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Thread: 1971 BMW R75/5 Critique

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    New South Wales, Australia

    Default 1971 BMW R75/5 Critique

    Hi all,

    I'm looking to add a 1971 BMW R75/5 to my garage. I want a correct bike that I can enter into AMCA judging that hasn't got a lot of major faults but I know zero about BM's. I was hoping that I could get some feedback on the attached photos and some guidance as to what I should be looking for. I am told that an R75 is good as a touring bike as I will be riding distance on it.

    1971 BMW R75-5 A.jpg

    1971 BMW R75-5 F.jpg

    1971 BMW R75-5 G.jpg

    1971 BMW R75-5 H.jpg

    1971 BMW R75-5 D.jpg

    Thanks in advance
    Downunder VL
    Last edited by downunder vl; 10-11-2019 at 01:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New Jersey


    It is a beauty. Spark plug wires have been replaced. I think it may have a replacement seat as well, hard to tell can not see any logo on seat back. Not sure about point loss on tender wire. You will fall in love with it for touring. It will cruise all day at 70 MPH whatever that is in KPH. Just do not expect it to arrive at 70 in a hurry. You will get used to the clunk when shifting. ENJOY!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016


    That's a nice looking bike. The bike is listed as a 1971 model. The side covers imply the bike is a long-wheelbase model. In the US long-wheelbase models were introduced in 1972. The earlyer, short wheelbase R75/5's were a little less stable than the later long wheel base models. You can find a lot of info on the /5's and /2's here..


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Pictures of a 1971 R75/5

    Pictures of a 1971 R75/5
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico


    The aftermarket tank (Heinrich?) is cool but not stock.
    Last edited by Rubone; 10-22-2019 at 11:33 PM.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  6. #6


    That Heinrich tank is worth thousands of dollars, could recoup a big chunk of your purchase if you plan to go back to stock. The correct tank would have enamel screw-on roundels and no m/c cut-out underneath.

    I don't know what judges look for, I just ride them, so not sure what matters to you. But here's what I notice. All minor stuff, easily remedied if so desired.

    As mentioned, no side covers in 71, and plug boots are wrong, should be metal caps. Should also be SWB, check for a welded-on section on the swingarm to know if it's actually LWB.

    The fuel lines are totally wrong. Should be braided, and running from the tank into a T, with one leg going to the carb and the other through that little square hole in the air box cover, connecting to the other T. You should be able to run the bike with only one petcock on at a time.

    The petcocks are later, the earliest bikes had a metal one from Everbest. But like the carb boots, those are mostly gone by now, they tended to clog and get replaced with the Karcoma ones you have.

    The horn looks wrong to me, or at least I've never seen one like it in the US. 71 was an in-between year, but I think it should either be a Bosch with a black body and chrome center, or a fancy chrome one with a slotted cover (google R75/5 horn).

    The carb boots are aftermarket. Originals were silver, and gradually turned brown-ish orange. Also they usually split up at the top and got replaced, as these have. If you must have a set, I'll trade you some for that tank .

    They changed the carbs mid-way through 1971, those look like the earlier ones. The later ones have a domed top and idle better. Can't remember which serial number started the change but you can look yours up, if built before mid-summer yours is right.

    They also changed the final drive ratio some time in 71, and again I can't remember when. The later ones accelerate a little better.

    Look for a crown in the middle of the handlebars, to make sure it's the original Magura.

    Should be no fuses this early. But if you plan to actually tour on it, I would absolutely add two of them discretely in the bucket. The headlight ring is friction-fit; if you hit a hard enough bump it can pop off and fry your wiring. Not to mention, the wiring's all pretty old and crusty now anyway. Look up the later /5 wiring diagram to figure out where to put them.
    Last edited by tjgreen; 11-14-2019 at 01:28 PM.

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