Ask Tom

Have questions about your airhead BMW? Ask Tom.

Tom Donovan is our resident motorcycle historian and our go-to expert for vintage BMWs. He’s been working on BMWs for more than 25 years – and if you have a question, he’s the man to ask. Feel free to email Tom, and he’ll answer it as quickly as possible. We’ll share the best questions here.


How frequently should I service my motorcycle?

Most BMW’s get serviced every 6,000 miles. The Airhead motorcycles need a little more attention than that. They should be serviced every 3,000 miles to include torquing the heads and adjusting the valves.

What oils should I use in my motorcycle?

I would only recommend the factory oil. BMW has their oil specially blended with the additives they want in their oil. The temperature outside may change the viscosity or weight of the oil recommended for your bike. The back of the owners manual would have a chart if this is the case.

What tires should I run on my motorcycle?

Each bike differs. Look in the owners manual and it will tell you BMW’s recommendations. The size and speed ratings are important.

How often should I check my tire pressure?

Every time you ride. It only takes a few seconds and will save your tires and maybe your life.

I ride my bike only a few hundred miles a year. When should I change my engine oil?

You should change your fluids at the beginning and end of each season.