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Old 12-23-2009, 05:46 PM   #1
Smithy OP
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Thoughts on an airhead?

I'm looking at a 1974 R75/6 for sale nearby, and want to ping the brain-trust here for anything I ought to be aware of before I dive in.

Here's the CL link: http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...517892137.html

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:02 PM   #2
Anorak
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The disk brake on those won't achieve a panic stop, more like a startled stop. The alternator rotor is the weakest part of the charging system followed by the diode board. There are aftermarket replacements that are supposed to be better. The thread finned collars that hold the header tubes on need to be removed and the threads cleaned and recoated with anti-seize annually to prevent seizure and extreme measures to remove. I think switchgear is very hard to find but if it works then it's not a problem. If it's in the shape that the ad claims it sounds like a nice bike. The heavy flywheel means that shifting needs do be done at a relaxed pace deliberately. It is a bike that works best and can be reasonably fast if ridden smoothly. That's part of the appeal of those BMWs. I think $2600 is high but then again I'm not looking for one.
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Old 12-23-2009, 06:02 PM   #3
walkingbear
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very pretty

She looks good, very pretty.

I would talk to the mechanic who worked
on the bike before buying.
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:36 PM   #4
crazydrummerdude
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Nothing wrong with a '74.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:27 PM   #5
Wirespokes
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Looks like a nice one! How many miles? Looks like the tank was repainted. No pin stripes. The front disc can actually work very well for a solo rider and pull you down in a panic stop nicely. Good pads, fresh fluid and everything working properly is a must. Quite often the single piston in the caliper gets grungy and a little corroded and won't perform up to par.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:26 PM   #6
wirewrkr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anorak
The disk brake on those won't achieve a panic stop, more like a startled stop. The alternator rotor is the weakest part of the charging system followed by the diode board. There are aftermarket replacements that are supposed to be better. The thread finned collars that hold the header tubes on need to be removed and the threads cleaned and recoated with anti-seize annually to prevent seizure and extreme measures to remove. I think switchgear is very hard to find but if it works then it's not a problem. If it's in the shape that the ad claims it sounds like a nice bike. The heavy flywheel means that shifting needs do be done at a relaxed pace deliberately. It is a bike that works best and can be reasonably fast if ridden smoothly. That's part of the appeal of those BMWs. I think $2600 is high but then again I'm not looking for one.
POOOH!
That is a decent price for a good running BMW 750 bike, If it starts easily, shifts smoothly, AND doesn't "need" anything, go for it.

The only bummer about the 74 models is the sure to fail transmissions.
In 1975, they fixed the whoops.
If it has not had trans work, plan on some and offer much less.
TRUST ME.
I suggest you take it to a reputable shop for an inspection and spend the money.
Check with Anton in your area, I know he's honest and will be fair with his assesment.
Robert

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Old 12-23-2009, 11:54 PM   #7
Boon Booni
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If it's a '74 they've swapped out the front rotor because the '74 rotor was not drilled.

First thing I'd do is pull the throw out bearing, inspect it and lube it if it looks good.

Those bike also need an annual lubing of the transmission input splines to stave off the possibility of stripping them out.

Rotor is a weak link in the charging system, though it took nearly 9 years for mine to bite the bullet.

Front brake is weak, and I'd suggest upgrading to a stainless line to get better feel. It'll always be weak though, unless you upgrade to a second rotor, or upgrade the whole front end to a 80's model year.

No real gotcha's, but there's definitely some maintenance that these bikes need on a regular basis. It's not going to be like owning the Night Hawk or the k75 that you had.

2600$ is probably in the ball park. Got an R90/6 many years ago for 2800 that needed immediate trans work.
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Old 12-24-2009, 06:29 AM   #8
jtwind
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The 74 was on oak's do not buy list. Frankly by now most issues are likely to have been sorted. The weakest link though was the transmission, I think it's why you see lots of used 74 transmissions out there. Folks have put a later one in their bikes.

Charging system gets a underserved Maintain it and it's do just fine. If you have to run aux. lights, heated vest etc. all at the same time, sure replace it. Otherwise just get to know it. BMW rotors do fail, often without warning. Rick Jones has a new rotor that I believe has yet to fail. I carry one as a spare. Stock BMw is stll fine after 65,000.

As with any bike, check it out and follow your gut.
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:32 AM   #9
bmwloco
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750cc and 800cc Airheads are among the smoothest and quietest "modern" BMWs out there.

My first BMW was a 1977 R75/7. I put 80,000 miles on it, nearly all trouble free.

If you get it, go through it, get to know it, tend to anything that is half assed or not quite right, then enjoy it for a decade or two.

Happy trails.
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Old 12-24-2009, 03:38 PM   #10
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All good input. Thank you. Just waiting for State Farm to call and ask where to send the check, as I'm pretty sure the K will total out after my get-off. Rims and fairing alone will get you pretty close, I think.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:29 PM   #11
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Would you be seeing it in person? I ask because of your location. From what I can tell, it looks like the paint is a bit on the matte side. Too bad he didn't have better photos. I would insist on better ones to get the ball rolling, that's no small matter. Unless you like matte and it isn't shiney.

He also doesn't mention mileage, which is a bit odd, it's normal to do so. The tone of his ad would put me off a bit, sounds a little abrupt.
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Old 12-24-2009, 04:52 PM   #12
storymitchell
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I'm a member of the Washington DC Area Vintage Motorcycle Riders (http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/DC_BMW/), which is a BMW-centric club.

As an aside, we don't have BMW in the club name because the clowns at BMWNA sicced their law firm on us - our assumption is that because the owners of vintage bikes are unlikely to buy a new bike, BMWNA is happy to jerk us around.

One of our members is Richie Grinspun. Richie is a mechanic at a local shop, and does side work out of his garage. I suspect you could buy an hour of his time to look at the bike. PM me if you want his contact info.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:09 PM   #13
Smithy OP
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Outstanding offer. I will definately keep this in mind unless something else pops up.
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Old 12-24-2009, 05:30 PM   #14
the velvet hammer
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Beautiful bike! As mentioned in previous posts, the front disk is drilled (not a '74), all the paint looks new (newer) as the tank, fenders, etc, do not have pin stripes, shocks aren't original. All these parts might be new simply out of not holding up for 35 years, just inquire. If it checks out mechanically, BUY! Not a bad Christmas present I'd say. The 750 slash 6 is one of my favorites.
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Old 12-25-2009, 02:01 AM   #15
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The 74's had the aluminum turn signals (at least my 2 74's do). Also the 74's had the longer front fender with the rear brace. Does the tranny have a kickstarter? The 74's did. (my feeble eyes can't make one out). It must be and end of 74 production run bike if it's not a 75. 75's have the newer handlebar controls, larger diameter front axle, no kickstarter and better tranny, etc. among other things. The shocks as mentioned may be newer but do not have the aluminum 3 ribbed shock covers.
I would want to know some history on the bike. Is he the original owner? How many owners? What's the mileage? Although higher mileage on the bike may not be an issue if properly maintained it can give some indication of rear drive wear, clutch wear, spline wear, etc. How often and when were the splines last lubed? Based on the seller statements that all fluids have recently been changed and lots of other routine maintenance items have been done/replaced/renewed (except perhaps the splines) and the fact that it appears to perhaps have been repainted I personally would be very interested in having some of the above questions answered to my satisfaction. Having all of these services performed "recently" leads me to wonder if they were performed on a regular basis previously. Or if perhaps it sat around for some time. The asking price is not out of line for a /6 in nice mechanical condition, especially with original paint/pinstriping, but I personally would really have to feel comfortable with the answers to these and other questions prior to making an offer of even $2000. Great bikes though.
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