Correct pinstriping on BMW Earles Fork Motorcycles
(1955-1969) Singles & Twins
by Craig Vechorik
The base color determines what color pinstriping you use.
Black motorcycles originally had white striping, which with time, may change to a cream color.
White and cream motorcycles are striped in black.
Blue motorcycles are striped in white and sometimes they are striped with dark red.
Green motorcycles are striped in white.
Red motorcycles are striped in white.
All pinstriping on BMW Earles Fork motorcycles is identical. The big
line is 1/8-inch thick and the thin line is 1/16-inch thick. The big
line is 1/4-inch from the edge of the fender and the thin line is
5/32-to-1/8-inch apart from the thick line. These measurements are
taken from an original BMW motorcycle, but you should remember that all
BMW motorcycles were striped by hand at the factory. The pinstripers
applied two coats. Minor variations in both thickness and location of
stripes is to be expected. The BMW factory pinstriper usually painted
their initals beneath the gas tank and inside fender braces. BMW never
applied clear-coat over pinstriping. The prinstriping is the last coat
applied over the finished paint job.
Masking off the lines with tape is a shortcut that is not recommended.
Paint tends to seep under the edge of the tape and even when the
striping dries there is a raised edge in the paint. Colored tape can be
applied, but it is difficult to apply evenly and the tape edges
sometimes crinkle. Tape is also distinguished by a raised edge. Special
pinstriping tape is available that carries both the thin and the thick
line on one strip of clear overlay tape. This type of tape is easy to
apply evenly. Once applied, the clear overlay (carrier strip) is
removed leaving the two colored stripes on the surface. At a distance,
it appears to be excellent pinstriping. Upon close inspection, the line
edges can be felt with the hand. There is no substitute for hand
pinstripring, but for economical reasons the special pinstriping tape
is a good alternative. You can order this special tape from Bench Mark Works secure online parts store.
accessory 35A--pinstriping tape black
accessory 35B--pinstriping tape white
Please note that when printed, or viewed on the web, the following photograph may not appear in proper scale.
Do NOT print this to use as a pattern.