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Old 05-10-2012, 12:25 AM   #1
venATsea OP
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Hannigan/Airhead Help

1974 R90/6 -

I'm a new rider (1500 miles so far), almost 60, not going to be setting any records. Last summer, I sold my R75/5 for a little more power in a 1974 R90/6. The R90 feels just right - love it.

A friend sold me a Hannigan fairing with all the parts, but I'm a little lost putting it on the bike. Can't decide whether to pay someone competent to do it, or just go back to what I was doing - riding with a windscreen. Around Seattle, the windscreen was fine, but on the interstate, less wind resistance could be nice.

I just don't know enough to make the decision. To fairing, or not to fairing? I'd appreciate any thoughts, advice. Thanks mucho to anyone with airhead + fairing (esp. Hannigan) experience who's willing to post his/her two cents!

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Old 05-10-2012, 08:51 AM   #2
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I also have an R90/6 mine is a 1975 model. I have also had a Hannigan fairing on my bike for about 12 years. If you need any parts for the fairing they are available. I'll give you the phone # at the end. Jerry and his wife build and sell the Hannigan now. They bought the original molds when Hannigan stopped building the fairings and today concentrates on sidecars, I think. There is a web site with some pictures but you can't order on the web. If you need anything you have to call.

My Hannigan was originally sold in 1981. I think it is what is called the ST. I've never seen any other model except for this but I think there are a couple smaller fairings. Windscreens are also available from Hannigan and Gustafusson. The small windscreen, sometimes called the bubble, are only available from Jerry. He now also makes another style that goes all the way across but not as high and it seems to work a little better than the bubble while also looking a little saner.

The fairings appear to all be the same. To make them fit any bike the correct frame should be used. If you got a used fairing and it has the correct frame for an Airhead you are good to go. I have the lowers on mine and to get these to fit around the cylinders I had to space the fairing out a little. Apparently the guy I got mine from used it on an R69S and the frame is probably a little different. I used plastic spacers, bought at my local hardware store in the nuts and bolts dept., to raise the fairing up about 3/4" and then a strip of wood across the front to bring the fairing forward about the same amount.

The fairing frame is held to the motorcycle frame in four places. You should have two U bolts to attach to the two down tubes, this is where I put my strip of wood to move the fairing forward. And 4 hose clamps to hold the lower legs of the frame to the down tubes, this part also gets a rubber pad on each point to help it hold. The hose clamps in this application need to be in good condition. They are prone to distortion and should be replaced if the worm screws are showing wear.

The fairing sits on top of the frame and I used plastic spacers to get it at the right level. Buy trial and error I was able to get this all together in a day or so. Fitted the lowers to check alignment, etc.

A big plus with this fairing is the hand guards. They really make a difference and anytime my bike has been tipped over they protect the rest of the bike, they act as engine guards. I've repaired the hand guards numerous times. Easy to do with standard fiberglass repair methods.

The wiring looks flimsy but it works. I will have to be doing some more changes to the wiring soon though. Because it sits just in the bottom of the fairing pockets it's prone to being moved around a lot. I have also had to fix a single wire at the connection box and because of this my connection box will not come apart any more, unless I cut a wire. I saw a brand new one of these 7 or 9 wire connection boxes on the net somewhere but didn't buy one, figured I'd get it later. The next week when I needed one I don't remember where it was.

Another problem I've had has been with the front turn signals staying connected and working. I have all new pieces there now and need to spend a little more time tightening them up. It's likely my wiring is older than others, it is an original, and the bulb holders I have are pretty crappie. I hope the more modern ones are something better.

I'll write some more if you tell me what exactly your problems are with getting this thing together. I'm also an older rider, 64, and do not want to be battling the wind that much. I love my Hannigan. The Hannigan makes my motorcycle a 100 mph machine.


Hannigan is a pretty small operation but I think Jerry actually hired a helper, real employee, last year. He's also real friendly on the phone and nice to talk to. I swear I talk with him for half an hour when I call there, at least.

1-800-324-7660
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:51 AM   #3
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thanks

Thanks disston. It sounds like you vote yes to getting it done. My biggest problems seem to be threading the wiring harness into the headlight bucket, and getting the ends of the handlebars to fit inside the fairing.

First, I just don't see where there's room for the wires to get inside the bucket.

Second, although I have Euro bars mounted on bar-backs, with the bars rotated back as far as I can get them, the ends of the bars still won't quite clear the inside of the fairing at the sharpest turn angle, which means my ability to steer/park/maneuver would be compromised.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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I believe the bars on my bike are called CS. Or they are for a CS model? See I don't even know what that is really. BMW made a lot of changes over the years and I sort of stopped following that stuff around '81 or 2. These bars look like European or S bars. RS bars are the flattest I think. I also have bar backs, Now, about all this, how much turning radius do you really need? I have lost some. I don't really know how much but on the road it matters Zero. Riding a motorcycle above 5 mph we don't actually turn the handlebars that much. At higher speeds we actually turn them in the oposite direction and again the amount of turning is very small. So the only thing you loose when reducing the turning radius is a little bit of parking maneuvering. I guess I have adapted. I don't really think you need to worry about keeping all the radius the bike came with.

I have had problems with getting it back together sometimes I will set the bars too low and they hit the tank.

I've played with the idea of trying different barbacks, they are not all the same you know, but so far have been able to make what I have work.

The Hannigan fairing uses the stock headlight and chrome ring so they are intended to not be in place on the shell. I run the wires thru the front of the headlight shell. You don't have to try and get them thru any of the grommets. If you have a separate headlight and chrome ring on the bike then put one of them in storage because if it is a Hannigan it was supposed to be moved to the fairing anyway.

I also put a short piece of gas line or other rubber hose with a slit down one part of it on the metal lip of the headlight shell. This is to protect the wires from rubbing thru and shorting out on the metal of the shell. And I used several wire ties, not tight but loose works better, to keep wires in the general area they should stay in.

Let us know if this makes sense to you.

I'm going to go work on the turn signals today, I think. Later today.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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That makes a lot of sense. Great to know the harness-through-the-grommet thing can be bypassed. Fiddling around with old plastic insulation and stiff rubber in a cramped space didn't seem possible. Protecting the wires from rubbing against the bucket edge makes sense.

Do you use the bucket cover that's supposed to stretch over the front and keep water out, or did you improvise something else? Jerry sold me two fuse extensions to make replacing a blown fuse easier. Do you have those too?

I understand about the turning radius and riding. I guess I can always worry about getting the handlebars just right later. The main thing is to get out and ride. We finally have good weather out here. Thanks again. I may have more questions...
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:40 PM   #6
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I have a stitched cover that I found somewhere else and do use it but it's not on there at the moment, I just forgot to put it back on the last time I had the fairing off. It is easy to put on but I have to look in the bucket to see if I tidied up all the wire last month, or two months ago. I did some fiberglass patching and I have to do some more. I have wrecked my bike several times and the fairing seems to take most of the abuse.

I did not use the stitched cover for several years. Not much water can ever get in the headlight shell because the fairing is so big. But a little might get in and I think the cover is better than no cover.

I did work on my turn signals a little today. I think I need to replace the disconnect plug and the rest of the wires inside the fairing. If I could find the parts I would make my own but it looks like I will have to call Jerry and probably buy his wiring harness. It would be worth the expense of his harness but I would rather make my own. Will look some more for the parts and probably call Jerry next week when I can't find what I want.

So you have a modern fairing built by Jerry and family? Does your fairing still have the front turn signals with those bayonet plug in bulb holders that fit ROUND holes?

I have moved the fuses outside the headlight shell. I made the wires and changes on the fly with the help of a wiring diagram. I've always been good I think with DC 12V wiring or if not actually good I'm at least not afraid of it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:41 PM   #7
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It's a Hannigan Sport Tourer model (ST?), but I don't know who actually built it. Black with a gold pinstripe. I've got the lowers too, but I'm not going to worry about them until the weather changes.

The turn signal sockets look like they're held into the fairing by two pop rivets. I can't tell for sure; look like they're bayonet type, with a slot on opposite sides of the wall of the socket to accept a shallow pin on either side of a bulb. The contacts at the bottom of the socket appear as two separate, round buttons.

I've checked the wiring harness that connects to the bike for continuity, and all seven wires conduct to the seven pins on the plug. The wiring description I got from Jerry includes eight wires, but my harness only has seven wires and, seven pins (3+3+1), so I must have the right number of wires, i.e. no broken ones.
-----------------------------------------------------------
The color key for the harness wires says:
_Fairing pin #__Wire Color___Function_____
4 black ground
8 black ground
2 green marker lights
6 white high beam
5 yellow low beam
1 blue right turn signal
3 brown/violet* left turn signal
7 red accessory
*It says the color violet was used on early models, and I think that's the one I have; it's more like dark purple now.

RED: I'm not planning on using any accessories, unless someone has a good suggestion that doesn't draw much power. So the red wire will likely not be connected.

BLACK: I only have one black wire, which I was planning to plug into the headlight ground, since that's what draws most of the power.

GREEN: I don't know what marker lights are. I'm assuming I don't have any. Are they like parking lights??

I wish I knew a better way to connect the external fuse holders to the fuse contacts inside the bucket on the circuit board. (Each of the four contacts has a hole in it to accept one end of a conventional (VW-type) fuse.) The contacts look like they weren't made to have anything push them downward, because they seem to bend when I try try to push a spade connector on. I need something more "neutral" that will grab onto them without bending them. Any ideas there?
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:54 AM   #8
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Thanks for the heads up on those wires. At just a quick glance I can tell I'm not wired the same at all. The white wires are ground in my system. Maybe I screwed it all up years ago. Not important really. The wiring is nice to keep OEM on our bikes but the fairing can be wired to my liking. No problem.

I found the plug I need to build my own harness. Of all places it is sold by McMaster-Carr. I will measure the part on the bike today so I can get the same thing and it will fit. The plastic plugs are sold in three sizes.

Your front turn signals sound different than mine because I do not have anything holding them in place. The rather vintage contraption used on my bike for front turn signals is part of the problem. They were a pain in the ass to work with in 1953 let alone the 21st Century. We do both use 1157 bulbs I guess. I tried to adapt some more modern pieces to the fairing a couple years ago and get into 3157 bulbs. That would be so much better and I had the parts to cobble something together but I lost all that stuff recently and so have given up on this project for now.

I used my fairing with out the lowers for a number of years because they are a pain to take off and put back on all the time. I think the bike "looks" better with them but the function does not seem to be much changed by them. If you have the lowers on the bike you can set the valves with out removing them but it spills oil on the inner parts of the fiberglass and generally makes for an even messier job. But that's OK most of the time with me. If I'm bothered by a little oil I wash it off.

I currently can't use the center piece. It fits too tight and I broke a corner off yesterday when I tried to put it on. So it will stay broken for awhile, till I feel like fixing it.

My fairing is almost black but there is a little dark blue/green in the color and a little sparkle too. Jerry told me years ago what this color is called but I forget. Mine is not painted, I think yours is not also. These fairings are Gell Coated which is much more durable than ordinary paint.

Try to post a pic when assembled if you can and for sure do a ride report when you get to use it. The Hannigan Fairing will add 10 mph to your top speed.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:42 AM   #9
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I thought I would need a couple of tools for building this plug and harness. My total so far for the parts was $81. That does not include wire but I was just going to do it with all blue wire because I have that. So the new harness from Jerry and company is $129 so I ordered one of his. I also get the improved turn signal bulbs so should be a winner and my bike will be night ridable sooner this way because I'm real slow at projects.

Getting the parts and building my own also meant having to buy 10 of each piece. And 100 pins and 100 sockets. Which all meant there would be a lot of left over stuff. I have too much stuff.

BTW, Jerry is going on a long trip this Summer, up to Alaska, if there's anything you must have from him before the end of Summer better get it now. He says they will be shut down all this Summer.

They do have a new phone # 479-963-4603
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Old 05-12-2012, 11:32 PM   #10
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I haven't even gotten to the inside of the fairing wiring yet. Is there an inner harness, or are you talking about the one that goes from the bike's bucket and plugs into the fairing? Darn, I wish there were some pictures of what all this stuff looks like on-line or somewhere.

Thanks for the heads-up about Jerry's trip. I'll try calling him tomorrow.

Do you have any trouble getting the key into the side of the bucket to start your bike, or did you have to move the ignition switch?
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Old 05-13-2012, 01:24 AM   #11
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The wiring harness is 2 parts. The part that is plugged into the headlight I think is called the pigtail and this plugs into the fairing which has the rest of the wiring. It was the plug, called various things, "connector", "disconnector", that was hard to find. After a week of looking on line for anything that I could use I bought the harness from Jerry because my savings by building my own wiring were not very much. He has them in stock and this saved me a lot of time also. Once you have installed the pigtail correctly all that needs to be done is plug it into the fairing. If the wires in the fairing are not installed just lay them in the bottom and put them where they belong. Simple, I think.

The wiring in the fairing is much simpler than what has to be done at the headlight shell. Do you have a test light? This tool will be very useful when trying to figure which wires go where. I have not figured out how to do pictures and other than an old cell phone I don't have a camera. I bought a CD with software to get pictures out of my old cell phone and my computer Guru person hasn't returned it. She has had it for two years. I then bought an Apple computer so what little knowledge I have about using computers is no good and this was a step backwards for me. (they said it was easy, it is not) So sorry, no pictures this year it looks like. I also need a job but I'll try to move on for now.

Getting the key into the switch is a pain. Sometimes have to remove gloves, especially in Winter. Usually left key in bike when stopped for short time. People don't know where the key is on a BMW so they don't know to steal them, mostly. Had a knob key a long time ago, those work really great and are easier to handle in the Hannigan Fairing situation. The folding key also works better than a straight key. I have now moved the switch to a toggle switch in the left side battery cover because the ignition key switch broke. This happens to high mileage machines. The key/lock portion of the switch gets worn out.

When putting the key in or removing it turning the handle bars to the side helps provide a little extra room.
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:02 AM   #12
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I remember a little more now about that key thing. It was a long time ago I had a knob key. I never had that with the Hannigan so can't really say they even fit. It's been a while since I moved my ignition to the battery cover but I remember now that an ordinary straight key would not work I think. I mostly used a folding key and that was tight. A straight key might be able to work once it's in the slot but the problem I remember is getting it in or out of the lock.

I hope you have a folding key. If not a dealer can make one. They are not cheap and keys, unfortunately, are another particular thing about German, BMW, machines. The key blanks are steel, not a softer metal, and are hard to cut with out some special consideration or machine or something. If you have to have a folding key made get it done at the dealer. A locksmith might want the job or even be able to do it but tell him about the blank being steel. I think the blanks are a dealer only thing and an ordinary locksmith won't have those also.

So that's what I remember about keys on a Hannigan Fairing. Good Luck with it.

Here's one more idea about keys. The headlight shell ears are over sized or even slotted I think. If the key nut holding the left side and the bolt holding the right side are loosened and the shell pushed to the right I think some extra room can be made. It will end up with the headlight shell slightly askew but probably not be very visible.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:54 PM   #13
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Hey Sea Guy,

Are you still following? I received my new wiring harness from Jerry at Hannigan today. What a butte. I'm so glad I got this instead of trying to make my own. I do a little wiring but the number of wires and the critical length of these inside the fairing had me worried. This item I ordered last Saturday and it arrived today is #1. Strong, better turn signal sockets, wire loom wrapping all held together with wire ties. I'm really pleased.

Won't have time to put it on till next week I think.

So are you making progress?
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:52 AM   #14
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Thanks disston. It was a busy week. Yeah, I was able to get a folding key from the dealer (won't say my dealer, 'cause I want as little to do with dealers of motor vehicles as possible), and a locksmith cut a duplicate that works fine. Thanks for the tip about nudging the headlight bucket to the right.

Glad to hear your new harness was a good investment. I wish posting photos was easier; I'd love to see it. I'm still working on it. I'm going to test the wiring inside the fairing for continuity today and check the bulbs. If all passes, I'm going to try it on the bike and see what happens when I turn things on and off.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:07 AM   #15
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Well I got the harness plugged into the bike all I have to do is put the fairing back on and install the harness in the fairing. This is how I did it.

To begin I have a good wiring diagram. I have the 1983 Clymers manual with the diagram in color. I had the fairing off the bike and because I have been in the headlight shell before I removed stuff I no longer needed. I removed the old Hannigan wiring. First order was to find the blinkers up front, they haven't been hooked up for years. With a trouble light I was able to find this spade in the wiring board in back and by trial and error I was able to identify the wire of the harness that went to the correct filament of the left bulb. Same for the right. And for the head light I found the correct color plugs and had everything plugged up. I tested the harness with out having the fairing on the bike. I have the high/low beams correct and I have the correct filaments of the turn signal bulbs hooked up so the tell tail of the instrument cluster finally works.

Something to remember when you do this. There are two filaments in the 1157 bulbs. One is for running lights. I don't have this one hooked up at all because my ignition is to a toggle switch and I don't know where I want to power it. I think I'll put the running lights on a switch, but later. So back to the 1157 bulb. If you look carefully at the bulb one filament is taller than the other. The short filament is higher wattage and brighter. The shorter, brighter, filament is turn signals and if used in the rear it is also stop light. The taller, dimmer, filament is running lights.

The turn signals were a little confusing because the colors for Hannigan are not the same as for BMW. The info Jerry gave you and a good wiring diagram is all you need to figure this out. Actually some of Jerry's info was hard to follow but it's still a doable thing.
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