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1975 BMW R75/6 - SOLD!

True classic BMW’s are finished in Avus Black paint with hand applied white pinstripes. It was like that for most all BMW production except the military and police who always got special consideration from BMW’s start in 1923 until roughly 1968. There were a few exceptions along the way but mostly as a color highlight on a tank and these were few and far between.

BMW ceased following Henry Fords’ lead of “any color you want as long as it’s black” marketing and starting in 1969 they introduced a small array of standard colors, most all of which had been offered to commercial customers like the Police, Diplomatic escorts, Embassy security and other similar clients around the world, but BMW’s now famous black Glasurit paint was what people expected from BMW. Police Green, Bavarian White and Police Red were available in the low hundreds.

Rumor of a smaller number of Powder Gray examples persists but Bob has never seen what he knows 100% to be original factory paint, but he has seen a few examples that tell him it’s very possible a small number were painted like this by BMW. Confirmed however is that about 20 were painted in BMW’s first try at metallic; it was a dark metallic blue and one all original example resides in the Vintage BMW Museum at Bob’s BMW; it’s on a 1969 R69US.

By 1970 starting with the R50/5, R60/5 and R75/5 series metallic paint and still more colors became commonplace. It became hard to obtain a BMW motorcycle painted in Avus Black with hand applied white pinstripes. And to this day BMW has sparingly sprayed that original and classic color on its motorcycles. Hand applied pinstripes of many colors continued to be the standard.

Even the very last 1,000 cc airhead ever built by BMW, the R100R, did not get painted in Avus Black. It was done in what became known as Classic Black which has a hint of gray or silver in it and a slight metallic base. You can see this machine on display at Bob’s BMW as well. It’s documented as the very last one built in the world and is still in the original shipping crate.

So anytime we get to offer up a BMW in the original factory applied Avus Black paint with hand applied white pinstripes we think it’s a big deal. There are just not that many to go around after 1969 and fewer still that are in good or better original condition. This bike is one of those machines and we are pleased to have it on display in the showroom, now offered for sale.

It is a very nice original cosmetic and mostly original mechanical example of one of BMW’s true classic machines from the 1970’s era. Along with the expected service and maintenance intervals and updates one would expect and desire of a bike with just three (3) owners since new it has been very well cared for in our opinion and that shows. Our service history does not go back beyond arrival last year for some service and maintenance by the person who had acquired it from the second owner.

He was very pleased with his beautiful purchase but surprised at the overdue maintenance we reported should be addressed along with the old tires and carbs that were operable but would dramatically improve safe and dependable operation if rebuilt. He agreed and we did nearly everything recommended; the end result was a fabulous machine that ran superbly.

It went home on a trailer. Six months later it came back to Bob’s almost exactly as it had left. Life and priorities had changed and he needed to sell it. We wrote the check and then went about doing the last few items on the original list so that when we found the next owner and good home where we hope it will see regular enjoyment and miles there would be nothing to do but check the tire pressure and oil level along with a standard check of the lights before donning gear and pressing the start button.

Over the last 7 months more than $4,000 has been spent here at Bob’s to make this bike not only look great but run superbly.  It starts, idles, runs, shifts, handles and stops quite nicely, perhaps better than when it was new since it has better rubber on the wheels and better springs in the forks compared to what was available in 1975. Most of the work which has been performed by the Master BMW Technicians here at Bob’s will last for quite a while.

And for the record it appears, from our observations that pretty much anything that was ever suggested over the years under prior ownership was addressed as ongoing maintenance as it showed no signs of neglect or ever sitting idle. It’s just too clean to have been parked outside or left in non-running condition at all. And there is clear evidence of all sorts of wear and tear and maintenance items being replaced well before it arrived at Bob’s or in the past owners possession.

We’ve done the following which the next owner simply gets to benefit from: a full tune-up with all fluids, new left and right Karcoma petcocks (fuel valves on the gas tank for the new to BMW crowd), fresh fuel lines with filters, rebuilt the Bing CV carbs and replaced some hardware, new Metzeler tires, tubes and rim strips with a Nitrogen fill, installed a digital ignition as a great upgrade to smooth starting, full front wheel bearing replacement and service, install a new BMW battery, new front brake disc and pads with a system bleed and adjustment and finally a fresh set of the correct Magura grips which are exactly as this bike would have been delivered with when new in 1975. We even clean and lubricate the switches.

We can clearly see that many other items were addressed in recent years. Foot peg rubbers are fresh, spark plug wires and the plug end caps are very recent and correct. There are fresh cables on the bike. The front brake hose was replaced with a new OEM part not too long ago. The rear shock, while still a BMW component does not look or feel like it’s got 49,000 miles so we suspect a prior owner replaced that with a fresh set of BMW heavy duty shocks (not available in 1975) to maintain the original look but gain the improvement in handling. There is also the original style Magura screw-in type throttle lock which is hidden on the underside of the throttle mechanism.

The exhaust system is in superb condition and the correct style for the bike. While it’s possible the original headers could have lasted this long with over-the-top-care we suspect the entire stock system was replaced at some point with genuine BMW headers and mufflers based on an inspection and the mounting tabs which only BMW used; it all looks and sounds wonderful.

After all this we still ran it through the detailed MSI or Maryland Safety Inspection check list and took it out for an extended test ride to confirm that it starts, idles, shifts, accelerates, handles, corners, stops and delivers the high level of fun and enjoyment it was originally designed to do.  It easily fulfills that goal and it looks the part too.

The R75 motor remains one of the smoothest, most dependable engines BMW ever built; they were in production from 1969 through 1978 in the /5, /6 and /7 series and then it was slightly grown into the R80 for a very short run. Bob owns a R75/5 with 160,000 miles on it so far.

Every part of this bike is in great mechanical or cosmetic condition with one exception. The instruments and seat are two examples of how well these bikes can hold up and be enjoyed. The original paint on everything from the frame to the painted parts now shines very nicely thanks in part to good care over the years and a near full day professional detailing here at Bob’s.

If one looks close there are some minor areas showing patina from its 43 years that can be seen, especially around the swing arm and driveshaft; all very common areas of minor paint deterioration from regular use. There are also a few very small scratches or stone chips in the paint on the front fender and a little peeling paint on the seat pan but this 1975 is clearly one of the finer examples to be found anywhere in the country.

The only blemishes of note on this bike were caused in the prior owners garage and it’s hard to see clearly in these photos. We hand touched up the paint to hide it further but there is a shallow dent in the optional larger BMW 6.3 gallon touring tank running a few inches in length just above the rubber knee pad on the right side and a tint ding on top well forward of the gas cap. From 10 feet away most will not notice these but they are there, up close you can of course see them and we have provided a close up image. 

It was not a deal breaker for us, nor did we feel refinishing the tank would add significant value to most prospective owners so we have left it mostly as it arrived. And as one gets on and off from the opposite side and tends to view their bikes (and other peoples) from that point of view we honestly think it won’t be a deal breaker for anyone else and it’s assuredly a head turner – you would not pass a date up with an otherwise attractive person just because they had a few blemishes would you? 

The wheels still shine beautifully and appear to be laced with the original BMW chrome spokes and nipples on the correct factory aluminum rims. There are almost no marks from what must have been 5 tire changes over the years. The seat, gauges, switches and controls, all lighting, rubber parts all over, cables, castings, rear shocks and in general every part of this bike is in very fine condition and make for a very desirable example to maybe call your own.

There is nothing we feel a new owner needs to do except other than take it home and start enjoying it. We honestly feel this bike is a solid 9.5 mechanically (nothing short of brand new or a full restoration will get a 10 here) and probably a solid 8.5 cosmetically on our very critical 10 scale; remember the cosmetics are still all original and these days that counts for more value than ever. Please call ahead and stop by, inspect it for yourself, ask us questions, sit on it and see if it fits you well, consider a demo ride and please don’t drool on the bike until it’s yours.

It came to us with 2 rare original bike keys, the black knob (we now offer very nice reproductions) and folding gray one and we cut a flat spare in-house to make it easier to work the factory fork lock (we still suggest a disc or HD cable lock) and one set for the saddlebags. It has the BMW owner’s manual and a complete BMW 19 piece tool kit (pouch included) in very nice condition that sits in the factory correct tool tray (with a new seal) under the seat adjacent to the correct silver colored tire pump (by ’76 or ’77 they were all black) which is in poor operating condition but can be rebuilt.

Few this nice are ever offered for sale so it’s worth adjusting your schedule for!


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Bob’s BMW Motorcycles - 10720 Guilford Road - Jessup, MD - Phone: 301-497-8949