1973 BMW R75/5: Planning the Rebuild

Before starting a project and spending money, I try to take an inventory of the bike’s condition and develop a plan and budget. Usually, for a bike this old, I can plan on replacing everything that’s rubber, all the control cables, and renew all the filters. Since my wife has owned this bike since 1978 when I bought it for her as a wedding present, I have a pretty good idea of how it has been maintained and any major problems. Overall, the bike is in good condition for its 40-year age and 97,500 miles.

I took a number of pictures to document the “before” condition and to help with an initial parts list for the project.  I also removed the front fender, gas tank and seat to get a better look at the frame and chrome to better see the condition.

This is the high-level work plan  I came up with.

  • Replace all rubber parts
  • Remove all cables, tachometer and speedometer cables
  • Remove fairing
  • Remove tank, side covers and fenders
  • Rebuild petcocks and polish
  • Remove front wheel
  • Clean and polish front wheel
  • Grease front wheel bearings
  • Inspect brake shoes, replace if necessary
  • Rebuild front forks
  • Replace steering head bearings
  • Remove carburetors
  • Rebuild carburetors, clean and polish
  • Remove heads and cylinders, exhaust
  • Clean and polish exhaust header
  • Replace mufflers and cross over pipe
  • Bead blast heads, cylinders, valve covers
  • Rebuild heads with valves, seats, seals and springs
  • Replace piston rings and hone cylinder
  • Remove rear wheel
  • Clean and polish rear wheel and hub
  • Grease rear wheel bearings
  • Inspect brake shoes, replace if needed
  • Remove shocks
  • Clean and polish shocks
  • Remove battery box
  • Remove turn signals
  • Clean and polish turn signals
  • Remove rear frame
  • Remove rear drive
  • Remove transmission and clean
  • Grease drive shaft splines
  • Remove engine and clean
  • Remove all electrics
  • Remove wiring harness
  • Strip paint from frame, rear frame, rear drive, battery box, fairing bracket, handlebar controls
  • Powder coat frame, rear frame, rear drive, battery box, fairing bracket, handle bar controls
  • Strip faring paint, repair dings and replace chrome edging and windscreen gasket and  wiring harness plug
  • Strip paint from fenders, tank, side covers
  • Paint fenders, tank, side covers, fairing
  • Reassemble frame, wiring harness and electrics
  • Mount engine and transmission in frame
  • Reassemble rear frame
  • Reassemble swing arm
  • Reassemble shocks
  • Reassemble battery box
  • Reassemble cylinders and heads
  • Reassemble carburetors
  • Reassemble exhaust and mufflers
  • reassemble handlebars and controls
  • Replace all control cables, speedometer and  tachometer cables
  • Mount new tires and tubes
  • Assemble fenders
  • Replace battery
  • Assemble wheels
  • Assemble tank on frame

Here’s some of the “before” pictures.

Carburetor in Decent Shape

Left Carburetor

.Carb & shaft drive gunge

Right Carburetor and Drive Shaft Gunge

Petcock leaks

Petcock Leaks

.Points cover grunge

Possible Points Seal Leak

.Barn straw and leaks

Push rod seal leaks

..40 yr old foot peg rubber

40 Year Old Foot Peg Rubber Shot

.40 yr old foot peg rubber

Shot Foot Peg Rubber and Brake Pedal Rust


.Steering head gunge

Fork leaks and Top Clamp Gunge

.Brake hub grunge

Front Hub and Fork Gunge

.Front rim gunge

Front Rim Grunge

.Windjammer II dings

Windjammer II Painted to Match with Chips

.Rebuilt Vetter fairing bracket

Faring Bracket and Frame Rust

.Tank scratches

Tank Scratches and Dings

.Faring & fender off

Wrong Fork Boots & Frame Chips

.Fender dings

Front Fender Damage

.Pin stripe closeup

Front Fender Pin Stripe Detail

.Faring braket rust

Frame Tube Rust and Paint Dings

.Paint and rust

Frame Rust, Dings and Clutch Cable

Battery Box Corrosion

Battery Box Corrosion

Battery Box Corrosion