Boxer Twins: BMW /5 Air-Cooled Motorcycles

Here's a must-have reference guide for people who love the BMW /5-series of air-cooled motorcycles.

| November/December 2009

  • BMW 5 air cooled motorcycles - cover of
    As usual, Ian Falloon delivers outstanding quality in this reference work on BMW /5 air-cooled motorcycles.
    Photo courtesy of Veloce Books
  • BMW 5 air cooled motorcycles - sample interior pages of
    Interior pages of the "Boxer Twins Bible."
    Photo courtesy of Veloce Books

  • BMW 5 air cooled motorcycles - cover of
  • BMW 5 air cooled motorcycles - sample interior pages of

If you've been lucky enough to be exposed to classic motorcycles for any length of time, particularly classic European motorcycles, you've probably come across some of the books written by Ian Falloon. An internationally recognized authority on motorcycles, Falloon writes for magazines around the world. Although he trained at one time to be a symphony oboist, that career was derailed following a motorcycle accident. Rough for him, but good for the rest of us, who have benefitted greatly over the years from his change in career.

Thanks to a deserved reputation for thorough research, Falloon's become one of the most trusted sources for detailed information on marques such as Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Laverda and BMW. He's written more than 20 books on motorcycles, including restoration guides, catalogs and detailed examinations of specific street and racing bikes.

Falloon's books are always top shelf, and we think the "Bible" series constitutes some of his best reference work. Covering specific models from Laverda, Ducati, Moto Guzzi and now BMW, Falloon’s latest "Bible" focuses on the /5 series air-cooled motorcycles BMW introduced in 1969 and developed until 1996.

Following a successful format laid out from the beginning of the "Bible" series, Boxer Twins starts with a short tour through the history of BMW touching on major events and changes that influenced the company's development of the first /5 models.

From there, Falloon works his way up through the air-cooled range, starting with the /5 and ending with the final R80 and R100s of 1996. Along the way, Falloon supplies a detailed, year-by-year synopsis of each model's development.

Model series (/5, /6, etc ... ) are broken down into chapters, each chapter concluding with a comprehensive list of frame numbers allied to production dates. Model information, much of it gleaned from factory records, is bolstered with periodic “distinguishing features” sidebars detailing specific model year changes to aid identification.

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