We see a fine opportunity to own a classic BMW here in this PROJECT BIKE offering, and anticipate many of those reading these words and looking at these images do as well. One-owner, low-mile bikes are found in very different ways and locations – sometimes they’re still running, were regularly ridden short distances just a few times each year, and in museum condition needing nothing but perhaps fresh tires and someone to ride it more often. But other times… well, the bike may have sat in the back of a garage, not cared for in a way that would have been ideal, and while not forgotten, was simply left alone while time and inclination to ride gradually slipped away. Then one day that original owner realizes (after close to 40 years) that the bike would be better off in someone else’s garage, where it could be fully refreshed, newly loved and exercised. That’s why we call them PROJECT BIKES and we’re pleased that we get so many opportunities to be the in-between position that facilitates all of this for our customers.
And here at Bob’s we believe that this PROJECT BIKE deserves a different future than being neglected any longer, or even being fully restored, because we see a bright shiny opportunity someplace in the middle. Your investment in this machine and the work that it will need to be refurbished and returned to the road as a safe, roadworthy bike will be rewarded when you ride it and notice how many heads are turning to get a second look. What will make this bike particularly attractive is its still mostly original cosmetic condition. Those onlookers will certainly notice the big smile on your face too.
This PROJECT BIKE is a hard to find, big tank (5.8 gallons) R75/5 SWB or short wheel base example. The dual bench seat it left the factory with has been removed and sold separately to a deserving customer; (we figured most people who would be completing this PROJECT BIKE would choose to add a new, more comfortable reproduction seat that we stock). Any remaining images showing the stock seat are purely for reference; a seat is not included nor is a replacement repro seat. The one-piece crash guard or cylinder head protector was one of the very few factory options one (dealer or customer) could order aside from different colors and the larger gas tank. These did NOT come from BMW with chrome battery side covers.
Before we present the facts this bike arrived with plus more we’ve identified after a pretty complete inspection/evaluation (no start up or test ride on this one) we want you to review the terms and conditions PROJECT BIKES are sold under at the link at the end of the paragraph (important for you to read) and we believe you’ll be further inspired to consider this one personally or inform a friend, club member, fellow enthusiast etc. as maybe it aligns with their desires better: https://www.bobsbmw.com/project-bikes/
One serious bonus to buying a PROJECT BIKE from Bob’s is the discount the next owner will get on everything they purchase from us to get this one back on the road and that even includes some new riding gear or accessories to complete the resurrection.
This particular ROJECT BIKE arrived with a small notebook recording every owner based service except the 600 and 6,000 mile services the selling dealer performed during the first 12 +- months of ownership. The first hand written entry is at 9,400 miles in February of 1972 and the last was at 26,800 in April 1982 just 127 miles from the point that he stopped riding the bike and we’d suspect but he could not confirm with 100% certainty that this was also in 1982 but it could have been over the next year as well. The bike shows signs of regular care and love in all possible ways but nearly 40 years of just sitting also shows in a variety of ways.
The first fact to share on this PROJECT BIKE: the gas tank is full of rust; the top area which we attempted to show in two images is slightly soft but still sturdy as a result. We feel confident a professional cleaning and re-lining should address the rust and strengthen the tank as well; that’s not guaranteed but we’ve handled worse and seen them returned to safe daily use. We started here because that’s as bad as it gets; everything else is straight forward and the kind of work most enthusiasts can handle themselves.
Again, this PROJECT BIKE has been off the roads for about 40 years. Everything will need a freshening. That’s fluids, filters, tires (note in the images the flat rear which no longer holds air), tubes, battery, mufflers, seals and gaskets, cables, fuel lines and filters, petcocks and most rubber parts (think grips and peg rubbers plus) because they appear to be original. Simply based on time, but also taking into consideration the 27,000 miles of use in the first 12 years we’d suggest servicing the steering head, swingarm and wheel bearings.
Suspension is likely ready to be replaced or rebuilt on this PROJECT BIKE if you want it to handle like a new 1971 again, which it can, and like the rusty mufflers which need to go, that decision should be good for a long time and many miles of enjoyment unlike an oil filter which is only good for 3 to 6 thousand miles. There is assorted rust and corrosion in all the usual places but the wheels are in pretty decent shape and the rims themselves are unmarred. And this would be a great opportunity to install the correct /5 style silencers (we stock these in chrome and stainless steel) and maintain that beautiful original stock appearance which helps these machines stand out visually from all other models and years produced by BMW.
On the positive front, the engine, transmission and final drive on this PROJECT BIKE all turn over freely – we did not need to free them up upon arrival. The switches all move easily, the instruments appear to be functional but after sitting this long we’d suggest that component also get serviced and calibrated so it’s ready for the next adventure. The carbs are surprisingly clean but certainly need a complete rebuild as you’d expect; we’d guess they’ve never been done based on miles and time of use. The motor oil is pretty clean.
Because this PROJECT BIKE did not arrive running and we are super busy taking care of all the new and used bikes we’ve sold over the years plus all were selling currently we cannot dedicate the time to required, small that it may be, to do what’s required to fire this one up so a prospective buyer can hear it and know that it’s solid inside – that’s one reason it became a PROJECT BIKE but we are confident this one has a big, long life ahead with an investment in parts and labor and some weekends and evenings in the garage.
Finally, some stuff that’s included with this PROJECT BIKE – we like to think of this as added value as we’d could just as easily take it all off and sell it separately and make a bunch of money – there’s and original Vetter Windjammer fairing, a Wixom Ranger trunk (locks are only so so) w/one key, a fairly decent set of Craven saddlebags with mounts (duh) and the combined luggage rack plus one key, a Reynolds ride-off center stand, the BMW 1-piece cylinder guard with a standard issue set of folding highway pegs attached, a factory service and repair manual plus the original tool kit (85% complete) and pouch plus two small padlocks with keys all of which you should be able to see in the photos.
This one is going to make someone very happy and we hope we’ll see it ride back to Bob’s in the not distant future and to help with that we’ll repeat that each PROJECT BIKE purchase includes a generous discount on anything and everything the next owner purchases at Bob’s for this effort including all the obvious stuff and riding gear extra goodies to make it your bike and special. It has one black knob ignition key and two keys which fits the gas cap, seat and fork locks and has a complete but imperfect original owner’s manual.
Call. Make an appointment to inspect it. Start dreaming about the fun you’ll have doing the work. And dream about riding it.