Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners




Knowledge Base




Snowbum's BMW Motorcycle Repair & Information Website

Any advertisements above are Google-provided, and they are usually at the
TOP AREA ONLY on almost every page in this website.  Sometimes I am
doing some testing and the Google-provided ads will be found to the right
For many years, clicking on those 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, especially including how I run this site


Snowbum's BMW Motorcycle Repair & Information Website.
"The Expatiating Scribe of the Sierra's"

This is the Technical Articles List page.

(NOTE:   the HomePage contains some additional technical articles)
Copyrighted 1999 and each and every year since.
© Copyright 2024, 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 this Technical Article List page, using the clickable link at the bottom of the HomePage, will give you the LATEST versions of all my articles; thus, I suggest you "bookmark" ("Favorites") the HomePage ...& NOT the page you are looking at right now.  The HomePage is:

This site is certified by Google to be "mobile friendly".  Well, it is, sort-of.  Let me know if you have problems.

NOTE!  When I designed this website I failed to be consistent in naming some 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, lets say a page is named, at the end of the hyperlink link,  /Gears.htm.  If you use /gears.htm, then you might not find the page!
Addendum, dated November 11, 2021:   A change at the server level has probably fixed that problem now.
>>>But, do not add a / character at the very end!
     That is, if you use /gears.htm, that's fine; not good is /gears.htm/

Animation by Mo Massen; furnished to me by Alessandro Zorat



This was my last motorcycle. It has been sold.
Here is a link to its sale and information page:
That page also covers some of my now-long-gone 1984RT.

I gave these away with the sale of my K1100LT-EML sidecar rig.

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 various costs, click here:   DONATING
That page also has history and information about this website.
You will 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?

"Airhead" is slang for a BMW boxer (two-cylinders, opposed) air-cooled motorcycle equipped with a tunnel engine, manufactured between December 1969  with the the  /5 series, and the end of production in 1995-1996. "Airhead" does not include other BMW opposed cylinder twins.

Please post technical inquiries about Airhead motorcycles 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!  If you prefer Forum style, try the Vintage Club's website.  I can highly recommend joining that Club, and thereby receiving their magazine. I do not hang out at any Forum style area, including the one at and the Vintage Club's forums.  Now and then I may stop to do a comment.

The clickable link,, that Club's website, shows how to join the Airheads Club.  Try not to confuse that 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, that's me, has written quite a few articles just for the Technical Tips section.  I am no longer doing that.

The Airheads E-mail LIST is primarily for inquiries for immediate technical help. You can get information on the Airheads internet mailing LIST by going to the following URL.  I am a Moderator/Administrator on the LIST.  The LIST and its ISP host 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, most every day.
Join here:

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 paragraph's link.  It does not cover Digest mode ...ask on the LIST.


 Of course, I recommend you join the Vintage Club....which hosts my website, ....and will continue to host my site after my death ....and, which has forums; and, in particular, an enormous library of technical articles from a very wide variety of sources.   I suggest you join both the Vintage and the Airheads Club.  Around the world, there are a few other scattered clubs for Airhead owners, I list some here and there.  Try the Australian club!


E-mail programs vary considerably, and this is especially so in regards to the Airheads LIST DIGEST MODE. If you insist on using Digest mode and find sentences and paragraphs tending to run together and difficult to read, Carl, the Webmaster for, 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 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.  All E-mail programs can do this.  If need-be, set your program to accept LIST messages. You will post & receive mail to/from: 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. While SOME Forums and Lists allow HTML, the Airheads List does not.  You cannot post HTML (images, colors, etc.) to the Airheads LIST.  Your message size to the Airheads LIST is limited to 100Kb (a HUGE amount of plain text).   To post images to the Airheads LIST, 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  Yes, this is a bit of extra work, but it reduces the size of your message (some still pay by the byte), and greatly reduces the malware possibilities.

Airheads LIST Archives:

ALL lists archives:

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:

An Airhead group in the UK was   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).  That link may not be working.

Facebook Groups:
(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.   Australia and New Zealand mostly, but not exclusively.

A bit of a rant:
I, Snowbum, "have problems" with Facebook Airheads groups, besides big security and privacy concerns for all of us.  I would like to participate more on those 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. ....BUT!.... 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 poor as a place for information.  Facebook was designed for Social Interactions ....and to grab/steal your personal information YOU, and others, can be SOLD for advertising.  The end result is that  Facebook AND OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA send/sell advertisements to you and everyone else, including doing their best to involve anyone you know or communicate with, no matter how.  This is what our mass media world, the information (and dis-information) society, is doing to us.

For Airhead owners purposes, Facebook enables anyone to make STATEMENTS, MISSTATEMENTS, & GUESSES (to be polite) to be transmitted to many tens thousands of people in 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, in some respects, is an ongoing problem, and I expect it will continue to get worse.   I believe that the Airheads LIST is the BEST list-style source for technical information for you, and it DOES have a good searchable archive.  You can also get replies from well-known experts.  There is no cost to you, and the LIST does NOT spam you, nor does that LIST grab information about you!  For Forum style information, try the Airheads Club, and do try the Vintage Club.

There is a Group called Adventure Riders.  I trust the person posting there by the 'handle' of 'BMW Wrench' (Bud Provin), but, be very careful about what is otherwise posted on that site.

As noted previously, I suggest you join the Vintage BMW Club.  My website (which you are now reading) is hosted by that Club, and will be owned by that Club when I die .....and the Vintage BMW Club website has numerous Forums.    The Club generally covers all BMW models from the very first BMW motorcycle in 1923, to the last Airhead in 1996, and beyond.    I think you should join that club AND the Airheads Club.

Yahoo Groups (or, Yahoo/Autos/Groups, ...etc) was very popular. UNfortunately, in December of 2019, Yahoo made a huge change in its Groups policies, and ELIMINATED all files and all other documents, photo galleries too, in ALL its Groups.   Yahoo Groups were then NOT worth using, and I REMOVED MYSELF from any Membership as well as my Moderator positions.   NOTE THAT MANY OF THE YAHOO GROUPS SITES, including, usually, data & information,  MOVED THEIR CONTENT TO .IO.   I SUGGEST YOU LOOK INTO THIS.  NOTE that everything in this paragraph applies to ALL OF THE YAHOO GROUPS LISTS.  The last thing that Yahoo did, effective December 15, 2020, yes, just one year later, was to completely remove the Groups!       Yes, Yahoo=Verizon.

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.  If you are a Member of a useful BMW motorcycle group, that needs to be listed, below, let me know!
Snowbum's E-mail Address

You may be interested in this page:  A number of sidecarists hang out here, and this is the page for Claude Stanley's Freedom Sidecars, a custom sidecar shop, which, for many years, has been doing high quality work.   This is a major sidecaring site. Most sidecar technical information on it 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:   Snowbum does not participate.

There is a K11 owners group list.  The site is usually active in its FORUMS section.
Snowbum very seldom participates.

Another K bike website, social, technical, etc.:   MANY technical articles, ETC.  Sometimes known as "The Big LIST", the Internet BMW Riders website covers all BMW motorcycles, with lots of technical articles.    I've been told that the site is going to disappear eventually.  I STRONGLY suggest you review every part of that website, before it disappears, and you then have to use Wayback machine.  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.  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 very rarely participates on the BMWMOA Airheads FORUM.

Legal stuff:

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 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, 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.    Most transgressions are mild, someone says they are quoting me, and interprets what I published/said, and/or leaves out important details.

If I find that someone has modified my articles, or parts of them, & then claims them as their own 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 the selected Court allows, unless that person quickly both corrects and apologizes, publiclyThis 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 quite 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 broad & 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, 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, as noted, simply 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:  and 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, and NOT directly to me.  In this way, your questions & answers will help more than just you.  This helps me, as the amount of time I spend on individual replies can be huge.  I need time to eat, sleep, and have a life!

Our bikes are now 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.

Yes, I have an article for things I have FOR FREE OR SALE OR TRADE (AND ...things I want): Click!
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."   (Yeah, I know this is outdated...I just like the saying).

"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:   DONATING
You may be interested in reading that page, as it has a lot of information about this website there.

Using 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.

Reading beyond this point and/or using content in my articles constitutes acceptance of my terms & conditions.

Month/Day/Year, is standard format on this website

Saving a hyperlink address found in this website? Use the address as displayed.  Do not change upper/lower case for letters, as that may return a 404 error ('article not found').  Also, if the article does not contain an ending of   /    then do not add such.

FIRST, is the boxed-table section, and the listing section follows.

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


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 did not in my personal garage, as there was 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:

R45 & R65 Owner's Manual

R60/6, R75/6, R90/6, R90S, Owner's Manual

Deer Whistles

For newer BMW POLICE bikes:  Parts information. Technical information. Service Bulletins.
If not working correctly, try this link:

Proficient at editing E-mails?    Special symbols?  Using Foreign computers?  Finding old web articles.

An Essay on Loud Pipes, etc.

A FEW German words to know

Model Differences over the years

Join the Airheads Beemer Club!

Long Distance Touring

Nerdy Stuff!

Buying or Selling a motorcycle

My 1995 R100RT has been sold. It was my final touring 2-wheeled ride.

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

Temporary'll never know what is HERE!

Motorcycling to Alaska 


Photographs, story, our trip around the USA


Who the HELL is Snowbum?


Proverbs and Sayings

I am still being asked if we moved, details, etc., ....  so I wrote this section.

What happened in 2018 and well into late 2019....and,... where am I now?

There were oncoming health & old age problems, and Penny (wife) no longer wanted to live in a big-snow area (I'd been living at So. Lake Tahoe for 48 years) and strongly did not want me to continue doing things like climbing onto the 2nd story roof to clean leaves out of gutters, clean the chimney, shovel snow, etc.  We had long planned to eventually move to a small cottage in a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community).  The excellent CCRC we had (years previously) selected was Rose Villa, located in Milwaukie, Oregon.  We had been on their waiting list for several years, and it had previously been likely that we'd be getting a cottage late in 2019 or in 2020. We did not want one of their apartments.  For me, there were things against moving there.  Rose Villa has few garages and no bike, etc., workshop space is available.  Likely gone would be my major hobbies, ...and gone, of course, my electronics repair business; unless we got a two bedroom cottage, and converted one of the bedrooms...or, I rented space for hobbies, etc., someplace.   I did not like the idea of moving, and it was very expensive to live at that top-notch place...but I realized I was just not up to the type of things I used to do, and practical considerations made a move more and more necessary.  So, as 2019 approached, and over more than a year's time, we slowly began giving away most of our big furniture, mostly to a charity thrift store whose profits support the local hospital, and I sold my major machinery, sold my motorcycles, sold my sidecar rig, and even sold my Kawai grand piano.   While disposing of those things worked out acceptably OK, it was difficult for me.  Most of this happened in early to mid-2019.

In early 2019 we found out that Rose Villa's expansion and construction plans (Rose Villa began in the sixties!) for their entire 22 acre site ...and... number-of and rate of cottage availability .... had changed.  It soon became obvious that our position on their waiting list would no longer be moving up at any reasonable (to us) rate, thus, our plans changed.  We did not want to wait until our nineties (!!) for a cottage there.  We decided to speed up selling-out at Lake Tahoe and to get our long-term deposit back from Rose Villa.  By mid-2019 we had rented a house in Carson City, Nevada, 30 miles away from our larger Lake Tahoe house, but at a much lower altitude, with much less snowfall.  The rental was in a gated 55+ community.  We moved slowly, initially a car load at a time, with Penny occupying the rental, while I worked on preparing the Tahoe residence for sale.  The garage at the rental house had barely enough room for a small shop & our old SUV ...but, no room for motorcycles nor sidecar rig (they had been sold in June 2019).  I'd disposed of my mill, welding equipment, lathe, and many of my BMW repairs tools, parts, jigs, etc.   The house at Tahoe, where I was living most of the time, was sold and through escrow in mid-November 2019.   Between then and Feb. 2020, a friend and I finished building the new electronic repairs workshop into the rental residence garage (with the OK of my landlord). I started unpacking and installing all my prior electronics shop items & what was left of my machinery, test gear, etc.  The rental came with a weatherproof & secure, 8 x 8 storage shed, which I modified with shelving & converted into an electronics parts storage room.

The abandonment of thoughts of moving to Rose Villa, coupled with the Covid Pandemic changed our life-plans, & we've had hiccups along the way.  After some bureaucratic fun & games in very early 2020, I managed to officially open the newly-built shop ...a month and a half before the Covid pandemic really hit.  The Governor of Nevada issued regulations, the result of which were that I had to shut down the shop (a non-essential business, per the Governor).   February, March and April were mostly spent by me finishing work from California that I had not yet done; and, finishing shop improvements.  By Mid-May, with the NV Governor's OK, I was open again, part-time, as my original intent was, and still is, 'part time'. Word spread. I have way too much business, still do, and I eventually had to start a Wait List.

We managed to avoid the virus; and we received our Covid vaccinations (6 now for me) (yes, Moderna, for those asking).   The virus would likely kill me due to my medical problems.  We are in our eighties (87 for me in 2024).  Old age is upon us, altogether too fast.  I have to deal with the 'take this $$$$$ drug' for my recurrence of prostate cancer (prostate was removed in 2003 for the original cancer), and other drugs are for some heart problems.  I had a Pacemaker installed in early February 2023. I work part-time ....enough to avoid boredom; and, the work pays for the utilities and for the occasional  restaurant meal.  I'm not allowed more than a smidgeon of wine or Single Malt Scotch Whisky, due to the various drugs.

I miss things.  Vastly lowered amount of energy; and thus much less ability for various types of exercise, such as using our 55+ community's little gym.  Many fun things are gone. Motorcycling.  Flying airplanes. Backpacking and winter skiing.  I miss my BMW jigs, my lathe, my mill, my welding equipment...and, of course, the work I did with these items.   I don't have a good idea of my longevity.   My guess is that I will live until ~2026. That's not all that long from now, so I am into disposing of 'Bob's things'    My goal is to have nearly all of my personal items gone, hopefully including my shop, before my death; and thus spare my wife, Penny, from the onerous tasks of disposing of such.  I've arranged for forever hosting of my website by the Vintage BMW Owners that is a big load off me.   I work on areas of this website.  Penny and I are making new friends here in Carson City, especially in our 55+ community, and getting involved with volunteering again, charity work, etc.  We bicycle, we walk, we get various types of other exercise, including at our clubhouse 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:
Emil Jellinek, an Austrian automobile entrepreneur who worked with DMG, created the trademark in 1902, naming the 1901 Mercedes 35 hp after his daughter Mercedes Jellinek. In 1901, the name "Mercedes" was registered by Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) worldwide as a protected trademark.

Hyperlink,  humorous 'A Winter Tale': CLICK!

Fleischer's Service??

Whitebeard, a short story about one of my bikes, a 1957 R60, originally published by me in 1987 in BMW MOA Owners News.

Snowbum lived at Lake Tahoe, California, for 48 years

Recognition and SAFETY; combined article with Risk Taking.

Military Folks

For SALE & WANTED:  CLICK!  Even some FREE items!

The Paradox of our Age. By the Dalai Lama

My Airhead maintenance schedule. CLICK!

Purchasing an old Airhead? Getting started on doing your own motorcycle maintenance?


Learn and/or improve your off-road riding?
Even if you never ride off road, some great hints here.  Ever get onto a gravel road, soft stuff, etc?  I deleted my off-road riding article after reading this one.  It is long, detailed, & good.

Internet Communities.
BMW Motorcycle People.
 Posting/Editing to Mailing Lists, etc.



Our Sidecar rig; K1100LT-EML GT2

Fitting handguards/brushguards to your bike

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.  It is hosted by the Vintage Club, same Club that hosts this Snowbum site!


If the print font is too small, I suggest you use your Browser's ZOOM feature.

Purchasing an Airhead?  Want to do your own motorcycle maintenance? COMBINED ARTICLE:     Getting Started

Where's the extensive article on prostate cancer that I previously had on this website?? 

I removed it, as it was becoming rather onerous to keep it current.   This link will take you to a web archive:
NOTE: in that linked article, my street address mailing address is wrong, but the E-mail linked address is  correct.  BE SURE to obtain the latest PCF Guide, it is free.

See the index (homepage) of my website for detailed instructions on using


Snowbum Interview/podcast; host Daren Dortin, date:  May 6, 2022:


NOTE...  DATES in my website are shown in American (USA) style:   month/day/year

Please help keep this website and testing of products, etc., on the Internet:  DONATING
Link includes history, philosophy & extensive information on this website's operations

Electronics Repairs BUSINESS FOR SALE!
(well, at least the business assets)

NOTE!  When I designed this BMW tech website I failed to be consistent about naming 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 will not find the page. For instance, a page is named  /Gears.htm in the link, but if you use /gears.htm, then you won't find the page!   At the server level, settings have now been changed, and there may no longer be a problem.  I do suggest you do NOT add a forward slash to the tail end of my hyperlinks, which can confuse the server.

FUEL System in your Airhead motorcycle:
(An article on fuel mileage, in depth, is #81)

1A. Fuel filters, petcocks, fuel flow, re-fueling, choke lever on clamshell models.    rev. 06/15/2021

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

2. Luftmeister Auxiliary Fuel Tanks   rev. 06/13/2024

3A.  Bing CV Carburetors, PART 1; GENERAL NOTES, HINTS, leaking tops & dome inserts, tricky enrichener discs/shafts assemblies, aligning butterflies.   rev. 09/17/2023
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, casting alloy information, NEEDLE WEAR on the right side carb; etc.     rev. 09/17/2023

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.

4.  Bing carburetor Floats....AND FLOAT NEEDLES.  FUELS discussion.   rev. 05/09/2020

5. Bing dual-independent float kit      rev.  08/10/2019

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.

7A. Synchronizing Carburetors; the whole story, in depth.    rev.  11/27/2020 

7B.  Cables: Throttle; clutch; speedometer; tachometer.   Speedometer cable rubber boot at transmission.  Control assembly perch's/wedges.  Driveshaft accordion.   Throttle cams, etc., in the bars assembly (changes, etc.) rev.  04/08/2020
For more on control assembly perches/wedges, see article 76.

8. Throttle screws; friction & anti-friction screws, levers, and other devices; Snowbum GETS OFF & RUNNING!    rev.  05/03/2023

9A. R80 fuel mileage problems;  R80 airbox modifications.     rev.  04/03/2018

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?  What is the best cruising RPM?  Premium fuels versus mileage and combustion temperatures.    rev. 09/23/2022 

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:  Premium vs regular; additives; TEL; alcohol; fitting other tanks & seats. Throttle and choke cables.  FUEL HOSE. Tank lining, cleaning, sealing.   rev.  05/11/2023
An article that describes Lead Substitutes, in depth, is here: VALVES

10. Tuning Intake and Exhaust systems; plus other considerations, including ram air.   rev. 02/10/2019

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.  04/05/2022

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.  09/09/2021

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:

12B:  EMPTY on purpose

12C. The K & N air filter, the UNI air filter, stock air filters, ....etc.    rev. 08/16/2023

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

Electrical System:

Fun Schematic Diagram: Out This Schematic.pdf

14. How to buy & use multimeters (and test lamps), basics+ many hints & troubleshooting methods.   rev.  08/18/2023

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.

14B. Critique of the ChiTech Electrics School Manual; additional technical information.      rev.  08/19/2017

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!  Click on left side for Technical Articles.

15. Electrical hints, problems, fixes, descriptions of functions, ETC.     rev.  11/23/2020

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-B. The Alternator/Charging System.   Operation.   Troubleshooting.     rev. 09/05/2021

15-C. Aftermarket Alternators:  installation, capability, performance.  Bosch, Omega, Emerald Island.    rev. 01-07-2021
Refer to 15 -A-B-D-E

15-D. Really BIG alternators on Airheads    rev. 04/03/2018 

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. 04/11/2021
Also see #35

17. Alternator rotors, stators, brushes, cautions.  DIY!   rev. 11/18/2020

18. Diode Boards & Grounding Wires in depth.  Plus information on testing power diodes     rev. 08/16/2023

19. Alternator 'GEN' lamp circuit & resistor (AND, possibly LED) modifications.   rev. 09/06/2019

20. Testing Alternator Voltage Regulators.   High output and/or adjustable regulators.    rev. 05-08-2020

21. Servicing a Bosch Mechanical Voltage Regulators, INCLUDING the /2.   Includes schematic.  rev. 11/22/2020

22. Make it adjustable:  Bosch & Wehrle ELECTRONIC METAL CAN voltage regulators.  HOW-TO-ARTICLE.   rev.  05/08/2020

23A. Increasing the voltage output of the Wehrle PLASTIC voltage regulator (for tinkerers and nerds)       rev.  06/01/2018

23B. Schematic diagram of one version of the electronic voltage regulator    rev.  05/31/2018

24A. Lamps; all types.  Adding relays, lamp substitutions, larger headlights, MODULATORS, sockets, updating /5 headlight, heavier wire, LED's, HID, ETC.     rev. 08/17/2023
See also 24-C and 34.

24B. Headlight switches & relays.  Airheads, Oilheads, K, etc.    rev. 12/02/2020

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. 04/18/2023

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. 08/13/2020

25. Replacing the 5 speed transmission's neutral switch, sealing the switch.   Selecting the correct switch   rev. 07/30/2023

26. Metric & American Wires & Colors; Bosch Codes; BMW wire codes; wire sources; reading schematics; interpreting connections ...etc.    rev. 12/20/2020

27. INSTALLING AN ACCESSORY ELECTRICAL OUTLET; CAUTIONS!   ALSO: Hella-DIN adaptors with USB output for GPS, cameras, and other devices.       rev. 12/20/2020

28. Ignition Theory; simple + in-depth, nerdy stuff too, ......>>Spark Ignition Systems.   rev. 04/16/2020

29. Ignition timing; automatic advance units for single and dual-plug engines; points; condensers; amplifiers; dwell, coils, etc! rev. 05/30/2024    BE SURE you also read article 30

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 (including installation/wiring) & Boyer, etc.  Rubber sealing strip; sources for modules & Hall sensors & springs; testing & troubleshooting (including HIGH IDLE RPM); Points Boosters/Amplifiers.   rev. 01/15/2023
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.

31. Dual Plugging: Ignition, electrics, milling heads, shaving cylinders, etc.  rev. 09/13/2022

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. 09/13/2022

33. Ampmeters (ammeters) vs. Voltmeters. GEN lamps? (discussion, problems, etc).   rev.  11/19/2020

34. Adding Running Lamp Function to Turn Signals  rev.  11/20/2017

35. New batteries, ALL TYPES, including lithium.  Filling a flooded battery & initializing properly.  Sources.   Usage.  Chargers (SMART & not).  Peculiarities.  De-sulfating.  Charging voltages.  My LiFePO4 rejuvenation services. How to Load Test a Battery; ETC. rev.  12/29/2022.
See 16B for how to load test a battery using the starter motor ....although most IS covered in #35.

36. Accessing the headlight bucket & wiring, cleaning headlamp & glass (inside and outside); aiming headlight. rev.  12/02/2020

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.  Includes using a common relay if you wish to.       rev. 02/09/2022

37A. Tachometers.  Connections, wire colors, retrofitting to earlier models. Schematic diagram.  Checking calibration (mechanical OR electronic type).         REPAIRS.     Some sections of nerdyness!  Seriously updated:  rev. 07/05/2024

37B. Airheads & K bikes:  Broken front and/or rear brake light switches.  Stiff K bike throttles for 1985.    rev. 11/24/2020

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. 05/24/2023

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:; or, see There is a critique, with some corrections, that I wrote for that manual:

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, The site contains information on a WIDE variety of subjects, not just electrical items.  Here is also the direct link to the schematic diagrams.  These are GERMAN schematics, not necessarily exactly for your USA motorcycle or for other countries. Use these schematics in conjunction with what you find on my website.

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.  03/20/2023

38C. Schematic diagrams in 3 formats: .gif; .pdf; .bmp; for R90S, R60S, R75/6, R90/6; for 1975 & into 1976.     rev.  04/12/2018

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.

38C+. Schematic diagram for 1974 model, /6 series, EURO, type 0271 

38D. Schematic diagram for the 1978 Airheads, as .pdf, includes legend.

38E. Schematic diagram for the /5 electricals, last model, late 1972 & 1973. THIS IS THE FUSED MODEL.  pdf format!
see 38F

38F. Schematic Diagrams for both early and late /5.  Early model had no fuses.  Set your browser to expand the image as needed, it WILL be cleanly displayed.
see 38E

Schematic Diagram for the late /5, as a .gif; model WITH fuses: CLICK
see 38E

Wiring diagram from Nick Greear, of non-fused R75/5.  Very helpful sketch of wiring connections that is 'very different' from all others.  You will find these pdf pages very useful if trying to figure out what wire goes where!

38G. Schematic diagram, 1981 R100, R100CS, as .pdf.  SIMILAR to many of this era. 

Legend for the numbered and lettered "items" in that schematic: legend

38H. Schematics & wires colors diagrams & descriptions: 1981-1985 R65, R65LS, R45, R80ST, ETC.  (.jpg, & .pdf)  rev. 04/02/2018 81 R65 Wiring Diagram 1-16-09 (1).pdf

38i. Schematic diagram for 1979-1980 R100RS, series 0427 as shipped to various countries, full base diagram, pdf format
see 38J

38J.  Main lighting diagram.   pdf format.  Covers above (38i) into the early 1980's.
see 38i

38K. PDF diagrams for R100GSPD:


38L. Schematic diagram and Legend, 1989 and later R100RS, R100RT, USA.    pdf format, TWO pages in one

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! 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

38P.   Schematic diagram, in .pdf format, for the /7 series for ~1978-1980.  This is for the EURO bikes.


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

39C.  How to safely transport your motorcycle (in a truck or trailer, etc.)   rev.  05/17/2018

39D.  ALASKA ....a LOT of information about motorcycling trips to Alaska, that you will want, if going there;   rev.  11/28/2019

39E.  Buried in-road traffic light detection loops; problems with motorcycles triggering them.   rev.  05/15/2018

39F.  NERDY stuff      rev.  06/17/2022

39G.  /5 instruments article on disassembly and repairs, etc:
see below, 39H, for a companion article covering the 5 and later.

39H.  Airhead instruments, instrument pods, mechanicals, electricals, etc.   Does NOT include G/S, GS, ST, R45, R65, R80R, R100R     rev. 12/17/2020

39I.    Airhead instruments, instrument pods, mechanicals, electricals, etc.   For ONLY the G/S, GS, ST, R65, R80R, R100R.

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

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:

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.

41. Overheating, excessive idle time, etc.     rev.  11/05/2017

42. The /2 (era) slinger service.    rev.  04/26/2018

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.  06/01/2023

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)

45D.  deleted

45E.  Resealing an early final drive (in this instance, a R90/6):

46. Exhaust pipe finned nuts (spider nuts); problems removing, cleaning/lubrication, etc.  Recommendations for exhaust replacements    rev.  04/05/2024

See also, under E for EXHAUST

47. Driveshaft Bolts, Washers, Torque, tools, PUSH-STARTING, BUMP-STARTING, etc.   rev.  04/08/2021

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. 03/02/2022        Also see article 39G

49. Oil Transfers .... Oil moving someplace other than where it belongs.  Water in the oil. Transmission & rear drive lubricants.  Installing speedometer boot at the transmission.    rev:  10/11/2020

50.  EMPTY, on purpose

50A. Oiling system; oil consumption; thermostat; cooler; pressure bypass valve in filter canister area; remote & other oil filter kits, ETC.    rev. 08/29/2021

50B. Airhead Oiling System:  Sketches; Descriptions; Caps; Breather (disc ...& reed types ...and installation); Thermostats.   rev. 06/07/2024

50C. Oil Pans; oil pan gaskets; oil pan threads; oil capacity; dipsticks; oil pickups; windage; pan coolers.   rev. 12/26/2021

50D. Oil Coolers, including installation; oil canisters details in brief       rev.  05/05/2021

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.  Oil radiators.  Filter Changes.  REFILLING THE CANISTER.  REFILLING THE COOLER.  Reading oil filter elements.      rev.  08/29/2021

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.  08/02/2021    Suggested reading:  51A and 51C

51C.  Oil lubrication TECH.  Oil recommendations; ZDDP & ZDTP; synthetics; Airheads; K-bikes; Cars; etc.     rev. 11/08/2020

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.    rev. 12/16/2022
SEE article 54-10B

52. Pinging (Pinking).  Lugging. Piston detonation.  Causes-effects-cures/fixes.  Simple & nerdy-detailed information.  rev. 04/16/2020

53. Brakes:     Drum brakes.  Disc brakes. Bleeding/Flushing. Rebuilding ATE MC.   SS lines.  Conversions/upgrades.  ETC.    rev.  06/07/2024

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 54-1:  19" Front Snowflake wheel recall      rev. 06/08/2024

Section 54-2A:  Wheel spoke lacing and alignment of hub & rim   rev. 04/24/2020

Section 54-2B:  The confusion over wheel spoke sizes and specifications.  rev. 06/02/2018

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. 06/22/2023
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. 04/08/2021
In depth discussion on going tubeless on Snowflake tube type rims, and every other sort of combination of tires, tubes and no tubes.

Section 54-7:  Lester wheels       rev.  08/17/2023

Section 54-8A:  Steering dampers.  Suspension.  Shock absorbers & springs.  Motorcycles & sidecar rigs.   rev. 08/19/2023

Section 54-8B:  Ikon and Koni shock absorbers spring chart; a pdf file

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. 05-12-2024

Section 54-10B.  Front Forks oil amounts. ChartedvViscosities of many oils. Pre-Airheads.  Airheads.  K1, K75, K100, K1100    rev. 08/19/2020    SEE article 51D

Section 54-10C.   Instability; weaving, wobbling, tank slappers; the REAL information.  rev.  09/29/2020

Section 54-11.  Hyperlink to Anton's website wheel balancing article

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. 04/03/2022
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.

55.  Maintenance Schedule.  Pre-winter preparations.  Medium and very long term storage.   ETC.     rev.  12/16/2022

56.  Cold weather starting.  Rev. 05/05/2021

57. Noise Silencing Pads For The Cylinder Fins    rev. 04/02/2018

58. Importing or exporting a motorcycle; EPA, DOT & Customs, etc.    rev. 09/19/2020

59.  Empty, on purpose.

59A. Transmissions.    Lots about details you may want to know.   rev. 05/15/2024
For information on the 'New Style seal' used on R100 GS transmission output & Airheads crankshaft & K bikes at the alternator drive:

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.      11/15/2023
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. Centering the flywheel on the crankshaft   ....etc.     rev. 08/02/2021

New style seal used on R100 GS transmission output & Airheads crankshaft ...and K bikes at the alternator drive:

Section 60-2A:  Lightened flywheel information         rev. 02/14/2018

Section 60-3:  CYLINDERS.  Plates, shims, gaskets, sealants.  Measuring cylinders without special micrometers.  Ridge removal. New rings. Honing, all types.     rev. 11/16/2019

Section 60-4:  Pistons (including swapping heads-cylinders-pistons), rings, pins, clips, keepers, decarboning.   rev. 12/17/2018

Section 60-5:  Valves, valve seats; rocker arm upgrades; leaded fuels; guides; valve springs; aftermarket valves; noisy valves; bead-blasting,  ETC.   rev. 01/10/2023
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. 07/05/2024
You may be interested in reading Sections 40, 60-1, and 60-5

Section 60-7:  Camshafts R/R.  Broken cam tips, cam sprockets, lifters (followers), alternator & cam seals, crank nose bearing.  ZDDP.   Sports Cam installations, duration, timing, etc.      rev.  04/07/2021

Section 60-8:  Pushrod tubes, pushrod tube seals.  Pushrod tube collars;  pushrods; valve cover studs; sealing cylinders.      
rev. 08/04/2022

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.    EZ-Clutch.      Rev.  04/02/2024
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 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.

Section 60-11.  Lugging the engine.  New article, dated 01/04/2022.

61. Long Distance Touring.  Packing...and, what?   Ergonomics.   Seats, comfort, etc.    Dealing with Weather.     rev. 05/08/2019

62. Timing chain, guides, tensioner, sprockets, oil pressure relief valve, flywheel centering, etc.       rev. 08/02/2021
Use this article with the cams article, Article 60-7; and, especially with Article 60-2

63. U-joint Phasing Photos AND VIDEO.  Paralever Driveshaft models and any driveshaft with Universal Joints.    rev. 08/18/2023

64. REYNOLDS:  ride-off center-stands; luggage racks; tour rests; bag mounts; trailer hitches, etc.   rev:   04/08/2018

65. TOOLS (extensive information)     rev. 11/15/2023
See also the references article, article 78A

66. Cheap, useful, hydraulic jacks for your Airhead & other service work.    rev. 12/02/2020

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

67B. Model differences, descriptions, problems. 1970-1995 (& some pre-1970).   Also weights & capacities.    rev. 06/15/2023

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?

68A. Hardware and many other parts.  Not only metal parts.  Sources & information not in 78 and 78A.  Pozi & Phillips screws discussion.  Locking methods for bolts, etc. ...discussion.    rev.   07/05/2024

68B. The ROUNDEL; sizes, part numbers; BMW COMPANY HISTORY (THE REAL STORY).   
Also covers EMW, Ratier, Cemec, etc.   rev. 02/13/2023

69. Parts Coding Symbols.  How to read the symbols on ETK, fiche, etc.    rev.  03/19/2018

70. BMW Paint Codes 1970-?    Paint.  Sources. Colors. Schemes.  Codes.  Etc.     rev. 06/15/2021

71A. Torque Specifications & problems; conversion factors. Buying & using torque wrenches. Calibration checks.    rev. 05/12/2018

71B. Torque values for nuts, bolts, etc.       rev. 10/03/2020  

71C. Changing torque wrench range; adjustment correction using extensions.   Example for Airhead universal joint flange bolts.   rev. 04/30/2020

72. Formulas & conversion factors    rev. 11/19/2018 

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.  10/05/2022

74. Leather clothing, all types, including boots.   Maintaining your leather items      rev. 08/17/2023

75A. Luggage, tank bags, windshields, locks & keys (except ignition & fuel caps), instruments, mirrors, fairing noises, speedometer calibration errors, etc.    rev.  06/14/2023
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.

75B. Albert mirrors       rev. 05/10/2020

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.

77A. Modifications for performance, reliability, fuel mileage, street/race:  Engine, Clutch, Suspension, Braking, Transmission, etc.        rev. 06/07/2024

77B. Krauser 4 valve cylinder heads and pistons     rev. 07/21/2020 

78. Useful URL's & sources for BMW motorcyclists: groups, forums, parts, people, websites, companies, services.  rev. 08/20/2023

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.

Also  >>> see article 78 and 78A.

78C.  Editing text and E-mail messages.  ASCII.  ANSI.   Printing or sending special characters from your computer.  Using foreign computers: where is that @ symbol?       rev.  08/05/2020

79A. Side-stands.  Center-stands.  Stock.  Aftermarket.  Engine mounting stud lengths.  /5 sidestand pins.  Complaints and repairs for side-stands and center-stands.   rev. 02/18/2021

79B. Picking up a downed motorcycle.    "Skert" (Carol Youorski ) demonstrates her technique at many rallies.

80.  empty on purpose.

81.  Lane Splitting & Sharing, Lane Filtering, White Lining California (where it is legal), and around the world.     rev. 08/17/2023

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:  05/22/2021

82B. What To Do & NOT do, right away, if you have been in a motorcycle, bicycle, car, pedestrian, etc., accident.  Advice from a Motorcyclist's Lawyer!  Rev. 05/22/2021.

83. Snowbum's 'sleeper' R75/5, the radical supercharged R75/5     rev. 01/27/2023

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:


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:

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:

O3. See article #30, above, about the ignition Hall effect sensors.
How to go about repairing the ignition sensors, and lots more:

O4.  R1100RT: LCD Temperature & Fuel Gauge Calibration; Fuel Sender Testing & Cleaning, troubleshooting    rev. 10/14/2016.

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:

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: 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 to possibly fix the engine if you have that rail damaged, without splitting the cases.  I suggest you watch the entire video.

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.

O11. Oilhead HINTS      rev.  03/08/2018

O12. How to replace an oil level "sight glass" on early Oilhead and K bikes      rev. 06/12/2020

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

O15. Adding running lamp function to turn signals, etc.  Rev. 11/20/2017

O16. Control Cables problems.    (Same as article 7B, Airheads section)

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: 

Donate to help maintain this website!!   DONATING  Includes information on how I operate this website (and, LOTS MORE!)

This site has Google-sponsored advertisements on every page.  Clicking & looking at the advertisements and then clicking on something inside the advertisement is the PRIMARY way this site is supported.  Thanks!

This is the CLASSIC K-bike motorcycle section.  CLASSIC K-BIKES ARE K MODELS K1, K75, K100, K1100, K1200.

I suggest you join, 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.    Forum style.  Classic K bikes.   Active, lots of opinions, watch for awhile to sort out who knows, who guesses, etc.  Snowbum does not participate on this forum.,2252.0.htm  Factory K75 and K100 service manuals.   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.   Main page is seldom changed, that is, hardly ever anything added to it.   The FORUMS ARE ACTIVE.   A copy of the entire BMW-produced K1100LT, K1100RS repair manual, dated 5/1999.   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.

K1.  Starter motor sprag clutch problems in classic K bikes     rev.  02/11/2018  

K2.  Hints, advice, parts, LARGE variety of subjects!      rev.  02/09/2018

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.

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.

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!

K5.  Salvage yard, for parts, etc.:    (973)-775-3495.
Some other salvage yards are listed in my References article (article 78A).
You can also try:

K6.  See article 30 WAY ABOVE, about the ignition Hall effect sensors.

K7.  U-joint Phasing photos, any U-joint driveshaft system, including Paralever Driveshaft models     rev. 08/18/2023

K8.  K bike instrument pod.  Calibrating speedometer.  Clock modification for 12 hour mode.  Radio codes.    rev. 02/10/2010

K9.  K bike fork oil requirements     rev. 12/03/2020.   Front forks oil changing:  See article in Section 54-10B.

K10.  Fitting hand-guards brush-guards to Airheads and Classic K bikes, R bikes, K1, K75, K1100, K1100LT, Oilheads, BMW Motorcycle handguards, brushguards     rev.   02/08/2018

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 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.   Repairs to fuel injection computer brains & ABS computer brains.  Lots of good testing advice here too!   Will get you to the main page, lots of technical information there!

Look at both of the above links, then Contact Tosi at:  Highly recommended by several people.  A place in the Netherlands that does all sorts of modules/computer brains, etc.  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:     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:

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:

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.

K19.  Locks, gas caps, KEYS, etc.    See articles #1B (caps) & #75A (luggage), WAY above, that covers all of these things in depth.


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 case you wonder about the exhaust pipe being 'shown'.

K22.  Information for Classic K bikes, NOT just the K100.  Many Service Bulletins here too:

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.

K24.  How to replace an oil level "sight glass" on early Oilhead and K bikes      rev. 06/12/2020

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.

K25B.  Replacing a fuel pump:  K1, K75, K100, K1100     rev. 02/08/2018

K26.  Engine oil, & lubrication in GREAT DEPTH:  see article 51-C

K27.  Worn rear drive splines?  Bad U-joint?  Upgrade? 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.

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.

K30.  Control cables, etc.   (same as Airheads 7B)    rev. 04/08/2020

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.

K33.  Adding running lamp function to turn signals, etc.

K34.  This is a link to a sketch of the clutch disc alignment tool.  It was posted 26 January, 2007, in Kbmw Yahoo Groups, and I have cleaned it up and posted it here for you.

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.

I have a page that has some motorcycle and personal items for sale (or TRADE! ...some items even FREE!):   SALE

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 intend to 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.    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 GONE!  MANY Yahoo Groups have moved to

SC1A.  The good, the bad; literature and information, an overview of sidecars and sidecaring basics     rev: 01/26/2019

SC1B.  List of Sidecar groups on the Internet, websites, etc.      rev: 02/17/2020

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.   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!

SC3A.  Sidecar resources list.    rev:   12/19/2020  

SC3B.   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

SC5.  Sidecar and sidecarist humor  ...and a wee bit of seriousness     rev: 04/22/2018

SC6.  Flying the chair; steering reversion; countersteering.  Practice and getting competent.       rev:  04/21/2018

SC7.  Miscl.  sidecar tech, including fuel tanks, brakes, tires, rims, nitrogen, etc.      rev: 02/21/2018

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. 08/02/2019

SC9.  EML sidecar tops; photos; description of various types of tops; & my own custom top      rev. 11/04/2017
Also see SC8, just above

SC10.  LEANER rigs. FLEXIT leaner sidecar; history, photos, etc.  Other leaners; ....hyperlinks, etc.  rev.  10/11/2020 

SC11.  EZS_steering_damper; including overhaul.  Rev. 11/06/2017

SC12.  My first "street" sidecar, a R100RT-Ural sidecar rig, was sold April 2006.  Information & photos on that rig, including the subframes & a lot of other technical items.     rev. 04/09/2018

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   
If you want to donate to help defray costs, click here:     DONATING
That page also has history and information on how I run this website, without my being obligated to anyone!

Motorcycle & personal items WANTED/SELL or TRADE/BARTER:   SALE
There is also usually some FREEEEE stuff there!

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