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From the Owner

The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle


Christian Fisher's 1973 BMW R75 /5

by Richard Backus


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1973 bmw r75 /5 
Christian Fisher with his 1973 BMW R75 /5. 

Bike: 1973 BMW R75 /5
Owner: Christian Fisher, Topeka, Kan.
Occupation: General Manager, Salvage Yard
Age: 28
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.

 

steven hudson
9/15/2011 7:46:15 AM

In 1973 I was looking to buy my first "big" street bike and the Honda 750 was formost in mind. The salesman at the Jacksonville (Fl) Honda-BMW shop talked me into a test ride on an R75/5 and it was love at first ride. The price was around $2200 at the time, a bit more than the Honda, but I knew that I must have the BMW. For the next six years the Bimmer was my main means of transportation, commuting on work days in all weathers, girl friends at pillion on Friday nights and tent and camping gear strapped to the saddle whilst on holiday. Maintenence was simple and all routines could be performed at roadside with the ample tool kit supplied which included a tire patch kit, tire irons and a hand air pump. In all those years the BMW performed with flawlessly, never once leaving me to walk. To my everlasting regret, I sold the bike to purchase SCUBA equipment and soon after settled into married life and a pause from motorcycle ownership. Now that I'm retired I have the time to do a great deal of riding on my Triumph Tiger 1050 but secretly long for my first and best love, my R75.