1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Grover’s First Ride Around the Block

The rebuild is finished and I documented the final assembly process in this write-up.

On the Fourth of July, “Grover” was ready for his first ride since he was stored away seven years ago in my friends barn.

Out of the Barn

Grover On His Way to My New Shop 18 Months Ago

HereΒ is a short video of the first 3 mile “around the block” ride on Grover. You can’t see the s&*$ eating grin on my face, but it’s there πŸ™‚

Here are some photos I took before the ride when I took the bike out of the shop for the first time in 18 months.

Side View

Side View

Front Side

Front View

Rear View

Rear View


19 thoughts on “1973 BMW R75/5 Rebuild: Grover’s First Ride Around the Block

    • Pete,

      Ah, I don’t think your barn is that cluttered πŸ™‚

      Thanks for providing the long term, low cost storage.


  1. YIPPEE !! Go Grover GO! What a feeling of satisfaction you must have felt when the motor roared to life and you rolled down the driveway. Congratulations on a job MORE than well done !

    • Hi Dale,

      Yes, I kept waiting for something to go wrong, but everything seemed to stay where it should and there weren’t any “Oh S^%$” sounds during the shake down ride πŸ™‚

      There are a couple tweeks to make, but as my son said “Youe old bikes are always 99% complete.” πŸ™‚ True Dat.


  2. Well done and Grover still looks sweet even with the brown frosting in 1st pic. Better get started on my 90/6 mongrel…. someday!

    Always keep the rubber side down,
    Danny O’

    • Hi Hal,

      Well, Grover’s language skills are a bit stunted. Mostly he just growls a bit and goes “clickety-clack” πŸ™‚

      Stay well my friend.


  3. Awesome, looks like the transformations are coming faster these days (or is it that time is moving faster)…. I too am wondering what’s next?

  4. Sweet! I’m finishing up a ’72 R75/5 toaster rebuild. Should be on the road soon if my painter will get off his ass (me).

    Your site has been a great reference during my rebuild. Thanks for the time you put into it!

    • Hi Seroj,

      Thanks for your note. I too found it hard to find good help on my project πŸ™‚

      I hope you get your Airhead back on the road soon.


  5. WOW! Grover looks stunning! Is there a place around here where vintage bike owners gather for a “bike show”? I know the auto/truck crowd is doing that sort of thing all summer — why not show off really cool two-wheeled hardware. “Best In Show” I say! Cheers,

    • Hi Dave,

      Thanks for the kind words. I don’t think he is really show quality … he slurs his vowels and tends to sing silly songs πŸ™‚


    • Hi Calvin,

      It sounds like you adjusted the valves on the exhaust stroke, not the compression stroke. When you set the flywheel to show the “OT” mark in the timing window, one piston is on compression, and the other is on exhaust. How do you know which piston is at compression?

      1. Remove both valve covers.
      2. Rotate the flywheel to show “OT” in the timing window.
      3. On each side, try to rotate the push rod with your fingers. The side that allows you to rotate the push rods is on compression, so that is the side you should adjust the valve clearance: 0.004″ intake, 0.006″ exhaust.
      4. Rotate the engine one more revolution. The other side should now be on compression and you should be able to rotate the push rods with your fingers. Set the valves on that side.

      There is also an adjustment for the rocker arm axial play. The blocks at the top and bottom can be too far from the rocker arm, so it will knock against them. Adjust them as follows on the side you are adjusting the valves, BEFORE you adjust the valves.
      1. Loosen the two nuts on only one rocker arm at a time.
      2. Pinch the upper and lower blocks tightly with your fingers squeezing them together. Tighten the rocker arm nuts. Then set the nuts to the correct torque, 26 Ft-Lbs.
      3. Repeat on the other side when you are setting the valves.

      I hope that helps.

      3. Repeat on the other rocker arm

  6. Thanks for your kind assistance and explanation for this procedure, I will adjust it again to tuning it.


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