1971 BMW R75/5 750cc Motorcycle
By the mid-1960s BMW's motorcycle range was looking decidedly dated, with imports from Japan threatening to kill off local production, so it was something of a surprise when an all-new range of motorcycles was unveiled late in 1969. Part of BMW's classic family of air-cooled boxer twins, the new 500, 600 and 750 models featured a new chassis design that was a radical departure from the previous series and the /5 line was also the first BMW motorcycle to be manufactured at the new Berlin-Spandau factory. The boxer motor was redesigned around a one-piece forged crankshaft, with the duplex chain-driven camshaft mounted underneath. All three models shared the same basic engine architecture, with only the bore size varying, and the top-of-the-range R75/5 produced 57 horsepower at 6400 rpm, drove through a four-speed transmission and came with an electric start as standard equipment. The new frame was a two-piece design and considerably lighter than its predecessors, delivering comfortable handling to go with the excellent performance and the R75/5 was well received by the press and public alike. Although the final R75/5 rolled down the production line in October 1937, the basic design continued largely unchanged until 1996, testimony to the fact that BMW really got it right with the /5 series bikes. Today, the R75/5 is a highly collectible motorcycle, beautifully made and with lovely details like the enamel tank badges, chrome and other fittings that would soon be lost as plastic - and cost cutting - took hold.