BMW R75/5 Project update

I had my dad come into town this last week, and so decided to pull the 1972 BMW R75/5 out of the garage and snap some photos of its restoration progress. Turns out my timing for getting back on this project couldn't be better.

You might have read my little intro on inheriting the BMW restoration project from my dad. As a small addendum to that I came across this photo of the bike shortly after he first brought it home about 12 years ago:

The weather has been nothing short of epic this last week in the northwest. Clear blue skies, warm yet breezy. The kind of climate that outright demands moto adventures off into the woods and camping trips with the puppy. Life always has other plans, however. On Friday I discovered the pivot on the KLR's rear swingarm is going out. Not sure if it's the bearings or what exactly, but that needs a full teardown before I start riding it much. And little miss Juniper broke a toe on Saturday putting her on the injured puppy list for the forseeable future. All in all a bad weekend for rear suspension and adventure.

While I'm putting my shopping list together for potential KLR parts I'm realizing just how small my shopping list is for remaining BMW parts. It puts both bikes on about the same level of necessary work to be up and running. That is to say ridiculously close. I don't anticipate the KLR to be too much of a challenge so I'm inclined to get the BMW finished first.

Here's how the sexy lady looks today:

She's nearly complete. There's some work remaining to tie all the wiring together and a replacement battery box issue to be resolved. I lack the chrome side panels that usually act as a cover for the battery box, and I don't plan on finding replacements. I like its more open look, particularly with the solo seat. So I'll be fabricating a nondescript battery box to hopefully blend in with the subframe.

 I do have two hard bags for the bike, painted to match. They're different than the ones shown in the original photo, and just need a bit of retro-fitting to the brackets to mount them up. The forks also need to be overhauled. Beyond that I just need some miscellaneous hardware, a neutral light cover (hoping to track down an original green one rather than the common amber ones), a bracket for the seat, a fork boot, and I'll be able to button everything up.

Needless to say she's close to firing, and that has me very excited. I also still have the double seat for it, which has my lady friend equally as excited...

Once the bike is out running and I get some solid time in the saddle I can start my modification list for a full frame tear-down next winter. I have no doubt I'll want to make some changes, but no sense in waiting any longer to fire it up. Plus my dad and I have plans to do a father/son BMW ride later this summer. He's been telling me just how much fun his bike is to ride which is driving me nuts to get out and ride mine.

And just to make sure I don't start getting too itchy to tear the BMW back apart I have this little gem that's been kicking around my garage for the last year. An early 80s Honda XL 185.

This is slated to be my August project. I'm hoping to take the month to tear it apart and build a street legal flattracker out of it. Something fun to rally around town. I've got enough fuggin projects to work on right now so it's gonna be tough to wait until August, but stay tuned for updates once I get around to tearing into it.

Happy riding! And keep an eye out for my inevitible how-to post on replacing the bearings on a KLR swingarm. You know that'll be coming soon.


  1. Looks like an 81-83 maybe?? I have 1980 XL250! First and only bike thus far. Hope to get a 650r klr this summer ;]

  2. What kind of solo seat did you use along with mounting difficulty's. Seat suspension? Looks great. I'm starting a resto on my r60/5 of the same vintage. Thanks


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