BMW launched the R75/5 in 1970. Touting an air-cooled 749cc boxer engine, the model produced 50 horsepower, 43 lb-ft of torque, and achieved a top speed of 110 mph. Just two years later, in 1972, the Bavarians introduced the famous “toaster tank”, a rectangular fuel cell with chrome panels on both sides.
While the R75/5 remains a legendary road-going model, some Beemer lovers prefer off-road riding. However, BMW’s acclaimed GS line wouldn’t hit the scene until 1980. Of course, both platforms achieved outstanding results in their respective arenas, but the owner of this 1972 R75/5 wanted the best of both worlds. As a result, this toaster tank earned a full makeover, with the owner drawing from the House of Munich’s rich International Six Days Trials (ISDT) history.
Gallery: 1972 BMW R75/5
To equip the R75/5 for the trail, dual piggyback shocks raise the rear, a solo saddle replaces the two-up bench seat, and dual-sport tires wrap the Buchanan-built wire-spoke wheels. Mikuni carburetors open up the opposed twin’s airways while the high-mounted megaphone exhaust system avoids off-road debris and rocks. The custom, 2-into-2 pipes also sport a perforated heat shield, aligning with scramblers of the period while providing protection for the rider.
Those opposed to rust, fret not, the owner also repainted the tins and powder coated the frame. Despite the R75/5’s new off-road chops, the original fenders and drum brakes remain. Though the boxer is technically considered a restoration, the bike comes with the original blue California license plate still intact.
Up for auction at Mecum’s Monterey 2021 event (California) on August 12-14, 2021, the 1972 BMW R75/5 is valued at $20,000-$25,000. Yes, the R75/5 is known for its pavement prowess, but it’s found a second life in the dirt.