3 replies [Last post]
hooverbj's picture
VBMWMO #9255
Joined: 04/01/2017
Posts: 104

First I have to ask: is there an archive available somewhere on this site? I feel like I keep asking stupid questions that have been answered a million times.

The 66 R50/2 I recently purchased is running OK, but seems to be plagued with electrical gremlins ( which is great that these bikes don't rely on them to run). Everyone of the answers to my questions is always "check this or that with a continuity tester or volt meter."

I'm not a complete mechanical idiot. I kept my air cooled beetles and bus running over the years and I'm pretty well equipped with a wall full of metric wrenches and other tools. My last vintage bike was a 1969 CB 750 that I kept maintained for 20 years.

However the only electrical tools I own are a 12 volt idiot light ( which seems to dimly work on a 6 volt system), and a 12 volt timing light (the gun-style that has large pos/neg connectors at one end-- which would be very difficult to connect on my little 6 volt battery).

Can anyone offer some advise on what electrical tools I will need to diagnose the gremlins? and perhaps a link to where I might purchase them? I've seen in my Clymer manual a timing light that looks more like a small flashlight that would appear more appropriate for a small 6 volt machine?

Thanks in advance,
Brian Hoover
1966 R50/2
Cedar City, Utah

schrader7032's picture
VBMWMO #7032
San Antonio, TX
Joined: 10/27/2006
Posts: 6698
As for archives, the whole

As for archives, the whole forum is an archive. You'll just need to use the search box in the upper left. You'll have to get creative on the words to search for and then wade through the results. That's as good as it gets. An alternative would be to use the google site search. Type this into the google search box:

site:vintagebmw.org xxxx

where xxxx is what you're searching for. Google lets you quote marks to force results to exactly be what you want, as well as omit things by using a negative sign.

I have a Radio Shack digital voltmeter for my work. I have a voltage selectable trickle charger that lets me select say 7.5v which is fine for charging my batteries...I can't let them run "free" but use them for a day or two while monitoring the voltage at the terminals.

I don't have a 6-volt timing light. I just roll the bike up to my car and use its battery. If you had an old 12v battery that you could use as a "mule" that could power your light. However, most of use trade in old batteries to get the new one. But using my car for the odd time I need it is not so bad.


Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

Twocams's picture
VBMWMO #8750
Joined: 03/16/2014
Posts: 703
I bought a Radio Shack meter

I bought a Radio Shack meter over 10 yrs ago. Used it every day on the Rail Road putting in signal systems. I liked the fact that it has a beeper for finding continuity. You dont have to look at the meter to see if you are on the right wire you want. Beeper doesnt work for finding volts. When using another 12 battery your using the + & - and hooking the plug wire cable on your bike. Just encase you didn't know. Yes you would be surprised.



69 R69S
92 R100RT
2004 Aprilia Atlantic 500cc Scooter

312Icarus's picture
Joined: 07/15/2016
Posts: 376
Buy a good quality digital

Buy a good quality digital Volt/Ohmmeter. You don't need to spring for a fancy Fluke, but ~$25 will buy a good one. You can use your 12 vdc timing light on the bike, just run it off a battery charger or a car battery.

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