- Remove Exhaust System
- Remove Windscreen
- Remove Turn Signals, Parking Light, Headlight Glass Housing
- Remove Black Dash
- Remove Dash Instruments & Ignition Switch
- Separate Fairing Panels
- Remove Headlight Shell
- Remove, Repair Upper Fairing Bracket
- Remove & Disassemble Seat Cowl and Seat
- Remove Front & Rear Wheels and Fenders
- Remove Turn Signals and Chrome Mounting Tube
The first project I plan to do on this bike is repair the cracks in the body work so I can get them to my painter. But first, I have to get all the bodywork off the bike and disassembled.
This write-up shows how I remove all the body work (the seven fairing panels, upper fairing bracket, seat and seat cowl, front and rear fenders), disassemble the faring panels and remove the seat pan, grab rail, rubber bumpers and internal foam pad from the seat cowl. Since I have to disassemble the fairing the write-up shows how I remove the exhaust system; the windscreen; the front turn signals, clear headlight glass housing and the parking light; the black dashboard; the ignition switch and gauges from the black dashboard; remove all the fasteners to disassemble the panels; and, finally remove the top fairing bracket as the bike is being stripped down the frame and the bracket needs to be repaired.
The upper fairing can be removed from the bike without disassembly of the fairing panels, windscreen and black dash by removing four bolts that hold the mirrors to the top rail of the upper fairing bracket, the two bolts that hold the lower and upper side panels to the lower fairing bracket, removing the fasteners that attach the two lower side panels to the upper and middle center panels, disconnecting the front electrical harness inside the fairing and removing the ignition switch from the black dash. Then the top panels of the fairing can be slide off the bike leaving the two lower panels that are captured by the exhaust pipes.
Remove Exhaust System
This is straight forward. I documented doing this here on my 1975 R75/6 and the tools and procedure for the R100RS is the same:
The screen is damaged so I will replace it.
The windscreen is secured with 14 plastic rivets that are made from two pieces, a center plastic rod and the outer rivet with expanding feet. From the outside, it’s hard to see there is a center black plastic rod in head of the rivet.
The procedure is to use a metal drift to push the rod from the outside until it comes out of the rivet body on the inside of the fairing. As I didn’t have a small enough diameter drift I used a small drill bit a bit smaller than the diameter of the pin and a plastic hammer to drive the pin as they didn’t want to slide very easily. Although the rivets and pins can be reused, I will replace these.
A spritz of WD40 would likely help loosen and lubricate the center pin so it will slide. I opted to drive it out with a plastic hammer as I found pushing on it meant it was easy for the drift to slide off the rivet and scratch the windscreen.
I later found that a used carburetor float hinge pin is just the right diameter for the drift. But, the end of the pin is rounded so it slides off the rivet easily. Grind one end of the pin so it is flat and it should work well.
Once the center pin is driven out of the body of the rivet, it can be pulled outward to remove it from the hole.
I managed to split a couple of the center pins trying to remove them with the drill bit when I used the fluted end of the bit against the pin. So I had to cut the head of the rivet off with a razor blade and use a larger drift to push the entire rivet from the outside.
Here is the fairing with the windscreen removed.
Remove Turn Signals, Parking Light, Headlight Glass Housing
On the inside of the fairing, I remove the rubber covers over the turn signal wires.
I remove the turn signals by removing the two screws that secure the yellow lens to the housing. Then I disconnect the leads from the bulb housing.
I remove the parking light housing above the headlight by removing the two screws at the sides of the lens. Then I pull the housing forward and remove the wires from the spades in the back of the bulb housing.
At first glance, it’s not clear how to remove the glass headlight cover.
It is secured by four screws in each corner of the cover. I peel the black edge molding away from the glass at a corner to reveal the screw so I can use a Philips head screw driver to remove it.
Then I peal the black edge molding away from the top fairing panel being careful to keep the glass shell from falling on the floor. The glass is secured to the rubber boot by the inner edge of the boot.
The headlight and its mounting to the ears of the fairing bracket are now exposed. Also, the lower arms of the upper fairing bracket are exposed to I can remove the screws securing them to the top headlight panel and top side panels. I’ll remove these screws later.
Remove Black Dash
It will be easier to remove the volt meter and ignition switch if I remove the black dash first. It is secured to the the three top fairing panels with copper rivets. I use drill bits to weaken the rivet. I use a smaller bit that is just a bit wider than the inside of the rivet and carefully drill at low speed into the hollow part of the rivet past the flared head.
Then I use a wider bit and carefully drill at low speed into the head of the rivet. In most cases the head twists off with the drill bit. If it didn’t, I use a small screw driver blade to bend the remaining edge of the rivet head up and grab it with needle nose pliers so I can tear the head off the body of the rivet.
I use a drift and a plastic hammer to tap the body of the rivet out of the hole toward the inside of the fairing.
Remove Dash Instruments & Ignition Switch
The wiring to the dash instruments and the turn signals is in a separate harness the plugs into the main harness inside the right side of the fairing. I took pictures of the routing of the harness, the instrument and ignition wires and the VDO oil pressure-temperature gauge wires so I can put it back the same way.
Here is the wiring detail for the volt meter and ignition switch while they are still in the black dash.
I remove the metal bracket on the back side of the black dash that secures the volt meter to the dash by loosening the two knurled nuts that secure it. I remove the light bulb socket and wires from the back of the meter to remove it. This meter is an early one as it has the white numerals instead of the green used on later Motometer instruments.
The clock is missing, but the procedure to remove it is the same as for the volt meter.
I remove nut from the back of the ignition switch and then the ring with the two holes that secures the ignition switch to the dash and the wires from the back to remove it.
The front ring with the two holes can be removed from the front of the dash when you need to remove the fairing as a single unit. I would use two drill bits and put a screw driver between them to twist the ring off the threads. Since I am disassembling the fairing and I have the dash off the fairing, I just loosened the nut on the back and then the front ring.
Here are the pieces of the ignition switch assembly.
Separate Fairing Panels
I can reach all the fasteners that bolt the fairing panels together. Inside the headlight panel are several screws that secure the top side panels to the headlight panel. At the bottom is a bolt that secures the headlight panel and top panels to the lower arms of the upper fairing bracket.
The right side of the headlight panel has considerable damage including the tab the right side lower arm of the upper fairing bracket is bolted to. This helps explain why the fairing rattled and felt loose.
The lower arm of the upper fairing bracket is secured with a screw and white plastic spacer through a tab in the headlight bracket and into the hole in the upper fairing panel.
I learned later that this wood screw is not the correct fastener. It should be a 6 mm bolt as there is a bushing insert in the top center panel. Fortunately, whoever did this kludge with the screw didn’t bugger up the threads in the bushing.
The upper arms of the upper fairing bracket secures the top side panels using the rear view mirror brackets.
The lower fairing bracket bolts through the top and bottom side panels to secure them. I remove the bolts.
There are numerous screws the secure the lower side panels to the upper side panels and the lower side panels to the lower center and middle center panels. Here is the left side when the upper and lower side panels are removed.
Once all the screws are removed, the panels separate.
The headlight panel has brackets that the screws holding the headlight glass housing screw into. I remove these.
The headlight panel has extensive damage so I will replace it with a better condition used panel.
There are numerous cracks in the upper side panels, the right lower side panel and the side covers. I can repair these and will document how I do this in a separate write-up.
The upper fairing bracket bolts to the steering stem. However, I see that the bracket is secured with a hose clamp, so likely it’s damaged.
Remove Headlight Shell
I remove the headlight shell from the front of the upper fairing bracket. On the left side where the ignition switch mounts on bikes that don’t have the integrated fairing, there is a metal plug used to fill the ignition switch hole. I remove the chrome nut, metal wave washer and rubber gasket. Not shown are another metal washer that goes against the inside of the bracket and another rubber gasket that goes against the headlight shell.
The order of the parts is shown below, but the rubber gasket that goes against the headlight shell is missing; the left most metal ring goes against the inside of the headlight bracket and the rubber gasket, metal wave washer and nut go on the outside of the headlight bracket.
The right side headlight shell mounting parts order is shown below, again with the left-most part going against the headlight shell.
To remove the headlight shell from between the headlight brackets, face the front of the bike and twist the left side (facing the bike) of the shell downward and to the front of the bike. As it passes below the left side bracket there will be enough room to push the headlight shell to the left so the right side metal plug can slip out of the right bracket. It takes some force and it’s easy to scratch the paint on the headlight shell, so be careful.
Remove, Repair Upper Fairing Bracket
Now I can remove the upper fairing bracket which is secured with two bolts into the steering stem. But, when I removed the hose clamp, the bracket falls off. The rear plate that mounts against the steering stem with two bolts is sheared off so only the hose clamp held the upper fairing bracket to the steering stem. Again, no wonder the fairing rattled and seemed loose!
I had the bracket welded and it will be good as new after I get it powder coated.
Based on the damage to the left side of the headlight panel and the broken upper fairing mounting bracket I think the bike hit something causing the damage. When I get everything stripped off the frame, I will check it to see if it is bent. If so, I can get it straightened.
Here are pictures of how the lower fairing bracket mounts to the frame. I’ll remove it when I strip all the parts off the frame.
Remove & Disassemble Seat Cowl and Seat
The next piece of bodywork to remove is the seat and cowling. The seat is attached to the cowling and the seat is attached to the frame on pins using triangle shaped hinge plates.
You can see the details of how the hinge plates attach to the seat pan in the write-up for attaching the seat on my 1973 R75/5. The hinges are the same as those on the RS.
I remove the six Allen head screws that secure the hinges to the seat pan and remove the seat and cowl.
The RS seat has a “hidden” front compartment and another plastic compartment toward the front for the owners manual.
The metal cowl is fastened to the seat pan with bolts along the edge of the cowl as shown in the picture above. I remove Phillips head screws to separate the cowling from the seat.
On the underside of the cowling, at the rear, a foam pad is glued to keep it from rattling. I need to remove it before it is painted. Also, the grab rail rear bolts are underneath the front edge of the foam pad.
The pad is separated from the metal cowl in several places and I gently peal it away from the cowling. Where it is firmly glued on, I use a single edge razor blade and carefully slice the pad away from the cowling being careful to remove as little of the foam pad as possible so I can reuse it.
There are two rubber bumpers at the front of the cowling. Using a Phillips head screw driver from the underside, I push the pin of the bumper through the hole.
The grab rail at the rear of the cowling is secured by four bolts with plastic spacers between the rail and the outside of the cowling. Two larger bolts are along the sides of the cowling and two smaller bolts are underneath the rear foam pad that I just removed. I remove the bolts and the grab rail.
Remove Front & Rear Wheels and Fenders
Here is what I have so far. All that’s left is to remove the front and read fenders.
I remove front wheel and the Telefix front fork brace. Then I remove the four chrome acorn nuts securing the front fender to the sheet metal fender bracket mounted between the fork tubes.
Before removing the rear fender, I remove the rear wheel to make it easier to access the mounting hardware. Removing the rear fender is more work as it requires removing the rear under seat storage compartment and the rear tail light, turn signals and the stalk they mount to and the license plate bracket and rear reflector and then the rear fender.
I remove the two screws securing the tail light lens to the tail light housing.
There are ground wires (brown) and the tail light (black/white) and stop light (green/red) wires plugged into the back of the metal tail light housing.
Remove Turn Signals and Chrome Mounting Tube
Inside the tail light housing is the rear turn signal harness that goes inside the chrome tube the turn signals mounts to. The Blue/Red goes to the left signal and the Blue/Black goes to the right signal each of which also has a brown ground wire going to it.
I detach the turn signal leads from the tail light housing and pull them through the hole in the bottom of the housing. Now I can take the chrome turn signal tube to the work bench.
I detach the turn signal wire and ground wire from the turn signal reflector housing inside the turn signal housing. Then I remove the clamp on the inside of the turn signal housing that secures it to the chrome tube so it’s easier to pull the wires out of the tube.
Then I pull the turn signal wires out of the chrome tube.
The rear plastic storage box mounts to the rear sub-frame bracket. I remove the bolts, straps and nuts to remove the storage box.
When I remove the storage box, I can access the rubber pads between it and the sub-frame.
Here is the mounting hardware that secures the box and the rear of the rear fender. The fender goes between the metal strap and the rubber gaskets at the top while the storage box goes between the lower rubber gasket and the metal strap at the bottom with the nuts inside the storage box.
Toward the top of the fender toward the front is another sub-frame bracket the rear fender mounts to.
On the underside of the bracket next to the fender are two rubber gaskets.
Here is the mounting hardware for the front mount of the rear fender.
I remove the screws securing the license plate bracket and the rear reflector from the rear fender. Here is what the bikes looks like now.
And the pile of bodywork ready to go to the painter.
2017-06-13 Added section about removing rear turn signals and chrome tube.
2019-03-14 Note about incorrect fastener on the upper fairing bracket, lower arm.
Thanks for the detailed info. I just got a ’77 RS and the fairing had already been removed. Never having a Faired BMW before left me clueless on how the panels were mounted. Ride safe.
You’re welcome. I’m pretty close to putting the newly painted body work back on the bike.
Thank you very much for your effort in putting this together. It’s been an fantastic help to me.
Cool beans. Best of success on your project.
beautiful work on your R100RS! As one of the finishing touches, that matte clearcoat looks excellent.
I have a red ’78 R100RS that I keep in a garage in Boulder, where I grew up (currently living in Seattle). Bike has nearly 70k miles and is not at all pristine, but I try to keep it in good shape.
Unfortunately the bike recently took an unplanned tipover in the garage — long story — and was horizontal for several hours. One consequence is that the gas tank paintjob has been damaged, with bubbling from the fuel leakage. Looks like you have a high-quality painter there in your Denver area– care to share contact info for that painter?
And many many thanks for all of your carefully-done and extremely helpful documentation!
The painter is out of business.
OK, that’s unfortunate…. but thanks for the reply, Brook. Presume you haven’t found a good alternative in the Denver/Boulder/front range area? Or maybe you haven’t been needing any more paint work yet.