Are we about to have an airhead parts crisis?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Rob Farmer, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,755
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    A couple of months ago I tried to order a pair of brake shoes for my 100PD, after 5 weeks of waiting the local dealer gave me the cash back.

    I ordered a replacement rear indicator mount for the same bike yesterday and got a note through today saying "This part is no longer available".

    Not looking good. anybody else having similar problems with parts?
    #1
  2. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Oddometer:
    31,902
    Location:
    Shawangunks
    Sometimes I feel like i'm personally giving the supply chains afloat :lol3

    No, no problems yet, except that prices on OEM pistons and cylinders went through the roof. Approaching half the net worth of the bike.
    #2
  3. Max Headroom

    Max Headroom lost in the '70s

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    525
    Location:
    New Zealand
    The list of "NLA's for airheads at authorised BMW dealerships has been growing for some time.

    However, the availability of parts through independent suppliers tends to mitigate the situation, although some aftermarket parts suppliers are better than others just as some aftermarket parts are better than others.

    Rob, you're fortunate to have Motorworks, Motobins and James Sherlock "on your doorstep" so to speak. I've dealt with Motobins for fifteen years from the other side of the planet, and still buy the bulk of my parts through them because I find them reasonable to deal with and their products generally are very good. On the few occasions there's been an issue, they have been quick to sort it out.

    YMMV etc
    #3
  4. drhach

    drhach We can't stop here, this is bat country!!

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,728
    Location:
    Waukegan
    I was shocked when I entered the world of BMW's at how readily available most parts still are. You guys have it good. Call HD or a Japanese brand and ask for OEM parts for a 30+ year old motorcycle.
    #4
  5. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,295
    Location:
    HIGH desert

    Okay Rob, here's the real story.
    Just because the parts aren't currently available, doesn't mean they are NLA.
    Your dealer is wrong.
    I checked my sources at BMW AG and NA, and the brake shoes (34212311019) are not in stock in Germany or the USA, ( can't tell on the UK, no access) but are NOT listed as being NLA with BMW, just not currently available.
    The same goes with the turn signal mounts.
    All are just out of stock, except for the 63231244020, as there are 24 pieces in USA at the Nazareth Pennsylvania warehouse.
    SOoooo, you might want to talk to your dealer about that as they may be reading the notes wrong from BMW
    #5
  6. zenben

    zenben all roads are one

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    595
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    Max is mostly right. Parts availability for old beamers is better than virtually anything on two wheels of similar era.
    I've been doing rehab on old bikes for decades, and in that time the cost of old BMW parts (believe it or not) has actually gotten LOWER.
    Some stuff is OOP, but alternatives exist (many of which are better). Poor people can still economically ride 30+ year old beamers as daily transportation and not worry. Its precisely why I started collecting airheads again after a 12 year lapse.
    Try to match that with any other marque. Seriously; go ahead and try it.
    #6
  7. bikecat

    bikecat Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,152
    Location:
    Tropical Far East
    Re rear brakes - look up EBC.

    Cheers
    #7
  8. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,116
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay area
    Just like some brands do all the time with all their bikes old and new! I am going to pretend that I have a DuBMcati for the weekend! It will be fun!
    #8
  9. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,755
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    Thanks for the update.

    No brake shoes in the UK either.

    It was Pidcocks BMW in Long Eaton who had the problem getting the Brake shoes, Initially the report from Germany was that the shoes were going to be made to order, after 5 weeks and numerous emails that didn't achieve anything we gave up and Pidcocks gave me a refund. Dale the parts guy at Pidcocks was fantastic calling me frequently with updates, service over and above any I'd received before.

    You must have an internal link to Pidcocks, drop Dale a line I'm sure he'll let you know what the notes from BMW say.



    Motorworks sent me a note yesterday saying the indicator stems were no longer available. I'm heading over to Pidcocks this morning to see if they can order me a replacement.
    #9
  10. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,755
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    I'm not a fan of the EBC shoes they never seem to work as well as the BMW ones. I may not have a choice though.
    #10
  11. JohnDL

    JohnDL Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    UK
    Hi Rob

    Is relining the brake shoes and option? I remember my brother having this done when brake shoes were no longer available for his bike - not a BMW of course!

    Found this after a Google search:

    http://www.jimjackservices.co.uk/cars.html

    John
    #11
  12. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,755
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    Hi John,

    The shoes are for a project bike, I haven't got any shoes for it at all.

    Just got back from Pidcocks the indicator parts are definitely NLA in the UK. Looks like I'll be making a couple of brackets and fitting cheapos
    #12
  13. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    9,746
    Location:
    backwoods Alabama
    Then hit some of the used part junk yards such as RePsycle. I don't know if they have them in the UK, but there are several in the US.

    I hope that there is not an impending parts crisis, I'm getting ready to do long-delayed major maintenance and repairs to my bike. Just my luck... :cry
    #13
  14. tennessee thumper

    tennessee thumper Don't Text Me Bro

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    927
    Location:
    Arkansas Ozarks
    Glen Beck?
    #14
  15. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,295
    Location:
    HIGH desert
    Too all concerned inmates.....the sky is NOT falling, it's just getting more expensive.
    Yes Rob F you are correct, the EBC rear shoes SUCK, because they use an aluminum casting that is not machined on the pivot points. They don't sit square to the drums.
    Ferrodo uses the same castings, so theirs SUCK too.
    #15
  16. Hawk Medicine

    Hawk Medicine Coyote's Brother

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,304
    Location:
    NOR CAL
    Back in the bad old 80's we used to have pur rear brake shoes relined at a place where they reline brakes for Fork lifts.

    If you can find a place like that, order the 'medium hardness' lining and you'll probably be happy.
    #16
  17. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,755
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    #17
  18. wirewrkr

    wirewrkr the thread-killer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,295
    Location:
    HIGH desert
    Good on you mate.
    I came from The Old School of the 3 Rs
    Re-build
    Re-use
    Re-cycle
    #18
  19. wmax351

    wmax351 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    743
    Location:
    Marin County and Berkeley, CA
    The Parts supply for airheads is WAAAY better than any other (older) motorcycle company, except possibly Vincent. And a Black Shadow is more valuable than a brand new BMW, so you can see why that supply is there. Harley is possibly on par with BMW, but largely from after-market.

    In regards to the secondary, after-market options, when it is profitable, there will be non-OEM stuff available. With modern manufacturing and machining techniques, it is very feasible to do the mid numbers production runs.

    Look at the old British bikes. Or even the old CB750's. There are plenty of parts (often of better quality) available from after-market suppliers.
    #19
  20. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,126
    Location:
    Cin City, OH
    Harley probably no problem. There's a good chance they may be using the same parts on their new bikes. :rofl
    #20