1971 BMW R75/5


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

The 1971 BMW R75/5 has the look and feel of any classic motorcycle, but it’s also a bike that you can hop on and ride across the country. A much more practical bike than the previous /2 series, the /5 series BMWs had electric start, telescopic front forks, and a 12-volt electrical system with 180-watt alternator. The drum brakes were a bit of a throwback, along with the four-speed gearbox and the speedometer and tachometer integrated into the headlamp nacelle, but the R75/5 was otherwise a fully contemporary machine and stood out as a leader of engineering and design.

The air-cooled, overhead-valve horizontally opposed twin displaced 745cc from an oversquare bore and stroke of 82.0 x 70.6 mm, and the compression ratio was 9.0:1. Revisions for the /5 series added more cooling fins, reduced oil temperatures, and brought about higher-pressure oiling. When the bike was introduced in 1969, the 32mm Bing constant-velocity carburetors had provoked some complaints about low-speed performance, but midrange and top-end were delightful. The boxer twin made 57 hp at 6,200 rpm (redline was 6,800 rpm) and powered the R75/5 to 110 mph, with a strong quarter-mile in 13.89 seconds.

The bike also looked like just about the smartest thing on two wheels. It had a 19-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear, a large 6.3-gallon standard tank, and nicely integrated turn signals. More and more color choices were available as well, although some buyers still preferred the timeless black with white pinstriping. “A remarkable piece of work,” as Cycle magazine put it.

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