/7 Series, 1977 R100RS Circuits

Contents

This document is part of a series of airhead electrical system documents. You can find the others here.

This document describes the various electrical circuits used in the 1977 BMW /7 Series R100RS motorcycle and shows the wiring connections. Rather than start with a completed wiring diagram showing all circuits and wires, I construct the wiring for each circuit one at a time. I think this makes it easier to understand a circuit and how it fits within the entire wiring system.

I include a number of references in the Resources section, below, containing much more detail about how the /5 & /6 Series components work and the differences in components between these series.

Resources

Here is a list of resources I used to help me prepare this material.

NOTE:
As a convention, I use BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS to indicate a solid wire color and use the same color for the letters. If the wire has a stripe, I use bold Initial capital letter for the stripe color with the letters the same color as the strip, e.g., REDGREENRed.

Links to sections in this and other documents are shown with Blue Bold Underline.

What Makes a Closed Circuit?

Although all the electrical components are wired together and to the battery, no electrical current flows through the wires or components when the ignition switch is turned off. That’s because there isn’t a complete path, or closed circuit, that goes from the (+) battery terminal through the wires and components of the circuits back to the (-) battery terminal, or ground.

NOTE:
Okay, I kinda lied didn’t I? On models with a clock, electrical current is flowing to it all the time as long as the battery is charged. But with that exception, no current flows thought the rest of the wires and components when the ignition is turned off.

For electrical current to flow, there has to be a continuous conducting path from the battery (+) to the battery (-), or ground terminal. Beside the ignition switch, there are other switches, and relays inside various components, that are normally “off” so current can’t flow through the component.

A relay is an electrically operated switch that connects and disconnects two, or more, external terminals of a component so current can flow between them. Frequently, a relay is used to create a complete path, or closed circuit, between the (+) and (-) battery terminals. When the ignition is off, no current can flow to the switching part of these relays so they can’t complete the path to the (-) battery terminal. Therefore when the ignition switch is off, all the circuits become open circuits. See the relays section of the components document for details about how relays work.

/7 Series Wiring Diagram Components

You can find detailed descriptions of the various electrical components in the 5 Series Electrical Components document. Many of them are the same as those used in the /6 and /7 Series. Those that changed include the following:

  • Turn Signal Relay
  • Alternator (more power)
  • Left Combination Switch
  • Right Combination Switch
  • Instruments and Instrument Lights
  • Instrument Cluster Flex-board
  • Headlight Relay (added for /6 & /7 series)
  • Starter Relay (removed transistor starting interlock function)
  • Connector Block Inside Headlight Shell (added for /6 & /7 series)

The /7 series components are essentially the same as those used on the /6 series, and you can read about them here.

Let’s start with a wiring diagram for the 7 series bikes that doesn’t show the wires, just the electrical components. I extracted this image, and all the others in this document, from the Haynes manual.

1977 R100RS Electrical Components

1977 R100RS: Electrical Components [Source: Haynes Manual]  –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

NOTE:
It’s easier to follow along if you click the picture above to enlarge it. When it opens, click once to magnify. You can use click to adjust the magnification. Move your mouse to navigate within the enlarged view.

Note in the upper right hand corner I show the black wires connecting the points, condenser, coils and spark plugs, and you will see some wire stubs at the terminals of various component. But, it’s pretty much a blank sheet that I fill with the appropriate wires for each circuit so it’s easier to see what goes where. As I describe the circuit, you will see the logic behind the terminal numbers and wire colors.

Connector Block Inside Headlight Shell

Starting with the /6 series, BMW added a wiring Connector Block inside the headlight shell. The Connector Block organizes the wiring system. This same Connector Block is used in the /7 series.

Connector Block [SOURCE:MAX BMW]

Connector Block [SOURCE:MAX BMW]

As shown above, each section of terminals on the Connector Block is color coded to match the wire color of the wires that are attached to the terminals and includes the terminal number for the wires. For example, RED wires are connected to terminal (30) per the DIN standards. You can see there is a block of four terminals in the RED section of the Connector Block marked (30). 

NOTE:
All the Connector Block terminals of the same number are connected together on the backside of the board. So any terminal in the same numbered section of the Connector Block acts like any other terminal and all of them act like a single wire.

The top section of the Connector Block has two sections labeled (15) and (15u) with a 8 amp fuse between them. The (15) section is GREEN and the (15u) section is GREEN-Black. The terminals in the GREEN section are connected through the fuse to the terminals in the GREEN-Black section. The Black stripe indicates the wire is after a fuse.

And at the bottom left side of the Connector Block, there is another section marked (15u) with GREENBlue wire colors. These terminals are NOT the same as the (15u) section at the top right corner of the Connector Block. The terminals in the GREENBlue (15u) section are not after the fuse. They are part of the kill switch wiring. Don’t get confused if you are poking around inside the headlight shell.

That said, each section of the Connector Block shows the wire colors as well as the section number, so be sure the wire color you are plugging in matches the colors shown in the section of the Connector Block you plug it into.

NOTE:
The Haynes manual shows these terminals as (15a) which is actually the GREEN-Blue section (15u). Section (15a) is nowhere to found on the Connector Block section labels. There are other mistakes in the Haynes and Clymer wiring diagrams, so be cautious.

Just underneath the top (15)-(15u) section are two sections labeled (58) and (58u) with GREY and GREY-Black color code respectively. There is another 8 amp fuse between them.  The terminals in the GREY section are connected through the fuse to the terminals in the GREY-Black section.

NOTE:
Most wiring diagrams do not show the (15u) or (58u) designation for terminals on the Connector Block. Instead, the GREENBlack (15) and GREEN (15u) terminals are all shown connected to terminal section (15) of the Connector Block and the GREYBlack (58) and GREY (58u) terminals are all shown connected to the terminal section (58). 

Also, the wiring diagrams shows the (15u) and (58u) terminals on the right side of the Connector Block, but they are located on the left side of the actual Connector Block.

Don’t let these differences between the wiring diagram and the actual layout of the Connector Block confuse you.

Instrument Cluster Flex-board

Starting with the /6 series, BMW added a flex-board Inside the instrument cluster that provides connections to the bulbs inside the cluster via a plugable connector in the main wiring harness. The back of the instrument cluster has set of 12 pins that connect to a large rubber connector with 12 sockets. Not all the pins-sockets are used. This diagram below shows wire colors, pins-sockets and the paths on the flex-board to the light bulbs inside the instrument cluster.

NOTE:
The 1977 R100RS uses the same board (part# 62 11 1 356 665) inside the instrument cluster as used in the /6 series.

"6

This table shows pin number, wire color and purpose of each pin/socket of the Flex-board.

PIN    Wire Color            Purpose                                        
1        BLACKWhite       Turn Signal Indicator Power (+)
2        BROWNGreen    Oil Pressure Switch Ground Path (-)
3        GREY-Black         Speedometer-Tachometer Illumination Power (+)
4        BLUE                    Alternator Power from Diode Board (+)
5        BROWNBlue       Low Brake Fluid Switch Ground Path (-)
6        BROWN-Black     Neutral Switch Ground Path (-)
7        BROWN                Speedometer-Tachometer-High Beam-Turn Signal Ground (-)
8        WHITE                  High Beam Indicator Power (+)
9        NOT USED
10      NOT USED
11      NOT USED
12     GREEN-Black       Brake Fluid-Neutral-Alternator-Oil Pressure Power (+)

NOTE:
Copper foil inside a plastic membrane is used to create an electrical path between the bulbs and the pins. The exposed foil folds over the edge of the bulb socket holes and contacts the terminals on outside of the bulb holders. The foil breaks over time and can cause intermittent lighting and/or failure of one or more bulbs. You can repair the foil or there is a very nice replacement for the entire Flex-board with LED bulbs available from KAT-DASH. (http://katdash.com/)

RED Battery (+) Wires

DANGER:
Should you be poking around next to any of the RED wires with a screw driver, socket driver or other metal tool AND happen to touch any exposed terminal (30) with a connected RED wire and the frame or the grounded case of a component at the same time, ALL the power in the battery will immediately flow through your tool. You will melt tools, wires and potentially destroy components. That is why you should remove the battery (-) ground cable from the tachometer drive bolt on the transmission BEFORE you poke around next to the electrical contacts and wiring with metal tools.

You can do a lot of component fault isolation WITHOUT having power connected to it. In those cases where you need power when testing a component, such as a relay, be very careful to avoid touching a terminal AND a ground wire or any metal on the frame, engine, transmission, etc. with the battery (-) terminal connected to the tachometer drive bolt on the transmission.

Of course, if you have a volt meter, you can connect it between any terminal (30) and a ground to get a voltage measurement without fear of damage.

By convention, current flows from the (+) battery terminal and back to the (-) battery terminal (called the ground) to make complete a circuit. If there is not a complete circuit, no current flows through a wire

NOTE:
Historically, and incorrectly, it was assumed electricity flowed from the (+) to (-) terminals of a battery. This direction of electric current flow is called “conventional current flow”. Later, electrons were discovered, and it was shown they are what moves when an electric current flows in a wire, so the actual direction of “electron flow” is from (-) to (+).  I use conventional current flow [(+) to (-)] when I describe how dc circuit flows in the wiring diagrams. 

So, the place to start is by drawing the wires connected to the (+) battery terminal.  Notice that any component terminal that connects to the (+) battery terminal is identified as terminal (30) according to the DIN standard for terminal numbers. Also, RED insulation in the DIN standard indicates a wire is directly connected to the (+) battery terminal.

NOTE:
In the case of the starter solenoid, a large BLACK cable directly connects the (+) battery terminal to the terminal on the starter solenoid. On some of these, there is a RED band near the battery terminal end of the cable. Other than that, all direct paths to the (+) battery terminal use a RED wire.

Another deviation is some after-market alternator-to-diode board cables for the (U, V, W) alternator phases include a RED wire, but it is not directly connected to the battery (+) terminal.

Battery (+), Starter Solenoid & Starter Relay RED Wires

There are two wires that come from the battery (+) terminal. There is a large diameter BLACK wire that goes to the starter motor solenoid screw terminal. The starter motor and solenoid are under the top engine cover.  The other wire is a smaller diameter RED wire that goes to the starter relay Connector Block terminal (87). The starter relay Connector Block and relay mount on the left side of the frame beneath the gas tank.

7 Series 1977 R100RS-Battery (+) #1 --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

7 Series 1977 R100RS: Battery (+) To Starter Relay Solenoid & Starter Relay [Source: Haynes Manual]   –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

There is a RED wire the goes from the starter motor solenoid screw terminal to the diode board (D+) terminal. This terminal supplies DC current to charge the battery and since it connects to the starter solenoid screw terminal, it has a direct path to the battery (+) terminal.

7 Series 1977 R100RS-Battery (+) #2

7 Series 1977 R100RS: Battery (+) Starter Solenoid To Diode Board [Source: Haynes Manual]           –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Starter Relay Terminal (87) RED Wires

There are two male spade terminals on the starter relay labeled terminal (87) which act as a single terminal. One of the RED wires from the battery (+) terminal goes to one terminal (87) on the starter relay. The second terminal (87) on the starter relay has two RED wires.

RED Wire To Connector Block, Headlight Relay & Ignition Switch

One wire goes to section (30) on the Connector Block inside the headlight shell. That wire has a female spade terminal with a second lead that goes to the headlight relay terminal (30).

NOTE:
There is a second male spade terminal in section (30) of the Connector Block. It is not used, but is available for adding an accessory that requires power from the battery all the time.

RED Wire To Horn Relay & Clock

The second RED lead on the terminal in section (30) on the Connector Block goes to terminal (30) of the headlight relay. That connector also has a second lead that goes to terminal (30) of the ignition switch.

7 Series 1977 R100RS-Battery (+) #3

7 Series 1977 R100RS: Battery (+) Starter Relay To Connector Board, Headlight Relay, Ignition Switch [Source: Haynes Manual]   –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The second RED wire from terminal (87) on the starter relay goes to terminal (30) on the horn relay Connector Block that is mounted on the left side of the frame on the same bracket the starter relay uses. That terminal has a second RED wire that goes to the clock since the clock is always running even when the ignition is off.

7 Series 1977 R100RS-Battery (+) #4

7 Series 1977 R100RS: Battery (+) Starter Relay To Horn & Clock [Source: Haynes Manual]               –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Ignition Switch ON Circuit

When the ignition switch is turned ON (not to the park position), power comes from the RED wire connected to terminal (30). The switch mechanism connects terminal (30 with terminals (15) and (56) via the internal switch contacts inside the ignition switch.  I show the internal connections by the RED and GREEN paths inside the ignition switch in the diagram below. I also removed some of the earlier RED wires from the battery to reduce clutter on the diagram to improve clarity.

7 Series 1977 R100RS-Ignition Switch ON [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

7 Series 1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON [Source: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE


NOTE:
It’s easier to follow along if you click the picture above to enlarge it. When it opens, click once to magnify. Move your mouse to navigate within the enlarged view.

When the ignition switch is turned ON, the GREEN wires attached to terminals (15) and (56) are directly connected to the battery (+) terminal. But they carry no current after the ignition switch is turned on unless there is a path back to the battery (-) or ground terminal. I refer to the path back to the battery (-) terminal as the “ground path”.

According to the DIN terminal standard, terminal (15) is “switched positive after the battery (ignition switched output)”.  So, whenever you see terminal (15) on a component, you know current can only flow to that terminal when the ignition switch is turned on. And, it will have a Green wire(s) attached to it.

The GREEN wire connected to ignition switch terminal (15) goes to section (15) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell.  The GREEN wire connected to ignition switch terminal (56) goes to terminal (56) of the left combination switch mounted on the handlebar. This is the input to the yellow headlight OFF-PARK-ON flip switch that turns on the parking or headlights. A second GREEN wire jumps over to the headlight LOW-FLASH-HIGH switch. I cover how the GREEN wire connected to terminal (56) of the left combination switch works with the headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch and the LOW-FLASH-HIGH switch later.

Kill Switch Wiring

When the kill switch, a red handled flip switch inside the combination switch mounted to the right handlebar, is OFF, it stops the engine from running, prevents the starter from working and prevents several instrument cluster indicator lights from working (brake fluid, generator, neutral, oil pressure).

As shown in the diagram below, a GREEN wire from section (30) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell goes to the kill switch. A GREENBlue wire comes out of the kill switch and goes to the coils via a plug connection. When the kill switch is ON, power flows to the coil energizing it.

7 Series 1977 R100RS-Ignition Switch ON, Kill Switch ON [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

7 Series 1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON, Kill Switch ON [Source: Haynes Manual]                           –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

A second GREENBlue wire leaves the coil and goes to terminal (86) on the starter relay supplying power to the relay’s coil. A second wire from terminal (86) on the starter relay goes to the instrument cluster providing power to the brake fluid, generator, neutral and oil pressure bulbs.

7 Series 1977 R100RS-Ignition Switch ON, Kill Switch ON

7 Series 1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON, Kill Switch ON [Source: Haynes Manual]                           –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Oil Pressure Bulb Ground Path Wiring

The ground path for the oil pressure bulb is shown in the diagram below. A BROWNGreen wire goes from the other terminal of the oil pressure bulb to the oil pressure switch mounted on the left side of the engine block.

1977 R100RS-Ignition Switch On, Oil Pressure Bulb Ground Path [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch On, Oil Pressure Bulb Ground Path [Source: Haynes Manual]            –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The oil pressure switch case acts as the ground path via the engine and transmission back to the (-) battery terminal completing the circuit.

Neutral Bulb Ground Path Wiring

There is a ground connection to the frame that includes several BROWN ground wires that is partially shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Frame Ground [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Frame Ground [Source: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The diagram below that shows the Neutral Switch path to ground. I removed the BROWNGreen wire from the oil pressure switch for clarity .

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON. Neutral Bulb Ground Path [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON. Neutral Bulb Ground Path [Source: Haynes Manual]                    –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

A BROWN-Black wire goes from the other neutral bulb terminal to terminal section (85b) on the Connector Block. A second BROWN-Black wire goes from another terminal in section (85b) to the neutral switch on the rear of the transmission. A BROWN wire from the other neutral switch terminal goes to the frame ground that provides a path to the (-) battery terminal.

NOTE:
Terminals on the left side of terminal section (85b) in the diagram above have BROWNYellow wires and they are connected to those on the right side of section (85b) that have BROWNBlack wires through a Diode as shown on the Haynes Manual diagram. I’ll explain the purpose of the diode when I discuss the Starter Interlock switches later. On the Connector Block there is a section labeled (LKK) to the right of the section marked (85b). The LKK terminals have the BROWNYellow wires shown on the right side of terminal section (85b) in the Haynes Manual diagram. So, the Haynes Manual diagram doesn’t explicitly call out the LKK section terminals with the BROWNYellow wires. 

When the transmission is in neutral, the neutral switch is on so the bulb lights, and when the transmission is not in neutral the neutral switch is off and the bulb goes out.

NOTE:
There was a change in the transmission shift cam plate starting in 09/1975, or the 1976 model year. The 1974-75 cam used a hill at neutral to push the plunger of the switch to close the switch and complete the circuit. So, this switch is a Normally Open switch. When the cam moves from neutral, the switch plunger extends all the way out and opens the switch turning off the neutral light. In 1976 the shift cam plate changed so neutral used a valley and the neutral switch was changed to a Normally Closed switch. When the transmission is in neutral, the switch plunger extends all the way closing the switch and completing the circuit. When the cam moves away from neutral it pushes the plunger into the switch opening the switch turning off the light. If you install the wrong neutral switch the neutral light will not work correctly.

Charging Indicator Bulb BLUE Wire Path

I removed the BROWNGreen wire that goes to the oil pressure switch and the BROWN-Black wires used with the neutral switch to simplify the diagram below. It shows the path of the Blue wire to the alternator charging, or “GEN” bulb.

NOTE:
The Blue wire acts like a ground path in that it completes the circuit for the charging indicator bulb so it can light, but it’s not actually a direct path to the battery (-) terminal, as explained below.

1977 R100RS-Ignition SW ON GEN Bulb GND#1

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON, Charging (GEN) Bulb “Ground” [Source: Haynes Manual]          –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The BLUE wire from the GEN bulb doesn’t go directly to ground. Instead, it ultimately goes to the diode board so it can carry the output dc voltage from the alternator. The reason for this is that a bulb will not light if there is no voltage difference across it. So, when the alternator is producing enough power, the voltage on the Blue wire becomes (+) 12v which is the same voltage as the GREENBlue wire connected to the other bulb terminal, and the alternator charging light goes out. As the battery charges the voltage from the battery and from the alternator go up at the same time, so even when the alternator is delivering 14.3 volts, so is the battery, so the GEN bulb does not light.

As shown in the diagram above, the BLUE wire from the alternator charging bulb is connected to a plug as indicated by the rectangular box near the instrument cluster. This is the white plug that’s near the starter relay on the left side of the frame.

This wire first goes to the (D+) terminal of the Diode Board and a  second wire goes to the (D+) of the Voltage Regulator. I’ll explain how the Voltage Regulator works later. The alternator dc output voltage comes from the (D+) terminal of the diode board and flows back to the charging light bulb.

Brake Fluid Low Level Bulb Ground Path Wiring

I removed all the wires for the ground path of the other instrument bulbs so I can show the ground path for the brake fluid level bulb more clearly in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON, Brake Fluid Bulb Ground [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON, Brake Fluid Bulb Ground [Source: Haynes Manual]                      –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The BROWNBlue wire from the other brake fluid level bulb terminal goes to the brake fluid level switch mounted on the frame spine tube under the gas tank. The other terminal of the brake fluid level switch has a BROWN wire that goes to the frame ground providing the path back to the (-) battery terminal.

NOTE:
The brake fluid level indicator bulb is required since the fluid reservoir is out of sight underneath the gas tank. Adding the fluid level switch to the reservoir gives notice when the fluid level has dropped too low in the reservoir. Starting in 09/1980, or the 1981 model year, the brake fluid reservoir was moved to the right handlebar lever, like most other manufacturer’s did, and the brake fluid indicator bulb was removed from the instrument cluster.

Headlight OFF-PARK-ON Switch & Relay Wiring

The yellow headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch is integrated into the left side combination switch mounted on the handlebar. When the ignition switch is turned on, power flows to the headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch via the GREEN wire connected to terminal (56) of the headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON, Headlight Switch ON [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON, Headlight Switch ON [Source: Haynes Manual]                             –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

When the headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch is turned to the headlight position, power flows through the switch, as I show by the GREEN wire inside the switch, and exits on the GREENViolet wire to terminal (86) of the headlight Relay inside the headlight shell

NOTE:
A headlight relay is used on the /6 and /7 series but not on the /5 series. However, all power to the headlight still flows through the headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch inside the combination switch on the left handlebar. 

Terminal (85) of the headlight relay goes to ground via a BROWN wire to section (31) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell. One of the other terminals in section (31) goes to the frame ground next to the coils completing the path to the (-) battery terminal as shown later.

Therefore, when the ignition switch is turned on, power will flow through terminals (86) and (85) of the headlight relay closing the relay. This completes the path between terminal (30) with the RED wire from the battery (+) terminal and terminal (87) with the YELLOWWhite wire that goes to terminal (58) of the High/Low/Flash switch that is included in the left side combination switch.

NOTE:
Headlight relay terminal (87b) also gets power for the parking lights from the RED wire as explained later.

Headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH Switch Low Beam

The other end of the YELLOWWhite wire from the headlight relay goes to terminal (58) of the HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch inside the left side combination switch mounted on the handlebar as shown below.

1977 R100RS: Headlight High-Low-Flash Switch Low Beam [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH Switch Low Beam [Source: Haynes Manual]                      –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

NOTE:
Terminal (56) of the HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch on the left handlebar is shown with either (56) or (58) assigned to it depending on which wiring diagram you look at. Based on the DIN standard, (56) indicates a “spot light” while (58) indicates a “license plate lights, instrument panel” terminal. I think (56) is the correct number based on the purpose of that terminal which is to power the headlights.

The HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch is typically in the centered, low beam position, as I show in the diagram above. I show how the power flows through the switch when it is in the low beam position and then exits on terminal (56b) to the YELLOW wire connected to it. The other end of that YELLOW wire goes to section (56b) on the Connector Block inside the headlight shell. Another YELLOW wire connected to section (56b) goes to the low beam filament of the headlight.

Headlight Relay and Headlight Ground Path

The BROWN ground wire from the headlight bulb goes to a terminal in section (31) of the Connector Block in the headlight shell. A BROWN ground wire from headlight relay terminal (85) also goes to section (31) of the Connector Block. There is another BROWN ground wire connected to section (31) of the Connector Block that goes to the frame ground as shown below.

1977 R100RS: Headlight Relay And Headlight Ground Path [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Headlight Relay And Headlight Ground Path [Source: Haynes Manual]                        –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH Switch High Beam

Changing the HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch to the high beam position directs the power from the YELLOWWhite wire from the headlight relay to exit the HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch on terminal (56a) on a White wire. The White wire goes to section (56a) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell.

1977 R100RS: Headlight High-Low-Flash Switch High Beam [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH Switch High Beam [Source: Haynes Manual]                     –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

A second White wire in section (56a) goes to the high beam filament of the headlight bulb  and a BROWN ground wire from the high beam bulb goes to the frame ground as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Headlight High-Low-Flash Switch High Beam Instrument Bulb [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH Switch High Beam Instrument Bulb                       [Source: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH Switch High Beam Flasher

As shown below, when the ignition switch is turned on, power exits on ignition switch terminal (56) on a GREEN wire to terminal (56) of the yellow headlight ON-PARK-OFF light switch. A second GREEN wire on terminal (56) of the ON-PARK-OFF light switch goes to terminal (30) of the headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch. If you press the HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch, the high beam turns on as does the high beam indicator bulb in the instrument cluster.

1977 R100RS: Headlight High-Low-Flash Switch High Beam Flash [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH Switch High Beam Flash [Source: Haynes Manual]          –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

NOTE:
An earlier version of the combination switch used on the /6 series had a RED wire from the battery connected to terminal (30) of the HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch. This switch had nine wires. This allowed the high beam to be flashed on even when the ignition switch was off.  This version of the switch is no longer available.

GREEN-Black Wires After Fuse

As shown in the diagram below, the GREEN wire from ignition switch terminal (15) goes to the left side of terminal section (15) of the Connector Block in the headlight shell.

7 Series 1977 R100RS-Ignition Switch ON [Source: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

7 Series 1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON [Source: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The left side terminals are connected to the terminals on the right side via an 8 amp fuse. The right side terminals of the Connector Block have a GREEN-Black color and the wires connected to the right side are also GREEN-Black. The Black stripe indicates these are wires after a fuse. So when you see any GREEN-Black wires, you know they are after a fuse, after the ignition switch and connect to the (+) battery terminal. No current flows through the GREEN-Black wires unless the ignition switch is on AND the fuse is not blown AND there is a path back to the (-) battery terminal through a component.

NOTE:
As shown in the Connector Block section above, there is a (15u) terminal section and a (15) terminal section at the top of the actual Connector Block . The Haynes Manual does not show the (15u) section in their version of the wiring diagram, instead showing both the GREEN (15u) terminals and GREENBlack (15) terminals all in section (15).

Brake Light Switches

As shown in the diagram below, one of the GREEN-Black wires brings power to the front and rear brake light switches.

1977 R100RS: GREEN-Black Wire To Brake Switches [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: GREEN-Black Wire To Brake Switches [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                              –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

A GREENRed wire leaves the front and rear switches and goes to the dual filament rear taillight bulb to power the brake light filament. These two GREENRed wires from the front and rear brake switches are connected together inside the tail light housing.

1977 R100RS: GREEN-Red Wires From Brake Switches [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: GREENRed Wires From Brake Switches [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                          –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Brake Light Switches Ground Path Wiring

Shown below is the BROWN ground wire from the taillight bulb to the frame ground that completes the path to the (-) battery terminal The BROWN ground wire also connects to the rear turn signal bulbs and these are attached together inside the rear tail light housing.

1977 R100RS: GREEN-Black Brake Switches Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: GREEN-Black Brake Switches Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                     –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Volt Meter Power & Volt Meter, Clock, Parking Light Ground Path Wiring

The volt meter is powered by a GREEN-Black wire from section (15) of the headlight shell Connector Block as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Parking Switch ON [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Parking Switch ON [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

There is a BROWN wire from the (-) volt meter terminal that connects to the clock (-) terminal and to the front parking light bulb (-) terminal. The clock gets power all the time via a RED wire from the battery (+) terminal. The front parking light bulb gets power from a GREY-Black wire as described later.

This BROWN ground wire from the volt meter, clock and parking light connects to a pin in the fairing sub-harness plug. The other side of the plug has a BROWN ground wire that connects to one of the terminals in section (31) of the headlight shell Connector Block. There is another BROWN ground wire in section (31) of the Connector Block that goes to the frame ground completing the ground path to the (-) battery terminal.

Turn Signal Relay & Handlebar Switch Wiring

A GREEN-Black wire from section (15) of the Connector Block connects to terminal (49) of the turn signal relay inside the headlight shell as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON GREEN-Black Turn Signal Relay [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON GREEN-Black Turn Signal Relay [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]           –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Turn Signal Relay Wiring.

The /7 series turn signal relay has two contacts that close, terminal (49a) and terminal (KBL), when the turn signal switch selects either the left or right turn signals.  The contact attached to terminal (49a) sends power to the two turn signal bulbs on one side of the bike and the second contact attached to terminal (KBL) sends power to the turn signal indicator bulb at the bottom of the instrument cluster.

There is a transistor inside the turn signal relay. It senses the lower current draw if one of the turn signal bulbs is out. In that case, the indicator bulb in the instrument cluster flashes once and then stays off. But, the remaining turn signal bulb continues to flash.

Unlike the /5 series turn signal relay whose flash rate depended on the resistance of the two turn signal bulbs and their wiring including the ground path, the /7 relay flash rate is load (resistance) independent. You can add extra lights without changing the flash rate.

There is a GREENYellow wire from turn signal relay (49a) that brings power to the right side combination switch as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON GREEN-Yellow Turn Signal Relay [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON GREENYellow Turn Signal Relay [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]   –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

No current flows through the GREENYellow wire until the turn signal switch is moved to select the right or left turn signals.

Right Turn Signals Wiring.

NOTE:
For pilots and boat operators, the convention is red is left side, or port, and green is right side, or starboard.  The way to remember this is left, port and red have fewer letters than green, right and starboard. Similarly, the DIN wiring code uses the red stripe to indicate left side wires. But, they use black stripes for the right side wires. However, the way to remember this is the same, red and left have fewer letters than black and right.

The right side turn signals are selected when the turn signal switch is pushed down connecting the GREENYellow wire on terminal (49a) to terminal (R) of the turn signal switch. A BLUE-Black wire connected to the turn signal switch (R) terminal connects to section (R) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell. The other terminals of section (R) have BLUE-Black wires going to the left front and rear turn signals as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON BLUE-Black Right Turn Signals [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON BLUE-Black Right Turn Signals [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]   –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Left Turn Signals Wiring.

Similar to the right side turn signals, when the turn signal switch is pushed up, the GREENYellow wire on terminal (49a) connects to terminal (L) of the turn signal switch. A BLUERed wire connected to the turn signal switch (L) terminal connects to section (L) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell. The other terminals of section (L) have BLUERed wires going to the right front and rear turn signals as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON BLUE-Red Left Turn Signals [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON BLUERed Left Turn Signals [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]          –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Turn Signal Indicator Wiring.

The turn signal indicator bulb gets power from the “KBL” terminal of the relay. A BLACK-White wire goes from this terminal to power the bulb in the instrument cluster as shown below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON BLACK-White Turn Signal Indicator [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON BLACK-White Turn Signal Indicator [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Turn Signals Ground Path Wiring.

Before I show the ground wire paths, the diagram below shows all the power wires to the turn signal relay, turn signals and turn signal indicator bulb.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Turn Signal Relay, Turn Signals & Turn Signal Indicator Power [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Turn Signal Relay, Turn Signals & Turn Signal Indicator Power [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Turn Signal Relay Ground Path.

In the following diagrams, I show all the ground wires for the turn signal relay, turn signals and turn signal indicator light and show which support each component with red arrows.

A BROWN wire from terminal (31) of the turn signal relay shown in the diagram below goes to section (31) on the Connector Block inside the headlight shell. Another wire from section (31) goes to the frame ground. It goes to section (31) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell and then to the frame ground completing the ground path for the turn signal relay electromagnetic switch. These are called out with red arrows.

1977 R100RS-Ignition Switch ON Turn Signal Relay Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS-Ignition Switch ON Turn Signal Relay Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]        –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Turn Signal Bulbs Ground Path.

The ground path for the turn signals on the /7 series use separate BROWN wires to each turn signal bulb as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Turn Signals Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Turn Signals Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                 –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The front turn signal BROWN ground wires go into one of the fairing sub-harness plugs and exit on the other plug going to section (31) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell. Another wire in section (31) goes to the frame ground.

The rear turn signal bulb ground wires connect to the tail light bulb ground inside the rear tail light housing. A BROWN wire from the tail light housing goes to the frame ground providing a path to the (-) battery terminal.

Turn Signal Indicator Bulb Ground Path.

The ground path for the turn signal indicator bulb goes to the BROWN wire connected to pin (7) of the instrument cluster cable. That wire goes to the frame ground that completes the path to the (-) battery terminal as shown by the red arrows in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Turn Signal Indicator Bulb Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Turn Signal Indicator Bulb Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Complete Turn Signals Wiring Diagram.

The diagram below shows all the wiring used for the turn signal relay, turn signal bulbs and turn signal indicator bulb. It’s a bit busy, but I think based on the preceding diagrams, you shouldn’t have a problem understanding it.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Complete Turn Signal Relay, Turn Signal Bulbs & Turn Signal Indicator Bulb Wiring [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Complete Turn Signal Relay, Turn Signal Bulbs & Turn Signal Indicator Bulb Wiring [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Horn Button & Horn Relay Wiring

Starting with the 1977 R100RS, BMW added dual tone horns and a horn relay. This allows more current to flow to the horn directly from the battery without that current having to flow through larger wires attached to the left handlebar combination switch. The horn relay is mounted on a bracket next to the starter relay on left side of the spine tube.

As shown in the diagram below, the horn relay gets power directly from the battery (+) terminal on a RED wire attached to terminal (30) on the horn relay.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Horn Relay RED Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Horn Relay RED Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                        –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The horn button on the handlebar is used to close the horn relay so battery power flows directly to the horns. Terminal (85) on the left handlebar combination switch is attached to a GREEN-Black wire that comes from the Connector Block section (15) inside the headlight shell.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Horn Button GREEN-Black Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Horn Button GREEN-Black Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]    –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

When the horn button is pushed current flows from the GREEN-Black wire on terminal (85) out terminal (50) on a BROWN White wire to section (H) on the Connector Block inside the headlight relay. A second BROWN White wire connects to the other terminal in section (H) and goes to the horn relay terminal (86)

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch On Horn Button BROWN-White Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch On Horn Button BROWN-White Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]  –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

When the horn relay closes, power from the RED wire on the horn relay terminal (30) flows out terminal (87) on a BLACK wire to the two horns.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Horn Relay BLACK Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Horn Relay BLACK Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                    –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

To complete the path to the (-) battery ground terminal, a BROWN wire connects to horn relay terminal (31) and connects to a second BROWN wire from section (31) that goes to the frame ground completing the horn circuit ground path.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Horn Relay Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Horn Relay Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                   –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Ignition Switch PARK Circuit

The ignition switch has a position for turning on the parking lights, but not starting the bike. The RED wire connected to terminal (30) of the ignition switch goes to terminal (58) of the ignition switch when the switch is in the park position as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch Parking Position ON [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch Parking Position ON [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                                   –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

GREY-Black Wires After Fuse

Ignition switch terminal (58) has a GREY wire that goes to section (58) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell as shown in the diagram above. There is an 8 amp fuse, that receives power for ignition switch terminal (58), between the left and right side terminals of section (58). GREY-Black wires attach to the right-side terminals. The Black stripe indicates these wires are after the fuse. The wires that power the parking lights are GREYBlack indicating they are after the fuse.

NOTE:
The actual Connector Block has a section (58) and a section (58u) that are across from each other on either side of the Connector Block, but the Haynes manual does not show section (58u). Section (58) of the Connector Block has the GREY wires while section (58u) has the GREYBlack wires. And, the GREY and GREYBlack wires are the opposite sides of the Connector Block from where these wires are shown in the Haynes manual. Don’t let these differences confusing when you compare the wiring diagram to the actual Connector Block wiring inside the headlight shell.

Front & Rear Parking Light Wires

One GREY-Black wire from section (58) of the Connector Block goes to terminal (58) of the front parking light, and the clock and volt meter illumination bulbs as shown in the picture below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON Front Parking, Volt Meter & Clock Bulbs GREY-Black Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON Front Parking, Volt Meter & Clock Bulbs GREY-Black Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Front Parking Light, Volt Meter & Clock Ground Path Wires

As shown in the diagram below, the clock gets power from the battery via a RED wire to terminal (30) from the battery (+) terminal via terminal (30) on the horn relay. The volt meter gets power via a GREEN-Black wire to terminal (15) from the Connector Block in the headlight shell.

1977 R100RS: Power To Clock, Volt Meter and Front Parking Bulb [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Power To Clock, Volt Meter and Front Parking Bulb [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]      –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The BROWN Ground wires to terminal (31) on the front parking light, volt meter and clock provides a ground path for the sources of power to these components: the front parking light bulb GREY-Black power; the volt meter GREEN-Black and GREY-Black power; and the clock RED and GREY-Black power. This ground wire, along with the GREY-Black, GREEN-Black, and RED wires, is included in the fairing sub-harness. The ground wire from the other side of the sub-harness plug goes to a terminal in section (31) on the Connector Block inside the headlight shell and then via a second BROWN wire in section (31) to  the frame ground as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON Front Parking Bulb, Volt Meter & Clock Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual} --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON Front Parking Bulb, Volt Meter & Clock Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Rear Parking Light & Tachometer, Speedometer Illumination Bulb Wires

A GREY-Black wire from a terminal of section (58) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell goes to the parking light filament of the rear brake/parking light bulb. The instrument cluster tachometer and speedometer illumination bulbs get power from a second GREY-Black wire connected to the wire going to the rear brake/parking light bulb. This wire connects to pin (3) of the instrument cluster as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON Rear Parking, Tachometer & Speedometer Bulbs GREY-Black Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON Rear Parking, Tachometer & Speedometer Bulbs GREY-Black Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The ground path for the two instrument cluster illumination bulbs connect to terminal (7) of the instrument cluster. A BROWN wire from terminal (7) goes to the brake fluid level switch and from there to the frame ground as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON Rear Parking, Tachometer & Speedometer Bulbs Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON Rear Parking, Tachometer & Speedometer Bulbs Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

All Ignition Switch PARK Light Bulb Wires

The diagram below shows all the parking light wires and ground path wires including the power from terminal (58) of the ignition switch.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON All GREY-Black & Ground Wires [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Parking ON All GREY-Black & Ground Wires [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]   –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Alternative Ways To Power The Parking Lights

Two alternate GREY wires supply power to the parking light circuit so these lights are on when the ignition switch is in the ON position instead of the PARK position.

  • When the ignition switch is ON and the headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch is the PARK position;
  • When the ignition switch is ON and the headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch is the ON position.

Consequently, the parking lights get power from three different GREY wires, depending on the position of the ignition and the headlight OFF-PARK-ON switches.

Headlight OFF-PARK-ON Switch PARK Position Wires

Beside the ignition switch parking position that sends power to the parking lights, the yellow headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch in the left combination switch can turn on the parking lights. When the ignition switch is ON, power from the GREEN wire connected to terminal (15) of the ignition switch goes to terminal (15) of the yellow headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch on the left combination switch and another GREEN wire goes to the headlight HIGH-LOW-FLASH switch as shown in the diagram below .

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Power To Headlight OFF-PARK-ON Switch [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Power To Headlight OFF-PARK-ON Switch [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

When Park is selected on the yellow headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch, power goes through the switch and exits on a GREY wire connected to terminal (58) of the headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch. The wire goes to section (58) of the Connector Block and then through the Fuse to the GREY-Black wires connected to the parking light bulbs as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Headlight OFF-PARK-ON Switch In Park Position GREY Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Headlight OFF-PARK-ON Switch In Park Position GREY Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Headlight Relay Parking Light Power Terminal (87b)

When the ignition switch is turned on, power goes through the switch to terminal (56) and out the GREEN wire to terminal (56) of the yellow headlight OFF-PARK-ON switch in the combination switch on the left handlebar, as shown in the diagram below. If the headlight yellow OFF-PARK-ON switch is in the ON position, power goes through the switch to the GREENViolet wire connected to switch terminal (56). That wire goes to terminal (86) on the headlight relay which closes the relay as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Headlight Relay Power & Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Headlight Relay Power & Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The headlight relay has two sets of power out terminals, terminal (87), which supplies power to the headlight as explained in the Headlight OFF-PARK-ON Switch PARK Position Wires section, and terminal (87b), which supplies power to the parking light circuit. When the relay closes, power from the battery (+) terminal flows through the RED wire connected to terminal (30) to both these terminals. The power going through terminal (87b) is carried by a GREY wire to section (58) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell, through the fuse, and then to all the GREY-Black wires connected to the parking light bulbs as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Headlight Relay Parking Power GREY Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Headlight Relay Parking Power GREY Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Charging Circuit

The /7 series uses an alternator, not a generator. A generator produces dc current while an alternator produces ac current. Since the battery is a dc storage device, the charging circuit has to convert ac current to dc current before sending it to the battery.  A diode board does this conversion.

As the motor RPM increases, the alternator voltage also increases. If the voltage gets too high it will damage the battery so a voltage regulator monitors the alternator output voltage and limits it to a maximum of about 14.3 volts.

The BMW alternator uses a magnetic field generated in a moving coil of wire by electricity flowing through the rotating coil. This rotating magnetic field induces a magnetic field and electrical current flow in a stationary coil of wire. The stationary coil of wire is called the stator and the rotating coil is called the rotor. The rotor is attached to the front end of the crankshaft which spins the rotor’s coil and magnetic field inside the stator’s coils inducing electrical current in the stator’s coils. This induced current in the stator’s coils flows to the diode board that converts it to dc current and then to the battery to charge it.

How Alternator Rotor Coil Gets Current When The Engine is Off

I will start with the wires that power the alternator rotor coil. When the engine is not running and the ignition is on, the current flowing through the charging indicator bulb in the headlight shell continues though the rotor coil on it’s way to the (-) battery terminal. That small current flow is enough to create a small magnetic field in the rotor coil when the engine is not running.

NOTE:
If the red kill switch is in the OFF position (flipped up or down), then there is no power to the charging indicator bulb in the instrument cluster so the alternator can not work since there is no current flow through the rotor. That said, you can’t start the bike nor can the ignition system work.

I showed the wires from the charging indicator bulb previously in the [Alternator Bulb Ground Path Wiring] section. Here is one of those diagrams showing the BLUE wires.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON, Charging (GEN) Bulb BLUE Wire To Voltage Regulator [SOURCE Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON, Charging (GEN) Bulb BLUE Wire To Voltage Regulator [Source: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The BLUE wires in the diagram above include the wire from the charging indicator bulb. It goes to the (D+) terminal of the diode board and to the (D+) terminal of the voltage regulator. I describe how the voltage regulator works in the /6 components document as the regulator on the /6 model works the same as on the /7 model. Without going into the details, the charging indicator lamp current flows through the voltage regulator and exits via the voltage regulator (DF) terminal.

There is a Black wire from the (DF) terminal of the voltage regulator that goes to the (DF) brush terminal of the alternator rotor as shown below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Power To Rotor Coil Of The Alternator [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Power To Rotor Coil Of The Alternator [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The current from the charging indicator bulb flows through the voltage regulator exiting on the DF terminal and then flows through the alternator rotor coil and exits the rotor coil on the (D-) brush terminal which is grounded to the alternator housing creating the ground path back to the (-) battery terminal. The rotor coil (D-) terminal also has a BROWN ground wire that goes to the (D-) terminal of the voltage regulator. Although this is a ground wire, the ground path for the charging indicator bulb is via the alternator housing. I’ll explain the purpose of the BROWN wire connected to the alternator (D-) terminal later.

It is this small current flow through the rotor coil when the engine is not running that allows the alternator to create power when the bike is first started. After the engine starts and reaches idle RPM, the charging indicator light goes out. The power generated by the alternator goes to the diode board and flows back out through the (D+) terminal then via the BLUE wire to the starter relay (D+) terminal and back to the charging indicator bulb. The alternator (+) voltage is applied to the same blue wire coming from the charging indicator light and when the alternator voltage reaches about 12.2 volts, there is not enough voltage difference across the charging indicator light filament to get it to light, so the bulb goes out.

You can visualize this as one stream of water flowing out of the charging indicator bulb unimpeded when the engine is not running. When the engine is at idle RPM, a second stream of water flows in the opposite direction toward the charging indicator bulb and it is strong enough that the net flow out of the charging indicator bulb reaches zero so the bulb goes out.

Generating Power From the Alternator

The alternator includes both a rotating coil of wire, the rotor, and a stationary set of coils of wire, the stator. The alternator creates ac current in each of the stator’s coils of wire. Since the stator has three separate coils of wire, placed 120 degrees from each other, the alternator creates three separate ac current flows 120 degrees apart. This is called 3-phase ac current.

Stator Phases and Center Tap (U, V, W, Y) Wires

The /7 series stator has four connections (U, V, W, Y). Three wires, (U, V, W) each carry current for one phase of the three phases of ac current the alternator produces. The fourth wire, (Y), is called the center tap. The /5 series did not have the center tap on the alternator. Adding it to the /7 series increased the power output from the 180 watts of the /5 alternator to 280 watts for the /7 alternator. Also, the diameter of the alternator increased to 107 mm in the /7 series from the smaller 105 mm used for the  /5 series.

In the diagram below, three BLACK wires (U, V, W) from the stator go to the back of the diode board and the center tap wire (Y) connected to the (Y) terminal on the front of the stator housing goes to the (Y) terminal on the right side of the diode board as you face the front of the motorcycle.

1977 R100RS: Alternator Phase Wires [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Alternator Phase Wires [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

NOTE:
Some replacement wires for the three (U, V, W) stator wires that go to the back of the diode board have colored insulation on them. This is for convenience in showing the ends of each of the three wires and does not indicate the purpose for the wires. In particular, one of the wires has red insulation, but that wire does NOT go to terminal (30) and should not be confused with any of the wires that go directly to the (+) battery terminal.

Also, the (U, V, W) wires from the stator can go on any of the three terminals on the diode board. That said, the wire on the (Y) terminal of the stator must go to the (Y) terminal of the diode board.

Diode Board Wires

I describe how the diode board works in the components document. The diode board creates dc output from the ac input it receives on the (U, V, W, Y) terminals from the alternator. In the diagram below, the dc output from diode board terminal is on terminal (B+). The RED wire connected to the (B+) terminal goes to terminal (30) on the starter solenoid. The large BLACK wire attached to starter solenoid terminal (30) goes to the (+) battery terminal and the alternator current on this wire is what charges the battery.

1977 R100RS: -Diode Board DC Output (B+) Terminal With RED Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: -Diode Board DC Output (B+) Terminal With RED Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The (D+) terminal of the diode board has the BLUE wire attached to it. This wires goes to the (D+) terminal of the voltage regulator. It provides a dc voltage input to the voltage regulator from the alternator. The circuit inside the the voltage regulator uses this input to limit the maximum voltage produced by the alternator so it can’t damage the battery by reducing the current flow through the rotor’s coil of wire.

The alternator dc output current from the (D+) terminal of the diode board also flows back toward the GEN bulb in the instrument cluster. When the back flowing voltage is high enough, the GEN bulb goes out since there is no voltage difference across the filament.  I describe how the voltage regulator works in the /6 Series Electrical Components document.

Starter Circuit

The starter circuit applies power to the starter motor and solenoid to turn the engine over. If the engine ignition circuit is working and the correct fuel-air mixture reaches the cylinders, the engine starts.

BMW uses a very large starter motor of almost 1 horse power (HP). The current flow into the starter motor can be quite large requiring a large diameter copper wire to carry that much current and not melt the wire. It’s impractical, and dangerous, to have that wire go all the way to the handlebar mounted starter button. Therefore, the handlebar starter button activates a relay inside the starter relay and it in turn activates an even larger relay, called the starter solenoid, that attaches directly to the starter motor. If you think of a relay as an electrically operated switch, then BMW uses three switches in series to power the starter motor; the handlebar starter push button switch, the starter relay switch and the starter solenoid switch. Failure of any of the three switches will prevent the starter motor from operating.

Starter Relay Power Wires

I’ll start with the power into the starter relay that I showed earlier in the section about the GREENBlue kill switch wires. A GREENBlue wire from the kill switch goes to terminal (86) of the starter relay. It supplies power to one side of the electrical relay switch inside as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Kill Switch GREEN-Blue Wires [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Kill Switch GREENBlue Wire To Starter Relay [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]            –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

NOTE:
The GREENBlue wire is part of the kill switch circuit. Therefore if the kill switch is off, the starter will not work as there is no power going to the electromagnetic relay inside the starter relay, so the relay can not close when the starter button is pushed.

Terminal (87) of the starter relay has a RED wire that is a direct path to the (+) battery terminal. When the relay closes, the current coming into the relay on terminal (87) flows out starter relay terminal (30) on a BLACK wire directly to the starter solenoid terminal (50) as shown in the diagram below.

 

NOTE:
There are two terminals labeled (87) on the starter relay and they are electrically connected together. The Haynes manual shows the left terminal (87) as (87a) but it’s marked as (87) in the relay.

Starter Button Wires

The starter button creates a ground path for the relay inside the starter relay. When you push the starter button, it connects the relay to ground and the battery (-) terminal so it closes. When the relay is closed it connects battery (+) power on terminal (87) to the starter relay output terminal (30) sending battery power to the starter solenoid on a BLACK wire.

As shown in the diagram below, a BLUEYellow wire goes from terminal (50) of the starter switch in the combination switch mounted to the right handlebar to section (85) of the Connector Block. A second BLUEYellow wire from section (85) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell goes to terminal (85) of the starter relay.

1977 R100RS: Starter Button BLUE-Yellow Wires [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Starter Button BLUEYellow Wires [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                                     –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Starter Relay Interlock Switches Wiring

The /7 series has two interlock switches to prevent damage to the starter motor; the neutral switch and the starter cutout switch which is operated by the clutch lever. These switches are in the ground path back to the (-) battery terminal. If both switches are open, then there is no path back to the (-) battery terminal. Therefore, if the starter button is pushed and both interlock switches are open, no current can flow through the starter relay’s electromagnet to close the internal switch and no power goes to the starter solenoid so the starter motor can’t spin.

Starter Cut-Out Switch Wires

There is a BROWNYellow wire attached to terminal (85) of the starter button. It goes to section (85b) of the Connector Block inside the headlight shell. A second BROWNYellow wire attached to section (85b) goes to the starter cut-out switch as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Starter Button BROWN-Yellow Wires [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Starter Button BROWNYellow Wires [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                                –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The other terminal of the starter cut-out switch has a BROWN wire that connects to a terminal in section (31) of the connector block. That section has a BROWN wire that goes to the frame ground completing the path to the (-) battery terminal as shown in the diagram below. If the starter cut-out switch is closed (i.e., the clutch lever is pulled in), then there is a ground path through the starter cut-out switch for the starter button through the starter relay and the relay closes sending power to the starter solenoid when the starter button is pushed.

1977 R100RS: Starter Button Clutch Cut-Out Switch Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Starter Button Clutch Cut-Out Switch Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]        –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Neutral Switch Wires

The neutral switch has a BROWN-Black wire that goes to a terminal on the right side of section (85) on the Connector Block and the neutral bulb has a BROWN-Black wire that connects to the other terminal in section (85) as shown below.

1977 R100RS: Starter Button Neutral Switch BROWN-Black Wires & Ground [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Starter Button Neutral Switch BROWN-Black Wires & Ground [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

NOTE:
The Haynes manual shows terminals across from the BROWNYellow in section (85b). These have BROWNBlack wires attached to them. But, that section of the Connector Block is labeled section (LKK) where the BROWNBlack wires connect. Once again. the Haynes diagram is only approximately correct.

NOTE:
There is a Diode between section (85b) and section (LKK) of the Connector Block (on the Haynes diagram, between the left and right side (85b) terminals). It is mounted on the back of the Connector Block. The purpose of this diode is to prevent the neutral light from being on when in the transmission is in a gear and the clutch lever is pulled in.

If the diode fails open (open circuit so not current flows between section (85b) and (LKK)), the bike won’t start in neutral, but will start when you pull the clutch lever to close the starter cut-out switch.

If the diode shorts (conducts current both ways), the neutral lamp will illuminate every time the clutch lever is pulled backwards as described below, but the bike will continue to start in neutral.

The other neutral switch terminal has a BROWN wire that goes to the frame ground completing the path back to the (-) battery terminal completing the circuit. When the neutral switch is closed, it creates a ground for the starter button through the starter relay so the relay closes sending power to the starter solenoid when the starter button is pushed.

Starter Button & Starter Relay Interlock Switches Operation

The diagram below shows the complete starter button circuit including the two ground paths through the neutral and starter cut-out switches.

1977 R100RS: Starter Button Circuit [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Starter Button Circuit [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

The neutral switch and the starter cut-out switch create a parallel circuit between the starter button and the starter relay coil power. Therefore, if either switch is closed, the starter relay coil gets a ground path via terminal (85) when the starter button is pushed. Relay power from the GREENBlue wire on terminal (87) flows through the relay and exits on the BLUEYellow wire which provides a ground path via either the neutral BROWNBlack wire or starter cut-out switch BROWNYellow wire so the starter relay closes and sends power to the starter solenoid.

If the bike is in neutral, then the neutral switch is closed. When the starter button is pressed on the right handlebar combination switch, the starter coil relay ground path is through the neutral switch and the starter relay coil closes and sends power to the starter solenoid.

If the bike is not in neutral, but the clutch lever is pulled so the clutch is disengaged and the transmission is disconnected from the engine, then the starter cut-out switch is closed and the starter relay coil ground path is through the starter cut-out switch’s ground path and the starter relay coil closes and sends power to the starter solenoid.

If the bike is not in neutral and the clutch is lever is not pulled, then both the neutral switch and the starter cut-out switch are open and no power flows to the starter relay coil when the starter button is pushed so the starter motor can’t turn. This protects the starter motor from being inadvertently engaged with the flywheel when the motor is running.

Shorted Control Board Diode: Neutral Light Goes On When The Clutch Is Pulled

The diode on the connector block prevents current from flowing from the BROWNBlack wire to the BROWNYellow wires. If the diode shorts out, then current can flow in this direction. If that happens, then whenever the clutch is pulled in, the starter cut-out switch is closed and this creates a path to ground for the neutral bulb as shown in the diagram below.

1977 R100RS: Starter Button Clutch Cut-Out Switch Diode Short Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Starter Button Clutch Cut-Out Switch Diode Short Ground Path [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Power goes to the bulb via the GREENBlue Wire (1) and exits on the BROWNBlack wire (2). That wire goes to the Connector block inside the headlight shell (3). Since the diode has shorted out, the current on the BROWNBlack wire can flow through the diode to the BROWNYellow wire (4). When the clutch lever is pulled, it closes the starter cut-out switch so current on the BROWNYellow wire (5) flows through the switch and to ground (6) via the BROWN wire completing the circuit so the neutral bulb lights.

Starter Motor and Starter Solenoid Wires

The starter solenoid is another relay with larger current carrying capacity than the starter relay. The starter solenoid case is grounded to the engine case via its mounting bolts. Therefore as current flows into starter solenoid terminal (50) from starter relay terminal (30) on the BLACK wire, the relay is energized since the other side of the relay is connected to the solenoid case which provides a path to the battery (-) terminal via the engine block.

1977 R100RS: Starter Solenoid & Starter Motor Wiring [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Starter Solenoid & Starter Motor Wiring [SOURCE: Haynes Manual]                           –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

When the starter solenoid closes, it sends power from the BLACK wire connected to terminal (30) of the starter solenoid into the starter motor and the starter motor starts to spin. There are some other details about how the starter solenoid works that I describe in the /6 Series Electrical Components document.

Engine Ignition Circuit

The engine ignition circuit creates a spark inside the cylinders to ignite the fuel-air mixture. This circuit is powered when the ignition switch is ON and the kill switch is ON as shown previously and again in the diagram below. The 1977 R100RS uses mechanical points the same way the /5 and /6 series do. Later /7 models used an electronic ignition with a Hall effect sensor instead of the mechanical points to turn power on / off to the coil primary wires.

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Kill Switch Closed GREEN-Blue Ignition Coil Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] --> CLICK TO ENLARGE

1977 R100RS: Ignition Switch ON Kill Switch Closed GREEN-Blue Ignition Coil Wire [SOURCE: Haynes Manual] –> CLICK TO ENLARGE

Ignition Switch and Kill Switch Wires

As shown in the diagram above, when both the ignition and kill switches are ON, battery power flows through the ignition switch to terminal (15) where a GREEN wire goes to section (15u) at the top of the Connector Block. A second GREEN wire from section (15u) goes to the kill switch. A GREENBlue wire leaves the kill switch and goes to the outside terminal of the left coil.

NOTE:
The Haynes diagram shows the GREEN-Blue wire going to the right side coil, but that’s incorrect.

Coil, Condenser & Points Wires

I created the simplified diagram below to discuss the coil, condenser and points wires on the /7 series ignition systems that use the mechanical points. All the GREEN wires from the ignition switch and section (15) of the Connector Block that come from the ignition switch and go to the kill switch are compressed into a single wire.

6 Series Ignition System Wires

6 Series 1975-76: Ignition System Wires

The GREENBlue wire to the left side coil terminal (shown as the right side coil in the diagram above) connects to the coil primary windings. Current flows through the left coil’s primary windings to the other primary terminal of the left coil. A short, black wire attached to this terminal connects to the adjacent primary terminal on the right side coil. Current flows through the right coil’s primary windings and exits on the other primary terminal.

That coil primary terminal has another black wire attached that goes to one side of the condenser (aka, capacitor) that is located inside the front engine cover. The other side of the condenser has the wire that goes to one side of the points. The other side of the points is grounded via the points plate and mounting screws to the engine completing the ground path to the (-) battery terminal. When the points close, there is a path to the (-) battery terminal so current flows through the coil primary windings, the condenser and the points. However, current does not flow into the capacitor since the path through the points is a short circuit.

I describe how the ignition coil works in the /6 Series Electrical Components document. Briefly, when current flows through the primary coil windings, it generates a magnetic field. When the points open, current stops flowing through the primary windings of the coils. This causes the magnetic field to collapse creating a very high voltage in the secondary winding in each ignition coil. Each ignition coil secondary winding is connected to a spark plug. The voltage created in the secondary winding is high enough to cause a spark between the electrodes of each spark plug igniting the fuel-air mixture in one of the cylinders.

One other effect of the collapsing primary coil magnetic field is to create a high voltage across the points. It’s high enough to cause a spark between the point contacts which will damage them over time. The capacitor slows the voltage rise across the points long enough to prevent the spark across the points while the points are open. It also increases the voltage generated in the secondary windings of the ignition coils.

2 thoughts on “/7 Series, 1977 R100RS Circuits

  1. Phenomenal work as always Brook. I haven’t had many problems in the past few years with the electrics on our R75/7, but when I do, I’ll be diving right into this page. Thanks again.

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