BMW Motorcycles at Their Finest ~ BMW R 75

BMW R 75 ~It’s No Coincidence!

bmw r75/5 bmw r75/6 bmw/r7Today was another beautiful day in Barcelona and I was making my way back from the gym. I didn’t have much time as I’d got carried away with the rest of the meat heads and had knocked out a couple of extra sets. Needless to say I was on a high, whatever good stuff they say about exercise is all true. The sky was a warm gentle blue and as cliche as it sounds, the light was so specifically Barcelona. Even at midday, it has that glowing-sunset kinda’ feel.

I stopped in a fruit and veg shop where everything was lined-up in perfectly straight rows, it’s so old fashioned but makes so much sense. You put everything in individual bags and they price it on weight, “Bon-Profit!!” I got caught up in the moment and then realised it was time for me to shift my arse as I had to get to work, but of course this is Spain, so I hada’ sloooooooow down. In front of me was Great Grandma Maria Carmen III, taking her own sweet time and it must’ve taken her 15 minutes to find the right change to pay for her shitaki mushrooms n’ what not. I’d love to know what she was gunna do with 1.2Kg of strawberries, I really would. For a change though, and I guess because I had no other choice, I stood back, relaxed and started taking in my surroundings, thinking about what seemed like EVERYTHING involved in my life. It felt so good, so simple, maybe I should go to the fruit shop more when I need clarity!!!

bmw r75/5 bmw motorcycles motorrad

This is a similar BMW R100S, gotta love the cafe racer feel....

I stepped out and thought about what my next article would be for QNBIKES, what could be worth writing about without adding anymore dreary, cock-n-bull half-witted nonsense to this infinite source of rubbish we call the internet? Glistening in the distance was a big old shiny motorcycle. The guy riding it was wearing an open face helmet with shorts and t-shirt, “Now that’s a way to spend a sunny day in Barcelona!!”,  I thought! He came roaring past and I noticed it was one of those really sexy old BMW R 75 classic bikes, the kind that you know James Bond would ride with some beautiful girl strapped round his waist. I started thinking about what someone said to me recently;

“To love the new, you must appreciate the old.”

bmw motorcycles r 75/5 r75/6BMW R75 classic motorcycle ~ The BMW R 75 has a rich history which extends far beyond what most modern motorcycles will ever have, whether or not that is important for the quality of a motorcycle I’m not sayin’, but I do know I like stories, and the BMW R 75 has a million to tell. Originally built during World War II for the German Army, the BMW R 75 had a side car and you will have seen it in most war time movies, normally ridden by some crazy, blood hungry Nazi, chasing after some cool cat like Indiana Jones. Strangely, the third side-car wheel was attached to and powered by the rear axle which basically meant it was more like a trike than a bike. As you can imagine, this made it extremely versatile on and off road, interesting to think how this bike was built almost entirely with function in mind, unlike most BMW motorcycles which are designed to be pleasure machines, all-be-it, functional and practical pleasure machines.

bmw motorcyclesPost War, BMW Motorrad created the BMW R 75/5, which  was the new version and the side-car was removed. I’ll always remember my best friend’s dad seeing a motorcycle with a trailer on the motorway. He was clearly un-impressed and when we asked why, he said that “The point of motorcycles is that they are small and agile, fast and free, why would you stick a bloody trailer on the back like its some kinda’ tractor?!” I’ll never forgot this and I feel the same way about sidecars. By-the-by, my best friend’s dad had a brand new Ducati 916 in the garage so he knew a thing or two about fast, agile motorcycles.

bmw motorcycles bmw r 75 poster

Grammar Mistake?

Anyway, all this and more passed through my mind as the beautiful BMW R 75 passed by and I continued walking, it can’t be more than half a kilometer from the gym to my flat but a minute later I saw another BMW R 75, I laughed to myself, “It must be a sign, what, more inspiration do you need?”. This time, there was a guy, wearing more suitable motorcycle attire, with a chick hanging round his waist, James?!!

I started wondering if perhaps there was some kind of classic BMW motorcycle event going on near by, but I would have known about it if there was and I didn’t so I concluded that there couldn’t have been, then just as I got to my door, another one came flying past. He was riding solo, wearing suitable bike gear so I knew that in the space of about 4 minutes I had seen 3 separate BMW R 75s! Whatever the reason, I was happy to have seen these big beautiful machines, elegantly cruising down Calle Corsega in Barcelona and I added it to my mental-list of bikes-to-add-to-the-garage!

bmw r75/5 r75/6

BMW R75/5 1969 1973
BMW R75/6 1973 1976
BMW R75/7 1976 1979
BMW R75 Sidecar Unit 1941 1944

As you can see above, the BMW R 75 was poked about with for many years, each time varying different aspects of the bike, notably, the wheel base was lengthened by extending the swing arm to allow for a bigger fuel tank and more space for long distance journeys, it’s said however that the original dimensions offered a more nimble ride. It’s obvious though, at least to us fanatics, that this long wheel base has carried on through to more modern designs, just look at the BMW F 800 S, as slender as a cheetah.

bmw r75/5I don’t want to focus too much on the differences between the various versions of the BMW R75 over the years, they were and still are very sturdy and capable machines. What they all have in common is that big-strange-looking BMW, air-cooled, four-stroke, two cylinder, horizontally opposed “Boxer” engine. Lest we not forget, BMW started off making airplane engines and when you look at the BMW R75, it almost looks capable of flying. For such a big bike, however, 50bhp seems a little mild, but we have to remember how old the BWM R 75 actually is.


BOXER ENGINES BMWI’ve been fascinated with the “boxer engine”, which gets it’s name because each pair of pistons moves simultaneously in and out, as opposed to moving alternately. This is said to mimic boxers (as in the fighters) showing they are ready by bashing their gloves against each other before a fight. The “boxer” engine which BMW Motorrad use in almost all of their motorcycles provides a low centre of gravity which increases stability and control, I really can’t think why BMW, of all motorcycle companies use this setup, I really can’t.

“Bomb proof by no coincidence”

bmw r75 cafe racerSo for those of you like me, who want a classic motorcycle, but at the same time, want something reliable to use on a daily basis, the BMW R75 could be the perfect bike. Bomb proof by no coincidence,  the BMW R75 is going to be around for many years to come. If you’ve got one for sale……leave me a message!!!!!!

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4 Responses to BMW Motorcycles at Their Finest ~ BMW R 75

  1. Benny says:

    REALLY well written B! The Boxer Engine is awesome! Great piece 🙂

    • qnbikes says:

      Thanks Benny….I can imagine you riding one of these…a pair of aviators, in the sun, talk about SuiteLife!!

      PS Check out my new Blogroll;))

  2. Glenn W. says:

    So did you find your BMW yet? I haven’t been able to bring myself to sell mine, though it has been parked for about 25 years in my garage. The Gas tank heeds cleaning, as the gas, (which I did add five year stabilize to when I parked it), after 25 years is growing stalagtites off the roof of the tank. The clutch needs replacing, which is why it is parked, but it was still running perfectly when parked. I expect the rubber diaphrams in the carbs would need replacing.

    I am an old man now, and though I put about 103,000 miles on this bike, I am likely not gonna fix it at this point. If you or someone is serious about fixing it, let me know.

  3. Gorgeous bikes, and a great article!

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