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Old 01-14-2013, 04:31 PM   #1
kellymac530 OP
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BMW manual

So I bought a Pdf version of the factory BMW service manual when I bought my R1100RT. It is cool that it covers all 1100 models like the S, R, RS, RT, and GS...man does this manual suck as general rule.

It is SO vague and there are no pictures, just really lame drawings.

What manual do you folks reccomend? Haynes, Clymer, other?

I love the places where it says things like " unbolt and remove..., reverse process to install..." sometimes there are some very odd fasteners, or tricky way to get the part out...but no...just "remove".
sucks.

When you reccomend a manual, keep in mind that my bike is currently an RT, but is now stripped to basic chassis and being built up as a GS modified.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:43 PM   #2
everycredit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymac530 View Post
So I bought a Pdf version of the factory BMW service manual when I bought my R1100RT. It is cool that it covers all 1100 models like the S, R, RS, RT, and GS...man does this manual suck as general rule.

It is SO vague and there are no pictures, just really lame drawings.

What manual do you folks reccomend? Haynes, Clymer, other?

I love the places where it says things like " unbolt and remove..., reverse process to install..." sometimes there are some very odd fasteners, or tricky way to get the part out...but no...just "remove".
sucks.

When you reccomend a manual, keep in mind that my bike is currently an RT, but is now stripped to basic chassis and being built up as a GS modified.
I have a Clymer manual. I use it from time to time. I usually just research everything online.

I prefer the Clymer since it was given to me for free. If someone gave me a Haynes manual, I'd use that.
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Old 01-14-2013, 04:50 PM   #3
def
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The BMW Reprom assumes you are BMW friendly, have skills with tools, experience with mechanical things and are conversant with their terminology and motorcycle.

I have no experience with Haynes or Clymer. Sorry.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:14 PM   #4
kellymac530 OP
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def,
I am all of those things...the BMW manual is worthless.

I love my bike overall= friendly
I am very mechanical, have a full shop here with bike lift, 6hp-60gal air comp, all air tools, quality wrenches screwdrivers, allen keys, torx, pullers, presses, slide hammers...you name it, I have it or have access to one and use them all regularly= skills with tools
I have had my own VW shop back in the 80s where I built off road and Drag bugs and motors, I have built MANY cars and trucks from ground up including a Toyota truck that was stolen and stripped and the guy recovered a frame, an empty cab, and a few parts...I sourced the rest and built back as a 4wd Toyo truck, a 1949 Studebaker truck that I bought a year and a half ago for $500 from a field and gutted it, full new hand made wiring harness, all new fuel system, brakes, interior...got it on the road in 6 months and it is my daily driver. I used a motor from a 63 Stude Lark that was given to me as a good runner, but I recently spun a rod bearing, so I currently rebuilding that motor..even an antique long gone V8 motor with few parts sources and info available is not a mechanical issue for me= experience with mechanical things.
I may not be "conversant" with all of their terminology, but I always figure out what they are saying, I have had many KTMs and I think the same people write their manuals= reasonably conversant with their terminology and their bikes.

My issue is when I know I am going to work on some particular area or XXX part of the bike I look at the manual to see the process and I have literally gone to the page that says removing and reinstalling XXX and the direct has said "remove dual seat, remove fairings, remove XXX, reverse process to re-install"

I wish I could cut and paste some of these pages...totally worthless.
I do realize that you need to flip around any manual to get to the end result, IE look at the removing the seat, removing the fairings....pages to get at the motor lets say, but this manual is all but worthless for anything other than torque specs and a few tid bits of info. I hate it.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
def
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Kelly,

You and I approach mechanical things differently. I start out taking things apart to get to the item. When I am ready to put it back together, I refer to the manual.

Your approach is better...you do your homework, familiarize yourself with the task and use the manual as means to plan before and during the work.

The BMW manual seems more of a specification and reference source than a true repair manual.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by def View Post
The BMW Reprom assumes you are BMW friendly, have skills with tools, experience with mechanical things and are conversant with their terminology and motorcycle.
...
Actually, there is no RepRom for the 1100; that is a fairly recent development (now, I am dating myself...) What the OP has - presumably - is a PDF version of the standard big binder that was the factory manual until late 90's, at least.

Still, this is the GOLDEN REFERENCE, as it includes all tech data, specifications, torque values, and so on, and so on. I believe that no self-respecting BMW shade-tree mechanic/owner should be without the factory tech literature, whether it is the PDF manual or the RepRom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymac530 View Post
So I bought a Pdf version of the factory BMW service manual It is SO vague and there are no pictures, just really lame drawings...
Are you sure you have the factory manual? I assume you bought the ripped copy off eBay - some of them are not the real thing.

I have used the BMW books and their PDF versions for close to 20 years by now and I always found them to be quite informative. The "lame drawings", as you call them, actually were the best thing ever in the days of monochrome publications: they eliminate the distracting clutter of background parts and scenery. If you have hard time viewing tech sketches, you won't go far in your repair tasks... I hate to tell you.

Clymer? Hanes? I have R-bike and K-bike manuals from both. From that era, their pictures are monochrome as well and they suck. I cannot orient myself in their details. Worse yet, there are errors in specifications listed by either of the publishers - like wrong tolerances, wrong torque values - meaning that you still have to refer to the BMW publication to confirm each procedure.

Full color 3-D-quality pictures may be the norm nowadays, but, guess what: your bike is over 15 years old. What you found is all you get. Those days we had no computers. We communicated using tin cans and string... and we loved it! (Maybe).

You are engaging in an involved project with your RT-toGS conversion. I would not rely on Haynes for a reference. OTOH, I'd investigate if the BMW file set is the real and complete thing.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:57 PM   #7
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Factory manuals also assume that you have attended the training course on that particular model. I guess its more a reference than a manual. At least it doesn't tell you to take something to the main dealer like Haynes manuals seem to do these days.
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:39 AM   #8
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In case you like HAYNES...

http://www.amazon.com/R1200-Haynes-S.../dp/1844259250 2010+ Haynes Manual
http://www.amazon.com/R1200-Service-...ds=bmw+r1200gs 2004-2009 Haynes Manual
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:58 AM   #9
lkchris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellymac530 View Post
It is SO vague and there are no pictures, just really lame drawings.
Problem really is you didn't understand what you were purchasing.

"Repair manuals" from BMW (and Mercedes and Porsche and VW/Audi, etc.) are simply compilations of procedures created by company engineers (and tech writers) for the use of dealership mechanics ... and the iron clad assumption is these will be professional technicians that have had official training from BMW (etc.) and they will without question have access to official special tools as well.

If you thought instead they were compiling a "service for dummies" (no offense) book for DIYers, you were simply mistaken. They simply don't.

It's really pretty silly to criticize oranges for not being apples ... but now at least you know the real story.

PS: As always, your very best source for knowledge on how to wrench on your BMW is a member or more of your local BMW club that could even be an engineer but for sure is farther along the experience road than you.

In addition, if you let your dealer do some of your service, you'll likely be able to get advice from them when you want to do something yourself.

Both of these solutions require social skills on your part, but the payoff is worth it.

Succeeding strictly with some sort of publication is pretty unlikely in comparison ... although once you do have some experience they work pretty well, ESPECIALLY the factory information.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
kellymac530 OP
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Thanx for the replys.
I think I have decent social skills. I do talk to my dealer, but I try not to go there unless I have to.

I am 99% sure that the manual I have is a PDF version of the factory paper binder manual that the dealer would use back in the 1990s. It is published by BMW motorcycle, After Sales Ux-Vs-2. It is Trademarked and copy right protected and will not allow me to copy and paste at all. I can print a page which is what I do when I am in the shop, but it is, as stated by myself and others, generally a spec book and not a "manual".

The Pdf is 23,029 Kb and is 464 pages of info. I believe it is the whole enchilada...

I am overstating that it is "useless", but it IS a stretch to call it a manual. I have not been through BMW motorcycle service Tech school, maybe that is the problem.

I am comfortable with my project and that I can accomplish it, with or without a better manual.

Def, I think we are more alike than you think....I am usually a jump in with both feet, manual be damned kinda guy. But being on my second major neck suregery in 2 years, I have alot of couch time. That gives me alot of time to read and search and ask questions...much more than I normally would.

So I guess the point I should be making is that I appreciate the help here and on BMWsporttouring forums.
I just see it alot when someone asks a question, someone ALWAYS seems to chime in with "buy a manual" answers...that willnot help if they buy this in many circumstances....asking here offers much better help and input. Even videos and pics of what to look for and what to do...

So to change focus...thanks for the past...and future help..
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:33 PM   #11
def
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdwalker View Post
Actually, there is no RepRom for the 1100; that is a fairly recent development (now, I am dating myself...) What the OP has - presumably - is a PDF version of the standard big binder that was the factory manual until late 90's, at least. Woops..sorry

Full color 3-D-quality pictures may be the norm nowadays, but, guess what: your bike is over 15 years old. What you found is all you get. Those days we had no computers. We communicated using tin cans and string... and we loved it! (Maybe). Yup...and long distance meant you pulled the string a little bit tighter.
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:42 PM   #12
def
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Originally Posted by kellymac530 View Post
Def, I think we are more alike than you think....I am usually a jump in with both feet, manual be damned kinda guy. But being on my second major neck suregery in 2 years, I have alot of couch time. That gives me alot of time to read and search and ask questions...much more than I normally would.
I guess I would also be a bit critical of the BMW documents if I had had neck surgery....having to spin my head around every time I needed to reference some procedure on the bike...book....bike...book...bike....my neck is already sore.

GOOD LUCK.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kellymac530 View Post
... I just see it alot when someone asks a question, someone ALWAYS seems to chime in with "buy a manual" ...
Well, this is not quite fair to forum members.

I'd say that, yes, when asking for reference specs (like torque values), you will be often referred to manual - and why not. But there is always plenty of procedural help provided. If you ask how to do this or that, you will ALWAYS be offered advice, guidance, pictorials. If you post a particular problem, you will be flooded with diagnostic hints (even if some totally useless...).

Online forums - ADVrider in particular - are a great resource. People fall over each other in order to help out. A quick read of G-Spot topics is a testament to that. It's just that when someone posts a question like "What is the rear wheel bolt torque for my bike", some of us feel that this person did not make the effort to obtain even the most basic reference documentation, but instead is leaching off the info others purchased or collected.

You did good, of course, by getting the repair manual - so you are past that hurdle. Now nobody will tell you to go and get it...

By the way, you probably indeed do have the whole document. For reference, my 1150RT manual is a PDF file 61K in size. And yes, you cannot cut-and-copy text: it was created as an image document, not text - I assume to protect the intellectual property somewhat.

Best of luck with your bike and your big project! Robert.
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-->> Trans-Labrador Highway Solo Blitz --->> South African Cappuccino Tour

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