BMW /5 motorcycles

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BMW /5 motorcycles
Also calledR50/5, R60/5, and R75/5
AssemblyBerlin, Germany
Bore / stroke70.6 mm
Top speed110mph
BrakesFront/Rear Drum Brake
Tires3.25x19 front • 4.00x18 rear
Wheelbase1385 mm
DimensionsL: 2100 mm
W: 850 mm
H: 1040 mm
Weight462 lbs (wet)
Fuel capacity4.7 US gal
Black BMW R75/5
BMW R75/5

For the WWII-era motorcycle, see BMW R75

Red BMW R60/5
BMW R60/5 (with BMW R80GS behind)

The BMW R50/5, R60/5, and R75/5 form a range of boxer twin motorcycles manufactured in Berlin, Germany, by BMW for model years 1970-1973 and featuring electric starting and telescopic forks.


Closeup of BMW roundel badge on a part-painted and polished chrome fuel tank side panel
R75/5 tank roundel
Black BMW R75/5
BMW R75/5 with "toaster" side-panels

For the 1970 model year, BMW launched three new models having engine capacities of 500 cc (R50/5), 600 cc (R60/5), and 750 cc (R75/5). The R75/5 could reach 110 mph (177 km/h).[1][failed verification] Model year 1972 saw the introduction of the 15 L (3.3 imp gal; 4.0 US gal) rectangular tank with chrome side panels. For the second half of the 1973 model year, BMW lengthened the rear swingarm 2.5 inch (6.4 cm), resulting in the “long-wheelbase” (LWB) models. This enabled a larger battery, while retaining the kick starter.

The /5 series was the first series to be manufactured completely in Berlin,[citation needed] as by 1969 all of Munich's production capacity was needed for automobiles. "Berlin with its well-trained workforce was an obvious choice. So in 1969 the Berlin Plant started production of the all-new BMW /5 Series, a completely new design and construction following a modular principle all the way from the suspension to the flat-twin power unit.[2]

In 1970, 12,287 units were manufactured and by July 1973, when the /5 model series reached the end production, a significant volume of 68,956 motorcycles had left the Berlin Plant, production increasing five-fold within three years. During this period, BMW manufactured its 500,000th.[2]

In 1974, BMW introduced the “/6” models, which offered front disc brake, revised instrumentation, and a five-speed transmission. The single disc brake was a hybrid cable/hydraulic system, whereby a cable from the handlebar lever actuated the master cylinder underneath the fuel tank. The rectangular tank was dropped.

All /5 models featured both electric starter and kickstarter,[3] with kickstarters remaining available on some BMW motorcycles up to model year 1980.

Technical data[edit]

Top-down view of a black R75/5 showing that the cylinders which protrude out of each side of the bike are not directly opposite each other
Boxer engine showing offset cylinders

The /5 models are air-cooled, four-stroke, opposed-twin (boxer) engines with hemispherical combustion chambers. The engine is built around a one-piece tunnel crank-case. The camshaft is driven by a duplex chain and is located below the crankshaft (unlike the /2 series which had the gear-driven camshaft above the crank). This reversed arrangement improves ground clearance for the same center of gravity and assists lubrication of the camshaft. Valves are actuated by the camshaft through hardened followers, push rods, and rocker arms.

The 500 cc and 600 cc models are equipped with Bing slide-type carburetors with 26 mm throats. The R75/5 comes with 32 mm Bing CV (Constant Vacuum/constant depression) type carburetors.[4] As in all BMW motorcycles at the time, the clutch is a single-disk dry clutch.

Final drive is by shaft, running from the transmission by universal joint to an oil bath within the right rear swing arm and connecting to a bevel gear and ring gear on the other end. Unlike the /2 models (with the exception of the 1968-69 US models), the /5 models are equipped with telescopic front forks, 12-volt alternator and electrics, and standard tachometer and turn signals.

  R 50/5 R 60/5 R 75/5
Bore 67 mm (2.6 in) 73.5 mm (2.89 in) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Stroke 70.6 mm (2.78 in)
Displacement 498 cc (30.4 cu in) 599 cc (36.6 cu in) 749 cc (45.7 cu in)
Power 32 hp (24 kW) @ 6,800 rpm[citation needed] 40 hp (30 kW) @ 6,600 rpm[citation needed] 50 hp (37 kW) @ 6,400 rpm[citation needed]
Torque 29 ft⋅lbf (39 N⋅m) @ 5,000 rpm[citation needed] 36 ft⋅lbf (49 N⋅m) @ 5,000 rpm[citation needed] 43 ft⋅lbf (58 N⋅m) @ 5,000 rpm[citation needed]
Top Speed 87 mph (140 km/h)[citation needed] 99 mph (159 km/h)[citation needed] 110 mph (175 km/h)[citation needed]
Curb Weight 452 lb (205 kg)[citation needed] 463 lb (210 kg)[citation needed] 463 lb (210 kg)[citation needed]
Gross Weight Rating 881 lb (400 kg)
Alternator Bosch 12 V • 180 Watts
Spark Plugs Bosch W230T30 / Champion N7Y
Fuel Tank 4.7 US gal (18 l; 3.9 imp gal) or 6.3 US gal (24 l; 5.2 imp gal)
Tires 3.25x19 front • 4.00x18 rear
Rims 1.85x19 front • 1.85x18 rear
Dimensions Dimensions/Weights

Length x Width x Height


2100 (from 1973: 2150) x 850 x 1040 mm (82.67 (84.64) x 33.46 x 40.94 in)


Wheel Base


1385 mm / 54.52 in (from 1973: 1435 mm / 56.49 in)

Red BMW R75/5 motorcycle fitted with panniers, parked on grass by a lake with a city in the background
BMW R75/5 with pannier

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Forty Years of BMW Motorcycle Production in Berlin-Spandau". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-06-22.
  3. ^ Falloon, Ian (2003). Original BMW Air-Cooled Boxer Twins 1950-1996. MotorBooks International. ISBN 978-0-7603-1424-1.
  4. ^ Richard Backus (November–December 2009). "10 Days with a 1973 BMW R75/5". Motorcycle Classics. Archived from the original on 8 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-11.

External links[edit]