I’m going to powder coat the swing arm so I need to remove the drive shaft. BMW used two different drive shaft designs on the airheads changing the design in the 1981 model year. This 1983 RS has the second design drive shaft.
Cycle Works makes tools to remove the drive shaft. So they have two different tools.
Cycle Works Driveshaft Removal Tool 1955-1980
Here is a link to the description of this tool.
Cycle Works Driveshaft Spring Compressor Tool 1981+
This the tool used to compress the drive shaft spring so I can remove the snap ring that secures large yoke with the bell coupling from the drive shaft.
Here is a link to the tool description.
I documented how I did this work here:
And, I made a video showing assembly of the Cycle Works drive shaft spring compressor tool and how I used it to remove the drive shaft.
Are torsional shafts and non-torsional shafts interchangeable in the same swingarm?
I don’t believe they are as there are two different swing arm part numbers, one up to 09/1980 and the other after that date. That suggests the clearance inside the swing arm changes for the torsional spring shafts. Now, that’s my hypothesis, not definite fact.
The cush driveshaft was introduced in 1979 and at that time it was still in the tapered swing arm housing and was slightly different than the post 81 since it had a flat sides on the shaft near the spring and bell housing attachment area so the shaft could be inserted from the back and pass the narrowest part of the swing arm. these flats are not required on the post 81 driveshafts since the taper in the swing are housing was removed and there was much more room for the driveshaft to pass through. I am no expert but have done a lot of research since I am in the process of installing a post 81 swing arm on my 77 R100/7. The 79 and 80 cush drive with flats ground in them should fit in the old tapered swingarm but you will have to rotate the shaft on insertion to get past the taper. I remember seeing somewhere in Matt Parkhouse articles that you can grind flats on the post 81 driveshafts so they fit through the tapered swingarms as well.