Availability of Airhead Electrical System Documentation

I have been developing a growing library of airhead electrical system documents.  So far I’ve written documents that cover the /5 and /6 1975-76 electrical systems.

For each, I document the wiring system, circuit by circuit, with explanations of what goes where and with notes about well know problems. Another document describes how the electrical components work. I also wrote an Electrical System Basics document to help those who, like I was, are mystified about electricity and how it is applied to our airhead motorcycles.

I’ve been working on these documents off and on for the past two years and figured they might be helpful. You can find them using this link and they are listed on the right hand set of links on most pages.

I hope to add additional documents covering the 1977 RS and possibly the 1983 RS as I have both of those, have completely rebuilt the ’77RS and plan to do the same for ’83 RS soon.

I see more and more questions about electrical system problems, and I expect this to increase as these bikes get older. Many folks struggle with electrical wiring diagrams and don’t have a good understanding of how the electrical components work. So they are at a loss about how to proceed with fault isolation and problem solving. I found that writing this material helped me learn much more about the electrical system and improved by diagnostic capabilities. That’s one reason I wrote these documents; writing things down really helps me learn.

I’ve digested a lot of material others published, among them are Bob Fleischer, Duane Auscherman, Anton Largiader, Tom Cutter and many of the questions and answers that have appeared in the various airhead forums including the micapeak airhead news group and the BMW MOA airhead forum. To all of you, thanks for sharing your knowledge.

I hope this material is helpful.  Have a great New Year.

14 thoughts on “Availability of Airhead Electrical System Documentation

  1. Brook,
    Like many devotees, I really appreciate your l knowledge and unselfish time pulling together these DYI instructions and tips. Thank you!

    Best regards,

    S. W. Young

    • Hi Sanders,

      Your welcome. I hope this archive of electrical system information comes in handy as you work on your airhead.


    • Hi Richard, and others who have commented on this,

      It’s my pleasure to make this material available. I hope it helps you find and eliminate any electrical gremlins that show up in the future.


  2. Hello Brook,

    Thank you very much for your superb work in publishing your findings about these great machines. Your well written and photo-documented articles are indispensable for owners of these bikes and I’m sure that by sharing your knowledge and experience, you have made many repairs possible by their owners that would otherwise never have been attempted.

    Of course, we all know that electricity is just a myth (since we cannot actually SEE it) but I will certainly store these articles carefully as my ’83 RS is likely to start developing a few gremlins in this department in the coming years.

    Keep up the great work!


    Ron Dawson
    Montreal QC
    MOA 137011

  3. Brook, I’m a beginner at restoring and all of your information has made it one of my best and enjoyable challenges of my life. Thank You!!

    • Art,

      I’m pleased my experiences and documents have pushed you over the edge, so to speak. It sounds like you are sharing the same serious affliction I have, keeping this classic motorcycles on the road and out of scrap yards and eBay used part auctions. Good on ya.


  4. Again as others have said, thank you for your very well done videos, pictures and commentary on keeping these great machines running. As with the other subjects, the electrical helped me understand the process a lot better to tackle the trouble shooting of it.

    ABC 14714

    • Hi Mike,

      I’m pleased the electrical documents removed some of the mystery surrounding electricity and electrical components. When an electrical gremlin decides to hang out in one of my bikes, I go my “circuit” drawings and look at how the wiring feeds the component and it how get’s it’s ground path back to the battery. Somewhere along that route, the gremlin took up residence. On occasion, it’s been a family of them, not just one. 🙂


  5. Thank you Brook. I have found your write-ups tremendously helpful. I did my ’73 R/75 following much of your work.

    • Hi David,

      I’m pleased my documentation was helpful to you on your project. I really love my, actually my wife’s, ’73 R75/5. It has a distinctive personality different from my ’75 R75/6. Keep em rolling 🙂


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