If you’re a fan of the BMW “Airheads” you’ll know EXACTLY what you’re looking at here.
It’s an increasingly rare, and pretty much original, Short Wheel Base R75/5. The bike was imported from the USA earlier this year, and as you can see, is now registered in the UK on an original “J” registration. It also comes with its original USA certificate of title and owner details from Rochester Minnesota.
No attempt had been made to start the bike until we acquired it this week, but given the overall condition, mileage, and originality, it was no surprise that when the oil was changed, the tank flushed and fresh fuel added, she burst instantly into life. No smoke, no knocks or rattles, and both oil and charge lights extinguish as they should. We also managed to give it a short run out, and clutch and gearbox are fine too.
With a little light re comissioning, attention to the headlight wiring (only affecting lights / indicators), a new headlight glass, and a fresh battery, the bike isn’t at all far off being able to be used. All of the key elements of these early /5 bikes are present and correct. The lovely combined speedo / revcounter is unmarked and working. The seat is the original model correct Denfield, complete with a solid base and even the original inspection decal. The wheel spokes are lovely, and of course those original alloy rims will polish up a treat. I suspect that the paintwork is original, and although there are some small dents, the tank seems very solid. It still carries its original 4 speed kick start gearbox, but of course has electric start too. The silencers are obviously period aftermarket items, and are quite useable. There are lots of other nice touches too, like the original tyre inflator, original alloy indicators, and that sprung / folding rear rack, the large touring tank, the “toaster” side panels, but most importantly, she’s that very early SWB model.
Now we’ve only started the bike from a jump pack, (after installing a used battery) but we’re firmly of the belief that the bike has an accurate odometer reading of approx 18k miles. She ticks over like a watch, is achingly original, and we whipped a rocker cover off to confirm that the engine was really clean inside.
So there you have it, yes, she’s a project, but genuinely a very, very easy one. There’s very little to spend here too, and ultimately, you’ll have a thoroughly enjoyable motorcycle and of course, a sound investment. She’s also MOT and road tax exempt.
Please feel free to ring if you’d like to discuss anything “Airhead”, and just shout if you’d like any specific pics of the bike.
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