This is the Technical Articles List page.
Copyrighted 1999 and each and every year since.
© Copyright 2020, R. Fleischer
Font too small? Use your Browser's ZOOM feature. This is NOT the HomePage. The HomePage accesses many things, including some articles NOT accessible from this Technical Articles List page. Going from the HomePage to the Technical Article List page, using the clickable link at the bottom of the HomePage will give you the LATEST version of any article; thus, I suggest you "bookmark" ("Favorites") the HomePage & NOT the page you are looking at right now. The HomePage is:
https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/index.html This site is certified by Google to be "mobile friendly". Let me know if you have problems.
Font too small? Use your Browser's ZOOM feature.
This is NOT the HomePage. The HomePage accesses many things, including some articles NOT accessible from this Technical Articles List page. Going from the HomePage to the Technical Article List page, using the clickable link at the bottom of the HomePage will give you the LATEST version of any article; thus, I suggest you "bookmark" ("Favorites") the HomePage & NOT the page you are looking at right now. The HomePage is: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/index.html
This site is certified by Google to be "mobile friendly". Let me know if you have problems.
Animation by Mo Massen; furnished to me by Alessandro Zorat
Snowbum, in 2019, had ~650,000 miles on BMW motorcycles
1952, January ...There's a road here someplace!
Technical information on this website is
(and, I hope you get lots more than you paid-for...or, didn't)
But, if you want to help with costs, click here: DONATING
That page also has history and information about this website.
You may actually be interested in reading that page.
Internet mailing LISTS, Groups, Airheads Club & website, ...etc.:
New to Internet Mailing Lists? New to BMW motorcycle riding, riders & E-mail? ... click & read the short article:
After which you may want to read this, one of my two articles on resources:
The other article on resources? https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/references.htm
"Airhead" is slang for a BMW boxer (two-cylinders, opposed) air-cooled motorcycle equipped with a tunnel engine, manufactured between December 1969 (the beginning of the /5 series) and the end of production of this style of engine in 1995-1996. "Airhead" does not include other opposed cylinder twins, whether air-cooled or not.
Please post technical inquiries about Airheads to the Airheads LIST; and not directly to me. In that way, your questions (& answers, which may come from several sources on that LIST, and not just me), will help more than just you. This helps me, as the amount of time I used to spend on individual replies was huge. I need time to eat, sleep, and have a life!
The clickable link, https://airheads.org, the Club's website, shows how to join the Airheads Club. The website contains many things, including numerous technical articles, many of which I wrote. Try not to confuse the Club and its website with the Airheads internet mailing LIST. Possibly a majority of Airhead owners in the USA are members of the Airheads Beemer Club (ABC), and are also members of the E-mailing LIST. When you are a paid member of the CLUB, you receive the monthly printed-in-color-on-paper publication, AIRMAIL. You can join the Club on that site; or, obtain a snail-mail form, copied from the last page of the monthly Airmail, from a Club Member. Snowbum does written quite a few articles for the Technical Tips section.
The Airheads E-mail LIST is primarily for inquiries for immediate technical information. You can get information on the Airheads internet mailing LIST by going to the following URL. Snowbum is a Moderator/Administrator on that LIST. The LIST and its ISP host Micapeak.com do not spam you; do not sell or otherwise pass out your E-mail address; do not put advertising into your or other folks E-mail messages. I, Snowbum, monitor and participate on that List, nearly every day.
Join here: https://lists.micapeak.com/mailman/listinfo/airheads
Hint: I suggest you do NOT, when joining, select the Airheads List Digest mode, it is much less helpful than you might think. Digest mode WILL REQUIRE YOU TO DO MUCH MORE EDITING if you are replying to a LIST message. If you do not do that editing, you will annoy a lot of folks, and cost others $$, because you will likely, unknowingly (at first), post an entire Digest in your reply. In addition, you may not easily see a single sender's E-address to reply singly. Failure to edit is VERY annoying, particularly for those using hand-held devices, and excessive message length costs money for those that pay by the byte. Basic editing instructions are available at the following link. It does not cover Digest mode ...ask on the LIST. What this linked article DOES cover is extensive: HINTS FOR E-MAIL. TEXT EDITING. HOW TO INSERT ASCII SYMBOLS & CHARACTERS. HOW TO USE FOREIGN COMPUTERS. WHERE IS THE @ CHARACTER??
E-mail programs vary considerably, and this is especially so in regards to how they handle the Airheads LIST DIGEST MODE. If you insist on using Digest mode and find sentences and paragraphs tending to run together and be difficult to read, Carl, the Webmaster for Micapeak.com, suggests you go to your Subscription Options page for your LIST membership, and scan down to "Get MIME or Plain Text Digest", and then change setting to MIME, then save the change.
Digest Mode or not, I suggest you put firstname.lastname@example.org into your computer E-mail address book, perhaps using a nickname such as "Airheads"; so you don't have to type the full address when YOU want to post a message. Most E-mail programs can do this. If need-be, set your program to accept LIST messages. You will post & receive mail to/from: email@example.com. I also suggest you put a signature line, with your E-address at least, and your general location, and year and model of your Airhead(s), at the bottom of each message. Such a signature line can be done automatically or manually in E-programs.
I strongly suggest you set your outgoing messages setting, for any LIST or FORUM, for PLAIN TEXT. You cannot post HTML (images, colors, etc.) to the Airheads LIST. Your message size to that LIST is limited to 100Kb (a HUGE amount of plain text). To post images, use any of the common FREE (no sign-up needed) image posting sites for your image(s), and put a LINK to that image in your message (to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Airheads LIST Archives: https://lists.micapeak.com/archives/airheads/login.php
ALL Micapeak.com lists archives: https://lists.micapeak.com/archives/select.php
Archives are searchable by date, poster, subject, etc. You will need your name and password that you used to subscribe to the LIST.
Airheads LIST options: https://lists.micapeak.com/mailman/options/airheads
An Airhead group in the UK is https://bmwaf.co.uk. That's the BMW Airhead Fellowship. Their new-in-2019 on-line publication is Our Airhead. I wrote articles for the previous UK on-line publication, The Airhead (which the new one replaces).
(membership is from many countries in all of these). All have many thousands of members:
Snowbum participates in Facebook-based Airhead groups, now and then.
http://www.facebook.com/groups/anzairheads/ Australia and New Zealand mostly, but not exclusively.
A wee bit of a rant:
I, Snowbum, "have problems" with Facebook, besides big security and privacy concerns for all of us. I should participate on Facebook groups, considering the numbers of people in those groups, and the questions asked, and also considering the too-low usage by those Facebook posters of my own website you are reading this on. I believe it is quite difficult to find past topic threads on Facebook. Replies help only a few people at a time. Those are just two of the things that make Facebook groups inefficient as a place for information. Facebook was designed for Social Interactions ....and to grab/steal your personal information so YOU can be SOLD for advertising. The end result is Facebook AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA sending advertisements to you and everyone else, including doing their best to involve anyone you know or communicate with, no matter how; and, to sell anything about you that they can gather, which is A LOT. This is what our mass media world, the information, and dis-information society, is doing to us.
For Airhead owners purposes, Facebook enables STATEMENTS, MISSTATEMENTS, & GUESSES (to be polite) to be transmitted to many tens thousands of people in a few seconds.
I am aware that Facebook groups has had a way to search for past discussions on some topic, or even a poster's name. Near the top of your group's page, look for the small box with a magnifying glass symbol. Type the word or words, briefly, into the box, and press ENTER, or whatever your method will be. Still, Facebook is, in some respects, an ongoing catastrophe, and I expect it will continue to get worse. I MAY, in the future, drop ALL of my Facebook (and other social media) involvements. I believe that the Airheads LIST is the BEST source for technical information for you, and DOES have a good searchable archive. You also get replies from many well-known experts. There is no cost to you, and the LIST does NOT spam you, nor does the LIST grab information about you!
I suggest you join the Vintage BMW Club, which is not Facebook-oriented. My website is hosted by that Club, and the Club website has numerous Forums. https://vintagebmw.org/ The Club covers all BMW models from the very first BMW motorcycle in 1923, to the last, in 1996. I think you should join that club AND the Airheads Club.
I've removed the various Yahoo Groups addresses I had listed on this website. I may have missed removing the odd one here and there. I suggest you use the .io groups, below; and, use the second listing for searching for groups you may be interested in. I may add to this list as I get around to it. If you are a Member of a useful BMW motorcycle group, that needs to be listed, below, let me know!
http://www.sidecar.com Most sidecar technical information on this website is FREE. Be sure to download, or at least read, the three articles/books on that site furnished to the USCA by the late Dr. Hal Kendall. Especially on how to set up and drive a sidecar rig.
Internet-based FORUM for the K1200 & K1300 series:
https://www.k-bikes.com Snowbum does not participate.
There is a K11 owners group list. The site is usually active in its FORUMS section.
Snowbum very seldom participates.
http://www.k100-forum.com/forum MANY technical articles, ETC.
https://IBMWR.org Sometimes known as "The Big LIST", the Internet BMW Riders website covers all BMW motorcycles, with lots of technical articles and a marketplace. Snowbum monitors & sometimes, if rarely, participates on the IBMWR tech list, which you can sign up for, on the website.
https://bmwsporttouring.com Oilheads, Hexheads, Camheads, K bikes; and, generally, any BMW rider into sport touring. Snowbum does NOT monitor nor participate here.
Some other important LISTS and FORUMS are shown in this, below, Technical Articles List page, in the specific K bike or Oilhead areas.
https://forums.bmwmoa.org/ BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (BMWMOA) has forums on BMW products since BMW began, right up to the present moment. You must be a member to access and participate fully. Snowbum rarely participates on the BMWMOA Airheads FORUM.
The information on this website is provided at no cost and without any warranty whatsoever. It is my personal information & opinion, which you may use at your own discretion, for personal use only. Your usage does NOT make me liable for any problems you may have. Improperly maintained motorcycles can lead to serious injury or death or unavoidable accidents. I am not responsible for any errors contained herein, and I make no legal claims whatsoever as to the safety, validity, or veracity of the information contained in these documents. Any use of the information contained in/on this website, that leads to any work you choose to do or not to do on your or anyone else's motorcycle is done at your own risk. If you do not know what you're doing, take your motorcycle to a reputable shop with skilled professional mechanics. The instructions & information contained in this website merely documents how the author may ....or may not ....do his own maintenance.
Copyright. Use by you of my website pages or part of pages. Plagiarism, etc.:
Most of the articles on this website are copyrighted. All articles written by me on any page of this website are copyrighted, unless otherwise specifically noted otherwise. My copyright exists whether or not you see the © copyright symbol or statement. My website pages may show a copyright date at the top, and/or near the bottom. These dates are not necessarily the date that the original article was copyrighted by me.
You are granted use of my website pages for yourself, as printed or electronic copies. You are also granted approval for incorporation by reference (or hyperlink to my articles) for many other uses. You must not abridge, modify, shorten, or otherwise edit my articles, unless it is made clear that you are doing so, & you must prominently note any changes in intent or information. You are NOT granted permission to DUPLICATE my articles, in part, or entirety, without prior permission from me, except as above noted. Commercial duplication; or, editing, publishing, or sales in any manner the content or part-content of my articles; and/or failure to quote me as the source/author, use of plagiarism, etc.; including other commercial activity, beyond what is specifically herein allowed, will result in public announcement of same; and, if you do not cease & desist, will LIKELY result in prosecution under the laws of the United States; and other nations. These are NOT idle threats, I HAVE legally gone after those who plagiarize & otherwise misuse my written articles; including for monetary damages & lawyers fees. I'm very protective of my articles ...but I will usually grant you usage even beyond just for yourself ...so, ask!
One of the things that REALLY ticks me off is misquoting or partially quoting me in a way that may or could change meanings. I usually publicly correct such transgressions.
If I find that someone has modified my articles, or parts of them, & then claims them as their work, I am usually nasty about such. Plagiarism is what that is called. THAT PERSON IS STEALING FROM ME. I WILL pursue LEGALLY for MONETARY & other damages, and I may do it to the absolute maximum any Court allows, unless that person quickly both corrects and apologizes, publicly. This is NOT an idle threat!
On purpose I do not make money off my articles (except if someone clicks on Google Ad-Sense advertisements or sends me a donation), and I don't want you to make money off my articles either. I do not want you copying my material to disc or other media, and then distributing or selling such, even at cost for just the media materials. Keep in mind that I update my website VERY often. Only the latest on-line version is going to be accurate and up-to-date. To be sure you have the latest version of any article, use the F5 (refresh) button on a Windows computer, or, otherwise refresh the browser. Otherwise, your browser may have cached an old version.
You do NOT need my permission, if you follow the preceding, to use my technical material in many ways, but if you have any questions, you may e-mail me: e-mail
I try to allow you a quite wide & reasonable use of my articles & content. The rest of this Copyright section explains things in a simpler fashion.
If YOU have a website, & YOUR page where you have placed something from MY website, and so acknowledged (or a hyperlink to my website, which is always appreciated!) has advertisements that provide you income if folks reading your website click on those ads, I WILL NOT, in most situations, consider your webpage to be commercial use of my material, ...so I do NOT restrict your use of my material on such a page, so long as your usage is within what I have stated in my above Copyright and Creative Commons information sections.
I VERY frequently update articles on this website. This is important if you use a search engine that saves pages for faster loading, & doesn't update pages until they are next scanned; and who knows when that is (no matter the coding I use to have to try to get their robots to do it more often and to restrict caching). BEWARE of your computer 'caching' copies. Using a refreshed mode may be your best solution (just press F5 on Windows when any page you are interested in is displayed). It is best to go directly to this website's HomePage and from there scan way down to find the place to click to go to the Technical Articles List page. You can also press F5 on each page being looked at. This method is common to the Internet, but few seem to know about it. But ....:
The HomePage contains access to MANY things NOT on, nor even accessible, from this Technical Articles List page you are now looking at. Going from the HomePage to this Technical Articles List page (via the link near the bottom of the HomePage) will, 100% of the time, give you the LATEST version of any article by then finding and clicking on it, and then pressing F5. Please pay attention to what I am saying in this paragraph. I suggest you Bookmark ('Favorites') the HomePage and NOT the page you are looking at right now. Click HERE: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/index.htmland bookmark (sometimes called favorites) THAT URL.
Revisions dates are 'usually' shown at the bottom of nearly all pertinent articles and are also shown in this Technical Articles List Page. I MAY make minor revisions withOUT changing dates.
Please report errors, omissions, and comments to me; such are welcomed: E-mail
Please post technical inquiries to the Airheads LIST or Vintage BMW Club forums, regarding Airheads; and NOT directly to me.In this way, your questions (& answers which may come from several sources on that LIST, and not just me), will help more than just you. This helps me, as the amount of time I have spent on individual replies used to be huge. I need time to eat, sleep, and have a life!
Our bikes are getting quite old. The oldest Airheads (Airheads began with the 1970 models and ended in 1995-1996) are now officially regarded as antiques. You can not rely on just any BMW dealership (some are good) for repair work, not even for the proper parts and parts numbers. Dealership personnel may well not have the proper knowledge nor background. I strongly suggest you consider independent repair centers, especially ones that participate on Lists & Forums. Be cautious about folks, including independents, that put videos on such as YouTube. I have a list of Independents that I approve of. I do recommend certain shops & individuals, upon request. Especially see my Articles # 78 and # 78A, below.
BMW sometimes has incorrect part numbers, and sometimes ships wrong parts, or, rarely, poorly made parts. Be especially careful when ordering from companies, foreign or domestic, that may not be selling genuine or truly equivalent BMW parts. BMW has published service information errors! These published errors get passed along when re-published, by such as Clymers or Haynes! In some instances I do have "corrections to Clymers or Haynes, etc" information on this site.
Can't find what you want in this website??
Click in the small box just below. I have similar boxes scattered in the articles list you are reading. The Search page has information on how to search, plus the actual search function. The search engine for this website is powerfully good, but if it does not work for you, you probably have settings in your computer software that are restricting the search engine.
Airhead, K, and household things FOR FREE OR SALE OR TRADE (AND ...things I want):
YES....There is usually even some FREEEEE stuff!
"There is always a greater idiot."
Make something idiot proof and you will eventually see a demonstration of this saying.
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.
"The measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out." - Baron Thomas Babington Macauley
"An expert is someone who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a very narrow field." --Niels Bohr
"...You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. Also, if the process of computing the consequences is indefinite, then with a little skill any experimental results can be made to look like the expected consequences." Richard Feynman, 1964
There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence. - Will Rogers
"We have all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of William Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true." -Robert Silensky
"There is no practical reason to create machine intelligences indistinguishable from human ones. People are in plentiful supply. Should a shortage arise, there are proven and popular methods for making more."
"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule---
---and both commonly succeed, and are right..." -H.L. Mencken
E-mailing snowbum: CLICK!
What's with this lamp? Interested in SuperTech? Click HERE for details!
All the technical information on this site is:
If you want to help maintain this website:
You may be interested in reading that page, as it has a lot of information about this website there.
For a quick link to PayPal to donate: PayPal donating
Don't trust a mechanic without an attitude. Folks who know how to do things have opinions, & opinions aren't changed easily.
If the print font is too small, I suggest you use your Browser's ZOOM feature.
Risks and Rewards ...some life lessons:
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self.
To place your ideas and your dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom.
Only the person who risks is truly free.
Often attributed to the poet and thinker, Leo Buscaglia, but ...
the real author of this inspirational verse is Janet Rand.
BMW numbers parts & service by GROUPS & sub-groups. Showing all of them:
There are many methods of supporting your motorcycle when working on it. I used a lift at my BMW business, but I don't in my own personal garage, as there is very limited room. I use the side-stand or center-stand for most work. I also have an anchoring method that enables me to work on almost any part of the motorcycle aft of the front wheel. This is a link to my method:
For newer BMW POLICE bikes: Parts information. Technical information. Service Bulletins. https://www.bmwmc.net/
Proficient at editing E-mails? Special symbols? Using Foreign computers?
My 1995 R100RT has been sold. It was my final touring 2-wheeled ride.
Temporary stuff...you'll never know what is HERE!
Here is information on the origins of gasoline-engine'd cars/bikes/etc.
German mechanical engineer and inventor Carl Benz (1844-1929) is usually accepted as the creator of the first automobile. In 1885 he invented the motorized tricycle, which became the first "horseless carriage" to be driven by an internal combustion engine.
On July 3, 1886, Benz drove the first automobile in Mannheim, Germany, reaching a top speed of 16 km/h (10 mph). The automobile was powered by a 0.75-hp one-cylinder four-stroke gasoline engine. It was the first automobile entirely designed as such to generate its own power, not simply a motorized stage coach or horse carriage, which is why Karl Benz was granted his patent and is regarded as its inventor. The Motorwagen was patented on 29 January 1886 as DRP-37435: "Automobile fueled by gas".
A wonderful short movie/video, of a repro-Benz driven supposedly by Bertha Benz. VIDEO LINK
Bertha Ringer, 3 May 1849 – 5 May 1944) was the business partner and wife of Karl Benz. On 5 August 1888, she was the first person to drive an automobile over a long distance. With reference to the video, LIGROIN is a simple petroleum-based solvent, and adequate for use in the first horseless carriage.
How Mercedes-Benz got that name:
Hyperlink, humorous 'A Winter Tale': CLICK!
For SALE & WANTED: CLICK! Even some FREE items!
My Airhead maintenance schedule. CLICK!
Learn and/or improve your off-road riding?
|Our Sidecar rig; K1100LT-EML GT2|
|Please post technical inquiries to the Airheads LIST regarding Airheads; and NOT directly to me. In this way, your questions (& answers which may come from several sources on that LIST, and not just me), will help more than just you. This helps me, as I spend way too many hours on the Internet. I need time to eat, sleep, and have a life! This applies ONLY to BMW motorcycle technical help inquiries.||
Here is a source for bulletins, sales brochures, parts and service literature, etc. It dates back to the 1930's. It is not just the antiques. There is information on the Krauser's here too. This is John Lacko's website.
Purchasing an Airhead? Want to do your own motorcycle maintenance? COMBINED ARTICLE: Getting Started
NOTE... DATES are shown in American (USA) style: month/day/year
Please help keep this website on the Internet!
Link includes history, philosophy & extensive information on this website's operations
FUEL System in your Airhead motorcycle:
(An article on fuel mileage, in depth, is #81)
1B. Fuel caps: Removing a bad cap; R/R locks; venting problems, ETC. Airheads AND Classic K bikes. rev. 02/25/2018.
See article 75A on later style locks used on the Airheads, not ignition or fuel cap; from ~1989
3A. Bing CV Carburetors, PART 1; GENERAL NOTES, HINTS, leaking tops & dome inserts, tricky enrichener discs/shafts assemblies, aligning butterflies. rev. 11/20/2020
Be sure to read article 6, below ...... yes, even if you do not have a /5.
3B. Bing Carburetor PART 2; MORE GENERAL NOTES, high altitude JETTING changes, tuning, hard-starting, ETC. Intake plastic tubes and correcting the confusion over what tubes, hoses, how things fit, lighter throttle springs, etc. rev. 08/28/2019
3C. There are NO overhaul nor adjustments articles on this website for the Bing model 53 'slide' carburetors, as used on the R50/5, R60/5, R60/6, and R60/7. They are straightforward. They use the SAME floats as the CV carburetors. For acceleration pump parts check with both BMW & with Bing Agency. One of the Airlist Members made some 'washers' that fit the acceleration pump, making them of nylon material. 3.556 mm x 0.33 mm. I have not confirmed the fit, etc.
6. Early Bing CV Carburetors used on R75/5, idle problems, ETC! rev. 04/30/2019
This article has some information that applies to ALL Bing CV carburetors, so I suggest you READ IT, even if not your model.
9B. Lousy Fuel mileage; horsepower to attain high speeds; discussion of HP, Torque, RAM-AIR, Cd, & LOTS MORE! Why do motorcycles get poor mileage compared to many cars, which are vastly bigger? How much horsepower and/or torque increase does it take to improve performance? What about RAM AIR? Problems that can reduce fuel mileage. What is the best cruising RPM? Premium fuels versus mileage and combustion temperatures. rev. 01/17/2020
9C. Gasoline's: This was a link to an article (not by Snowbum), posted at Utrecht University. I can no longer find the article, nor a link to it.9D. Fuel System: Tank cleaning; premium vs regular; additives; TEL; alcohol; fitting other tanks & seats. Throttle and choke cables. FUEL HOSE. Tank lining cleaning & sealing. rev. 01/10/2019
11. Removing/plugging the Pulse Air & Evaporative emissions & fuel shutoff systems. Fuel tank flapper valve. SHED fuel caps. Carburetor vacuum takeoff ports. Proper petcocks. Latest Tom Cutter video regarding the electrical connections, etc. rev. 02/19/2021
12. Bing carburetors that urinate....piss/weep/leak....onto your boot, the ground, floor, garage, grass. The Bing Leaks Dance. Replacing a float needle seat. Fuel foaming and funny throttle response, not just on GS models. Intake rubber hoses. rev. 09/19/2019
12A. Confused about the intake plastic tubes? Various clamps, hoses, changes to parts and what parts fit where, depending on year, model, and if clamshell or rectangular air cleaner: http://largiader.com/articles/intake/
12B: EMPTY on purpose
13. The Dell'Orto Carburetor rev. 04/11/2019
Huge amount of information on how ALL types of carburetors operate, especially needle/slide types, and in particular the Dell'Orto carburetors. SPECIFIC information on Dell'Orto settings for R90S Airheads. Where to obtain parts. A link to an article on converting an Airhead to use the Dell'Orto (only the R90S came with them). Links to other carburetor articles of considerable value. Links to the factory Dell'Orto manuals on this website are also here. There are many sketches in this article. Allow time to load up if you are on a slow connection.
All the technical information on this site is DONATING
Fun Schematic Diagram: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/Check Out This Schematic.pdf
14A. Basic (and advanced) electricity 101+. De-mystifying & Troubleshooting BMW Airhead Boxer Motorcycle Electric systems; includes battery, alternator, charging information; test lamp use, etc. rev. 10/11/2020
Lots of good electricals' information here; plus troubleshooting. Also see article 15.
14C. Just about everything you need to know about how relays and most everything else actually works. Includes Bosch/DIN numbered pins information, and so much stuff I could not list it all here. This is a REALLY GOOD website!
http://www.autoshop101.com/ Click on left side for Technical Articles.
15-A. WHY 3 phases? The STOCK Bosch (including TESTED OUTPUT), substitutions, ETC. More engineering information. rev. 02/10/2021
Article 15-B just below, has additional discussion about how the alternators and other parts operate together.
15-E. Why do alternator rotors fail? How to replace a bad rotor. rev. 07/21/2019
WARNING!!! ...rotor removal tools problems! READ THIS ARTICLE!!
What about the reliability of the EnDuralast? Omega?
16-A. How the starter motor system operates. Starter & Starting Problems. Valeo to Bosch; Bosch to Valeo or to Denso. Fitment problems--broken nose cones, etc. Starter relays. Solenoids. Overhaul. rev. 08/09/2020
16-B. STARTING: How it works. Problems. Starter doesn't engage or function? Starts, or barely, won't stay running properly? Information on the various starter models & different circuits over the years. Battery load testing and wiring check using the starter motor. Load testing of battery. Problems if using the wrong relays; including slow battery discharge and no starting. rev. 03/07/2019
Also see #35
24C. Headlight modulators. Federal Law. California Law. Canadian Law. Tech details. Links to sites with the laws & regulations. ALL types of motorcycle lighting. Headlight brightness. LIGHT EFFECTS ON HUMANS. rev. 04/07/2019
24D. MOTORCYCLE SAFETY. How to make ourselves more recognizable, conspicuous, & visible. Downsides to increased visibility. Help for oncoming driver's speed of recognition. Understanding the problems. Pros and cons. rev. 07/13/2020
30. IGNITION: Points; Timing lights; Ignition Modules; Ignition Canister (rebuilding yourself or sending them out); Coils and coil problems and testing of coils; Spark Plug Suppressor Caps; Dyna & Boyer, etc. Rubber sealing strip; sources for modules & Hall sensors & springs; testing & troubleshooting (including HIGH IDLE RPM); Points Boosters/Amplifiers. rev. 10/14/2020
For timing by means of piston movement ...see 72.
For a discussion of ionization and plasma, etc., in-so-far as how the 'spark' really does ignite the mixture, see
article 39F, and scan to near the ending of the article for links.
Some of the Hall sensor information applies to the K and Oilhead bikes. I recommend you read both 29 & 30, above; as an understanding of both articles may well be needed if you are contemplating changes or repairs.
Here is a link to an article on the diagnosis and repair of the Oilhead Hall Effect ignition sending unit. This article has some explanations & details that may help you understand the Airhead electronic ignition.
32. SPARK PLUGS for Airheads, Pre-Airheads, Classic K bikes. Head threads; torques; ANTISEIZE (OR NOT); spark plug caps & wire assemblies; resistor & non-resistor spark plugs; Interchangeability charts & part numbers. rev. 10/19/2020
35. New batteries, ALL TYPES, including lithium. Filling a flooded battery & initializing properly. Sources. Usage. Chargers (SMART & not). Peculiarities. De-sulfating. Charging voltages. How to Load Test a Battery; ETC. rev. 01/01/2020.
See 16B for how to load test a battery using the starter motor ....although most IS covered in #35.
37. Slash 5 (/5) starter relay 'cricket' noise & starting problems. Chattering starter relay; chattering starter motor. Slash 5 (/5) bikes with stock starter relays SHOULD RECEIVE THIS MODIFICATION rev. 07/23/2019
38A. CAN-BUS and OBDII. What are they? Other types? How it works. What's the future? "Speed snoop" built into your bike? What about WiFi in vehicles for diagnostics? Telematics? CAUTIONS on desulfation mode on Smart Chargers with Can-Bus bikes. rev. 12/13/2020
|For section 38B onwards to the end of items numbered 38--|
AIRHEADS electrical schematic diagrams:
R80G/S, R45, R65 & R80ST, are all similar.
R65, ST, GS & G/S instrument pods are similar.
RS & RT are identical to each other for any one particular year.
R50/5, R60/5 & R75/5 use same diagrams, but there are two, the later one has fuses.
R60/6, R75/6, R90/6, R90S will all be very similar.
/6 & later with style of pods NOT like the R65, ST, G/S, GS, will look nearly alike; but there ARE differences in functions display lamps vertical order, colors, and tach wiring connections. The brake warning lamp is not on 1980's and later pods.
/7 is mostly similar to the last of the /6 series.
BMW's schematics for early eighties bikes MAY have errors. Example: BMW's diagrams for 1981 & later, showing IGNITION POINTS, not ignition module, for a particular model. 1981+ models actually had electronic ignition.
I have obtained schematic diagrams posted on this website from a variety of sources; including a large number of them direct from BMW. NONE are from the otherwise excellent Chitech BMW Electric School Manual, which is still available; and is STILL 'THE' best manual on Airhead, and general electrics; most who own one use it often as a PRIME RESOURCE. BUT...MANY bike model schematics in the rear of that Manual are difficult to read & are fuzzy. I DO recommend you purchase that manual, see my manuals article: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/manuals.htm; or, see https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/url.htm. There is a critique, with some corrections, that I wrote for that manual: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/chitechelmnl.htm
I likely have every schematic diagram for every Airhead (& most other BMW models to 1996 or so). My collection includes most of the various world versions. There are literally HUNDREDS of diagrams, including accessories ...even such as the early Airheads when they were available with Avon fairings. Diagrams include those for heated grips, special lighting, & Authorities (Police) models. There are CONSIDERABLE similarities between various models. There are LIKELY enough schematics already on this website to enable you to work on your bike. Note the table style box on left side, above, listing similarities.
If you absolutely need to contact me for a specific diagram, or perhaps something is not clear to you about a schematic on my website, you may ask me. I would like to know what the problem is, if any, whether an interpretation or specific ill; AND, if you need a schematic for the main frame diagram, or engine or some sub or accessory item that is not already covered on my website. I will need to know your BMW model, its year, and if a USA or Euro. It would be helpful if you knew the model code that BMW uses for your motorcycle. If you do not know the model code, which is helpful and saves me time, DO, then, furnish the full serial number or VIN number. Sometimes questions must be answered by referring to my electrical hints article #15, or some other article in the Electrical's section of my website.
Links to a German website, with many Airhead (& some R1100 oilhead & other) electrical schematic diagrams ...and MORE than just that. There is a LOT of information available besides schematics on this German website homepage, https://www.powerboxer.de/. The site contains information on a WIDE variety of subjects, not just electrical items. Here is also the direct link to the schematic diagrams.
Links for more electrical schematics, etc., are found below.
BMW schematics MAY show things NOT on YOUR bike, which were special equipment or added accessories. Special equipment items have their own article here, see #38B, just below!
38B. Miscl. Electrical schematics: Hazard flasher system, fold-out fog/driving lights, heated grips, VDO instruments. Replacing a /6 left-side handlebars switch. Substitute voltmeters and clocks. Adding a buzzer or piezo to turn signals. rev. 02/22/2021
Link to someone else's diagram for the above bikes: This version is in pdf format & has the wiring & items shown in various colors. It is quite differently displayed than the above 38C diagram. http://r90sclub.dudley.nu/Articles/R90S+Wiring+Diagram.pdf
Schematic Diagram for the late /5, as a .gif; model WITH fuses: CLICK
38M. Replacing a /5 ignition switch with a round barrel type switch:
Here is a link for a KIT to basically do a barrel switch installation:
38N. Radio codes: Key OFF. PRESS and HOLD "M"; turn key on. If code does not display, contact dealer or radio shop. You should have written the code down when you purchased the bike! ...it came with it!
38O. Heated Clothing: At this time I CAN NOT recommend Gerbings products due to problems reported from MANY, about personnel, workmanship, etc. I CAN recommend Widder heated clothing products. Aerostitch products are also good. See: references
ELECTRICAL PARTS SOURCES FROM OTHER THAN BMW ARE LISTED IN 78A & 78B.
Electrical contact cleaners and treatments are in article 73.
Mechanical? Electrical? BOTH? .....NEITHER?
39A. F, OT, S, and Z marks on your Flywheel (clutch carrier); re-marking, alignment, degreeing camshafts. RE-INSTALLING Flywheel (or Clutch Carrier) rev. 11/02/2020
For Automatic Timing Units, in depth, see article 29.
Mis-adjusted carburetors and/or sticky automatic timing units can cause high rpm, typically after full warm-up. See article #30, which has a section on this problem.
39B. Push-starting: See 47
39G. /5 instruments ...an article on disassembly and repairs, etc:
see below, 39H, for a companion article covering the 5 and later.
39J. For information on timing an engine via measured piston movement, see item 72 below.
39K. Link to article on installation (and help with removal?) including electrical wiring, for BMW "Cockpit" fairing. This is the sport fairing used on the /6 and /7 models such as the R90S, etc. (NOT the RS or RT fairing) This is a pdf and in German.
"Bookmark" (Favorites) the HOMEPAGE, and NOT the page you are looking at right now. The homepage contains access to things NOT on, nor accessible, from the Index of Technical Articles list page you are now looking at. Going from the HomePage to an article, via the link at the bottom of the HomePage, will ALWAYS give you the LATEST version of ANY article. PRESS F5 to ensure a total refresh after the page you want is displayed in your Browser. The HOMEPAGE is https://bmwmotorcycletech.info
Dates for Revisions, Editing, or just Checking something are listed at the bottom of most articles.
Mechanical Systems, and 'other stuff':
There are many methods of supporting your motorcycle for ease in working on it. Some use motorcycle lifts. I certainly did that at my BMW business but I don't for my own personal garage-shop, as there is very limited room. I use the side-stand or center-stand for most work. I also have a front tire/wheel anchoring method that enables me to easily remove & work on almost any part of the motorcycle aft of the front wheel. Link to my method: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/anchoring-front-wheel.jpg
40. Setting Valves; how to do it correctly. Avoiding what happens when a valve comes apart & tries to destroy the engine. rev. 04/24/2019
After reading the article, I recommend reading these articles: 60 section 1; 60 section 6; 60 section 5.
43. Transmission input (clutch) splines, throwout bearing, clutch arm cleaning, lubrication & inspection, adjusting swing arm. Early swing arm bearing seal rings. Rev. 02/02/2018
CLUTCH article, Section 60, item 9, below, has extensive information on the throw-out bearings, and "everything clutch".
See Article 7B about control cables.
New style seal used on R100 GS transmission output and all Airheads crankshaft and Classic K bikes at alternator drive:
Removing and replacing Paralever bearings (both original needle types, and a type from Emerald Island that is cylindrical. I think there is another type, tapered, also on the market: See Airmails (Airheads Beemer Club) issue of September 2020, page 18+.
44. Maintaining paintwork, aluminum, windscreen & helmet visor/shield. Drilling & cutting plastics such as a windshield. Repairing cracked luggage & fairings. Pesky hollow dash rivets. Sandblasting? Vapor blasting? Cleaning aluminum wheels. Noisy fairing/dash? BENT LEVERS? Washing the bike. Black plastic and trim. Cleaning grunged-up exhaust systems. rev. 12/14/2020
Article 73 has information on products to use to maintain plastic visors, shields, ETC. Also see article 75A
45A. Rear Wheel Splines; Rear Drive Output Splines; Rear Drive Oil Leaks/Oil levels; Replacing a Rear Drive Left Seal, Inner Seal, Nose Seal; Oil Leaks with Drum Brakes; Leaking oil drain and fill plugs; Monolever & Paralever Cardan Bearings; Rear Drive overhaul, Rivets, Wheel Cup/Splines; ETC. Rev. 08/22/2019
45B. Overhauling a rear drive (final drive). This is a video from Virginia Motorrad. ~25 minutes of information on how to disassemble a final drive, in this case a Paralever. Useful information for Monolever and all other Airheads.
45C. Shimming a rear drive (final drive) (will be an article here when I get around to it)
45E. Resealing an early final drive (in this instance, a R90/6): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rw6IQcBnXQ
See also https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/references.htm, under E for EXHAUST
48. Ring & pinion gears, ratios, speedometers/odometers, (instrument pod repairs-link), instrument numeral and pointer colors, rpm, road speeds. Explaining the W= on speedometers, ETC. rev. 05/02/2018 Also see article 39G
50. EMPTY, on purpose
51A. Oil & filter change. The "$2000 O-ring" ($3500+ if you ruin your crankshaft). Breather (also see article 50B). Thermostat covers. Filters ...INCLUDING spin-on oil filter conversions. Filter Changes. Reading oil filter elements. rev. 10/18/2020
51B. Oil filters, canisters, ETC. Simplified information on changing your filter. Types of engine oils for your Airhead. Oil & gasoline additives. Fork Oils, Gear Oils, Driveshaft oil ....amounts ... ETC. rev. 08/19/2019 Suggested reading: 51A and 51C
51D. Oil viscosities, viscosity indexes, engine oils, gear oils, suspension/fork fluids, shock absorber fluids, SAE, SUS, Cst. GL4, GL5. BMW factory recommendations. Brands & ZDDP values. Oil for long term storage. rev. 08/19/2020
SEE article 54-10B
54-. Wheels, Tires, Axles, Hubs, Bearings, Steering Head, Forks, Seals/spacers, tires, dampers, etc.
See #44 for wheel paint recommendations, etc. & wheel coating information is here: chemicals
Section 54-3. WHEELS; Wheel Spacers; Seals; HINTS, ETC. rev. 06/10/2018
Also contains information on swapping various years & models of wheels (except Lester's, see 54-7 below). Suggested reading is Section 54-4.
Section 54-4: Wheel bearing preload & servicing wheel bearings. rev. 04/16/2018
I suggest you read Section 54-3 and look at Section 54-9.
Section 54-5: Tire tests & recommendations. Hydroplaning; tire width; top hat spacers; nitrogen. REAL tire testing! Tested tires by brand/model. Fender brace. Selecting tires. Pressures. Things you never knew. rev. 01/19/2019
Suggested reading: Section 54-3 and Section 54-6.
More tire information will also be found in Section 54-12; including a section on vibration/thrumming, etc.
Section 54-6: Tubeless versus tubes. Rim shapes. rev. 12/19/2020
In depth discussion on going tubeless on Snowflake tube type rims, and every other sort of combination of tires, tubes and no tubes.
Section 54-9: Airhead Wheel Bearing Clinic, BMWMOA National Rally, July 2005. Critique of BMW-ON magazine articles of 2004. rev. 06/01/2018
Suggested reading: sections 54-3, 54-4, 54-7.
Section 54-10A. FRONT AND REAR shocks & sag. Front forks internals, alignment, braces, gaiters, cleaning & lubricating (or replacing) steering head bearings. Springs. Stiction. Modifications. Alignment/adjustment of rear Swing Arm. rev. 08-23-2019
Section 54-12. Access for Tire Repairs. Tire Repairs. Pressure. Sizes. Mounting. Tubes. Conversions. Balancing. Vibration/Thrumming. Mudflaps. Rims. Tools. Hints. Schrader tire valves. Studding. Hints. etc. rev. 02/18/2019
See Section 54-10C for much more on tire created problems.
Section 54-13. Brush guards (hand guards). BMW offers its own, and this part number is for the black ones for the Airhead GS models, adaptable to many other models: 71-60-2-315-870. BMW also offers both black and white versions of several types and numbers, and many can be made to fit.
59. Empty, on purpose.
59A. Transmissions Just about everything you want to know, and then some. In detail. rev. 04/09/2019
For information on the 'New Style seal' used on R100 GS transmission output & Airheads crankshaft & K bikes at the alternator drive: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/SI-00-053-88-new-style-seals.pdf
59B. Emergency Shifting Tools for 5 speed transmissions rev. 10/31/2017
Transmission won't shift?
Section 60-1: Disassembly & assembly. Heads, pistons, rings, cylinders, break-in; Helicoils; spigots (intake stubs); Timeserts; case threads for cylinder studs; cylinder hold-down studs; rocker arms; rocker blocks. 11/24/2020
You may be interested in reading Sections 40; 60-3, 60-4, 60-5, and 60-6. Pay particular attention to reading 60-4!!
Section 60-2: Flywheel or Clutch Carrier removal/replacement WARNING! Main seal (in depth, including historical early style seal & later seal, tools, O-ring). Oil pump & its cover & seal. Rod bolts. Re-installation of Flywheel, seal installation photos. Crankshafts in depth. Factory bulletin on new style seals. Front crank bearing carrier. Grabby clutch. Vibrations. Hard shifting. Idle rpm change with clutch lever use due to excessive crankshaft end-play. Specifications & parts numbers for crankshaft thrust washers. How to measure crankshaft end play. Crankshaft rotation in degrees versus piston movement ....etc. rev. 01/30/2020
New style seal used on R100 GS transmission output & Airheads crankshaft ...and K bikes at the alternator drive:
Section 60-5: Valves, valve seats; leaded fuels; guides, valve springs, aftermarket valves, noisy valves, bead-blasting, ETC. rev. 06/19/2018
You may be interested in reading Sections 60-1, 60-4, and 60-6
Section 60-6: Rocker arms, breakage, rocker arm shafts & bushes/bearings, valve gear, pushrod tubes, cylinder heads. Aligning the /5 valve gear. rev. 05/27/2019
You may be interested in reading Sections 40, 60-1, and 60-5
Section 60-9: Clutch. Disassembly/assembly. Clutch arm, flywheel, clutch carrier, bolts, upgrades, throw-out bearings; push-rod; crankshaft end play spacers; 1981 clutch/carrier problems; clutch cable & fixing potential cable breakage & new cable problems; stuck clutch, clutch lever bushing; preventing broken transmission ears. Minimizing vibration. Basic Adjustments. Rev. 01/13/2020
I recommend that you read Article 43
Section 60-10. MOTOR MOUNT SPACERS. There are 4 motor mount spacers on Airheads. The two plain ones are identical & fit on the rear mount bolt (well, really a threaded stud) (this is the longer one). There are 'spacers' that have welded-on spring attachment places. ONE has TWO such points, it goes on the left front & is where the side-stand & center-stand springs attach. The curved part faces DOWN, curves towards you. The other has only one attachment point, & that is for the center-stand spring ...it is fitted on the right front ...the hole facing rearward. There is a side-stand clip that fits under the left rear nut, instead of the waverly lockwasher that is on the other side. Spacers go between the engine and the frame. Torque nuts to 55 footpounds.
62. Timing chain, guides, tensioner, sprockets, oil pressure relief valve, etc. rev. 12/08/2019
Use this article with the cams article, Article 60-7; and, especially with Article 60-2
65. TOOLS (extensive information) rev. 05/04/2020
See also the references article, article 78A
67A. ID NUMBERS. BMW ENGINE, FRAME, and other numbers/characters. Serial numbers. VIN (Vehicle Identification 'Numbers') & other identifications. How to identify your motorcycle and major assemblies. What and how does BMW identify the year of your motorcycle? How to read & understand them & how to identify your bike & major components. rev. 10/25/2020
67C. This is a major charting of basic formation for all BMW motorcycles from 1923 to ?? All pre-Airheads, Airheads, Classic K bikes K1 through K100 (maybe K1100 and more). Oilheads? I will include model, serial number sequencing, engine size, series, model code, single, twin, triple, and four cylinder, CC, Kw & Hp rating;.....etc. I will explain problems in understanding power output in Kw versus Hp, and why. There are a LOT of errors in what has been published in various 'sources', including some factory literature. rev. 09/04/2019. I am seriously considering eventually adding quite small photos (thumbnail size?) of various models, in the NOTES column (good/bad idea, as it will narrow other columns...??). I am open to comments about what you see, so far, especially regarding thumbnail photos being actually helpful? Not?
73. Chemicals. Cleaners. Removing old labels and sticky residues. Penetrating oils (NOT oils for engine, gearbox, final drive). Additives for oil & gasoline. Fuel tank repairs/treatments. Brake fluid. Chassis & Spline Greases. Electrical Contact Treatments. Anti-seize compounds. Extensive information on Loctite. Sealants including RTV. Adhesives. Waxes, Plastic polishes. Coolants. Lock antifreeze/lubricants. Blasting. Drilling plastics, etc. rev. 12/09/2020
75A. Luggage, tank bags, windshields, locks & keys (except ignition & fuel caps), instruments, mirrors, fairing noises, speedometer calibration errors, etc. rev. 06/16/2019
See article 1B for details and photos on gas cap problems.
See article 44 and article 73 on many allied things not covered in 75A.
See REFERENCES "L" for luggage, for more information.
See K bike section.
76. Those pesky easy to lose WEDGES that fit at the handlebar controls! How to make one. This is a link to a sketch in .pdf.
The part numbers for these wedges are: 32-72-2-072-233; 32-72-1-232-929; and 32-72-1-242-626, etc.
78A. REFERENCES: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES, in depth. More URL's; e-mail addresses; contacts & descriptions; where to get things, where to get service (names, locations...), etc. Rev. dates are not listed for this article.
This may be one of the most important articles on this website.
78B. MANUALS AND LITERATURE; SOURCES, DESCRIPTION, CRITIQUE's, etc. NOT JUST FOR BMW. rev. 11/06/2020
Also >>> see article 78 and 78A.
79B. Picking up a downed motorcycle. "Skert" (Carol Youorski ) demonstrates her technique at many rallies.
80. empty on purpose.
82A. INSURANCE: motorcycles, trikes, sidecar rigs, cars & trucks; many things you likely did not think about, or know, including negotiating with the insurance company. I've also included a link to a government article regarding 0.05% alcohol. rev: 03/06/2019
84. See 7B about control & other cables & problems.
85. Foreign travel: Using foreign computer keyboards: see article 78C
86. empty on purpose
You got this far & STILL did not see what you wanted? You could scan further down (good to do to see what is available), or:
A FEW GERMAN WORDS YOU NEED TO KNOW: CLICK!
Oilhead motorcycle section:NOTE: Here is a link to the Adventure Rider tech articles, which covers BMW Oilheads (ETC.), and some other makes of bikes too: https://advwisdom.com/
O1. ABS brakes problems? Here are links to articles on the R1100 and R1150, how to fix the low battery voltage situation, and how to reset the ABS, ETC:
Also see K14A & K14B in the K-bike section, well below.
O2. Salvage yards, for oilhead parts, etc: www.beemerboneyard.com
O3. See article #30, above, about the ignition Hall effect sensors.
How to go about repairing the ignition sensors, and lots more: https://advwisdom.com/a/r259-crank-angle-sensor/
O5. Links to website with good tech for Oilheads, such as the ABS system; TDC locating mandrel, ignition timing box, etc. First, the main link: http://users.rcn.com/dehager/
This next link is to an article on the same website; diagnosis & repair of the Oilhead Hall Effect ignition sending unit.
You may want to refer to my own extensive article: IGNITION
O6. Bleeding/servicing the integrated brakes system:
O7. Link to German website, with LOTS of Airhead (and some R1100 oilhead, etc.). German electrical schematic diagrams. Using in conjunction with the diagrams on the Snowbum website. There is a LOT of information besides schematics on this German website. Click on Shaltplan, shown in red on that page, for your model:
O8. Death Rattle: Does your R850, R1100, or R1150 Oilhead, 1993-2004, make a loud rattle upon startup, or on the road?
The left tensioner assembly is located on top of the cylinder, "facing" downward, in a position that allows oil to drain out of the tensioner sleeve during shutdown. The right side tensioner assembly faces upward from the bottom, it remains full of oil during shutdown. This is why the tensioner that is typically replaced is the left side one. You can get a complete KIT at a good price, with the CORRECT UPDATED PARTS that were the final improvement method (not the intermediate BMW attempt that used some NLA parts) from Tom Cutter at his BMW repair center: http://rubberchickenracinggarage.com/chain.html. This converts to the final version using the tensioner sleeve & piston assembly, from the R1200S and RT (not R1200C). After installing, the noise will cease, and you can forget about the damage that could be caused by a timing chain tensioner failure. The conversion is to Hexhead parts. If the upper left guide totally fails, the engine can be destroyed. You want to fix things well before that happens. Replacement of that upper left guide, by BMW repair manual information, means splitting the cases. For those with death rattle noises, and cam chain guide rail problems (and this information should be seen for information EVEN IF you are only replacing the tensioner), here is a lengthy video, that explains a lot ....and ....how to possibly fix the engine if you have that rail damaged, without splitting the cases. I suggest you watch the entire video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkPrIEzaAMs
O9. Coolants for your Oilhead, etc.......... see K13 in the K-bike section of this page.
O10. was a link to an article in OTL (BMWRA), but, link won't work...probably have to be a paid Member to see that it exists (?). It was on Oilhead Belts.
O13. Tool to lock flywheel and TDC locator:
O14. There is a new-style Teflon oil seal being used on ALL BMW motorcycles. I expect it will be used at more places for replacement purposes as time goes on: SI-00-053-88-new-style-seals.pdf
O17. empty on purpose
For information on electrics in general, see article 14A. Schematics are in article O7; and links to other sources are also on this website.
For batteries see the new battery article, 35, well above.
All the technical information on this site is:
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This is the CLASSIC K-bike motorcycle section. CLASSIC K-BIKES ARE K MODELS K1, K75, K100, K1100, K1200.I suggest you join http://www.k100-forum.com/, and begin participating. Full access to all the information on that site, perhaps after 10 inquiries or other responses by you (?). That site has a very large number of technical articles, and you can spend many many happy hours reading them!
Snowbum does not work on, nor generally have knowledge about the following BMW motorcycles:
F series; S1000R; HPx; K1300; K1600 series.
http://www.motobrick.com/index.php/topic,2252.0.htm Factory K75 and K100 service manuals.
http://ibmwr.org The so-called BIG LIST. Has big separate sections on tech. Lots of K bike stuff (as well as other BMW models). There is also an E-mailing techlist, where Snowbum participates occasionally.
http://k11og.org/ Main page is seldom changed, that is, hardly ever anything added to it. The FORUMS ARE ACTIVE.
http://www.rbracing-rsr.com/downloads/K1100LT_RS_Repair.pdf A copy of the entire BMW-produced K1100LT, K1100RS repair manual, dated 5/1999.
http://largiader.com/k75/khistory.html Classic K bikes model history, K1, K75, K100, K1100. There are some things missing, & some that need embellishment, etc, such as there were changes in the rod lengths & pistons, the radiator got more fins, etc. But, Anton's history list is a good one. Use the main site, link just below, for access to his technical articles for Airheads & Oilheads, etc. THIS IS A REALLY GOOD WEBSITE!Anton is in the business of repairing BMW bikes, and I can recommend him for such work. http://largiader.com/
K3A. A version of the K100 schematic: K100 Schematic Diagram, pdf format
K3B. K100LT, schematic diagram of entire bike. This is a pdf, made directly from BMW's own information. While it is for the UK ABS version, in general, it covers the 1987-1989 era, and probably more. https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/K100LT.pdf
K3C. This is the LEGEND for the above, K3B, schematic diagram. Three pages in Microsoft WORD format.
K3D. Heated Grips. This diagram/schematic is for the R100GS, but has the same basics for all the BMW motorcycles that I know of. It is a simple diagram to use on the K-bikes, just not exact colors, fuses, wiring, perhaps, as on your particular bike. https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/R100GS-heated-grips-wiring.pdf
K4. Brake squealing, any model, and very especially the K75 ...see article 53 which DOES include information for K75, & all classic K bikes, for that matter. That article also has a lot of information on bleeding the brakes!
K6. See article 30 WAY ABOVE, about the ignition Hall effect sensors.
K9. K bike fork oil requirements rev. 12/03/2020. Front forks oil changing: See article in Section 54-10B.
K11. Troubleshooting the LE-Jetronic classic K bikes (2 valve K75, 2 valve K100). Hosted here by permission:
K12. Troubleshooting the K1100, or, any early K with the Motronic system...an article by Frank Warner, detailing what he did regarding his high fuel consumption. The link worked in Dec. 2016. The article was dated in 2002. It is a cached-mirrored copy ...allow it to load, it may take part of a minute to do so:
K13. Changing Coolant on a Classic K bike, how-to article. Discussion about various coolants. Heat on your legs. Heat insulation under the tank, etc. rev. 02/07/2018
ALSO contains notes on why the coolant job could be effected by updating of early K bikes from a 400 watt alternator to a 700 watt alternator, ETC.
K14A. http://bmwk10075abs1fix.web.fc2.com/ Repairs to fuel injection computer brains & ABS computer brains. Lots of good testing advice here too!
http://bmwk10075abs1fix.web.fc2.com/index.html Will get you to the main page, lots of technical information there!
Look at both of the above links, then Contact Tosi at: K100ABS@gmail.com Highly recommended by several people.
http://www.carmo.nl/index.php?language=en A place in the Netherlands that does all sorts of modules/computer brains, etc.
http://www.bba-reman.com BBA Re-manufacturing; 300 Myles Standish Blvd.; Tauntonk, MA 02780. (866) 573-2740; (508)-822-4490 I have had at least TWO different sender reports that do NOT recommend these folks, and NONE that DO recommend.
K14B. If you are having ABS codes problems, before you jump to conclusions, remove both ABS relays, clean internal contacts and clean the relay connection spades too, and add contact cleaner to them. This is also good advice for the ABS main computer plug connections. Here are a couple of articles to look at:
https://ibmwr.org/index.php/k-bike-tech-articles/ Scan down for the ABS articles (and LOTS more!)
K15. Ignition. Considerable amount of information on the module & Hall devices; and, how to set ignition timing:
NOTE: There is an article on this website that contains information, in depth, on how to check/adjust ignition timing when the ignition timing is specified in piston distance movement: https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/formulas.htm
See Airhead section, article 30 regarding the ignition circuitry, lots of useful information on the Hall element, etc. The following article, while for a R1100RT oilhead, is useful for K bike owners; it is illustrated & is about replacing the Hall sensors for a R1100RT repair, & is SIMILAR for a K bike: www.ebbo.org/2av54.php
If your Classic K-bike is having irregular ignition problems, & you can't find anything wrong with the ignition, remove the valve cover & check to be sure that the cover is grounded to the engine by means of a coil spring that is mounted to a cam bearing mount.
For Classic K-bike spark plugs, see article 32 which has a specific section for K-bikes.
K16. Adjusting the steering head bearings on a K75, K100, K1100:
K17. Brake light switch problems ....see article well above, 37B.
If you have a 1985 K bike, and a stiff throttle, also read that article 37B ...yes, a brakes switch article! Information is well down the article.
K18. Hyperlink to a website with forums. https://www.bmwsporttouring.com
K19. Locks, gas caps, KEYS, etc. See articles #1B (caps) & #75A (luggage), WAY above, that covers all of these things in depth.
K20. EMPTY, ON PURPOSE
K21. Doing a rear main seal job is involved. Here is a video of the procedure to R/R the main seal on a Classic K bike. Useful for anyone wanting to know what/how in taking apart the bike ....even if not doing a rear main seal job. In GERMAN for sound. The mechanical support for the bike is flimsy in my opinion. They found one of the headers broken ....in case you wonder about the exhaust pipe being 'shown'.
K22. Information for Classic K bikes, NOT just the K100. Many Service Bulletins here too: http://k100rt.aforumfree.com/
K23. A lot of K bike information. Has wiring diagrams and a lot of other information. In German, but very useful! Covers all the Classic K bikes (K1, K75, K100, K1100, K1200). Lots more than that. Wiring diagrams are under Shaltplän. Use Google translator. http://www.flyingbrick.de/
K25A. Service Information Bulletin SI-2630R. Failure to use all fuel in the fuel tank, whining noise from the fuel pump. This is a link to a PDF file on this website. The sketches are not very clear, so look at them with a critical eye!
If you can furnish a really nice clear copy of that bulletin, let me know.
K26. Engine oil, & lubrication in GREAT DEPTH: see article 51-C
K27. Worn rear drive splines? Bad U-joint? Upgrade?
http://www.brunos.us/Bevel drives.htm I suggest you look at all of the videos! Two videos on K75 and K100 rear drive spline servicing, Bruno's driveshaft and rear spline rebuilding, etc.
Doing a K75 rear drive input spline and driveshaft and swing arm lubrication? This is a link to a how-to-video, in German, but you will understand it. Note that normally one does not pull the swing arm, in this video I suspect it was done to replace the boot, and check the swing arm bearings. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cs_RNtrN35A&feature=youtu.be
K28. New style seal used on R100 GS transmission output and airheads crankshaft ...and K bikes at the alternator drive:
K29. Link to a 6 part video series on how to disassemble and reassemble a Classic K-bike, to do an input spline service. Includes a lot of service and commentary on things the servicer found on this bike along the way. Lots of good hints. Very complete, including the swearing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZJdZ1HszkA
K31. Re-keying locks, especially fuel tank lock. Problems with the fuel cap & other details. Also see my article 1B (caps) and 75A (luggage locks, regular locks...), well above, in the Airhead section of this Snowbum site, which have EXTENSIVE information.
K32. FUEL CAP on K bikes (and other bikes too). This is a video. It covers R/R cap internals. No information on keying locks.NOTE: The "kit" in the video, 16-11-9-062-461R was sourced from Bob's BMW. The "R" means Bob's is selling a repair kit. Be sure to get gasket 16-11-1-453-690. Also see 1B and 75A.
Many of my Airhead articles are also informative for K bike and Oilhead owners; and some, such as the brakes article, are informative for many other motorcycles. Other examples are my articles 78 and 78A. Many other examples of useful articles are in the Airheads sections. Scattered in this long list of Technical Articles you are reading are stated references to Airheads articles that also apply to Classic K bikes, and/or Oilheads ....but I have probably missed a few. I suggest you look at the entire list of articles, and see what might apply to your Classic K bike or Oilhead, etc. For information on electrics in general, see article 14A. For batteries see the new battery article, number 35. Both of these are in the Airheads section, quite far above.
Sidecar specific section:
When I ride a motorcycle, it makes ME happy. When I drive a sidecar rig, it additionally makes everyone who sees me happy ........and many will want to chat with me. If you drive a sidecar rig I suggest you allow extra time for your errands, drives, tours, etc.
This section begins with our last sidecar rig. The sidecar technical articles follow.
https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/K1100LT-EML%20GT2.htm This was our last sidecar rig, before it was sold and picked up in late May 2019.
I had it shipped to me from Minnesota by HaulBikes (also known as Daily Direct); whose service is highly recommended by me & many others, including dealerships. I removed the Police-type saddle & Authorities radio trunk prior to Penny & my 2008 trip across the USA, installing the stock seat & large standard trunk. The Police/Authorities items have been sold. I have City-cases, as well as Tour-bags & use whichever is appropriate, even in combination sometimes. Specifications below are in brief, as I have done a LOT of modifications.
Tug wheels: 4.5 x 14" EZS.
Tug tire, REAR: 175/70-R14 rear (changed to P165/70R14 after trying the 175 and wearing it out).
Tug Tire, FRONT: 165/70-R14 front.
Sidecar wheel: #300, 15" EML with 135R15 tire (to POSSIBLY 135/80-R15 in the far future).
Front fork: EZS Leading Link, with special fender to accommodate the tire size.
Front shocks: Koni 7610-1282 shocks (modified by me).
Brembo twin spot calipers on front wheel of tug, dual front floating discs and floating calipers, with torque arms.
ABS system removed.
Single disc rear brake uses Brembo two-piston 38 mm P108 caliper.
Rear master cylinder 16 mm Magura.
Brembo F05 sidecar disc brake plumbed to the tug's rear braking system.
Front wheel offset to right by 1-3/8". Sidecar wheel lead 13-1/4". Toe-in 3/8".
The need for a steering dampener, hydraulic, my modifications, is quite minimal.
R1100S modified hand-guards.
Hotel-quality rugs in chair and chair trunk.
Multiple types of electrical outlets in chair; modified RAM mount for GPS, etc.
Way over-designed/over-built TOP, designed/made HERE ...sheesh what a job!
See #SC9 below.
Some specifications, including empty and loaded weights & dimensions; plus a lot of factory brochures, and a LARGE amount of SERVICE information for the EML sidecar, will be found on this website, HERE:
The SKUNK flag stands for Sidecars Up Nort Klub. Up Nort stands for anyplace Up North of someplace or anyplace.
Dasse water-cooled trike;
first female driver in Belgium.
Snowbum used to be active and a moderator on Yahoo Groups sidecar LISTS. Yahoo Groups are not worth much now that Yahoo has removed all files, photos, etc. MANY of Yahoo Groups have moved to https://groups.io/
SC1C. Link for the Evergreen Council group training for sidecars, schedule, for Basic & Advanced training:
SC1D. Link to a website that has a lot of photos, videos, links, etc., about sidecar traveling, much is out of the USA, some videos, etc., are in English, but the whole site is fun to look through. You could use Google translator.
SC1E. German website, lots of interesting things....if you do not read German, put the URL into Google Translations.
NOTE! If you use the Google CHROME browser, it has settings that can give you automatic translating for any website you visit.
SC1F. Source for Vintage sidecar items, numerous manufacturer's items here:
SC1G. Source for fuel tanks, valves, caps, gauge, etc: LINK WAS NG, SO REMOVED. I have no replacement so far.
SC2A. Sidecar Tech. Where to get information. Manuals, mechanicals, photos, licensing, modifications, subframes, mounts, brakes, alignment details ...& photos. R100RT-Ural rig mounts. Plus ...A Ural sidecar on a BMW R100RT, in some depth. UNIT brand of leading link forks with some maintenance details! Paralever/Monolevers rev. 02/24/2019
SC2B. http://www.sidecar.com Has a LOT of sidecar technical information that is FREE. Download, or at least read, the three articles/books on that site furnished to the USCA by the late Dr. Hal Kendall on how to drive a sidecar rig, and alignment, setup, etc. LOTS OF THINGS. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
SC3B. https://www.haulnride.com A lot of sidecars, trikes, and trailers information. Few seem to know of this website. It was originally set up for disabled drivers, and still has a huge amount of information for them, but has greatly expanded. Even includes people who do tours for the disabled, ETC.
SC4. There is a brakes section on this website. It has additional information on the installation of brakes of various types for sidecars. This is in addition to information in various SCx articles here. BRAKES
SC8. EML sidecars. MAJOR ARTICLE. Old sales brochure. LOTS of technical information on every part of the EML-GT2 and some other EML sidecars. Suspension & brakes overhaul. Lamps. Tires, etc. EZS information. Information on parts availability. Allow time to load if on slow connection! rev. 08/02/2019SC9. EML sidecar tops; photos; description of various types of tops; & my own custom top rev. 11/04/2017
SC13. Adding running lamps. See either article 13 or article O15.
SC14. HUGE HINTS & TECHNICAL ITEMS ARTICLE. Side-stand switch; BULB MONITORING UNIT, in depth; Clutch, Clutch lever; F.I. & hoses; alcohol-laced fuel, gas-o-hol, gasolines, driveshaft repairs, ETC. rev. 08/17/2016.
SC15. Lousy fuel mileage: see article 81
SC16. My present sidecar rig, see at the beginning of this sidecar section. Also see:
Our present Sidecar rig: K1100LT-EML GT2
SC17. K1100LT handguards. Information is probably applicable to other K bikes, and some Airheads too!
SC18. Insurance, see article 82
SC19. Link to article on this site for Hannigan fairing installation instructions: Hannigan
The technical information on this site is
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© Copyright 2020, R. FleischerLast check/edit: Monday, February 22, 2021