Introduction Maintenance

Periodic routine maintenance is a continuous process, which should commence immediately the machine, is used. The object is to maintain all adjustments and to diagnose and rectify minor defects before they develop into more extensive, and often more expensive, problems.

It follows that if the machine is maintained properly, it will both run and perform with maximum efficiency, and be less prone to unexpected breakdowns. Regular inspection of the machine will show up any parts which are wearing, and with a little experience, it is possible to obtain the maximum life from any one component, renewing it when it becomes so worn that it is liable to fail.

Regular cleaning can be considered as important as mechanical maintenance. This will ensure that all the cycle parts are inspected regularly and are kept free from accumulations of road dirt and grime.

All intervals are intended as a guide only; as a machine gets older it develops individual faults that require more frequent attention and if used under particularly arduous conditions it is advisable to reduce the period between each check.

For ease of reference, most service operations are described in detail under the relevant heading. However, if further general information is required, this can be found under the pertinent Section heading and Chapter in the main text.

While some special tools are required for routine maintenance, a good selection of general workshop tools is essential. Included in the tools must be a range of metric ring or combination spanners and a selection of good quality Allen keys; all necessary tools being included in the machine's toolkit.

Cleaning the machine

Regular cleaning can be considered as important as mechanical maintenance. This will ensure that all the cycle parts are inspected regularly and are kept free from accumulations of road dirt end grime.

Cleaning is especially important during the winter months despite its appearance of being a thankless task, which very soon seems pointless. On the contrary, it is at this time that the paintwork, chromium plating, end the alloy casings suffer the ravages of abrasive grit, rain and road salt. A couple of hours spent weekly on cleaning the machine will maintain its appearance and value, and highlight small points, like chipped paint, before they become a serious problem.

Use a sponge and copious amounts of warm soapy water to wash surface dirt from these components. Remove oil and grease with a solvent such as 'Gunk' or 'Jizer', working it in with a stiff brush when the component is still dry and rinsing it off with fresh water. Be very careful to keep water away from the air intake, the brakes, wheel bearings, steering head and swinging arm pivot bearings, gearbox and final drive case breathers and all electrical components; never direct the jet from a hose or similar directly on to any of these vulnerable components. When the wash is finished, lean the machine on its side stand and shake it lightly until any water gathered on top of the crankcase has escaped through the drain channel provided; this is to avoid the cloud of steam that will be generated if engine heat is used to dry out the machine. If moisture is concentrated around the electrical components in this way, electrical faults through short circuits and corrosion will soon follow; BMW recommend that all electrical connectors are unplugged and coated at least once a year with a water dispersant lubricant or corrosion inhibitor such as WD40 or CRC5-56. See Chapter 5 and Chapter 6.

Apply wax polish to the painted components and those, which are chromed. Keep the control cables well sealed to prevent the ingress of water and wipe the machine down if used in the wet.

Do not use strong detergents, scouring powders or any abrasive when cleaning plastic components; anything but a mild solution of soapy water may well bleach or score the surface. On completion of cleaning, wipe the component dry with a chamois leather. If the surface finish has faded, use a fine aerosol polish to restore its shine.

Note: while it is realized that cleaning a machine is quickest and most effective if carried out using a pressure washer, steam cleaner or even a very powerful hose, the very real disadvantages of such usage should be pointed out. Quite apart from the rapid deterioration of the finish of plastic components caused by the scouring action of caked-on dirt being blasted off, the operating pressure of such machines is high enough to force a mixture of dirt end water past oil seals, etc. and into the bearings, brakes, forks and suspension unit, causing their premature failure unless great care is taken to dismantle, clean and lubricate all cycle parts after cleaning. If cleaning must be carried out in this way, be very careful both when cleaning and afterwards; check also that the jet is also directed away from the fuel tank filler cap, the gearbox and final drive case breathers and from the handlebar switches and other electrical components

The history of BMW


The engine of the R47 produced 18 bhp and reached a top speed of 68 mph. The price for this machine was DM 1850