MKL’s 1973 R75/5 LWB Toaster
A Work In Progress – The R75/5 on 8-7-03
Update from 8-6-03 . I took the rear wheel in to AMOL Motorcycles in Dumont, NJ (one of the oldest BMW dealers in the country) so the drive coupling splines and brakes could be inspected. I’m very happy to report that the mechanics were completely convinced that the bike indeed likely has extremely low mileage (they agreed with the
9,800 on the odo) given the superb condition of the splines. Likewise, the brake area is clean and original, and everything is well lubed. Great!
Now for the bad news. The spokes are rusty, and the wheel looks out-of-round. The mechs recommended an all-new wheel, to be re-spoked with stainless. I found out I have an oversize tire on the wheel also, which explains the trouble I had pulling the damn thing out.
I have a Weinmann wheel which is in admittedly rough shape (someone had taken a ball-peen hammer to it in one spot,) and will explore my options (fixing this wheel, buying a used one, or buying a new one).
8-7-03: Removal of Final Drive, Front Wheel, Left Fork, and Wiring Harness . I had planned to remove the whole swingarm, but did not have the required 27mm socket. So, I settled for the final drive, which came off easy as pie. The splines look great! See pics below:
The Virginal Final Drive Splines 8-7-03
The front wheel was removed without a hitch. Everything inside looked nice and clean. Next came the forks, which were a much bigger problem. The Clymer was extremely vague on this procedure, but it was fairly obvious what to do, so I got to work on the left fork.
It was easy enough to remove, albeit with some elbow grease and a few taps with the rubber mallet required. The fork oil inside the right tube was a mucky light brown – clearly very old. When I moved on to the right fork, I discovered that the top bolt which holds the whole fork in place was stuck, and spinning it would merely turn the whole fork assembly.
No matter how tight I held the fork while trying to spin the bolt, I couldn’t break it loose. I didn’t want to use anything abrasive to hold the smooth fork leg while trying to break the bolt loose, so I tried wooden clamps and a whole assortment of other tricks, to no avail. I will seek some professional advice from my local indy about this tonight. The end result was the left fork off and ready for rebuild, and the right one is still stuck there as shown above.
All of the rubber seals were in pretty sad condition in any place they were exposed to the outside elements, but still nice and lubed inside. No seals were broken. They will all be replaced anyway.
Frustrated and running out of time for the night, I settled for finally removing the whole wiring harness, intact. I made whatever notes and marking I could, and dragged the whole sorry mess into the corner of the garage, where it now resides sprawled out like the entrails of some slain beast.
The Wiring Harness, Intact and Labeled 8-7-03
Other minor things . Yesterday, I sent my speedo / tach cluster out to Overseas Speedometer for a rebuild, which is likely to run $175 and take 4 weeks or so. I polished the handlebar risers with a wire wheel, and they look great now. I had the machine shop next door fabricate some new stainless steel brackets for the battery tray (the old ones were disintegrated,) and got some more miscellaneous stainless steel hardware for the rebuild.
I also came home to discover that my BMW-MOA membership is now active (I joined the day I bought the R75/5,) and I can’t wait to start reading that Member magazine which has been so highly recommended to me.
I also played with the various engine covers, and I removed the starter cover to reveal a very dirty Bosch starter mechanism. I will clean that up, remove the air cleaner cover, and see how much clearance I have then to remove the motor from the frame. I also need to figure out the best way to restore the aluminum of the engine.
I have access to chemicals and a bead blaster, and am busy researching what is best (so many opinions!). Tonight, if I have time, I will attack the right fork leg and the swingarm assembly.
Final Note . I am really having second thoughts on the cafe idea now. The more I think about it, the less radical my idea becomes. I may settle for a simple S-Fairing and gunfighter-style seat, and leave the rest stock (except for the barrage of reflectors which I will remove). I may even abandon my idea of a monchrome paint treatment between the frame and the sheetmetal, and keep the frame black.
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