BMW motorcycle restoration, troubleshooting, repair, maintenance, service, tools, technical info, tips, Duane,/2,/5,/6

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1955 BMW R25/3, in our living room

   Here are more than 100 pages of BMW motorcycle trouble shooting, repair and maintenance tips for older models.  Learn to fix your BMW motorcycle from some of these pages.  Specific questions that I have received by email about certain issues have been addressed in this format.  This way I only have to write it once.
   I owned and operated "Duane's Shop" in San Francisco from 1968-1971and then received a BMW franchise and moved to Marin county.  That shop was called "BMW of Marin" and employed 4 full time mechanics.  It was the largest service facility for BMW motorcycles in the USA.  My experience almost came to a screeching halt in 1975 when I sold my shop.  I continued as a BMW dealer, until 1980, way out in the boondocks, on a hobby basis only with Fort Bidwell Shop. 
   I do not intend this to be a complete or "ultimate" book on BMW.  I only write on subjects that I know about, remember something, are not addressed on other tech sites, or are addressed in error.  If a subject isn't covered here, that may be because it is well done on another tech site or because I know nothing about it.  You may find it on my links page.
   Other repair methods may exist that may be better suited for your application.

How to best use this site.

New, dictionary of BMW terms and Brit speak

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General BMW motorcycle information

BMW links to some great websites   

Top 10 most visited BMW Motorcycle pages in 2004.

1.  What does this /2, /3, /5, /6 or /7 really mean?  13.8 k. visitors

2.  History of BMW emblems.  11.7 k. visitors

3.  Some BMW motorcycle transmission information.  11.4 k. visitors

4.  Why it may be hard to tune your BMW perfectly.  10.9 k. visitors

5.  All about BMW tapered wheel bearings.  Web Seminar available  10.4 k. visitors

6.  Old BMW motorcycles that I have owned.  10.4 k. visitors

7.  BMW engine specs.  10.1 k. visitors

8.  Care and adjustment of controls and cables on your BMW.  8.9 k. visitors

9.  The care and feeding of your BMW motorcycle keys.  8.7 k. visitors

10.  How to balance a BMW motorcycle wheel.   7.0 k. visitors

Wheels and brakes

All about BMW wheel bearings.  This is "The definitive article" on wheel bearings. 

How to balance a BMW wheel.  More about how "not to balance" it.

How to install the axle correctly.  It should be simple, but isn't.

Identify BMW motorcycle spokes and true a rim.

Why are those 5 dents in the rim?

Front drum brake adjustment and repair.  Make your drum brake work well.

Rear drum brake adjustment and repair.

Do you have brake squeal? Comments by snowbum 

Tire air pressure.  Not the numbers, but some info.

Why tires cup, or scallop.  The truth about front tire wear.

How to remove a tire and tube.  "How to install" to come later.

Chassis and drive train

Fork alignment by Randy Glass.  This is the best article on the subject.

Care and adjustment of controls and cables

Is the perch wedge missing on your BMW hand controls?

Measure your worn clutch parts.  

How to inspect the final drive for proper gear spacing.  Have you done this yet?

Testing and curing high and low speed wobbles.  Not fun info.

My BMW has a strange noise. Not finished.

Checking for a bent frame.  Do this before you buy it.

What is proper torque?  Not the numbers, but the philosophy.

Final drive oil transfer.  Some little known info.

A lot of BMW motorcycle transmission information.  New info and photos added

Why use a deep oil pan?  You don't need one, so don't read this.

BMW shock disassembly, the easy way.  No special tools required.

Engine rear main seal leaks.

BMW engine specs.  I forget where I "stole" this one from.

Removing the steering fork lock.  

The care and feeding of your BMW keys.  Do this today.

BMW chassis greasing tools.  Use these often.

What should be in the original  BMW tool kit.

How to remove/install the BMW motorcycle exhaust system.

The BMW piston ring compressor tool.  You already have it.

Parts that fall off of your BMW motorcycle.  Just a compiled list.

The driveshaft flange bolts.

How to test your cylinder compressionNew 

About BMW

What does BMW stand for?  New, just for fun.

New BMW owners club.  New 1st April, 2004

What does this /2, /3, /5, /6 or /7 really mean? 

A summary of BMW model characteristics.  

BMW model VIN information.  Not the numbers, but some info.

History of BMW emblems. 

Model kit builders might enjoy these /5 models.  Many are already assembled.

Prices for 1970-79.  A collection of sales ads.

My experience shipping a motorcycle cross country by Forward Air.

The top 20 things to not do to your BMW

Monthly maintenance and more.

Dictionary of BMW related terms

Yank to Brit speak automotive terms

A fitting tribute to a BMW rider.


Saddlebags.  Just started and never ending.  Photos needed

Electrical and tuning

Why it may be hard to tune your BMW. 

This is about petcocks for the /2, /5, /6 and /7.  Measure your fuel flow.

All about points and condenser, or battery/coil ignition. 

Repair and adjustment of the ignition mechanical advance unit.  Almost all new

Battery basics.

Why grease the battery and other electric terminals?

Why you may have flaky turn signals due to grounding

Horn and hi/low or starter switch repair by Bob Fleischer.

Basic electrical trouble shooting on a /5 BMW, by Jim Franzen.

Troubleshoot your electric starter system.  This makes it very simple.

Information about the headlight switch parts and keys.  

How to assemble the headlight parts.  /6 ignition switch photos just added

How to test compression.

How to solder, by Randy Glass.  Some basic info.  

Safety info

Why you want your BMW to be neutral steering.  It was neutral when it was new.

My opinion about low (Euro) bars vs. high (US) bars.

Observations and my opinion of crashbars on a BMW twin. 

Testing and curing high and low speed wobbles.

Hydraulic and friction steering dampers. New, but no technical info yet

Wearing earplugs while riding motorcycles.  Keep your hearing.

/2 technical info, late 1955-69

1964 /2 owners manual. Takes time to load

Slash 2 heads. The "butterheads" of the /2.  Rather depressing info.

Slash 2 cylinders, new and old style.

Replacing the wristpin bushing. 

Defective R60/2 pistons and proper ring orientation.

Adjusting the /2 air mixture.

The Weinmann high and low lip alloy rim.

Installing, adjusting and greasing both /2 swingarms.

Correcting the /2 timing difference between cylinders.  Not a nice procedure.

Correcting the /2 carb intake leaks.  Important new information added

Adjust the steering bearings and replace with tapered roller bearings, a great mod.

About the reliability of the R60/2 vs. the R69S.  

R68 and R69 ignition retard lever.  What it really does.

The three types of /2 bench seats.  Solo seats too, more coming soon.

Replace your magneto or alternator with the Mz system.  Sold by Joel Rapose

A collection of email of the various aspects of 12 volt electrical upgrade.

Your /2 magneto may die and here is what to do.  Battery back up ignition, by Lonnie.

Some details of the early /2 from late 55 to mid 57.

More useless /2 restoration trivia for the compulsive/obsessive restorer. 

Info on the magneto advance timing curve.

The two types of muffler for the /2.  New, 15 Oct

/5 and later, including the US forks

Fork alignment by Randy Glass.  This is the best article on the subject.

Test for telescopic fork stiction.  Do this often as it only takes a minute.

Fork alignment testing tools.  This is the hard, but right way, to do it.

Installing fork spacers.  Not as easy as it may seem.

How to adjust your steering bearings.

How to know what wheelbase you have, the SWB or LWB.

Why your spokes broke on a the rear wheel of a 70-71 BMW

All about valve adjustment.  Edited 18 August, 2004

This is why you have a grabby clutch.  You won't be happy to read this.

Fix that high idle. The mechanical advance unit may be the culprit.

The slash 6 seat mod. Dump those hinges that break.

The history of the tank and gas cap for the /5 and /6 era. 

Telescopic fork bushing change for 68-71.  Do this mod.

How to change the fork oil, gators or fork seals.  Save some time.

How to change the automatic flip up side stand on the 72 and later, to a stay down type and back again.  It only takes seconds.

Model kit builders might enjoy these /5 models.  Many are already assembled.

BMW fiction

Another BMW rally travel tale.  This one is unusually funny.

About my BMW life

Just added 1 May, 04.  This binder was given to BMW dealers when BMWNA took over the USA market in 81.  Some history and confidential dealer prices.

This is my ebay parts policy.

This postcard is a great gift for the R80GS owner.

BMW promotional ads from the late 70's and early 80's.

I still have a few old posters available.

Used final drives.

Used top end parts. 

Used transmissions and parts.  A great /2 gearset. 

NOS, late /2 clutch lever.  Only 6 left.

BMW with a VW engine.  Sold and more photos.

Old BMWs that I have owned.

Build yourself a BMW motorcycle parts washer.

My 2002 trip.

2004 49er Rally report.

BMW vintage meet at Vasona Park, 2004.  Some very nice bikes.

My response to the article by Maynard Hershon in Citybike magazine blasting me.  Discover the "truth" about Duane Ausherman.

How to post a picture or link.

What people are saying about this site. 

You are invited to comment, suggest or complain about this site.  

The following links are pages I currently promote.  These links are intended for robots and spiders...  Weber's camera vehicles, Real Estate Ausherman Interiors, hot air balloons I love Galt