How to Buy BMW Motorbike Parts

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How to Buy BMW Motorbike Parts

The BMW, or Bavarian Motor Works, company has been manufacturing motorbikes since the early 1920s. The motorbikes made by BMW are known for their high performance capabilities and quality design features. Their motorbikes have remained popular with consumers throughout the decades, even as design principles have evolved and technology has improved. BMW motorbikes consistently attract riders of all kinds from all around the world.

It is inevitable that, over the course of owning a motorbike, the owner should have to perform repairs and maintenance. Parts eventually wear out and need to be replaced, even on the most meticulously maintained machines. Aside from normal maintenance, many motorbike owners replace parts as a way to customise or improve the performance of their bikes. When purchasing parts for a BMW motorbike, owners should get familiar with the nomenclature used to differentiate BMW models. Owners also need a basic understanding of the systems and parts on their particular motorbike in order to best identify which part or parts are needed. That way, buyers can purchase the exact part needed to complete the repairs.

Select BMW Motorbike Parts by Class and Model

There are several classes of BMW motorbikes on the market today, and various models available within each class. Classes include Dual Sport, Sport Touring, Street Bikes, and Sport Bikes. Sport bikes are built for optimum speed and aerodynamics, while touring and street bikes are designed for everyday and long trip use. Dual sport and sport touring bikes blend the performance features of sport bikes with the more practical attributes of touring and street bikes.

BMW uses a three part code to name their motorbikes. The first part of the code gives the engine type, the second part refers to the engine size, and the third part is the class of motorbike. Knowing the specifics regarding a motorbike model helps owners quickly and accurately identify the parts needed for a particular job.

BMW Motorbike Engine Types

Over the years, BMW has used various technologies and engineering designs for their engines. The type of engine has a heavy impact on the overall performance of the motorbike. The chart below lists the codes used to reference the different engines found on various BMW motorbikes, and gives a brief description of each.

Engine Code

Description

R

Boxer engine with horizontally opposed flat-twin cylinder

K

 Inline, water-cooled engine with 3, 4, or 6 cylinders

F

Single vertical cylinder, water-cooled engine, models made after 2006 have twin vertical cylinder, water-cooled engines

G

Single vertical cylinder, water-cooled engine

S

4 cylinder inline vertical superbike engine

As seen in the chart, each series has a specific class of engine associated with it. The K and S series use inline engines, the G series has a single cylinder, and the R series has twin cylinder engines. The S series is a specialised superbike engine. The F series comes in both twin and single cylinder options.

BMW Motorbike Engine Displacement

Engine displacement is given in cubic centimetres, and is identified by a whole number followed by the letters "cc". Displacement is a measure of an engine cylinder's volume. BMW has used two different methods over the years to list approximate engine displacement on their motorbike models.

Current models feature 1600, 1300, 1200, 900, 800, 650, and 450 cc engines. Previously, BMW manufactured models with 1150, 1100, and 850cc engines.

For a number of years, BMW divided the approximate engine displacement by ten and used that figure for the model number. For example, a 1200cc G class engine would have the designation G120.

BMW Styling Designations

BMW also uses styling code as suffixes to their model names, to refer to various styling designations. The chart below lists these suffixes and the styling designation of each.

Suffix

Styling Designations

C

Cruiser

CS

Classic Sport

G/S

Gelande Strasse, Off-road or Street

GS

Gelande Sport, Off-road Sport (Enduro)

GT

Gran Turismo or Grand Touring

LT

Luxus Tourer (Luxury)

R

Road or Roadster

RR

Superbike, Racing

RS

Rennsport prior to 1976, Reisesport since

RT

Reise Tourer (Travel Tourer)

S

Sport

ST

Strasse (Street) or Sport Tourer

T

Touring

Suffixes are used to indicate the style of the bike and follow immediately after the engine displacement. For example, the K1200S BMW motorbike has an inline water-cooled, 1200cc engine with Sport Touring styling.

How to Identify BMW Motorbike Parts

As with any vehicle, BMW motorbikes are comprised of a host of various parts and systems. Knowing the basic systems of these systems and parts goes a long way toward ensuring that buyers end up with precisely the right products, whether they intend to perform a complex repair or just simple maintenance.

Braking System

Motorbikes have two sets of brakes, one for the rear wheel and one for the front. Typically, each is controlled by a separate lever. Some bikes use an integrated braking system that engages both brakes with a single lever. Brake parts should always be kept in top shape, since the ability to slow down or stop quickly is vital to a rider's safety. Sometimes components of the braking system must be replaced independently of the rest. Most of these items can be purchased individually. The parts of the braking system include discs, pads, callipers, hoses, brake master cylinders, and brake pistons.

Tyres, Tubes, and Wheels

It is crucial that motorbike tyres be kept in good condition. Also, using wheels that are in good repair and of the correct size ensures the safety of both riders and passengers. There are several different brands of tyres to choose from, and each comes in many types. Tyres are a major determinant of how a motorbike handles and how safe it is to operate under a variety of conditions.

BMW motorbikes use pneumatic tyres made of rubber. Motorbike tyres typically fall into one of three main categories, as outlined in the chart below.

Type of Tyre

Features

Touring

Designed to be durable and last through several long trips

Off-Road

There are different kinds of off-road tyres, each made for specific terrain like mud or dirt

Sport

Built to offer maximum speed capabilities

There are several types of tyres that marry certain elements of one style with another, just as there are general use tyres meant to perform well under a variety of circumstances. Riders need to consider driving styles and conditions, as well as the size and capabilities of the motorbike, when selecting new tyres.

Electrical System and Components

The electrical system and components are the powerhouse of a motorbike. At the centre of it is the battery, which powers the other components, such as the ignition system, instruments, and gauges. A malfunctioning electrical system results in a motorbike that does not start or operate properly.

Instruments and Gauges

All bikes should have proper instruments and gauges, including a speedometer, tachometer, odometer, and fuel gauge. Sometimes these can be purchased together in a model- and year-specific instrument panel.

Batteries

Modern motorbikes generally use 12-volt batteries as their source of electrical power. Most call for a certain model of battery based on the year and model of the bike. When shopping for motorbike batteries, buyers need to pay attention to the “CCA”, or cold cranking amperage. CCA is a measurement of the amount of power the battery has at freezing temperatures. The higher the CCA readout, the more effective the battery performs in very cold weather. Some accessories that may need to be purchased along with a new battery include mounting hardware or brackets, maximisers, and chargers.

Electrical and Ignition System

The battery powers all the electrical and ignition components of the motorbike. The electrical system consists of the starter, ignition and CDI coils, switches, spark plugs and caps, horns and hooters, and all of the wiring for the motorbike. These parts can be tested, purchased, and replaced separately, in most cases.

Engine and Engine Parts

When purchasing an entire engine, a buyer usually searches for the factory motor that was made for the particular year and model of his or her motorbike. Individual engine parts that are commonly purchased include spark plugs, engine gaskets, pistons, rods, bearings, rocker arms and springs, crankshaft, engine block, head, camshaft, and connecting rods.

Fuel Delivery System

There are two basic types of fuel systems: carburetor systems and fuel injection systems. Older model motorbikes utilise carburetors to regulate the fuel to air ratio in the engine. Most modern bikes use computer regulated fuel injectors, for greater accuracy and efficiency. The throttle body and throttle cable, vacuum line, fuel lines, pressure regulator, fuel tank, fuel pump, fuel rail, intake manifold, and fuel filter are other vital components of the fuel system.

Oil Delivery System

The oil delivery system distributes oil to all of a motorbike engine's moving parts. Without oil for lubrication, these parts would quickly wear out and break. The parts of a motorbike’s oil delivery system include the oil pump, oil lines, and oil filter. Oil coolers can also be purchased to prevent oil from overheating under extreme circumstances, but are not generally included with the factory standard oil system. Regular oil changes are an important part of maintaining the oil delivery system in any vehicle.

Exhaust System

The exhaust system works to carry noxious fumes from the engine out and away from the rider. The components of an exhaust system include a manifold, muffler, and pipes. These are usually made from carbon fibre, titanium, steel, or aluminium. Many pipes and mufflers are chrome-plated for aesthetic appeal. Some exhaust systems use a single pipe, while others route the emissions through up to four individual pipes.

Transmission

Most motorbikes use sequential gearbox transmissions to transfer power from the motor to the drive system. Riders shift through the gears manually using a foot-operated clutch lever. Shifting is done by clicking a shift lever up or down with the foot. While other configurations exist, such as hand-shift style setups, today’s BMW motorbikes are almost always designed with foot-operated levers.

Drive Systems

The drive system delivers power from the drive sprocket (which is connected to the transmission) to the rear wheel. The three main types of drive systems include the chain drive, belt drive, and shaft drive. A chain drive system uses a large chain to connect the sprocket on the rear wheel to the sprocket on the transmission shaft, in order to transfer power from the transmission to the wheel. Chains need to be lubricated regularly, and they wear out over time. Belt drive systems work in essentially the same way as chain drive systems, but do not require lubrication. They do, however, become loose after extensive use. Shaft drive systems use a rigid shaft to accomplish power transfer. Some riders prefer the looks and durability of shaft drive systems, but others dislike their potential for causing undesirable movement.

Body Parts and Accessories

The visible body parts of a motorbike, items like the seat, handlebars, footrests, fairings, and gas tank, are both functional and aesthetic. Many owners change out these items simply to improve the bike's looks. Often, owners must replace these after they become damaged by an accident or other incident.

Lights and Indicators

Motorbikes should always have fully functional light and indicator systems to ensure safety and legality. The lights on a bike typically consist of a headlamp, a brake or tail light, and front and rear indicator lights.

Handlebars

While there are plenty of different styles of handlebars on the market, BMW handlebars are usually bike-specific. The handlebars not only house the brake and clutch levers on most models, they serve as a steering mechanism for the rider to control the vehicle. Handlebar risers can be purchased if a rider wants the handlebars to sit higher.

Footrests, Foot Pegs, and Kickstands, and Mirrors

Some small but integral parts of any motorbike are the foot rests, pegs, kickstands, and mirrors. Foot rests and foot pegs are necessary for the comfort and safety of the rider and any passengers. They provide a place for the feet to rest, so they can be kept away from the road and from moving bike parts. Kickstands are used to keep the bike upright when it is parked. Mirrors, of course, are a very important safety feature as well. Motorbikes are typically required to have a right and left mirror. These are attached to the handlebars.

Fairings and Gas Tanks

The body of a motorbike includes the fairings, fenders, gas tank, side covers, and windscreen. These are painted parts that protect the internal and working parts of the motorbike from debris and dirt, and which give the motorbike aesthetic appeal. They also protect the rider from injury caused by hot engine components or moving parts.

Buy BMW Motorbike Parts on eBay

Motorbike parts are commonly sold at dealerships, parts stores, salvage yards, and online marketplaces such as eBay. eBay offers owners the ability to filter through a large inventory of parts and accessories for a number of different motorbike makes and models from the convenience of their own homes. Shoppers appreciate the competitive prices and free shipping, which is offered by many, but not all, sellers.

One advantage to buyers is that nearly every item listed includes a photo and in-depth description. This helps buyers determine if a particular product is the one they need. Additionally, buyers can use the feedback system to determine if they want to do business with a particular seller. Each seller must display their customer satisfaction rating, as well as buyer reviews.

Motorbike owners can access numerous pages full of BMW motorbike parts with a simple keyword search from the eBay homepage. Alternatively, buyers can navigate to the eBay Motors page to take advantage of advanced search features and a more specialised set up designed to make vehicle parts shopping easy and efficient. The ease with which a wide variety of parts can be found make eBay a popular place for BMW motorbike owners to buy all of the repair and maintenance products they need.

Conclusion

BMW has been manufacturing reliable, high-performing motorbikes for nearly a century. Fans of BMW motorbikes appreciate the quality construction and reliability that BMW motorbikes are known for. With technologically advanced safety features and customisable performance options, BMW motorbikes consistently remain a top seller. But even the most reliable motorbikes need regular maintenance and occasional repairs to keep them in proper working order. Owners who need to repair or replace parts on their BMW motorbikes need to know what model bike they have and the type of engine that powers it. A basic understanding of the various components and systems on the bike helps owners identify the parts and accessories needed to complete a repair.

Armed with this knowledge, owners are better equipped to locate and purchase the parts and components necessary to properly maintain their BMW motorbikes. Owners who shop regularly for motorbike parts appreciate the convenience of shopping on eBay, and many return time and again to find exactly what they need.

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