1970 BMW R75/5
Frame no. 2970970
Engine no. 2970970
The /5 was the first new BMW motorcycle design for nearly two decades, and the basic design would last for more than 25 years. Hans-Gunther von der Marwitz left Porsche in the late 1960s to design the new BMW motorcycles under the wing of technical director Helmut Werner Bonsch. Bonsch had managed to persuade BMW not to abandon motorcycle production altogether in the late 1960s in the mist of the Japanese "invasion" after the slow demise of the British establishment. In von der Marwitz' mind's eye was a much more modern machine than the previous BMW /2 series in the image of the "featherbed" Manx Norton. BMW opened a new motorcycle factory in Spandau, a suburb of Berlin, for the necessary renaissance. Fortunately, success was instant, with 1970 /5 production virtually tripling that of 1969 at 12,287 machines.
BMW, from its completely re-designed, stronger, smoother and vastly more modern motor, quoted 50 horsepower at 6,200 rpm for the 4-speed, R75/5, some 10 more than the 600 cc R60/5, and 18 more than the 500 cc R50/5. With a dry weight of 423 lb, the now 12 volt, 745 cc electric start machine was capable of 110 mph.
Hidden beneath the clean, unrestored exterior of this otherwise stock, first year, pre-Toaster "slash 5" are cylinder heads from a 1980/81 R80 over new Nikasil cylinders that, as often suggested, "never wear out". At the time the R80 heads and new cylinders were installed, other new engine components, including sump, seals, fuel lines, petcock and gel battery were also installed. Visible are the R80 spec. Bing 32 mm carburetors and a Corbin Gunfighter, and Lady, seat. In the winter of 2012 a 10,000 mile service was performed by local BMW guru Charles Johnson of Deephaven, Minnesota (he had sold the bike to the seller some years ago after rescuing it from the ubiquitous barn and carefully retaining as much of its originality as possible), ready for the 2013 season although the bike sat out most of the summer in the premises of the new Handsome Cycle store in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This honest bike, showing 62,822 miles, reportedly starts promptly and runs well.