Help with R75/5, Stored 20 years - BMW Luxury Touring Community
  • 1 Post By LarryR75
  • 2 Post By jzeiler
  • 1 Post By CWRoady
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 Old Jul 12th, 2018, 7:33 pm Thread Starter
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Central Saskatchewan Canada
Posts: 2
Help with R75/5, Stored 20 years

I am no kind of mechanic, but as a winter project I want to work on my 1972 R75/5 that has been off the road for about twenty years. It's always been indoors but has not been in climate controlled storage so has been exposed to -30 Canadian winters.
I know I'll have a lot of questions as I go along but at this point I am just wondering if anyone can summarize what kind of problems I should expect to encounter in this case, and what steps I should take to avoid doing damage the first time I fire it up?
If there is any major work, overhaul, etc. that needs doing I'd have a shop do it, but would like to do anything else myself that I am capable of.
One problem will be finding anyone reliable in my area to do any type of major work or overhaul on it. As I understand it, Beemer engines are assembled with pressure or vacuum sealed and I believe they need special tools, etc. in order to do a complete tear-down.
In any event, I don't expect this to be cheap.

This is a 'labor of love': it was my wife's bike, and she hadn't been able to ride for a long time but couldn't part with it either. As she has recently passed away, I was hoping to get it going in her memory if possible, by next year.
cws likes this.
LarryR75 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 Old Jul 13th, 2018, 8:14 am
Lifetime Supporter
Patric's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Birch Run , MI, USA
Posts: 1,422
Re: Help with R75/5, Stored 20 years

Hi, I would change all the fluids, rinse the fuel tank with some gas, clean the float bolls , put in a new battery , And see if it starts...If you get it going , put new tires on, then a few hundred miles on it and change all the fluids again.

Patric Blackman
2002 K1200LT/Hannigan2+2
2010 R1200GSA ...1987 Helix...
AMA Charter Lifemember
37 Year Member of both BMWMOA & BMWRA

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Patric is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old Jul 13th, 2018, 4:48 pm
Wrencher Extraordinaire
jzeiler's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hazel Green, AL, USA
Posts: 13,062
Re: Help with R75/5, Stored 20 years

Also take a very good look at the tires before you ride it at all, 20 years is a long time for rubber to hold up. That goes for all the rubber bits on the bike.

Sorry for your loss and I hope you get the bike going again in her honor.
Patric and cws like this.

2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
jzeiler is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old Sep 10th, 2018, 11:38 am
rumble's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 46
That’s only 1998. Not too bad. Old post so I assume you have already played with it. However my comments based on doing this sort of thing many times is :
-look in the gas tank, is there gas in it? Rust visible? Don’t turn on the pet cocks either way until you drain it out at least.
-battery? Assume if it’s still there it’s garbage. Get a new one. Put it in hook it upTEMPORARILLY and see what happens. If you see smoke YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO UNHOOK quick (mechanical voltage regulators can stick).
- new gas - see what happens. To ride it other than your driveway obviously tires, fuel lines replaced as needed. Reviewed for leaks and cracks. cables and controls lubed up. All Oils changed. Air cleaner looked at for critter nests. Ride a little bit and see what leaks and what runs like if possible. Reassess it and Plan from there. Most likely gas tank sealing and carb rebuild. But if you get engine leaks you will need to find some further forum advice.


Last edited by rumble; Sep 10th, 2018 at 12:18 pm.
rumble is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old Sep 10th, 2018, 1:34 pm
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: 93402
Posts: 152
Re: Help with R75/5, Stored 20 years

Never restored an R75/5 but past experience with BMWs would have me follow all the advice you've gotten so far plus, once you get it running, look for oil out the bottom of the "bell housing" between the engine and trans and pull the inspection plug to check the flywheel for oil. A leak from the engine output or trans input will ruin the clutch pretty quick. Also, check the wheel bearings/ seals; grease/ replace bearings and replace seals as needed. The Germans never had great rubber, sitting for 20 years it would be a miracle if something doesn't leak.

A second on the replace the tires (and tubes) theme, I might ride up and down my block at <20 MPH but I wouldn't ride any further on tires that old.

Added a bit later... Also, have a good look at the brake cables, shoes, levers etc. Make sure everything is working smoothly BEFORE you first ride. Going is optional, stopping is mandatory. A brake that doesn't work or locks "on" will really ruin your day.

Condolences on your wife, no personal experience but that must be tough. When my wife left she was upright and the feeling was great joy, totally different.

Livin' the good life in my little home by the sea.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Goose11; Sep 10th, 2018 at 2:10 pm.
Goose11 is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old Sep 15th, 2018, 10:32 pm
Senior Member
CWRoady's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Brea , CA, USA
Posts: 911
Re: Help with R75/5, Stored 20 years

Sorry for your loss friend.

Here is a checklist I took from one place or another ... probably Snowbum. I have used it on a couple of Slash 5’s and think it may be just what you are asking for:

New/Old Checklist

1) Change ALL oils.

2) Torque cylinder heads (25 foot pounds, loosen each nut 1/2 turn,
then torque, use crisscross pattern)., adjust rocker arm end play (zero
play, no rotational binding), adjust valve clearances (cold engine) to
.006" Intake, .008" Exhaust.

3) Service auto advance unit (don't snap the thread off the end of the
cam, tighten GENTLY!), grease point cam felt with a smear of grease.

4) Set points gap to 0.016" (0.40 mm) using a good feeler gauge, or
better yet a dwell meter, look for 39 degrees on the four cylinder
scale (gives you 78 degrees on a two cylinder).

5) Set ignition timing static setting to S mark on flywheel.

6) Check full advance timing at 3200 RPM, the dot (or hole if the paint
is gone) above the F mark should be steady in the center of the timing
hole, aligned with the machined groove in the side of the hole.

7) Service the air filter, i.e., put a new one. DO NOT blow out air
filter with compressed air, do not leave a K&N filter in at all.

8) Drop carb float bowls and clean the tiny jet in the little well in
the corner of the bowl using a single strand of wire from a wire brush,
held with needle nose pliers. Make sure contact cleaner will spray
through the jet into the bowl.

9) Remove the main jet and jet holder (make a mental note of the depth
of engagement of the jet holder), drop down the needle jet and emulsion
tube, (keep your finger over the hole so they don't fall out and get
lost.) Use some Gumout carb cleaner spray to clean the gunk that has
accumulated above the jet holder. Spray the jets and emulsion tune
clean, then reinstall the emulsion tube, needle jet and jet holder.
Visually align the jets onto the needle carefully. As you screw the jet
holder up in with your FINGERS, if it doesn't seat fully (remember the
mental note?) then back it up about 1/32 of a turn and wiggle it as you
screw it in gently (FINGERS ONLY!) You will feel when the emulsion tube
finds its way up into the carb body hole. If you can;t get it , remove
the air tube from the air cleaner housing and visually see that the
emulsion tube projects up into the venturi about 3-4 mm. You can wiggle
the needle to help align it as you screw it up in with your FINGERS.

10) Check the float level setting by lifting the float gently with your
fingers. When the needle seats, BEFORE the spring loaded part begins to
depress, the seam in the float should be parallel to the float bowl
gasket surface. Reinstall the bowl carefully, making sure the gasket is
fully seated in the groove all the way around.
Actual bowl fuel level check:
Turn the fuel off, remove one float bowl, empty its fuel into the tank (look for globules of water, if any, toss the fuel someplace, like your cleaning tank or can), replace the bowl, turn gas on, allow bowl to fill (10 to 15 seconds), turn gas off, *THEN remove bowl*quickly & squarely.** Measure the fuel depth from the*center bottom*to the fuel top.* I suggest using a thin, narrow, machinists steel rule.* Do your best to have the bowl sitting flat & level on its base, & estimate the best you can with #1 eyeball (yes, will still be meniscus errors), the exact height of the fuel from the bottom.**For the 32 mm carburetors, use 24 mm fuel height. For the 40 mm carburetors, use 28 mm fuel height. If your find your gas level quite high, and you DID set the float adjustment properly for fuel flow/stop, float top parallel with the body, then the one-piece white float unit may be bad.**

11) Check that the throttle cable has a tiny amount (1-2mm) free play
when the throttle grip is all the way back. Get the two sides as close
to the same free play as possible.

12) Check that the choke cable fully seats the lever on the post when
the lever is in the horizontal position. At half choke, the lever on
the carb should be halfway between the posts. At FULL choke position of
the hand lever, the choke lever should be all the way up to the top

13) LIGHTLY screw the idle mixture screw IN until you feel the screw
seat. Now back the screw OUT by (3/4 to) 1.5 turns (this setting varies for
other models).

14) Turn the idle SPEED screw OUT until it does not contact the
butterfly lever at all. Now screw the screw IN until it JUST touches
the lever, now turn it IN one FULL turn.

These are the baseline settings. Now take the bike for a LONG test
ride, at least five miles, to get it to FULL operating temperature.
Riding around the block or starting and revving on the stand will NOT

At this point you need to synchronize the carburetors. This is
accomplished either by shorting one cylinder at a time (this takes some
practice to get right, usually you need somebody to show you once) or
using a vacuum gauge on the vacuum takeoff ports on the side of the
carb. Set the idle mixture on each carb at the point that gives best
running, usually between 1/2- 1-1/4 turn out. Balance the idle speed
screws, then balance the cable pull off idle. Recheck to be sure that
you still have a tiny bit of free play of the cables. If not, readjust
the cables. When doing the*final*adjustment of your carburetors during synchronization,*adjust the cable lengths at ~300-500 rpm above idle rpm.*This is the more critical point, where the butterflies are just barely off the idle stops.*

This should get the bike running pretty well. Idle speed should be
at 1000-1100 RPM. DO NOT set the idle for a super low "tickover", as
this will severely reduce oil circulation in the engine and make the
transmission rattle like a bag of rocks.

Best of luck on your labor of love.
zippy_gg likes this.


Ain't nothin like a friend who can tell you you're just pissin in the wind - Neil Young
2015 BMW R1200RT
1973 BMW R75/5
Yard Art - 1968 Sachs 90 / 1968 Hodaka Ace 90
SCBMWRC / MOA / Airhead Beemer Club

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
CWRoady is online now  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the BMW Luxury Touring Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2005 R1200RT Sitting For 2 Years Cadubya RT Series 14 Oct 19th, 2015 11:24 am
any problems with bikes stored for years? gbisshop K1200LT 9 May 24th, 2010 9:20 am
An Oil Man's View robasay Chit Chat 38 Jun 25th, 2009 7:28 am
Married 25 Years Sunderland Humor 4 May 17th, 2008 11:24 pm
Mile high terrorist couple to get 20 years in the slammer? RonKMiller Humor 0 Nov 16th, 2006 12:21 pm

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome