R75/5 Buying Questions

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Sutherngintelmen, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Sutherngintelmen

    Sutherngintelmen around the bend

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    Hey,

    I'm new to airheads. Have had my eye on 75/5's for a couple of years and gearing up to buy one. It'll be a rider as I'm some ways out from my own Barber. :lol3

    Been trying to find a check list of pre purchase items with no luck - wondering what resources you gents might point me at.

    What should I ask the seller? Things I should look at when face to face with the bike?

    Stuff like - carbs, valves (isn't there something about pre-unleaded petrol?) tank work, hell - even knowing it's not a Frankenstein!

    Any good books out there?

    Many thanks.
    #1
  2. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    Searching here will get you a number of threads on this question. If you aren't familier with airheads I'd suggest taking someone along who was. In general buying a airheads isn't any different from any other bike. How does it start cold, how does it run, how does it look, how much is it etc. Certainly not rocket science. If you buy a airhead and don't figure on spending some time and money making it right you are often in for a surprise. So for me price is the most important thing because I am often buying a platform to work on.

    There is a BMW motorcycle buyers guide out there by motorbooks international. Not definitive but has some good info.
    #2
  3. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    #3
  4. durtwurm

    durtwurm Talented Amateur

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    Ask for maintenance records, and if the seller cannot produce them, walk. That is my advice. Documented work is imperative. Unless it is very cheap don't buy it. I know as I've been there.
    #4
  5. MaraBiker

    MaraBiker Vozi Miško!

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    Don't rush in. Keep a cool head when buying. Hot head can ignore your rational side and agree a sale as quickly as you can say abracadabra. And as previously written "If you aren't familier with airheads I'd suggest taking someone along who was."
    Happy hunting :thumbup
    #5
  6. Renner

    Renner rockin' the toaster

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    I love my R75/5
    If you find one with no maintenance records, rely on everything being worn out (not that it won't run for years in that condition).

    Nathan Mende in Watkinsville GA is very knowledgeable: nathan@boxerworks.com

    He can introduce you to people that know those bikes and can talk your ear off.
    #6
  7. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    I would not let the lack of maintainence records sway you to NOT buy an Airhead. I would however, allow it to let you feel better about lowballing a bike you think might need more work than you are thinking it needs per the ad.

    here's my take on a /5 evaluation.

    Ask about the spline lube, if it has been done recently, then good, if not that is something you need to do and it takes trans removal, which requires rear end and drive line removel. A good 4 to 6 hr job for someone who has never done it. BUT that isn't a real bad deal.
    ]

    Ask if factory specified lubricants have been used in the motor, trans, and driveline, and also ask how often they have been done and when they were done last.

    Ask if the valves have eben adjusted lately. /5 motors have a distinct sound form the valve covers which sounds like loose valves to a Airhead newby, it is normal for the motor to be PINGY ot TINKY from the valve covers, for some reason, usually the left one is a tad louder than the right....

    Ask when the points and timing were done last. Only expect about 15~20k from a fresh set of new factory points.

    Ask if the bike has been sitting for a long period of time, it'll need the tank flushed and probably Kreemed, and need the carby's gone thru if it has.

    Ask if the bike has anything non stock on it like charging system up grades or upgrades to the ignition system, this is good if so, not bad if not but ask when the alternator brushes were done last or if the bike has any recent maint to the alternator.

    When you ride it, the little red lamp on the dash should glow under idle, and go out when the bike is being ridden, make sure you turn the key to poiint to the left (the front of the weird /5 key) so the headlight is on for this red charge lamp test. As you ride, the charge lamp should go out...if not there is a problem with the diode board, or the alternator or regulator.

    Make sure all the lights on the gauge cluster work. Make sure the tach and speedo work. Ask about when the brakes were done.



    None of the regular stuff on an Airhead is hard or expensive if you can do it yourself, but stuff like a spline lube can be pricy if you have to have it done.
    #7
  8. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    Also, owners manual and shop manual are big pluses on a /5 sale.
    #8
  9. r2adv

    r2adv Been here awhile

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    1. Does everything work? electrics - especially those in the headlight housing can be a pain - the switchboard that the nail goes into - lights, etc. Speedo - tach - they can be repaired but new ones are $500.
    2. Mileage versus wear - does the wear on pegs and handles match the mileage.
    3, Gen light - should glow red at low RPM and go out as you raise the revs.
    4. Oil in tray under trans - leaky rear main or oil pump cover - not terrible but some work to fix.
    5. Push rod seals - cracked or leaking ? - repair means at least loosening the cylinders.
    6. Tank - the inside - any rust showing or floating bits when you slosh it under a bright light.
    7. Steering head bearings - with load off the front wheel is the motion of the bars smooth
    #9
  10. rufusswan

    rufusswan Been here awhile

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    Put it on the centerstand. Then you can check out the steering damper, and hubs/bearings/steering head etc. Expect what will feel like slop in the rear drive train.
    #10
  11. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    How much does the guy want for it, that way we can better have an idea of either one of two things. One would be if it is overpriced, or if it is so low, the guy is giving it away or it has problems he KNOWS about.
    #11
  12. Sutherngintelmen

    Sutherngintelmen around the bend

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    This is great stuff - thanks for your insights.

    I thought I'd try and build something that can be reused by others. I like check lists - so that's what it'll be.

    This is a work in progress - I'll be continuing build out and would love additional contributions.

    I'm breaking the list into steps - Initial phone call, meat space viewing, test riding, surrogate party review, negotiate and additional resources.

    Yes - this may seem a bit much to some of y'alls but money doesn't grow on trees (well maybe at the Fed but not in my yard.) So I want to give myself the best chance of knowing what I'm getting.


    Here is draft 1 - it is sans any polish.

    The Call:

    VIN Search http://www.realoem.com/bmw/

    Get as much background on the seller as possible

    Documentation
    Serivce history / maintenance records
    Owners Manual
    Service Manual
    Title (in hand or lien, salvage/rebuild? in name of seller, state, registered and plated?)

    General Bike History
    Confirm Location
    Owners (when, where, anything notable, Contact information)
    Any big crashes
    Extended storage periods (recently out of a barn?)
    Garaged?
    Major mods or rebuilds
    Last time it was started / ridden how far?

    Motor
    Weeping fluids
    Oil in tray under trans - leaky rear main or oil pump cover - not terrible but some work to fix
    Sound
    Start from cold
    Blow smoke
    Last oil change, how often, factory lubes used?
    Last valve adjustment
    Ask when the points and timing were done last. Only expect about 15~20k from a fresh set of new factory points.
    Push rod seals - cracked or leaking ? - repair means at least loosening the cylinders.



    Fuel Delivery
    Tank (Ask if the bike has been sitting for a long period of time, it'll need the tank flushed and probably Kreemed, and need the
    carby's gone thru if it has.)
    Has the tank ever been reworked?
    Is fuel in it now? - is it fresh or syrup?
    Carbs - original to bike? Last rebuild date?

    Drive
    Clutch
    Last tranny service - any known issues?
    Final drive
    Last spline lube

    Braking
    Cylinder or fluid leaking
    Last serviceing for brakes
    Condition disk or drum
    Remaining shoes or pads

    Frame, Suspension and Steering
    Straight - frame / forks
    Any rust
    Suspension oem or after market
    Visable fluid weeps?
    Visual inspection of fork fluid?


    Electrical
    Charging (Ask if the bike has anything non stock on it like charging system up grades this is good if so, not bad if not but ask
    when the alternator brushes were done last or if the bike has any recent maint to the alternator)
    Does everything work? electrics - especially those in the headlight housing can be a pain
    the switchboard that the nail goes into
    Battery hold charge? age?
    Wiring Harness
    Headlamp
    Tail lamp
    Any updgrade to the ignition system?
    Speedo and Tach (can be repaired but new ones are $500.)
    Gen light - should glow red at low RPM and go out as you raise the revs.

    Wheels and tire
    Straight
    Spokes all there
    Rust
    Age of tires
    Tread remaining
    Any cracking

    Finish
    Original
    Dents
    Scratches
    Any scrapes on the valve covers or bar ends?
    Rust
    Missing badges

    After Market / Upgrades / Extras


    The In Person
    Get a feel for the seller
    Ask to see title (set expectation when scheduling call)
    Work the list above
    Bring some tools
    Start the bike cold
    Listen to the valves (/5 motors have a distinct sound form the valve covers which sounds like loose valves to a Airhead newby, it is
    normal for the motor to be PINGY ot TINKY from the valve covers, for some reason, usually the left one is a tad louder than the
    right....)
    Mileage versus wear - does the wear on pegs and handles match the mileage.
    Tank - the inside - any rust showing or floating bits when you slosh it under a bright light.
    Steering head bearings - with load off the front wheel is the motion of the bars smooth
    Put it on the centerstand. Then you can check out the steering damper, and hubs/bearings/steering head etc. Expect what will feel
    like slop in the rear drive train.


    The Test Ride


    When you ride it, the little red lamp on the dash should glow under idle, and go out when the bike is being ridden, make sure you
    turn the key to poiint to the left (the front of the weird /5 key) so the headlight is on for this red charge lamp test. As you
    ride, the charge lamp should go out...if not there is a problem with the diode board, or the alternator or regulator.

    Make sure all the lights on the gauge cluster work. Make sure the tach and speedo work. Ask about when the brakes were done.


    Surrogate Review

    Use a local shop to take a look at the bike for you. Most will do this for not much and well worth the spend if you are going to by
    unseen or travel a long distance for pick up.

    Negotiate
    What's the bike worth?
    Cost to transport
    Budget to 'get it right'


    Additional Resources


    BMW motorcycle buyers guide out there by motorbooks international
    http://www.5united.net/
    Ivan http://motorradavl.com/page--Team-Motorrad--splash.html
    nathan@boxerworks.com (Nathan Mende in Watkinsville GA)
    #12
  13. blaine.hale

    blaine.hale Long timer

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    #13
  14. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    Very comprehensive that.....
    #14
  15. Sutherngintelmen

    Sutherngintelmen around the bend

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    I'm not locked into anything except R75/5. I expect it will be a '73 toaster but not in a rush to get this done. I've got other ponies in the stable to keep me grinning for now.

    This is more of a long term play - be plenty happy to get a bike next week, next Spring or anytime between. Actually, I think I'm full of :topes Sooner is better :D

    I won't do anything rash - no need for comments there - I really can be patient.

    That said - and at the risk of creating competion for myself - I do like this green....

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290488510830&viewitem=#ht_500wt_1182


    #15
  16. Sutherngintelmen

    Sutherngintelmen around the bend

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    Thanks, I saw that bike and it's nice.

    But - I really want the toaster. Why? Who knows? I think it looks :thumb

    #16
  17. blaine.hale

    blaine.hale Long timer

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    Hope you're ready to shell out quite a bit more $$ then :D
    We have one of those as well. It sits next to that one. haha.
    #17
  18. Sutherngintelmen

    Sutherngintelmen around the bend

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    Yep - a decent Toaster at $2500 seems pretty unlikely. :cry

    #18
  19. blaine.hale

    blaine.hale Long timer

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    Try around 4k in our area.
    #19
  20. Sutherngintelmen

    Sutherngintelmen around the bend

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    Yep - that seems about right, just don't want to drop 4k on one that needs 2k of work cause I didn't know what I didn't know.

    #20