site hosting upgraded

Because the site was performing poorly we’ve upgraded the hosting plan to provide the website with more computing resources. While this change was made last night in the wee small hours the change appears to have improved peformance. Should you continue to see poor performance, or have any other issues with the website, please submit […]

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caching disabled

While caching seems like a good way to speed up the site it also wreaks havoc when trying to make content and system updates. To eliminate the headaches we’ve made a decision to disable the website caching system. Please submit a Support Ticket if you notice underperforming parts of the site. Thank you for your […]

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Changing the range of a torque wrench.  Angular use. Adjustment correction when using torque-wrench extensions.

This article explains how to use an ‘extension’ for the purpose of convenience (perhaps a hex or 12 point socket or an allen wrench or other tool won’t fit at the end of a torque wrench where you need it); or, perhaps you want to increase the range of a torque wrench.

This article explains how to use an extension for such as the Airheads U-joint flange bolts, where you simply cannot get a torque wrench without an extension to fit properly, due to the limited room between the bolt and the U-joint body.

Another usage might be that if you only have a 75 ftlb maximum indication torque wrench and need to tighten the wheel bolts on your Paralever bike to 105 ftlbs,  ….you can do it with an extension, and this article explains it.

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Dual Plug BMW Cylinder Head

Dual Plugging the R100GS

What is dual plugging? It’s the practice of installing an additional spark plug into the cylinder head, with the goal of promoting quicker combustion and preventing detonation of the combustion charge (what most people call pinging). All sorts of wild claims for additional benefits are made as well, from wheelie popping horsepower gains and double digit mileage improvements to increased robustness (after dual plugging, you’ve got a second ignition system to fall back on in case anything goes wrong with the first one, or so the story goes). In my own case, I was looking for a reliability gain, and some additional power would be nice, but only if it didn’t sacrifice the ability of the motor to happily digest low octane third world gas.

A great deal has been written about dual plugging, with the Airheads Beemer Club’s Oak Okleshen representing perhaps the most experienced perspective. Oak was kind enough to forward a copy of his seminal paper on the subject, which provides not only an excellent introduction to dual plugging, but also dispels the myths as well. Robert Fleischer (aka Snowbum) has an extensive series of web available tech articles, some of which cover dual plugging, and that occasionally capture the pearls of wisdom cast about by Tom Cutter, another Guru that frequents the Airheads Mailing List. Ultimately, the best resource was a tech seminar given by Tom and Snowbum at the 2004 BMWMOA National Rally in Spokane (Oak was also on the agenda, but a health problem prevented his participation). During the Q&A that followed their talks I was able to get the latest story on dual plugging, and by the end had a strategy for moving ahead.

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LED Tail Light Upgrade

Swapping out the tail light on the R100GS for an LED version eliminated having to replace bulbs a couple times a year and got me a brighter light to boot, so I was game for making the same upgrade on this R100RT. Unfortunately, GizmoLabs is no more, so I turned to Motorrad Elektrik and their Beacon II LED replacement.

Like the GizmoLab product, this one relies on individual LEDs on an encapsulated circuit board, sized to closely fit the contours of the ’79 – ’95 BMW street bikes. Red LEDs dot the back of the board, while a row of white LEDs provide license plate illumination on the other side.

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Explaining the Slashes

Can someone please explain the difference between a /2, /5, /6, /7 (is there a /8?), and what exactly is an “oil-head” and a “k” bike? And what are these Earle forks that everyone speaks so reverently about?

OK, this is off the top of my head, so it may contain some errors.

2 = second version of some of the Earles fork bikes. The designation is often used incorrectly for all Earles fork twins. Not all were designated /2. Updated normal 500cc bikes beginning ca. 1960 were designated /2. The Earles fork is a swinging arm design, superior for sidecar rigs and off road applications, very plush riding, but a little heavy steering as a solo setup. They do not nosedive under braking, in fact they tend to rise in the front as the bike comes to a stop under heavy braking. These machines have very stout frames with sidecar bosses built in. The fork has adjustable geometry to accomodate the sidehack. The bikes were produced from 1955 – 1969. They came in normal and high performance versions of the horizontally opposed twin displacing either 500 or 600 cc. R50 and R60 designated normal performance. R50S, R69 and R69S are high performance models, the R69S making 42 HP and exceeding 110 mph. Despite the nomenclature, R69 models still displaced 600 cc, go figure…. 1969 models were shipped with either the Earles or a telescopic fork the same fork as the /5 series built from 1970-73. They were designated “US”. So an R69 US was a high perfomance 600 cc with a telescopic fork. There is also a 250 cc bike, this was a vertical single cylinder engine, uncommon in the US due to its lack of performance.

The remainder of this article is only available for Airheads Beemer Club members. Please login or purchase a membership here to join the Airheads Beemer Club, after which you will enjoy access this article and all members only content of the ABC web site.

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