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Vertical Pilgrim 01-10-2013 06:34 PM

Just picked up a 1975 R75/6
I've lurked on ADV for several months, but I figured that finally getting another bike after not riding for the last few years was a good occasion to join the community. I've been in the market for a while. I wandered into the BMW dealer today, and there she was, waiting for me. It's my first BMW bike (although I'm very familiar with the cars) and my first classic bike. The price was right and the wife said "go for it," so who was I to argue? I'm looking forward to getting to know it better. Is there anything that a noob to Airheads ought to know out of the gate?

I'll post some better photos once it's daylight.

boxerboy81 01-10-2013 06:50 PM

Nice one. Congratulations.

All airhead gearboxs are clunkers, more so than most. It does take very deliberate technique and can be a real annoyance if the rider expects something more slick. The heavier fly wheel models (ie yours) benefit from using the correct method.

Upshifting is a preload the lever with foot before clutch lever in and snicking into gear. The downshift benefits greatly from the blip. Selecting neutral when coming to a stop is easier with the wheels still turning too. Foot action on the lever should be firm.

It'd be worth going for a ride specifically to practice the technique.

Good clutch adjustment is very important and a semi synth also seems to help improve the feel (at least it does on my later 11/1981 bike)

Plan well ahead for braking!

Have fun.

disston 01-10-2013 06:53 PM

Looks pretty basic. Runs good?

Carbureted machines and especially Airheads like the Choke when starting. I use full Choke to start a cold engine almost always, even when warm out, but you will not get her started at all this time of the year with out it. Once the engine has been ridden and if stopped for awhile, the engine now half warm, she will start with half Choke. I use a twist of the wrist, some throttle, when starting also. Then after started I use the throttle to hold idle at about 2K, I turn the Choke down some right away, the warmer out the more I can turn down Choke. I sometimes ride off with a little bit of Choke still on but usually have it completely off before I leave. This is pretty much my routine. We probably vary a bit between riders and between machines.

This dealer, did they tune the bike before selling? Or do any repairs? How many miles? You'll want to start learning all the basic repairs and maintenance right away but maybe they changed the oil?

Welcome to the Asylum.

crazydrummerdude 01-10-2013 07:46 PM

Nice bike! Have fun.

Why are there so many airheads down there; and none where I live?

Vertical Pilgrim 01-10-2013 08:15 PM

The BMW Motorcycle Owners of GA highly recommended Atlanta BMW for their service of classic machines. One of the main attractions to this one was the new metzlers, new battery, rebuilt carbs, and tune-up.

What's the best source of info for recommended maintenance schedule? Is there something like a Haynes manual that has all that?

disston 01-10-2013 08:32 PM

There is a Haynes Manual and a Clymers manual. Either one has regular scheduled maintenance and trouble shooting of major systems. Either manual or both and the Internet are usually all everybody needs for most stuff. Some operations are beyond most riders and the availability of a dealer or other Airhead friendly service can also be a big help. You also have a large and active local group in and around Atlanta.

Captdan 01-11-2013 01:44 AM

Welcome, owning an airhead is a very rewarding experience, and a sickness - be forwarded :) I've had a number of bikes in my years and in fact have a number now, my airheads are my most favorite ones for sure. WIth a little knowledge you can work on them almost to the point of total engine breakdown and repairs in your own garage. Also, with the help of this webpage you can gain valuable knowledge from the members. There could be a time in your future your sitting in your gagage saying wtf, why did I buy this thing... Hang in there. The old bikes are a bit finicky and require your time, but are well with it. The fact that you can work on it yourself also means you have to...... Others may dispute me here, but I've found that that first hint of bad running is probably carbs. Install a good set of inline filters, learn how to clean the Bings ( they are easy and I'd also buy thier book), locate a station that sells non ethonol gas...... Enjoy!

craydds 01-11-2013 07:26 AM


Originally Posted by disston (Post 20451914)
There is a Haynes Manual and a Clymers manual. Either one has regular scheduled maintenance and trouble shooting of major systems. Either manual or both and the Internet are usually all everybody needs for most stuff.

I hope you enjoy working on your own motorcycle as a hobby; often it is a must with these old machines. If you have a reputable shop in your area that loves Airheads as much as we all do, then they can be a good resource. But, if you're like me, I would not allow anyone within 200 miles to touch my bike; I do all my own work. As disston mentioned, the internet can be a good resource; always remember, "Everything you read on the internet is true.", said no one ever. Even though it can be tedious and painful to wade through his articles, I do like Snowbum's website - . The Airheads website has some good info - . Disston mentioned the Haynes and Clymer manuals, I have both, and I also like the Chitech manuals - I have all of them.

craydds 01-11-2013 07:55 AM


Originally Posted by disston (Post 20451914)
Either manual or both and the Internet are usually all everybody needs for most stuff.

Anton has a few articles, , and his shop may be in your area. You can find the Chitech manuals here ---

ozmoses 01-11-2013 08:03 AM


Originally Posted by crazydrummerdude (Post 20451583)
Nice bike! Have fun.

Why are there so many airheads down there; and none where I live?

I've wondered this myself.

apt13 01-11-2013 11:14 AM

lots of atlanta folks here, so hooking up with someone and wrenching away shouldn't be a problem.

airheadPete 01-11-2013 09:24 PM

Hey, congratulation! Airheads are great, (as well as addictive). I like my Clymers manual, something else that's useful, if you're pretty mechanical, is the illustrated parts book. If you can find one, they're $50ish, I think Capital Cycle lists them. Several hundred pages of part numbers and exploded airhead drawings. You said you're in the Atlanta area? Spend part of tomorrow on a trip to Blue Moon Cycles. You will LOVE it! You'll find it quite the place for old BMW's.
BTW, I think BMW stole our gearbox out of a 1930's tractor.

tete 01-12-2013 07:57 AM

Clymers manual is the single best thing to buy for the bike. It can save you a ton on money. Buy know it, make notes, use it as a personal diary for the bike and everything you do to it. Date the notes so u don't lose track.

JonnyCash 01-12-2013 08:06 AM

I havent been to Blue Moon Cycles since 1994, when I got my /5 and lived in Athens. I remember going in there to get some parts, and being just thunderstruck with all the stuff they had. Mostly BMWs, but some Guzzis, Ducatis and who knows what else. It was definitely an atmosphere that got me in the mood to dump a lot of money! It was always a fun road trip to go out there.

squatingdog 01-28-2013 03:24 PM

If its going to sit for very long put it on the center stand rather than sidestand ..if not it may smoke for awhile when first started .

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