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There are TWO PARTS to this long article!

Part 1: Editing E-mail messages.  INCLUDES a section on traveling, using
foreign computers.  Printing or sending special characters from your computer.

Part 2:  Useful URL/sources for BMW motorcyclists;
parts, links to people, websites, companies, services.
Several useful sub-sections.

© Copyright, 2013, R. Fleischer


There is also a References page; it is 78B, which has a LOT of information! It has a long list of where to go for specific things & services, that are not shown here on 78A.  BOTH 78A and 78B should be looked at.
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!

Editing E-mail Messages:
This information is somewhat pointed towards the Airheads LIST, but MOST of this information is applicable to ANY E-mail message to anyone, or any list or any forum.

While there are other methods for doing some of these things, my recommendations are simple & generally work well.  If you are new to these things you will need to practice; so, simply take any message you have received, click on REPLY, and play with the message.  NOTE that clicking on REPLY is not the same as REPLY ALL, or FORWARD. Experiment. So long as you have not clicked SEND, you won't 'send' your 'practicing'.

Just exactly what happens when you try to REPLY to a message will depend somewhat on the settings your computer has or you have made, & what type of E-mail program you are using.  The settings and software in a recipient's computer also have a major effect. 

This is generic information for Windows computers.

***For those of you have Mac computers:   When using a Mac, the Windows Ctrl key is called the CMD key (command); and the Windows ALT key is called the OPTION key.

The editing I describe in this article is nearly universal and has been for decades, & you will find it in most word processing programs, even that ode to complexity called Microsoft WORD or its simpler cousin, WORDPAD, heck, even the bare-bones Notepad; as well as most other word processing software.

If you are a Member of an E-mail LIST, I recommend that you set your Email program, if you can, so that replies to such as (or, most any internet mailing list) are automatically in PLAIN TEXT. 
Yes, I know that micapeak's present mail program will strip off html, but I have other reasons...and don't feel like getting into the confusion or a long-winded explanation here.  PLAIN TEXT means that all colors, images, & various special effects are not available, & therefore NOT SENT.  Don't try to send images to as micapeak's servers will strip them off.   Just where you will find in YOUR E-mail program preferences or options or settings is a matter of what program you use.   In every E-mail program I know of, you can set any particular E address you send to, for plain text.  You can also just set the program so that ALL messages are plain text.  You could always just click, each time, on the appropriate place in a program to be sure that your message is sent in Plain Text, IF you have it set for html (rich text) for normal use.  I find that to be annoying to remember, and the reverse is a bit better in that regards, but setting an address in the E program for plain text is best.

 I simply have all LISTs I am on, in the contacts or address book list in my computer, associated with E-mail, set for plain text (that is, NOT rich text, NOT html).

The vast majority of LISTS on the Internet have HTML turned off by the list owner.  That is for safety purposes & to limit the size of messages.  SOME LISTS do NOT have HTML turned off.  On others, you must either post images to the LIST website page PHOTOS section; or, you can post to some on-line hosting service (many are totally free), and show a hyperlink.

There can be some complications when using foreign characters, foreign keyboards, and especially with special symbols, etc. avoid all sorts of weird problems, this is another reason I suggest you spend a bit of time and ensure that all messages to your mailing lists, such as, are automatically sent in plain text.   

Set your E-mail program preferences so that the original message is always quoted in the reply.   That makes it easier to have the message you are replying to, be on the page, and you can then edit out what you do not want left.  You can add notes inside that message, if you want to, by identifying YOUR portion.  I do that now and then by placing ASTERISKS in front of my reply.  Usually replying to messages does not need to have that method used. Sometimes I do use it for very long originator's messages. 

It is standard protocol (for the Airheads List) for all replies to be inserted AFTER the original message (and, you should be sure to edit the original message, just enough left to show what is needed).  There are, every year, threads/arguments on this subject, but...please, folks, ...... internet etiquette IS that replies are placed AFTER quoting the original (which you are going to edit so only the needed information is left).   That means that replies are NOT placed at the beginning of quoted material.
NOTE:  Sometimes posting on top IS done. I MAY do it myself IF the prior message or messages in a thread, and shown in one E, was done that way. That is: especially if one additional message in the reply is being left.  I MIGHT take the time to fix the whole message.  Usually I do not.

NOTE:   The use of hand-held Smart Phones & Tablets has been increasing & are likely to eventually surpass the use of laptop & desktop computers. Smart phones & tablets are a world unto themselves as far as 'funny stuff' that CAN happen when trying to (or, gads, forgetting to) edit messages.   That is due to the operating systems & mail programs being used.   

There is one thing you must never, ever do:  DO NOT reply by including an entire Digest.  This is a HUGE annoyance for those reading your reply, if YOU receive Digest Mode messages and then reply with the entire digest without editing out most of it.  I find Digest Mode NOT worthwhile for most everyone.    PLEASE, do NOT fail to remove all the other replies and chit chat from a Digest Mode that you are replying to!...just leave the bare basic information from the last reply!

NOTE, that some folks pay by the byte, that is, they pay by bandwidth.  PLEASE be courteous and snip/edit your messages and replies!

This is my personal method for dealing with those folks who do not comply with editing.   When I receive such an unedited Digest, I do NOT try to read hardly any of it.  I SCAN IT VERY quickly, just enough to make sure it really is a big digest being posted.  I then DELETE the entire posting.  I simply do not read and respond, unless I am so annoyed that I post a response to having had to wade through an entire digest....and I can be NASTY.   

BUT, I am an Administrator/Moderator on some Lists and Forums.  In that capacity I am usually gentle, forgiving, but may post to you privately about your editing problems.

I consider such postings of entire digests DISCOURTEOUS.  Can you imagine what Smart Phone readers are seeing!....and they or others are paying for? AND, yes, there ARE people who pay by time/byte.


BASIC EDITING, a simple method:

I will assume you are using a mouse.  If using a touch pad, modify appropriately.

To edit out parts you do NOT want sent in YOUR reply, there are several ways. 


Method #1: move your mouse to move the cursor to the beginning of the part you want to delete,
     & left click once.  That changes the cursor (typically to blinking) & places it at that point.  Now
     move the non-blinking mouse cursor to the END of what portion you want to eliminate, THEN
     press & hold the SHIFT key down, & while that key is down, left click the mouse.  That has now
     highlighted just the area you wish to delete.  Press DELETE.

     If you are left-handed, & have reversed your mouse button functions, you know what to do!

Method #2:  move mouse to move the cursor to the end or beginning of the portion you wish to
     deal with. Hold the left button of the mouse down (or appropriate button on the laptop while
     you move your finger on the touchpad) as you move the mouse sideways to highlight the area
     of interest.  Raise finger from the button and touchpad if using that, and press DELETE.

    You can in many instances also move the mouse both sideways and downward.

Note that the computer 'works on' areas you HIGHLIGHTED.  Highlighting is important, it tells the computer you wish to do something to THAT area.

A FEW simple commands you will want to know:
   Some folks like to find some of these commands on the toolbar, usually near the top of their
   E-mail program, but here are the pertinent important key strokes:
1.  To COPY an already highlighted area (perhaps you want to just copy, or copy & move a
     paragraph or section, or copy to someplace else in the computer, or print that part, or any
     number of reasons), press the Ctrl key, & HOLD IT DOWN, & while HELD DOWN, press the c
     key. That copies the now highlighted section into what is called, in Windows, the Clipboard.  
     It remains there until you either put something else there; or, turn off the computer.  If you
     want to, you can 'use it' as many times as you wish!
2.  To PASTE that copied item, to anyplace in a page, move the mouse pointer so the cursor is at
     the place you want to put the information you copied, & left click.  Then press Ctrl, hold it, &
     press v.   You can do this multiple times if you ever had a reason....yes, no limit to number of
3.  Instead of JUST copying, as in 1.  above, if you wanted to copy AND delete the highlighted
     area, use Ctrl and X, instead of Ctrl and c.  You can still paste as noted.  

By commonly accepted computer practice, instructions to press and holding a control or option type key while you press another key.... is displayed in text as Ctrl + c; or Ctrl + v; or Ctrl + x. 
It could be ALT + something; or a Cmd key if you have that.
 It is best to press & hold the first key & while holding it, press the second key.  This avoids any problem with not pressing both keys at precisely the same time.   There are actually some commands that use three keys, all three ending up pressed at the same time...but those are NOT used for editing documents.  You can copy or delete or paste not only text, but images, in the same way. 

To grab an image or do some things I have not mentioned, use the RIGHT button to click on the image (or text area, or?), see what options you are given.  So, yes, there is a RIGHT CLICK function on your mouse, which has additional things you can do, including copying photos & either placing them someplace as a COPY, or MOVING the photo.  Lots of functions are available.  Experiment!  Become proficient!

If the right and left click functions are not as you like, there is a mouse command function settings page in your computer, in Windows it is in the Control Panel.

***Many of you have Mac computers.   When using a Mac, the Windows Ctrl key is called the CMD key (command); and the Windows ALT key is called the OPTION key.

HINT!!!!   Those that RECEIVE messages may have trouble editing out (or editing at all) old material when posting a reply.  This HAPPENS now and then, seemingly randomly, which it is not, actually.   The problem is due to the wide variety of coding behind the scenes in the various E-mail programs.   The EASY answer to this problem, if you have trouble editing, is for YOU to convert the message to PLAIN TEXT and thus send your reply message in PLAIN TEXT format.  All e-mail programs have that capability, usually via some often semi-hidden setting.  Of course, the down side is that PLAIN TEXT eliminates your ability to use colors (other than basic black) and eliminates other html things such as photos.  But, in many instances, trying to edit as I have outlined could be frustrating, because it may not work as I said.  THE answer, is 99% of the time, to change the reply you are doing to PLAIN TEXT right in the beginning.  Most mailing lists and forums do not allow html anyway, so plain text is nice to use, always.  Some E-mail programs allow you to set individual contacts, in composing mode, as html or plain text, which is nice, as you can use html as the general setting, if you'd like to, and when you compose a new message to, say, a LIST, it automatically is in plain text, if you wanted that.  You may find that PLAIN TEXT setting will save you a bunch of time! 

Look at your E-mail contacts list, see if there is a setting there for individual addresses to have your messages to that address be in PLAIN TEXT.  That includes LISTs.

If you don't use rich text or html in any form very often, set your whole E-mail program to always use plain text.

Foreign travel, foreign computers:

If you went into your computer settings for KEYBOARD (the location of this function varies by operating system; for Windows it is usually in the Control Panel as KEYBOARD on early Windows and Region and Languages on later ones), you could reset your keyboard for MANY different foreign styles.  UNfortunately, you would need to catalog and then remark your keys unless you owned a foreign-marked keyboard.   Unless you really need or want a foreign keyboard layout, I suggest you leave yours for English.

When you travel to foreign countries, which often, but not always use foreign keyboards, they MAY OR MAY NOT be using a keyboard corresponding to that country's settings for the keyboard.  You can change keyboard settings, as noted above, IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE FUNCTION (which you may not have if in a hotel or motel and the computer is 'protected'); or, you must find out which are the important keys you must know.  

There is ONE key combination that may drive you nuts if you do not know about it. I highly suggest that if traveling to a foreign country, you write down the following information.   The @ symbol is NEEDED to send E-mail (yes, other methods, far too complicated to show here).

If you cannot find the @ symbol, or even if you do find it (usual place is on the numeral 2 key at top left corner of the keyboard), and you find it will not display that symbol @, you could ask a local person.   OR, know about a universal method.

If you cannot find someone to help you, try this (be sure the NUM key is NOT turned-on):
ALT + 64   
Here is what pressing ALT, and while holding it, pressing 6 and then 4 on the RIGHT SIDE numerical keys area, does in my computer, and probably yours:  @

You cannot do this with the numerical buttons at the top area of your MUST be at the right side numerical area.  (laptops are different, however, see their documentation).

NOTE:  you do NOT type the + symbol!   The + symbol is a standard way of saying hold the first key while tapping the following key(s).

Printing or sending special "characters" (no, not your crazy friends) from your computer:
I suggest that you either print this section and then practice on your computer; or, you open your E-mail application, start to compose, and have BOTH windows open on the monitor, read this article on the left, practice on the right.

What follows is NOT intended to be a course in ANSI/ASCII, is intended to QUICKLY give you a working knowledge.  You can put  characters, accents, etc., that you want.... into WORD and other word processing documents, as well as in E-Mails!!...this tells you how to do it.  I already gave you  ALT+64, above.  TRY that in composing mode, before reading further.

Way back when we nuts first started using personal computers, there was a set of 256 characters, numbered from 0 to 255.  Two standards were used, that have some close similarities.  There was the America Standard Code for Information Interchange, ASCII (typically spoken as ASS-KEY), and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).   Most of the letters, numbers, and a few other things like grammatical items such as these:  )(*&^%$#@ and others, are ANSI specified.   There are two, three, and 4 character CODES that you could enter on the right side number area of the keyboard, in a special way, and the screen would display some certain character, regular character, even various shaped lines, hearts, spades, etc....all of which had various computer purposes, for the basic to moderately advanced user....and to programmers for advanced work.   This paragraph is simplified information.

Modern computers have text formatting and many other things, like margins being specified, bold, italic, underline, tabs, and embedded objects, ....and things got complicated.    ASCII does not support layout nor embedded objects....and is often just called DOS or PLAIN TEXT.  ASCII and ANSI are often used interchangeably, and often wrongly so, but for our purposes here, just use the special characters we are going to be involved with here, in the slang and generic way, just call them ASCII (ass-key) symbols.    There are VASTLY more than 256 needed for modern computers.  We have all sorts of different world-wide languages that need to be displayed on screens, and a whole vast array of punctuation marks, that are commonly used even for basic English.   Accent marks of numerous types are an example.   Chances are GOOD that you only need to know a FEW of these codes.

Almost any symbol or character is available to YOU, from YOUR computer.  In truth, you can make your own.   But, you need a lot more than 256 to cover the world of actual need.   On a practical basis, you can obtain the characters from a character map chart, or, from a printed chart showing all the various forms, or from inside a program that has character charts.    OK, confused yet?  Don't be!

NOTE:  Even on the same computer, some of these things will work on one of your programs, and maybe not another.  Most of the time these things always work.   On some computer systems, the FONT you are using will have effects, and you get the wrong symbol. On OTHER computers, and in some E-mail programs (Outlook, as an example), you must be in PLAIN TEXT mode to have all the symbols correctly displayed and coded as YOU want.   So, if something I tell you to do/try here does not display the correct character/symbol, maybe you are not in plain text mode.   MANY programs display the characters just fine, either plain text or HTML/RichText mode. 


What I will show is the simple way of doing/using these things.

So, you now know that foreign characters; special punctuation marks; degree symbol, and many dozens more are available from your computer.   

***Many of you have Mac computers.   When using a Mac, the Windows Ctrl key is called the CMD key (command); and the Windows ALT key is called the OPTION key.

There are TWO basic METHODS of getting these characters on screen and into some document or whatever.  ONE method in Windows systems is to find the Character Map (usually something like this path: Start->Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Character map) and use it. IT IS SLOW TO DO IT THIS WAY, SINCE YOU MUST DO SEVERAL OPERATIONS.  Still, the character map can be useful; and there are different character maps for each font! 

If you really want to experiment, you might want to put a shortcut to the Character map on the desktop.  Before clicking your programs list to bring the program on screen, just right click the listing, and send it to the desktop as a shortcut.   Using the Character Map is a bit of a hassle. You might want to spend some time looking at the various Character Map versions (try changing the font inside the Character Map...this won't affect your other computer use).  The Character Map does allow you access to hundreds of special symbols, and all sorts of fonts variations, which have their own sets of characters sometimes, and so on.  

I seldom use the Character Map, as I typically only use maybe a dozen special characters, and those are easy to either memorize, or write the key strokes down someplace, or print a chart from the internet.

Programs like Microsoft's WORD (especially later versions of WORD) have most of these symbols/characters built-in, and you can call up the chart while composing or editing in WORD.  There are a number of various charts located at the same access box.  Although it may not seem intuitive, and probably isn't, the various charts are called up by asking for different FONTS in the SYMBOL program ITSELF.  For example, in Office WORD 2007, you can find the function by clicking on INSERT, and then selecting what you want, which is either the sub-heading EQUATION (yes, has those too!)....or, in this case, SYMBOL.   Select the character (try different FONTS, see how it changes things a lot).  95% of you will NOT need, nor use, the information in this particular paragraph.

MOST of you will only use A FEW ANSI/ASCII characters, and there is a MUCH easier way of dealing with them, which follows below:
This is primarily what you will probably end up knowing.....and using!....

You have already done ALT + 64.  The simple next thing to know is that while still holding that key, you can enter a TWO, THREE, OR FOUR digit number from the RIGHT SIDE keyboard pad.  (if using a small laptop, you must know how to insert the digits, which are scattered about on other keys, messily).   There are some 2 digit numbers, the only pertinent one for you is probably the 64 number previously mentioned, but I doubt you will use it unless traveling in a foreign country.

>>>check your keyboard to be sure the NumLock function key is not turned on!

When you press the keys combination, if the character does show on your screen, it USUALLY will display OK on other folks screens.  There are a few exceptions.  The 'and' symbol (&), might show a question mark...and a few other anomalies...on FOREIGN (non-English keyboard) computers.   For a rather complete listing of all these characters (be prepared to print them if nerdy enough):

Here is an example of a few symbols and how to get them into your document or E-mail, etc.   Note that in most instances of foreign letter characters, they are available in both lower and upper case.   A reminder:  the plus sign +, as used below, means only that you HOLD the ALT key down, and then, still holding, push the number keys on the RIGHT side of your keyboard, one after another in sequence.   Laptop owners may need to press the Fn key, or some other combination, as there is no right side number keyboard for many, especially small, laptop owners.  See your documentation.

>>>check your keyboard to be sure the NumLock function key is not turned on!

°, the degree symbol, is ALT + 0176  
¢, the cents symbol, is ALT + 0162
£, the money pound symbol, is ALT + 0163
©, the copyright symbol, is ALT + 0169
¿, the Spanish beginning sentence question mark, is ALT + 0191
ü, the widely used German character, is ALT + 0252.   You can, as with most letters, get the upper case:  Ü,   from ALT + 0220
The ASCII/ANSI charts listings include 'strange' punctuation marks, even a space non-character and some exponent numbers, and some fractions.

NERDY: when you type on your keyboard, for 'regular' letters (both upper and lower case), and all numbers, and all punctuation, ETC., as shown on your keyboard, those are all actually ASCII/ANSI; that your computer converts to an ALT + xx or ALT + xxx or ALT + xxxx type electronic signal.  This is a very simplified way of describing it, but is adequate here.      Beginning at ALT + 0140,  non-keyboard characters are available.   Type any number while holding the ALT key...see what happens (use any word processing program, open a blank page, and try these things).

SO....Have fun, and try some out.  If intrigued, get a chart of them from the Internet, and print it.

PART 2.  Useful URL/sources for BMW motorcyclists; parts, links to people, websites, companies, services:


        Sub-section: BMW Parts

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 much.    Use it rarely.
This website works nicely by model, year, and you can go back as far as 1948 if you use the Archive feature.
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.
There is a place on that main page to click for the parts catalog.  I hardly ever use this site.


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.  The maxbmwmotorcycle site is the one I find the most easy to use and 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.

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. 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, etc., will have the best information.   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

On the West coast, in California, is Ted Porter's Beemershop. They are very knowledgeable about parts & service, & STOCK many parts!   It is OFTEN to your great advantage to speak to someone in a parts department that KNOWS your bike!  Many a time these folks will steer you in the correct direction; when just ordering from someone else via a part number YOU provide (or they provide!), might get you into trouble.   ALL BMW bikes, old and latest.  Website has some repairs articles.

On the East coast is Tom Cutter's Rubber Chicken Racing Garage.  Meticulous workmanship on BMW motorcycles.  Airheads, Oilheads, ETC.  Some modest tech info on website.

Both of the above sources have great knowledge about parts and all else; and I know that Ted has quite an inventory. 

Sub-section:  Technical information, service, how-to's, etc:

The PRIMARY 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:   Technical-articles-list .    I say PRIMARY, because while my website is intended as a major reference source, that LIST covers anything & everything Airhead, & you can usually get a reply rather quickly.  If a list Guru is not available, you can refer to my website, that you are reading.  I have a SEARCH function, if you need it.  Once a LIST member, 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. Some of the non-guru's are VERY knowledgeable!     For those who are already Members, here is the archives address:

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

A lot of information is also on Anton Largiader's website.
Lots of GOOD stuff.  You can also use:

Some of the 'guru's' tend to discourage direct inquiries (I do! as they would benefit only one person), 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 joinclub.htm for information on joining the Club.   Oak has an index of past articles available.   He also does SUPERB repair work!  Oak was MY personal mentor/guru....or whatever you want to call the relationship; from AFTER I worked as a BMW wrench and also for a BMW dealership.  If you contact him to do repair work for you, be sure to ask about how realistically long the job will take; Oak is doing less and less....we all get old!

My personal recommendations for repair work are OAK (Chicago area, and noted above); Ted Porter who is on the West Coast and does business as;  Bob Clement in Montana who does business as BMW Montana; Tom Cutter in the East Coast area, doing business as the Rubber Chicken Racing Garage.

ub-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 Laverda!    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 moreThey also repair these things...and also have 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's on BMW-sold parts.    I don't have any financial stake here, this is just a hint.   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.

There are other sources for some types of electrics, such as Thunderchild,; and Motorrad Elektrik (Rick is very helpful, and they sell the aftermarket alternator called the Omega).
They have an Airhead electrics (charging) manual that is pretty good.  You MIGHT want to own that booklet from ....much smaller and pointed towards troubleshooting.

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 manual on MY site:   chitechelmn.htm   If you own one of these manuals, I suggest you use my critique, to update your manual.

        Sub-section:  A few more references:
This is Phil Hawksley's website.....lots of good information there.
Yeah, I know, 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 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.

        Sub-section: OLDER BMW MOTORCYCLES (and, in some cases, the /5 and /6 models and maybe later too):
This section has a list of sources for parts, information, literature, technical and every sort of help for your PRE-1970 BMW motorcycle.   SOME of those listed are also good sources for POST-1970.

Mobile Tradition is BMW's own outlet for information, parts, 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.

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, carbs, etc.).

NOTE:  See article 78B 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.   this is the Vintage BMW club.  Has a forum, and a fair amount of 'stuff'.

        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 listen 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.


Clever BMW tools, videos, and help:    Ed Korn previously did business as Cycle Works, in Oregon (yes, that is the town name in the State of Wisconsin). He did some machine work, had LOTS of tools (and some parts) for everything from the Isetta cars, through the /2 era, until the Airheads stopped production in  the late 90's. He had a rather extensive line of tools, some VERY cleverly designed, and he had instructions, videos, all sorts of stuff.    Doing a run-through of his website is informative to many folks.  Ed sold the business to Cycle Works LLC, located at 5805 Haskins Street, Shawnee, KS, 66216   (913) 871-6740.  Contact the new owner at:
   ((NOT .com!!))
. The url is:  

MORE TOOLS:   FOR SURE see my ENTIRE tools.htm article!!!!

Darryl Richman.  Reach him through his website   Lots of knowledge and can probably direct you to where you need to go for things.
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.

Kradrider LIST      War bikes

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

Old Timers Garage.   New made parts.   Poland.

Slash 2.
One of the Yahoo groups.   It does NOT deal 'just' with the /2 bikes, but with all vintage BMW bikes:

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

Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners   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 typically discuss the /2 and /3 bikes.  I also do not "follow" Vech's site, nor the sites for the older bikes. Two reasons.  One is that my huge notebook on the /2 and /3 era bikes was somehow lost.   The other 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 and 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

        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.
I am sure you can figure out what -BS means on the above    That is for 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".    Worth looking at. ILLUSTRATED HOW-TO articles.
NOTE:  The bmwscotter website appears down for non-payment of ISP fees.   10-20-2013     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:
for serial numbers and general production dates, there are several sites for this sort of thing, here is another one:

There is a vin decoder of a different sort on my (this) site too....see the article IDnumbrs.htm   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.

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.

Hagon Shocks:   
Hagon Products Co.    7  Roebuck Road; Hainault Industrial Estate; Essex IG6 3JH; England
phone:   0208 0502 6222; fax:  0208 502 6274

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: sidecarURL.htm

Lots of references are on the Airheads Club website: 
That website has technical articles written by myself....and many others.  Click on that main page under Technical Tips.  A clickable link on the left side of the page.  There are quite a few pages to the Technical Tips section.  UNfortunately, the new version of that website demands you be a Member of the Club, before you can access these; and, the Table of Contents is not yet done.

Bing carburetor page.....scan down to your carburetor model, and then see what components it is made up of:

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.

Speedometer work:   North Hollywood Speedometer
(I can no longer recommend P.A.S., which is Palo Alto Speedometer, for such work).

        Sub-section: TOOLS:
You can usually obtain, relatively cheaply, the same high quality tools that originally came in the bike's tool kit, from your BMW dealership.   BMW factory special tools are pricey and only rarely needed.   See my tools.htm major article on this website for LOTS of information; read the humor at the top, and continue reading!!!

Clever BMW tools, videos, and help:    Ed Korn previously did business as Cycle Works, in Oregon (yes, that is the town name in the State of Wisconsin). He did some machine work, had LOTS of tools (and some parts) for everything from the Isetta cars, through the /2 era, until the Airheads stopped production in  the late 90's. He had a rather extensive line of tools, some VERY cleverly designed, and he had instructions, videos, all sorts of stuff.    Doing a run-through of his website is informative to many folks.  Ed sold the business to Cycle Works LLC, located at 5805 Haskins Street, Shawnee, KS, 66216   (913) 871-6740.  Contact the new owner at: ((NOT .com!!)) The url is:  


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.
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
01/15/2011:  remove references, thunderchild & buchanan pages...I have the information in
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.   10-20-2013
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.


©Copyright 2013, R. Fleischer

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