How do I Maintain a BMW Motorcycle?


Plan out regular cleaning of the motorcycle once a month. Perform a full cleaning by washing the motorcycle thoroughly by hand using soap and water. Do not use a spray nozzle on the hose; rinse the motorcycle off with regular hose water with no pressure. Dry off the motorcycle when done washing and let it air dry.


Take one polishing towel or soft sponge and apply wax to the motorcycle body. Apply the wax lightly using a circular motion. Let the wax dry. Take a clean polishing towel and wipe the dried wax off thoroughly, making sure not to miss small corners or edges.


Apply a small amount of fresh grease to the hand levers. Wipe off any extra grease with a shop towel so that it doesn't spread elsewhere.


Bend down and take a close look at the battery. Unhook the battery strap and disconnect the battery terminals with a screwdriver and crescent wrench if the water level inside is not clearly visible. Raise the battery to good light and look for the water level to be below the maximum and above the minimum battery markings.


Add water to the battery by using a needle nose plier to take the top plugs off and drip in distilled water as needed. Replace the plugs when done and reconnect the battery. Check that the drain hose on the side of the battery is still clear and attached.


Check the fuel line for any cracks or drying out. Use a screwdriver to loosen the banjo clamps on the hose ends if the fuel line looks old. Check that the fuel lever at the tank is in the off position.


Pull the loosened fuel line hose off the tank and the other end off the carburetor. Replace with brand new ¼ inch fuel line measured the same length. Reattach and secure the hose ends with the banjo clamps, tightening with a screwdriver.


Look the tires over carefully. Use a tire gauge to check the tire pressure. If it is too low, pump the tire up to correct pressure with an air pump. Examine the entire tire closely for any gashes or cracking of dried out rubber.

Tips and Warnings

  • Significant understanding of how your motorcycle works can be gained by obtaining a manual specific to your BMW model. For vintage models, this may require some looking around or searching on the Internet for an old copy. However, even if you don't perform all the repairs, just understanding how things work will give you a better ability to identify problems before they get worse.
  • Do not force parts to loosen or move when using a screwdriver or wrench. Many of the BMW motorcycle parts are aluminum and can bend or warp easily under pressure of steel which is a harder metal.
  • If you're not sure of what you're doing with mechanical maintenance, take your motorcycle to a professional mechanic or dealer for repair work.
  • If you ride or plan to be the proud owner of a BMW motorcycle then maintenance of this wonderful vehicle should be a high priority. Particularly with vintage BMW motorcycles, regular maintenance keeps the bike running correctly and avoids small problems that become much bigger ones later if ignored. The trick to success includes performing the motorcycle maintenance on a regular basis, even if it seems the motorcycle doesn't need it at the time.