine, etc...well done too!  If you are into the pre-airhead bikes, you need this.   Vintage BMW bikes...not just /2.

Mobile Tradition was BMW's own outlet for information, parts, and restorations, etc., for older BMW products.  BMW has been changing the website address for such as their Mobile Tradition Teilekatalog, and you may have to do a search, or contact your dealership, to find out the correct web address, and, note that
anything before 1970 models are regarded as in this category, by ME.     >>>Previously called Mobile Tradition, the new name is BMW Group Classic.

NOTE!    Snowbum has not worked on Vintage BMW bikes in decades.  Snowbum's extensive notebooks on the /2 era bikes disappeared around 1975.   Please refer to knowledgeable folks listed on this page, not Snowbum!...who has very little on his site on them (he does have cleaning the slingers, and some on the electrics, such as the voltage regulator, carbs, etc.).

NOTE:  See article 78A for lots of additional references, for airheads....and some pre-airheads.

Duane Ausherman:   His website with a lot of technical articles covers much of the /2 era, as well as the /5 and some applicable to later models.  He has a somewhat unique way of presenting information:   This is also the home to Randy Glass' major and SUPERB illustrated article on /5 (and later) front fork alignment.   

Sub-section:  Miscl sources:   Adventure Riders site. This is an all-brand site, but has a LARGE amount of information and traffic for BMW GS bikes and a LOT is applicable to all Airheads.   Be careful who you pay attention to.  

Bayrische Magnetzünder    German website, magnetos parts and service

Bob's BMW   A good source

Blue Moon BMW.  Online catalog, exploded parts diagrams.  Bikes, parts, tech.


TOOLS:   FOR SURE see my ENTIRE article!   FOR SURE see my References article, under T for Tools.

Darryl Richman.  Reach him through his website   Lots of knowledge and can probably direct you to where you need to go for things for pre-Airhead bikes.  
THE premier auction site.    Some sources for vintage BMW parts even have full-time stores run through Ebay.

Alex Gaenssle.      Machine shop and other work.   In Germany.  English spoken.  His old website address does NOT work.

John's Beemer Garage.   Catalogs, drawings.   Has factory bulletins for the pre-/5 bikes.

Mark Hugget GmbH; in Switzerland.   Restoration forum, on-line shop, lots of parts.

Old Timers Garage.   New made parts.   Poland.   R69S restoration pages.

Hans Radstaack   Dutch specialist, speaks English.  For early magnetos.
Vintage BMW Motorcycles. One of the many Yahoo Groups  In Germany

Bench Mark Works, Craig Vechorik:
An excellent source for information, parts, and technical help, etc.    Two divisions, one in Mississippi, one in Canada.  Snowbum disagrees with his remarks on not using GL5 oil on Airheads and later.   Vetch stocks parts for the old BMW's....and quite a few for the later bikes, including manuals and other literature.   Well worth your time to browse this site.  Almost a must if you have a pre-airhead (before 1970 models).    check it out for /2 parts sketches/etc.

****I don't often discuss  /2 & /3 bikes.  I do not "follow" Vech's site, nor the sites for the older bikes. My huge notebook on the /2 and /3 era bikes was somehow lost ~1975.   Another reason is that these old bikes have a specialized following, some of who are much more knowledgeable than I my memory has faded on them over the years as I got further & further away from working on them.  However, there are some sources for information, such as /2 LIST on the internet, and in a very few books. One of the books that is just about a must to own is the Barrington Motor Works BMW /2 Restoration and Service Manual.  This is a well done book, reviewed by many 'experts' in the field before it was published.  The book is roughly $100, and worth it. contact  or call 607-664-2673.  I do have a few articles, such as on cleaning slingers, etc., on my site.

Sub-section:  model specific websites: 
as you can see from the URL, this is a forum-style site.  Last time I looked at it, was not very active.  Obviously, it is for the R100R bikes, the last Airheads.         This group also has a website, and you do not have to sign up to access files, etc:  ....  I don't recommend this site, as hardly any real information
I am sure you can figure out what -BS means on the above 
R45 and R65    
This is a site for the F650 and G650 SINGLE CYLINDER BMW bikes.  Previously this forum group was known as "The Chain Gang".   seems to be an active site.    
This is almost entirely for the CLASSIC K bikes (K1, K75, K100, K1100).   High on TECH.    Forum style.  Classic K bikes.   Active, lots of opinions, watch for awhile to sort out who knows, who guesses, etc.

You can get a list of motorcycle makes, models, various groups, from the server at

Just one such group is:
The above URL has a lot more than just GS.  You will find good descriptions of all the various Monolever and Paralever bikes, including GS; G/S; ST.....

Subsection:  other sites:
This is a U.S. Government website that allows you to enter the 17 character VIN of any car, truck, MOTORCYCLE, and find out if there are any open recalls on that particular vehicle.  
for serial numbers and general production dates, there are several sites for this sort of thing, here is another one:

SOMETIMES those sites do not work correctly, and just hang up or show nothing.

There is a vin decoder of a different sort on my (this) site too....see the article   Lots of information, including HOW TO READ VIN NUMBERS.    Instruction sheets for Dyna ignition conversions, etc.
BMW Motorcycle Owners of America website.  Click on Country Store to get back issues. Lots of stuff on this website....but you will need to be a Member to fully use the Forums.

Mike Hamende has sold Airhead Salvage and Sales, that was near Austin Texas.  The company is now called Martindale Motorcycle Works, in Martindale, is still in business; ....Airhead, Oilhead, and K salvaged parts.  The new owner is Mike Orloff.  The new phone number is (512) 357-3842  Same website and e-mail address as before:       

See my REFERENCES page for more salvage places, MORE sources for parts and sources for most everything else.

Koni no longer makes shocks for our airheads.  The Koni name and tooling was sold, and the new company DOES have products, including repair parts:   You can also probably get the Ikon AND Koni parts you need (or, even overhauls) from Dave Gardner;  ikonusa@gmail.comHe is located in San Francisco.

Wilbers is a good aftermarket shock, available from sources that are Members of the Airheads Mailing List, of
Sidecars, SideCarTalk is the group name, sometimes referred to as SCT2.   This is THE group for sidecar technical help. NOTE.....there is a sidecar section on my website, more than just one is a link to just one article, it has some sidecar specific URL's:

Lots of references are on the Airheads Club website:
That website has technical articles written by myself....and many others.  Click on AirLore, and then Technical Tips. 

Here is the name of a source for electrical sockets, plugs, cables, kits, far beyond what is in most autoparts stores or your BMW dealership.  High quality stuff here.     Powerlet Products.   You can do a Google on that, or try Whitehorse Press, they have a catalog that includes Powerlet Products.   Powerlet's website is the more comprehensive.  Here is information on a solid source, repeated from earlier;  Jim Davis, Owner, Eastern Beaver Company:    Motorcycle Relay Kits, Modulator Kits, Powerlet, Centech, Posi-Lock, Parts.   A knowledgeable guy, with a somewhat different viewpoint at times.  Quality products, some of which are VERY handy.

03/12/2006:  incorporated all prev. revisions, and updated URL's for parts and prices sources, re-arrange order of things for clarity.
05/22/2006:  add
07/19/2006:  update URL's, and information on a few companies
08/01/2006:  add R45/R65 URL; and r-arrange the entire page
01/13/2007:  update salvage yards
02/16/2007:  re-arrange for electrics stuff in one area; add latest contact info for Chitech; P.A.S. note
06/01/2007:  minor editing.   
06/02/2007:  more ASCII information; add Jim Davis' Eastern Beaver
08/06/2007:  Update Anton's website URL information
12/14/2007:  added more info on beemergarage
01/01/2008:  Fix Chicago BMW Club address
01/03/2008:  Add hyperlink for German words
01/06/2008:  move driveshaft information to References page
01/07/2008:  fix country store hyperlink problem
01/07/2008:  fix website url; remove "For the R80GS and R100GS, only, take a look at: wendell/gs/node1.html  The link and top domain is dead
01/18/2008:  remove F, OT, Z, S information to article 39
01/19/2008:  Update Cycleworks (tools)
07/10/2009:  Minor updates, re: Barrington
08/31/2009:  update on Chicago's manuals.  Check buchanan's site...still has wrong notations.
10/31/2009:  lots of updating of URLs, information, etc.
12/31/2009:  Update entire article, add lots more to ASCII too.
01/01/2010:  Add Mobile Tradition information, inadvertently left out during a prior update
03/16/2010:  Clean up the article, still messy, but I eliminated MANY duplications, huge font changes, etc.
03/27/2010:  Updated Airhead Salvage information
04/20/2010:  Remove and modify some hyperlinks
08/22/2010:  Update Vech's URL
09/21/2010:  Clean up article a bit.
11/25/2010:  Clean up & clarify my listing of websites for ETK type information; add some commentary
01/15/2011:  remove references, thunderchild & buchanan pages...I have the information in trbleshootalt.htm
04/13/2011:  Add editing information
06/04/2011:  Add link
08/19/2011:  Add Meyer bikes link
10/21/2011:  Remove Chicago BMW, as was going out of business
05/15/2012:  Edit for clarity
05/24/2012:  add
10/15/2012:  Add QR code, add language button, update Google Ad-Sense code
10/25/2012:  Update Google Ad-Sense code properly, as was NOT done on 10/15/2012.  Clarify many details in Editing section, expand it.  Fix a LOT of underlining that were not links.
11/10/2012:  Clean up for new size; add MAC information.  Re-arrange order of sections; make formal sections.
12/17/2012:  Add link to
04/05/2013:  Update the article for more clarity on editing and special symbols too.
05/24/2013:  Add
08/14/2013:  Add new site for The Chain Gang (F650 and G650 singles)
10/20/2013:  add note:  NOTE:  The bmwscotter website appears down for non-payment of ISP fees.
01/03/2014:  revise article rather completely; additionally, add section on lane splitting.
10/03/2014:  Revise.  Move lane splitting to its own article.  Clean up rest, for smaller screens too. add
12/08/2014:  Revise entire article.  Further updating later in December.
03/05/2015:  More revisions, all were made for increased clarity
03/19/2015:  Minor change to above URL of 10/03/2014, so will always come up with correct URL. Another update 07/19/2015.
08/21/2015:  Remove two dead links
11/17/2015:  Update much of the entire article, but not much on the last 30%.
04/26/2016:   Update metacodes, layout, redundancies, etc.
05/08/2016:  Add

05/16/2016:  Split off entire long part about E-mail, text editing, special keyboard characters, foreign computers...and move to new article 78C.
08/23/2016:  Eliminate two URL's, one NG, other has disappeared permanently.

© Copyright 2013, R. Fleischer

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Last check/edit: Saturday, August 27, 2016