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Battery Replacement


Did you just buy your bike?  How is it that the battery needs replacing and
you dont yet know how to remove and replace the side panels?

Anyway, Ive remembered a couple things that havent been mentioned about

1.	 You can remove the side panel screws in any order, but its easiest
to put them back on in this order:  Start with the very front one thats in
the opening for the oil cooler, then screw in the very long one that goes
under the side mirror, then do the ones on the tank making sure that you get
them in straight.  Screw them in by hand first so you dont cross thread.
Then the one under the seat, then the back lower ones, then move forward to
the ones by the engine.   Screw all the first ones in loosely, leaving about
= turn or so before their tight.  When all the screws are in straight, you
can tighten everything up.  The very front oil cooler screw is difficult to
impossible if you screw all the others in tight before starting that one.  I
found this out the hard way on several occasions before finally learning
2.	The air intake assembly needs to be taken off before you can pull
out the battery.   There is a screw behind the glove box/radio box that is
hard to see until you know its there.   Be patient.   Also theres one that
holds the cables to the front wheel.  Its very clever the way that one
fastens.   Someone must have spent some time figuring this out.    Removing
these panels gives you good insight into German Engineering philosophy of
the era.   I find myself simultaneously applauding the care with which this
bike is designed and manufactured and cursing these people for putting so
many fasteners on a thing that has to be removed for the most routine
3.	The rubber battery hold down is easy to remove once the air box is
out of the way.   There is an inch or two of extra rubber on the end of the
strap.  Just pull straight down until the metal loop thing is free from the
flange on the bike and then pull the strap towards you.   This thing
intimidated me a little at first, but its so easy.
4.	Mirrors:  I found that the easiest way to remove them is to stand in
front of the bike, grab them with both hands and pull forward.   Its a lot
easier than banging them with the butt of your hand.  When you replace them,
be very sure that all three of the metal spring clips are centered on the
pins and just wham them back on with straight pressure (or whamming with the
butt of your hand).   Be careful in your whamming effort that you dont move
the clips off the pins.   The clips can bend and break if they are not
aligned before pressure is brought upon them.
The first time you do this will not go easy.   It gets better with
experience, but its still frustrating if you dont have your patience in

I bought a $35 set of stainless steel screws for each of my two Oilhead RTs.
They dont rust or get their hexes rounded out.  I also bought a really good
set of German SS Alan wrenches with a round tips on the long ends.   I did
all my own work on these bikes and it was worth it for me every time I
replaced these screws.

Lastly, before you re-install the cover, really go over everything, make
sure all is tight and all screws are where they should be.  Make sure all
the screw-clips on the fairing are where they should be including the ones
on the lower sub fairing.  You only have to get > done and realize you have
to remove the thing and start over once or twice to see the wisdom of this.

Do the work somewhere where you can leave the bike disassembled and do
something else for a while.   If you use the driveway, youll be pressured
to get it done right away.  Its not normal or routine the first time.   Go
slow and give yourself plenty of time.  Expect that you will get something a
little wrong and may have a do-over or two.   Just allow for it and it will
be a good learning experience.  Next time will go easier.   If you know
someone whos done this before, get them to show you the first time.   Its
tricky, but when youre done, its rewarding.   Its also nice if you can
find a spot where the neighbors cant hear you swearing.   Good lighting
helps too.