FORUM

Better bike a 1975 ...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Better bike a 1975 R75/6 or 1977 R75/7?

17 Posts
5 Users
0 Reactions
15.1 K Views
Rachel Lotsberg
(@rachel)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Hi Everyone,

I am newly addicted to airheads and have the opportunity to get either at 75 or 77 R75. I have enjoyed reading through the website and have seen some discussions but not the comparison I am making so hopefully I didn't miss a previous thread.

Runner ups for my love life are both single original owned, both well maintained, and only one can come home with me πŸ™‚

From my reading the 77 is the wiser model choice and with limited produced may hold value better, but the 75 is more visually appealing to me, I really like the look of the spoke wheels.

1977 R75/7 with 100,000km - $4500

vs

1975 R75/6 with 38,000 km - $4750

I would appreciate any thoughts or comments. Cheers!
Rachel

 
Posted : 11/17/2017 13:11
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2545
Member
 

Just some random thoughts....
β€’ There were incremental, but noteworthy updates between /6 and /7. Later is gooder.
β€’ The /7 has the equivalent of 63,000 miles, which is something, but not much on a BMW. These engines go 200,000 miles and more with regular maintenance. The /6 has only 23,000 miles, which may seem attractive at first, but that also means the bike did a LOT of sitting, and sitting isn't always a good thing.
β€’ The /6 is missing front flashers and front fender... both necessary items.
β€’ The missing parts are ALL on the front end, which makes me suspect the front end is a replacement. IF that is true, the replacement assembly may have included the speedometer... which means the mileage is a lie.
β€’ The /7 has aftermarket mag wheels which are worth about $400. These will allow you to run tubeless tires, which is about the only tire you can buy now. You will appreciate the low maintenance of alloy wheels and not having to buy and replace inner tubes. In case of a on-the-road flat, you can also plug tubeless tires for an on-the-bike repair rather than wrestle with removing the tire to replace a tube.
β€’ You'll also need the front flashers in case you ever want to mount an R90S fairing. That fairing uses the flasher "stems" as the lower mount. And at some future point, you probably will want a fairing !!

Also...
β–Ί Make sure the tool tray and tool kit are included in the sale... along with any repair manuals.
β–Ί Make sure both bikes will start with the electric starter from cold.
β–Ί Make sure both bikes will idle smoothly after a 5 mile warm-up.
β–Ί Collect and scrutinize any repair shop tickets. Look for major repairs, not just tune-ups and tire changes.

Finally...
Contact your Air Marshal about the next tech session in your area. Bikes of this age are going to need a good "going over" from tip to tail. These bikes look good, but there's simply a lot of age on them. If you don't get a large pile of shop tickets telling you what has been previously done, then someone has to peer into a dozen places to make sure the bike is going to be reliable enough to ride far from home.

Hope this helps.

Owning an old Airhead is easy.
Keeping an old Airhead running great is the true test.

 
Posted : 11/17/2017 20:23
Rachel Lotsberg
(@rachel)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Hi Wobbly,

Thank you very much! All very good points. Sometimes critical thinking is clouded by rose colored glasses.

 
Posted : 11/18/2017 00:10
James Strickland
(@8053)
Posts: 421
Reputable Member
 

I agree completely with Wobbly on this one. The mileage is not much of a concern on Airheads until you get to the 50K
to 70K mile range.

My observations are as follows.

1) The /7 has the $2000 O-ring for the oil filter chamber, the /6 is bulletproof.
2) The /7 looks to be somewhat less monkeyed with.
3) Either bike will eventually need valve work to accommodate un-leaded gasoline if that has not already been done. Receipts are important in making that determination.
4) I can't think of a single good reason for the front fender removed from the /6.
5)The turn signal stems and pods remove suggest that the bike may have had a Vetter or Luftmiester fairing at one time. Look for paint damage on the frame down tubes where a bracket may have once been attached. A related question would be "where is the wiring for the turn signals?"

I would second the idea of contacting your state's Airmarshal to learn about Tech Days, or maybe to get in touch with a knowledgeable member nearby who might help you with making assessments on either bike.

former Airmarshal, IL.

 
Posted : 11/18/2017 11:14
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2545
Member
 

β€’ I concur with 8053's answer. Especially the part where he concurred with me. πŸ˜‰

β€’ Your location must be Canada since you are talking dollars and kilometers. I thought the prices were high, but when converted from Canadian dollars the prices are about right. If you could place a general location in your profile, that would really help us help you.

β€’ The main thing to concern yourself with on a bike purchased north of the Mason-Dixon line is storage. 90% of the problems caused by storage are from the new ethanol-laden fuels. If the fuel is not completely removed from the tank AND carbs during winter storage, then the ethanol attracts water and bad things happen. This is why you should insist on hearing the warmed engine idle. Bad things happen first to the smaller jets, and the idle jet is the smallest. Therefore, if the bike will idle good, then the carbs have most probably been cleaned thereby saving you hundreds of dollars.

β€’ That /7 brown is a handsome color, but really lacks "pop" when used on a bike. A repaint with striping can easily cost more than the bike. So it's pretty much going to be your color for the next several years. The point of all this is that you're going to receive a steady stream of very good natured ribbing about that color. You know, people asking you if you work for UPS and such. "What can Brown do for you", "Is my package here?", and so on. So if you buy the /7 (and I think you should) you're going to want to start today to arm yourself with an array of your own fancy come-backs and retorts so that you can give as good as you get. As your friend I'm simply telling you this. πŸ˜›

All the best

Owning an old Airhead is easy.
Keeping an old Airhead running great is the true test.

 
Posted : 11/18/2017 19:01
Rachel Lotsberg
(@rachel)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Hi,

I will look at how to include a location, but yes I am in Alberta, Canada. I am officially a 77 airhead owner now! I will ask about the fuel and whether any work was done or if I need to remove. I will try to find a close resource, but looks like I have some reading to do. Travelling south of the border to learn more about working on my bike sounds like a great vacation! Yes, I would have loved it in a blue rather than brown, I have thought of getting it redone in black, but hate to change anything from stock. I'll get to know the bike first and focus on the mechanical and as you suggest arm myself with some "cheeky brown" comebacks.

Thanks!
Rachel

 
Posted : 11/19/2017 22:41
Rachel Lotsberg
(@rachel)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Hi,

Thank you for your comments. I will go through all the invoices I have. The original owner was having second thoughts about selling so I got the 77 while he was still willing to sell. I will see who may be closest for Tech days, sounds like a great vacation! Who knows, maybe a 6 is in my future, but I was able to get a clearer history from the owner of the 77 so way more confident.

Cheers!
Rachel

 
Posted : 11/19/2017 22:52
James Strickland
(@8053)
Posts: 421
Reputable Member
 

Congratulations! That color was /is called Havana Gold. Think of a Cuban cigar with a gold band on it. If you are at all concerned about value as a collector bike, leave the paint as is. They are only original once, and original paint is highly regarded to the collector types.

former Airmarshal, IL.

 
Posted : 11/20/2017 08:32
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2545
Member
 

Congratulations! That color was /is called Havana Gold. Think of a Cuban cigar with a gold band on it. If you are at all concerned about value as a collector bike, leave the paint as is. They are only original once, and original paint is highly regarded to the collector types.

^^This^^

β–Ί One time I bought a bike the color of which was insanely beautiful and I couldn't live without, or so I thought. After seeing it everyday for 3 months I was sick of it !! So these days I greatly prefer bikes with color schemes that I grow to love over time. The brown really is handsome and is one of those that will you'll appreciate in years ahead. I guarantee you, it will be a singular color in any size BMW grouping, and at 200+ bike rallies it will help your friends find you.

β–Ί You only want to run high octane fuels, hopefully 93 (R+M/2) and above, and hopefully from one of the top tier fuel suppliers (See http://www.toptiergas.com/ ).

β–Ί To avoid any problems caused by ethanol, simply drain the tank and carbs if storage is going to be longer than 8-10 weeks. This is accomplished by simply snapping the float bowls off the carbs, placing a pan beneath the carbs, and turning both petcocks to Reserve. (You can pour that fuel into your car, then fetch fresh fuel in the future.) Leave the bowls off, and the fuel cap propped open during the storage period so that everything can dry out.

β–Ί One necessary job you can plan for this winter is to replace the brake fluid. Exposed to the elements as the brakes are on a motorcycle, the DOT3 and DOT4 fluids are only good for about 2 years. The issue with the /7 is that the fluid reservoir is out of sight and out of mind due to being under the fuel tank. Therefore, most owners don't think about front brake service until they can't stop !! You may want to do better than that. πŸ˜†

Congrats, and all the best !

Owning an old Airhead is easy.
Keeping an old Airhead running great is the true test.

 
Posted : 11/20/2017 22:49
Wayne Thompson
(@11734)
Posts: 6
Active Member
 

+1 on the brake fluid. For brake fluid and oil, I would just change them and have a known starting point.

As the owner of a 77 as well, they are surprisingly competent machines that should bring years of riding pleasure. Enjoy.

1958 R60, 1973 R75/5, 1977 R75/7, 1983 R80RT

 
Posted : 11/21/2017 21:19
Rachel Lotsberg
(@rachel)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Hi,

I think the color is already growing on me, I appreciate it more daily. Now I am excited for summer to arrive. I will start reading about the general maintenance items as well, thank you for the advice, please add any other tips and tricks. I have experience with the vintage Japanese models but this is my first BMW model so I have lots to learn.

 
Posted : 11/24/2017 15:08
Rachel Lotsberg
(@rachel)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Awesome! Thanks!

 
Posted : 11/24/2017 15:09
Richard W
(@wobbly)
Posts: 2545
Member
 

...thank you for the advice, please add any other tips and tricks.

Rachel -
We need to stop meeting like this. I think people are getting suspicious ! πŸ˜›

β–Ί Realize that Airhead valves tend to tighten over time. So along with your regular oil changes (and at about the same time) you should plan on running a feeler gauge through the valves just to check. After a season or 2 you'll have a better picture of when your bike really requires this attention. But the point is, you don't want them "going tight" on you early in the riding season because the symptoms are hard to diagnose, so you need to stay ahead of this maintenance item.

β–Ί You need to be aware of the "$2000 o-ring" in the oil filter. On /7 bikes, if the oil filter is changed, the o-rings and rubber seals need to be re-installed in a VERY specific order. Otherwise the oil by-passes the engine bearings, resulting in expensive trouble. Luckily 1) you do not need to change the filter with every oil change, and 2) it's not difficult, just very specific. Get a head start here: http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/oil.htm

β–Ί Got any of those retorts queued up and ready for us ? I think you could simply point at the "roundel" (the BMW emblem on the tank) and say, "This stands for Brown Motivates Women" or "Brown Means Wonderful" or if they're really annoying.... "Backoff Misogynist Wanker !".

Hope this helps.

Owning an old Airhead is easy.
Keeping an old Airhead running great is the true test.

 
Posted : 11/24/2017 16:40
James Strickland
(@8053)
Posts: 421
Reputable Member
 

"...Hi,

I think the color is already growing on me, I appreciate it more daily. Now I am excited for summer to arrive. I will start reading about the general maintenance items as well, thank you for the advice, please add any other tips and tricks. I have experience with the vintage Japanese models but this is my first BMW model so I have lots to learn...."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rachel...Please be sure to study and understand the oil filter O-ring..( the so-called $2000 O-ring) before attempting to change the oil filter. It is the Achilles Heel of /7 and later airheads.

According to the Dec. 2017 issue of Airmail, on page 23, the Airmarshal for AB "Alberta?", is Alistair MacLean of Lethbridge. alandale@telusplanet.net . I would again encourage you to contact him to find out if there are any members near you who can give guidance. I think you have a very desirable model there. The 750 is what the type 247 motor was originally designed to be. It produces plenty of power without over-taxing the design parameters. When well sorted, a 750 is the perfect motorcycle....my opinion, of course.

former Airmarshal, IL.

 
Posted : 11/24/2017 23:21
Rachel Lotsberg
(@rachel)
Posts: 8
Active Member
Topic starter
 

Hi James,

Thanks, that is only 5 hours away so I will try to connect with Alistair this summer. I have started reading and again thanks, prevention much easier/ cheaper than rushing forward πŸ™‚

 
Posted : 11/26/2017 22:35
Page 1 / 2

Advertisement

Scroll to top