Ten Days With a 1973 BMW R75 /5

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The BMW R75 /5 series can legitimately be considered among the first sport touring bikes.
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1973 BMW R75/5.
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Matt Richards of Boxerworks.com is a lifelong fan of BMW motorcycles.
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Speedo and tach needles were broken off on this 1973 BMW R75 /5, a common problem with /5 instruments.
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Like all airhead Beemers, engine accessibility is second to none.
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Emblem on the 1973 BMW R75 /5.
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Because the engine is accessible, the 1973 BMW R75 /5 is great for DIYers.

1973 BMW R75 /5
Recommended service

Oil change: Every three months or 2,000 miles
Air filter: Replace every 8,500 miles
Valve adjustment: Check/adjust every 8,500 miles
Spark plugs: Replace every 8,500 miles
Ignition points and timing: Replace points and adjust timing every 8,500 miles
Driveline splines: Clean and lube every 10,000 miles

Every time I ride a BMW R75 /5, it makes me wonder what I was thinking when I parted with mine a few years back. Sure, the Laverda that replaced it was a heck of a lot sexier, but there’s a price to pay for all that Italian flash, and it usually begins with a big “M” for maintenance.

While my 1983 Laverda RGS 1000 is actually quite reliable in its own Italian sort of way, there’s no escaping the extra level of attention it requires. Back in 1973, outside of maybe Honda with its superlative 4-stroke twins and fours, nobody made a machine as doggedly reliable as BMW, and the R75 /5 was the best machine BMW had going.

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