/5 headlight

/5 and later headlight/ignition switch

by Duane Ausherman

The /5 BMW headlight assembly

I don’t currently have one around to photograph.  It is almost the same as the /2.  The rim has no retainer bolt and is prone to falling off.  It falls and hits the fender; if one is lucky, the wiring will keep the entire assembly attached, and it didn’t self-destruct.  The assembly can be safety wired onto the shell at the bottom.  There is just enough room to get a wire in the holes.  Photos of a similar perspective of the differences are invited.  You will be given credit/blame for them, thanks.

The article on headlight shell indicator lights

The /6 BMW headlight assembly

The /6 assembly has a couple of differences.  It is larger and was the first motorcycle approved for a halogen bulb in the USA.  Finally, one could ride at night and see.  It uses 6 springs to mount the reflector to the rim.  They often get lost, and you must have three at a minimum, but 4 are far better and stable enough.  The bulb holder was also changed.  The mounting of the assembly is precarious at best.  The whole assembly can fall off of the shell and onto the front fender.  Only the wires hold it from falling onto the road.  We usually used some tape down at the bottom to hold it onto the shell.

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The lens has a locating “bump” in the glass.  The rubber gasket is the same as the earlier ones, just larger.

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The bottom of the reflector has a different way of being located.  The “notch” is wide to accommodate the wide retaining mechanism in the shell.  The text on the sticker tells you it needs the H4 bulb.

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The “bump” in the glass lens is centered in the “notch” of the reflector.  I see that I didn’t get this one quite perfect. but it will work.

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The lens and reflector are set into the rim so that the lens “bump” is located in the rim cut out, as shown.

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This is the same spring as used in the /2 and /5, but 6 are used.

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As shown, you will use your right index finger to install the spring.

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Install one and then the second one on the opposite side.  Space all 6 about evenly, but don’t allow them to overlap.

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The 6 springs are installed.

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This photo shows the spring holding the bulb and holder in place.  The bulb holder has indexing marks, and may take some tries to get the bulb holder seated properly.  Don’t force it.

The /6 ignition switch

The /6 came out in 1974 with the first key tumbler type lock.  The 74 has 5 positions, but in 75 and 76, only three positions.

This shows the switch in position and the color of the wires.

This photo shows the switch hardware from the front of the bike.  The two rubber washers are on each side of the headlight ear.  The rubber allows the headlight shell to be moved up and down for high beam adjustment.  The headlight shell would be on the far left side.  The outer chrome nut on the right must be only snug enough that the headlight doesn’t easily change position but still allow for adjustment.

Updated 17 July 2022