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1973 BMW R75/5 Toaster

Filtering by Category: Garage Update

Time For Oil

Classic Velocity

I had somehow lost track of when I last changed the oil on the Toaster. It was certainly not needed for mileage, but it was due for the once per year change. There was a filter kit, including gasket, and crush washer in the parts stash, so after a ride to warm up the oil, it got drained. It was fairly clean, and the filter was free of any debris. I usually save this for the end of the season, and put the bike away with fresh oil, but in this case, it has more riding to do so an early change made sense.


Tire Time

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After a scary moment in a corner, I was forced to examine the front tire more closely. It had plenty of tread, but there was some evidence of cracks in places. It was a Metzeler from long ago, and it was time for a replacement. I settled on an IRC. Upon removal of the tire, I discovered that it had no rim strip, and the tube had deformed into the rim with perfect rust circles where it met the spoke nipples! A rim strip and a new tube was quickly acquired and installed.


Now with Luggage

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Krausers invoke a love/hate response. I love the look on a /5, and they have adequate space. However, the way they attach to the bike and the locks were never good even when new. They certainly don't age well. Many machines ride around with a bungee cord as insurance. The ones in question here have the seat belt latches at the rear. I can modify them (and have on a previous bike) to stay attached using a small hole and connection to the rack, so that is not my concern. I want them to look stock (ie: no bungee), stay closed at speed with contents inside, and have a lock that cannot simply be opened with any screwdriver. Stay tuned for the proposed solution....


Right Pipes

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One of the pipes had a hole in it from being bruised against the left lower shock mount. The sound was actually not bad for a cafe bike, but not for this one. I have bought a number of airhead bikes, and I am always amazed at what pipes owners have seen fit to install on them. A /2 with straight pipes, or an RT with megaphones ! New pipes were sourced and installed on the bike. The fit is a little different, and it took some fiddling for the center stand to clear and the pipes to clear the same shock mount. All done, they look good and sound stock. Mission accomplished. 

Black rack, wrong pipes

Silver rack, right pipes

Looks vs Loud

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The twin Stebel horns that came on the R75 are much louder than stock. They are a common upgrade for many bikes as a safety enhancement. Loud horns probably do save lives. However, the horns were mounted outboard on the down tubes which probably made them even more effective, but which made them a prominent visual element as well. Not to my liking, and since the bike is not to be a daily driver, not as critical for safety.

I had a modern 12v horn in the stash, which is also louder than stock. However, it also looked out of place. I settled on another chrome horn from the stash which looked much more stock, but sounds much more stock too. I removed the relay and wiring for the Stebel and returned to stock wiring to the horn. Looks good. Job done.

First Moves

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This bike is in pretty good shape already, but as usual there were a few changes and touches I have in mind in order to make it more my bike. For starters, it was set up to do some touring with the rack and the Krausers. That's not going to be the role of this bike, so I removed the rack and Krausers. There is a possibility that the rack will return, but it will need to be chromed.

The throttle side Magura grip was cracked and brittle and already breaking apart in places so I replaced it with the brand-new one that I had laying around. The Fiamm horns are certainly better as warning devices, but I did not like the prominent mounting arrangement on the down tubes. Alternate mounting or a stock horn is being contemplated....overall, things are cleaning up nicely.

Same Problem Different Solution

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As usual, I have been here before. A good deal on a very nice /5. These bikes are considered by many to be a high point in BMW motorcycle development. They improve on the /2 (very hard to do IMHO) in engine design and durability, they perform well enough to be current daily riders, and they remain simple to maintain. The last time I owned an R75/5, the machine had 77K miles on it, and I went through the bike and turned it into a cafe racer (see the previous R75/5). Ironically, that bike came to me in factory red, just like this one. I later sold the red bodywork to a buyer on the west coast, and it funded a good bit of the transformation. This time it will be different. I intend to keep the bike red, and in stock condition. It needs some cleanup and a few things, but not much in order to be a nice rider. and with 41K miles, it is just a babe in arms....