Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners




Knowledge Base




Snowbum's BMW Motorcycle Repair & Information Website

Any advertisements above are Google-provided. They are at the
TOP AREA ONLY on almost every page in this website.   A few
may be elsewhere's on the page, for testing purposes, now
and then.   If you see ads elsewhere's, contact me!
For many years, clicking on advertisements ...and ...donations ...
have helped support this website, my equipment, and my testing work. 

There is also a donating article which has a considerable amount
of historical information, including how I run this site

Animation by Mo Massen; furnished to me by Alessandro Zorat

Snowbum's BMW Motorcycle

Repair & Information Website.

original Copyright 1999, R. Fleischer.
Copyrighted each & every year since.
Copyright 2024, R. Fleischer.

SOME articles are only clickable from this HomePage.  Those are listed well below.
See the
box located near the end of this page for the clickable link to my big list of Technical Articles.

Saving a hyperlink address found in this website? Best to use the address as displayed.  Do not change upper/lower case for letters, as that may return a 404 error ('article not found').    Explanation:  When I designed and first wrote articles for this website I failed to be consistent about naming the hyperlinks to my articles. I failed to use only lower case letters after the domain name portion of the hyperlink address. If you write down any hyperlink address and do not use the same exact address that I used, you might not find the page. For instance, if a page is named  /Gears.htm in the link, but if you use /gears.htm, then you won't find the page! 
Addendum, dated November 11, 2021:   A change at the server level has probably fixed these upper/lower case problems.

One other caution, don't add a forward slash at the very end:
If you use /gears.htm, that's fine; not good is /gears.htm/  

All technical information on this site is:   


Robert (Bob) Fleischer is also known as Snowbum; "The Expatiating Scribe of the Sierra"


The R32, BMW's first motorcycle.
Information is in photogallery2


The BMW R12, 1935 to 1938


All technical information on this site is:    

The  DONATING article includes website history, philosophy,  ....
& extensive information on this website's operations.


The above 1995 R100RT replaced my 1984 R100RT.

Snowbum and Penny.  Amor Vincit Omnia!!

He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool ...shun him.
He who knows not, and knows that he knows not, is willing ...teach him.
He who knows, and knows not that he knows, is asleep ...awaken him.
He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise ...follow him."
--Chinese proverb--

The internet, E-mail LISTs, Facebook, etc,....are all places we can easily witness certain effects:
(2)  Dunning-Kruger Effect on E-mail Lists and Forums.
(3)  From Darwin's "Descent of Man":  Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.
(4)  Fremdscham (and) cringing.   

There is a theory which states that if anyone ever discovers exactly what the Universe is for,
and why it is here,
it will instantly disappear & be replaced,
by something even more bizarre & inexplicable.
There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
Douglas Adams, "The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

In my seventies, at the 10,400 foot top
of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort, 5 miles
from my Lake Tahoe home. 
I am about to ski down Ellie's,
my favorite black diamond run.  

The view as I go over the edge:

My K1100LT-EML Sidecar rig...when it still had the BMW Police box.
The new owner picked it up from me on May 26, 2019.
Go to the Technical Articles List page,
and scan way down to the section entitled Sidecar Specific Section.

The difference between driving a car and climbing onto a motorcycle...
is the difference between watching TV & actually living your life. 
We spend all our time sealed in boxes, & cars are just rolling boxes that shuffle us
from home-box to work-box to store-box and back...
the whole time, entombed in stale air, temperature regulated, sound insulated, & smelling of carpets.
On a motorcycle I know I'm alive.

When I ride, even the familiar seems strange & glorious. 
The air has weight and substance as I push through..
its touch is as intimate as water to a swimmer.

I feel the cool wells of air that pool under trees and warm spokes sunshine.
I can see everything in a sweeping 360 degrees, up, down and around,
wider than Pana-vision & IMAX & unrestricted by ceiling or dashboard.
Sometimes I even hear music. 
It's like hearing phantom telephones in the shower, or false doorbells when vacuuming;
the pattern-loving brain, seeking signals in the noise,
raises acoustic ghosts out of the wind's roar.
But on a motorcycle I hear whole songs: rock 'n roll, dark orchestras, women's voices,
all hidden in the air and released by speed. ...
Dave Karlotski


1983 R100RT-Ural.  First road rig I constructed.  Tahoe DOES get that much snow some years.  Guess where I am going?

1984 R100RT I used to own & ride. Top-box is a Luftmeister. 

There is cold......and there is cold on a motorcycle. 
Cold on a motorcycle is like being beaten with cold hammers,
while being kicked with cold boots, a bone bruising cold.
The wind's big hands squeeze the heat out of my body & whisk it away;
caught in a cold October rain, the drops don't even feel like water.
I expect to arrive with my cheeks & forehead streaked with blood,
but that's just an illusion, just the misery of nerves not designed for highway speeds. 
Despite this, it's hard to give up my motorcycle in the fall.
I rush to get it on the road again in the spring.
Lapses of sanity like this are common among motorcyclists. 
When you let a motorcycle into your life you're changed forever. 
The letters "MC" are stamped on your driver's license
right next to your sex and height
as if "motorcycle" was just another of your physical characteristics,
or maybe a mental condition.

But when warm weather finally does come around,
all those cold snaps and rainstorms are paid in full
because a motorcycle summer is worth any price.

At 30 miles an hour and up, smells become uncannily vivid.
All the individual tree-smells and flower-smells and grass-smells
flit by like chemical notes in a great plant symphony. 
Sometimes the smells evoke memories so strongly ...
that it's as though the past hangs invisible in the air around me,
wanting only the most casual of rumbling time machines to unlock it.
A ride on a summer afternoon can border on the rapturous.

The sheer volume & variety of stimuli is like a bath for my nervous system,
an electrical massage for my brain, a systems check for my soul.
It tears smiles out of me:
a minute ago I was dour, depressed, apathetic, numb...but now,
on two wheels, big, ragged, windy smiles flap against the side of my face,
billowing out of me like air from a decompressing plane.
Transportation is only a secondary function.

A motorcycle is a joy machine.  It's a machine of wonders,
a metal bird, a motorized prosthetic. It's light and dark and shiny
and dirty and warm and cold lapping over each other;
it's a conduit of grace, it's a catalyst for bonding the gritty and the holy.

Cars lie to us and tell us we're safe, powerful, and in control. 
The air-conditioning fans murmur empty assurances and whisper, "Sleep, sleep." 
Motorcycles tell us a more useful truth: we are small and exposed,
and probably moving too fast for our own good,
but that's no reason not to enjoy every minute of the ride.
Dave Karlotski

Winters varied considerably at Lake Tahoe. 
The below photo was taken in January 2008. 
Notice the snow height at Penny's feet & at the
right lower corner & area under the mailbox. 
Nearly to Penny's hips OVERNIGHT!  
This was NOT terribly unusual here.  Some
Winters we had very little snow ....
see the next in-line photo below this one.

This photo was taken at same place as above photo,
but 7 years later ...on January 17th, 2015:

To read most all the statistics about Lake Tahoe:

My first ever trip to Tahoe was as an early teenager in mid-January 1952,
when a huge January snowstorm shut down travel to & from Lake Tahoe. 
That was a 'hundred year' storm.

The below photo is from JULY of that same year (1952), AFTER plowing! 
This is the Mt. Rose highway, which is at the Northeast corner of the
Lake Tahoe Basin.  It had snowed a fair amount after the January snowstorm,
which is why, even after a number of feet of settling, the snow here is taller
than the prior photo.  This photo is now part of the Historical Society collection.

A wee Winter's Tale:   CLICK!

There are two roads in life, the twisty one is vastly more fun!

Reputation is what you are perceived to be, character is what you are.
REAL character means doing what is right (when nobody is looking).

Common sense isn't.

Most folks look intelligent .....then they say something.

Be careful when arguing with an idiot.
Folks watching may get confused as to who that is.

Good judgment comes from experience,
and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.


The Purpose Of An Open Mind---Is To Close It On Something.

I was always taught to respect my elders,
but it keeps getting harder to find one.

Remember, half the people you know are below average.

A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof...
is to under-estimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

How are politicians similar to diapers?
They should be changed often --- and for the same reason.

The Goal Of Every Engineer ....
Is to retire without being blamed for a major catastrophe.

Logic is an organized procedure,
for going wrong with confidence and certainty.

It is a fact that light travels faster than the speed of sound,
this explains why some appear bright,
until you hear them speak.

Copyright information!

The information (caveat lector!) on 99% of this website is copyrighted by me.  Usually, but not always, indicated by a copyright symbol . You are granted 'reasonable use'. If you use an article or parts of an article, quote me as the source, PLEASE do NOT edit to change my information, as I wish to be responsible for MY input, not yours.  This website is provided FREE to you for personal use.  The Technical Articles List page (click on the link near the bottom of this article) has a lot more information on using my material. ...PLEASE read it!  Chances are you are headed there anyway to find a technical advice article.

Penny & I took the K1100LT-EML sidecar rig from Lake Tahoe across the USA via Nevada, lower Utah & Colorado, into Kansas & then northerly to the Great Lakes region, then to Duluth, Minnesota.   We returned mostly via Hy 2 across the top of the USA ...over 5500 miles total. A text & photo blog on the trip is on this website.

What's with this lamp?
What is the SuperTech Weekend?

The boxed table below has a number of articles that I decided to place here, on this HomePage.
My Technical Articles List is UNlikely to have any of these.

Join the Airheads Club!

Join the Vintage BMW club too!...  Yes, join BOTH! This Snowbum website is hosted by the Vintage Club, whose website has numerous Forums and a simply huge amount of technical content, and more is constantly being collected.  The Vintage Club covers all older BMW models from the first BMW motorcycle in 1923. 

Photo Galleries
#1   #2   #3   #4   #5   #6  #7

Purchasing an Airhead?  Getting started on doing YOUR motorcycle maintenance? COMBINED ARTICLE!

Link includes history, philosophy & extensive information on this website.

Who the HELL is Snowbum?

A Winter Tale

Snowbum lived at So. Lake Tahoe, CA. from 1972 to late 2019.  Click for information about Lake Tahoe.

Airheads LIST Archives:

Proficient at editing E-mails?
Want to Do it better?
Special keyboard characters?

Whitebeard; A happening. My '57 R60. Written by me and published in 1987, BMW MOA Owners News

Internet Communities; Posting/Editing to Mailing Lists, etc. BMW Motorcycle People.  COMBINED 2 PART ARTICLE.

Deer Whistles

Where's the extensive article on prostate cancer that I had previously on this website??  I removed it, as it was becoming rather onerous to keep it current.   However, this link will take you to a web archive:
NOTE: in that linked article, my street address is wrong, but the E-mail linked address is correct.  BE SURE to obtain the latest PCF Guide. It's free.

The Paradox of our age, by the Dalai Lama

Essay on loud pipes

You live WHERE?

Buying or Selling a Motorcycle


Temporary'll never know what is HERE!

Nerdy stuff

Maintenance schedules for BMW motorcycles:
Schedules are not as complete as my personal one for Airheads:
Maintenance Schedule

Proverbs & sayings; biker wit & wisdom, etc.

Motorcycles in movies & TV:

Motorcycling to Alaska via B.C., etc.

For Sale & wanted and things that are FREEEEE!

One Scary Moment in an Airplane; the R60/2 is Stolen, ...more BIO

Who/what is Fleischer's Service?

Three Santa's

Throttle screws.  Friction & anti-friction devices.  Snowbum gets OFF & RUNNING!

Across the USA & back, by sidecar

Motorcycles, sidecars, & cars/trucks I've owned


These folks have, someplace, a terrifically good article on riding off-road.  The place and/or address it is posted is changing so often I cannot keep up with that.  Contact them, for the article.  
Even if you never ride off-road, great hints here.  Gravel roads? Soft stuff, etc?  I deleted my off-road riding article after reading this one!  Long, detailed, good. 


How to find an old article of mine (or, ANY website or web page). 

This could mean an article that I removed from the present website; or, old versions of an article that still exists, and is not in the present website, or the present site has only a much later version.

There is an organization:  that scans the whole internet, regularly, or, so I have been told. It is sometimes called WayBackMachine.  Using it is simple, if you know how.  Here is a brief intro:

The Airheads Beemer Club had some problems a few years ago, with the head of the Board of Directors, and one or two on that BOD that went along with his ideas and/or things he did.  The  captured 6 or so versions of a specific article I wrote about this BOD Chairman and the BOD problems.  The name of the article I wrote was always:  Dirty Laundry.  Note the URLs below, and how a search at works.  It IS possible to get my entire site too, or, any old articles, likely.

For the dirty laundry articles, you have to enter the search name; it is:

The   site will find the article for you, DEPENDING ON WHICH SHORT VERTICAL BLACK BAR YOU CLICK ON (you will see this once you have the site on screen).  Those bars are arranged by date and indicate when scanned by the web archive folks.  Allow a few seconds, then scan down for the article.

I clicked on one of the vertical dating bars, and got this following link...try it:

Now that you know how to use that website, try it with my   /prostatecancer.htm   article.  You will probably find a few variances on what is displayed (do scan down). You will start by using the FULL URL, see the example on the first URL, several short paragraphs above this one. When you get to the splash page (initial page), you need to decide on what very short black line to click on in the display. I suggest you click on the last BLACK short line.  Hover your mouse pointer over that line for a moment before clicking, see what it MAY display.  After clicking you will get the article, or, get another calendar of the more conventional type, with the month of the scan, with one or more highlighted days.  Try the last one.  

Try the method, practice some. 
Use it with any website, not just mine!


Electronics Repair BUSINESS FOR SALE!
Robert (aka Bob, aka Snowbum) Fleischer
(775) 461-3530


All technical information on this site is:   

Link includes history, philosophy & extensive information on this website's operations

"Copyright 2024, R. Fleischer"

Webmaster and Author: Robert Fleischer (Snowbum) himself!
(who is entirely responsible for this messy old website!)

E-mail: CLICK!

Last check/edit of THIS PAGE: Friday, July 05, 2024