The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle
Christian Fisher with his 1973 BMW R75 /5.
Bike: 1973 BMW R75 /5
Owner: Christian Fisher, Topeka, Kan.
Occupation: General Manager, Salvage Yard
Other Ride: 2001 Harley-Davidson Road King
There are people who grew up riding old bikes, and there are people who wish they had. Chris Fisher is one of the latter. Childhood dreams were of 1950s Ford panel trucks, not bikes. But the urge to ride and enough money for a used sport bike aligned at age 16. “I found a 1991 Honda CBR600F2, and I rode it for about a year. It was fast, and I’m lucky I didn’t kill myself,” Chris says. Self-preservation led him toward something a bit slower, and a 1986 Harley-Davidson Softail Custom found its way into his garage for a couple years, until a business start-up required capital. The next few years were spent riding only occasionally, and while the interest in old bikes was there, a purchase never followed — until about a year ago, when a too-cheap-to-pass-up BMW entered the mix.
A friend found him the 1973 BMW R75 /5 featured here for $300. The cylinder head studs had pulled out of the case on the right side, but a few hundred bucks at the local bike shop fixed that. A full change of fluids, plugs, filters and a new set of tires came next. The fairing and luggage rack came off, and a lower set of Euro BMW bars from eBay went on, along with some bar-end mirrors. Chris now enjoys the /5 for running around town and back-road cruising.
A front brake service, rebuilding the front forks and replacing a couple of weeping oil seals are next on the list, but mostly Chris is looking forward to riding the bike. He’s even hoping for a couple of weekend trips on it next year, which would be the first he’s done on anything other than his Harley. As the Aussies say, good on ya, Chris.