1973 BMW R60/5

Traditional

2-cyl. 594cc/40hp

#1 Concours condition#1 Concours
#2 Excellent condition#2 Excellent
#3 Good condition#3 Good

$7,400*

-6.3%
#4 Fair condition#4 Fair
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Model overview

Model description

When the /5 series came out for 1970, there were three models: small, medium, and large. Although the previous-generation R60/2 and R69S had sat at the top of BMW’s lineup as 600cc bikes, the new R60/5 was “medium” at 599cc. Even so, it had more guts than its predecessors. With bore and stroke of 73.5 x 70.6 mm, the air-cooled, overhead-valve horizontally opposed twin produced 46hp at 6,600 rpm—a big jump in power. It weighed the same as the “large” R75/5 (as much as 463 lb. wet) but the formula remained sufficient for entertaining sport riding.

Besides the stroke that was shorter by 8.5mm, the main difference from the larger bike was the use of proven 26mm needle-jet Bing carburetors rather than the R75/5’s constant-velocity ones. Otherwise, the R60/5 shared the new engine layout, which featured a chain-driven camshaft positioned below the forged crankshaft and the pushrods to operate the valves running below the iron-lined light-alloy cylinders. There was electric start and a 12-volt system with 180-watt alternator. The four-speed gearbox and 7.3-inch drum brakes were seen as a bit antiquated, though, not to mention the instrumentation housed in the headlamp nacelle. Otherwise, the 1973 BMW R60/5 was an exemplar of precision and efficiency. The wheelbase was extended by about two inches to improve the bike’s stability, and as an extra benefit there was more room for the passenger and even enough room for a larger battery. The buyer could choose the oversized tank or the smaller, chrome-plated “toaster”. The R60 was also available in black, white, and a palette of zesty colors. As Motorcycle Classics has put it, the R60/5 “is an ideal useable classic.”

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