1973 BMW R75/5

Traditional

2-cyl. 745cc/50hp

#1 Concours condition#1 Concours

#2 Excellent condition#2 Excellent

#3 Good condition#3 Good

#4 Fair condition#4 Fair

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Model overview

Model description

“Solid, silent, fast,” BMW had boasted in ads. The R75/5 could flatten hills, straighten turns, and go all day at high speed. The claims were especially true after the wheelbase was extended by about two inches on models built after January of 1973. BMW was addressing complaints about twitchy handling, but there were other practical advantages, especially for the passenger who now had more seat space, better-located pegs, and a one-piece grab bar. There was also room for a larger battery, advantageous considering the draw of the large Bosch electric starter and 180-watt alternator.

In 1972, BMW caused a ruckus by offering the 4.5-gallon tank that was compared to a toaster because of the chrome plates. Now, this tank was also offered without chrome. As always, precision and durability were the hallmarks, but as the ad said, the R75/5 was quick and responsive, too. One test reported 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. Recent technical updates had included a lightened flywheel and lowered rear-axle gear ratio. Oversquare with an 82.0 x 70.6 mm bore and stroke, the air-cooled, overhead-valve horizontally opposed twin displaced 745cc and produced 57hp at 6,200 rpm.

A quarter-mile in the upper 13-second range was excellent for a 463-lb bike. A pair of 32-mm Bing constant-velocity carburetors managed the fuel flow so efficiently that steady cruising could return better than 50 mpg. Preferring not to be rushed, the gearbox sometimes “plonked” into first and thunked into the other three ratios. A palette of spicy colors enhanced appearance. Expensive at $2,225 when new, the 1973 BMW R75/5 is highly popular among today’s collectors.

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