Ah, Facebook Marketplace. If you’re interested at all in buying, selling, or even looking at used motorcycles in the early 2020s, chances are excellent that you’ve already pondered at least a bike or two there. Depending on how things went, you may already have bought or sold a bike using that platform—and you may also already have had time to ask yourself if you made the best possible decision about said bike.
In this video, Isaac, who’s one half of the duo who make up the Cars and Cameras YouTube channel, is doing a more low-key project for his own amusement, in his garage. If you’re familiar with Cars and Cameras videos, they’re typically much more expansive than a simple workshop video like this—but that’s not what this is about. Here, Ike decided to delve into the horrors that await when you score a 1973 BMW R 75 /5 off of Marketplace for $2,300—and you know it isn’t running, but of course that’s a problem you want to solve.
To be completely fair, it’s not at all difficult to see why this bike was appealing. Sure, it’s 50 years old, but it’s a good-looking bike (on the outside, at least). As he understood it from the previous owner, the thing hadn’t run in at least eight years, before it was parked. It has both a kick and an electric start, and the engine did kick over nicely when it came into his possession—so at least he was pretty sure that it hadn’t seized.
A quick examination revealed a fuel tank liner disintegration horror show that absolutely needed attention, so Ike set up a tumbler system that ended up spinning a little faster than he would have liked to agitate all the loose nastiness enough that it could wash out. Once it was spinning away, he started to dig into the Mikuni carburetors, which he was pretty sure were seriously gunked up and in need of a serious cleaning. (Somewhere along the way, he also tried to revive the battery that came with the bike, but in the end, he wound up replacing it with a new unit anyway.)
Sure enough, the carbs were pretty nasty—but it was nothing that a thorough cleaning and reassembly couldn’t help. Although the entire process took a little more than just a single day, did you think this bike would end up starting by the end of the video?
While it’s clear that the R75 /5 has some additional issues that will need addressing before it’s fully road-worthy, including the fact that it’s misfiring on one cylinder, we do get to hear it fire up and run by the end. It took time and patience, but the satisfaction of reviving a classic that hasn’t run in almost a decade clearly can’t be beat—even if you’re experiencing it vicariously through someone else’s video.