We LOVE /5’s here at Bob’s and this is a great running machine. It is in need of nothing unless you desire prettier or shinier paint. It has passed the Maryland Safety Inspection (handily) and has been out for several test rides including one by Bob himself at the time of purchase. After inspecting and evaluating this classic Boxer Twin BMW, it started right up, idled nicely in short order, and all gauges, switches, stock horn, and lights worked properly.
Bob topped off the tires at the sellers location and took it out for a ten mile ride at varied speeds on straight and twisty roads plus a short loop on the highway accelerating up to an indicated 70 mph; like most /5’s the needle wavers a little but the machine did not. It shifted smoothly up and down through the gears, handled very well and stopped just as it should.
We acquired this bike from the second owner who has owned it since the mid-1980’s and cared for it very well in that time frame. He managed all basic maintenance himself and turned it over to local shops and authorized dealers (Bob’s among them) for some of the larger jobs he did not have expertise on. The speedometer was replaced with a new BMW unit when it stopped working about 12-15 years earlier. That original instrument does not convey with the bike, but we have it on hand to prove the miles are what we say and not what is indicated on the odometer you see in these images. The paperwork with the bike, of course, supports all of this.
The wheels were rebuilt with fresh spokes and nipples (think about $450-$500 per wheel with labor) and a bearing service and a nice polishing job around 2008/2009. The original stock mufflers were replaced with the BMW 1974 and later /6 and /7 style which is very common. The original seat was replaced with a decent used /6 style that fits and looks like it originally could have come that way from BMW. (Being a 1973 R75/5, it is the Long-Wheel-Base version which is why it is compatible with many /6 parts.) The battery side covers were re-painted some years back when the tank and fenders were but they have been removed by us; swapped out for the set of the same original factory color to make another customer happy in a very short time frame.
The top end was refreshed locally (not at Bob’s) and we can see the fresh sealant on the base gaskets but we were not supplied with receipts; the seller stated that all pushrod seals and gaskets plus rings and valves were done; he could not recall if oversize pistons were also installed. He also stated the carbs were completely rebuilt; we’d guess that all of that was also completed about a dozen years earlier. We have not done a leak down or compression test as it runs too strong to be needed in our opinion; should you buy it we can certainly take it in for any service you’d desire and include that job.
All body parts are solid, serviceable and the inside of the tank is very clean. The most noticeable blemish is the scrape on the tip of the front fender, but it is solid and not cracked and that did not occur while attached to this bike. The tank is not original paint but the fenders are. If prettier paint is what you need this might be a great do-it-yourself project for next winter or Bob’s would be happy to provide a quote. It is pretty decent looking at 15 feet in all regards.
The front forks have stronger springs in them (we’re unsure of age or brand but suspect Progressive) and the rear suspension is a set of KONI 7610P 1298 adjustable shocks in very good condition. The Metzeler ME33 front & ME99 rear tires show a manufacture date in mid-to-late 2008, and were probably installed in 2009. Judging by age alone, they should be replaced, but this bike has seen only a very few miles since they were installed and the bike was stored in truly ideal conditions. They are in superb physical condition including the sidewalls and easily have 95% of the original tread – we think a responsible rider who is not planning to ride across Montana at top speed, and who allows them to warm up each time he/she rides, can wear them out before installing a new set.
It has a home modified sidestand that prevents it from leaning as far over as most /5’s do and a very solid original BMW stock center stand. It has Flanders/Butler & Smith 2 piece crash guards (or cylinder head protectors, if you prefer) that are in great shape. It has a stock Magura throttle lock screw, and what appear to be stock header pipes and repro mufflers in excellent visual and structural condition.
It should be noted that the rear wheel is actually from an early /6 model and does not carry the chrome hub cap like the front wheel does and as a fully original /5 would have had. The two wheels are functionally the same except that a /6 has more contact between the final drive and wheel splines because BMW upgraded that feature in 1974. We see it as a bonus: you get a stronger drive line connection, and there’s one less chrome item to polish.
We do not know the age of the battery but we’re told it was not terribly old and it has started the bike repeatedly without hesitation and no trickle charging thus far. Most all hardware is in very respectable condition and there’s very little rust showing anywhere. The cases show pretty well but a serious cleaning would offer some additional brightness (think S100 cleaner) if desired. The tank chrome side panels are in very nice shape but both have the tiniest indentation which is sort of visible in the photos. Tank logos are nice but not flawless.
This bike did not come to us with a key to the fork or seat lock and none are provided. Bob stated he cannot recall the last time he locked either while using one of his R75/5’s as most people don’t know where these locks or the releases are even located. All the fluids look pretty fresh, the reflectors, rubber parts, cables, fuel lines, etc. all look to be in good condition so we’d easily say this one is safe and roadworthy by our high standards.
There is a tool tray under the seat that’s in fair condition and the bike comes with a mostly but not 100% complete factory tool kit. The owner’s manual is intact except for the covers, but what’s inside is fully usable. It has just the one black knob style ignition key included. There is no tire pump, tire repair kit or shop rag as was delivered with brand new BMW’s back in 1973, but Bob’s BMW can sell you all these items plus the flat spare key should you desire them.
If you are looking for an honest, solid, nice running /5, and specifically in the 750 cc size which is the most desirable and rideable, then you should get in here and check this one out in person. We have seen over 2 dozen R75/5’s sell over the past year at prices that were slightly lower and considerably higher than this. Honestly we feel this bike offers greater overall value than most of them and there is no buyer’s premium to pay. Shipping can be arranged if necessary. This classic BMW just needs a new, good home where it will get regular exercise.