BMW / 5. Very reliable

ER Classics Desktop 2022

The BMW / 5. A very reliable engine

Having an archive is fantastic. For example, in an archive you will find the weekly magazine Motor of 24 December 1971. And it contains the driver's report of the then recent BMW / 5 series. 211 reports were submitted (about 213 machines). The / 5 series was viewed as a very reliable line of motorcycles.

Special repairs to the / 5 series

Apparently times have changed. Or have we become more critical as buyers. Because under the 'special repairs' list we read: The average number of kilometers per participant was 19.665. 73 Machines remained without special repairs. 140 R75s had to go to the doctor unexpectedly. What went wrong like that? The rotors of the Bosch alternators were a thing.

The entire electrical system turned out to be malfunction sensitive. But leaking pushrod seals, leaky head gaskets, seals, broken universal joints, cardan problems, hassle with valve handles and valve seats, broken gearboxes, broken couplings, piston and other gaskets, everything came over. Including problems due to casting galls, broken-out big ends and broken oil pumps. Apparently three times a new coat of paint had to be applied to the tank. A whole host of problems and repairs are mentioned. It would make you sad.

Still satisfied with BMW

And almost all the drivers in the driver's report were very enthusiastic about their BMWs, about which they would no doubt have visited the media these days in connection with delivering non-performance at extreme prices. On the other hand: The machine with the most kilometers, an R75 / 5 from 1970 with a thick 52.000 counter only needed a new seal in the cardan and some spokes in the rear wheel. In fact, it came down to the / 5 series having some start-up problems and considerable mileage on them. Because for what it's worth: According to the statistics, the average motorcyclist is no longer driving an 4000 km / year. We drive considerably less with most of our classics. Not driving is a great way to prevent damage.

In their time, the BMWs were examples of quality and reliability

And the R75 / 5 was seen as so fast that in the then (1971) busy traffic it could usually drive at most with the throttle half or three quarters open. Traffic must have calmed down over time. Otherwise, decades later there could never have been such a thing as the 300 mph fast Suzuki Hayabusa. With the R60 / 5 the gas could stay up there.

Popularity in the width

In the context of a more up-to-date popularity, it is of course the R75 / 5s that are the main focus. That results in hefty prizes for those toppers from the / 5 series. And those hefty prizes for the toppers result in growing attention for the subtoppers, the R60 / 5s and the 'boring, under-motorized service bikes', the R50 / 5s. In the latter there is indeed very little going, but with a cruising speed of 120 they still come along nicely and on dancing roads they are wonderful, relaxed company.

The supply of parts for these toppers from then is great

And there are plenty of specialists who know everything about it and can do everything with it. In the course of time there is, of course, a good chance that such a / 5 will not have remained entirely factory-original. For hard-core BMW drivers, factory originality is the highest good. So it is nice for people with a slightly more flexible mind to know that 'infringement' on originality is directly related to the price. Negotiations on that price can be raised to a 'next level' when checking the frame, container and block: “A pity. This engine is not unkind. But he is not "Nummergleich" ... "

The selling party may be embarrassed.
There may be a chance of success in the negotiations.

Also beautiful: And 'made in Japan'. From Tamiya

Give an answer

The email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. you can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

Now in store

View the 40-page preview via or a click on the cover.

The July issue, containing:

  • Back in AMK after 27 years: Fiat 124 Sport Spider
  • Chevrolet Apache 3200, authentic workhorse
  • Editorial transport: Cadillac Allante
  • Honda CRX 1.4 GL in detail
  • Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans, a dream engine
  • What did the playmates from Playboy?
  • Jawa 150 cc, originally delivered in the Netherlands
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XV
cover 7 2022 300

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also € 27 cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

Bantam F 322

Karrier Bantam F 322 - Grumbling about all that beauty 

Modern motorcyclists

Modern motorcyclists: good people