Honda CB-1 vs. BMW R75/5

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by assquatch20, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Hoss Cat

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    [Michal Buffer] In the blue corner, sporting 4 inline cylinders, dual overhead gear-driven cams, 16 valves, 399 cubic centimeters of blowing room, redlining at 13.5k and weighing in at just over 400 pounds, the 1990 Honda CB-1! This little monster just found its ten-thousandth mile, sits on newish rubber, has a dent in the tank and low domestic parts availability!
    [​IMG]


    In the red corner, it IS your grandpa's ride, a 1973 BMW R75/5! [​IMG]
    To tell you about this German giant would be a disservice to its wide popularity among coffee-drinkers! What I can say is that it's open for an even trade, 56,000 miles, and needs carburetor adjustments. [/Michael Buffer]

    Anyway, they're very different bikes, but tell me which you'd pick and why. I'm being intentionally vague about what I want in a bike. Also, tell me what you can gather about Grandpa there, as I know near nothing about BMW's.
    #1
  2. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Hoss Cat

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    So maybe we should move this thread.
    #2
  3. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

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    Is this going to be your first bike? 2nd bike or just looking for something to invest in?
    #3
  4. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Hoss Cat

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    I've got the CB-1 right now. A friend is interested in it as his first rider due to low weight and seat height. He's got the /5 from a relative, but hasn't really done anything with it. He was considering an even trade.
    #4
  5. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Airheads are always coming up in value and while they are old, there are tons of parts available. They do need some tweaking, but never very often and if you need advice the airhead guys in Old's Cool are great.

    That said, if the bike hasn't had any major service in a long while you may have some money going out or some work to do. Even though they are old they can deal with most modern traffic.
    #5
  6. Scrivens

    Scrivens Been here awhile

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    Nice bike; I put over 250,000 miles on my '70 SWB /5 with only one major problem, a dropped valve seat which took out the left piston. When I sold it it still had the original clutch, and the 4 speed gearbox, splines and shafts etc were in excellent nick, albeit most of my mileage was touring, not urban stop/start stuff. If you are OK doing mechanical work (maintenance, electrical repairs etc) and just in case it does break down have a spare $2K in the bank and don't rely on the bike for daily transport, then it would be a decent swap. An early airhead is one of the great bike experiences, just remember the brakes and handling are far different from anything modern. It appears to be missing the centre stand and the battery and it would be worth finding out just what is wrong with the carbs as they can be expensive to repair if they are worn.
    #6
  7. scrannel

    scrannel Scrannel

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    In 1972 when I was a kid I picked up an R60/5 at the factory in Berlin. Drove it all through Europe; Greek-Island hopping; behind the then Iron Curtain; across Turkey; through most of the middle east (snow); Pakistan (monsoon); India (topped 130 degrees F); then Malaysia, Singapore and down to Australia (cold again). Never missed a beat. Oil change here and there. One rear tire. That's what those bikes were built for. Me and that relentless fucker at the Dead Sea:

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

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    So let's try this in OS. The CB-1 is definitely a modern classic in its own right and I don't see why it shouldn't fit right in here.
    #8
  9. east high

    east high Been here awhile

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    I like your style.
    #9
  10. killfile

    killfile 49/50

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    I would go for the /5 because we've had two CB-1s in our garage. One bone stock and one with the F2 front end on it and upgraded rear shock. They are temperamental beasts at this age, and with the tiny needles in those miniature carbs, there is a high risk of carb fouling if it sits for a week or two with this lovely ethanol crap they call gas these days.

    The /5 would high a higher chance of being more reliable, something that I wouldn't mind in my older bikes, so that would be my choice.
    #10
  11. east high

    east high Been here awhile

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    Looks like grandpa there has some aftermarket stuff on it. Pipes, indicators, faring and luggage (obviously). It's missing the battery, which has been mentioned. Pilon pegs have been relocated.

    If the bike fails to start with the starter, 99% of the time it's a bad battery. Early Bings have a reputation for being difficult to tune, but I'm happy with mine after a rebuild. Fighting a notchy throttle gear will turn your rides into a bummer jam if not replaced. BMWs are super easy to work on, too, if that's your thing. Put a fuse somewhere in the circuit if you don't have them already.
    #11
  12. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs

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    Don't do it.

    Because.
    #12
  13. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Hoss Cat

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    So I'm considering the trade or buying it outright when my friend gets back from basic. I've yet to look at it, and I'm low on Beemer knowledge, so what should I look out for when viewing it?
    #13
  14. lysergic9

    lysergic9 Adventurer

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    no matter what, get the /5. if you dont, in 10 years, 5 years, 1 year, 2 months, you WILL regret not having that bike.

    as far as what to look for, you need to get it running. if it runs, and shifts, who cares what else it needs. you can do pretty much the entire maintenance in a weekend with a chlymer and a buddy.

    do NOT let that bike get away from you. when that bike gets back to where its maintained, it will never let you down. not to mention its value just goes up and up. the /5's are getting rare, and the 750 is an extremely adequate engine, can maintain 100mph all day long.
    #14
  15. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs

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    bmw: Bring more wallets
    #15
  16. pfestus1

    pfestus1 Slasher

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    Hey Assq,
    now I'm biased to boxers, so take that into consideration. I was at Ricky's Rendezvoos on the green 1972 R75/5/Dnepr sidecar rig. That bike I bought as my second bike back in 1974, it had Windjammer fairing, Wixom saddlebags, and trunk and 2000miles. I rode it up into the early 80s then it got parked. 17 years later it was still rusting away in the corner of my garage and I pulled it out and started going thru it. Had it running with little effort. Back on the road, and shit started happening, speedo went south, tranny started leaking and bearings started squealing, oil seals started seeping. But a little time with a good wrencher and it was running strong, and oil tight. A few years later I put the sidecar on it. Going back to 1972, my Brother, EAP on ADV, had a new Honda CB500. I learned to ride on that bike. A friend of ours would ride his father's black BMW R60/5, the first Beemer I ever remember seeing. As a newbi to the world of motorcycles, I could discern a BIG difference between the 500cc Honda and the 600cc Beemer. The Beemer while slower than the Honda, was way cooler, made power right off idle. Putted around at slow speed without any drama, was way more comfortable as a passenger, didn't have a rattly oily chain drive, an obviouse quality of build that the Honda didn't have. But the Honda was faster. Needed a lot of rev's to get it going fast, but it was faster. It was a year or so after my introduction to the R60/5 that I decided to buy a bike, and I only looked for used BMWs. So I wouldn't hesitate to trade the Honda multi for the BMW twin. But you do what feels right to you.
    Oh, my first bike was a 1963 BMW R60/2 that I bought thinking it had only 18,000 miles, but later found out that it had 118,000 miles. Never regretted buying it, and loved it till the /5 caught my eye.
    My first:
    [​IMG]
    #16
  17. pfestus1

    pfestus1 Slasher

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    OH, Asquatch,
    That R75/5 you are considering has the way coolest of frame mount fairings, the Avon-Air. They are pretty cool even today. I think the R100RS fairing is an indirect descendant of it.
    #17
  18. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Hoss Cat

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    Hank, thanks for the input and giving me an ID on the fairing. It took me forever to tell you and Ed apart, but I think I finally worked it out. Hopefully I can get a look at the thing when my friend gets home from basic training. I have a feeling it'll come home with me and we can compare come next RDV. Great meeting you, by the way!
    #18
  19. beemerphile

    beemerphile Long timer

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    It has the original BMW anti-stop front brake.
    #19
  20. Packer

    Packer Been here awhile

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    That item should not be confused with a brake. That is a "gentle retardation device".

    Asquatch, get the Beemer, you'll spend far more time riding and far less time fettling. The massive suspension travel will take some brain adjustment. The bean cans are troublesome but if you use it as a regular rider fit replacement electronic ignition.
    #20