Wahoo! I just brought home my very first BMW. It’s a 1970 R75/5. I knew I wanted a classic and had been watching the used R75’s for while. I finally found one that runs like a champ and within my budget. The trade-off a handful of mismatched components. I am not a total purist, but I really think the front forks need to be brought back to original.
1) For performance reasons is it worth it bringing the forks back to the newer factory version?
2) Given the lack of used options available, does anyone know what years would bolt onto a 1970 frame? Currently there is a complete 1976 r75 front fork set available, but I am unsure if it’ll bolt-up.
I’d appreciate any help!
Interesting...looks like an Earles fork front end on the bike. Yes, I'd definitely change it to what works...you might have some handling or instablity issues with that current setup.
As for what bolts on, the '76 will be setup for a single disk brake whereas you're wheel is a drum brake. I think you're going to need to stick to the '70-'73 year bikes.
I think the Earles front ends are a personal thing...I wanted a bike with one, but for some reason, people really like the US forks on the /2s. So, I think it will be a mixed bag if someone wants it or not.
I've never done CL or even really looked for things on it. I might suggest the IBMWR marketplace at:
Free to list anything, just find the right category. You might check the Rallies and Events section on the website home page and see if there's any swap meets coming up in your vicinity. Maybe you can make a deal with someone there.
First /5 I've ever seen with an Earles front end. Agree with Kurt. Try to stick with /5 forks. Anything can be done with enough money and effort but /6 or later will bring a whole set of issues. The master cylinder will have to go on the bars unless your /5 tank is a late /5 tank in which case it MIGHT have the cut-out necessary to mount an under-tank master. If it has to go on the bars (and I'm assuming it will), you'll not only need the M/C itself but you'll need a whole bunch of other stuff like brake lines, new perches, new switchgear. Before you know it you've got more than $1,000 in parts alone just to make the conversion.
Your Earles set-up could be worth more than you think. There are two on IBMWR right now. One advertised as "Earles forks with shocks" at $600 and one "Complete Earles fork assembly" at $1,500. I don't see any /5 front ends on IBMWR right now but I'm guessing maybe around $300 - $350 when one shows up. You might be able to speed the process up by posting under "Parts Wanted" in the airhead section.
I think it's kinda cool, first one I've seen as well. It is sitting high and looks to be in the "sidercar" mode.
If it handles OK go with it! Is it an 18' front wheel?
I get the impression that that is a standard /5 19" wheel given the chrome covering on the side the drum brake. Not sure about the rest of the setup, like if the axle is the same, the stay on the brake backing plate that keeps it from rotating, etc. It would be interesting to know how that was done.
we need more photos!! please.