Adjust the Valves on BMW /5 Airhead Engines

Reader Contribution by The Motorcycle Classics Staff
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If you own any one of BMW’s /5 twins from the Seventies you’re in good company, because when it comes to basic maintenance, few motorcycles are easier to work on. Simple and robust, they’ve become the poster child for sound German engineering.

Yet, like any machine, they require routine maintenance, and for this How-To we’ll take you through the process of adjusting the valves on a 1973 BMW R75/5. While BMW’s original maintenance schedule called for checking/adjusting the valves every 8,500 miles, we tend to operate on a 5,000-mile schedule if only because adjusting the valves on these bikes is so easy. The basic steps we follow here apply to just about every BMW airhead made from 1969 to the end of airhead production in 1996. While BMW constantly improved and changed the airhead engine over its long life, the basic architecture — and methods of maintenance — remained the same.

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