BMW PAINT, COLOR CODES, SCHEMES, etc, 1970 --> ??
© copyright 2021, R. Fleischer
BE SURE TO READ THIS ENTIRE INTRODUCTORY SECTION!
This article contains a summary of all 1970 & later BMW Airhead motorcycle colors & paint scheme codes that I know about; and, while it is mostly North America shipped colors, over the years I have added European information.
There is also some, not extensive, information on K bike and Oilhead colors.
In my private files I have a lot of information on old BMW car paints, you can ask, on the Airheads LIST, about a specific model, year, color. Glasurit's very old literature does not seem to have been included to a full extent in Glasurit's on-line charts, for motorcycles, although listed in that category. BTW, Glasurit paints are distributed by BASF in the USA.
Every BMW motorcycle, and cars too, is coded with a three-digit paint finish code number. BMW motorcycles use that code number, usually found on a label under the seat, on the seat pan or top of the rear fender... to refer to an over-all paint job. This is a finish code; covering the entire paint job. Europeans, and many in the USA, refer to this finish code number as the Scheme code. All of which means exactly what I say here:
This is not a number that describes 'just' the color(s) of the paint, although that number may be the primary paint color. You should think of the scheme number as describing an entire paint color and layout, even pinstripes, ....except for exact paint gun passes, thickness of coatings, exact placement of pinstripes, ...in other words it is not a full engineering description, but it is a description of, generally, the products. This code does describe, possibly not fully, pin-striping, even dual-pin-striping.
Glasurit, & some others, have a lot of information. They know what that BMW code basically means...or, should know. This information may not be published in their internet-sourced charting! This can be particularly troublesome with the pinstriping and the smoked colors, and the R90S paint jobs. There may be several color coats used, & a finishing top clear coat, one or more colors or types of pinstriping, etc....it all depends on the model (and, probably, year). If you want information on color depth, fading, etc., you need to speak to an expert BMW motorcycle painter.
For a simple example, you might have a bike whose under-seat label has the color scheme number 572. In this instance, it happens that 572 is a specific BMW color, Magenta Red, and you can get paint in that color. But ...for 572 you also need a clear coat, and what about the pinstriping?....gold pin-striping used most often with that paint code? Single pin-stripe or a dual pin-stripe? Width? Is it installed before the top clear coat, or underneath? How many layers or dusting coatings of a paint are use to get the appropriate depth of color? ...too much/many may be darker than originally intended. Some schemes are VERY complicated!
In some instances there is a base color coat, which has an over-coat applied to get some desired effect ...or more than one! ...and then perhaps a clear coat. Some paints are not clear coated. When investigating a paint code you may need to contact the paint manufacturer. Try Glasurit.....by first looking at the parent website,
BMWNA (& Butler & Smith, the importers of the early BMW bikes), sometimes had different names for the same color when used on different models! BMW themselves sometimes had different names for the same paint when used with different colors of pin striping, and may or may not have changed the Scheme code, confusing things badly.
Little-known-fact: BMW used a descriptive 00 for color for right hand drive cars, single 0 for left hand drive cars!
Snoop around here: http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/colourschemes.htm
Duplicating an original paint job is where a highly experienced professional painter earns their money.
1. On matching colors and numbers.... http://www.glasurit.com/. It used to be that in order to use that URL, you selected "BMW" and on the next page enter your color sticker number. Glasurite is part of BASF now, and use of the internet pages is quite different. Look carefully. For the old pages, the next following page had the trim code. I used the first color number listed, entered it back into the previous page, it give the color name.
2. Sometimes hard-to-find information is in literature such as the SNABB Katalog; or, BMW's microfiche, etc.
3. The first number in a BMW code is the paint, the second number is the finish code. You will probably find that confusing in actual use, until you are familiar with how it is used.
4. In 1983-1984, the front fender of the R80RT had ONE pinstripe; the R100RT had DUAL stripes.
5. Due to the age of all Airheads, paints previously available from BMW are OFTEN, if not mostly, no longer available; particularly via BMW. The paint may well be available from other sources. That is particularly so for the State of California, but, increasingly so for other States. Sometimes, though, while NOT available from a California dealership, or anyone or any company in a particular State, due to VOC & other smog laws, they are available from other State's dealerships. BMW dealerships have some access to availability. HINT: In some instances a paint is NLA in fiche & in dealer information, but MAY still be available. You can try ordering it from your BMW dealer! SEE #9 BELOW!
6. For R-M paint (BASF's mid line):
http://color-explorer.rmpaint.com/. If the paint formula is available, a BASF paint store can mix it for you. Some formulas may only be available in certain types of paint (single, two stage, etc.). For Glasurit paint (BASF's high end line):
7. There are many sources for paint, here is another one: http://www.rsbikepaint.com/en-us/colours.php
8. RUST, TANKS, FRAMES, etc:
Regarding aluminum door & window frame cleaners and Naval Jelly (any hardware store or Lowe's or Home Depot):
9. Availability of paints from your BMW dealership varies considerably! Some dealerships will, especially on their on-line fiche, show something as not available, or not shippable. It may well be that the item is still available, so contact other dealerships & try out-of-State ones in particular. This problem has been especially seen in California with its Rules & Regulations about VOC's in paint. As one example, the touch-up 'stick' which is really a small round container with a brush attached to the cap & a shaker-ball (?) inside, for the up-to 1980 black frames, is 51 91 0 302 284, & was still available last time I checked a few years ago, yet many dealerships either had it as "Ended" or NLA, or "not shippable".
10. Smoke colors are not what you may think. Many examples. 78 red smoke uses dark blue (not black) for the smoke, and over time might fade to purplish; the silver smoke paint is actually dark green for the smoke. If you want to try to be sure of 100% authenticity, contact someone like Holt's.
11. Cast alloy wheels are painted. An excellent match for that paint is Würth's Silver Wheel Paint.
12. When painting, whether it is from a rattle-can ....or with professional equipment, ....preparation of the surface is extremely important! I suggest you spend the money and use high quality paints. The area should be dust free. Absolutely no contaminants should be left on/in the surfaces ...this is especially important if there are any silicones from such as waxes/polishes having been used in the past. If the surface is not perfect, the final appearance will be much worse than you wanted!
13. Regarding instrument pointers and dial colors, which have varied depending on year, model, etc. I have an article that includes some of these changes. Since they often vary with the rear drive ratios, I have put them here: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/ringgears.htm
14. DUNKEL means dark colored.
This is a rather short list for paint work. Inquire on the appropriate Internet Mailing List or Forum. Be sure to ask detailed questions.
Complete paint jobs: Holt's, in Ohio. 740-593-6690 (they also do fuel tank repairing)
Paint: Excellent paints; can match any color. Color-Rite. Their chief Tech is Doug Hodgins, in the business for >40 years. Small to large containers available; as well as aerosol cans; and a 'trick' touch-up pen. https://www.color-rite.com. In the USA: in Whittier, CA (562) 947-9796. In Canada (418) 876-3867, if you are not French speaking, ask for Reggie.
RSBIKEPAINT.com in U.K. 0044 (0) 1707 273219 Sales@rsbikepaint.co.uk Will, I think, ship worldwide.
BMW pin stripes are 3.8 mm wide on the fuel tank; otherwise 2 mm wide. Spacing is 3 mm.
Miscellaneous codes, colors, containers, etc:
Below are the actual paint codes for various models & years. These numbers are not in complete numerical order ...so, scan down fully! Every model that used a particular Paint Code might not be listed under the Models column. For a more complete list of Paint Codes and Paint Schemes, see Phil Hawksley's website. There may well be errors on that website ....and, may not be USA codings. Phil's website has a page on pinstripe colors, listed by their code.
Every model that used a particular Paint Code might not be listed under the Models column.
For a more complete list of Paint Codes and Paint Schemes, see Phil Hawksley's website. There may well be errors on that website ....and, may not be USA codings. Phil's website has a page on pinstripe colors, listed by their code.
|this area empty on purpose|
|023 / 523||Granada Red||1973 - 1974||R50/5 - R90/6|
|051 / 052||Phoenix Gold Matt Flat Lowers; used with $113 and 104||1979||R100RT, R100T|
|057||Polaris Silver (Early Metallic Silver)||1970 - 1971||R50/5 - R75/5|
|060||Imola Polaris Silver. Metallic.||1972 - 1974||
R50/5 - R90/6
This color was never used on R100/7 shipped to the U.S.
|074||Green Metallic||1973 - 1974||R50/5 - R90/6|
|084 / 584||White, Federweiss. Also in Europe, called Creme White when JUST code 084||1970 - 1976||R50/5 - R90/6. Supposedly also on Motorsport R100RS. In Europe, Creme White was on the R50/5.|
Black (Avus), used with #101.
Avus Black was always 086, but has been used with 519/086/640/590/608, since year 1955.
|1970 - 1976||R50/5 - R90/6; R80/7; with R100/7 add #125 Mittelrot pinstriping.|
|130||Dk. Blue Met/Iceberg blue = Dunkelblau. Used with #101||1979 - 1980||/7; R100T - R100RS|
|131||Silver, Hellsilber; with #101 & #112||1979||R100RS|
|Weise Motorsport. Consists of white panels using #083 white; center fairing panel red #133; tricolor pinstriping was using colors 113, 114, 115. SEE 999, well below in this chart.||1978||R100RS MOTORSPORT|
|510||Daytona Orange, used with #107||1975 - 1976||R90S|
|511||Havana Gold. Not gold, but almost a feces-colored brown. Was never used on R100/7 shipped to the U.S. Havana Gold was used with gold pin-striping scheme, color 104||1976 - 1978 (only a few 1976 R90/6)||R90/6 - R100/7, R75/7, and 1978 R80/7. Supposedly available on R100S.|
|526||Bol D'or Red(rot).||1975 - 1976||R60/6 - R90/6.|
|529 (also has been called 029)||Curry--metallic, this is NOT the 002 color that was also used on some early cars. AKA Metallic Gold.||1972 - 1974||R50/5 - R90/6|
|530||Silver Metallic, with a clear coating-used with #105||1977 - 1978||R100RS|
|531||Red Metallic||1977 - 1978; maybe to 1980||R100/7 SPECIAL; R100S|
|532||Black Metallic. Used with #104||1977 - 1978||R60/7 - R100/7|
|084 / 533||Blue Metallic. May have been used with #101, not 084, ....unclear?||1977 - 1978||R100/7 - R60/7|
|534||Burnt Orange Metallic. /6, /7 may have used it with #101||1977 - 1978||R100/7 - R60/7|
|538||Monza Blue metallic||1972 - 1976||R50/5 - R90/6|
|546||Gold Metallic, used with #110. There was also a M. Gold 046/546; and perhaps a 031/531 M. silver||1978 and possibly later||R100RS|
|548||Silver Beige RT Lower/RS, used with #107||1980||R65 ?; R100RS RT?|
|551||Red||1979 - 1980||R65|
|552||Phoenix Gold Upper|
|553||Red Smoke (dunklerot), metallic, used with #104||1978 - 1980||R100S; R100RS; R100RT|
|561||Silver Smoke (TT-Silberrasch??). It was reported that the early R90S had its gold striping being a TAPE, and it was applied AFTER the clear coat||1974 - 1976||R90S, R100S|
|577||Nuerburg Green||1975 - 1976||R60/6 - R90/6|
|583||Motorsport (White)||1978||R100RS Sport|
|589 / 088||Bronco, may be used as 589/116||1979 - 1980||R65, R100T other /7+|
|509||Red Smoke||1981 - 1982||R100RT|
|520||Green Smoke metallic. Dark green metallic #164; Amazonas grün, used with #104. Unclear, one source says Schwarz black 168 is used with a matt black 121.||1981||R100RT|
|507||Silver Graphite; known as Polaris graphite metallic with #163||1981 - 1982 - 1983||R100RS|
|508||Red Smoke. As 508/509, with 553, was Lavarot. Metallic, R100RS.||1981 - 1982||R10ORS; for R100RT add #104.|
|506||Classic Black, metallic, used with #162 and 104 on R100S||1981||R100CS|
|505||Silver, known as Stratos silver, used with 161 and 126, on R100/7||1981 - 1982||R100|
|504||Blue; called Atlantic Blue Metallic used with #124 and 125 on R100/7||1981||R100|
|519||Black; possibly used with 101, 125||1981 - 1982 - 1983||R100; R100/7|
|519||Black||1981 - 1982 - 1983||R65|
|518||Red||1981 - 1983||R65|
|501||Blue||1981 - 1982||
R65 and R45
|562||Henna Red||1982 - 1983||R65LS|
|563||Polaris Metallic||1982 - 1983||R65LS|
|558||Pacific Blue Metallic||1982 - 1983||R80GS|
|542||Alaska Blue; probably uses paint code 136||1983||R100RS|
|137||Metallic mother of pearl white||subcodes 571/621/634/650||various, and some K|
|571||Pearl White||Last Edition bikes||Last Edition bikes|
Pearl White. Some literature suggests 999 was a Motorsport color, white with blue/red, used on 1978+ R100RS
|544||Pacific Blue. A near perfect match for this color may be Lamborghini Midnight Blue, F0930F. For the original BMW color scheme, the base was a dark blue #130, dunkleblau, & a silver pinstripe was used, mittelsilber.||1983 and 1984||R80RT|
|133||Rennsport red (Rennsportrot)||R100RS|
|566||Red Metallic. 566 color is same as 531 red, used with the 104 gold stripe, in a slightly different stripe pattern||1983 - 1984||R80RT|
|031||Red metallic, used with #104, but on R100/7, used with #111||/7|
|048||Brown metallic, used with 051||R100RT, R100T|
|597, 601, 602, 603||All are called Minzgrün. With #603 was called Minzgrün-Hell, used with 094 and 101. See above 097/797 Minzgrün.||/7 series|
|583/584||Police White||583/584/607/083/581||Police motors. Not the only Police White; see 083 below. Also 581/583|
|083||Police white; used with 101, 108, 097, & likely used with 601 and/or 602 numbers too. Some 083 was used just with 102, & some #108|
|580||RAL6012 black||/6, /7|
|054||Ocean Blue, used with 113, 114, 115||R100S, R100RS|
|067/567||Police green||067 was used on the /5 bikes, etc.|
|644||Bermuda Blue. Base was bermudablau
225 & a silver pinstripe used.
|1988 - 1989||R100RT|
|527 not confirmed, may be Euro number 323||Mystic Red Metallic unconfirmed, may be scheme
|1995 USA, & may be other years||R100RT USA.
|656||Classic Black Metallic||1994 USA-sold, and maybe others||R100R, possibly others|
Below are paint codes that are sometimes on USA-shipped
motorcycles but tended to be more used in UK/Europe:
|Some R80, R100GS, K1200, R1150GS|
|265||Aluminum White||265||K1100LT, R1150GS Adventure|
|571||Perlmutt, also called Pearl White||621/634/
|668||Black 2||668||R850 and later; some F650, some oilheads|
|Special code 9005||Deep Black||F650GS|
Appearance: two colors of grays. In German: Arktis-grau; Graphit.
|(1) Graphite Gray Pearl 342
(2) Arctic Gray Metallic 269
|1995 R100RT, and possibly others, in both USA and UK.|
I will probably never finish this article; I continue to work on it from time to time.
Of all the technical pages on this website, this page is the one most likely to have errors on it. Please report such in detail to me. I can be reached at this E-mail address: CLICK!
© copyright 2021, R. Fleischer
Last check/edit: Friday, November 19, 2021