The Airheads Beemer Club is a non-profit club reclaiming the 'Legendary Motorcycles of Germany'

Hardware (metal, rubber, etc.).
Bearings. Screws, nuts, bolts, etc.
Locking methods for hardware.
Pozi, Reed & Prince, Frearson, & Phillips screws.

© Copyright 2019, R. Fleischer

Introduction & general notes on BMW parts:

BMW has used two methods over the years to code parts. This is applicable to fiche, CD's, and other literature. A list of these codes is in article 69:

Thinking about using Stainless Steel?......
Many folks have purchased stainless steel nuts, bolts, etc., which are available individually, but also in bulk (including large pre-packaged sets for your bike). DO NOT FAIL TO USE AN ANTISEIZE COMPOUND ON THEIR THREADS. Failure to do so will result in eventual GALLING, a form of WELDING. You may also want to DEcrease the torque value a bit. Please take note of the fact that, in general, common SS parts are not as strong as steel (whether cadmium plated or otherwise treated, or not, by BMW) stock parts. Be especially cautious where original parts were graded 10.9 or higher.

This article lists & describes, hardware items for BMW Airhead motorcycles & may have errors. It was not possible to physically look at every part listed here. Parts numbers & descriptions were taken from a Snabb Katalog & checked against a 1995 printed Parts List (the last such ever printed on paper by BMW). Most were checked against my own stock of parts; some were checked against on-line fiche. A small amount of input was from others.

BMW on-line fiche is not as fully descriptive as some other types of BMW parts literature. Most of you will use the on-line fiche, which is generally adequate-enough. Here is a good source of such on-line fiche:

Be sure you understand that what shows in such literature is either the original & still valid part number, or an updated part number (which could be the exact same original part); or, in many instances, the part is an updated or later part that BMW says can substitute for the original part. Just because one part is so shown, may or may not mean that you might have to replace other associated parts. A common example are the parts at the throttle cable gears and cam assembly, and perhaps also the master cylinder. There may be a transition date listed, that can be quite informative, if it is accurate. Don't take the dating information to always mean the original transition date.

BMW descriptions in its literature are sometimes wrong! In illustrations or sketches, BMW may rather often show a piece of hardware ...or other item ...that is not the actual part. An mild example: an actual Allen bolt is shown in the illustration as a screw or hex head. Especially be aware that BMW sketches (often the same or similar sketches are found in Clymers and Haynes manuals), can be VERY misleading on order and/or placement of assembly, and VERY misleading as to whether...or not!... such a part is actually used on YOUR motorcycle. This is very particularly true in one critical area, the illustrations showing all the various parts for a particular assembly of the oil filter canister area. Same, but not as critical, for the front forks internals. DO NOT think that ALL those parts should be, in YOUR bike. Clymers & Haynes have messed this up even further!  As usual, post questions to the Airheads LIST.

BMW may call some parts by names that, in translating their German to our English, do not mean the same thing; this is especially egregious with the names of bolt & screw head styles.

BMW sometimes kept the same part number after making changes to the part. In most instances this is of no major concern. In many instances the updated part is better for some reason or other. Sometimes there are problems. Here is an example: BMW changed some of its nut & bolt head sizes. The same part number may be used for a nut that originally needed a 19 mm wrench, ...& the newer shipped parts are for 18 mm wrench, a size of wrench that is not standard for BMW Airhead motorcycles, but is for other BMW bikes. Unless you want to obtain and carry the non-standard wrench (and original) in your bike's tool tray, you should be aware of this. In many instances, the dealer will have both sizes available in the same box, as the part number was the same. I do NOT know the full extent of this problem. I have seen it in 16 mm heads too. My advice is to check the bolt or nut before you purchase or order from dealer stock.

ONE of the many purposes of this article is to enable you to go to a dealer & hopefully see the various parts, & then decide what you want.  Another purpose is to find hardware from BMW that is for non-stock purposes for your motorcycle......ETC!

Bolt length measurements are always taken from under the head to the end of the threads. BMW bolts used to be cadmium plated to prevent rusting and that plating also provided some slight anti-seize protection, and more consistent tightening. BMW has discontinued cadmium plating due to European environmental regulations. Many steel bolts & nuts now will rust! Some may now have zinc or other coatings or such as phosphates treatment. In my opinion those are not as good as the original cadmium plated items.  Something to know is that non-cadmium treatments may wear off after one use, and may need antiseize compound for the second+ usage.

I am NOT saying to willy-nilly coat all nuts, bolts, screws, etc., with antiseize compound. You must judge where/when; perhaps consult the Airheads LIST and/or this website. Use of anti-seize compounds generally requires the torque wrench to be set a bit lower.  In a few instances you must NEVER use any added coating & that includes oil, grease, or anti-seize. One such instance is the rear wheel bolts on the Monolever & Paralever models.

BMW generally uses bolts rated at 8.8 strength, but at certain places will use stronger; even as strong as 12.9. Strength rating is always marked on the bolt heads ...and on some smaller screws too.


(1) Ever wonder what the number on the end of a metric bolt really means? You already know it has to do with the strength of the bolt. What does it really mean? Here is your answer:  

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